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View Full Version : Considering Homeschooling...Advice Please



DancingShamrock
10-31-2016, 11:31 AM
Hi Everyone -
I'm new to posting in this group, but I've been reading it for quite a long time. I have been considering homeschooling for several years now, but have not because we usually find a situation that eventually works for DS (13).

DS has dyslexia and likely also has dysgraphia and dyscalculia. From 5th-7th he attended a program that was specifically for children with learning disabilities. It worked well for him, but it only goes through the 8th grade. Even though it worked well for him, he didn't like it much, but we kept him there because we saw progress. We decided to send him to a different school for 8th grade because we felt he needed a transition year prior to starting high school. Our intention was to keep him at the new school through high school.

We are about 2.5 months in to the new school and it has been a very rough transition. I do not feel that he is doing well. While he likes his new school, I do not feel like they are able to spend enough time with him one-on-one to ensure he is really learning concepts. This is especially true for math. I feel like we are spending hours at home anyway reteaching the concepts he has not learned well enough during the day. DS is also not accepting of help from his teachers so that is another obstacle we are encountering.

It is tiring for him and it is tiring for me. I feel like we would be better off spending quality time learning the topics rather than me trying to squeeze in another 2 hours of studying every night. I feel that at the rate we are going I might as well be homeschooling him anyway because I am the one who is finding he worksheets he needs to do in order to learn the concepts. The curriculum they are using just isn't doing it for him.

DS is resentful that he has to work more when he gets home from school. He is not used to having homework. He also has chronic pain issues that interrupt his sleep so some days he works better than others.

I am panicking. I am at a loss as to what to do for him. He is extremely smart, but I feel that his LD is always getting in the way. He has to work so hard just to get Bs and Cs and I know that he is capable of more. He has no energy left at the end of the day to do anything fun. He often comes home, eats dinner and heads straight to bed. He is anxious and depressed.

I am trying to give him time to transition because I know that it can take several months, but at this point I'm considering homeschooling starting after Christmas break because DS's happiness is more important to me than school right now. DS is in a small (like 30 kids) private school. It might be possible to homeschool for just a semester and then get him back in next fall. I'm really grasping right now. I'm trying not to do something rash, but I also know that I have to consider doing SOMETHING.

Has anyone here been in this situation? What did you do? How did it work out? Any and all advice appreciated.

Thanks!
Michelle

crazyme
10-31-2016, 01:24 PM
Well, the frustration won't necessarily end for you when you start HS, as you are now the only target for his misdirected emotions. This isn't a reason to not HS, just trying to be real about it. But my teenage son has a great relationship with both myself and my husband, despite this. Also, you can keep changing programs until you find something that fits, which they don't do in "regular" school.

It sounds like you have nothing to lose. Be careful how you frame it so he doesn't think that he isn't smart enough for school. I always frame it that public school is kind of for suckers. I also highlight how he (my son) can individualize his education toward his interests and goals.

Be careful when buying curriculum; keep sampling ones before you settle. In the end, Kahn academy is what works for my son, and it's free. Several people here advise setting a weekly list of assignments/lessons for teens. I think I'm going to start doing this. Teens sleep late and stay up late and he has so many activities and such, that it is starting to get hard to find time to teach, plus he doesn't need too much teaching these days. Definitely not something for you to start out with, but something to keep in mind.

Someone else had a great perspective on high school English in a thread on the Middle/High School forum (Oksana maybe?), so check over there, too.

Mariam
10-31-2016, 04:19 PM
While I don't have a high schooler yet, I do understand the need to prioritize emotional health. We have been doing that with our plan.

I agree with crazyme, especially with the idea that framing it as the ability to customize his education so that it works with his interests and his goals. School uses a cookie-cutter approach and if it is not working, then students are left struggling when they do have to be.

He would be left time for things like sleep and what he enjoys if he doesn't have work to do when he gets home.

Carmaline
10-31-2016, 11:07 PM
You can always try it and have him go back to private school if it's not a good fit. My daughter is 13 and has dyslexia and a couple other learning issues similar to your son. I am an accidental homeschooler because of this. My other two kids choose to not be homeschooled. This is our third year and she is much less stressed and happier overall. We have found a great online private school that allows for accommodations and is accredited. Pm me if you want. Good luck!

farrarwilliams
11-01-2016, 12:18 AM
He's currently in a private school? I think you've got the wrong school if he's struggling that much. The primary advantage of private school is the ability to choose the right place for your kid. If he's struggling this much and not getting the help he needs, it might be a great school for other kids, but not for him.

The main thing I noticed that was missing from your post is what he wants to do. You said he likes the school, but that he's not happy with the workload. How does he feel about being homeschooled? At this age, the social atmosphere really matters to kids. And I think you won't get far trying to homeschool a kid who isn't at least partially on board with being homeschooled.

I guess... homeschooling could be the right solution. But you said you're grasping and your post feels like you're grasping. Figure out what the goals are. Figure out if homeschooling would be short or long term. Think about high school (I assume that's next year for him?) very carefully - in many states, if you start out homeschooling it can be extremely difficult to go back into the system just because of the way credits are done.