Considering homeschooling and need advice

A forum for Druid parents to discuss child-rearing issues and exchange ideas
Forum rules
If you find a topic of interest and want to continue the discussion then start a new topic under The Hearthfire with a similar name and add a link back to the topic you want to continue.
To copy a link just copy the url on the top left of your browser and then put in your post, highlight it and press the url button.
User avatar
Aphritha
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1453
Joined: 20 Jun 2012, 00:34
Gender: Female
Contact:

Considering homeschooling and need advice

Postby Aphritha » 20 Sep 2013, 00:20

My son is in second grade, and I've been increasingly considering homeschooling. After seeing a waiver to be on facebook(I did NOT grant permission) and learning the kids watch youtube for indoor recess, I'm growing more concerned with what my child is being taught. I want him to be a productive adult, not a mechanical drone. Though his staff and school have been typically supportive, I do not know if the values of public cirriculum and what I feel is important line up.
I've been weighing the pros and cons, but I'm having alot of trouble coming up with any sort of reliable material to go off of that isn't just trying to sell me something. Does anyone have any advice on where to go, who to ask, or personal experiences?
Some of my cons I'm having trouble with are:
1.My son's disbility. He's most likely got Asperger's, but I never had it diagnosed as I thought it would be counterproductive.
2.Socialization. Because of the Asperger's, my son has trouble socializing with other children to a point I feel it hinders his progress and could affect his quality of life. I have no friends with children, and have no close family to provide him with regular interaction with younger folks. Playing in the neighborhood isn't really a safe option at this time. The only homeschooling groups that offer interactive groups in the area are Christian, and being openly Pagan we would not be accepted, nor would I be open to it.
3.Costs. Public education is free. We are low income, and don't have extra money to spare. We can't really budget any tighter at this point. Alot of homeschool programs I've found are pricey(though I could be looking in the wrong places).
4.His attention span. I worry he won't listen to 'ol mom on school topics as well...he doesn't always for other things. He's generally good natured and cooperative, but does have boughts of anger that generally need his stepdad or grandfather to step in and help handle. Will he take me seriously when I try to teach him?
Has anyone else had these troubles and got through it, or are these worries valid?
Any insight is appreciated.


User avatar
Brân Gannaid
OBOD Bard
Posts: 313
Joined: 30 Aug 2013, 05:54
Gender: Female
Location: Tennessee, USA
Contact:

Re: Considering homeschooling and need advice

Postby Brân Gannaid » 20 Sep 2013, 10:06

Any insight is appreciated.
Have you tried your local public library? Lots of programs now exist, too, at museums, led by rangers at parks, etc. You might even try to connect with others through Meetup. There are quite a few near cities. It's just great that you care enough to consider this.
Soaring high on a wind current, I gaze down at the rugged shapes of the mountains and the shimmering water of the lakes, and thank the Goddess that I am Crow.
Image

User avatar
Sciethe
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 550
Joined: 03 Oct 2012, 22:34
Gender: Male
Location: Berkshire UK
Contact:

Re: Considering homeschooling and need advice

Postby Sciethe » 20 Sep 2013, 14:05

Hi Aphritha,
I spent a few years as a UK educator (biology GCSE and A-level) and before that assisted younger children with ADHD and Autism in the classroom. Taking it as read that home schooling is a great idea in general there are a few things to consider:
1. I've noticed that where parental ideals and school ideals very greatly the school is usually right about one thing and perhaps one thing only: the kind of world the child is going to have to enter as an adult. If the child is shielded from this then they may have difficulty later functioning as an autonomous adult.
2. School is a child's social life, and to the extent that they are able to make friends this is where they are most likely to do it. You mention that as a family you're quite isolated, and playing outside is a no-no. Where will your child play with friends?
3. Immunisation against the evils of the world and people- As your child grows up you will have many tears and crises from him or her about things which happen at school. These are a chance to show two things: a) That you still care about things which happen when you're not actually there, you are a safe place to come with troubles. b) That he can deal with things himself if they're not too large. Practising this is essential, and better done in a relatively secure environment like school early on rather than in adult life later.

