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Vermillion
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02 Oct 2013, 11:51 am

My daughter is HFA and 11 years old. We live in Canada, and she has been in both the public and private school systems. Very recently, she had an outburst in class because she didn't want to do her work (get out her materials etc). The principal pulled me in to her office and let me know that she was being quite abusive in her language and had disrupted the whole class.

There has been some talk about Distance Education (like homeschooling, but within the school district and administered by the ministry of education) and my husband and I have also been talking about how she may end up needing to be homeschooled sooner or later.

I guess I'm just not sure which path is the best to take. My daughter is always talking about wanting to be homeschooled, but I get the feeling that she's more interested in it because she thinks it will be more lax and lazy than real school. On the other hand, I sometimes feel that she gets away with producing work with minimum effort because she's at school and they can't push for better out of her. So she would benefit academically from being at home. I just worry about her not living the social component of school, and I'm kind of sad for her in that respect.

YIKES. I just want to do the right thing. :roll:



ASDMommyASDKid
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02 Oct 2013, 12:02 pm

My son is 8 and we are homeschooling. How positive are her social experiences in school? The negative ones, if bad enough can traumatize them for life. If you feel she can handle socializing, can you do something extracurricular in a special interest?

I am both harder and easier on him, depending on what is appropriate. At school it amounted to what was easiest for them. There were long answer questions they just crossed out and did not make him do b/c they did not want to slow walk him through it or devote an aid for that purpose. I make him do that stuff, but with scaffolding. I am easier in the sense that I do not make him sit through 100 mini biographies on quilt makers and other non-essential people that he will never remember or care about.



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02 Oct 2013, 12:19 pm

Is the distance education option online learning? If so, it might be a good choice because she would still feel like she is in "real" school and needs to complete her work, but at the same time, you could make sure she gets everything done to the standards that she should rather than just putting in the minimum effort. It might also be helpful for you if you've never done homeschooling before, just to see how things can be structured. If you or your daughter don't like it, you could always switch her to traditional homeschooling or send her back to her current school, right?

I was homeschooled on and off a few times in high school, and I currently do college online. Home learning in either form works very well for me, and I usually highly recommend it to other people (although my case/reason for being homeschooled was quite different from your daughter's). When I was homeschooled the first time, I was kind of lazy about it and tried to get away with not doing my work. As I learned to take it all more seriously (I'll admit that my mom threatened to send me back to regular school), I got much better about things. It was just a bit of an adjustment period for me, and only lasted a few months. If you go with the distance education option, this might not be a problem with your daughter at all. If it is, it will probably pass once she realizes that this is serious school.

I really wouldn't worry so much about socialization. Just make a good effort to keep her in touch with any friends that she has now, and maybe have her join a club or activity if she is interested in doing that or seems lonely. It's often much easier to make friends when it's structured around doing something fun/interesting anyway, rather than just being stuck in a room with a bunch of people who (usually) don't want to be there.

I hope it all works out.



Vermillion
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02 Oct 2013, 12:53 pm

Thanks for your replies:)

Quote:
My son is 8 and we are homeschooling. How positive are her social experiences in school? The negative ones, if bad enough can traumatize them for life. If you feel she can handle socializing, can you do something extracurricular in a special interest?


Her social experiences seem to lean more towards the negative, but she has been having problems with perceiving things the wrong way as well. For instance, someone passes her in the hall and bumps into her by mistake...she is convinced that they bumped into her on purpose, or 'pushed' her etc. You're right, I could always try to find something in our area that would take care of the socializing aspect.

Quote:
Is the distance education option online learning? If so, it might be a good choice because she would still feel like she is in "real" school and needs to complete her work, but at the same time, you could make sure she gets everything done to the standards that she should rather than just putting in the minimum effort. It might also be helpful for you if you've never done homeschooling before, just to see how things can be structured. If you or your daughter don't like it, you could always switch her to traditional homeschooling or send her back to her current school, right?


Luckily, the distance ed is online...its all looking really appealing to me right now...and you're right, if it doesn't work out there would always be traditional homeschooling or back to public school.

Thanks for your input!! !



aann
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02 Oct 2013, 12:57 pm

The distance education option sounds good, but there might be other options which will keep her accountable as well. Academic co-ops are similar, but include a full day of classes once a week. That works for us. You will want to understand what her motivations are and work with her, possibly with a speech or other therapist. Her not being motivated will be a big problem for your relationship with her. If she isn't motivated, your pushing her will get old fast, and she'll push back. You won't want to be the "bad cop" all the time.

Socialization is more often than not better for homeschoolers than public school kids.



