School decisions for easy child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by dstc_99, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    It seems weird to be trying to make a decision while everyone else is sending there kids back to school. Out here in Washington State school doesn't start until the end of the month or the first of September so I still have some time.

    Anyway easy child has been having difficulty with school for several years. Nothing major just constant frustration with teachers and education goals. I am hoping to get a jump on that before school starts and get in with the principal, teachers, and the doctor to get her everything she needs. I am going to try to get her tested to see if there are any issues there as well.

    BUT easy child sprung in on us a few days ago that she wants to homeschool. I am not a big fan of the idea because she doesn't have major issues with school but at the same time I don't want her struggling so I am questioning what I should do.

    We checked out the school she is assigned to....it seemed fine on the website but when we drove by I was flabbergasted. Maybe I am naive but I have never seen a school that is surrounded by houses with no major entrance and exit that is not sided by houses. Literally it is the school and a parking lot surrounded on all sides by houses. AND NOT NICE HOUSES! We are talking the ghetto here people. In fact we drove around the school and there was a large fenced in are that had razor wire on top!!! Seriously a school that requires something be fenced in by a 10 ft fence with razor wire?

    Anyway we have looked in to transferring her to a different school because I think it is important she have a safe learning environment and interaction with other kids. Homeschool is a safe alternative BUT this is a kid who is in that awkward 13 year old stage. She doesn't fit in with the popular kids because she choses not to and she tends to be lonely and miserable on the weekends. I hate to say this but I this kid befriends every lonely miserable weird kid she can find and while I think it is good she isn't focused on financial status I hate that she has set her bar so low that she doesn't feel worthy of friends without major issues.

    Any advice? The new school is in a much better neighborhood but she wont go to school near her neighbors. The old school is kind of scary even to me. Homeschool just seems like a cop out at this point in order to save herself from having to deal with people.
     
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont have experience with it but I have seen a program called K12 advertised here am pretty sure it is a national program. It works with the local school so the child is still able to be enrolled there and do after school things. It sounds very good to me and if I could convince my granddaughters mom to do it I would in a second.
     
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I homeschool. We have done both traditional homeschooling and now have moved on to an online public school. FYI - Skotti is not quite right about online schools "working with" the local school. The online school is considered a "public school" and your child will legally be enrolled there. Local school districts have the option whether to allow homeschooled kids to participate in their sports and afterschool programs. Some school district's are homeschooler-friendly and some are not.

    Feel free to send me a pm if you have any specific questions...
     
  4. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    So you think I should seriously consider it? I guess my concern is that my somewhat unsocial child will find it a thrill and become a completely unsocial child. She isn't athletic at all so she wouldn't be in sports or anything with other kids. Right now she is only asking for a year away from public school. Last year was very difficult on her and she didn't do well in her classes so she feels like she is behind and she wants to do a year of homeschooling to catch up. Then she would start high school in a normal setting. I am afraid she will like it and not want to go back.

    I know high school and school can be bad experiences but they can also be amazing. Those memories last forever. She isn't being bullied or anything she just doesn't like her teachers and has a very difficult time learning in a classroom setting. She is very disorganized and blames it all on everyone else.
     
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I know where you're coming from.
    I also know where SHE is coming from.
    I sometimes wish now that we HAD let K2 home-school for the last year or two before HS. It was TORMENT at school. HS definitely WAS an improvement. But those last two pre-HS years were... totally unfair.

    Don't count on "not being bullied". She won't tell you because, no matter WHAT the school says, telling ALWAYS makes it worse. been there done that.
     
  6. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    Why, in particular?
    If you ask her, what does she say?

    My difficult child told us for years that "the classroom is too noisy".
    School called that a crock of BS... in particular, his first year of making that comment, he had an outstanding teacher (not just in the school's estimation... every parent and almost every kid agreed, and even difficult child liked her).

    In reality? He has an Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) - has a problem with auditory figure ground. That means that he can process language just fine, and can hear... but he can't "listen" in a noisy environment, because he hears ALL the sounds and can't filter out the background noise. It made school total torment. Teachers called him lazy. We were hammered for "bad parenting".

    Getting the diagnosis... brought accommodations and interventions and technology. And a kid who can actually learn something at school.

    Use this "gap year" to get to the bottom of the real issues... and put her on a different footing for HS.
     
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Why does homeschool seem like a "cop out" ?

    One of the arguments usually presented against homeschooling is the social aspect - or specifically, the lack thereof.

    Well, just what sort of "socialization" are you looking for? The realty is that a lot of what is "social time" happens in public school during unstructured and unsupervised time. Lunchroom, locker room, school bus. And let's face it - these "social interactions" are usually pretty unpleasant.

    When you homeschool, there is no lunchroom, locker room or school bus. Definitely a benefit!

    When you homeschool, there are no distractions to learning. Major benefit!

    When you homeschool, social interaction is chosen. You can find clubs, co-ops, support groups - all kinds of things! And because parents are so involved - bullying never has a chance to start. Conflicts (if any) can be guided by concerned and caring adults who actually have their childrens' best interests in mind. Huge benefit!
     
  8. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Insane...I understand what you mean by understanding both points of view. husband is totally against homeschooling he thinks she should just power through and find her niche. On the other hand I know how difficult it was for me to sit in the back of a classroom and not understand any of what was going on. Once I got "lost" I felt stupid and when I added once bad teacher to that mix I completely shut down and stopped learning. I survived school but I was sorely underqualified for college.

