To homeschool or not to homeschool?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2003
To homeschool or not to homeschool?
7
Sun, 08-17-2003 - 10:00am
I am wondering what you all are thinking about homeschooling. I have considered doing it with DS, but I definately want to "out source" social experiences, like boy scouts, group music classes, etc. I am considering homeschooling, partly because we are already doing it with DS's advanced academic interests (reading, math).

The downsides are that I would like to have another child, and having DS here 24 hrs a day is making that difficult. I also feel torn between wanting to go back into the professional world. I'm a Psychologist and spent 10 yrs of college amassing degrees that are now just sitting on my wall collecting dust.

I have to admit also that I am afraid for DS because he is so clueless about social situations. At this point, he totally ignores peers. I have been asked by other children, how old he is, whether he can talk, whether he is deaf, and if he has "something wrong with his brain." DS also becomes hypoglycemic easily because he is a super picky eater and does not always feed himself. Low blood sugar causes him to have meltdowns. DS also has tremendous separation anxiety and does not adjust to new situations well.

I would love to find a preschool that will allow me to enroll him for a few hours each morning, but he is not potty trained. Even if we could get him into a preschool without potty training, I fear DS will not adjust to separation from me, and it is difficult to pursuade schools to let you hang around for the first week or so while your child adjusts.

Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on homeschooling and any stories you have about helping your kid adjust to preschool.

Thanks,

Suzi

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Sun, 08-17-2003 - 2:34pm
Suzi

Here in the county were I live, they have a public preschool. They also offer a program called ABA. I have no clue as to what that is, but I do know it is for preschoolers on the autism spectrum. Maybe in your community you could find a preschool that could work for him, instead of just babysitting.

Sio

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 08-17-2003 - 10:17pm
Suzi,

I usually don't ever seem to have anytime to post ( and sometimes just no energy!) but I wanted to respnd to your post (since I went through the exact same thing!).

I am homeschooling my ds, now six. When he was 4 I enrolled him in a preschool that said they would help with the potty training. I was lucky enough that he was basically trained before school started and that he had only one accident while attending (although we ALWAYS kept a set of emergency clothes on hand at school). It was good for him, I think. He wasn't always at his best but he got to interact with the other kids and I got a break two days a week. We also kept attending a preschool music class once a week. When it was time for kindergarten, we moved and the new district was all day. My son would never have survived. I decided to homeschool and it turned out to be the best thing. I found a music class and a great homeschool group that provided more than enough social time for my son. Now that he is six, I have enrolled him in Boy Scouts and, believe it or not, a fencing class. We no longer go to music but with the scouts, fencing, and misc. other homeschool group activities sometimes we have a hard time getting schoolwork in!

Well, as for getting adjusted to preschool we visited several times before the actual first day. I kept repeating OVER and OVER again when he would be going and WHEN i would pick him up. We had a routine going into the classroom. First thing, hang up coat or jacket then find a toy to play with. Once he really gets involved with the toy I take his chin in my hand and have him look at me while I say goodbye. Even though he saw me and heard me say goodbye it took a few times for him to really believe that I had left (the teacher said he used to look for me after he was done playing). He had his usual protests but all in all in went fairly well (Used to say to me, "The school is closed today." and I would reply, "Well, if it is closed when we get there, we'll go home." Well the school was never closed and he never got to go home - right away that is!).

ROUTINE, ROUTINE, ROUTINE. We always followed the same routine going in and the same routine leaving. We also talked about it before, ad nauseum. I thinked this helped tremendously (although I have to admit he constantly fought going every morning, but gave up by the time we got to school). I also made sure he had SOMETHING to eat before he left each morning even if ,sometimes, it was cookies (again, I have to admit when I did this he then thought he was going to get cookies EVERY morning).

Well, I have no idea if I've answered any of your concerns or what you were asking in the first place. Oh yes, the ten years of school. Well, think of it as being a better mom. I know that probably doesn't help any at all but I put it this way I'd rather my son be my job now and I'll get another job when I get fired from my current one. Its also possible that you can find some outlet for your expertise. Which at this point and time I can't think of one.

I need to go. Hope I've helped in some sort of tangled way,

bless

bugs

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Mon, 08-18-2003 - 5:23am
Hi Suzi, I have started and deleted this message 6 times now. Every time I write it it gets so long my ISP threatens to disconnect me for lack of activity, LOL. I've been right where you are now sooooo many times. I'll TRY to keep this short, which for me means it will still be long, LOL.

To me it sounds as if you've already made your decision but you want affirmation that you are doing the right thing and knowledge that you won't be wasting all that time invested in your credentials? Is that it? I've been there. The two things I saw in your post that you said you were concerned about is the possibility that you would be wasting all that investment in your credentials and you aren't sure how you can handle homeschooling and having a baby at the same time. Did I miss anything?

