Home School, Public School or Private School?

Brittany - posted on 11/01/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

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My husband and I were talking and we have decided to try home schooling our children. This came about after a letter I recieved from my son's school.

When I enrolled Caoleb into a public school I informed them that he get sick alot and has health issues. Since the start of school he has had one surgery and countless asthma attacks. He is on a breathing machine he takes every morning and has a shot of Nasonex in each nostril.

On Friday he came home with a letter from the Truant Officer at the school saying the following:

"Your son, Caoleb Thompson, has missed 5 days of school this year. All missed days are counted as excused with medical documentation. Should he miss another 5 days, for the rest of the year, he will have to attend a truant meeting and be on academic probation."

He is 6. I know that they have to send letters to every parent and I know they can not just excuse Caoleb because, of his health conditions but, really? Is it that big of an issue? He does all the work he misses.

Also, after the holidays, he will be having surgery again on his ears. These will be counted as missed school days.

After speaking with Mark we decided that is might be best to home school the kidos.

What do you all think would you choose to home school your child if he or she was sick a lot?

How many of you do home school?

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JuLeah - posted on 11/01/2011

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I'd not jump to homeschooling if I were you. I'd get him on an IEP. That will protect him and give him a tutor at home if one is needed. If my child were sick a lot and missing a lot of school, I'd hire a teacher to come in.

So much goes into teaching and unless you have a background, and an education in teacher, I'd not try

Knowing math, for example does not mean you can teach it. Knowing how to read, does not mean you can teach another

The school is required by law to provide him with a free and approprate education

Also, doing the work he misses, meaning the worksheets or whatever, that is just not the same as getting the lesson/lecture and the social that kids so need

I am speaking here as one with both and under grad and advanced degree in education

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/02/2011

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I am not pro homeschooling. I have met many wonderful moms who do home school, I am still not a fan.



That being said, maybe they truly forgot about WHY he should have excused absents, all it may take is for you to go to the school and speak with his teachers and principal together, and maybe clarify the situation. If you need to, speak to your sons pediatrician and have him give a medical note explaining his condition. This may lead to you getting an excused absence note from the doctor every time he is home sick.

[deleted account]

Brittany, I am sorry that theletter you received upset you so much. Let me try to clarify another aspect of education that I learned while taking my Education Administration classes. Regarding student absences, every student absence needs to be formally documented. Truancy letters are nothing but a formality to communicate with the parent. If the school district gets audited, the state will more than likely pull attendance records. Well, schools that do not monitor their attendance will get penalized. Letters home to the parents are simply one way to let the parent know that the district is informaing the parent (aka covering their ass) in regard to tracking student attendace. If your child has excused medical absences, then be assured you have NOTHING to worry about :-) It is simply the school placing a letter into your child's cumulative folder as a formality. If your son is thriving in his current environment and you are happy with his education, keep him where he is. If you are not satisfied, then consider homeschooling; join up with homeschooling families. But homeschool for the right reasons. I might also reccommend an addendum to the IEP to include OHI (Other Health Impairment) as a primary disability and put the speech/language as a secondary disability. speech/language is developmental and it is possible that he will no longer receive speech services in several years. However, his health issues will stay. I have several students this year on IEPs and 504 plans and have missed a ton of school. Except at the high school level, they lose credit. Their IEP/504 allows for the absneces to be medically excused, extra time, AND tutoring services, as someone pointed out earlier. With all that being said and 16 years in the classroom, NO, I would not homeschool!

[deleted account]

There is NO WAY I could homeschool. I don't have the patience (and that's only one of many reasons) to deal w/ all of my kids AND teach them 24/7... not happening. I do the 24/7 thing until they are 3 and then they HAVE to go to school... at least for a bit.



My girls went to Head Start for preschool and have been in the same public elementary school since K (5th grade now... last year there).



My son is currently in a private preschool cuz it's the only school that has a 2 day/week option. I can't 'really' afford it, but since Head Start hours are 8-1 and I work 7:30-2 two days/week (not the days he's in school... he's w/ me those days).... the time just doesn't work. He will go there again 5 days/week next year since he will qualify for funding.



I really want to send my girls to that same school next year for 6th grade... #1 to 'protect' them from the horrors of middle school and #2 the hours fit better since I'll have to leave my son there at 7 two days/week... and school doesn't start til 8. The only way they can go there is if they get scholarships though... otherwise it'll be the public middle school for them.



As for when my son starts K.... no clue yet. If we haven't moved I'll probably send him to public since we live across the street from the school (NOT the one the girls are in now though).



Sorry... that was a lot. ;)

Angela - posted on 11/02/2011

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I think absence policy is good but if extreme not good. I don't see why if a child can do well academically why they could not exceed 7 excused absences.

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Jaime - posted on 07/20/2012

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Brittany -

We have both been through the SAME problem. My son has severe asthma and immune defiency so when he gets a cold - it becomes a resp. infection or pneumonia. Kindergarten we tried school for the first time....he missed a LOT of days then that fall he ended up in the hospital so I decided to home school him, because it got bad. Last year he begged me to send him back to school...so poor choice I did...

