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Homeschooler who uses SN preschool?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am interested in finding out if anyone has her SN child in preschool/school? I'm battling feelings of guilt and uncertainty, etc, because I'm considering having my youngest start attending developmental preschool (through EI). The guilt comes from never having put my 10 yo & 5 yo SN kids into school & now I'm considering it with this one. I'm not even certain it's the best thing for him. Our behaviorist & OT recommended it for him. He has severe anxiety and with his breathing problems, I get scared that something could happen to him & I wouldn't be there (he stops breathing & passes out & is "frozen" in a rigid state whenever he gets injured or can't regulate his emotions or sensory things). There are 2 reasons I'm playing with this idea: One is that it's looking more & more like my husband is leaving me for good & I'm trying to figure out how I will continue homeschooling the kids, caring for their SN & earn an income (plan on posting this question soon), so I thought it could open up 2-3 hrs?? for me to work; And two, I wonder if it could help him through his anxiety...but it could also exasperate it. He's got OCD, too, so it doesn't take much (something out of place or something not following a pattern, that sets his world & his coping skills upside down. So, I'm hoping to find out what others have done.
post #2 of 16
I'm in the same position, we want to homeschool, but the best thing for ds once he turns 3 will be the SN preschool. We are going to trial it, and if it goes well, we will keep him in.
post #3 of 16
I'm planning on unschooling Grace, but I've got her in a early intervention pre-school three days a week. It's 50% SN and 50% typical kiddos. I have been so happy with this experience and have met so many other, like-minded moms through it (there's actually a really long waiting list for NT spots). I've decided to look at this as a therapy, a therapy that will end, but one that has given her so much in the way of social skills, language acquisition, self-sufficiency (the good kind), confidence, and on and on.

As to your little guy's anxiety and breathing issues, Grace has both, as well as some other stuff that I was totally freaked about allowing anyone else to deal with them. I've been so pleased with the care they've given her and, I would imagine, that's going to be fairly common when it's an early intervention SN program anywhere. There's a low teacher to kiddo ratio and they are usually fairly specialized in their training.

With all that said, maybe you ought to go and check it out. I'll be the administration of wherever you might be going will welcome observations, and even allow you to stay with your little guy for the first day or so.

I know this is such a hard decision to make. I wish you the very best. Peace.
post #4 of 16

My son was in Pre-K Disabilty class for 3 hours

My ped recommended it. I was only going to have my son go from 8:30am-11:30pm since the rest of the day was naptime and freetime and since I'm a homeschooler I don't need the babysitting. I thought a year of Pre-Kindergarten disability class couldn't hurt him and might help him and even be fun! I was not going to have him return for kindergarten. I felt it was like therapy since it wasn't ordinary pre-school but a disability class where he would get therapy.

The school told me my son's alternative vaccination schedule wasn't legal. I brought a temp doctor's medical exemption. That is supposed to be the gold standard. I contacted the superintendent to inform them of state law. It's scary they didn't know the law! I didn't trust them after that. They said they had never had a child who didn't have all his vaccinations.

The teacher didn't use my son's PECS book when she didn't understand him. My son was in a class with emotionally disturbed children. Everyone else could talk. Speech therapy was group therapy. My son would get an hour a week of group speech therapy. His doctor and speech therapist said he needed individual therapy. The teacher said she would use his communication book if that is how he speaks but she had no training with such communication styles. My child would be on the job training for her!?!

FL schools are terrible. I only went through the testing to see if my son was qualified because I had a kernel of doubt. Now that I see the public school system for myself I know I am doing what they cannot possibly hope to ever achieve in their institutional setting.

That being said check it out. It may be good. I read about good programs all the time so they must exist somewhere just not for me and my child!

Sincerely,
Debra, homeschooling mom of 4 ages 11, 10, 8, and 4
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wendy~ thanks for letting me know your experiences. It helped knowing that your daughter has a similar disposition. It really scares me. If I do this, it'll help to think of it as "therapy" too.

