Need opinions on home schooling

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by klmno, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I really can't stand the thought of difficult child going back to any school in this district. If he isn't put in detention next week, which he very well could be (or in May or in June), I am thinking about withdrawing him because I can't see the IEP team agreeing to homeschooling and actually doing it. I really can't afford to be off work that much and I'd have to figure out some financial strategy, however, it would only be through the end of the school year. I'd like to go ahead and file complaints with whomever necessary just because I think too many grave injusts have been done. This latest one doesn't prove how extreme it really is alone, but looking at it all together, it is the straw that broke the camel's back to me. Anyway, if I can't win on a complaint, I'll just have to figure out how to sell house and take loss and move before next school year. I can't afford private school now unless I won and had school district pay for it- I've spent the past year on less than full salary for all this stuff.

    I'd like opinions and input and a little info on how to even get started if I go the homeschool route- does the school district provide guidelines, books, and assignments? If not, where do I get them?
     
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    If you get a note from the psychiatrist or another doctor (with an MD) saying your difficult child needs to be homebound for medical reasons (as in he's unstable), the school district must provide tutoring at your home to keep him caught up. In Maryland, it's 6 hours a week, in other states I've heard more. You should check your state's regulations on this issue.

    Sorry things are so rough.
     
  3. LoneStar14

    LoneStar14 New Member

  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    If you pull him out to home school, you bare all the expense.

    Homebound is suppose to be a temporary solution. It's generally used for IEP students that are temporarily out of school because of something like surgery.

    It may be an option for you, but would likely entail just a few hours visit from a teacher per week.

    Make sure you check out your state regs thoroughly on home schooling before you make a final decision.
     
  5. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Homeschooling was one of the best decisions we have made for our son. Not to say it isn't difficult at times. He misses the kids but for the first time he is making true academic growth. I don't miss the stress of waiting to hear what problems he had that day and wondering what mood he will be in when he gets off the bus. I don't miss getting nowhere during iep meetings and constantly hounding teachers for information and to see that iep goals are being followed. If you make the decision to homeschool the school district will give you no support so if your son has any special services like speach therapy, Occupational Therapist (OT), etc... that is something to consider. Financial woes can also be a big stress so be sure to figure out a budget before you make the move and make sure husband is 100% on board as well. There are many prepackaged curriculumns for homeschoolers as well as a variety of internet resources to help you with the teaching. Good luck in your decision.
    Christy
     
  6. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    The rules form state to state are VASTLY different, as was already mentioned. So it is vital for you to be very sure what your rules and laws are before you take this option. I encourage you to also talk to other homeschooling parents in your area, to see how it is working out for them.

    I had homebound for 2 of my children, one for mental illness problems and one for surgical issues....and I am sad to say it was a flop/disaster both times, not becuz of my children, but becuz the homebound program just was not um.handled well. For my oldest child, she was put on homebound due to school induced PTSD while we were awaiting due process, anddureing due process. School had already excluded her from much of her classorom for several semesters. Her homebound instructor was quite infelxible in scheduling, wanted only to meet before 7 am, on Saturdays....her homebound instructor had NO idea how to work with a mentally ill child, and was entirely unprepared to do homebound for a child that had not had much academic instruction recently. The instructors idea of her role was to transport the current class assignments from school to my daughter, drop them off and leave. Worse, at end of semester first semester we had homebound? The instructor said school gave her work my daughter had already done the year before, so no credit was given my daughter for that semester. The next semester, the instructor said she turned work in to the school, school said instructor did not, again no credit given to my daughter.

    For my son, school ordered homebound becuz my son had 2 surgeries on his eye, at a hospital far from home, and recovery required him to stay face down for a month after surgery, and not use his eyes. His homebound instructor had difficulty understanding our need to go frequently back to the far away doctor.and had NO idea how to work with a child with no vision. The instructor also had no idea what to do, how to work with a child who had missed more than a couple days of class, and wanted only to bring the current class assignments, drop them off and pick up completed work at end of week.

    I now homeschool both those children of mine. I am grateful IL has "easy" rules to do so, tho. The scariest part for me was NOT the time involved to do so, becuz I was already spending at LEAST 5 hours a week at daughters school in meetings, and haveing to be at her school per school request at least 5 other times per week at drop of a hat for "crisis". I was also working side by side with my son, who could not yet read AT ALL, nor write AT ALL at LEAST 4 hours every nite, holidays and weekends- helping him work on his school assignments. (his school continued to steadfastly refuse a word processor for him in spite of his vision difficulties and his cerebal palsy issues etc) Ironically, when my son DID use "books on tape" he mastered his work quite well. And when allowed to use a word processor, the quality of his work far exceeded what anyone thought he could do. And he could give an ORAL presentation to knock your sox off, complete with all his sources cited.

    I have found that me and the kids spend FAR LESS time "working" at academics in the "traditional" manner by homeschooling. There turns out to be far less stress, far less negativity, we have been able to STOP medications for anxiety etc. We have a LOT more "field" experience going on, we take mini field trips, we do a lot more "hands on" and more "practical application" No longer being bound by a school schedule, we have more freedom to do more exploration to all kinds of fascinating places, and we actually get to meet with far more people, and we get a lot of learning thru meeting more people, too.

