Homeschooling - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-12-2010, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Do any parents on these boards home school? Do you have some advice/tips for someone just starting out?

I officially pulled my son from school last Wednesday. He's 6, he's a high functioning autistic, and he's in kindergarten. I researched long and hard before deciding on what I had hoped would be an appropriate school for him, and have been driving 100 miles a day to take him to and from school. He's excelled academically, but has had continual behavioral problems at the school. Midway through the school year, he was moved into 1st grade reading and math, and has since been moved into second grade math. He's been on the academic honor roll since day one. Despite many, many meetings with the school, and much advice on how to manage him from both myself and my son's OT, the school seemed limited on the effort they were willing to put in and constantly just wanted me to medicate him (which I am unwilling to do). So on Wednesday I got frustrated, and told them I was pulling him. I have a meeting with them today to fill out the paperwork, and intend to ask for his workbooks for the rest of the year (since I already paid for them, and they are saxon program, which I can readily get a hold of to continue with next year in homeschooling).

I just wondered if anyone had any advice for exiting the public school system (although he was attending a charter school, it's still technically public) as well as any good resources/distributors to suggest. Thanks!

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post #2 of 8 Old 05-12-2010, 11:43 PM
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No advice, but wanted to say good for you (and him!) I believe in homeschooling and intend to keep my little ones home if possible. I also can relate to some extent on your struggling with autism spectrum. 2 of my sisters 4 boys are in the spectrum and school is a constant battle. One boy is high functioning (asperger), the other is mid-range. Like you my sister is a super dedicated mom who is on top of her boy's schooling.
Way to go mama! I also think your boy is SO cute, especially with his little pony!

~Lindsay~ Mom of 2, wife to the goldsmith, doula and childbirth educator in training, life-long horse dork
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-13-2010, 12:01 AM
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No advice, just wanted to say good on you for opting not to medicate. I used to volunteer at a Riding Centre that catered specifically for kids like your son, as often they respond very well to horses ansd animals (e.g. some children who didn't talk to people would talk to the horse instead occasionally).

There was a boy there who was a high functioning autistic, in my opinion he was brilliant, he had a photographic memory and the most charming smile and personality. One day he came in to riding lessons and was dull, slow to respond to questions and the light in his eyes was gone, turns out his parents had put him on medication only four days earlier. The difference was mind numbing. Even though he was very high energy and took a lot of patience to work with normally, I much preferred that to the new boy with no personality.

Good luck with your search.

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-13-2010, 12:18 AM
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My sister is homeschooling her twins and it's going well. They lost their state funded speech and occupational therapy because they weren't attending public school once they were school age. Other than that, she has not had any issues regarding her decision to homeschool.

I don't recall what curriculum she is using but both her kids are delayed (they were preemies) and it was chosen to assist with that, so it probably wouldn't be of any use to you since your child is the opposite.
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-13-2010, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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shesinthebarn ~ I think if my son were to be diagnosed today, he's be diagnosed as asperger. The prime difference between a high-functioning autistic and aspergers in diagnosis is the presence of a speech delay. My son had a 69% (11 month) speech delay at 18 months old, and was essentially completely non verbal until he was 3 and a half. Now he will talk your ear off, has an incredible vocabulary, and no trace of a delay, other than a slight, developmentally normal, interdental lisp. (/s/ and /z/ are difficult for him, and he pronounces /th/ as an /f/ - eg. THUMB becomes FUMB). He's a very bright and engaging child, and many people are shocked when they find out he's autistic.

sarahver ~ that practically sounds like it could be my son! *lol* I started him with hippotherapy and canine therapy at 14 months, and still heavily credit those to why he has made the incredible progress he has, and why for a disorder that is supposed to result in a lack of empathy, my son is a very empathetic child. My experience has been the driving motivator in getting myself NARHA certified as a therapeutic riding instructor, and spawned my long term dream of opening my own therapeutic riding facility!

Your example is exactly why I don't want to medicate. Yes, my son is hyper, but not all that much more greatly hyper than any active 6 year old boy. Yes he runs around outside, is richly imaginative, and doesn't sit in front of the TV all day - how is that a bad thing? He currently, at 6 years old, sleeps 14 hours a night average - he sleeps a LOT, and he sleeps heavy. If he was medicated, and tired all the time, when would I ever see him? he'd come home from school, and go straight to bed!

Delfina, thanks! My son was also born premature, but not by a large amount, and he was well developed for his gestational age when he was born. (5 weeks, 4 days early, but still 6 lbs 11 oz and 19 inches long. He had to be on oxygen and a breathing machine for the first 6 hours, and had trouble nursing in his early days, both other than that did very well. I was lucky.) He has developmental delays, but they all seem to be socially related, his academic skills are strong.

At the meeting with the school yesterday, while giving me my son's testing scores, his teacher started crying and said "he's my best student!". I was thinking she was going to miss him and actually warming to her a little, when the principal asked her was that going to mess up her class score, she nodded and he told her she will have to work extra hard with her class these last five weeks. It was then I realized that what she was actually crying about was, by losing Spencer, who was raising the bar on her whole class for her, her classroom testing scores were going to drop below average and she would be in trouble for end of the year testing. :roll:

Last edited by Indyhorse; 05-13-2010 at 09:42 AM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-13-2010, 09:43 AM
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The only thing I would worry about is socializing him, if hes not interacting with kids his age daily, at home. My friends who have aspergers took alot longer to develop their social skills, and some still are.
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-13-2010, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pieinthesky View Post
The only thing I would worry about is socializing him, if hes not interacting with kids his age daily, at home. My friends who have aspergers took alot longer to develop their social skills, and some still are.

That WAS a concern for me. Due to social skills being his weak point, I was worried about homeschooling being detrimental to his developing them. But my next door neighbor also home schools, she has 6 children, all relatively close to his age. He is also now old enough to be in mini 4-H, and I believe next year he will be able to enter cub scouts. There is a lot of support in my area for homeschooling, and there are a lot of field trips organised regularly for social exposure as well. I think we will be able to still get him plenty of social opportunities. Thank you though for your input, I appreciate it!

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post #8 of 8 Old 05-13-2010, 02:20 PM
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I homeschooled my daughter through 1st and 2nd grades. There are so many options out there. I had to join a cover church who I sent in reports telling what I was teaching and her grades. I then joined a homeschooling group that did outtings and such so that she didn't miss out on socialization. Then there was YMCA for t-ball and soccer, girl scouts and then church. Honestly, she had more of a social schedule when we were homeschooling than she did when she was in school.

You can buy the workbooks for the type of homeschooling you want, there are websites to make worksheets and print them out, or you can do homeschooling all online if you want. It's amazing the resources for homeschooling online.

I used Alpha-Omega curriculum for my daughter. Homeschooling lasted about 1.5-2 hrs a day. We even put on "programs" for Christmas for the family. She learned sign language for a few Christmas songs.

She's 17 now..and in public school. There are many a day now that I wish she was still homeschooled. (Her dad and I went through a divorce and she was put back in public school then.) Homeschooling was a long time ago for me, but if there are any questions I can answer, let me know.

"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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