Debra~ In Oregon, we're allowed religious exemption for vax. Do you think I'll have any problems with this? I'm surprised to know that it was so hard in Florida. Also, I see that you have 4 children, too, & that you're homeschooling. If you don't mind me asking a couple of ?s: how many of your kids are SN? And are you planning to continue schooling through high school? Why I ask is that my oldest (14) will be entering the high school years this Sept & I'm starting to panic. I've homeschooled her since 3 1/2. She's NT & she was crying today because she's needing addt'l help with her studies (Alg 2 for example) & I'm just not there for her. My other 3 are SN (schooling a 4th grader & K) & by the time I finished schoooling them & working with my 2 yo (SN), I'm exhausted & there's no time left to the day. I literally am failing in every area of my life because I can't give 100% attention to any one task. There are so many bunny trails that the day takes that it's crazy. I'm surrounded by boxes of papers, bills, projects, laundry, etc, etc. I would love to get a visual on your day & how you manage it, so maybe I can glean some ideas to implement. Otherwise, I'm seriously considering putting her into public school, though her wish is to continue homeschooling. She's old enough to stay home & she's self-motivated & excels at her work, but I am struggling to find the time to get my ol' brain cranks working to help her understand her upper level studies.
post #6 of 16
We wanted to unschool, however school is what my dd needs. She is thriving in nursery school and will be attending K in the fall.
post #7 of 16

It depends

Quote:
Originally Posted by julie anne View Post
Debra~ In Oregon, we're allowed religious exemption for vax. Do you think I'll have any problems with this? I'm surprised to know that it was so hard in Florida. Also, I see that you have 4 children, too, & that you're homeschooling. If you don't mind me asking a couple of ?s: how many of your kids are SN? And are you planning to continue schooling through high school? Why I ask is that my oldest (14) will be entering the high school years this Sept & I'm starting to panic. I've homeschooled her since 3 1/2. She's NT & she was crying today because she's needing addt'l help with her studies (Alg 2 for example) & I'm just not there for her. My other 3 are SN (schooling a 4th grader & K) & by the time I finished schoooling them & working with my 2 yo (SN), I'm exhausted & there's no time left to the day. I literally am failing in every area of my life because I can't give 100% attention to any one task. There are so many bunny trails that the day takes that it's crazy. I'm surrounded by boxes of papers, bills, projects, laundry, etc, etc. I would love to get a visual on your day & how you manage it, so maybe I can glean some ideas to implement. Otherwise, I'm seriously considering putting her into public school, though her wish is to continue homeschooling. She's old enough to stay home & she's self-motivated & excels at her work, but I am struggling to find the time to get my ol' brain cranks working to help her understand her upper level studies.
If Oregon state law says a religious vax exemption is legal then it's legal but be prepared to back it up. The school I enolled my son in thought they were upholding te law because most people fully vaccinate and my child had a poor record in their eyes. They were ignorant about the law. Once I got the superintendent involved apologies were passed around and ideas shared. It's just a shame I knew more than they did. That is what bolstered me in feeling homeschooling is right for my family!!

My oldest has Asperger's. My girls are NT however they do have mild sensory integration issues. My youngest is physically disabled as well as has apraxia (speech). We homeschool 3 days a week (days we don't go to therapy). I also tend to use the same materials with all my children. For example when we read something and write a summary my 8yo writes 3-4 sentences whereas my older children write a little bit more. When I was working with my 8yo on multiplication (we just started don't panic) we included my oldest. I like to toss a beanbag or do hand clapping games like 2 x 4 is 8 while clapping hands together and then clap your partner's left hand then clap you hands together clap your partner's right hand or toss a bean bag while reciting the 10 times tables 10 x 1 is toss the person who answers says 10.