    I was seriously afraid homeschooling my kids would "take them out of the world" and "isolate" them. I have to say, tho, that I do not now think that is the case. Altho I do now have more control over WHO they are around, and what they are exposed to.
    My daughter was in an ED BD class of all difficult children......actually it was all boys except for her. It was really little more than a warehouse for kids the school just had basically given up on. We had serious problems ariseing from her peers from her ed bd class......she was stalked by a classmate, we suffered tens of thousands of dollars of vandalism at hands of a classmate.....so the reality was for her- what kind of influences was she getting in school? NOT "good" ones, to be sure! And her stress level while in that classroom kept her symptomatic so much that she did not manage going to extra curricular functions..(and in her school Special Education kids were excluded from school based extra curriculars) NOW she goes to church again, and park district functions, and clubs and groups not school based.

    My son was teased due to leg braces, clumsiness, etc. THat is not exactly my dream of what I wanted for my child to experience. Doing homeschool has opened up our schedule more and permitted us to do charity work at Ronald McDonald House and we go occasionally to give cookouts there for the patients staying there (we know first hand how it is to be a patient there) and noone there ever teases him...and he has more time and energy to focus on church etc and clubs and groups---places where WE CHOOSE who he will be around, places where we have more control over the inds of people he will be spending time with. SO I now have more control in my childrens peers and the people who are influenceing my children. I am HOPING that me haveing this control will give me time to help shape my children to retain the morals and values that "I" value.

    We spend a lot of time in libraries and bookstores, but we also spend a lot of time in creeks and ponds, and a lot of time in the kitchen working with food, both as "health class" and as "science"- LOL- doing all kinds of expeiments for science, LOL. We rent videos and get the corresponding books, and read along and then watch the video------and find ways to incorporate various "school subjects" into everything.
    Really, I myself have been learning a lot, too....and I have found it fascinating to be more right there while my children learn. It is showing ME the world in a new and exciting way. It has also had a side effect I dearly treasure. (I had been so afraid I would become "The Bad Guy" by being "Teacher") - my kids and I now enjoy each others company so much much more! I have NOT become "the bad guy" at all, after all. Maybe my kids now view me as a peer or something, sort of? We work together on so many many exciting learning experiences. Side by side. And I am getting to know my kids in a way I never could have by sending them off to school every day. And I so much more like the people they are now than when they were still in traditional school.
     
  7. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    some other things-
    some states require specific curriculums. IIRC the state of CA or some portion of CA is recently (this month) haveing some homeschooling issues, and maybe??? they have now said a child MUST be taught by a certified teacher? (I cannot remember)

    I know here by me, a few years ago, our local newspaper ran some articles and some people were accuseing people - saying some homeschooled as a way to NOT get their chidren vaccinated? So in my county, the county health dept and CPS went around to ALL the homeschooling families and demanded vaccination documentation, and tried to harrass homeschoolers of "medical neglect" but then they found the homeschooled kids HAD a HIGHER compliance rate of their children being up to date on vaccines. I KNOW our police dept has some preconcieved notion that ALL homeschooled kids are kids who had been in "trouble" in traditional school and that parents had pulled kids out to avoid legal problems within school district.....so the police actually roll their eyes in a negative way and speak about homeschooled kids as if they are all delinqunet kids with overindulgent parents. For a time, our school district did send CPS out to the homes of all homeschooled kids, and there were write ups all over about harrassment of people who chose to homeschool, and CPS investigations etc. Often homeschoolers are not looked at kindly. and there IS a possibility of being harrassed. Or ridiculed. Or scrutinized.It is also good to know that if you must work outside your home, there are many states where your child may not be home alone dureing school hours even if homeschooled, no matter how old your child is. In many states you will have to submit certain tests or something? I think to show academic progress?

    For me the decision for my first child was made only as a desperate measure, after a failed due process proceding, and at the off record recommendation of our due process hearing officer. For my younger child it finally got to the point where hey, he was grade 6 and could not read or write yet, and school refused to retain him a year even tho he missed almost a whole year due to surgery, I thought, well how much worse can we do at home? To my amazement and delight, he does now read, and he does read at grade level!!!! and he does now write! (not at grade level yet, thho)
    Also- my oldest did rage, but not at school, she had NEVER been aggressive or violent AT school EVER. (she self harmed, and had panic attacks) Since homeschoolng, she seldom rages at all. But my son did NOT have any behavior issues of any kind. None. He simply had cerebal palsy and vision issues and a LOT of absences due to surgeries, and he has atyppical seizures.....which can affect learning, memory etc. Our school, I guess just did not have the time and patience to cope with my daughters anxiety, and they simply failed my son. Now that my daughter has more freedom in choosing whether or not to be in any group of people, she is far less anxious, becuz unlike regular school, if she finds herself in a group of people that she is uncomfortable in, she has freedom to remove herself to a setting she feels safer in. And for my son, I DID have the time and energy to help him find HIS way to learn to read, and get THAT door opened.

    BUT there are people who judge us, and ridicule and criticize me for going this route. BUT I look at my kids, and see how they are NOW and I am pleased with their progress. I am also much more pleased with how they treat other people, now, compared to when they were still in traditional public school. (they are nicer now, more compassionate, more willing to help others, encourage others, etc- more polite....more careing and they have become more patient, far less anxious)
    Good luck whatever you decide.
     
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