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As some of you may know, I homeschooled my grandson, who has high functioning autism, in second grade. We had a great experience! The next year he went to public school because of pressure from attorney's during a child custody issue. The issue is not longer a problem.
The next year he made the honor roll and won first prize in the science fair. I am so proud of him!
I was so surprised when my grandson asked me to homeschool him, yesterday! Not that I can just say yes. I wish I could, but I can't. HIs mother leans more towards traditional school. She believes traditional school with afford him more opportunities for socialization. Sadly, in our situation, it's true. My daughter is not a social butterfly, she is a single, hard working woman, with little time to create freindships for her son. She spends little time herself socializing, herself. Something, I would ike her to change. She is a late bloomer. I do notice signs that she is slowly becoming more social though. So between peer pressure and her lack of a social life my grandson has less of a chance to be homeschooled. I have invested my energy in developing a long term relationship with my grandson and his best friend. They have been best freinds since Kindergarden. They see eachother several times a week and are famous for getting along. Myself, I'm close friends with his mom. Despite our age difference, we have become close friends. I am always on the lookout for more friends for my grandson. It's hard to find friends at my grandson's school. I never see the parents and my grandson hasn't found anyone he really clicks with. At least not yet. He does have friends at school and he's well liked, but none he wants to play with at home. He has freinds he plays with regularly after swimming at the pool area. He has fun doing that, but so far he hasn't found anyone he'd like to bring home. I'm thinking of inviting one of his swim friends to his house. I think, if I don't take the initiative, it will not happen. I think part of the problem is I'm from a different generation. It takes a while for some parents to warm up to me.
There's a reason my grandson asked me to be homeschooled. He said, he wants me to teach him how to write better. He's a good writer, but he wants it to be better. From a child's point of view. He said his teacher doesn't read enough books to be a good enough to teach writing effectively. Lol. This is something I need to further discuss with him. I thought the comment was interesting. His teacher is dedicated and a very good teacher. So I'm not exactly sure where this comment, from my grandson, came from. But knowing him, I know he gave it some thought. He's introspective.
There's pro's and con's about regular school. I'm not very impressed with the school, as a system, in general. The past two years they have spent little time on social studies and science. This is the first year the chiildren are writing! In third grade they only did one paragraph answers to workbook questions. My grandson is in an excellerated level classroom, but he's very advanced at math. I think he could be more challenged in the math area. To me, the system seems a little bland. I'm sure by middle school things will be more rounded out, but that's for another topic.
It was so exciting to hear my grandson ask me! I am still hopeful! Wouldn't it be wonderful to enrich his life with so many fun things. And we could go back to the cooperative and he could make friends there, too.
Oh well, right now it's just a dream
Well, you could "afterschool" him. :-) Or weekend school. I know lots of people who do that with less-than-satisfactory educational placements. There are so many fun curriculums out there for writing, social studies/history, & science. Why not beef up what he's learning a bit? That is, unless he's totally swamped with homework already! :-)
Do a 'net search for it and see if there are any online groups at Yahoo, Google, Big Tent, etc. where you could learn more about it. I've always HS'ed my profoundly gifted son, but my autistic (among other disabilities) daughter has always been in public school...with some afterschooling.
Just pray about it and maybe it will no longer be a dream! The Lord just gave me a 20-year dream this summer!
Thanks for responding.
At this time, I help him with his homework and give him a little extra stuff to do on the weekends. He's busy with a fair amount of homework afterschool and then he has his swimming and Kung Fu. Thank goodness he's receptive to me. I'm going to be tutoring reading in his class very soon! So at least I'll be there to absorb what he's being taught. It will be an asset, because I can compliment what he's learning with his work after school. I do have a hand in his school work, because I frequently speak to his teachers. Often, I give suggestions and they take them very well. Last week I told the teacher I was concerned about social studies being swept aside. The teacher let me have his text for the weekend. On Monday they read the same chapter and had a test. I think it may have been a reminder. They are way behind schedule in Social Studies! As far as the subject of science is concerned, I have to mind their business with it., too Lol.
I have the most amazing science fair lesson plan I found online last year. I'm hoping they will adopt it. It fits their agenda and it's very practical. Next week I have a meeting with the lead science teacher, so we'll see. It's a 22 page lesson plan (rubric) for the science fair geared to students and parents. Every month there is another lesson to complete at home. Included with it are thought provoking questions and a signature for the parent to sign. I highly recommend it.
If the teacher doesn't accept it. I'm going to use this for my grandson's science fair project this year. He'll have fun with it.
Thanks for reminding me to pray for this. I'm going to pray daily for my grandson to be homeschooled. I've had miracles happen to me with prayer, too. A particlular direction is sometimes good. If the lord wills it, it will happen. I'll leave it up to him. In the meantime, appreciating what my grandson has right now, is what I know I must do.