So if you're going to home school I think you'll need to find these things as well as the teaching materials: Some way of his making friends that can be met with most days, somewhere he can play and experience a degree of freedom, some genuine challenges which you can't help with on the spot, and a way of understanding the world that he's going to walk into as a positive adult. Autism should be no major bar to that.

Really good luck with this, you're brave! :shake:
S
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him. For he is of the tribe of Tiger. Christopher Smart

User avatar
Aphritha
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1453
Joined: 20 Jun 2012, 00:34
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: Considering homeschooling and need advice

Postby Aphritha » 20 Sep 2013, 15:37

Thanks for all the insight! I appreciate the direction, as I don't have much to go off of. I haven't yet made up my mind, but I do want to examine all options.
1. I've noticed that where parental ideals and school ideals very greatly the school is usually right about one thing and perhaps one thing only: the kind of world the child is going to have to enter as an adult. If the child is shielded from this then they may have difficulty later functioning as an autonomous adult.
Because you said you were a UK educator, I'm led to believe the quality of education is alot better over there! In my own watered down public education, and the education of those who I grew up with, I feel it was BECAUSE of the educational system alot of people failed. They were just completely unprepared to deal with real life. There was so much focus on test scores(primarily the standardized where the school systems get their funding), the individuals were seldom looked at. College was always pressed, even when the individual wasn't ready and should have been worked with more. Often they went on to college, and promptly failed, not knowing what they were getting into. Unless your family had/has money, its alot harder to get the assitance you're supposed to get(I've had teachers here agree with me on this off the record). Sure, you'll get free lunch, but upper management is less likely to throw you the lifejackets you need to be successful in school.
Some of these things may not be the direct fault of the school itself, but the culture comes into play...my son's staff was so surprised to see he knew the alphabet in kindergarten(which I thought would be common knowledge at age 5). One teacher confessed to me a large number of kindergarteners come in not knowing what a book is, having never seen one. Perhaps I'm a dinosaur here, but I didn't think books were becoming that much of a rarity. I understand the need for a child to learn modern technology in this day and age, but what about basic skills(those were already lacking in my own education)?
3. Immunisation against the evils of the world and people- As your child grows up you will have many tears and crises from him or her about things which happen at school. These are a chance to show two things: a) That you still care about things which happen when you're not actually there, you are a safe place to come with troubles. b) That he can deal with things himself if they're not too large. Practising this is essential, and better done in a relatively secure environment like school early on rather than in adult life later.
I agree wholeheartedly here, and this is one of my big cons. I know a few people who were homeschooled for these reason, and it really threw up roadblocks in their adultlife. They all tended to be way too dependant on family and took off late in life with less than they should or could have, and I want to avoid this. Nothing wrong with asking family for help, of course, but mother not wanting you to move out shouldn't keep you at home in your late 20s with no friends because she didn't want you to talk to 'bad people'.
I'm confidant in his problem solving skills when it comes to inanimate objects, however. Mommy is no spoiler, and when something breaks, he's gotta fix it, or he's not using it(primarily because most of his toys are beyond mommy's mechanical knowledge). You get hurt, you clean the owie, grab a bandaid. He has the common knowledge if he doesn't feed his rabbits, they will die, simple cause and effect things. But yes, when it comes to people, I do worry. He doesn't always have the social skills to know when he's offending a peer, and has issue with personal space. He's a poor listener, and has trouble paying attention to what people are saying unless they become angry or upset(but I'd like it to not have to come to that). I do have programs at school in place to help him cope with these things, but I'm not sure how effective they are, as I'm not there to see. I did have one staff who used to give me an unbiased report of what was going on, despite the fact she was supposed to be sunny-faced and say "everything's great!", and this helped tremendously in tailoring his education to his needs, but she is no longer his staff this year, and I've felt like I've been left in the dark.
Ah, so many things to consider...thanks again for all input.


