Homeschooling SN child

Sheila - posted on 11/29/2008 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My daughter has CP. She is 9 and in 3rd grade but school system has let us down tremendously over the last 3 years. Without getting to much into it, I have decided to homeschool her beginning next year and wondered if anybody else is doing this and any advice. Not sure how to begin the process...do you need to be part of a "group" or can I fly solo? how do I choose a program to go with? etc. just need general info. and would be most appreciative. I am very confident that this is right choice for her and have no reservations on my ability to "teach" her as my background is in education. She is very high functioning. Thank you for any advice you can give me. THe stress over issues with the school district here is almost to much to take and short of moving we feel that homeschooling is our only option at this point.

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Laura - posted on 01/21/2009

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We homeschool our 4 surviving quintuplets.  They are 7 1/2.  We use a program called Sonlight.  We love it!  Lots of read alouds and interesting topics, with a fully laid out schedule so I don't have to come up with it on my own.  I have three with CP at varying levels - from mild to involved.  They are all doing pretty well at it.  We do some modifications to help with the weak areas. Next year we hope to add some more computer work for my daughter who cannot write so that we can help her with written communication.  Home Schooling is all about learning WITH your children.  You can't expect to pick the "perfect" curriculum the first time out, unless you are extremely lucky!:-)  We've used Sonlight for the past three years and are very happy with it, but have to do some modifications based on each child's learning styles.



Absolutely you need to know the rules for home schooling in your state.  If you want to seek services like therapy at school, you need to know if it is even possible.  My state is very easy, you just say you want to home school and off you go.  You must fill out a one page registration if you want to continue your IEP every year.  We do, and our district has been very accomodating and the therapists have been great! We go to school a couple of times a week for an hour and a half.  I call it our gym time!:-)



A book that might be at your local library is called "The Big Book of Home Learning" by Mary Pride.  It has lots of curriculum choices as well as a chart with the State-by-State requirements.  It also reccommends  you join Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) which can help you manuver through home schooling, which can sometimes be fought by your school district, though it is LEGAL to home school. Cathy Duffie has a book out that also has some of that information.



Feel free to chat with me about home schooling any time!  I think it's a great thing for our special children!

Sheila - posted on 01/17/2009

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My goodness Crystal!  You have your hands full!  Truthfully, I'm not sure what advice to give you as I am at the beginning stages myself of homeschooling.  My daughter is still attending public school, for remainder of this year but then that's it.  So, I don't know a lot about it at this point but have begun the massive research to find right program for her.  I know that I can't do it alone, that is without having a "group" to be involved with and help us through.  I am not concerned about the academic portion as for one, Brit is above grade level in all subjects with a bit of struggle in math (not my strongest subject either), but also my degree is in early education and child development (of all things lol).  But as far as the legistics, etc.  and reporting grades to state...all of that...I'm lost right now.  Anyhoo...with all that said I just wanted to say "bravo for you for all that you do"  You seem like an incredible mom who really cares and wants the best for her children.  You have a lot on your plate with all those little ones.  I am always here with an open ear and open heart and if I come up with any BRIGHT ideas I will certainly let you know.  I know that's not very helpful but just wanted to let you know that somebody's listening.  Sometimes that's all I need.  :) Sheila

Crystal - posted on 01/15/2009

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I am also wondering if homeschooling would be the best option for my special needs daughter who just turned 5. She is totally blind, but our closest school for the blind is almost 2 hours away. I really don't feel she has been progressing in the ESD ECSE preschool here and don't feel like she will at the public school next year either. I also feel I am strung out myself homeschooling my 2 boys who are 8 and 6 with k12.com and also having a 9 month old crawling around getting into everything. I am kind of at a loss at what to do for her. She has multiple disabilities, is medically complicated, developmentally delayed, and is non ambulatory at the moment.

[deleted account]

Sheila,

Notification depends on your state. We initially lived in DC where at the time you did not have to do anything. Where we are now I had to notify the school district with a simple intent to homeschool form. Some states require testing, others don't. Our current state does, but it will be done in the 7 hours a week our children are at school.

While we have enjoyed this part-time enrollment program at our school, I don't think I will do it next year. It cuts into our schedule and I prefer to have flexibility. My boys have lots of Dr appointments, and homeschooling gives me the ability to do the work when it is good for us.

Have you looked to see if there are any good homeschool groups in your area? I am putting some national resource links at the bottom. It would certainly be helpful if you could find an association. Where we are, we can also get PE and swim lessons at the Y during the day. I have even found homeschool art and acting classes during the day.

I understand about not having people support your decision. I have so many people question me and the school at our last location looked down on me. They assured me that they were better equipped to teach my children. I know that it will not work for all children, but my children are both either at or above grade level in all subjects. They hope that they never have to go back to school.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. I will admit that I was terrified most of the first year, but now we have all happily settled into our way of life.

Julie


http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/webl...
http://www.bayshoreeducational.com/speci...
http://hslda.org/strugglinglearner/defau...

Sheila - posted on 12/03/2008

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Thanks so much Julie! The hardest part I think is having that "gut" feeling that it's the right thing to do but no support. Most family/friends don't understand homeschooling and are not supportive of it. I say...you do whatever works best. Plus...it can't hurt to try right. She can always go back to public school if it doesn't work. Thank you so much for responding...even just 1 person supporting me helps tremendously!! Not to mention the advice is much appreciative as I am just clueless how to begin the process. Do you know off-hand what you tell her school....do I need to just notify them in writing...just verbally tell them? Told you...clueless...LOL. Thanks Again! And..good luck to you and your boys. You are a great mom!

[deleted account]

Hi, we homeschool our two children who are recovering from autism. Pulling them out of school five years ago is the best decision I have made with regards to their education. I use a program called K12 and we are members of a large homeschool group. This year we also started a 7 hour a week cottage school through our local charter school.

My advice would be start early in the year and take it one day at a time. We have our really great days and then a few days when I could pull my hair out. Thankfully, we have MANY more good days than bad.

I would also try to join a support group. I had a Mentor Mom who called me every few weeks during my first year. It helped me make the transition. I would also try to get your daughter out to socialize as often as possible. My children play with peers at least 4 days out of the week.

I have such an appreciation for my boys now and love to hang out with them now. I know their friends, what is going on in their lives, and our relationship has never been closer.

Drop me an email on here if you have any additional questions.

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