Online or Distance Learning


Active Member
Has anyone used an online or distance learning (aka homeschooling) program for a 3rd grader? Based on the near-daily notes coming home (he's been restrained 2-3 times a week for the last month), I think that they are going to say they can't handle him in the regular school anymore. Mostly he seems to be having panic attacks as nearly all his restraints relate to keeping him at school and he sobs that "my mom has forgotten about me". He seems to truly believe that if he is not with me I may forget I have a son named Tigger and he'll never see me again. Separation anxiety has always been intense for him. And our BD/ED schools are horrible (having taught at one of them I know) so if they cannot maintain him at the regular school, I will be asking them to pay for an online learning program.

I think they are doing everything possible to try and maintain him but its just not working. He has a 1:1 aide, daily access to the counselor, weekly work with the social worker, special time with the gym teacher, spends most of the day in a class with just 3 other kids (4 kids + 3 adults). I think he is just not made for structured schooling.

So back to my question, has anyone used an online or distance learning (aka homeschooling) program for a 3rd grader?


I have not--used it for a high school student between placements.

However, Tigger may not be made for school but keeping a child with separation anxiety this intense raises problems of increasing the problem to the level of an intense phobia. I know this is a judgment call and some kids cannot handle school. I think the supports in place sound appropriate. What triggers him? Has an FBA been done? Would a half day of his "best" subjects only reduce pressure on him.

I'm tired and sort of free-associating on this. I struggled with similar issues when ex-difficult child was in second grade. EVERY professional advised against keeping him home full-time. He begged me to home school him. I still do not know if I did the right thing or not. His outcome is good now--but it was via EGBS--maybe if I had taken him out in second grade, he wouldn't have needed residential at 14. On the other hand, if I had taken him out, he might have become a complete agoraphobic--hw was well on his way.

I haven't provided an answer to your orginal question, but I wanted you to know I empathize with the problems you face.



New Member
I don't have an answer, but my son had similar, though not as intense, issues. Finally now in 6th grade he is attending school part of the day. I wish I had done it earlier instead of stuck to the full time schedule. You might want to think about a part-time compromise--perhaps he attends school for only an hour a day? or even less to start out with. And then you can work up slowly to more and more if that is tolerated.

If you think that the school is being appropriate with him then at least this might be worth a trial to see if he can tolerate that much.

I had thought about homeschooling altogether, but I am glad now with the part-time arrangement. He has more energy for the work he does there

The school probably won't like this idea since they won't get their full money for him, but tough. Do you see anything changing for him in the future? medication changes, etc that might decrease his anxiety?

Other things that were suggested to us were pictures of us. Can he tell time enough to understand by looking at a clock when you will be there to pick him up?

its tough.


Active Member
I can't comment on weather or not you should keep him home. I have homeschooled and found programs that I like. I like the Singapor Math and the Exemplary Center for Reading Instruction by Ethna Reed coupled with Reading for all Learners by Alan Hofmeister. I haven't found a science or social skills program yet. I just haven't looked. Last year difficult child and I were working on reading, math, and potty training. He is in school this year.