I gave the school all the letters and paperwork from the doctor explaining his absences and such. They had the NERVE to show up at my door...one month before school was ending and threatening me with child protective services and saying that Kiernan would not pass. So I have made the decision once and for all that he is NEVER going back to school until he is older.

I think you are making a very wise choice and commend you for it. If you ever need advice please let me know!

Merry - posted on 11/17/2011

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Marina, no way in Hell would I agree to that 7 day policy! WOW! No way.

Merry - posted on 11/17/2011

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I'm going to be homeschooling.
I'm not a patient person! I'm not a teacher! I'm not super smart!
I'm just a mom who will work long and hard o help my kids learn what they need to be successful happy adults.
If he is happy in his school maybe consider just working through the absences and stay there. But if he's interested in learning at home and you obviously sound interested init too, go for it!
Homeschooling can be a wonderful choice. You don't need to 'qualify' you just have to want to do it.

Sherri - posted on 11/17/2011

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Oh me too Sharlene don't to mention I would do them such a disservice.

Brittany - posted on 11/17/2011

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Sharon,

There are other reasons also. My husband is an Agriculture major and plans on running a farm. Home Schooling the children will allow them to help at home more often. Also Caoleb's doctor appointments would be eaiser to schedule. I have been talking to some ladies who home school and have been getting involved with support groups.

Brittany - posted on 11/04/2011

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I know the schools in this area have become more aware of where thier students are and they are trying to be a better more protective school district.

If it is 8:00 am and the teacher has not sent in her roll the school calls me to find out where Caoleb is and if he will be coming in late. Class starts at 7:55 am.

I know they are trying to take a better approach to protecting children and making sure the kids are at home and if the child is "skipping" then they can notify the proper people to find the child.

I am just upset about the letter I got. I dont want Caoleb to get in trouble.

Caoleb takes Speech Therapy everyday. He has on IEP, now, and the Speech is because, he can not pronounce some letter like F, S, V and S-blends. They mostly sound like D's when he says words. I am hoping things get better. He missed another day on Wednesday.

I am not a "professional" teacher but, I do homeschool my kids through pre-school things and I did this with Caoleb also. When he does miss class I do my best to actually teach him what he missed as opposed to making him do worksheets. I apologize if I was not clear on that one.

One of the teachers setup a web page that parents can use to help thier children. The webpage has everything the child did that day and all the resources the teachers used to teach them that lesson. His teacher is very hands on, so I can often mimic what she did in class that day with stuff we have at home. Like, if Caoleb missed a science experiment, I can have him help me make some homemade laundry soap. He gets the concept of measurement, time, ect ect.

I am going to at least let him finish this year out. There are ZERO resources here in Alabama for home schooling and you have to pay out the rear to have a sponsor school ($100.00 per child or more + a monthly fee usually $80.00).

I do like his school and the teachers, that letter just bugged the tar out of me.

Caitlin - posted on 11/02/2011

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I'd love to send my kids to a montessori preschool but they are soooo expensive. Public is the route for my 3, though I know i'll have issues with allergy accomodations for my oldest, i simply can't afford the alternative!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/02/2011

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On another note, my son is in a Charter school. They are allotted 7....yup only 7 excused absences. He has missed 1 day of school due to illness, and has been in school since August 22nd. He is only in Kindergarten, and although I do not think it is fair, I except the conditions. We may not be able to take our Christmas vacation to see his grandparents this year because of it. I cannot waste sick days at school for vacation, in case he REALLY gets sick. They warned us at the beginning of the school year, even if academically your child should be able to advance to the next grade, they won't if they exceed the absence policy.

Kate CP - posted on 11/02/2011

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Rebecca: Alas, they are pricey. :/ Charter schools are starting to pop up but they're hard to find and many of them don't really adhere to Montessori's philosophies. But, what a great start at life and education! If it works for your children and you can afford it, Montessori is an awesome method of educating children.

Angela - posted on 11/02/2011

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I support choice in the matter of school but I do think Home schooling could be better regulated.

I home schooled my daughter for a while, did private and also public with all my kids. I found most public schools in the USA horrific. I ended up going private. But the private and public schools at least have watch dogs over laws and rules.

I say this because I have seen some pretty bad home school environments but also some exceptional ones. With the bad ones I could not help but ask where is the accountability.

On the truant note, I had this issue with one of my daughters, she was the one I pulled out of school and home schooled until I found a good private school for her.

I ended up in a truant meeting... for excused tardies! My daughter is is borderline mentally impaired and has several learning disabilities. When she started middle school and had to change classes she always was confused as where to go. The school had this weird system where they changed their weekly class schedule every 10 days, they had red weeks and blue weeks and even I was confused as a university graduate.

