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.