Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi guys! :)

    i'm feeling soo much better today, sleep is a beautiful thing!!! again thank you so much for yesterday! it's so crazy yet once she began to come to, and i got her in ambulance and ran in house for my flip flops because i was getting in ambulance with-o them my easy child screen was open and i was like i gotta take a sec. and let them know what's going on. :)

    they were busy chking her vitals, giving her oxygen etc.

    anyway, so husband and i spent a little time last night talking about homeschooling difficult child. i've never wanted to go this way yet him and i (and yes we are just in talking place with-it right now) kind of feel that for years (before husband was on picture) that i have tried so hard to shove this child into an environment she can't really handle that well. she has struggled so much since pre k and i just keep pushing her.

    so, anyone here homeschool long term? what was your experience with-it, difficult child's experience with it? did it work for your difficult child and family. it is a huge committment and a real diff. way of life.

    also did you hook up with-any other home schooled kids and parents?? husband said there are groups to hook up with that parents and kids get together and it offers the child that socialization piece to some extent that they miss by being homeschooled.

    love to hear what you guys have experienced with it!!

    thanks!! as always

    p.s. new psychdoc called on his own today to chk up on difficult child and how things are going. good sign i thought
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have homeschooled both Wiz and Jess, but not for the same reasons or at the same time. So far I have not homeschooled thank you. I don't seem to look at it the way many homeschoolers do. For us, we evaluate what is going on with each child and each school situation every year. If we are homeschooling we look at it every semester. We just look to see if what we are doing for school is working or not. Wiz was homeschooled for 3rd and 4th grades because the teachers were destroying him, actually drove him to try suicide because they told him that he wasn't really smart because he didn't get 100% on every paper. At the same time the2nd grade teacher was taking away his recess if anything that SHE wrote and handed out or sent home had a misspelled word. She had HIM checking her spelling and was punishing him for HER mistakes!! I looked at a paper she was sending home before he corrected it. There were errors in EVERY sentence and she was depending on a 2nd grade child to fix them instead of using a dictionary or the spell check on her computer. I was, to put it mildly, furious. We learned about all of this when Wiz made an attempt to kill himself. He was 7.

    While I was homeschooling Wiz, Jess went to school for kindergarten. I managed to get her switched to another school and Jess LOVED it. Her teacher was what every kindergarten teacher should be, almost literally. The next year I did NOT send Jess back to school though. Near the end of kindergarten, two of the boys in her class managed to get the teacher and aide busy with a fight while two others pulled a girl into the coatroom (an alcove - the school was designed in the early 50's and each room had a coat room that couldn't be seen from the rest of the room). They molested her in the coat room. The girl was a friend of Jess's and in my Girl Scout troop - I hope to never see that expression on another child's face ever again. The four boys were relatives and clearly had been abused at home, but there was very little the school could do beyond suspending them. Our area had a Catholic school that did not offer kindergarten, so about 1/3 of the students would not be returning the next year. I was told by the teacher that the classes would be mostly boys and that there were four more boys related to the four in her room. There would only be 1 first grade class and it would be mostly boys - and it would NOT be a good place for my daughter. They predicted that more attacks would happen the next year. Apparently there were many CPS investigations and nothing was ever done to take the kids out of the home, so there was almost nothing the school could do beyond suspending them, largley because the boys in question were in kdg that year and would be in first grade the next. How do you deal with first graders who are sexually abusing classmates if they have to be allowed to come to school and the parents will not allow them to be in Special Education (in OH it requires parental consent for a child to be placedin Special Education and many many parents refuse, esp if their kids have problems because they are abusing them).

    Teaching Jessie at home was NOT NOT NOT fun back in first grade. We ended up moving to OK in Nov of that year, and Jess was quickly enrolled in the local elem school - she loved it and everyone there loved her immediately. We also met with the principal and sp ed teacher at the end of the year and enrolled Wiz for the next school year, 5th grade for him. It was the BEST school year he ever had - mostly because he had an AMAZING teacher with AMAZING aides.

