Home Schooling. I'm actually considering it for ..

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DazedandConfused, May 24, 2007.

  1. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Daughter.

    More suicidal thoughts and verbalization. Plus, she has a plan-to swallow her whole bottle of Wellbutrin. We were on the way to the therapist (20 miles)and when we got there, she refused to go in therapist's office. So, we're in the lobby and I go in to talk to therapist, myself. Which worked out anyway. Daughter didn't want to talk about the suicide threats because of the fear of being hospitalized and therapist calling 911.

    Because of schedule conflicts Daughter hadn't seen therapist in almost two months. Though, I don't think there is a connection.

    Anyway, Daughter was falling apart. All her years of schooling she has been teased and excluded. Last year, things began to look up, but this year has been difficult again. She was sobbing in the car about why are people so cruel to her. Why does everyone think she's so ugly? Why doesn't any boy like her? She'll never be married, if she died nobody would care, etc. Then, for added stress, she is failing two of her classes. Both of them core academics.

    She's always had lots of trouble with peers. I'm sure she's not always innocent, but some of the things she has experienced, I would probably be falling apart too. She's so desperate to be accepted. It breaks my heart.

    So, after filling therapist on the latest events she suggested a new psychiatrist other than the one that works at the center. He's good for basic stuff (adhd, depression), but (and I agree) that daughter needs someone more specialized with medication combos and kids like her. She gave a some names, but recommended one particular psychiatrist and even though he's not on my Ins list, I went a head and made the appointment. I can get a partial reimbursement, I suppose. She sees him next weds. So, We'll see if it's a good fit.

    therapist also said that Daughter is really beyond her expertise also. Though things were relatively better than two years ago, there's a down turn and she thinks that Daughter needs more than one on one therapy. I also agree with that. She needs a therapist facilitated peer therapy group. This other psychiatrist might be able to point me in the right direction for this.

    After I was done with therapist, Daughter had to be persuaded to talk with her. Five minutes later, Daughter comes storming out declaring, "I'm so out of here!" in front of the whole lobby of people. therapist was trying to get Daughter to make a verbal contract that she wasn't going to try to kill herself. After both of us talking to her in the parking lot she agreed.

    Okay, I will finally get to the point. I'm now looking into Ind. Studies for her. At first, when I mentioned it, Daughter balked. Then, I could tell she was thinking about it. Her concern that she would get behind.

    "Daughter," I told her, "honey, you are already behind, you have failed three classes this year."

    I know that the at the core of this is anxiety to the extreme. Plus, she needs to be weaned from the Wellbutrin. I hope the new psychiatrist agrees.

    Back to the homeschooling. Boy, never say never. I never thought I would be considering this for her. I've already contacted the SDs VP in charge of IS by email. I'm told the school district has an excellent IS program.

    Oh yeah, Tuesday I husband and I are going to hear the results and recommendations of Son's neuropsychologist testing. Son has been a MAJOR PITA the last month. I hope I can get some direction in helping him. After that, next stop: The neurologist.

    I told husband that when our cellphone contract runs out this July, I'm going to get a Phone/PDA just to keep all the difficult children appointments straight. :hammer:
     
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Please clarify - what is an IS program? is it an internet curriculum? If so, it sounds very similar to what we do.

    difficult child 3 does school at home now, due to his extreme anxiety and inability to work effectively in a mainstream environment. And when we look back, it seems like he never really learned anything much in mainstream, everything he learned was done at home. Now he's doing well.

    difficult child 1 was failing senior high school. We have state-based exams for final year high school, difficult child 1 was heading to fail just about everything due to mismanagement over many years. These exams are held in September. We transferred him in June. We also spilt his workload at that point, so he would do the whole program over three years instead of one. The end result - he worked much better, much more efficiently, and he PASSED!

    From my own observations, if you can set up and support a home-based program which follows the principle of school work during school hours, it actually makes life easier for all concerned as well as giving them a more thorough education. With less work than we'd all been putting in, for less time, we've had astronomically better results.

    It takes work on all sides as well as constant moral support and motivation, but for us it has been the answer.

