Friday, February 19, 2010

Making Decisions

Here are my kids playing king and queen. they are trying to look as serious as possible.  They even turned their Burger King crowns to where Ryan's showed a man on his and a girl on Ivy's crown.  They only have to homeschool for a few hours and do some chores. They think they have it super tough!  Seriously!  They don't remember what it was like to be in a school all day and come home only to do more homework.  We had very little time with them.  After school and homework, we had maybe 3 hours if I was lucky to be with them.  I try to remind them of this but they don't remember.  Actually, I don't force the kids to choose homeschooling.  They chose to be homeschooled this year but a couple of them want to attend a really good charter school next year. Ryan doesn't.  He wants to stay with me homeschooling through SOS.  Ivy will be starting her first year of school and she is adamant about wanting to have a backback and go to a classroom to meet friends and have a playground.  She's so excited to finally be turning 5 and attending school.  :)  Such a socialite.  I remember what that was like.  So if she wants to, I'll definitely let her.  Especially since a couple of her brothers will be there with her.  So maybe next year I'll have just 3 at home.  Weird!  It'll be so quiet. Chaz will be working along with someone next year being that there a two Asperger kids attending that school. I'll be monitoring him closely to make sure he's getting what he needs and won't have a repeat of his 2nd grade year where he was left in a hallway everyday.  In a hallway.  I still can't believe it. One full year I entrusted my kids to a public school.  Chaz never once told me he was being left out in a hallway alone.  He was allowed to only listen to the teacher from the outside but not be in the classroom.  The kids called him freak because of it.  Chaz never ever told me this until just a few months ago.  I was heartbroken.  I talked to this new charter school and questioned them intensely to see if this could happen again.  This time, I'll be more available to "drop in" the school and see more of what's going on.  This will be a different place and it's not a public school so we're checking it out.  Anyhow, this is the discussion we've been having in our house a lot lately.  Talking with my kids, I never usually force one way on them concerning school.  Whether they want to be homeschooled or attend school elsewhere.  It's something I let them decide.  So it's different each year.  The funny thing is when my boys weren't reading very well because of the school system, I took them out and taught them myself. When I put them back in the next year, the teacher was impressed and said my kids were more advanced than their peers. I thought that was interesting since those were the same peers that my kids were falling behind from previously.  Gosh, I only homeschool a few hours a day verses how many hours they had to spend in school not including all the homework.  Hmmm....  Putting them back in, it's good to know I've given them a head start and once again they'll be ahead so I'm sure that will give them the confidence they need attending with a new class.  Anyhow, I'm just talking aloud.  Trying to work it all out in my brain and writing it down helps. 


Unknown said...

My local elementary school built a decompression room without telling any parents. It was about 5 by 6 foot; something you'd expect to be used as a storage closet. Kids with an IEP that said they could be removed to a 'safe place' were put in there. One kid ended up traumatized. Parents rallied and the rooms were removed. Legislation was also introduced to prevent this from happening to other kids. This is partly the result of what happened les than a mile from my home:

All children need to be educated and socialized, not excluded. Kids with Aspergers know they are different and want to fit in. They should be in the classroom, not in a hallway like your son.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Judi, I wish I could get in touch with you, but I was hoping to help you network with others if I could.

Virginia, you know how I feel about the treatment of autistic children in public school. You also know I have one in the preschool here. You reallllly have to come down to risk vs. benefit and for us right now, Woodjie is in a safe place. I may have to send older autistic kids to school of some kind later to homeschool Woodjie, or it may just be too difficult to teach a non-verbal child what he needs to know.

It is SO HARD to make these decisions. Please know I understand your feelings very, very well. Whatever you decide you have my unfailing support. Many, many hugs.

PS. am working on a blog award so please be checking my blog in the next few days, ok?

Unknown said...

This breaks my heart. I can understand a time out, but all year, everyday??? What on earth?? And what is so sad is that kids don't know to tell because they don't understand. So sad that teachers are so clueless and don't bother to talk to the parents. I pray things go better for you this next year.