difficult child and Homeschooling...I am excited...any thoughts?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by troubledheart, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. troubledheart

    troubledheart New Member

    I officially had enough of our public school system and "pecking orders" and have withdrawn my difficult child from public education. We made the decision last week and what a relief. I haven't seen him this happy in a very long time! We are using the Village raising the child approach, as my husband and mom in law and I are all working together (since my husband and I work)

    I think it will take some time, but I am happy and he is happy and life is grand for now. We have also joined a 4-H group!! YIpee!
  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I hope this change works out well for you. Many here have had much success homeschooling. I have a friend close by me who has 5 kids (no difficult child's) and home schools them all.

    Now my difficult child, if I were to homeschool him I would have to kill him. No way no how am I going to try it.

    More power to you, and it sounds like you have a good plan.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I hope it is as positive for you as it was for us. Just be aware that it will take time, months of time, to really settle in to a routine.

    There are a lot of good books out there. Many curriculum choices. Be sure to check www.abebooks.com before you buy any. That is an excellent used book source online. It will help you find the books at extremely affordable prices. If you want to use the same books the school is using just write down the title and the ISBN number (inside where the copyright date is) and you should be able to find what you want.

    I hope you enjoy home schooling!
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wishing you well on this journey. It sounds like everyone is really excited about it!! I'm with crazymama-if I had to homeschool my difficult child it would not be a pretty sight!!
  5. troubledheart

    troubledheart New Member

    My difficult child is problem free for the most part when he is in a small quiet setting and school is way too over-stimulating for him! He has been in his room for 2 hours this evening doing "school" on the computer and is having a blast. I started him below his grade level for some review and his eyes are bright with accomplishments. Hopefully it will stay that way. He is having "shop class" with husband in the garage (he does woodworking) on the weekends.

    We will continue therapy and psychiatric doctor for now....hopefully he will flourish like I suspect he will!!
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I did homeschool for a year, but I found that for me I couldn't give my own AS kid what he needed at home. There wasn't enough transitioning or socializing. We DID have a social group but it wasn't more than once a week and a lot of those kids seemed like my son...socially clueless.

    I wish you luck. It didn't work for us, but I certainly hope you have better results than we did. I put the kids back in school because I'm not a great teacher and my son tends to be a loner...I didn't want to make it any worse. We found a good program for him and now he's mainstreamed. It's all very individual depending on the kid.

    Take care :tongue:
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Nichole was home schooled her last 2 yrs of high school. Despite my reservations, she did very well. Much better than in public school. We used online public school.......so she was getting the same cirriculum, just at home. She could even attend functions for her school. They'd meet in a centralized place for things like proms and such.

    But you do have to be careful that the child's other needs are being met. It was more difficult for Nichole to socialize due to the fact her friends went to public school. So I had to think up ways to help her not feel isolated. We got lucky and she discovered that a few of her friends were doing the same online school.
  8. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    We have home schooled in the past but the public school is what now works best for us. With one child it is easier than five though, but it does take a commitment to being consistent.

    Good luck
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Ground rules are important but it sounds like you've already got some good stuff underway.

    The primary rule for us was - SCHOOL WORK DURING SCHOOL HOURS.

    The only way out of this is if the child is so ill that he needs to sleep. Otherwise, I tailor the tasks to his capability.

    Schoolwork can be formal (which can be book learning or computer-based); semi-formal, such as watching educational TV shows and DVDs or visiting museums; or informal, such as taking the child shopping as part of a maths/life skills lesson. Even cooking alongside you in the kitchen, is of value. The most important thing for you to do, is to document it and make sure you can explain to outsiders, the educational/curriculum value of what you are doing.

    In other words - for the child, you've taken him shopping and perhaps asked him to read the shopping list and go find something. By asking the child to look at prices and help you decide the best value, you are involving the child in some often complex mathematics, especially estimation (which is definitely in the curriculum). The process of paying for the goods and making change is also an important maths lesson plus life skill. Planning a shopping list according to ingredients needed for a recipe is also learning how to follow a procedure as well as plan, act and follow through. It's very important.

    difficult child 3's lessons are not exactly home-schooling, because he has teachers for each subject. However, the lessons are done at home, the teachers in contact via mail (electronic or snail mail) or telephone. Only occasionally do student and teacher ever meet. Some never do. So the lesson plans have been developed so they can be done at home. Sometimes CDs or DVDs are sent out, websites are emailed to us and in general, it's a fabulous program which can be tailored to each child.

