Solutions for a 12yr old boy kept out of school for the past 3 years?

Amber - posted on 09/18/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )




I have a 12 year old stepson who I love to death. He just came to live with his dad and I last April after he kept getting into trouble with kids in his mother's neighborhood. His dad is arranging to get full custody. Long story short, his mother kept him out of school for the past 3 years. His last full year of attendance was in 2nd grade. He is relearning how to read and do simple addition and subtraction through Kumon and his dad and I. His school won't let him in the special ed classes, and there are not any other kids nearly as behind in learning as he is. He is starting tutoring this week. Are there any other alternatives for Kumon, such as worksheets I can print out online or free online academies or supplemental programs. I don't mind paying for the Kumon, but I feel I am getting ripped off at $1500 for 6 months for Reading and Math. Any suggestions? And please, no bashing on his mother, I just want to focus on a solution to this problem.


Bobbie - posted on 09/18/2012




What came to my mind immediately was that he will require both social and academic growth. As his parent his father hopefully has health insurance through his job. Mental health may seem like a strong word to use for dealing with a child's emotions. There are an enormous amount of programs for children that may need "life skills" classes. Under the umbrella of Mental Health your son can be tested for possible learning disabilities/challenges due to his last three years not being in a social and learning environment daily. I don't know his developmental age in years emotionally but it saddens me to know at 12 he won't be able to adjust immediately into school. But kudos for you stepping up to have him tutored.

As far as his socializing and emotional growth, I think the first step would be to locate the nearest mental health clinic and find out if they accept your insurance. Then make an appointment for you and his dad to meet with a professional. Make notes so you are sure to voice all your concerns about his growth, emotionally, mentally and socially. This also will give you the privacy of the school not knowing of his issues or his mother. Though teachers aren't gossips I am sure that kind of info gets past around at school amongst them. Example, in middle school my son was taunted by a group of 5 boys after school on a regular basis. They surrounded him one day and took a bat to him. He finally struck back, taking the bat out of the bully's hand and holding him until the police showed up. My son was badly beaten and had broken ribs. The following year, in his first year in middle school I had his teacher ask me point blank if my son was still so violent. Since it wasn't during school and it was 5 to 1 against my son apparently she only heard rumors about the 6' boy that held a boy against the wall by his neck until he passed out. So I know for a fact that children can get a bad rap by these so called unbiased educators. BTW-that teacher loved my son and saw what a sweet kid he was. She apologized to me later.

I have had first had experience in what mental health centers offer for children. They have those cases where children can do harm to themselves or to others and they must be managed. We had a dear friend who stayed with us so they could visit their son daily who was hospitalized at our local facility (the best in the state) That is the most widely known part of child services, however, they have programs generated from their many clinics. I would think that he could gain a lot of self esteem and emotional growth from speaking to a councilor. My son was a sweet soul stuck in a huge body. Kids teased him and he had very low self image. My insurance covered him getting to speak to a councilor once a month for years. He enjoyed it so much and though he was no longer teased in H.S. he very much enjoyed being able to unload his emotions on a trusted councilor. At 19 when my insurance no longer covered the visits he finally had to stop going.

Now my grandson who has been having issues with ADHD is enrolled in both joint counseling/play groups and 1 on 1 counseling to learn "life skills" that being so out of control with ADHD hindered him from developing at the same rate as those his own age.

I am so glad to hear he is in good hands. Don't trust the school board with all his needs though, seek other professionals.

I had another thought. Why not reach out to those who home school to see it they have an answer to how to home school a child up to grade level that is state approved.


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