Friday, April 04, 2008

Revisiting Homeschooling

I left the AT's office today feeling like I had been an interruption in his busy day. We spent 3 hours for Patches and Cyr and then only an hour with our male AT for the other 4. He has never been so quick to get us out of there. We got no where and discussed only superficial things. I guess every one has a bad day once in a while.

The AT is very worried about Patches and her acting out at school. She and I agree she is under so much pressure and it is really taking a toll quickly. Her self esteem is shot, she is mean and aggressive to her peers and the bus driver, she is not doing her classwork, and she is hurting herself again. The AT really wants me to get her out of school for the rest of the year and home school her the rest of this one and next. She feels she needs it to adjust and make progress she can maintain. The only place I know of that does a home/virtual school is no longer accepting applications for this year. Any suggestions?

6 comments:

momma-o-minnie said...

Been there. Done that with several adopted kids. Bought the t-shirt. It works... May I suggest that you will need therapy to keep your own sanity???? at least there have been times in my life....

Use a well structured curriculum as you need to point to the lesson planner and say "It says to do...." so you don't get into power struggles. There are some that come on computer now-a-days, some school districts will provide stuff (if you want their slant on things) or you can find Christian material.

I've used Bob Jones material for my kids... when I've strayed off the beaten path to use more curriculum that would entice a love of learning (such as Sonlight) I got in trouble with my RADishes because they can take advantage of the less structured, don't have to study for a test, don't have to follow a lesson plan, let's just curl-u-and-read kind of approach...

So, with the RADish we're actually doing the BJU DVDs right now... The teacher teaches, we watch together, then I grade... no questions asked about what the assignment is, only about what they don't understand... then we can curl up and read the book together...

Lisa said...

Highly recommend www.k12.com. The curriculum is fabulous and MUCH better than what's offered in a brick & mortar school. It's very structured and you might have to pay a little bit to finish the year but if you sign up now it will be free next year. They will supply a teacher at your disposal, OT, special ed, speech therapist, whatever your child needs. Here is the link to Georgia Virtual Academy. http://www.k12.com/ga/
It's paid for as a part of the GA public school system. She'll still have to take CRCT and standardized tests but that will ensure that she can be placed right back into public school if you would like. Julie Beem and Tanya is using it too so you could get feedback from them as well.
L

quilted family said...

Homeschooling saved my son. I can say that baldly and as a statement of fact. We went the totally opposite way of structure to do unschooling. In our state there is minimal oversight of homeschooling, the only papers I have to produce are attendance reports. Anyway I found unschooling completely removed any power struggle since I was not in charge of his learning, he was. It took awhile for me to totally embrace this concept but with study and the help of on-line friends we made this schooling work for us.
He and his siter studied what interested them and I planned projects around their interests and my own. So we went to our friend's pond and they fished and walked in the muck and found mollusks and climbed trees and made a bonfire with the friend's daughter (under close supervision) while I did a nature study in charcoal. From that day they learned a lot about ponds and went on to get interested in streams, water pollution, how our country was settled by following the river systems, and on and on. That is just an example.

I know that a lot of people are worried that my kids did not learn what they needed to learn, but oh contraire, my daughter went to public high school this year for the dance program (It is a youth performing arts school) and is in all advanced classes making As and Bs never having "studied" a curriculum in her life. And my son who had a major depressive episode for 15 months and dropped out of any school progress is now at the community college at age 17 progressing quite nicely (at least where academics are concerned)

Sorry this is so long, what I want to say is homescholing can really work for our kids and all their problems and you can find a homeschooling style that fits your family. There is a wide variety from which to choose. The only drawback is that the others might want to join you too! I started with 1 and soon was homeschooling 2 and then added a friend's child and my other kids drifted in and out of homeschooling and public school so at times I was homescholing 5 kids. But I never regretted my choice and the benefits to my kids were immense.
Beth

Innocent Observer said...

We just started back up. We are doing "unschooling unit studies". HA.

You enjoy your kids, so my guess is that you will LOVE homeschooling.

Teach Your Own by John Holt is a great book. I don't know what the laws look like in your state, but you can hop onto a Yahoo homeschooling group and find out the details and get some local support.

The only thing that I think you need a curriculum for is math. Anything else at this age can be learned from library books and field trips. There are a gazillion sites with free lesson plans and units available. For one of my kids we aren't even using a math curriculum because that child needs more fundamentals, so we are playing lots of store with real money, and flipping out die cut numbers with others, telling time and that sort of thing.

Learning should be fun, and mental health should come first. So sad that our society doesn't seem to agree.

Innocent Observer said...

ps I decided that I am not going to test my kids. I'm not teaching them to be able to pass a test, but rather teaching them to love learning. IMO their ability to pass a test has nothing to do with what they have or have not learned.

Teaching should never be a power struggle, because (IMO) a good teacher is able to get the learner interested and excited about the material. The kids and I are learning together and we are all interested and excited about what we are doing; and what we are doing is homeschooling, not school at home.

momma-o-minnie said...

When you are teaching children with attachment issues, anything can become a power struggle - even the love of learning... I know. I have tried it both ways. I have adopted 4 kids, 3 with attachment issues. I am finishing up another shot with Sonlight, trying to get the kids to be more interested in reading for enjoyment... the thing is, kids with attachment issues will pick up on anything you enjoy and turn it around on you...
It is better to take every emotion out of the picture, and become factual when it is something you want the child to do. You are more likely to get the child to do it if they think you are not emotionally involved in the situation. I don't know... Maybe I just have incredibly damaged children...
But, after 16 years of homeschooling both birth and adopted children, using both structured and unschooling methods, I'd say I've got experience on my side. JMHO.