    The fascinating thing for us has been the way the Science practical experiments have been adapted to ingredients available in most homes. There are some wonderful experiments you can do, with no special ingredients. With a few more unusual ingredients, you can have even more educational fun.

    We live near the sea and we've had "excursions" to explore organisms in rock pools. We build sand castles as the tide comes in and study erosion. A bit further inland are some mangrove areas which are a fascinating place for study. We've gone fishing there too. Just uphill from the mangroves is a patch of temperate rainforest - we actually have to walk through it to get to where we park the car! So we can explore erosion on the beach, fish in the mangroves and walk through rainforest, all in one short excursion, five minutes' drive from home.

    Look around your own environment. Chances are there are some wonderful opportunities and it is amazing, we so often neglect what is right in our own backyards.

    The important thing is, to connect it to other aspects of what you teach, to write it up or document it in some way and to make sure you use this to keep the authorities satisfied.

    The other important thing - keep it at the right academic challenging level for your child. Some kids need to be led gently, others thrive on heavy challenge. Make sure the child progresses once they have reached the right milestones and make sure the work is properly scaffolded. In other words, don't begin to teach algebra until the child already understands more basic mathematic functions, especially fractions (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions).

    If your child seems restless, difficult or bored, involve the child in developing their own curriculum. Be prepared for the child to be needing a lot more challenge. But if the child seems to be struggling, help him/her find another way to learn the material.

    Also important - teach your child to identify their own deficit areas, and instead of avoiding them, to actively get stuck in and face the challenges head on. Most important.

    Always learn to follow through on questions asked. You don't have to know the answers, just know how to look them up.

    And always go look them up. Now. In our house, it's how we live. For example, husband said something last night about British actor, Sir Ian Richardson. I mentioned that he died a couple of years ago.
    husband said, "You must be mistaken - surely not!" then went to look it up on iMDB.

    Second example - SIL2, when he first moved in with us a couple of years ago, had a big inferiority chip on his shoulder (I call it the "Westie" metnality, after the western suburbs of Sydney which are more working class and where people seem to be a bit blustery and almost "in your face" with ignorance worn as a badge. Totally unnecessary. A few months with us and him making sweeping statements as if they were fact, with us responding with, "That's interesting, I didn't now that. Let's look it up and find out more," and he began to check information for himself before announcing it loudly as fact. As a result he has learned, over time, that there is no shame in not knowing everything. The shame is in CLAIMING to know everything, and never actually learning anything.

    Example 3 - SIL2's father was visiting with his daughter, bridesmaid for easy child 2/difficult child 2 and needing a fitting for her dress. Bridesmaid saw some black rice I had soaking (prior to cooking it in the microwave). As you soak it, some of the dark purple colour leaches into the water. "What's this horrible-looking purple stuff?" she asked.
    "Yes, it does look a bit off-putting," I said. "It's black rice, I'm eating it because it's higher in fibre and I need every bit of help in my diet. That purple colour is loaded with anthocyanins, very healthy. It used to be only available to the royal family in Thailand, so you might hear it called forbidden rice. It tastes a bit like brown rice."

    Her father piped up. "Oh yes, we used to eat that all the time when SIL2 was little. We raised him on it. And also on wild rice." [I had a packet of wild rice out on the bench, highly visible].
    "I only heard of this stuff recently, I didn't know we'd had it in Australia so long ago," I replied. "Well, well, that is interesting..." (I was fairly certain he was lying utterly, the only motive being to impress me - WHY?)
    He replied with more compounding. "Oh yes, we lived on it. Ate it all the time. My mate Tony, he's Greek, used to get it into his deli for us, specially. He did say it was unusual."
    By this stage I was not believing him but I wasn't gonig to call him on it. It just wasn't important. I was feeling a bit mischievous, however, so I began to leak information, piece by piece. I said, "The first time I cooked it I had some problems."
    He replied with, "Yeah, my wife said she had some trouble too." (no further elaboration).
    I said, "I've found if you soak it for a few hours, it cooks faster."
    "Yeah, that's what my wife said, too."

    I finally changed the subject and took pity on him. But after they had gone, I began my search for accurate information. And as far as I can determine (and I've shopped at Aussie Asian food supply places for decades) black rice has only been available here for the last five yers or so. Some time after we got access to jasmine rice in the supermarkets.