    Wiz did really well the 2 years I homeschooled him. He and I would go out for dessert at the beginning of each semester (we tried to follow the school calendar because Jess was in school) and planned what we would study. He picked areas of interest like dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, etc... and I use these topics to teach the various subjects. The first year we had so many psychiatrist, therapist, other doctor appts that we mostly concentrated on that, and did schoolwork around that. For Wiz the emphasis was more on becoming a healthy person simply because we needed that foundation before academics really mattered. He was in 3rd grade and doing mostly 5th/6th grade work, except in spelling and reading where he did 12 grade plus work, so mostly I provided materials and opportunities for him to learn and followed his lead.

    For a few years I had all the kids in school. It was pretty nice. Then Jess went to middle school. They were NOT willing to help us when the epilepsy was a problem in class, or when the medications made her sick as a dog and the doctor said it was the only option and she HAD to stay on them. She got through that, but it was not fun and learning was really hard when all she could handle was trying not to vomit and dealing with the headache caused by the medications at first. IT was frustrating but I was not going to pull her our for that. Then she started having bruises on her arms, her sides and her chest. She had a chest larger than mine by 6th grade and teh boys were groping her in the halls. She KNEW which ones, by name. We went to the office because she said she told her teachers and they all said that it didn't happen in their class so they couldn't help. I am not talking 1 or 2 bruises, which would be outrageous and should get action, I am talking 14 bruises at one time! We went to the office (which clearly sent a message that they did NOT want parents in the building - many parents complain about that each year.) and the principal, vice principal, and school resource officer (a cop stationed at the school) all told us that it was a shame, that she needed to avoid those boys, and that there was NOTHING they could do about it because the halls were too crowded and they couldn't control what happened in them during class changes!!!!! We pulled her out.

    It was not easy. Jess LIKES school. We worked with various programs, textbooks, etc... and it has worked pretty well. She still wants to go back to school, but until she is healthy it isn't an option. Last year we did the online high school and she could only do 1 class so they won't let her enroll again. NONE of her docs would give us a note limiting her school work though they ALL said it was a miracle that she could do even 1 class. So she has Fs on her record for 5 classes. I cannot even get a letter this year, though the neuro promised one, that would let us do homebound school - which would have the district send tutors and materials to her and let her catch up with her friends.

    There are a lot of homeschool groups around, esp if you live in a city. Some require that you sign a pledge to give your child a Christian educationHS families that never sent the kids to a formal school or only did so for high school. Generally their kids are very well educated and are very interesting people to interact with. HS kids are a LOT more accepting of differences because they are not limited to spending time only with kids their own age. They spend time, and learn, with kids of different ages, abilities, and are far more tolerant of differences and disabilities than other kids. That is my experience, and may or may not be true of other HS kids.

    There are a LOT of options for school out there. Virtual schools are available, where everything is done online. You can buy curriculum packages from many programs. Some school districts offer online school for free, and there are online schools you can pay for. You can also create your own curriculum if you wish. Spend some time googling homeschool groups (Add your area), curriculum (put her grade level with this), homebound education (a program offered by the school district that you need documentation from the doctor to access), and homeschool laws in NY. For affordable and GOOD online classes, check out . They offer many grades and several subjects. You can purchase one or many subjects. Your child can do as many problems as needed (in math) to grasp the concept. We used it for 2 years and it worked very very well. We also used the reading one year and loved it. Those were the only things offered at that time, but they have expanded their offerings.

    One of the things that is awesome about kwiznet is the price. Each class is just $15. It is as comprehensive as the online math offered by the school district, and has great explanations.

    Traditional school is NOT for every child. there are some kids who just don't fit the mold and need other options. Homeschool or virtual school can be an excellent choice for those students, or for times when a student needs things that the school cannot offer. in my opinion part of your daughter's day should be spent working on handling anxiety. It is every bit as important as learning math or social studies. If difficult child cannot handle the anxiety that causes such pain for her, it is likely that algebra and other school subjects won't matter much because her brain may not even be able to remember them, or to access them after she learns them because the anxiety is so huge. There are anxiety workbooks for adults, they have all kinds of exercises to help handle anxiety. It might help to get one of them and adapt the techniques to what difficult child can handle.