I have the brag wall full of credentials, 6 kids, and I homeschool all of them. I'll give you my experience item by item. I know life is different for everyone, but this is how it worked/works for me.

Do I feel I've wasted all those years spent getting those pretty pieces of paper on the wall? No, I still do work using them, just not the work I thought I would be doing 15 years ago. Do I feel like I have a responsibility to go out and help others b/c I have those credentials? Absolutely! And I do help others, but again, not like I had originally intended. Instead of forcing my lifestyle to fit my work I made my work fit my lifestyle.

Having 6 kids I know what it's like being PG, having a new baby, etc while homeschooling. And since I tried putting Jade in public school for a while I also know what its like do those things while having a kid in ps. Here's my take on it. When your suffering from morning sickness it's easier to put off school for a few hours until you're able to function when homeschooling than it is when your public schooling. Why? Because the public school will never wait on you OR your tummy to settle down enough to get your kids off to school. When they want your kids at school it is by a certain time, regardless of whether you are capable of driving or not. And after the baby is born you will be reminded in no uncertain terms that baby's don't always take naps when you want them too. It's no fun having your newborn scream at you for the entire time your other kids are off at school only have him/her FINALLY go to sleep just when it's time to go pick up your other kids or meet them somewhere. When you homeschool you don't have to do it during the same hours as the ps. If your infant is up during the afternoons you can do your school work in the evenings. Also, if your Aspie is like a lot of others and isn't a morning person you don't have to wrangle the out of bed at 6 or 7 am and fight the good fight just to get them off to school on time. I guess what I'm saying is, it's been far more relaxing for me AND my family to homeschool then it EVER was to public school.

Given your credentials I doubt you will ever actually face all of the other stuff most homeschoolers have to endure like being told 'you're not qualified to teach your own children', 'how do you expect your ds to get the services he needs if you keep him home', etc., so I won't go there.

But if you’re still undecided as to whether homeschooling is the proper fit for you and your family I suggest you visit the Homeschooling board here in Parent Soup. It's one of the largest international forums in the world on the subject and the cls over there are incredible. Here's the link:

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-pshomeschool

Peace,

Candes

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 9:37am
Suzi,

Good luck whatever your decision. My only advice to you would be to check out all options before you make your decision. Then you can be most comfortable with that decision. Sio's suggestion of checking out special schools and prescools is a good one. Either you will find one and think it's the perfect place for your child, or you won't -then the homeschooling decision becomes that much more obvious.

My boy attended special preschool and will attend special school. He wasn't potty trained. The most recent school trained him. He was four-and-a bit and it took less than a week (If I'd known it would be that fast... lol). I think he really benefits from the school. They have a very positive loving environment, a very strict routine, and he has progressed enormously. I think they push him a little harder than my overprotecive self would. I think it also does him good to get a break from home and from us and to learn his own stuff in his own way and then to bring back to the house and share with us (bad grammar, but you catch my drift?). Also if you can prove that a certain private preschool is the *only appropriate educational environment* (note Dept Of Ed-worthy lingo) for your son, the school district has to pay for it. The school should help you with the process of SD approval if they think they may have a place for your son (although it's August! yikes!).

Of course, I am lucky to live in an area that has a lot of very good schools for spectrum kids (although they have always insisted that my son isn't spectrum, I hear him barking in the next room as we speak!).

In a nutshell; explore all options. Only then will you be most comfortable with your decision when you make it. No matter which way you go, it will be the right choice.

Good luck.

-Paula

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 9:57am
Bugs,

Thanks so much for your insights. It really helped me to read your story because you seem to have gone through much of what I am facing now. Good luck with your homeschooling. I may have forgotten to mention that I am leaning toward that option. I do love the business of educating kids, especially challenging ones.

Suzi

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 10:05am
Candes,

Wow! Very helpful and right on the nose with what I was thinking when I wrote. I am totally leaning toward homeschooling but getting feedback from some people that it is a waste of my credentials and earning power. I always have given too much credence to the opinions of the "norm." I usually go through a period of obsessive worrying as I am making a big decision, and I'm at that point right now. It helps a lot to hear about your experiences, and I very much admire you for becoming the model home-educator and mother that you are.

Thanks again,

Suzi

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 10:09am
Thanks for your feedback, Paula. I think I am leaning toward homeschooling, but I want DS to have some time in preschool, if I can find the right one. The idea of getting the public schools to pay for "the only appropriate evironment" is great. I hadn't thought of going that route.

Suzi