Have you looked into spliting it up. Maybe take half a day of public school and then homeschool half. That would get him the socialization that his mom thinks he needs to get at school and you could teach math and writing at home. I have heard of people doing this, but it would depend on your state and school.
Sharon, thank you so much for thinking out of the box!
I need to look into Florida law, but offhand, I think it does allow part time homeschooling. Assuming it does. This sounds like a good idea!
The challenge would be to wait for the right time to propose this option to my daughter.
I wish there wasn't so much prejudice and peer pressure against homeschooling! People just don't know how social, how educational and how enriching it is for many children.
It's ironic how this all came about. I mean my grandson asking me to homeschool him. When we ended second grade homeschooling, my grandson said he wanted to go to "real school". He said he wanted to be with lots of kids and do easier work. Lol. I told him one day he will come to me and tell me "regular school" is not so much fun. I explained, he won't be playing with kids at school. They don't allow talking in class and between classes they have to get ready for the next class. I told him he may find the school work a little boring at times. He disagreed with me, of course. Lol. I haven't said a word since that day. I've been nothing but supportive of his "regular school". I'm looking forward to the next time my grandson brings the subject up again. My guess is he thinks "regular school" is a little too regular! Lol.
Blessings to both of you for helping me out.
A homeschool co-op or group that meets regularly for activities, classes, and field trips may be the solution to the social issue. If you know other homeschoolers ask around. I'm sure they could point you to some groups.
Thank you for sharing those details. Your grandson is lucky to have you.
I would encourage you to help him with the writing in after school time. Then it would be a win/win situation for all.
Also how about starting a book club since he loves to read and feels there is not enough generated from school. You would run it. He could invite a few friends he knows. Or, you could ask to hold it at the library and open it to the pubilc. Maybe he would make new friends there with the shared interest. You could meet once a month. What books you pick could be chosen by the kids with your guidance.
Thinking back to my own childhood and teen years I never relied on the schools to provide me with enough reading. Starting in elementary school I was a regular user of the public library. At nine our family started going to a used book shop and would buy and then swap back the books for credit. Maybe you could explain that doing more reading on his own is normal and a way of life it is not the school's job to provide ALL that he is interested in. I have strong memories of learing in about grade 4 that the library and books could open a world of learning to me that went above and beyond what school offered. Maybe your grandson is starting to realize this? Maybe by talking him directly and clearly about this, to give more encouragment to keep reading and how to find new books to read ON HIS OWN and making it clear that it is a separate issue from SCHOOL is a good idea. He seems ripe to hear such things.
So even if you can't start homeschooling him how about doing those things to encourage the reading and working with him on writing?
This is not an "all or nothing" situation and it can teach him that life sometimes is best with flexibility and compromise. Making the best of a given situation. We don't always get all that we want ideally but we make the best of what we have, we should learn to make do.
I am so happy to hear he did well in school last year, that it wasn't a negative or damaging experience!
On the social thing I commend you for realizing it takes work to cultivate a friendship. We moved long distance and I'm seeing how hard it is to "break in" when kids are in organized activities. They are busy doing the thing they are at (i.e. Boy Scout meeting) but they are busy in other areas so my kids are not seeing those nice kids outside of the organized activity (yet). The kids in the community are busy doing multiple extra-curricular activities and the school kids have homework. The homeschooler's schedules are so varied due to the many interesting things they do at various times of the day that they are not always available for "just time with friends". The grade 7 and up kids are slammed with homework from school or are busy with increased academics for homeschooling.
I am a 35 yr old single mom, never married. I still live with my parents and have during the entire course of my son's 14 years. My son has tourettes, ADHD and OCD. I have tried private school, homeschooling and now 2 years of public schooling. My son showed the most promise during the 3 years my mom and I homeschooled him. Recently, we have decided to make a 4 year commitment to homeschool him for all 4 years of HS. Like your daughter, I believed my son needed the social interaction. I knew that it would be hard to adjust but felt that my son needed the opportunities to learn how to deal with social interactions, despite my wanting to shield him from some of the junk that occurs in school (bullying). Turns out he spent more time trying to learn how to survive in the school than he did learning an education.
I finally decided to pull him out, not even allowing him to finish his 8th grade year and my mom and started last week homeschooling him again.
I kept telling my mom that she had already sacrificed so much of her life to help me and that it was HER turn to have a life. I felt like a huge burden and I told her that if I did not have my parents around to help, the reality would be that I would have to send him to public school. Even through all this, she has decided to help me in order to save my son's education.
During our previous homeschool experience I found the following things very helpful (you may want to research this in your local area in Florida to see if you have anything comparible and then approach your daughter.)
We became members of the Texas Homeschool Coalition. I am including a link so you can take a look at it and see if FL offers something similar. http://www.thsc.org/HomeTHSC.aspx?Id=HOME
We also became members of some local homeschool associations. Some of them you had to pay annual membership dues. These groups would have field trips that were scheduled and even "park days" that would provide social interactions for the students. I found these associations to be a great support, not only for my mom and I, but also for my son.
