Homeschooling: Why We Chose this Adventure

My son has been in public school since PreK. He has done a great job in school even though he has had to work twice as hard as other kids because he has some learning challenges. He is sweet, kind, generous, and his teachers have all told us that they love him. He also has a rare disorder called Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. It’s a mouthful and he knows all about it. He even did a powerpoint with one of his teachers in seventh grade to share with his peers. If you didn’t know that he had a rare condition you might think he is on the autism spectrum but he is not. He does get very excited about certain things, he tends to get along really well with younger kids, and has a speech delay. I have been asked before what kind of accent he has. Over the years he has had fantastic teachers. You may be asking yourself why we chose to homeschool this year since it sounds like he has had such a great experience up to this point. Well, I will tell you.

Over the last several years I have been a substitute teacher at the elementary and middle school levels. I have gotten to bear witness to how schools have changed since I was in high school. There are wonderful teachers in our districts and there are many, many wonderful kids in our district but it only takes one bad apple to ruin the bunch. Unfortunately for our teachers this means they spend so much time having to discipline “that one kid” that the 26-30 other kids in the class miss out on instruction time. I have a child with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). He needs the extra help. Since out district is pretty much one hundred percent inclusion that means that the kids that have IEP’s for emotional disturbance and other diagnosis for harmful behaviors are included in all classes. In the last few years In School Suspension was taken away so even if a kid is sent to the office for “restorative discipline” they are back in class ten minutes later with a sucker and pat on the head. I have seen a kid body slam another kid, go to the office, and come back in ten minutes. The victim then has to continue sharing space with the attacker.

When the time came to start thinking about where my son would go to school I started subbing at the high school level so I could see things from the inside. You can go to all of the open houses you want but you don’t really see the school from the inside. I went to our zoned school for two days. Kids were vaping in the halls, I walked through a group of kids making plans to beat someone up later, and saw a kid screaming in a teacher’s face. I went to an artsy magnet school, when I told the office who I was subbing for they laughed in my face and gave me directions to the Dean’s office. I went to an early college high school which was pretty good but you have to meet certain test requirements. I went to a school that had internships that I thought would be amazing but they wouldn’t let the freshmen in the hallway with the sophomores because there were too many fights in the halls. Honestly, if my son was going to be in honors classes I probably would have let him go to our zoned school. The classes are smaller and there are fewer behavior problems. But, he has an IEP so he is in inclusion classes with the general population which means he misses out on actual learning time. I should point out that my daughter goes to public school but it is a magnet school with test requirements so it is hard but she is thriving there.

When homeschooling started to become more of an option I was terrified. I want the very best for my kids like every other parent. For him, this is the best option at the moment. He gets the extra time and attention he needs to up his skills. He gets to spend time with other kids at tutorial.

For our homeschooling we have an Umbrella School that takes care of maintaining his transcript and he goes to tutorial for Science, Spanish, and Band. At home we do History, English, PE, Bible, and Algebra 1. First semester went pretty well. All A’s and B’s. We are changing a few things up for second semester and I hope they are helpful for him. I realize everyone does not have the option to homeschool and I am thankful that we get to be on this path!

One Comment on “Homeschooling: Why We Chose this Adventure

  1. I’m glad you made the choice to homeschool this year. He’s a wonderful kid and I know you are doing what’s best for him.😘

    Like

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