    If you clash, or if you find you argue too much, you need to deal with this fast or it will get in the way. You also need to set up some level of personal monitoring, such as a progress chart. Some space in which to keep tools and study materials is also desirable. We bought a cheap set of plastic drawers with a chrome metal frame. Each subject's paperwork goes into a separate, labelled drawer. difficult child 3 can choose which subject to work on, but as he runs out of work for one subject he has to move to another so he can stay caught up. Although we're not rich I will go out and buy materials for him if he needs them - a really good language dictionary, for example, or good paint sets for art. Most of the time I can find what we need around the house - his current science topic is rocks and he found a hand lens so we can go and look at rocks with a neighbour of ours who is an amateur geologist.

    Using resources like where we live, or our neighbours, is great for social development. School is a very artificial environment, especially for a kid who isn't coping. You cram a lot of kids together, far more than you would get except in an extended family (when you also have a wider age range plus more adults around) and you shove those kids into a small space with one adult to supervise, make the kids sit down and all do the same work at the same time. Kids like to run around and be active; sitting in a classroom is not natural. However, our society dictates that this is what the kids do. The problems begin because to a varying degree, kids try to continue to have fun. The ways in which they have fun are OK if it is compatible with learning, but too often it is not. The fear of being caught is part of the thrill and excitement, and kids try to boost the excitement factor to alleviate the boredom factor.

    Bullying is one really good entertainer that can result from this.

    difficult child 3 gets no more social interaction from attending a classroom. It was rarely a positive interaction for him anyway. The big argument against home schooling for him was, "But he is autistic! He needs the social contact of school more than most kids!"

    What difficult child 3 needed most, was NORMAL and POSITIVE social interaction. He gets more of that now than ever before.

    In the past, difficult child 3 spent a lot of time outside school hours, at home catching up on missed work, or doing homework. Now he gets just about all his work done during school hours, he is free to go visit a friend as soon as THEY get home from school. Or, if he's doing OK with his schoolwork, he comes shopping with me. There are always some kids at the shopping centre but there is a wide range of humanity there - a balance. difficult child 3 interacts with other shoppers, including children of all ages there with parents and grandparents. He interacts with shopkeepers, with officials, with cleaning staff - everybody. You don't get other shoppers, or cleaning staff, bullying a kid. As a result, difficult child 3 is once more learning appropriate social interaction through being shown the right way to behave. He comes home having had a series of positive interactions, all reinforcing the right way to behave and talk to people. And when he meets groups of kids (such as a class full of kids) we have fewer problems, except in our own neighbourhood (where local bullying is still a big problem).

    I think if your child has extreme anxiety, is going to fail at least some subjects anyway, then this is worth a try if you think you can handle it. If you can step back and not be the teacher, even better. I will step in and help difficult child 3 with a tricky question, but just about all the time I let him do his own work. I just check now and then to make sure he IS working. Sometimes we talk about a topic, just to see if he's understood it or sometimes to give him extra information I happen to know, or to connect a topic to something in his life so he has a frame of reference for it. I ask him questions, his opinion about things. We have a lot of driving to even just get to the shops, so we have plenty of opportunity to talk.

    If you go down this path, I hope you get good results for her. She may find that given good material to work with, she gets through the work three times faster than in a classroom. This can at first make you feel as if work is being missed somewhere - surely it can't be THAT fast! But a distraction-free environment coupled with good educational material can produce amazing results.

    Marg
     
  3. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #663366"> dazed, i homeschooled sarah her junior year of HS. it worked very well for her. florida has an online school that is very, very good. she did her senior year at the county adult HS. she graduated ~~~ on schedule ~~~ may 2nd.

    it's wasn't as hard as i thought it would be.

    kris
    </span> </span> </span>
     
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dazed,

    you know what is best for your child. If you feel this would really help her, and you can handle it, I say go for it warrior mom!

    Sharon
     
  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    My heart is breaking for your daughter!

    Sending hugs and prayers. You'll know if you can do it.
     
  6. amstrong

    amstrong New Member

    difficult child did home school for the 2nd sememster of junior year and all of senior year. Our home school program is self paced-he was given all of his units of study (workbooks and has a required number of pages per day he had to do. he went to the center up to 3 times per week for tutoring and/or testing. He did so well with this. The only thing we as parents had to do was make sure the required number of pages were done each day.

    I think that doing this on his own gave him a sense of responsibility. I too, said NEVER, but ate those words and feel it is the best decision we could have made for him.

    Good Luck!
     
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