    Now, it's not important. Really it's not. But what I'm describing here is the end result of two attitudes:

    1) Ours. We check information out, we look it up. We find out. Not only is there no shame in not knowing, there is excitment and adventure in finding out.

    2) His. The "I must seem to be equally cultured/intelligent/educated as them (whoever 'them' may be) or I am the failure I secretly suspect myself to be."

    Very sad, because I like the guy, as a person. I just wish he didn't try to coat everything with bulldust. He really had no need to impress me, I certianly wasn't trying to impress him. In fact I was telling his daughter how I was enjoying finding out about this new ingredient in our larder. I happily shared stories of my culinary disasters.

    husband says the only day he considers truly wasted is the day he doesn't learn something new, however trivial.

    Home should always be a place of learning - about life as well as continung to add to academic progress in cooperation with school. In an informal way, at least. You watch things together, you read the books your kids read, you recommend books you have read to your kids - it's part of family sharing. When you choose to formally home school, it then should simply become an extension of this.

    Our house is messy, but has been kindly described as "an enriched environment" with Periodic Table behind the toilet door, star charts on the walls, puzzles in frames in other places. We collect fridge magnets from places we've been, there are stamp albums on the coffee table as well as an amazing, intricate construction by difficult child 3 which is like a fairground ride for billiard balls. A computer in almost every room, sometimes two. Books lining the walls. An enriched environment indeed - to live here, and NOT learn something new each day, takes real effort.

  10. troubledheart

    troubledheart New Member

    We are still finding the right mix, and I am sure it will take a little time. So far into it, it is going well. He is intent on learning and is very focused and interested. We are doing time4learning.com for now. I supplement it with other things and we went to the public library and got him a book that he wants to read and do a book report on. I am keeping record of his accomplishments on the computer. We have a huge support system which helps out. We have our first 4-H meeting next month and are involving him in church youth group pretty heavy. I am amazed at the things daily that we find to "teach" him about that I overlooked before. I am tired, but we will work into a schedule that fits us all. Right now he is introduced to new material mon - thurs and does a review on friday during regular school hours. I will keep updating periodically...but yes, I am thankful I only have 1 child.
  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'm homeschooling my daughter for this one year because we needed to get her out of our local elementary school. It's been a very positive experience for us both.

    Be sure that you have checked out the requirements for homeschooling in your state. Some states require registration with the state, submitting transcripts, keeping track of hours, keeping a portfolio, etc. This site should be accurate otherwise check with your state department of ed.
  12. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I'm impressed as I had always thought of school as respite. ;)

    If it's working for both of you that's wonderful. I know nothing of homeschooling ~ others will come along with suggestions about local testing & the like.

    Good luck.
  13. Christy

    Christy New Member

    This is unfortunately the case for our family. Because difficult child is soooo difficult, we do not have a babysitter or reliable respite so in order for husband and I to spend quality time together, we go on lunch dates while difficult child is at school.

    We home schooled for one year and it was a wonderful academic experience for difficult child and I loved teaching him. I also think we both felt tremendous relief at not dealing with the school but it was much harder to get the socialization for difficult child that I had hoped for due to his behavioral issues. Also, I found that it put a strain on our mom/son relationship because I had to push him so much to do the school work in addition to all the regular mom nagging.

    That said, with middle school upon next year. I am seriously considering homeschooling again if I'm unsatisfied with the program in which difficult child is placed. Homeschool is a great option for crafting an appropriate educational plan for difficult children.

    Good luck and enjoy!
  14. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Something we ran across here, in brainstorming options, was the "online school" idea. I saw a reference to that idea earlier in the thread and wonder if the state readily accepted that as an option. My state seems to be a little slow to catch on to many of the newer alternatives.

    We found a couple that had the appropriate credentials, along with some that IMPLIED they had the credentials but upon looking more closely, we found they did not. (And since my difficult child just recently decided to give up the idea of education entirely, I recently deleted all our research information from the computer).

    My point is that this is an option your state probably has to accept, although they probably don't list that in their official list of options and may argue. What we found was that as long as she was enrolled in a legitimate school, online or not, and was meeting the requirements set by that online school, that was a legal alternative, only VERY recently recognized in my state. I don't know if that would be technically termed "homeschooling," but could work as a good hybrid to take some of the pressure off you.

    Personally, our local school system isn't too "with it" when it comes to looking at situations "outside the box." I'm currently involved in some ridiculous exchanges with them over some issues with my difficult child.