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Topic: How do I set up a social network. Thinking about homeschooling

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Subject: How do I set up a social network. Thinking about homeschooling
Date Posted: 5/4/2009 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,828
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Hi,

 

I am seriously thinking about home schooling my grandson. He has high functioning Autism and is in a regular classroom doing advanced work. My only really big question is how does one set up a social network for him. I don't want him to be isolated. He is an only child. We live in the Miami florida area.

I welcome anyone to share their experiences, ideas and recommend resources.

 

Thank you,

 

Elona

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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I would contact your state & local homeschooling organizations.  Then join Yahoo Groups and look for groups of HS'ers in your area.  There are many ASD HS'ing groups, too, but they're national.

You could get him involved in scouts or 4H.  Our scout troop has about 5 ASD boys in it and they all do wonderfully.

There may be some HS co-ops around you, also.  Those are great ways to find friends since the kids see each other every week.  After our local co-op classes, kids are always shuffling between families, going off on some adventure or just fun time with each other.

I have a daughter with autism, but she's in public school.  I homeschool her brother.

JC

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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Ditto what D.C. said and I'll add to keep friends he has from school. Arrange playdates after school hours and weekends with nice kids he likes from school.

My kids have always been HSed but some of their best friends go to public or private school (met through Scouts). Our HS friends are way busier than schooling families so the school kids have more time for playdates especially on weekends. Some of my good friends who HS keep weekends sacred as family time so that nixxes social time on weekends with those kids.

My kids also have acquaintences they see for social time at homschool park days 1x per week and other kids they see at cHS classes and activities they do on a regular basis over many years time.

Good luck!

Subject: Home schooling social networking
Date Posted: 5/5/2009 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,828
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Hi,

 

Thank you so much for your ideas everyone. I really appreciate you helping me with this. There's so much to learn. I've heard great things about home schooling, but people don't talk much about the social part of it much.

 

 Thanks again,

 

 

Elona



Last Edited on: 5/5/09 12:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/9/2009 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2008
Posts: 118
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For my daughter, we have a home schooling group that meets in the park once a month. In addition, we have each girl (actually each child) pick an activity. For my girls, it is dance. They are dancing twice a week with a great group of girls all the same age. Both are also involved in brownies and girl scouts. We are also involved as a family in a soup kitchen that feeds the hungry once a week. All the kids are involved and work with other families and adults from our church. We do not help that often but they are all there at least once a month. My advice is to pick something your grandson enjoys that he can do at least once a week that involves other kids. Find another activity that you can do as a family to help others and do that regularly. That could be anything from helping in a library to keeping an elderly neighbor's yard nice. Do some brainstorming. Ask what he would enjoy. Ask what activities his friends are involved in and consider signing him up as well. You might live in a neighborhood with a great swim team or a fabulous fencing teacher. Ask around and take advantage of what is available. Think hard about what you have always enjoyed. Do you like baseball, or golf, playing bridge or watching birds? What can you share with your grandson? This is the fun part of home schooling. We have time to try these activities without homework always getting in the way.
Subject: Home schooling 05/09/09
Date Posted: 5/9/2009 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,828
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Hi,

Thank you Jane for your advise. I will definitely have to find a home schooling group that meets regularly.  I don't know how to find one, but using the internet for my area might be a start. I wonder if there is a home schooling organization in my area. Since my grandson is high functioning and is Autistic I will get in touch with CARD.( This is a national organization to which we belong that helps children and adults that fit into Autism Spectrum Disorder  and those that are deaf-blind). They may have contacts that can lead me to home schoolers. CARD does have groups that meet regularly, but the youngest age group is pre-teen. I wonder whether I can convince them to start a group for younger children. I don't see why not. That would be so cool. Right now Jiovanni is in a research Social Skills group that meets twice a week. It will be ending in four weeks. He is starting to become friendly with a boy in that group. Maybe it'll work out and he'll have a friend from there. Boy scouts is ideal. Since he won't have to suffer the exhaustion from the long school day I think Boy scouts could actually be an option. The long school day with all the sensory stimulation exhausts him, especially after finishing homework. I really do want him to develop friendships with other home schoolers, though. I think that should be his staple. What do you all think?

Thank you for your great ideas. They are helping me think out of the box.

 

Elona



Last Edited on: 5/9/09 4:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/11/2009 8:43 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 662
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Elona--

If you haven't come across it yet, here is the website for a Florida homeschooling organization:  www.fpea.com/

They should be able to help you find groups in your area.  Hope that helps!

When I started homeschooling 10 years ago, we were involved in so many activities (swimming, church stuff, a girls club, neighborhood play time) that I didn't worry about social opportunities.  I did find, however, that I needed to find a few homeschool families with kids my daughter's age when she found herself thinking that she was the only kid in the world that didn't get on the yellow schoolbus that came down our street.  We joined a co-op, and she met lots of other kids who didn't get on a schoolbus--and we made a few good friends in the process.  She still has friends both inside and outside of the homeschool community--but she doesn't worry about riding the schoolbus anymore! :)  (Actually, at the time we went to a church that used a yellow schoolbus for kids' church trips, so she got to ride one eventually anyway.)

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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<< Elona said:

Boy scouts is ideal. Since he won't have to suffer the exhaustion from the long school day I think Boy scouts could actually be an option. The long school day with all the sensory stimulation exhausts him, especially after finishing homework. I really do want him to develop friendships with other home schoolers, though. I think that should be his staple. What do you all think?>>

We have at least 6 boys in our troop with Aspergers.  Most of them get their Eagle around age 14.  We're known as the "ASD" troop, and our Cub Scout Pack was, also.  Since my daughter has ASD, I can easily spot the Aspie boys, but it might be hard for others.  It's a *wonderful* thing for my son to use his skills/love for his sister to help other boys.  He "gets" them and their quirks.  One boy is my son's age, also HS'ed, and crossed over from Cubs to Boys with him in February.  He was elected patrol leader and is doing *very* well.  I guess he did get bullied a bit at their last campout, but a leader put a stop to it.  Kids can just be so mean to other kids who are "out of the box".  I think once they, and their ways, are known within the troop, it settles down.  We have caring leaders who are used to working with ASD kids.

Call your local BSA council and since you're not really tied to a school/church as a HS'er, ask them what troop they'd recommend for an ASD boy.  They may have suggestions.  You may also want to visit a few troop meetings/activities to get a feel for the dynamics of the boys and the leaders, and quiz the Troop Master about the ASD issue.

JC

...who just found out yesterday that our new next-door neighbors are our BSA council Executive (top dog) and his wife.  My son thinks that's *really* cool!