My older three children are put to work at therapy where we go! They restock gloves, make copies, sort Kaufman cards back into the box, put missing pieces back in their box, restock the complimentary sodas (as well as have one themselves), etc. It's boring for them but I have no family to babysit them and even if they were in school we're there from 1:30-2:30 and school lets out at 2:20 so it wouldn't help anyway! (We go twice a week for an hour each time.)

Maybe you should designate days for doing paperwork? It's a lot of work!

If you need to put a child in school it's not the end of the world. I prefer to homeschool slowly year round.

Sincerely,
Debra, homeschooling mom of 4 ages 11, 10, 8, and 4
post #8 of 16

This is a lie

Quote:
Originally Posted by julie anne View Post
I literally am failing in every area of my life because I can't give 100% attention to any one task.
Faith in yourself is the hardest thing to achieve!

You said yourself that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by julie anne View Post
There are so many bunny trails that the day takes that it's crazy. I'm surrounded by boxes of papers, bills, projects, laundry, etc, etc.
You just have a lot to do right now. Since nothing can get done without interuption and since other people have to be involved you are not failing 100%!

Deep breath, do what you can, and let the rest slide for now. I promise it's not crazy 365 days of the year year after year! Some years you get a moment off! LOL!

I have trouble telling people how I do things because I just do them. I don't know how I do it either and sometimes I don't do things (we ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches last night).

Sincerely Yours,
Debra
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by julie anne View Post
Wendy~ She's old enough to stay home & she's self-motivated & excels at her work, but I am struggling to find the time to get my ol' brain cranks working to help her understand her upper level studies.

What about co-op? In our area (Virginia) there are wonderful co-op groups of homeschoolers...for example, I would teach English and take your three kids and you teach Trig III and take my two children. I can't teach trig and you can't teach English and so we meet in the middle. There are co-op groups through religious homeschooling groups, through the local homeschooling store and from expos (where they sell homeschool materials).
If she is self-motivated and has been home all these years, you are doing her a disservice by not looking into this.
post #10 of 16
I had the same decision to make, and it was a really, really tough one. I had to let go of a whole bunch of philosophical ideas about why the public school system was not the best place for my kids, why we homeschooled, etc. I had to look at my reality, and let go of some of the idealism that I'd been carrying. Gabriel is not a typically developing child, and in all honesty, I believe that his sn preschool, and now his self-contained classroom at a local public elementary school, meet his very unique educational needs in a way that I just couldn't at home. And since part of the reason I homeschool is to be able to meet my kids' unique educational needs, it only made sense to try this school as a viable alternative.

The first week or two that he went to school were really hard....one me. Gabe handled it just fine, from the bus ride (it about killed me to see him off on the bus that first morning; I cried) to the relatively long day, to the new people he met.

The preschool may or may not end up being the best choice for your child, but you don't have a lot to lose by trying it out, I think. And if it ends up being a bad experience, you can always pull back and try something else.

