i'm debating home schooling

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi to all,

    i'm jumping on quick while at office. i'm seriously debating home schooling for mos. leadin gup to testing. Is that insane thought? It's been such a struggle each morning I'm seriously debating taking leave from work for a month. Yet at the same time that may hurt her longer in the long run once she returns in a month and a half socially that is.

    maybe i'Tourette's Syndrome just my frustration at work, i'm not sure on this one. i just know each and evrery morning is a struggle.

    any thoughts??

    thanks so much
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    If you were planning to home school for more than just a month, it might make sense. But one month will more than likely put her behind her classmates on their schoolwork and make the kids wonder what is wrong with her. Middle school is ugly at its best. The more you can help avoid her being teased, the better.

    If she is having true problems at school (beyond just refusing to do the work, which refusal will more than likely occur at home, too), I might consider it. Otherwise, no.
  3. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    Hi Jen,
    i am homeschooling my 13 yr old difficult child. I'm all for it, but be prepared!! You know your kids better than anyone. Can you deal with them ALL DAY? It's rough - yes rewarding at times, but still rough! You have many resources in LI which will make it easier, but I know you're having a hard time of things at the moment and I am concerned that this may cause further stress in your life. i am all for homeschooling under the right circumstances and can recomend a ton of online FREE curriculum to you. please don't misunderstand - I am fully supportive, but concerned for you at the same time. Let me know what yiu think - i have your back!!!
  4. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Hi Jen--

    I know getting her off to school is challenging, but how does she do once in school? How often are you called from school to be informed of problems and/or asked to pick her up. How are her academic skills? I truly believe that HomeSchooling is an option for those who can not thrive and survive in the mainstream school setting. There are so many benefits in day to day interactions and learning from peers. I also think there are benefits in having time apart.

    As parents we are under major stress--Would Homeschooling make things better for difficult child or for you? Are you equipped and emotionally ready to have her with you all day long?
  5. PersonalEnigma

    PersonalEnigma New Member

    I tried homeschooling once for difficult child. Unfortunately I am not cut out for it - I am far too disorganized and undisciplined for it :( It would be great for difficult child academically, but he needs to social input he gets a school.

    It is a big commitment and a lot of work, but I honestly beleive that many kids would be better off homeschooled.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi! If you are just thinking of doing this to avoid testing, they WILL do testing when you put her back in school.

    We have homeschooled at different times for different ages. difficult child forgrades 2 & 3, Jess for part of 1st (until we moved and the teacher was awesome), and Jess for grades 6 and now 7. We are planning to send her back for 8th grade through high school. (We pulled her partly because her medical issues and partly because the school is just horrible - they actively TELL you they don't want you in the building except for parent teacher conference and book fair and registration!!!!! And they do NOTHING about bullying, etc.... This is ONLY in our middleschool, our jr high and high school are great)

    Anyway, it takes about a year to adjust to homeschooling, so I have counselled people not to do it if they are not going to make a 1 year commitment. Many homeschool groups advise this.

    But almost ALL schools will make her take a placement test to re-enter, and then will put her wherever they feel is the "best" place. It is not always with the same grade as before.

    Hope I didn't rain on your parade too much. Can you get some books on HOW to take tests and work on that with her at home? Or have the counsellor or whomever work with her on this? HOW to take a test is as important as knowing the material.


  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm a bit confused - why do you feel you need to do this? Also, I agree that a month may not really be enough to get any benefit, you might only have the problems of trying to adapt. Unless you hit the ground running with home schooling, the time it takes to get yourselves into a routine and a method that works, would just about fill the time you have, without any longer term benefit from a quieter more peaceful environment.

    It really does depend on WHY.

  8. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Jen, please understand that I'm writing this without judgement...

    You've been very, very, very fragile. Emotionally, you've been pretty much up a creek, you're questioning your relationship, there are financial problems. I mean honestly, how much more are you supposed to take?

    One month (please take this PURELY as my opinion) will probably increase her anxiety rather than "give her a break". Your anxiety and depression are going to go through the roof. And by the 3rd week, it's only going to get worse because then she's going to start worrying about who's going to be there, will her friends remember her, what will they be doing, how long until Mom comes to get me.

    As far as asking for opinions, I've never home schooled. I admire those people who can, but I know that I'd probably run out and play in traffic after about a week.

    Nuh-uh, not me, nosiree Bob, I couldn't do it!

  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Just to clarify - when I asked "why?" I wasn't meaning to sound critical of this choice - not after having made similar choices. It was more to encourage you to think about the 'why' and work out the possibilities.

    Do a PMI on it, see where it takes you.

    "PMI" = "plus, minus, interesting".
    You draw up three columns on a sheet of paper, with those headings. You list the advantages of home schooling for a month; the disadvantages, and the things that are neither but worth thinking about.

    This needs to be your decision, but it is a BIG decision and you need to have a lot of stuff in place if you're going to make this a positive action.

