It has been about a month since we traded the big school for home school; I thought I would provide an update.
First, I want to thank those of you that continue to send encouraging and supportive emails and share comments about your personal stories. Based on the comments that I have received, especially from the recent article entitled Stages of Grief, it is unfortunate to know how many families have struggled with the very same thing.
I know misery is supposed to love company, but I just find it miserable…period!
It is unforgivable that there are SO many children being ignored, belittled, and discarded. At this point, I feel like I need to add a disclaimer that recognizes this is not the situation in every school, every classroom or every student. I happen to know many great teachers that give 110% of themselves to their students; however, there are too many that don’t have the training and understanding required to teach a kid like mine.
Since leaving that school, my son stands taller. He uses more eye contact when he is talking. The hood that used to shield him from the noise and chaos, is only needed on rare occasions.
Since leaving that school, my son smiles and laughs and wants to share with more than just his parents. Don’t get me wrong, he is still reserved, but not in the way that made it seem that he thought his smile, laugh and ideas were unimportant and wouldn’t be noticed anyway.
Since leaving that school, my son reads daily for fun. Without my prompting or bribing or begging! He reads books that are at his reading level and peak his interest. No more being told to reread a book that he has already read because that’s the “high book” for the week.
Since leaving that school, my son is more open about his feelings. He claims his emotions and his right to those emotions in a far more mature way.
Since leaving that school, my son has investigated robotics, animation, curious animals, and space through the Cosmos series. He is doing daily reading, science and math. For the first time, weekdays are being used to expose him to topics and ideas that are interesting and at his intellectual level. No longer do we have to squish that into Saturday and Sunday.
Honestly, I love what my son is doing, learning, becoming now that he spends his days with people who love him and support him. That get him!
No more pretending. No more quietly waiting for the bell to finally ring. No more hiding his light.
Based on comments, many of you are experiencing those same stages of grief that we experienced. Because of that, I wanted to share what we did. We couldn’t just walk away and let them ( his elementary, his teacher, his principal, his counselor, his school district) do this again to other students.
We filed a formal complaint with the Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights. We were notified that based on our documentation, the OCR felt as though there was enough questions to start an investigation based on possible failures with FAPE and 504 procedures. This process might be long or it could be resolved quickly, but we are glad that the district is going to have to defend its actions, or lack of actions.
So…How is it?
Home schooling in our house, for our family, is hard, tiring, fantastic, rewarding, inspiring, and worth it!
How is it for you?
This makes my mama heart sing to hear how well your TBP has adjusted to homeschooling. What a blessing and a joy! YAY!!!!!!
I still wish we lived closer. I think my TBPs and yours could enjoy time together, talking or not.
Me too 🙂 We are always looking for other taters! Thank you for your kind words 🙂
I’m so happy for you both that there are so many successes! And good for you for following up with the failures of the school district. I know it must be energy-draining to do that, but it’s so necessary. And I’m thrilled that you’re watching Cosmos. What an awesome series! -Amy
You are so right…draining but totally necessary! Yes, watching Cosmos and now trying to reconcile that with what he saw during the very long movie The Ten Commandments 🙂
Well, that conversation in itself will be an excellent educational excercise in critical thinking. Very cool!
It really does 🙂 He keeps me thinking!
Bravo! You are a warrior mom fighting for justice and what is best for your son.
You realize that results are the litmus test for the procedures. You instituted change because you had seen a failure in the procedures. You have embarked on a path which will lead up to the top of the mountain instead of blindly following a well troden path which merely circles the base of the mountain. You are now a pathfinder, blazing your own trail, one which is tailor fit to your son’s needs. While it is sometimes scary to be on your own path, your son will eventually reap the views reserved for those who’s guide scouts the most efficient and effective route to the summit.
Your son sees your demonstated love for him through your actions. I am sure that is one of the reasons for his greatly improved happiness.
You are a mother bear protecting and providing for her cub. You are proving that no one messes around with a mother bear!
Thank you 🙂
I do feel like a mama bear
I first learned a bit more about home schooling after consistently reading a blog by a mom who home schools her 3 girls. I found myself becoming envious at times at the way she was teaching her girls and how much they were thriving. I then learned more after my son had to be home schooled this past year due to medical reasons. Although I have a tutor (paid for by our district) who does the teaching, I quickly realized many of the advantages of home schooling a child. I’m so glad to hear it’s going well for you so far and that your son is doing so well with this transition — good for him and all of you!!
As an elementary teacher of 23+ years, it was an unexpected and unplanned decision; however, a good one 🙂
I loved reading this post. It sounds like being homeschooled has really lifted some burdens off of your son…burdens that needed to be lifted. As I mentioned, it is very important to my son that he be in school with his friends…so we continue our daily struggle. Today was an especially hard day for us. I was notified today that my 2e 11-year old boy is 3 referrals away from facing a 45-day school suspension (to carry into the next school year)…not because of something big like weapons, drugs, or harming another student. But because he has had 17 referrals this year for things related to his ADHD…disruptive behavior, difficulty with self-regulation, and impulsive decision making. My husband and I know that the district was wrong when they denied him an IEP, and they have done nothing to help him with the skills that he needs to be successful in a school setting. So, our next step is to work with PACER advocating for us. I tell you this story partially to add extra reinforcement to your decisions, even though you know you have done the right thing for your TBP. The move to middle school has amplified my son’s ADHD behaviors, and it sounds like it is a very difficult time for a lot of 2e kids. If you can start now to make that age/transition easier for your TBP, that is wonderful! Wishing you continued success in your homeschooling journey! 🙂
In all of my years of teaching, I have never heard of a 45 day suspension for things like that. Clearly, more support is needed for your son! I don’t know what it is like in your state, but we are getting interesting information through Office Of Civil Rights. They investigate possible infractions of FAPE and/or 504 procedures. Just Sayin’… Blessings to you and yours!!
So glad to have discovered your blog just now! My own TBP just turned five and is starting kindergarten in the fall. We’ve planned all along to homeschool our kids and my son’s struggles (adhd, ocd, ts, spd) have cemented that decision. I’m grateful that his abilities have meant that his academic success a at home proves to most people that we’re doing the right thing. I often think how much harder it would be if he were a struggling learner. As it is, we’ve had to take some non traditional approaches to learning, but he’s thriving. I look forward to following your experiences homeschooling as we embark on this as well.
Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. In my mind, radical and nontraditional are sometimes exactly what is needed!
Hope you visit again soon and share your progress 🙂