December 28, 2009

My Child's Education; Finding what's best

Making a decision about your child’s education can be heart wrenching. It can be frustrating, even perhaps discouraging. If you’ve been told that your child has processing issues and you are not sure where to turn here are perhaps some options for you to explore. I hope that you can learn from my experience.

In 2005, Halle was in kindergarten when teachers began to tell me that she had a short attention span and that she seemed to stare off into space as though she were not mentally present. I called her a dreamer. I noticed that she was fully capable as long as she was doing something that she was interested in. Halle has a love for dinosaurs and at a very young age decided that she wanted to be a Paleontologist. She also loved to art and anything that allowed her to be creative. Teachers did say that Halle did well if someone worked one on one with her. I also noticed this and began to look at my options.

My searches lead me to homeschooling. At the time I had a thriving business and could not see myself giving up part of that time homeschooling. After a discussion with a seasoned teacher she referred me to SST (Student Support Team), a group of teachers who come together to evaluate and offer suggestions to the lead teacher. They work under the leadership of a school appointed student support team administrator. I had been through this process with my boys so with the knowledge that I had about learning disabilities (ADHD, Aspergers syndrome, ADD) I decided that Halle needed a little more one on one time. My online searches suggested homeschooling so I followed my heart and removed her from public school and homeschooled Halle for kindergarten and first grade.


After those two years it became necessary for me to regain the success I was having in my business. Our finances were getting tight so with a heavy heart I sent Halle back to public school in 2008. Third grade was not good at all. Academically she did well in language arts, spelling and all other subjects that did not directly deal with numbers. In math Halle was behind. Although the information that was being covered had already been covered in home school she failed to retain it and the teachers also felt that she was unable to retain the math she learned from the previous day. Shortly after taking an assessment test to evaluate her abilities Halle was hurt in school. She ran into a brick wall while running from the trailer to the inside of the school building. She was sent to the bathroom with 3 other students and without an adult present she was being chased by the boys who accompanied them. She hit her head above her left eye. She had 14 stitches and her skull could be seen through the hole. I decided from that point that I would find an alternative to public school.

I later in 2008 placed her into a private Montessori school to complete the third grade. She is currently attending the school now and is in the middle of fourth grade. I strongly believe in the Montessori way of teaching but this situation is proving not to be the best environment for her. The work load still requires a lot of one on one for Halle. So here I am again at the same crossroad. I know what needs to be done. I have to be the one to teach her. I now have removed her from school again and have enrolled her into an online K12.com school. Halle remains on grade level with the exception of math which I believe she is a half grade behind. All the decisions I have made in regard to her education have all been in the thought and mind of what is best for her individually. I certainly could have just sent her to school and let the teachers work it out or let her fall through the cracks. I could not and I am at peace with my choices because I made them for Halle and I was not willing to settle for the status quo.


When you get to know Halle you realize how special she is. She has an interest in learning and desperately wants to be successful in school. I am excited to home school her again but this time online. I’ll be her coach and with the help of a teacher that is provided by the K12 program, I know she will reach her goals in mathematics and excel beyond her wildest dreams.


I’ve learned three things through this, the first is;


It is okay to change your mind. If you make a choice and later feel that something else would work better than it is okay to make a change to a better situation. What is important to make sure of is that your child is on his/her grade level or above.


Secondly, do not try to recreate what goes on in the public school classroom. Make sure you cover the basics; reading, writing, math and language arts. You can cover all the other subjects as well. They will fall into place. You will find that your schoolwork will take about 4 hours. So much of the public school day is fluff.


Thirdly, do not let family or friends discourage you. They seem to have all the answers but none of them would have the heart that you have to remove your child from public school for a better education or situation.


Halle is a 4th grader and currently being homeschooled. She will be 10 years old in 2010. I am her homeschooling coach. I am still running my business from home. I just had to rearrange my priorities.


4 comments:

Blia said...

That's wonderful that you were able to do this to help your daughter. Sometimes you just have to do what you feel is the best and the right thing for your child. Good for you! Am following again from MBC.

Angela said...

I hope things get better for her. It's awesome that you are willing/able to rearrange and make homeschooling work. We've had issues with school and I waver back and forth on homeschooling.

Best of luck!
I'm following from the MBC. I'm at http://thesuburbanjungle.blogspot.com

Shelly said...

Glad that you were able to work out your daughter's home schooling. Following you from MBC.

http://atticgirl.blogspot.com

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Hi, found you on MBC and just started following. Math is an issue with my daughters too!

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