Tigger is home today - trying homeschooling

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    After Thursday's horrible day (see my post on Special Education), I kept him home Friday and decided to keep him home this week as well to see how homeschooling will go. I'm sending a letter to the school stating that because they have stated that they don't feel that they can keep my son and others safe, that I am unilaterly placing him on homebound until an IEP meeting can be convened and the teachers can receive additional training. This should buy me 2-3 weeks to try homeschooling and if it works, great. If not or if the school can show me that they have made changes and Tigger will be safe there, then he can go back.

    Wish me luck,
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Best of luck!!

    You are braver than I. By miles, fathoms, leagues...
  3. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Oh girl! :cry: You made a great decision....but oh so hard to implement! I did it for 5 years.........and it can be done - however - it is taxing!!!! All I can recommend is to take LOTS of breaks - and use the computer programs that hold the child accountable for work, instead of the mom.

    Good luck - you will be in my thoughts.
  4. Merfille

    Merfille New Member

    Good luck with the homeschooling. We do that, too, and as a whole, I think it is going very well having a young child with BD. Not always easy :smile: (i.e., reading this afternoon - yikes!!). The good thing is, you build up a collection of different things. If reading readers is not going well, like this afternoon, we switch to a computer program for reading/phonics. That takes emotion out of it, at least as far as anyone other than her, so that really helps her. No matter how calm I am, the computer is better for her at that point. She loses that melted look of frustration, "plays" her reading program, and gets back control/self-esteem.

    She doesn't understand the journey or process of learning (of course LOL), so if something is not easy immediately, she gets very frustrated (sometimes sad, sometimes angry). Anyway, I like the homeschooling because we can change gears. We can also shift from subject to subject. She is working quite happily on art right now (yea!). It's great to be able to choose curriculum based on her learning style.

    The good news is nothing is permanent for any of us as far as if one way is not working, you can switch (public school, private school, homeschool, etc.). We just go day to day and know we can always make a change, if needed. That takes some pressure off. :smile:
  5. helpmehelphim

    helpmehelphim New Member

    We home school as well and for many of the same reasons. It's going really well! It's taxing as others have said but it has been a good thing. Like someone else said, it's day by day and today was good. We are involved with a big group and take advantage of lots of activities. That helps us here, I think.

    Best of luck. Take breaks and take care!
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I was expecting a lot more hard work when we switched to Distance Ed (similar to home schooling, only I don't have to do the curriculum - although I have done in the intermediate period).

    I looked at your two most recent threads in Special Education - it really does sound like they are not handling your kids well in general. I do think a big part of the problem is internal resistance in the education system in general - resistance to the expectation that they will/can put in this extra effort needed for these kids. "I'm a teacher, not a psychotherapist!"
    Maybe the next generation will have better luck than we have had - if so, it will be our efforts that bear fruit in the next generation. I know there are legal requirements, but this doesn't stop teachers being resentful or simply feeling like it's not their problem.

    back to home schooling - because of difficult child 3's school phobia (which was not recognised, his teacher INSISTED there was a physical problem which had to be investigated - it took most of the school year to prove the problem was not physical) he missed a solid six months, spread throughout his school year. He should have been transferred to Distance Education but a diagnosis of autism somehow switches off that part of the brain - they decide that mainstream is best because it provides social contact with other kids. From our experience, the social contact with other kids was a bit part of the problem - the other kids weren't supervised and difficult child 3 was tormented. Incidents occurred due to failure to supervise him, despite my wanting it in the IEP - the one time things went well were when I succeeded in getting him supervised in the playground. Yet no outcomes of this were ever done, so I could never manage to get this supervision put in place again.

    When difficult child 3 was first sent home or taken home because of his vomiting and nausea (and low-grade fever), I asked for schoolwork to be sent home as well. No way was I going to reward the nausea with free time during school hours, or I would build up a conditioned response in him which would make it all worse. So I brought in the rule - "school work during school hours".

    Then I soon found that the work sent home by the teachers simply wasn't enough, I had to hunt around and find more to supplement it. We also have some educational TV on our national broadcaster, including a top-notch news program designed for kids. It is enjoyed by a lot of adults as well, it explains things very well, often with short skits illustrating various events in international relationships. I soon found that difficult child 3 had HUGE gaps in his knowledge, especially current affairs and geography. So I bought a modern copy of "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego" and when we ran out of schoolwork, I got him onto the game. It was exactly what he needed - difficult child 3 learns best when he gets a complex whole presented, all knitted together and cross-linked. By going back over it again and again, he learned the interconnectedness of the world as well as individual facts about various countries and cultures. He learned where Australia is on the globe (a sad lack, in Grade 5!) He didn't even know what the US was, before he began the game.

    I found computer programs which would utilise his strengths, and used those to help him work on his weaker areas. I made him read books (he's a good reader but hates fiction). We would read aloud together. I got him onto computer maths.
    We have, like you, a lot of maths programs which provide telephone tutoring, online reports and a lot of other bells and whistles, for thousands of dollars. We looked at these and were aghast at the price but wondered what alternative we had. By this time difficult child 3 was in high school and formally a Distance Ed student - there is a school in the city with teachers available by phone, but difficult child 3 largely determines for himself which subject to do in turn. I am his supervisor, not his teacher, although I know enough to help him easily. This system, however, is making him learn independently and he seems to do better for it. He feels he can really own the work he does himself.
    The school gave us access to one of these computer maths systems. This one wasn't a software package, it's a website which gives us access for $99 a year (Aussie dollars). Much better than $6000! The same service, and an Aussie curriculum. You could access it, but it IS an Aussie curriculum. But it's miles cheaper than a lot of these ones marketed expensively on TV.
    We joined up difficult child 3 and it's been really good. He doesn't use it as much as if he were fully home-schooled, but it would substitute for a math component of home schooling, for sure.

    You must have some similar ones in the US, and probably also for other subjects.

    I have a doctor's appointment today. difficult child 3 has a drama class after school this afternoon. I COULD leave him at home to work, with his sister, but I thought about it and I'm bringing him with me. It saves me collecting him later. He can work with me while we're out.

    We have choice. We have freedom. And while we're out, he has social interaction, on a more natural level.

    What helped me make my decision, and strengthened me against institutional objections, was finding the website of James Williams, an autistic young man who now lectures on various educational issues especialle with regard to kids with autism. If you Google "James Williams" (in quote marks) and "autism" in the same search line, you will get is website as one of the top hits. Definitely worth a read.

    Gotta dash now, difficult child 3's TV tutoring is on senior high school poetry, and then I have to dash out in the car.

    Have a good day. Mine is now a breeze, since I no longer have to make emergency dashes to the school and then be on the carpet with the principal - again.

  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Thanks all. It went well. Tig got all the work I had planned done. I was able to get some cleaning and some work done (course I started a part time job a few months ago). I know that this may have just been due to it being the first day, but we will see....
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Triple J,

    Just caught this now - glad today went well. Depending on what you want, I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    I'm not sure I'd ever take on homeschooling - God bless you that do.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Glad it went well today! I hope it continues to do so!