    It will take quite a bit of time to learn HOW to homeschool, to settle into the new routines, so be patient with difficult child and yourself. Use your instincts and intuition during this time. They will help you figure things out - a whole lot.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Jena, it works brilliantly for us, but we do have ground rules to help. Socially, difficult child 3 does a lot better now, and has MORE positive social interaction now, than when in mainstream. Now, he can walk away from a negative confrontation (in school you're a captive and he was beginning to really fight back, generally inappropriately).

    Academically he has done a lot better than he would have in mainstream. It's still a struggle for him, but less so.

    I have posted at length about the systems we have.

    What are your concerns? Why not sit and write a list. Talking about it or thinking about it is not the same as actually making written lists of pros and cons. Then enquire about the accuracy of your pros and cons list. You may be surprised.

  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I have been homeschooling my younger daughter since 4th Grade. She is now in 7th. I am doing it because she has health problems that prevent her from going to school.

    Our area has an active homeschooling community. One year, my daughter went to a homeschooling school where the kids went one day each week for a class. She took Sewing and Writing. From what I could tell, the kids socialized there. My daughter didn't feel well enough to do anything other than show up for class. There are also organized field trips and other coop classes and outings. We haven't been able to do those either.

    For part of 5th Grade and all of 6th Grade, I had a tutor come to work with my daughter. I couldn't get her to do much school work and I figured she would push herself more if it was for someone else. This year, so far, I have been able to work with her.

    I have put together her curriculum from different sources. I adjust it or supplement it as needed. Working with her has made me see that she does have some actual learning problems and even if her health was better, she would struggle in school to keep up.

    She is a challenging student and if I could, I would send her to school. But for many reasons, I don't think it is right for her now. I am hoping she will be able to go back.

    TRTNHMKA Guest

    We started homeschooling our difficult child 7 years ago. We also started homeschooling our other children as well...and it actually turned into a huge blessing for our family. We have come to love it and the freedom we now have. It's also a huge relief to stop seeing letters from the school daily about his behavior. :tongue:

    Believe me, there were MANY days I wanted to chase that school bus down and throw them all on board. :D

    difficult child actually has returned to public school this year and is doing very well. It's high school and I think it was a huge eye opener for him (ya know..after being homeschooled for 7 years...). He is loving it so far and I'm happy for him.

    Although, at the present time we are dealing with a horrible issue at home that difficult child did.... :(
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I started homeschooling DS just this year...and I must say, I have been pleasantly surprised about what a great experience it has been so far. DS is loving it! and he is getting a chance to study more "in-depth" the topics that really interest him...

    I say Go for it!!!
  7. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Hi Jena. I believe we have done the same with difficult child. Pushing him in an environment that just doesn't work for him. Trying to make him like other kids, when in fact, that will never be. There use to be so many better days, when you think things will be ok. Then you have days like the recent weeks, and realize it isn't so, and it breaks your heart.

    We are taking the same steps you are talking about. We are fortunate though. In our school district "e-school" is considered a district school. You are allowed to take one or all classes via e-school. I would never allow it before, I guess believing that he IS like one of the others and HE needs to work harder. But reading your thread really hit home. We ARE putting him in a place that doesn't work, and he struggles. You opened my eyes...thank you.

    In our case, difficult child will go to school (we chose a small, technical high school with only 350 kids 9 - 12th grade), but it still is tough. But with E-school, he is going to go to school for first block, then he won't have class from 9 to 11am, then will have a class and be done for the day. The problem is he cannot rearrange any classes to go later or leave sooner because of the class schedules. So, he will be taking his laptop and working on e-school during that open time. Next semester he will be done after the second class. This is a bit different though. The e-school teachers communicate online AND over the phone daily. He has to reach bench marks. If he does not he will lose a credit. All tests must be taken at the e-school office. Home schooling was discussed, but he will not allow me to help him with school work. He won't even show me, or discuss school with me. This way we have the opportunity to have him out of the school setting and still in contact with teachers and other students through discussion boards. He will have to do the rest. I wish he would allow me to share in his schooling, but he will not.

