Thursday, August 21, 2008

More homeschool story

After waffling back and forth all summer, the 3 younger kids went to school that fall. Joe never doubted that I could homeschool, but I wasn't sure.We were going to give school a chance for a year, til Christmas if it was really bad.

Once again, my kids were not misfits or dunces. They were bright students and except for spunky little JJ ;) were perfect angels as far as behavior. She was just "pretty good" I would call it, which is still good.

I will spare you most of the long drawn out saga by just saying that it didn't work out. In a huge way. Every time something would come up, I would freak. We would get it resolved, I would get ready to relax and then another something would cause me to freak. I would have had to invest myself at the school on a pretty near daily basis to make it work out and I decided that if I was going to go to alot of trouble for something, it was going to be on my terms.

So after 6 weeks of public school, one Friday I'd had enough. The last straw was that they could not keep my son from getting hit by other kids. That very day I had written a letter to the school telling about my kids being hit and bullied. I was so proud of myself until that evening when JD casually announced he'd been put in a headlock in the bathroom that day. He considered it just another part of the school experience!! I realized that this was not the right place for him or my other kids. We were better off fending for ourselves.

And it's a good thing the message was so clear that my kids did not belong in school because later on in that school year, we would find out that JD also has Learning Disabilities and ADD.I kindly declined the school's offer of services. We would continue finding private services for him, even though they were costly.

Just an aside when I took JD to be evaluated for ADD, I also took my youngest daughter JJ. She was disagnosed w/ ADHD.

By this time we were using Beyond Five in a Row. And not very well I might add.One day I suddenly realized Five in a Row had no high school program and my oldest was in 6th grade. So I began to research and I found my way back to Sonlight.

The Lord is so funny. The neighbor's grandson joined our homeschool that year, bringing us some much needed structure. He doesn't have Learning Disabilities, but has some comprehension issues and some catching up to do. I would have never thought that by adding another child our family would be helped so much.

I eventually came to believe that I bought the wrong program from SL that year, but at the time I thought it was best.(They do have a guarantee, but I didn't utilize it because the level did fit some of my kids, just not all the way I'd hoped) I did buy some things used, but they ended up being too much.At the second semester I had to add because I just couldn't keep up w/ all the specials needs. 3 of the kids will begin it again in Sept.

Now my oldest JC is in 8th grade, JD is in 5th, Jr. is in 4th and little JJ is a 2nd grader.

We looked at WinterPromise, but it would have been very costly. And I didn't want alot of activities.

My Father's World is developing a high school program. That is what we are going to try next.It seems to have everything I want without me forcing it to be what I need. For example, this year w/ SL Core 1+2, I kept wishing they would emphasize the flags of each country more. I notice MFW has geography course and each child gets a flag sticker book. It's little details like that that make me think I may have found a match w/ mfw.

But really it remains to be seen.

All my fears of being behind are slowly melting away as I settle in to some programs that really match what we need.We are finding our niche and making some great strides.

By the way, we no longer pay the big bucks for dyslexia tutoring. I use I am really pleased w/ their approach. I use the materials for all the kids for reading, spelling and writing. And even learning comprehension.

It has been a long and winding road and I am all the better to have walked it. :)

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