User avatar
Sciethe
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 550
Joined: 03 Oct 2012, 22:34
Gender: Male
Location: Berkshire UK
Contact:

Re: Considering homeschooling and need advice

Postby Sciethe » 20 Sep 2013, 23:45

Interesting answer Aphritha, I will impertinently add some more thoughts. I'm actually trained in this subject so I hope you don't mind.
Because you said you were a UK educator, I'm led to believe the quality of education is alot better over there!
It's patchy here, a lot of your observations about schooling are only too familiar I'm afraid. I'm not an educator now- poor pay and staffroom politics saw to that. I sometimes tutor, though not recently.
Often they went on to college, and promptly failed, not knowing what they were getting into.
This is a very important point, it's key. Most young people who fail at College/University/other further education do so because they don't know what they're meant to be doing there. They have no plan, and many if asked don't know what job or area of interest they are aiming for. You have a more difficult problem than usual, you need to start earlier helping him to decide his direction. With Autism (Autistic Spectrum, specifically Asperger's Syndrome) it's best if clear logical reasons for doing things are given. As time goes by, work out a plan with him- what he's realistically going to do in life. Involve all family members. He's unlikely to fail if he knows what he's aiming at and appreciates that there are things that have to be done to make his plans happen. All family members can give good feedback and encouragement for each small or large success. Structure for victory.
...my son's staff was so surprised to see he knew the alphabet in kindergarten(which I thought would be common knowledge at age 5).
You're right, but this shows that your son is quite able. Handy.
I'm confidant in his problem solving skills when it comes to inanimate objects, however.
A direction?
He doesn't always have the social skills to know when he's offending a peer, and has issue with personal space. He's a poor listener, and has trouble paying attention to what people are saying unless they become angry or upset(but I'd like it to not have to come to that).
An Asperger's child that I had charge of overcame this by gradually rote learning exaggerated good manners. He was a delight to be around eventually, though obviously slightly unusual. Odd, but nice. He got on quite well at school and had many understanding friends. Personal space issues are particularly helped with a formal and expected handshake for instance.
I did have one staff who used to give me an unbiased report of what was going on, despite the fact she was supposed to be sunny-faced and say "everything's great!", and this helped tremendously in tailoring his education to his needs, but she is no longer his staff this year, and I've felt like I've been left in the dark.
First job then. Discuss the feedback you need with the school. And remember, a child with a plan get the best out of his teachers. :D
Very best,
S
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him. For he is of the tribe of Tiger. Christopher Smart

User avatar
Aphritha
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1453
Joined: 20 Jun 2012, 00:34
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: Considering homeschooling and need advice

Postby Aphritha » 21 Sep 2013, 16:20

Thank you for taking the time to throw so much information my way. I'm finding it very useful, in any educational setting.
With Autism (Autistic Spectrum, specifically Asperger's Syndrome) it's best if clear logical reasons for doing things are given. As time goes by, work out a plan with him- what he's realistically going to do in life. Involve all family members. He's unlikely to fail if he knows what he's aiming at and appreciates that there are things that have to be done to make his plans happen. All family members can give good feedback and encouragement for each small or large success. Structure for victory.

This is the route I've always found most productive to take with him. I find its best to talk to him as an adult, as he seems to have more of a grown-up mind frame than a child's. We leave the sugar-coating for the muffins, and we're blunt and honest with him. I don't always get approval for my methods, but I've known the boy since he was born, and its what works. If you spend too much time on words, he stops listening.
We talk from time to time about later life, but at this point its mostly for learning purposes. The key lessons lately have been about money and working, as we're trying to teach him you can't just ask someone for cash and it appears. "Sam(stepdad) works at the restaurant so we can have money. Money buys our house and food." He's learned the lesson of being broke recently, as he spent all his allowance and got upset when we wouldn't replace it. Good lesson, but its taking some time to sink in. When asked what he wants to do for work, he says he wants to work at a restaurant and pass the cooks potatos. We try to divert him to the idea of 'chef', as one person simply can't pass out potatos all day!
He doesn't always have the social skills to know when he's offending a peer, and has issue with personal space. He's a poor listener, and has trouble paying attention to what people are saying unless they become angry or upset(but I'd like it to not have to come to that).
An Asperger's child that I had charge of overcame this by gradually rote learning exaggerated good manners. He was a delight to be around eventually, though obviously slightly unusual. Odd, but nice. He got on quite well at school and had many understanding friends. Personal space issues are particularly helped with a formal and expected handshake for instance.

