Louis seems to sabotage all my attempts to take a decent photo of him these days. I have to catch him unawares or he'll either photobomb, pull a face or turns away, like in this one. But I love this though. It seems to have accidentally turned out okay.
Louis is now a term into his new school so it's about time for a progress update. I'm pleased to say that he's thriving in a beautiful and friendly environment with small class sizes. I'm astounded that this can be achieved within the non selective state system. No longer am I receiving text messages about disorganised behaviour on a near daily basis. I don't miss those I can tell you! His first report was superb and he's back on to achieve the grades that I knew that he was capable of. There was a huge range of GCSE's to choose from and is studying subjects that weren't on offer at the traditionally academic grammar school. One of the things that he previously struggled with due to his dyslexia was language learning. Yet continuing either French or Spanish were compulsory in his old school. It was a very steep uphill struggle. Now he is able to study additional English and Maths lessons instead that compensate for his difficulties and augment his strengths.
I was unaware of how much stress that Louis, me and his dad were under when his school wasn't a good fit for him. It was only after the change took place that it became apparent. My son is happier in a small mixed sex environment where there's a focus on acquiring vocational skills. Even though I've had to change my working hours, leaving home earlier and getting back much later than before, it's not a problem because there's no homework! In the evenings and weekends time is our own.
I'd urge other parents whose kids aren't happy to carefully consider swapping schools if this is possible. Sure there may be personal sacrifice for you and worries about how they're going to settle in and make new friends. But shouldn't children be supported from an early age to change the things that aren't working for them? I was talking to another friend who was near to tears saying how miserable her own child, who has similar interests to Louis, is at their current senior school. On the back of our experience she's took action. She made an appointment for them to visit Louis' school. They'll be starting in September!