We also outsource some of the subjects (like Foreign language) through a local place here that actually hires teachers and they have classrooms in which the children receive their curriculum/instruction. It's a great way to still provide some of that "classroom" experience.
There are many ways to still maintain that socialization. The issue may be finding avenues for special needs. I know they are out there though.
I liked the suggestion about looking into half days. That sounds like a great compromise to offer up to your daughter.
If you would like to contact me personally, please feel free! I realize that my son's special needs may differ from the needs of a child with autism spectrum but I do understand what it means to have a child with HIGH intelligence that struggles on doing some of the most simplest things- and some of the challenges that go with that. Also, not knowing how old your daughter is, feel free to let her know my experiences and that I would be happy to share them with her personally. It may help for her to talk to a fellow single mom should she want to venture into the topic. :)
No matter what is decided though, it sounds like you have a special young man there that is thirsty for knowledge. I would definitely encouarge any outside help you could provide even if its just during the moments you share with him...snuggling up and reading a book that is maybe more advanced than other children, just to see what he may be able to discuss with you. One thing I have realized is that even the most simple, everday, mundane chores can be turned into an amazing educational experience! :) Including LAUNDRY....although I still don't find it fun. ha!
Joy, thanks so much for writing me!
My grandson's pulling mostly all A's and a B in one subject in his advanced, regular classroom. And his teacher's, assistant principal, school counselor and ESE consult teacher all say he's doing remarkably well socially in all of his classes. They say he's well liked in his classrooms and participates freely. I think being in public school has been good for him in terms of social skills. It's been like a concentrated social skills opportunity. He's always being bombarded by social challenges, whether it be a screaming teacher (yes the teacher's scream on occation) or a vicarious bullying incident. (although the school is great about anti-bulling, it does occur). So, in that sense he's doing well, BUT I certainly think he could have a much better education and have better social opportunities. I would like him to be in a cooperative classroom that would include more group social interaction and spontaneous contact with his peers. I would especially like him to be involved working in teams. (A recommendation from his psych eval, too). His classroom experiences afford him little opportunity for team workmanship. They work in groups of four, but it's highly structured and there's not much team work done. In Miami there is a HUGE drive to meet state testing requirements, so the teachers are very pressed for time. There's little opportunity to deviate from their cookbook approach, unfortunately. For this reason alone, I'm not pleased. My grandson complains the pace is so fast he hardly has time to put his pencil away in his bookbag and zip it up. Lol. It's true, the school mirrors the working world. In this sense it's good preparation. But the lack of team work concerns me. I can guarantee homeschooling would afford more opportunities for team work and if my daughter wanted a high pressure testing method, it could be easily arranged by me.
The problem is the stigma attached to homeschooling. I don't know of any friends or professionals that my daughter knows who advocate homeschooling. They all don't know anything about it and are prejudiced against it. My daughter has her mind made up. She doesn't understand that homeschooling is what you make of it. I think she believes that all her son's social skills needs are being met at school just because he's with children all day. It's rather frustrating.
As for half a day homeschooling. I'm going to have to look into how I could arrange it. I would like my grandson to take a writing class at one of the cooperatives with homework and also supplemental writing and reading at home. When we were homeschooling we did something like that and it worked out really well. The class was the cooperative "publishing" class. My grandson learned so much and he was so proud of his work. The class did the cooperative's monthly newspaper. Each child did an article and had a job editing, proof reading, reporting, etc. The newspaper was distributed to the cooperative in person and online. It was put in Google Docs. Everything was done by the students. It was a very creative and interesting class. We both miss it. A thought would be I could hold a class something like that for homeschoolers myself in my own home. Of course, my grandson would be invited. Maybe my daughter would be interested in that. I can also do an art class since I'm good at teaching arts and craft and love it. Just food for thought
As my grandson enters the middle school years, I think my daughter will have to think long and hard. There will be a school change for middle school. Our neighborhood middle school is not in the best of neighborhoods even if it's a good school academically. Even though it's not untill September 2013, preparation will need to be done starting January 2013. That's only one year from now. I think I"ll start researching different options.
Thanks so much for writing me and to all of those concerned about this type of issue. I know we're not the only one. You're so generous to offer your phone support. I'd like to talk to you myself. Maybe, when the time is right, my daughter would like to speak to you, too.
My adult son has Asperger's and ADHD. He was in public school up until 9th grade. He was homeschooled after that. If there's anything I can do for you, let me know. I might be able to help in some way.
Blessing and much appreciation.
Last Edited on: 1/15/12 9:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Christine, I must have missed your post. I just read it.
A book club sounds like a great idea! Truly, what a great idea!
Friday nights or Saturday morning, when the kids are refreshed may be a good time. I'm going to put together a list of books with my grandson and call some parents.
I'll let you know how it turns out.
Thanks very much!!!