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News of DC in Vocational Schools


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Hi just heard from DS as now done 2 days. Says he Loves boarding, really inspired by the dancing although tough and enjoying being with the others. Missing home but he's coping and it's really great! Well that has made my evening and I will sleep well for the first time in a few nights now. ????

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When I went away at 16 I was incredibly homesick. Cried practically every day for the entire time I was there. It was horrible. So fair play to your sons and daughters who have gone away,especially the younger ones. 

Edited by thequays
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In my experience homesickness waxes and wanes. Mine was complaining yesterday she was feeling homesick and requested a visit this weekend and she is not new to boarding but is to sixth form. She was very tired though after the theatre trip - they had an exceptionally long day on only the second full timetabled day. DD knows she always finds everything harder when she is tired and I expect yours will be too.

Sophia if your dd continues to suffer do encourage her to speak to one of the pastoral or medical team, they won't be able to offer support if your daughter appears on the surface to be coping and they don't know how she is feeling. My dd always gravitates towards the nurse that covers the evenings at the school medical centre when she is needing a bit of TLC. If your dd doesn't feel she can then do contact them yourself so they know to keep an extra eye on her. 

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Thank you jane for your advise. Yes DD had a theatre trip too so I believe our girls must be in the same school and possibly year!! I'll tell her to consider talking to someone if it doesn't get any better. At the moment she's talking about coming home every weekend. My gut feeling tells me that's not the right thing to do as it will only make things worse and she'll never get into the life there. What do you all think?

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I hated being at Urdang from the moment I got there. Don`t know why I even auditioned really. I suppose just to see if I could "get in". I hadn`t danced at all for 18 months prior to auditioning,but I didn`t fancy leaving school and doing something mundane like shop or factory work.My academic qualifications were not great.But at Urdang  I hated having to take daily class with boys.!! I was very,very shy, and had hardly had any interaction with boys at all,even though I had been at a mixed Secondary School. I found them really scary.! But the main reason I auditioned was because i wanted to live in London for a while,just to experience it,and a ballet school [as Urdang was back in those days] was the best way for me to achieve this. I was incredibly homesick though, every single day. God knows why,as I hated Manchester !!   I think I stuck it out for 2 terms of the first year,before packing it in. Came back to Manchester ,joined a local model agency, and then decided I might like to be a dancer after all.!!!  Joined a local gym that had a dance studio and "gave myself class" several times a week. Auditioned for the Moulin Rouge but didn`t get in. Undeterred, I went back in the studio,practised my cartwheels and worked on my flexibility and lost about half a stone that i needed to.Re-auditioned for the Moulin at Pineapple six months later, and was accepted.! I then had the best year of my life living in Paris. 

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I think Jane is quite right in that the homesickness comes and goes and is definitely linked to how tired they are.  My DD was new to vocational school at 16 and found the first couple of weeks the hardest.  She was on Skype every night.  Its hard too because as the parent you are often the sounding board who gets all the complaints and it is easy to feel your child is miserable all the time, when in fact most of the day they have been busy and happy. My DD stayed weekends - part because of the distance and in part because of how tired she was and still with A level homework to do and in part to encourage her to mix with other students - even if just for a walk or a meet up for coffee.  We did however arrange with her that we would visit and spend the whole day with her on the middle sunday of that first half term.  That gave her and us something to look forward to.  I would certainly encourage her to do 2-3 weeks away to help her settle before she comes home if that is what your gut feeling tells you as you are the one that knows your DD best for if a home visit too soon would unsettle her.

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My DD has just turned 16 and is new to boarding, vocational school and is miles from home.  Leaving her was one of the toughest things I've ever had to do.  However, when I'm struggling I remind myself that she has worked so hard for this for so many years and I know she is living her dream!  She had a wobbly first couple of days and is now settling in well but is very keen for a trip home.  My very ltttle 10 year old son has travelled worldwide with football commitments and the advice we have always been given is not to go home for at least three weeks.  He isn't even allowed a telephone call when he's away!  We are not being that strict with DD, I couldn't stand it !  I just keep everything really positive on the phone.  Face Time is brilliant as I can see that she is genuinely happy and not just trying to make me feel better  ;)  We just need to remind all our talented and hard working young people why they are there and no matter where they might be now or in the future, home is always home and family is always there for them.

 

I'm sure the weeks will fly by and it will be exeat and half term before we know it!  Good luck everyone. 

Edited by lidabelle
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Just thought I'd update you all on my little DD....after a shaky start (tears all round) things are settling down really well.

 

DD is absolutely loving her classes and is sounding like she's settling in well.

 

Discovering Facetime has been the biggest help - to be able to see and talk to her and for her to see us pottering around in the kitchen while we chat at night is fantastic.  For us, we can see in her face that she is happier every time we talk and for her she can see that everything's just ticking along as normal at home.  Plus there's the added bonus that it's free via the wi-fi so no huge telephone bills :)

 

I would really recommend it to anyone who's got children suffering with homesickness at the moment.

 

My week has also been made easier by the thoughtfulness of a couple of Mums who have taken the time to make contact with me and give me reassurance and support - one of them I know is a forum member and I really thank you for getting in touch :)  

 

Hopefully we will continue to evolve into our new routine and I pray that she continues to settle as well as she's started :)

 

This forum has been such a support and invaluable source of information and I've also met some wonderful people through it over the last 18 months or so - so thank you everyone and long may it continue to be here for us all :) x

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I agree about the face time or Skype if you can get a good enough wi fi connection from the school end ! It makes you feel closer together .phone calls only seem to make my DS home sickness worse - perhaps is the dis- embodied voice - but to see them and they to see us doing normal things like tidying up around their rooms or our kitchens seems to help them feel connected with home - it took me 2 terms to feel better about the routine of life without him , and then it's another adjustment after the long summer holidays again ! It does get a little easier as you see them flourish and make new friends .....

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Thank you jane for your advise. Yes DD had a theatre trip too so I believe our girls must be in the same school and possibly year!! I'll tell her to consider talking to someone if it doesn't get any better. At the moment she's talking about coming home every weekend. My gut feeling tells me that's not the right thing to do as it will only make things worse and she'll never get into the life there. What do you all think?

Hi Sophika9899 my DD started college last year and was quite homesick. I was really surprised just how upset she was as she had boarded for 5 years previously to this. I don't think I had taken into consideration what a huge step it had been for her leaving the close friendships she had , being so far away from home , living with another family etc all at only 16 .

She found the 6 week chunks too long so we divided half terms again so she came home every 3 weeks as she had done at school . We timed them so she was at home at the same time as her sister.

I can't think of any helpful things to say except it will get easier for both of you and if it is feasible to come home every weekend why not ? I'm sure once she gets settled she won't want to .

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My dd seems to be coping very well at the moment I do think doing summer schools have helped her, she is loving The Hammond I know there will be days/weeks when things will get her down and will be tough hopefully using Facetime and sending her cards and bits & bobs in the post it will help her through, can't wait to hear all about her first few weeks on her first exact weekend :)

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Dd has been far less homesick than in previous years so far this year (she's starting yr 9). Can't really identify why other than perhaps a bit more freedom to do her own thing such as go for a walk with friends this weekend and possibly the change in boarding arrangements, with boys in the same house. I hope it continues, but won't be surprised to hear a moan when she is tired or something doesn't go well. It's definitely a cyclical emotion.

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