Navigating life with a child that is struggling in a mainstream school: Stories from our MSA families

Kids attend school during an important part of their development. A time when they are learning the necessary skills to socialise, learn and receive feedback. Many kids struggle to find their place, worth and value as they attend school. They try to connect with their peers, develop their sense of self and enhance their intellectual ability in the schooling environment. If they feel lost or misunderstood in one of these areas, their whole world can feel like it is falling apart. Kids can become stressed, anxious, fearful, and emotional, which therefore encourages them to disengage.

Robyn has a 12-year-old son with dyslexia. In years three and four, her son developed a facial tic, which started because of his nerves about his ability within a classroom.

Her son’s dyslexia affected his confidence and self-worth as students and teachers made him feel like he was unable to learn. Robyn’s son said, “I sometimes felt embarrassed about my spelling, and the teachers at my old school never listened to me.”

Robyn would frequently advocate for her son. However, she was constantly let down by teachers that did not care or understand what her son needed in the classroom.

Robyn said, “Every year I would write a letter and then go into the school speaking to the teachers saying what [my son] needs and what he does not respond well to, and every year nothing would change, and he would be forgotten.”

As a parent, it can be exhausting to advocate for your child against a system that is not as supportive as it needs to be. Robyn knew she had to find a better school that could support her son, as she feared she would end up with a child who would not want to leave the bedroom.

“I could see that in school both his confidence and happiness were slipping away, and I just thought I was going to end up with a kid that won’t do anything and won’t leave his room,” Robyn said.

So in 2021, Robyn enrolled her son at Mastery Schools Australia (MSA). A decision that was hard to make, but they are yet to regret.

Robyn’s son said, “I used to struggle to see the words ‘still’ on a page, they would keep moving, and I couldn’t read them right. Now there is less moving, and it’s easier to focus on the words since being at MSA.” Will also lost his nervous tic within the first few months of attending MSA.

At Mastery Schools Australia students are made to feel worthy of an education and safe enough to want to invest in their learning. If your child is disengaged or struggling in a mainstream school, get in contact with us today by contacting (07) 5551 4080 or visiting by visiting our website.

Written by Ashlee Thomas