Virtual school dilemna (we want out but guilt holds me back)(update #22) - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-03-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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I wanted to mention that in California, there are a LOT of options for homeschool charters in some communities. Our "official" residence is in San Diego, and there are tons of options. I was speaking to a mom of a kindergartener at one of them, and that school will get you whatever curriculum you want, but her "teacher" said "Eh? She's in Kindergarten. If you want something, we'll get it for you, but I think she can learn what she needs to know without anything formal." So they use all their funds for enrichment classes like gymnastics and art classes. It sounds like you might need a more hands off program, if there's one near you. Do you mind telling what county you're in? I could help look for other options, if you don't want to go independant.
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post

Why do you homeschool? It sounds like you're not getting the benefits of homeschooling if someone is breathing down your neck to sit at a table with your kids for hours. What style would you use if you had more choices? Did you read that in England, they've decided that it's not good to teach the 3R's before 6yrs old?
We homeschool for a variety of reasons. I think one of the most important reasons is, I agree (like the article you mentioned), with the idea that children are pushed too early in school. I also have special needs children who don't "fit" in a traditional school. I was sick of fighting for services, etc. It was a "I'll just do it myself" sort of attitude. My youngest has been mislabeled so many times by "professionals" and our experience with the school district has been less than desirable. Plus, I just think homeschooling can offer so many opportunities for growth both socially/academically/spiritually and emotionally

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I wanted to mention that in California, there are a LOT of options for homeschool charters in some communities. Our "official" residence is in San Diego, and there are tons of options. I was speaking to a mom of a kindergartener at one of them, and that school will get you whatever curriculum you want, but her "teacher" said "Eh? She's in Kindergarten. If you want something, we'll get it for you, but I think she can learn what she needs to know without anything formal." So they use all their funds for enrichment classes like gymnastics and art classes. It sounds like you might need a more hands off program, if there's one near you. Do you mind telling what county you're in? I could help look for other options, if you don't want to go independant.
Thank you, you are so sweet! We are in LA county (near North OC). I know of Sky Mountain...and have heard good things about that "school". I am just not sure if I want to go to another charter or if I want to go Independent.

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:34 AM
 
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Then, she went on to say that she's concerned that DD10 is falling behind. She told me that they should all be doing school at the table at the same time....from 9-1 or 2pm. They should just know they have to get school done before anything else and that during that time, it's school time.

In her mind, she feels like we should sit at the table and get it all done but it's NOT how it works for us.

.

"well, he needs to learn to sit still and do kinder work, regardless of what curriculum you use". .
I chose these quotes of yours, and highlighted the one I found most important.

It sounds to me very much like this method of "homeschooling" is simply not what you desire to be doing with your family. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with choosing to send a child to school, or choosing to do a "school at home" style of homeschooling, but that it obviously won't work for everybody. In fact, I'd venture that most homeschoolers want to homeschool because they DON'T want to be doing "school". And it sounds like K12 is very much essentilly turning your home into a public school classroom, with the same issues and downfalls they'd have if you were actually sending them to school.

So...how do YOU feel? what is YOUR opinion on the quotes I have here?
Do YOU think that the educational experience you want your kids to have is sitting at a table for 6 hours, not getting up or moving, and just focusing in on their work and doing it because it's school and it has to be done?
Again, if that is the vision you have for what you WANT homeschooling to look like for you, thats fine, I'm not judging the method. Just saying it doesn't at all sound like what YOU want. Or what would work best for your children.
Do you agree with the bolded statement?
I actually wholeheartedly, with so much vehemence I can't really portray it through a message board, completely disagree with the bolded statement.
I think anyone who honestly thinks that a 5 year old kinder child shoudl be able to sit **** and do focused academics is...seriously misguided, and just completely wrong about how education, how learning, works.
I'm not saying K12 is intrinsicly bad or whatever, but it is one of many, many options, and it sounds like a bad option for your family.

CPST
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:04 AM
 
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Oh my! I had our meeting today with the kids' teacher through K12. It did NOT go well.
I have to premise this with the fact that our teacher with K12 is very nice. She has always wanted to help...but I think the k12 public school teacher in her is sort of shaping her view of homeschooling.