    You really opened my eyes about pushing him in an environment that isn't for him. That simple thread you posted made me realize so much. Thank you. My difficult child is a junior in high school and has struggled since Kindergarden.

    I hope things work out for you. Hoping that your daughter has better days soon. Keeping you in my prayers.
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi guys

    thanks as always for all the responses and feedback. we are still debating it. right now all i have is the work sent home, no tutors. Getting her to do that has been very challenging to say the least. she wants no part of it. yet we're also playing with-medication and aren't at the place we would like to be with that or eating. so i say we arent' stable yet. so i guess it's hard to judge what this will be like. the letter went to the school today requesting tutors from the pyschiatirst who is eager to push her back in. yet he doesnt' know her, they just met for 15 min. that day. he has alot to catch up on with this situation to be honest.

    kjs i'm so glad to hear that you got something positive from my endless ramblings lately :) good 4 u!
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i do have a question. when we say homeschooling what exactly does that mean and how does that work? right now they'll be sending tutors does that mean the same? also i have to check my rights here in n.y. yet i wonder if that means i'll be able to get tutors throughout the junior high years till graduation if i chose to.

    i'm so afraid of her lacking that socialization piece i truly am. shes' such a loner as it is. i registered her in horseback riding lessons yesterday that will start every other weekend for now when i have her. she is with her dad 2 weekends a mos. hoping that relationship with the horse helps, helped me alot in my teenage years and also gets her to want to eat soon, and meets some other girls maybe with same interest! hoping hoping hoping
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Let me share what I know....

    Every parent has the right to "homeschool" their child - regardless of the school district. "Homeschool" has many different meanings....but generally, it means "school at home" with Mom, or Dad as the instructor.

    In my area, we have several homeschooling support groups. They were tricky to find, but once I did they were a tremendous resource. The support groups provide socialization for the kids AND the parents - plus it gives us a chance to compare notes with one another. What kind of textbook are you using for science? What literature are you teaching this year? Etc etc

    And, we pool our resources to provide enrichment activities for the kids. The group organizes field trips and special outtings. We even hired a Spanish tutor for language lessons.

    Homeschool gives you a lot of freedom - but there are requirements that must be followed. Your state will have required curriculum. Here we must teach reading, writing, math, science, and history/social studies. Some states require physcial education, too.

    There are lots of options for how to teach. You can sign up for an online "virtual public school"...where everything will be taught from the computer and your child will need to report to teachers online. You can purchase pre-packaged curriculum where everything is already planned out for you and you and your child basically follow the program as it is laid out. You can also design your own curriculum - and as long as you are adhering to your state's requirements - you can teach what and how you want.

    Hope this helps!
  11. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    home schooling and homebound instruction (what you refer to as tutoring) are two different things. (i dont want to add links because it would identify your location---if you need more specifics PM me and i'll send you some)

    it looks like your state would offer 5 hours/week of homebound.

    home schooling is something you would do, but it looks like your state has specific requirements:

    Mandatory compliance items include a letter of intent, Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP), four quarterly reports, and an annual assessment

    i'd also google your states virtual school/virtual ed program---which would be the more traditional online, work at your own pace at home kind of education.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We have similar rules here for home schooling. What we have difficult child 3 in, is Distance Education. For us it is state-based, administered by a specific school with teachers assigned to the students, but the student is working at home under parental supervision. Or in some cases, the student may be working at an educational centre under a different supervisor. The worksheets are posted out to the student's supervisor, or the student can access the work online via the school website. We have found this to be incredibly helpful for difficult child 3 and before him, difficult child 1. Mainstream did not work for them, for various reasons. This did.