They were well aware of her disabilities so I requested she stayed on a perm. schedule for at least one semester. They refused. So she kept being late...or tardy. Finally I got the letter, I told the officer and social worker at the meeting why. One guy was a real A$$ he threaten jail time if she did not get to school on time! He also asked where her absent all her life father was, and tried to make me name him. I said I am her father and Mother.... she is all mine. He is not on her Birth Certificate so that is that. He tried to say fathers had rights etc... mind you he had no clue of our situation. In the end a lady cop stood up for me in the meeting and all way okay. But I soon pulled her out of public school after that.

Jodi - posted on 11/02/2011

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Wow, that's just terrible. Can I say, I find it incredibly insulting to be calling this "truancy". The definition of truancy is being absent without permission. Here in Australia, that means permission from the parent, NOT the school. Obviously in the US, it is considered absent without the permission of the school. 5 days? Seriously, he's SIX.

I know that here, as long as a child is keeping up with the work, it is not an issue unless they are off MUCH more than this. I remember when my nephew was off for 6 weeks to go to Greece with the family to visit his grandparents, and there were questions about him being MAYBE needing to be held back a year as a result, but because he was a smart kid and was able to catch up quickly, it didn't happen, and no-one fussed about it. As long as a child has a reason for being absent, and the parents can provide an explanation (or medical certificates), the school really doesn't care. I can't believe you start getting letters after 5 days.

[deleted account]

@Kate -- my boys are in a Montessori preschool right now. But it's so expensive! I wish there were more public Montessori schools!

Kate CP - posted on 11/01/2011

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I'm a Montessori mom. So...I'd look into Montessori schools if you still want to send him to school. :)

Medic - posted on 11/01/2011

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We thought about homeschooling and were seconds away from committing to it. On the other hand we live in an amazing school district and our son got accepted into a magnet school that he was required to test into. My son also has some serious health issues and has to miss several days of school due to asthma and pulmonary infections and what not. School started in the middle of August and I am pretty sure he has missed like 9 days already. We have not received anything, we just call the dr even if we are not going to take him in and get a note for school.

Sherri - posted on 11/01/2011

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No I would never home school. So no matter what my kids would attend public or private school. It would not work for me or my children. Right now it is public school for us.

Stifler's - posted on 11/01/2011

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I don't *disagree* with homeschool I just don't want to do it. I am not a teacher.

Stifler's - posted on 11/01/2011

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5 days? What kind of school is this. My sister missed like one day a week every week her whole school career and they never sent a letter home. I wouldn't consider home school to be honest. I would tell the school to get over it. It's not even truancy if you have a note as far as I'm concerned. My kids are either going public or private depending on whether we're richer when they start school.

Denikka - posted on 11/01/2011

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In a situation like that, I would absolutely be considering homeschooling.
I want to home school my kids anyways, we're still considering though. Dad wants public school but can't come up with a reason why that satisfies me :P Plus my oldest is a big people person, so I want him to have the chance to socialize and play with kids his age, but I think that can be accomplished with group homeschooling :P So, still arguing about it :P

But if the kid is missing chunks of school anyways, I would absolutely do it. It just makes sense :)

[deleted account]

Before J started school we looked into all three options. We purchased our home because of the great school district it was in, but by the time he was ready to start school several factors had us concerned...one of which was truancy.

We travel a lot, and at the time were worried about how this would affect his work in a public school. As it turns out, while our district does send letters, they rarely keep children back based on truancy. The truancy board meeting is a 10 minute meeting and is usually noting more than a formality. If the child was struggling with work due to excessive absences, that would be different, but most kids missing days due to illness simply have the work at home and have no issues.

I did home school for preschool, and I had fabulous results, but I do not feel I am qualified to continue into kindergarten and beyond.
We did "homeschool" for a month last February & March (5k kindy) because of travel, but I hired a certified tutor to come with us. We met with the board, his teacher, and principal to outline a plan of study so that he could pick off where he left off when we returned. I will say that I found the homeschooling rather difficult in some subjects. Reading and Math were simple--we could do them anywhere and from "home"--but social studies and science proved to be very difficult, though they may have been easier if we'd been in a long term residence....

Not sure if that is really helpful or not, but maybe just gives you some perspective to help in the decision making process.

[deleted account]

Homeschool is on our radar. But we live in a great public school district. I taught in the district before I was a SAHM, so I know how things are generally run and I'm comfortable with my kids going there. I had two students who missed a significant amount of school due to medical issues. Their parents did not recieve such letters, because we knew why they were missing school. But I have heard of people in other districts with the same issue you are having.

As of right now, we are undecided. I know the benefits of homeschool, and I know I'd enjoy it. However, I know my oldest daughter would likely thrive in a public school setting, especially in our district. So we are still thinking about it.

Becky - posted on 11/01/2011

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Yes, I can definitely see homeschooling if I had a child with a medical problem who was going to miss a lot of school because of it. I'd kind of like to homeschool anyway, but I just don't feel like I'm disciplined enough to do it. But give me any excuse - illness, poor immune system, bullying, child isn't doing well in school - and I'll pull them out and teach them myself.

Minnie - posted on 11/01/2011

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I'm homeschooling right now. It works well for us.

So if I had a child who was ill, naturally I would in that case as well.

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