Joni and kids, incl. Gabriel, 9, w/autism and Down syn., and Michaela, 11, syringomyelia
post #11 of 16
We homeschool kindergarten after a special needs preschool. His preschool was 2 days a week, for 2.5 hours each time if I remember correctly. For us, it was very successful. It gave me a lot of ideas of ways to teach/facilitate his learning. Interestingly, several of the homeschoolers I have met also did the same thing...same preschool, then went on to homeschool. For us, this is really nice because I met other SN homeschoolers.
post #12 of 16
Debra gave some great advice. Take one day at a time. I am often asked how I do it as well and I either say, "I just do it" or depending on my mood or who it is I might say, "Alot of wine" (jk of course!).
I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, take care of all my kids at home, do activities with them, take them to the library, all that fun stuff. I knew this early on and went to school for Early Childhood so that I could work in preschool and then get married and have kids and stay home with them and have alot of ideas and experience for them. Boy I really had things planned out.
My daughter was diagnosed with Severe Autism at 26 months and within 6 months was in a full time (9-3, M-F) specialty preschool program for kiddoes with ASD. I then had twins, one of which also has ASD and is now in the same program that is modified for his needs and age. It is now looking like my other twin has some slight delays so he goes to a DT program 2 mornings a week and also takes speech. It is looking like he has some sensory needs and may be needing OT as well but probably not on the spectrum.
If you can find a quality program it can work in my opinion. The head teacher my children have is wonderful and really listens to the parents and I have a huge say in their program. I contribute by giving the staff articles on ASD, giving them the books I'm finished with, sharing websites and videos I've taped on the subject. They know how I feel and don't treat my kids as a tragedy but for the great, fun, smart, wonderful kids they are and my kids REALLY enjoy going and have been doing very well.
Sometimes it hurts that I can't provide them with all they need and that my dream of being a SAHM is gone, (Well I dont work but I am anything at stay at home..lol) but things work out for the best. Hang in there!
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Mama in Maine~ Thank you. You really hit it on the head for me & I appreciate the gentleness in your tone. Am feeling pretty *fragile/emotional* these days. I have/had a similar thought process. Have been a SAHM since we adopted our first child 14 yrs ago & everyday that I've been home has been a blessing. I used to teach/work with SN kids & knew I would miss that. Studied ECE, too, & continue to read so many books on education/development/SN just so I can do the best advocating for my kids as possible. Yes, like you, I had it all planned out . When we adopted our 2nd child & it was evident that she was SN, I floundered because, though I had worked with SN kids, until you have your own, it's just different. Finally got my groove to best care for her which is a process as I'm still searching for what's best for her as she changes and her needs change, etc. Since then, we've adopted 2 of our foster sons. I am so BLESSED by my kids and their uniqueness. I feel God had his hand on allowing me to continue to teach & work with SN kids (my kids!). I love them to pieces. My life has always been busy & I work hard at trying to manage the home. My husband has gotten increasingly overwhelmed by the kids' needs (and sought another gal's "understanding". So, I know I am strong & that the kids & I have a tight bond. I am overwhelmed by trying to rearrange pieces in our schedule that are already overloaded. Frankly, I wish I had someone who could help watch the kids play so I could get to some projects that have been put into my hands, so I could bolster some strength & not feel so overwhelmed. Not trying to get whiney here, just trying to figure things out. I appreciate all the advice. I most likely will try the SN preschool (put my ego away with the DIY attitude) & look upon it as another resource that I can learn from as well as my ds's therapy that will help him along with what I can do for him. Thank you, all, for your replies.
post #14 of 16

Ok, so I know this is a very old thread but I was wondering if anybody else had experiences with homeschooling after SN preschool. I am sending DS to a SN preschool for 2 days a week this year and am hoping for the best. He is only slightly speech delayed and I actually think he will catch on quick. I wanted to homeschool him originally.

post #15 of 16

Lots of people send their children to school and then later homeschool. Honestly, very few people homeschool the whole way through. Many people who start out homeschooling stop, and others who didn't start out with it start. It's a revolving door.

 

Preschool is an especial nice age for a child to attend a program. For one thing, it is very part time and won't take over her life. Also, in most places, there are fewer opportunities for preschoolers to socialize during the day than their are for homeschoolers, who have organized groups and outings.

 

Is there a specific concern you have about sn preschool and then homeschooling?
 

post #16 of 16

We did not know that DS was special needs back then, but we did send him to preschool even though we knew we would be homeschooling him. I did it to give him a chance to be around other kids in a safe environment but without needing me to be there (otherwise I had to shadow him all the time in any social setting as he would often hurt other kids). Many of my homeschooling friends sent their kids to preschool; the fact that it was very part time was part of it.

 

While I think homeschooling is wonderful, it does require a certain amount of resources from the parent, both in terms of available time and emotional energy. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now, and I don't think you should feel guilty if you are not able to do this right now.

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