First she wasn't happy with the sample I gave her for my 5th grade dd. The LA sample was not in complete sentences. DD10 is very slow with reading and writing. It's always been a challenge. Teacher asked for another sample and DD only had a few others. Teacher said "She should have stacks to choose from....". That was strike one.
Then she wanted to give ds9 (vision impaired/cerebral palsy) a writing prompt. In his IEP it states he can type/braille or write his samples. Well she wanted him to "write" it and after a few minutes of him struggling...I asked if he could type it and she agreed...but it was frustrating that it wasn't just automatic that he would be able to type or braille it, yk?
Then, she went on to say that she's concerned that DD10 is falling behind. She told me that they should all be doing school at the table at the same time....from 9-1 or 2pm. They should just know they have to get school done before anything else and that during that time, it's school time.

Then she went on to "test" ds6 (he just turned 6 yesterday )
She worked with him for over 20 minutes (no breaks). He was done after 10 minutes or so. He stood up and was jumping around. She was getting frustrated. She kept trying to show him pictures and ask him what letters they started with. He guessed on like 85% of them. In her mind, she feels like we should sit at the table and get it all done but it's NOT how it works for us.

Then she asked me if I thought ds9 did better when he was 'IN' school. I said "no". He was bluffing his way which is why we pulled him out. She thinks we're not pushing him enough but even his VI teacher that comes twice a week has a hard time pulling "writing" samples from him. He is an avid reader. He has a great vocabulary...but he has a super hard time getting his thoughts onto paper.

So overall, when she left today, I felt like I'm failing miserably. Even when I brought up the fact that K12 might not be a good fit for ds6, she said "well, he needs to learn to sit still and do kinder work, regardless of what curriculum you use". She thinks that we just don't want to "work" (that's the vibe I'm getting).

I'm feeling A LOT of pressure that if we can't succeed with K12, then we won't succeed with any other curriculum. (again, it's a vibe).

Anyway...I wanted to share all that because it's an example of how K12 is viewing us.
did yu bring up the "reward for on task" program for you kindy kid -- like we talked about before -- to see if that would make her happy.

i don't agree with her that he has to learn to sit and do school .. but i do see from all yur posts taken together that he does have a hard time doing tasks -- and i see nothing wrong with working on, in general, being on task or "working" in general -- sitting at a table for hours NOT but follwo though and staying on task is something that evetually you will want no matter how you HS. I wondered if such a plan would apease the k12 teacher?

HUGS honesy sounds like a horrid meeting

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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I just wanted to say that we homeschool so that my child does not have to sit for 6 hours having school. We learn a variety of different ways an we probable sit for maybe an hour a day and that has outside time mixed in so it is not a solid hour all at one time. I really don't think kids were made to sit a long time to learn. I certainly cannot do it! Anyway good luck and you are doing a wonderful job!!!!!
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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The more I think about this, the more annoyed I feel. The notion that a 5 yr. old should be made to sit still and cooperate in the way that program demands indicates is outrageous. My son was in a Waldorf kindergarten at that age, so there were no such demands, but the teacher told me that he was not able to sit still in the circle and listen to the fairytales - he was able to sit still if not trying to listen, but he was not able to sit still if listening. When listening, he would be squirming and falling out of his chair - because that's the way his system worked. She recommended looking into sensory integration so that things would be more integrated by later school years. But your son has entirely different issues that are not being considered - and he's only 5 years old, so what in the world could be so important for him to sit and "learn"? It's hard to believe those people are trained in child development. - Lillian
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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I have found with my 6 year old that he retains a lot more if not sitting still. One thing we are doing is if I am reading history he is on a balance board.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
did yu bring up the "reward for on task" program for you kindy kid -- like we talked about before -- to see if that would make her happy.
I did bring that up but unfortunately, it boils down to either he is capable of doing the work or he's not. There isn't a lot of tolerance for behavioral roadblocks. I get the vibe that if things are that bad, he should be IN a school where "professionals" can help him. But, I do want to implement what you suggested. I'm just having a hard time figuring out how to do that