    Let us know where this takes you. If you do choose to try this, let us know because I'm sure people here will point you towards resources you can set up.

  10. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I also want to chime in, without judgement.

    I agree with Nvts. You are very fragile and you have a LOT on your plate. I can understand you seeing temporary homeschooling as a way to alleviate one problem, that is your daughter not wanting to go to school. But I also agree that for a short period of time it may do more harm than good, or at least defeat the purpose.

    Instead, a plan needs to be put into place to help her get going in the morning without the struggle every day. IT may take therapy, it may be as simple as devising a schedule, I know that Meowbunny swore by using a timer (okay, 10 minutes for breakfast, ok now 10 minutes to get dressed). Maybe a chart has to be written up, with a checkoff list. A sticker for every day she completes her morning tasks without a hassle. 5 stickers equals a Slurpee on the weekend or something (that is how I got Tink into her own bed, stickers for Slurpees!).

    The thing is, the checklist and stuff is hard. It is exhausting. And you have to be consistent. But, it pays off in the end. Going the long way always does.

    I hope you have followed through and decided to get yourself some help. Kids react to their parents' mood and emotions, and we can try to hide it, but they pick up on it anyways. If she senses that you are stressed, she will be more clingy. IF she senses dischord in the house between you & boyfriend, she will react.

    YOU have to take care of YOU before you can take care of HER.

    Feel free to PM me anytime, ok?
  11. howlongto18

    howlongto18 New Member

    I homeschool but my kiddo is only kindergarten age. I plan to do it next year as well. I can't say how well it would work for you and your child, but I'll give you the pros and cons for us.

    First the cons:

    He is here all day. When we are having bad times I have no respite to look forward to.

    He tries to push my buttons during reading lessons. He pretends he doesn't know how to do it, won't settle down and it usually takes quite a bit of deep breathing (on my part) and sometimes even a timeout or something to get him to be respectful. On a bad day we sometimes only get as far as reading and give up. A side note, if you do it figure out the worst subjects and schedule them last and after a break of some sort with a reward for completion. We could drop reading for now because he's kindergarten age, but he is the one who wants to learn it, he just thinks he should be able to without trying, lol.

    Tons of people will give you [email protected] about it.

    When your brain is fried you have to think about what to do tomorrow.

    The pros:

    If you are having a bad morning you don't have to push it, you can start and stop and take breaks whenever you want.

    You can custom fit the schooling to what interests difficult child for better learning, cooperation and retention.

    You can force difficult child to take responsibility by choosing what he/she wants to learn about.

    Pajamas are ok.

    Snotty attitudes can be okay too.

    Advanced knowledge on a subject is rewarded instead of punished like a public school. When the work is done, school is done. If you are good at math and it takes ten minutes, you are out early.

    If you know they are cycling or acting up, you can accept really cruddy work that the ps teacher probably would not.

    Field trips are plentiful if you want them to be... you'd be amazed at the places you'll be forced to discover.

    You will practice patience (heaven knows I have, and I must say I have seen improvement in myself)

    You will be surprised when sometimes it actually is fun and brings you closer. (the next day you will want to gouge your ears out with a spoon)

    Anyway, that's enough input for now. If you do it I would allow some time to decompress. If she has a problem just getting started then I wouldn't just not hold school, but I would let her choose from a list of educational activities that you make up beforehand and keep it pretty low key until she gets out of the funk. Then gradually add in the regular subjects. When our kids are out of control their mental health is more important than getting a little behind in schoolwork, in my opinion.

    The biggest thing I've learned while homeschooling is that you can lead a horse to water, you can even make it the best [email protected] water the world has to offer, and that friggin' horse still might turn up his nose and kick you in the face to boot. You cannot teach anyone who doesn't want to be taught. Your job is to try to motivate the child, which is not an easy task, but if and when you can leave the burden on your child's shoulders, it lightens things tremendously for yourself. A common conversation in our home is Juan Carlos, let me know when you're ready because I have work to do, take a break until you are ready to learn. If you want to be able to read books and letters from your friends only you can do the work it takes to get there. Then I go mop the floors and usually he'll be ready to learn when I'm done... sometimes not. Point is, no one teaches anyone else anything. People teach themselves with teachers as the tools.

    Good luck.
  12. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi guys

    sorry i haven't been in. thank you so very much for all the responses. she hasn't been sleeping well since lowering the abilify. she's been waking up in middle of night and covered in urine everyday which only makes her morning more of an effort. today i had to school pyshc to assist me with getting her in the door, and guess what they were in am mtg. stupid school. so i did it on my own. i agreer with all your thoughts i do agree and have listened to all points regarding my everyday level of stress and would it help her in long run. i've taken a little time to decide and i will not home school. our test dates are confirmed for the 27 28 and 29th we'll be staying in city for those days while they do testing. her bdy is 28th which is unforutnte but i have to take the dates. i think we juts have to make it thru till the test date somehow. i spoke with-my office to ensure won't loose job, their going to switch yearly rate to hourly i will be paid until i can get rin under control. i did join the gym and i have spoken to shrink. i've also decided to claim bankruptcy the medical bills are coming at fast pace now i can't keep up. the total for new testing will be 10k approx. so i won't be able to keep head above water. how she is doing in school i'm averaging 2 calls a day from nurse which is much improved they said her anxiety level once there has lessened somewhat since medication's lowered. yet today she didn't have pill she wouldn't let me which sounds insane but she's putting her foot down she's fed up with dr.s pills, the way she is etc. so i said ok. so who knows what will happen now with her.