The handshake is a good idea. From what his teacher said last year, he would sometimes crowd his classmates, leaning against them at circle time, walking right next to them, just general personal space violation. Sometimes he asks unusual questions, which I think he does when he doesn't know what else to say, but most of his classmates knew him well enough to redirect him, or tell him to stop in a polite way. I loved the students helped him out like this, and requested he stay with at least a few of the more 'motherly' children in class this year. I was told the request would be honored, but on the first day of school, I saw he'd been seperated from all of them. If I hear of trouble with the new classmates, I could make the suggestion of the handshake as an acceptable form of affection.
His manners are great with adults, however. He interacts and converses(sometimes getting a little bossy). However, with people his own age, he gets quiet. If he does chose to play with them, he tends to let them boss him around. Sometimes the inappropriate questions upset them, but he doesn't realize. A friend of mine who had him in her care for the day had to rescue him out of a playground fight because he asked someone if they were a boy or girl(clearly, they were a girl). He knows, it was just an idle nervous question. We've been working forever to direct him to statements that make sense to the situation, and he does well when someone else initiates conversation, but has trouble doing so on his own.
I did have one staff who used to give me an unbiased report of what was going on, despite the fact she was supposed to be sunny-faced and say "everything's great!", and this helped tremendously in tailoring his education to his needs, but she is no longer his staff this year, and I've felt like I've been left in the dark.
First job then. Discuss the feedback you need with the school. And remember, a child with a plan get the best out of his teachers. :D

I've been having alot of trouble with this during the current school year. Despite me holding a meeting at the begining of the year to address my concerns, I feel I've been basically brushed off and patronized any time I've dealt with the school. Communication with parents is actully discouraged by administration, which I think is why his former staff was removed from him(she let me know just about everything a normal parent would want to know about their child in school). To be perfectly fair, I can see why the attitude was adopted in the first place. There are alot of parents I've seen who will completely go off the deep end if you suggest their little angel may have misbehaved in class that day, but it makes it a whole lot more difficult for those of us who want to know what's going on. "Yes, Mrs. Clark(I'm not Mrs. Clark), everything is going smoothly here at school" tends to be the typical response I get, even when I'm lead to believe otherwise. With the former staff gone, I've really had no idea what's going on anymore. I've been thinking on calling another meeting(I want to have his listening skills addressed in his formal education program), but I'm afraid they're going to smile, nod, and dismiss me again. The red tape is enough to drive one bonkers...


User avatar
Menevengiel
OBOD Bard
Posts: 71
Joined: 30 Jul 2013, 01:02
Gender: Female
Location: Valdosta, GA
Contact:

Re: Considering homeschooling and need advice

Postby Menevengiel » 23 Sep 2013, 12:18

Hey Aphritha, I won't go point by point which makes for a LONG post, but I will share something brief.

I homeschool two of my three. We had HUGE issues with bullying because my children are "different". We are pagan in a Southern community of Christians and at times that alone is enough. If you also happen to even LOOK like you are a part of the LGBT community, you are a target here as well. After years of being a target I had promised my son that if I could not get the school to make a difference, he would be permitted to homeschool. Long story short I also experienced the condescension and brush-off as if I was some sort of over indulgent helicopter parent and so here we are.

Look up Connections Academy. It IS public school but it is done from HOME online. They even assist with getting you a PC loaner and an internet connection. I am not sure if they are offered in your state yet but it meets all the state and federal curriculum requirements wit a MCH broader range of offerings on top of that AND you have much more control over what your child is exposed to. The only drawbacks thus far have been a TON more work for me AND the socialization. I have to be much more creative when it comes to finding social opportunities for my kids and sports are not an option so nobody will letter in school or be on the varsity here. I consider it worth it, all things considered.
Image

User avatar
Aphritha
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1453
Joined: 20 Jun 2012, 00:34
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: Considering homeschooling and need advice

Postby Aphritha » 23 Sep 2013, 19:54

Thank you for the tip; I'll check them out.