    We can telephone teachers, or email them. We can even organise a visit to the school (or them to visit us) for face to face lessons. The school also organises optional study days where multiple students can attend. We had one yesterday, there were maybe 100 people there, including other parent/supervisors like me. Some I have met often before. We have another one tomorrow, it is unusual to have two so close together. But last week of term is a good time for this. Yesterday's & tomorrow's are multiple grades. But when there are study days for just one grade, often those attending can be counted on one hand. The teachers are well accustomed to working with Special Education students although not all are Special Education. Some are vocational students (actors, for example; or tennis stars) and others have serious health problems (cancer patients in hospital) or are pregnant teens avoiding the limelight. They recently had a mums and bubs day, I believe; and there have been times when difficult child 3 & I have been there for face to face one on one, and met a young mother with her baby, and often grandma there to mind the baby while daughter sees the teacher. The staff all go gaga over the baby!

    Online lessons exist and can be packaged together. A few years ago difficult child 3's school was using a Maths online website to supplement the course. We joined the site while difficult child 3 was studying Maths. He's not studying it this year so we let his membership lapse, even though it's only A$90 a year. Whatever you use, it shouldn't be stupidly expensive. Our Maths website also has an English/Spelling website attached (included in the same fee). It may even have a US vs Australian English option (I haven't checked).

    We set up rules for our kids, notably "school work during school hours". So unless difficult child 3 is actually asleep, he does schoolwork, even if he is in bed in his pyjamas. I do modify what I give him, depending on how he is. If he is really stressed and upset, I will give him the subjects he finds easiest or the ones that calm him. Computer-based lessons are good, if he is well enough to be out of bed (almost all the time). Or if he really is sick, I let him watch a documentary on TV, or a set film (Romeo and Juliet) or other educational TV (kids news shows). I also liaise with the teachers and have quietly organised my own 'excursion' for difficult child 3. Perhaps the ultimate school excursion was when we went to NZ three years ago. I worked with the school (as best as I could) to get work given to us to take with us, that was specific to NZ. So the Science department gave us all the work they had on plate tectonics and vulcanism. We also got difficult child 3 to write a detailed report on our trip, linking it in to every possible subject. So the phys ed component we covered, by getting photos and information on unique NZ posts, such as bungee jumping. And there's nothing like really understanding plate tectonics and vulcanism, by actually seeing it personally.

    A home-schooled child is a portable child. You are actually more free to do what you need, than if the child is at school. It had got to the stage with me, that if I had a doctor's appointment, I would have to take difficult child 3 out of school for the day, to make sure I wouldn't have to cancel the appointment and turn back, to sort out a school problem. yet again.

    Having set work available (books you've bought, websites you have subscribed to, educational DVDs you have, computer software you own) gives you something outside of your own brain that you can point to and tell the child, "Go do it." They do it at their own pace (which, surprisingly, can often be faster than in a classroom) and can keep going until you say stop. Again, often this is longer.

    Use encouragement, praise etc as much as is appropriate. If the child has worked hard for an hour, praise this. If the child is frustrated by a set task, encourage a different way around it. Maybe leave it and move on, come back to it later. Or change subjects for an hour then come back. Or ask for help. That is perhaps the most important lesson - learning when to ask for help, and how to ask the right people.

    There are many ways in which your child can learn at home. There are also many different reasons why this may be needed. Somewhere something has to be a good fit.

  13. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    For me, homeschooling was not an option. I agree that we squeezed difficult child into an environment that wasn't suited for his particular need. He has several large Learning Disability (LD)'s. If the experts couldn't teach him math, I know I can't. He has been tutored since 2nd grade in math. He still at 26, doesn't really conceptualize money. Very dangerous in the real world. People take advantage of him and he lost some self control when he had access to his own account.
    So depending on your child, homeschooling may be a great idea or it could be a big mistake. I think there are plenty of socialization opportunities for her in the community.
    Remember, it's not written in stone. If it doesn't work out, you can always try a different alternative. Don't think it means you are a failure. You are doing what your child needs and you think this may be a better option. Maybe she needs some time to not have the pressure that comes with our difficult children to fit into a round hole, shaped like a square peg.
    Good luck.
  14. Jena

    Jena New Member

    thx guys alot of great input. been dealing with-the eating thing now, so academics took a backseat this time around. yet this is all what i'll be reading thru yet again i often revisit posts to see what you guys thought when it's decision time.