    you guys are the best with all the feedback

    Jen hugs :)
  13. Lostparent

    Lostparent New Member

    I homeschool my son and I have to agree that it should not be a short term solution.One month is only going to put a strain on you and her.It takes longer than that just for them to understand the rules and that they still have to do the work.Maybe you could look at homebound instead.Are you wanting to take her out while waiting for a diagnosis?I just kept my son home one or two days a week if he was having a hard time.The school will understand if she isn't there everyday.I'm in Florida but it's worth a shot first.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Jen, about her birthday - you will be in the city, so in between testing, you could make it an adventure. I hear you about the money problems, but most cities have free stuff you can go to - museums, etc. Parks. Playgrounds. And take her for coffee and cake somewhere, make it clear that this is a birthday treat. Buy a packet of balloons and blow them all up so she wakes up to a hotel room full of birthday balloons. Whatever it takes, with minimum cost.

    I know you've said you won't home-school, but looking at the anxiety levels, you might be reconsidering this.

    Chelsea did a good PMI on the topic (thanks, Chelsea!) but there are a couple of things she left out -

    Good points - no more school phobia, no more phone calls from the school to come and get her, her anxiety might even reduce. Your anxiety is likely to reduce. You will have much more certainty about planning your day.

    She will be more 'portable' - if you have doctor's appointments, shopping etc she can come too, bringing schoolwork. In fact, it can be a lesson in itself. There's nothing like, "Find me the most economical size and brand of baked beans" to home a student's maths skills.

    Social skills - I found these IMPROVED vastly, when we started correspondence school (done at home). Because difficult child 3 does school work during school hours, when he finishes for the say, he is free to go play or invite a friend over. He also is learning to interact appropriately when we go shopping. I send him on his own to buy this or that, and he handles the exchange well. It was only at school, that the social interaction was not only inappropriate, it was damaging.

    No hoomework - it's all done during school hours.

    He also gets much more work done this way - he wasn't getting anything done in mainstream.

    Bad points - no more job, unless you can work from home. Of course, she might improve to the point where you can leave her with someone else to supervise while you earn a few dollars, but don't count on it - her anxiety, again.

    Whatever you choose, you need certainty in your lives and also continuity. We switched because we didn't have either of those, in mainstream. It wasn't so much a choice, as last resort.

    It's not a great alternative for short-term, but if necessary it could be done. difficult child 3 spent a lot of time home from school "sick" (actually, throwing up from severe anxiety) and although it wasn't set in place formally, I guess I 'home schooled' for those times which did amount to a month here, a month there. And after school hours were over he would have a friend over to play, or talk to. It was frustrating how he wasn't sick at home, only when 'school' was mentioned. But it wasn't put on, he really had problems.
    Not so now - he's a great kid, still autistic of course but making amazing progress. But it does occupy my time a great deal, I can't deny this. There is no way I could hold down a job while doing this, although I do some freelance work occasionally.

  15. Bugsy

    Bugsy New Member

    Hi There,
    Honestly I have not read all of the responses you have gotten due to time, but I want to put in my 2 cents only because I just hoemschooled my son for 2 weeks. My son was doing well for the first 3 months of school and started going downhill in December. He became very disruptive in a manic talkative way. He could not stop moving, talking, interupting, and being very impulsive. He went from hardly ever going into time out to being there 4/5 times a day. I decided that this was not good for him or his class and pulled him out. Thankfully he goes to a very coopertive private school. The point of pulling him out to homeschool him was for him to still learn while in this manic state. It was NOT EASY!!!I was exhausted, frustrated, in tears at times, glued to the house and twitching from not having alone time to regroup. He did great though. He did far more work than he would have in school. He got more very needed sleep. He was not with the other kids disrupting them and being bizarre. And it gave the school and us time to come up with a plan, if need be, for him to return to school with support. After almost 2 difficult months and homeschooling for the last 2 weeks he started school again yesterday. Knock on wood--he did very well yesterday and today. Everybody agreed that temporarily homeschooling him was in his best interest. BUT if I had to do it for a long term my husband would have to have a padded room booked for me. By the way, I am a special needs teacher and spent my career with very challenging children but it is a whole different ball game when it is your own child, in your own house, 24/7.

    I made the decision on what I truly thought was best for him and for his class. you need to do that too. Some kids do much better at home. I am glad for us it was a short time and hopefully he will be able to stay in school.

    Good Luck,
    Bugsy's mom