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I just wanted to say that we homeschool so that my child does not have to sit for 6 hours having school. We learn a variety of different ways an we probable sit for maybe an hour a day and that has outside time mixed in so it is not a solid hour all at one time. I really don't think kids were made to sit a long time to learn. I certainly cannot do it! Anyway good luck and you are doing a wonderful job!!!!!
Thank you

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The more I think about this, the more annoyed I feel. The notion that a 5 yr. old should be made to sit still and cooperate in the way that program demands indicates is outrageous. My son was in a Waldorf kindergarten at that age, so there were no such demands, but the teacher told me that he was not able to sit still in the circle and listen to the fairytales - he was able to sit still if not trying to listen, but he was not able to sit still if listening. When listening, he would be squirming and falling out of his chair - because that's the way his system worked. She recommended looking into sensory integration so that things would be more integrated by later school years. But your son has entirely different issues that are not being considered - and he's only 5 years old, so what in the world could be so important for him to sit and "learn"? It's hard to believe those people are trained in child development. - Lillian
Yep, Lillian, I agree. My ds is similar with his learning as your son was. He can't just sit and learn. He does better moving around and "not" listening He seems to absorb more when he's moving. He also is just super defiant and doesn't want any part of anything "schooly".

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:30 AM
 
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I didn't read the whole thread, but as the parent of a SN learner who tried K12 this school year, I was in the same position earlier this year. I felt guilty about it not working well, but finally just unenrolled him. The amount of scaffolding I had to do was crazy, far more work than just getting him stuff that actually targeted his learning style and addressed is deficits more effectively. There were bits and pieces of K12 that were good, but as a whole, it was a huge PITA, and after working with the intervention team, I realized that I didn't want to just not complete as much (they were going to have us only complete 70-80% of it and drop some subjects), I just wanted to tailor it for him better.

I felt horrible about dropping it and kept delaying it until I realized that he was actually backsliding and my former "love to read" and "love to learn" kid was crying every time I said it was time to do school. We actually had to deschool for a while, then started introducing educational games, and have started to do bits and peices of more formal seatwork again, and plan on getting more formal curriculum this coming week.

Our overall style is more eclectic than K12 let us be. I got sick of putting aside all of the fun, enriching things that used to make it interesting, and the loss of the social contact that is SO important for him, for all of us just to mark those little boxes complete. We actually get a lot more learning accomplished without it, with a combination of seatwork for some of the more formal things (handwriting, some aspects of math, some of the Speech therapy/grammar/reading comprehension stuff), but most of our days more child-led (which means a lot more science than we were able to do with K12), more social activities, more art, more time spent with hands-on learning. Plus, and this is a HUGE plus, no crappy "educational specialists" who think they know my child better than I do because he has a particular "label".

As for the "sitting still" stuff, yeah, ignore it. My son's "seatwork" is almost never done actually sitting on a seat, especially when he was 5yo. We have 2 tables, one that is the right height for him to sit on a ball or chair to sit at, the other the right height for him to stand and work. His sensory issues mean that sitting still and learning are often mutually exclusive. That is the beauty of homeschooling. Maturity means that he is able to handle sitting more, but "forcing" him to sit actually made it worse.

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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Old 02-05-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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My ideal situation would be reading to him, mixed with maybe 1 workbook he could do as he is interested. I could use opportunities to teach him letters/numbers/sounds/etc. We could read books (we do the library once a week) about science/history/etc ...but not push by state standards.

Can I get some input?
You answered your own question...You just demonstrated how accurate mother's instincts are. Listen to the so called experts, but make your own conclusions, because you know your child better than anyone.

Based on what you said I recommend two things;
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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A really good math, largely because it is exploritory and foundational rather than workbook-like is Miquon Math. They can use the cuisinaire rods to build with too, so it is a toy and tool in one, where they learn number relationships.
http://www.rainbowresource.com/produ...5402251-703772
(they also come in plastic, which is cheaper and still good quality)

It is really nice for us because it is easier to make math more like play, and considering how difficult some of the language based things are, and that there is a good size chunk of those lessons that need to be done in a systematic, formal way, I try to lesson some of the formal stuff on other subjects he has an easier time with, and math is easier to do that because you can find games that help reinforce math facts, and games and building things that help with number theory.

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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