    Soapbox...Her main issue is noise and distraction but since she does marginal in the classes no one considers her to need assistance. She also has a hard time taking any criticism. If a teacher says "please stop talking" she takes it as a major insult and immediately begins pouting then it turns in to a whole big drama in her mind. I am trying to get her in for testing to see what issues she really has so that we can work around them.

    DaisyFace.....Thats one of my main concerns with her and the social aspect. The kids she hangs around are not really the best influences. They have major issues with the "jocks" and the "populars" and well just about anyone but themselves. These same kids are the ones I usually want to take home and bathe while washing their clothes and calling their parents to see if they are alive. The quality of her social interactions is not what I would like. I think it just feels like a cop out because she has never had any accommodations or actually had any active participation in her education. This kid has done everything she can to thwart us or the school providing her with tutoring including repeatedly "missing" the after school tutoring.
    :smile:
     
  9. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    You're not likely to get Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) screening through the schools, much less a diagnosis.
    If you can come up with an evaluation and diagnosis, it helps putting pressure on the schools to adapt. It helps that most of the accommodations are "free" or can be nearly so. Things like note-taking (which can be done by another student); an outline of the class at the beginning, to make it easier to follow; verbal instruction always followed up by written instruction; etc. We found that most teachers respect the diagnosis, even if they aren't familiar with it.
     
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm going to take HER side on this.
    My experience? MOST of the "help" school provides such as "tutoring" is... more of the same, in the same (noisy, distracting) environment. At the end of the day, a kid with Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) is already totally burned out, and doesn't have the mental energy for more school. She can't really explain that to you. But... I've seen it.

    She is not getting the help SHE needs - help that is tailored to how she thinks and how she works best.
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I wish I had been homeschooled. It didn't exist back then.

    Going to school certainly did not help my social skills as I hung out with younger kids who also had poor social skills. And I learned nothing. I sat in the back of the class and got away with falling asleep sometimes. School was very hard for me unless somebody was next to me explaining the gaps I was missing. I could not listen to a lecture and concentrate enough to hear or understand the entire thing and I lost interest and stopped trying. I passed because my mom hired tutors for me and one-on-one was always very helpful for me so homeschooling would have been amazing.

    Kids without social skills usually make very poor choices in their friendships and have limited groups who will even accept them. The most accepting group of kids are the other misfits and assorted druggies and troubled souls.

    I did gain more social skills as I grew older, although I'm still and never will be that great in that department.
     
  12. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm not pro-homeschooling for several reasons, but there are times anything but a classroom is a better choice.

    Your daughter is not doing well at school in any accept. It is not a good learning environment to her right now, you are not happy with her peer group (and that is hugely important issue at her age), you are not happy with school environment and so on.

    Maybe taking her off school for a year? Finding out what exactly is her problem with learning. Acquiring diagnoses if needed. Getting necessary accommodations lined up for her for a return to school. Actively trying to find her better peer group; and that niche. Working on educational basics she may have trouble with. Work mainly with treading, writing and math basics, so she will have a strong foundation to build on. That is something she would have very hard time to do while at school. I wouldn't call that copping out, but regrouping.

    If you live on the bigger area, there are bound to be several clubs and other socializing opportunities for very different interests for her. Find out the options and be creative with it. And remember that group doesn't need to be specifically for her age. Social groups with wider age group can be just as good.
     
  13. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Since I am currently in a hotel personal conversations are slightly difficult but I dragged husband to Starbucks last night to discuss the options. At first he was adamant that he doesn't like the idea. But after a while of me explaining that homeschool now is not the "homeschool" of 30 years ago he was a little more open. Basically our main issue is the easy child is horrible with follow thru. She wants things then when she gets them she doesn't do the work. EX: her dog which she complains about walking, her diet which she gets mad at you if you mention, and her exercise routine that she refuses to do. NONE of those are things we initiated they are all things she wanted and now that she has them she doesn't want them any more. It is very frustrating when we are the ones who are supposed to support her but we wind up getting the eye rolls and the complaints if we attempt to do so.

    On the other hand we now live in Washington in a large area. Washington is known for being liberal and progressive and therefore they apparently have a large homeschool organization and population. I personally think it would be great for her to get caught up educationally and gain a little self esteem before attempting high school.

    So husband and I have decided to look in to it and possibly give it a try. Our major concern is that she wont put in the effort or this will be another thing we now have to fight about getting done. At least in main stream school her teachers had to handle the missed assignments. Now it will be all on us or her to make sure things get done.

    *Any suggestions on how to get a kid to do online studies and keep them doing them?
     
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Ay - there's the rub!

    If your child is not motivated to do the work...then online school is going to be really, really difficult. The entire premise of online school is that the child is capable of working independently.

    Now, my son will get off-task (don't get me wrong) but it's pretty easy to re-direct him back to his studies because, generally, he is motivated to do well.

    Does your child think online school will be "easier" ? Let me be the first to tell you that, if anything, the academics are more challenging.

    You will definitely want to sit your daughter down and make sure she is up for the challenge!
     
  15. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    DaisyFace,

    She's not motivated to do anything for more than a few minutes. It seems like she can't focus on the broad side of a barn for more than a few minutes. We have been trying to pick a theme for her bedroom for over two weeks and I can't begin to tell you how many different themes we have been through at this point. She jumps all over the place with her needs and decisions. The ONLY constants with her are lazy and sweets.

    If I get a job and go back to work she will be home alone all day doing this and be in charge of it. I would only be able to come in at night and review things with her. The idea is to give her some very strict guidelines and make sure she sticks to them. If she breaks the rules she goes to regular school.
     
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