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Homeschooling: Where Do I Begin?


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69140
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Posted Mar 14, 2001 at 12:00:01 AM
Subject: Homeschooling: Where Do I Begin?

My 6 yr old son has adhd, bipolar disorder, ocd, and very significant visual processing and visual motor problems. He has a DO assessment in about a week to see if vision therapy can help him. Right now he is fully included in reg K with an aide (supposedly, but that is another story). I feel like if I could keep him home next school year we can focus on his vision therapy, occupational therapy, hopefully APE, something like PACE, and hardcore 1:1 for the basics (he thrives with 1:1 guidance). I think if I can homeschool him like this for a year I can give him a really good headstart and keep him from falling behind. He was tested with WISC and his verbal IQ was excellent, performance IQ in some areas was less than 1% due to visual and attentional problems. I think I can accomplish a lot in one year (only a year because for him social interactions are extremely important for his emotional development), but I am overwhelmed by the amount of info on the internet about it and by the unbelievable amount of choices of curriculum. My long-winded question is.....how to you know where to start? What curriculum to choose? My son has an IEP, will we be able to keep his OT and APE services for the year that I homeschool? Thanks so much in advance for any guidance you can give me. Nadine in California

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 02, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

Hi Nadine,My advice is to keep it simple.Focus most of your time on sensory development activities (vision therapy, OT, music, physical activities, art, etc.). Most children do not have all major sensory/motor development in place until age 7 or 8, so hold off on PACE until then. It's not too early for Audiblox, however, and I would include that. If you can, include piano lessons, swimming lessons, and gymnastics. All of these activities encourage sensory/motor development.In terms of curriculum, I would invest only in Reading Reflex and Math-U-See. Everything else can be handled via activities (museum trips, nature video's, arts and crafts activities). I strongly advise against buying a whole year's curriculum from any one source. As you work with your son, you can add things according to his needs and interests. RR and MUS work well for most kids and most families, so I feel safe in recommending them.Homeschooling sometimes offers more opportunities for socialization (especially *appropriate* socialization) than school does. This is especially true if there are other children in the neighborhood to play with after school. Homeschoolers (and homeschooled kids) tend to be more accepting of differences, so look for a group to join. If you haven't already, be sure to join one of the homeschooling organizations in your state. This is how a lot of homeschoolers hook up for regular social activities.Where I am, all servies would still be provided by the school but I would have to transport my child to the school. CA is different. The state homeschooling organizations I mentioned above usually have telephone information lines. I would call one of them to find out how CA works in terms of services.Try using http://www.metacrawler.com to search on "homeschooling California". This will turn up one or more organizations you can call.Mary: My 6 yr old son has adhd, bipolar disorder, ocd, and very significant
: visual processing and visual motor problems. He has a DO
: assessment in about a week to see if vision therapy can help him.
: Right now he is fully included in reg K with an aide (supposedly,
: but that is another story). I feel like if I could keep him home
: next school year we can focus on his vision therapy, occupational
: therapy, hopefully APE, something like PACE, and hardcore 1:1 for
: the basics (he thrives with 1:1 guidance). I think if I can
: homeschool him like this for a year I can give him a really good
: headstart and keep him from falling behind. He was tested with
: WISC and his verbal IQ was excellent, performance IQ in some areas
: was less than 1% due to visual and attentional problems. I think I
: can accomplish a lot in one year (only a year because for him
: social interactions are extremely important for his emotional
: development), but I am overwhelmed by the amount of info on the
: internet about it and by the unbelievable amount of choices of
: curriculum. My long-winded question is.....how to you know where
: to start? What curriculum to choose? My son has an IEP, will we be
: able to keep his OT and APE services for the year that I
: homeschool? Thanks so much in advance for any guidance you can
: give me. Nadine in California

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 02, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

Mary thank you for the great advice and guidance. Can some of those programs be done by me at home to supplement what he does in class, or would that be too much of an overload? One thing I have considered is shortening his school day and doing partial homeschooling. Does that sound reasonable? Thanks!

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 02, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

Partial homeschooling is certainly a possibility. It's called "dual enrollment" here. I don't know how easy/difficult it is to do in CA. We are doing that this year. DD is in public school mornings and we homeschool afternoons. Personally, I prefer full-time homeschooling -- with the exception that I appreciate the free daycare public school provides.You don't have to wait until next fall to try Reading Reflex and MUS. You could start now with 20 minutes of each a day and see how it goes. Or start at the beginning of summer vacation.I do think it would be overload for most kids to add on activities such as gymnastics, swimming and piano lessons, plus homeschooling, to a regular school schedule. It's very important to allow plenty of time for free play at this age.One other thing you may want to homeschool is printing -- especially if there are problems with directionality. I would use the Handwriting Without Tears approach (http://www.hwtears.com), supervising each session and giving immediate feedback. My daughter learned printing in school and was allowed to form many letters backwards, down-to-up, etc. and her printing is so messy it's hard to read. I'm using HWT for cursive and wish we had done it for printing.Mary: Mary thank you for the great advice and guidance. Can some of those
: programs be done by me at home to supplement what he does in
: class, or would that be too much of an overload? One thing I have
: considered is shortening his school day and doing partial
: homeschooling. Does that sound reasonable? Thanks!

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 02, 2014
Posts: 69140

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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

: Partial homeschooling is certainly a possibility. It's called
: "dual enrollment" here. I don't know how easy/difficult
: it is to do in CA. We are doing that this year. DD is in public
: school mornings and we homeschool afternoons. Personally, I prefer
: full-time homeschooling -- with the exception that I appreciate
: the free daycare public school provides.The more I think about homeschooling and learn about it, the more appealing and appropriate it seems for my son.: You don't have to wait until next fall to try Reading Reflex and MUS.
: You could start now with 20 minutes of each a day and see how it
: goes. Or start at the beginning of summer vacation.This is a great idea...also, he is on a year-round schedule so we could work on them between "tracks.": One other thing you may want to homeschool is printing -- especially
: if there are problems with directionality. I would use the
: Handwriting Without Tears approach (http://www.hwtears.com),
: supervising each session and giving immediate feedback. My
: daughter learned printing in school and was allowed to form many
: letters backwards, down-to-up, etc. and her printing is so messy
: it's hard to read. I'm using HWT for cursive and wish we had done
: it for printing.: MaryI couldn't agree with you more. My son's OT recommended this program this year and I bought all of the materials and have been working with him at home on his printing...he has pretty significant visual-motor problems and it is really helping.Thanks again so much for your help!Nadine

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 02, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

Mary,I am a Special Education teacher, and now I have my own tutoring business specializing on needs for kids with disabilities. I too have ADHD. Definitly focus on small tasks at short intervals with a reward system. Gymnastics is a great sport for fine/gross motor skills, body awareness etc... If you want to Homeschool your son, follow his IEP that he has and find curriculum that follows it. There are many resources where you can buy books , curriculum , and lesson plans. SOcialization shouldn't be a problem. You can probably place him in more social situations than the school can. Feel free to e-mail me with questions or to help you put a curriculum together. My e-mail is felalester@hotmail.com. Good luck and I hope I have helped you.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 02, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

Greetings Nadine,A great resource I use all the time is "Homeschool Your Child for Free: More than 1,200 Smart, Effective, and Practical Resources for Home Education on the Internet and Beyond" by LauraMaery Gold and Joan M. Zielinski. Ms. Gold also maintains a website which updates/replaces any website referenced in her book that is no longer functioning. Definitely worth the $19 investment!Welcome to the wonderful world of homeschooling!Blessings, momo

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 02, 2014
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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

Thanks, momo, this is definitely a book I will purchase!

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