EMTkid
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09 Oct 2013, 10:44 pm

After 3 years in school I recently pulled my 8 year old aspie son out to homeschool. Honestly, I have never seen him happier, or work harder. He literally thanks me every day for doing it, and is scared to death that his dad or grandmother will find a way to make him go back. I can't calm him on that fear. He hated school so bad, and is so thrilled not to have to go, I could ask him to do 4 times the work and he wouldn't bat an eye. The trouble he was having with the other kids at school were distracting him from his ability to learn, and social skills can wait until there is something less important than your child's education at risk. My son is brilliant, just unable to split focus between learning and keeping an eye out for the bullies and succeed at either. So what if he becomes a brain surgeon with no social skills? It's better than where I ended up after 13 years in the public school system. A brain surgeon with no social skills pays a lot better than a paramedic with no social skills...



MMJMOM
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10 Oct 2013, 6:26 am

my 8yo son definitely has much better social skills, socialization opportunities and has a load of friends that he would not have if her were in school. He is also able to do his work at his pace, which for some subjects is lightning fast, and for others is slower. he is able to relax when needed, eat when needed, go to the bathroom when needed, etc...


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J- 8, diagnosed Aspergers and ADHD possible learning disability due to porcessing speed, born with a cleft lip and palate.
M- 5
M-, who would be 6 1/2, my forever angel baby
E- 1 year old!! !


Silas
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14 Oct 2013, 10:48 am

We homeschool our two boys: one has Asperger's, and the other PDD-NOS. It has been of great benefit to both boys.

We start with the premise that institutionalized, or factory-line education, is artificial, counter-productive, and even harmful to children. The idea of "education" that we have these days is simply that which has emerged since the early 20th century (Dewey, etc.). The underlying objective was to provide kids with the minimal skills necessary to work in factories. The upper-class typically educated their children at home with tutors, governesses, etc., then sent the kids to Ivy-League universities.

We are not in a late 19th, early 20th century world anymore. Technology has liberated education, and made knowledge accessible to everyone. Kids should not be trained to become factory workers, or service-industry workers. They need to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in the high-technology, global economy.

Learning is a natural bi-product of all human activity. Learning is not confined to the schoolhouse. My boys are always learning, and want to learn. And for those parents whose kids are on the spectrum, these kids often obsessively learn! My Aspie son has an intense focus in everything! Not just one subject. His latest craze is history: he can name from memory any monarch of Britain from Edward to Elizabeth II, the dates they were born and died, what dynasty they were a part of, major events in their lives, etc. When he was into biology, he could do taxonomic classification of thousands of animals and insects. He needs constant input, and will spend countless hours just reading Wikipedia articles or reading his books. We can barely keep up with him, and school would simply interfere with his learning.

We can get more formal education in within a 3 hour period than a school can in 8 hours. The rest of the time is spent on hobbies, independent learning, or games (RPG games, card games, or video games)

We socialize the kids through meetup groups, hobby groups, etc. Obviously, being on the spectrum, the boys need work in socialization.

I am lucky that my wife can stay home and coordinate much of this, but I also pitch in at night and on weekends. I will take the boys to the coffee shop and do "school" there for a few hours on the weekends.

When the kids get older they will take the SAT/ACT, etc. and apply for college, most likely overseas.

I think people worry way too much about education and school: a kid who consistently gets straight A's may not always be well educated. The quality of instruction may be poor, the material dumbed-down, and the student simply following orders and going through the motions. When I taught college I saw a lot of students who received high marks in high school who then struggled when asked to do something independent and original. Part of homeschooling is avoiding this trap. The child has ownership over his or her education.

Now I should also say that we do ABA with therapists with the kids. This is to overcome social problems, and in the younger boy's case, problems with speech (his reading is strong, but he struggles in speech).

Imagine not having to answer to teachers and school officials, spend countless hours filling out forms and going to conferences, or navigating the byzantine world of schooling. Imagine using all of that time to directly educate your children.



Adamantium
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14 Oct 2013, 11:22 am

Silas wrote:
We start with the premise that institutionalized, or factory-line education, is artificial, counter-productive, and even harmful to children. The idea of "education" that we have these days is simply that which has emerged since the early 20th century (Dewey, etc.). The underlying objective was to provide kids with the minimal skills necessary to work in factories. The upper-class typically educated their children at home with tutors, governesses, etc., then sent the kids to Ivy-League universities.

We are not in a late 19th, early 20th century world anymore. Technology has liberated education, and made knowledge accessible to everyone. Kids should not be trained to become factory workers, or service-industry workers. They need to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in the high-technology, global economy.


Absolutely! Thanks for putting it so well. These factors came to mind when I was reading the absurd and enraging "Finger guns" and "guns at school" threads. So many managers in the school system seem stuck in a 19th century model of school as prep for factory work or military service.

It's great to hear of your efforts on behalf of your children. They are lucky to have such great parents.