User avatar
Menevengiel
OBOD Bard
Posts: 71
Joined: 30 Jul 2013, 01:02
Gender: Female
Location: Valdosta, GA
Contact:

Re: Considering homeschooling and need advice

Postby Menevengiel » 24 Sep 2013, 15:46

Good luck! It's a lot of work to homeschool but since my kids are not learning sex-ed on the school bus and not practicing the 43 creative uses of the F word (or some other stupid thing the "cool kids" do), I am MUCH happier LOL. My kids also do not get ridiculed because I won't allow anyone under the age of 16 to have a Facebook account (look there isn't a 12 year old in the world who needs a facebook page to post shirtless selfies to and talk about how "the ho's in the school love dis." or some other nonsense). If there is a bus to be driven when it comes to my kids, I prefer to be the one driving it LOL.
Image

User avatar
Aphritha
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1453
Joined: 20 Jun 2012, 00:34
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: Considering homeschooling and need advice

Postby Aphritha » 24 Sep 2013, 15:57

It's a lot of work to homeschool but since my kids are not learning sex-ed on the school bus and not practicing the 43 creative uses of the F word (or some other stupid thing the "cool kids" do), I am MUCH happier LOL.
Hm. Since mine is learning to swear on the bus, where are they teaching his sex ed? :-) Not that I think he'd comprehend that with his age and mindset. The language...well, that's something else. We've got it under better control now, but last year in school, we couldn't figure out where all these potty words were coming from(he was using them at me AND his teachers). One day his staff looked at who he sat next to on the bus and made the connection...
I'm very fortunate I haven't had to deal with the bully problem yet...hope it stays that way. Kids seem to get mean when they hit that teenie-bopper stage, though...


User avatar
Menevengiel
OBOD Bard
Posts: 71
Joined: 30 Jul 2013, 01:02
Gender: Female
Location: Valdosta, GA
Contact:

Re: Considering homeschooling and need advice

Postby Menevengiel » 26 Sep 2013, 12:36

Hm. Since mine is learning to swear on the bus, where are they teaching his sex ed? :-) Not that I think he'd comprehend that with his age and mindset. The language...well, that's something else. We've got it under better control now, but last year in school, we couldn't figure out where all these potty words were coming from(he was using them at me AND his teachers). One day his staff looked at who he sat next to on the bus and made the connection...
I'm very fortunate I haven't had to deal with the bully problem yet...hope it stays that way. Kids seem to get mean when they hit that teenie-bopper stage, though...
ROFL... I had this mental image of them slowly turning their heads and looking at the kid next to yours on the bus and a lightbulb flashing on. :idea: and then saw the emoticon. Nearly snotted my coffee on my monitor...

I remember kids being cruel when I was a kid but they seem to do it so much younger these days. The bullying on Bri started in middle school, and it had actually improved when he entered high school (before a really vicious kid moved into the area and started on him which was when I pulled him OUT of that school). Kids SEEM to be getting more and more aware of the effects of bullying once they get to the high school level but not enough and too slowly. Too many kids are killing themselves over this. It's so scary.

The UP side of homeschooling :D you CAN incorporate and "blend" into the curriculum, some of your belief system as well. As we worked on Greek and Roman mythology here, we learned the names of Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses as well as the Wheel of the Year and the esbat/Sabbat meanings. I like them learning to LEARN and I like teaching them. Homeschooling gives me the chance to teach them HOW to learn not just WHAT to learn. These curricula designed to make sure your kid passes those state mandated aptitude tests these days... psh... they don't TEACH children anymore they just prepare them for tests so the schools get their numbers/funding. SO done with that.
Image

User avatar
Aphritha
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1453
Joined: 20 Jun 2012, 00:34
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: Considering homeschooling and need advice

Postby Aphritha » 27 Sep 2013, 00:18

Yes, it irritates me to no end the education isn't about the education anymore, its about $. I suppose anything is anymore... I know a guy that graduated but can't read. Great going, public schools!
I've been teaching my son as much as I an outside of school...he knows som Greek mythology, too. Perhaps he'd talk well with your kids...he once told me he had a headache, and instructed I go get an ax. (We had to talk about how that method doesn't work for everyone.)
Too many people these day graduate with great grades, yet can't figure out the mystery of the washing machine...



Return to “Druid Parenting”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests