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Thread: She wants to leave school at 15

  1. #1

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    Default She wants to leave school at 15

    Hi guys,

    I was wondering if anyone had some advice for me.

    I have been aware that Ariani has been wagging school a lot this year. She seems to have lost interest in school altogether. I have been getting weekly calls from her school saying that they can't keep putting up with this.

    We have talked to her til we're blue in the face, but nothing makes a difference. Three days ago, the school called saying that with her history of attendance, they don't recommend that she continues with school next year. I've convinced them to keep her enrolled while I talked to her.

    She has now basically said that she wishes to quit school and go to work full-time. I told her that I'd rather she worked full-time for the holidays before she made up her mind, but she's since told her school that she won't be back next year.

    I have convinced her to stay the rest of the year, in order to have completed year 10, but the school has asked that she attend every class from now until school closes, or they won't be obliged to give her her year 10 report. I found out today she's wagged the last two days and the school is saying they will not be giving her her report.

    She's done absolutely nothing to look for work either. Just hangs out with her friends (all of whom are staying at school) or hangs about the house. To push her, I've told her that the week she leaves school, she has to start paying me board of $60 a week, and unbeknownst to her, I've opened a savings account to save the money for her for when she comes to her senses and wants to go back to school, but as yet this has not motivated her to get her resume in order, or apply for anything.

    I know it's not drugs (she's experimented but didn't like it) She doesn't drink or smoke. She's nearly no trouble at all usually. Just doesn't want to go to school anymore!

    I just don't know where to go from here. Any ideas would be appreciated. She was second in line for dux in year 7. What happened to my clever little girl who was full of promise?



    love
    sushee

  2. #2
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

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    Could there be a reason for her not wanting to go to school that's she's not telling you about? Is it possible that she's being bullied or teased?

    Just a thought.

  3. #3

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    Hi Sushee...
    I feel that I can relate a little bit to what your daughter is going through.

    When I hit grade 10 I wagged so many days it wasnt funny. A lot of it was due to other reasons (I moved out of home halway through year 10), but by the time the end of the year rolled around, I probably had missed well over 4 - 6 months worth of classes.
    I was lucky and they were sympathetic of my circumstances, and I still sat my exams and managed to do well...

    But I then left the school totally at the beginning of year 11. It just wasn't for me, and there were too many other things going on in my teenager's mind to want to think about schoolwork.

    Over the next couple of years I had a few casual jobs, and enrolled in a Flexi school where I could do the schoolwork at my own pace, and managed to complete Snr English and Biology externally just after I turned 18.

    And now I am 22, and only this year have felt ready to pull my head in and TRY, and I just have done my STAT test, and other stuff needed to uni entry, so I am all prepared... and quite proud of myself too.

    So... what I am trying to say is... although she's not keen on completing school now, its very likely that she will pick up some studies again in a few years - once she realises that you can only go so far in job without having a yr 12 or uni education. Plus she sounds like a very smart girl... which I also think will be one the reasons she will end up realising she needs/wants more education...?

    Is there any way she could enrol in a TAFE course that she would be interested in for next year? Or is that too similar to the idea of schoolwork? There really are some interesting courses out there these days!
    I really think that encouraging her to get a job and pay rent etc is a good idea and will make her realise the realities of adult life a bit quicker, and she may come to appreciate how easy it really is to be a school student

    On top of all of this though... I think completing yr 10 IS important... especially as it will be something to put on her resume for applying for jobs etc. And also if she is wanting to enrol back into school at a later date, the fact that she did not complete yr 10 might be held against her? I'm not sure on this, just speculating?

    Goodluck anyway Sushee... and sorry for waffling on a bit here! 8-[

  4. #4

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    With TAFE there is a thing called OTEN which is TAFE by corrisponence(sp) so doing thw work at home and doing the tests at TAFE. Maybe you could give her that option and see what she thinks of it? They do years 10-12.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the advice girls,

    Bec, I'm pretty sure it's not due to bullying or anything. Right from the get-go she's been popular (maybe a bit too much so) and is very very extroverted. She has loads of friends, and school, unfortunately, seems to be more of a social event than a place for learning.

    I suspect it's more to do with thinking that she's old enough to know what's best for her. And that coz she's pretty and outgoing, she can manage for herself, as so far she's not had problems getting jobs, cadging lifts, getting people to help her. Who needs school?

    But your experience gives me hope, Ambah, that this is just a phase, and she will come to some sense that an education is a necessity in today's world. You just want the easiest, best life for your kids, don't you? I just wish she wasn't making it harder for herself.

    I've talked to her about Tafe, and at this stage, she's saying that she'll be prepared to look into it maybe end of next year. That she just wants some time away from school and study for a while. I am rounding up course leaflets and scouring webites for info, but I don't think I'll get her to change her mind right now.

    Best case scenario would be her working over the holidays and hating it, and wanting to go back to year 11 when Feb rolls around. I can only hope. In the meantime, she's seeing her school coordinator today about trying to stay until the end of the year to get her year 10 report, so I'll keep you posted.

    love
    sushee

  6. #6

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    Hey Sushee,
    This all sounds so familiar...
    I was Dux of primary school, top of the class with another girl in Yr7 etc etc and always right 'up there', and it was always assumed that I would go on and go to uni, do something that a regular smart kid would do and get a really successful job etc etc etc..
    But I had no idea what I wanted to do! I can't imagine how many people would at that age, considering they start 'career planning' of some sort from the start of highschool - 12 or 13yrs old (!!!)...
    There was little being taught in my school that I felt was worth learning, and I decided to 'drop' a whole lot of classes during yr10 (usually planned sleep-ins or leaving early or hanging out in the photo lab instead )
    About half way through yr10 I decided I had to do something about it if I were to continue on to yr11 & 12, so I applied for an academically selective school in Sydney (a lot of it was to do with getting out of a small country town!.. but still with a view to education) and was accepted.
    I started Yr11 in the city and lasted about 2 weeks. Some of it was culture shock, and a lot of it was realisation that I was going nowhere.
    I was studying something along the lines of: Music, Drama, Photography, Computer Studies + the compulsory Maths & English; and it became apparent that apart from an Arts degree, I wouldn't get to Uni anyway!
    So I left, and made a way for myself, paying my own way, living out of home from the age of 16, working full time and getting myself acquainted with the real world.
    I felt that by the time all of my friends back home had finished their HSC's and moved to the big smoke too, I was way too far ahead of them. I was so glad I had been working those 2yrs instead, as they'd just treated their HSC years as any other year, not applied themselves and had no desire to, and were simply just there with little other reason than to please their parents. Most scored poor (or negligable!) UAI's and constantly mention how they 'lost 2yrs of their lives'.
    I've had 5 years out in the real world now - I'm currently working in a retail management role and in the next couple of years will either be studying my HSC or an adult Tertiary admission test to get into Uni - NOT because I can't get a good job otherwise, but because I have finally found something I want to learn and am finally of the right mindset to commit to study. I can't imagine preparing to do what I want to do at the age of 15, and I don't think I would have lasted had I done so.
    I feel like I have so much more time to plan things the way I want them to be, and I don't resent leaving so early at all.
    It has worked perfectly for me, and I think it is a very real option these days.
    I wanted to tell you this about myself to show that it can work, and maybe to understand some of the motivations behind this. School isn't for everyone, and as much as 'I hate school' might seem like a teenage cliche, some kids do have a point.
    I'm in no way trying to tell you you're wrong, but just show a different viewpoint. If she's a clever girl then the likelihood is she could be on to something.

    Good luck with it all, feel free to email me if you want to talk about it.

    Just remember that she is still your clever little girl, still full of promise. Choosing not to follow mainstream education shouldn't take that away.

    Kate

  7. #7
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

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    Well it's probably not bullying then I don't know I think I went through the whole "I wanna leave school and get a job phase" but I never actually went through with it, when I thought about all the effort it would take and having to pay my own way it wasn't worth it and I went back the next year. So her feeling may not last long, but I guess the upside is, if she does leave school and find out that "real" life is just too hard she can always go back or finish it off at TAFE.

    I hope she does get a job in the holidays and hates it and goes back though, I always wish I had done better at school, I even considered redoing it at TAFE to try and get better marks.

  8. #8
    kerry Guest

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    Suggestions to make the prospect of leaving school less appealing:

    1. She has to start paying rent and board.
    2. Rent and board does not cover clothes, personal hygene products, make-up, shampoo, etc, etc, etc (all the things normal working people have to supply for themselves), public transport.
    3. There is no financial subsidisation from Mum, dad, step parent or whatever.

    Other than these suggestions I really can't offer much... Personally I loved school (well the learning aprt not so much the social part) and would have spent the rest of my life at some sort of learning institution or other if I hadn't had to support myself.

    I know the suggestions I have put down are pretty harsh but then again so is the reality of adult life.

    Wishing you and your daughter the best of luck with whatever decisions you make regarding this. Just make sure you always remind her that it is never too late to go back to study.

  9. #9

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    Thanks Kate and Kerry, you've both been excellent in making me feel like all is not lost.

    Karry, I am going to use some of your suggestions, I think they're great! If nothing else, it will prepare her for the path she's chosen and will teach her to manage her money better. Also will defeat the purpose of her learning some real life skills if mum and step-dad bail her out all the time, plus pay for her toiletries, allow her to cadge bus fare etc. I think you're spot on there! Will discuss this with her tonight.

    Kate, I guess I would be more relaxed if I knew she was going the way you have, and will manage herself and her life well. I think my biggest worry is that she seems to lack motivation in general, and that she thinks she can bum around the house until lightning strikes and she figures out what she wants to do with her life.

    But I had a long talk with DH about it last night too, and he said that he thinks I should just have faith in her that I've raised her well, and once she gets her head around her life, that the values I've taught her will bring her back round. And that everyone's future isn't necessarily tied to a uni degree.

    So I guess I'm coming round to the idea. I am starting to understand that a conventional schooling and education may not be for everyone, and I hope something comes out of this that makes her happy. I would be happy with that!

    Thanks everyone for your kind kind words of advice. You will never know how much I depend on you all on Belly Belly to give me good solid advice and help me think things through.

    Love
    sushee

  10. #10

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    Sushee; I probably come from the other direction. I was always an above-average student and decided at age 13 that I wanted to be a primary school teacher. I continued through high school; never really contemplating leaving school as I was very sheltered; but not feeling particularly engaged by anything bar the music department. (ie. I played in a lot of bands)

    It was always assumed I'd go to Uni and go on to become a teacher. Imagine my suprise when my OP (Qld version of HSC score) was not as high as the school counsellor had predicted and I could not get into a local university to study what I had always planned? Anyway, I ended up gaining entry through another course with lower requirements and then transfering. Basically it ends three years later with a BA in Primary Education when I decided after all of that time, that I did not want to be a teacher!

    This probably sounds weird, but I wish I HAD taken a year off after school and worked. I had not had a job during high school and I wish I'd gotten one whilst still under 18. Suddenly, despite my scores at school and my eagerness; I was almost un-employable.

    Basically, what I'm trying to say is to encourage you (as others have!), to have faith in your daughter's intelligence and the upbringing you've given her. I imagine it's no parents idea of a perfect situation to see your child leave school at the end of year 10; but she may find avenues open for her through traineeships etc.

    I suspect a few years working full-time role (probably in a retail role - as most under 18s do) she'll realise that if she wants a higher earning potential she will likely have to go back and finish her high school education and do a degree at tertiary level. Hopefully by then, she'll know where she wants to go and will feel totally motivated to stick to it. IMHO, I'd rather my child take that option than do what I did and end up with a $12,000 university debt for a degree that effectively gets her nothing.

  11. #11

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    Sushee

    What a dilemma!

    I was exactly the same as your daughter. School was a social thing and I hated learning. My parents were at their wits end with me, so they ended up letting me leave in Yr10.

    BUT

    I did have to look for work, be responsible, and the only thing that they paid for was my food, everything else I had to pay for myself, not easy on the measly amount I was left with. It did teach me the responsiblities that I needed later in life though. It took me a couple of years of working full time, and caring for my ill mother in my spare time to realise that I didnt want to continue life like this. I voluntarily went back to study and have many diplomas, ended up with really good jobs, and now I budget like a demon.

    I am sure that there is something that really interests your daughter, but she doesnt know what yet. The thing is not to let her off too lightly. I thought that I would be able to do pretty much what I liked, but it ended up being really hard. Give her extra chores around the house, dont let her bum around, that way she will probably think that school is the better option. How will she feel when all her friends are out partying and she has to work, or cant afford to join in?

    Good Luck

  12. #12

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    Just found out that the WA govt has passed legislation that states that any child truning 16 in 2006 (and Ariani is) will have to either be in full time school, full-time training or in approved full time work.

    Any job she gets will have to be assessed and will undergo an approvals process to ascertain prospects/training provisions/ work structure, and it will have to be full-time, in other words, a 37.5 hour week.

    If it doesn't meet the criteria, she will either have to find different work or return to school.

    This means that she will not have the option of staying with the cafe she's working at, as they cannot give her 37.5 hours a week, not meet the criteria to provide her with career prospects.

    So now she has even less choice, and even more competition for the few jobs available to 15yos. And yes, she's still not bothering to look for work.

    I've emailed the govt dept responsible to ask about what avenues I will have if she decides not to get off her a*se and find work, and am waiting patiently for a reply. Their website seems to only talk about kids who are motivated to do something, not a kid who doesn't seem motivated to do anything!

    I've developed a headache again....

    love
    sushee

  13. #13
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

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    Maybe this is the solution that you've been looking for Maybe this will prove much too difficult for her and it would be easier to just stay in school.

    Out of interest what happens if they don't do any of those things?

  14. #14

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    I wonder that myself. I'm sweating buckets about what will happen if she doesn't get a job and has to go back to school, and then wags all year. Will we be held responsible?

    Last night I bit the bullet and sat down after dinner with her,, got onto some apprenticeship websites and downloaded some job information. We also did up her resume and application letters, and all going well, we actually may get her application in for a few things this week.

    Wish me luck!

    love
    sushee

  15. #15
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

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    I'm sure you won't be held resposible, once you drop her off, or leaves the house atleast, you think that she's at school, how are you to know what she does from there? I mean I know the school tells you that she wags but if they didn't keep a record who would know? You can't stay there with her all day.

    But anyways, good luck to you, let us know what happens

  16. #16
    cazoraz Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by sushee
    I wonder that myself. I'm sweating buckets about what will happen if she doesn't get a job and has to go back to school, and then wags all year. Will we be held responsible?
    hey Sushee,

    Sounds like you're doing the right thing by talking to her about jobs and helping her find info on apprentiships etc. My little sister also stopped school at around 15yrs and started working, she just refused to go and would wag every day, so in the end mum helped her find a job and she was a lot happier working.

    Quote Originally Posted by sushee
    I wonder that myself. I'm sweating buckets about what will happen if she doesn't get a job and has to go back to school, and then wags all year. Will we be held responsible?
    Once you send your kids off for school (ie, if they walk to school, once they walk out of your house) they are actually *legally* the responsibility of the school. If you have sent her to school for the day and she wags, you personally cant actually get in trouble from anyone, its up to the school if anything happens, thats why they are trying to stamp out truancy so much. (I'm training to be a secondary school teacher and we were talking about this recently at uni.)

    Good luck
    xxxCaz

  17. #17

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    Do you have VCAL over there.
    They do a traineeship, but go to school 2 days a week to keep up the basics like English etc.

    You may have to trust in the way you have raised her, your partner is right. I would still give her boundaries though. If she gets a job, does that mean she gets to come and go as she pleases? Do the rules that apply to the other kids (like chores and curfews etc) still apply to Ariani?
    She will be having more to do with older people in the workforce that have more freedom that she will as a 15 y.o, and that will probably be the next bump in the road.
    You might want to tackle this possible issue before it becomes a problem. Getting a crystal ball seems to be the easiest way to do this!!!

    Good Luck, it would be nice if she stayed at school, but doesn't mean she can't achieve anything. I left early too, but I'm way ahead of alot of others who stayed and have degrees they will never use.

  18. #18

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    I think that have something like that in WA schools too. In fact the pricipal talked to Ariani yesterday about joining such a program, but as usual, she's resisting. She wants to be shot of school altogether.

    But the good news is that I managed to organise a family friend and her manager at her part-time job to write reference letters for her, and she had gotten one from a teacher as well. Tongiht, we sit down and start sending applications.

    I've made it my mission for her to get a job. If she doesn't and has to go back to school, well I'll be keeping in close touch with the school to make sure she turns up. I also am going to be on maternity leave from the end of February, and said to her that if I'm at home, she's going to have my eagle eye trained on her. She doesn't want to go to school anymore? Then you better get a job, hunny!

    Lulu, I have also said to her that as long as she lives under my roof and is under 18, she abides by my rules. It means no going out all night, no coming ang going as she pleases, she does her fair share of chores and she acts like the 15yo she is. She understands, at the very least, that going out to live on her own is not an easy option, so had agreed to these terms.

    I am feeling a little more in control of the situation now, I admit. She needs such a push to do anything, and I'm fashioning myself into her bulldozer! Lol!

    love
    sushee

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