  15. littlehawk

    littlehawk Guest

    Hi there. Just thought I'd chime in with some comments. My son has just 'officially' been diagnosed with Inattentive ADD, ADHD, and ODD. Our appointment will be coming up in October, and can't wait to see if medication will help. (I used to be against it, but knowing the chemical process of the brain, and that it's NOT functioning in my child has helped me understand that the medications can help him.) I have chosen to do virtual school with him just for 5th grade to get a grip on the medications to come, and monitor the changes that need to be made without having to depend on a teacher's opinion that does not know my child, and that has many other children to monitor that don't have issues. I plan to get him back into the 'system' asap, as long as the new regimen goes well.

    I have him in a virtual school called WIVA (Wisconsin Virtual Academy) -- or go to a K-12 website -- and it's been great so far. He is learning at his own pace and I feel like he's absorbing more information better because it's a mastery based program that does not move on until the child understands the last lesson. I think that's where a lot of his frustration with school was. He misses half the lesson from being off in his own world, and the rest of the kids move on, and he's still not getting what happened. It's a program that is considered public school, and so he has to do all the same testing that the public school kids have to do. It's also a free program. I qualified for them to send me a computer to use, all the books, and a printer. There are activities run by the school, and other parents that keep them 'connected' with other children.

    I do have moments where I wonder about my own sanity, and have learned through trial and error that it's best to stick to a strict schedule with time because if we don't, one of us seems to have a bad attitude, or a meltdown, or something. I'm hoping that when he gets the professional help he needs, we can have better days. Yesterday was awesome, there was a meltdown today, when I started the lessons late, and with a different subject than usual. SO, tomorrow, it'll be Math right away, (as usual) and hopefully a better day for the both of us.

    I do think that you will know what's best for your child...they're all different. I have been finding that I have to defend my decision to a LOT of people, and it's frustrating, but I feel good about the decision just knowing that he's not getting into fights with others, and being disruptive in 'class'. It's good to know that he's not going to be punished for something he has little control over. He likes it so far, and really has no desire to go back to the 'regular' school system. I'm sure that by the time the year is through, he'll be ready.

    So good luck to you, and I hope that I could help a little.:D
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Littlehawk, welcome. When you can, why not start your own thread and introduce yourself.

    You make a very good point for Jena here. Your schooling method sounds similar to ours (in that the curriculum material is outsourced) and you r finding is similar - he's working more efficiently and more effectively, it seems. In our case we often think he's still not achieving to his capability nor to the level of a normal kid in a mainstream classroom, but he is achieving more than HE could in a mainstream setting, which is what matters for us.

    You also make a very good point about being better placed to keep an eye on changes due to medications, when your child is at home.

    Something to help - our rule of "school work during school hours". Other than that, we let difficult child 3 choose which subject to work on, although if he is neglecting one area we draw his attention to that; he generally will balance it all out. But some days he needs to avoid more challenging subjects, which he will attempt on other days when he is coping well.

    Success is the best positive motivator.

  17. littlehawk

    littlehawk Guest

    Thanks for the positive reinforcement. I know I have to be doing that for my boy all the time, but mom needs it, too, once in a while. So, again, thanks. I'm basically doing this all on my own. I don't have a 'rock' to lean on, or anyone to talk to about this. I have friends, but knowing that my son has 'officially' been diagnosed, seems to have made their sympathetic ears shut off. His grandmother is around, (not my mother) and helps more than anyone could be expected to, but, I believe, is part of the problem, so I sometimes feel like I'm just always talking to a brick wall. I am super glad to have found this site. I looked it up today after he was poking, and poking, and poking, and poking until finally I broke. I usually can redirect his attention to something else, but the arguing is constant and gets to me once in a while. I'm looking forward to seeing what others have to say, and some suggestions too, if possible.