Virtual school dilemna (we want out but guilt holds me back)(update #22) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 41 Old 01-29-2010, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've been using K12 virtual academy (in Ca.) (on and off for several years).
I have never felt "on top" of things since we started. We've always fallen behind. I don't have the time to sit and plan out the lessons for all four kids (my oldest is high school so she's pretty much on her own...but still)

I just enrolled Boo (he's kinder w/ special needs) a few months ago. I HATE it for him. The only reason we're keeping on with it is they are giving him speech and soon he'll get OT too. We can't afford these services on our own so I feel "stuck" in a way. However, because of his needs, I can't get him to sit for 5 minutes to do a lesson let alone 3-4 hours a day!
When I expressed my concern to his assigned SpEd and Gen Ed teacher, they recommended I teach to the objectives. I tried that, and 1. It's still too much work for me and 2. It's too "advanced" for him.
Example: He was supposed to learn his 7 continents and make a compass rose. He can only write a few letters and can't read at all....so making the compass and teaching him "continents" was a joke.

His behavior mixed with his ADHD and learning disabilities are what's really making things difficult. He refuses to sit and "learn". He won't do "circle time" even if I make the other kids sit for it. Everything needs to be on "his terms".
According to K12, that's not acceptable and he needs to "learn" to sit or K12 is not going to work for him. (Fine, I get that...but then does that make me a failure as a teacher?)
The general consensus seems to be that if he isn't "learning" to sit and do his work now, he never will. He won't learn his letters/numbers/etc, if we just "let" him get away with "running the show".

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?

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#2 of 41 Old 01-29-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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Dos he have an IEP? Since he has special ed teachers, they should be be more understanding and offer some more ways to meet their requirements. That seems like and awful lot of seat time for a any Kindergartner, much less a special needs K child.

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#3 of 41 Old 01-29-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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has he had full testing via the school ... he has a SpEd teacher assinged -- what is on his IEP?

If he were in a brick and stick school building -- with an IEP -- his goals can be re-written and totally taylored to HIM. I know you are useing 12K via the state -- so can the same thing be done? That is what I would go for -- an IEP and a change in his "program" to where he is. if he doesn't know his letters the rest is a joke.

other than that, what work can be donw verbally -- while he runs around to plays ...??

is K12 the ONLY way to get services from the school? here in Iowa we can dule enroll and access services (my son has an IEP and is in ST and is doing more testing soon) that way -- and then we still define on our own what we do for our part of the schooling.

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#4 of 41 Old 01-29-2010, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He does have an IEP. It has goals on it but I am basically responsible for helping him with the RS support. He is also "required" to attend an online class (which is a joke and he won't sit for it).

There is freedom in tweaking the curriculum a bit...but he still needs to move forward with the enrichment courses (science, art, music, history). Those subjects are too over his head.

I basically have been working on doing some of the lessons while he's playing but the school needs to see samples...so he needs to "write". If he refuses, then I have nothing to "show" them and that's a big problem

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#5 of 41 Old 01-29-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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That sounds so stressful and frustrating Do you have any other options to get services? Could they have a teacher talk to him on the phone or in person instead of doing writing samples?

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#6 of 41 Old 01-29-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mykdsmomy View Post
He does have an IEP. It has goals on it but I am basically responsible for helping him with the RS support. He is also "required" to attend an online class (which is a joke and he won't sit for it).

There is freedom in tweaking the curriculum a bit...but he still needs to move forward with the enrichment courses (science, art, music, history). Those subjects are too over his head.

I basically have been working on doing some of the lessons while he's playing but the school needs to see samples...so he needs to "write". If he refuses, then I have nothing to "show" them and that's a big problem
how old is the IEP -- if he is unable to met the basic goals, it needs to be re-written or you need more services / help.

is there any other way to access school services (ST or OT or whatever) besides the virtal school?

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#7 of 41 Old 01-29-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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I just wanted to say that I don't think you should feel bad or guilty. My child is what I would call borderline ADHD. When I looked into ARVA, I knew that it was way to structured and way to much work for my child. I declined when they called to say he was accepted. My DS is very smart we just have to do school in a different way that does not include a lot of sitting. Our homeschooling includes a lot of the Charlotte Mason ideas. Anyway, not a lot of help as far as keeping with VA. I just wanted you to know that your son was not the only one who struggles in that area and it is not a bad thing.
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#8 of 41 Old 01-29-2010, 06:17 PM
 
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"I just enrolled Boo (he's kinder w/ special needs) a few months ago. I HATE it for him. The only reason we're keeping on with it is they are giving him speech and soon he'll get OT too. We can't afford these services on our own so I feel "stuck" in a way. However, because of his needs, I can't get him to sit for 5 minutes to do a lesson let alone 3-4 hours a day!"


I did the exact same thing you did (enrolled my ADHD 5 y.o. in the hope of getting an IEP and services). It seemed my only choice - the brick and mortar school refused even to evaluate him until he was failing in kindergarten. The insurance was covering 80% of the therapies but the remaining copay plus deductible were still more than we could continue to cover.

Well, almost a year has passed since my first contact with our virtual charter school, and they have STILL not held an IEP meeting for my son. They have stonewalled and stonewalled. He's been assessed, but they are doing their level best to delay providing services. I have spent thousands on therapy meanwhile. I am disgusted with the situation, and I'm leaving K12 next year. I don't think their kindy program is very good anyhow, although I cannot speak to the higher grades, that curriculum might be excellent.

It sounds like your son's needs are more serious than mine's, (for instance, James could learn the continents and the compass rose with some remediation, and in other areas he has progressed very quickly) so you may not have the choice I did about dropping the therapies. Once James and I had spent some time together doing formal work, I realized that I could, in fact, teach him to write his letters. So we dropped the OT, and we'll be able to say good riddance to K12 with no problem at the end of the year.

If your son really, really needs that therapy, then my advice is to start flat-out fabricating the work you need to present to his teacher that he can't do. Not because this is great educational policy, but because our messed-up (lack of a) public medical system has got you backed into a corner. Just do whatever you need to do to keep him in therapy. At this age, everything else is kind of secondary to getting the speech and the fine-motor skills where they need to be, YKWIM?

For your other kids - you say you don't have time to lesson-plan, but how much time do you actually spend right now dealing with the charter school's nonsense? I personally cannot wait to be free of their scheduling and their busywork -and as charter schools go, my state's K12 school is a very low-intervention setup. I can totally see how it is a godsend for older students, but for littles - eh.

For me, a huge part of the decision would hinge on whether or not I considered it absolutely mandatory to retain the therapy services... if stopping it for my kindergartner, I would also drop it for the older elementary-aged kids, and maybe retain it for the teenager if she likes it and is essentially self-directing during her schoolday.

I am so feeling your pain on this. Good luck, whatever you decide!
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#9 of 41 Old 01-29-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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Example: He was supposed to learn his 7 continents and make a compass rose. He can only write a few letters and can't read at all....so making the compass and teaching him "continents" was a joke.

How frustrating.
I have one suggestion.
As a teacher for special needs kids in Massachusetts, the kids were still expected to participate in formal assessments according to the state requirements. Most students took a statewide test called the MCAS. I was able to make a portfolio for many of my kids, rather than have them take an incredibly incredibly inappropriate test for them. What I had to do was look at each of the objectives and change it to match their levels, but the flavor of the objective remained the same.
So what I would do for yours objectives stated above would be:
learn that just as the earth has land and water, a globe which is a picture of the earth, has land and water. Land is found in groups. Take turns putting your entire hand on each continent. You can then play with the globe and look at the differences between land and water (color, smoothness/bumps if appropriate) and covering the continents with flat hands. Driving a car on the land, "floating" a boat on the blue water.
compass rose: play with directions, label walls in one room appropriately with north, south, east and west. Call out the word and jump your entire body to the appropriate side. If he only comes out of this exercise with the knowledge that of directional names that's great.

I don't know your child so I don't know if this level is appropriate, too hard or too easy, but these examples might give you an idea of what I mean.

I would be happy to brainstorm other objectives with you.

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#10 of 41 Old 01-29-2010, 08:43 PM
 
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That's insane. MY kindergartener isn't special needs, but making her sit still and learn the 7 continents, just for one lesson? Seriously? Heck, SHE'd fail. What kind of kindy curriculum IS this?
I don't think it measn you are afiling as a teacher, I think it means that this method of schooling isn't for your child. Let's be honest here...it's "homeschooling" ONLY, ONLY because it's taking place in your home..but it's really public schooling, with the same downsides as with any public school, and it's completely not working for this child.
I"m unfamiliar with CA's laws, but isn't there SOME other way to get services but not be affiliated with K12?

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#11 of 41 Old 01-30-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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I believe in California your local school district is required to provide speech therapy regardless of if your child is enrolled in one of their schools. This may hold true for OT also. Maybe contact http://www.hsc.org/index.php ?

Is your child eligible for Regional Center services? It seems like it can be difficult to qualify, but once you get in they offer all sorts of services.

Good luck!
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#12 of 41 Old 01-30-2010, 03:51 AM
 
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Unless something has radically changed, I don't think you need to be enrolled in a program in CA in order to get help with speech therapy, but you can look through the information on this HomeSchool Assn. of California page - Homeschooling with special challenges . You'll also find some contact info in the first two articles from moms who have a lot of experience with the CA system.

That program sounds quite unreasonable - they should know better than to tell you what they have about a five year old needing to be made to sit and do work. They're way out of line. Many of the articles in this list of links on preschool and kindergarten are from professional educators and researchers who would be appalled by that. I had no idea they were putting kindergarten age children through that kind of routine - that's outrageous.

Best of luck with all this - Lillian
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#13 of 41 Old 01-30-2010, 04:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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how old is the IEP -- if he is unable to met the basic goals, it needs to be re-written or you need more services / help.

is there any other way to access school services (ST or OT or whatever) besides the virtal school?
He is due for his Triennial in March. He just had an addendum IEP in December. They wrote in his speech goals and an assessment plan for OT. Right now, I'm waiting for a Psych. to contact me to do his other assessments through K12 for the Tri.
I don't think the services are the issue. It's the curriculum

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I just wanted to say that I don't think you should feel bad or guilty. My child is what I would call borderline ADHD. When I looked into ARVA, I knew that it was way to structured and way to much work for my child. I declined when they called to say he was accepted. My DS is very smart we just have to do school in a different way that does not include a lot of sitting. Our homeschooling includes a lot of the Charlotte Mason ideas. Anyway, not a lot of help as far as keeping with VA. I just wanted you to know that your son was not the only one who struggles in that area and it is not a bad thing.
Thank you
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If your son really, really needs that therapy, then my advice is to start flat-out fabricating the work you need to present to his teacher that he can't do. Not because this is great educational policy, but because our messed-up (lack of a) public medical system has got you backed into a corner. Just do whatever you need to do to keep him in therapy. At this age, everything else is kind of secondary to getting the speech and the fine-motor skills where they need to be, YKWIM?

For your other kids - you say you don't have time to lesson-plan, but how much time do you actually spend right now dealing with the charter school's nonsense? I personally cannot wait to be free of their scheduling and their busywork -and as charter schools go, my state's K12 school is a very low-intervention setup. I can totally see how it is a godsend for older students, but for littles - eh.
Thank you I agree that for our younger ones, the weight of teaching falls on us 100% of the time. My older kids can manage pretty well on their own but it still is demanding. I have thought about fabricating the work...but Boo can't even write well and they know that. That's the frustrating part

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How frustrating.


I don't know your child so I don't know if this level is appropriate, too hard or too easy, but these examples might give you an idea of what I mean.

I would be happy to brainstorm other objectives with you.
Thank you, you are so sweet for offering to brainstorm with me Your suggestions are wonderful but unfortunately Boo has such issues with doing ANYTHING that he doesn't want to do. I've tried some of the more hands on approaches and he sees through the "play". He knows when I'm trying to "teach" him. It's almost like I need to really disguise the "school work".

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..but it's really public schooling, with the same downsides as with any public school, and it's completely not working for this child.
I"m unfamiliar with CA's laws, but isn't there SOME other way to get services but not be affiliated with K12?
Thank you, and I agree. It's public school expectations at home. (Not that there's anything wrong with that but for us, it doesn't work at all).


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Unless something has radically changed, I don't think you need to be enrolled in a program in CA in order to get help with speech therapy, but you can look through the information on this HomeSchool Assn. of California page - Homeschooling with special challenges . You'll also find some contact info in the first two articles from moms who have a lot of experience with the CA system.

That program sounds quite unreasonable - they should know better than to tell you what they have about a five year old needing to be made to sit and do work. They're way out of line. Many of the articles in this list of links on preschool and kindergarten are from professional educators and researchers who would be appalled by that. I had no idea they were putting kindergarten age children through that kind of routine - that's outrageous.

Best of luck with all this - Lillian
Thanks Lillian, I was hoping you'd chime in I was going to contact HSC and ask them a few questions about this. If I pulled him and he was homeschooled, it would be under a private school (affidavit). I think they are then "exempt" from having to offer speech. If he was in preschool, then I think we'd have a case. The other thing I'm working against is the fact that his behavior is a huge problem. We have stacks of reports from professionals stating their opinion of him needing to be "in school" with LOTS of structure. I often wonder what my rights as a parent are if (God forbid), we were to be investigated as a "private school". It just seems more complicated when you have special needs children (re: homeschooling).


So just for a quick outline in case I'm forgetting anyone's questions. Boo is Kinder. He'll be 6 on Monday. He is currently receiving speech, and his curriculum is "modified" in that we can teach to the objectives so he doesn't have to complete ALL the work. (However, this is still a huge problem as the objectives are over his head at times).
He won't sit still for lessons. He won't cooperate with me. He has severe learning disabilities so he has a very difficult time retaining information.
We are homeschooling him because he has EXTREMELY high anxiety. He is also ADHD. He has brain damage from his birth mom's alcoholism.
When he was IN a brick and mortar setting, it was very high stress for him. They wouldn't give him an aide until they saw enough need. Even though it was recommended by UCLA (where he spent 3 months in an intensive program).
The bottom line is that I feel he needs to be at home in a nurturing environment where I can teach him at a slower pace. ALL the other professionals thinks he needs to be IN a school setting so he can "learn". Because we've sought out sooooo many assessments from so many different professionals, we have a stack of mainstream recommendations. One of the psychologists (that I loved) at UCLA was adamant that he NEEDED to be in school to learn that "that's his job". She was not pro homeschooling. She really believes that he needs to just jump in and learn to deal with life because he "can't be sheltered forever". Don't get me started on that statement
I feel like I'm going against the grain. I second guess myself and my abilities. Then I worry that because of Boo's behavior and because there tends to be LOUD noises coming from my house (Boo's screaming at the top of his lungs for NO reason (well it's sensory related but to the outside world, it sounds like he's either hurt or angry), we could experience a visit from DCFS. (We used to be foster parents...I saw how the system works and It's tainted my view of the "system".).
I don't want to feel cornered into putting him into school so I picked K12 for him because I figured it was still "public school" and he still had some cover in case something happened. Now I just want out because I'm sick of hearing that "he needs to learn to sit and do his work". Sorry for the extended vent

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#14 of 41 Old 01-30-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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HUGS momma

a few things to think about

1. Does boo react with oppsition to EVERYTHING -- bath time, dinner time, sitting in the car seat belt, transition of activities -- or is it some how jsut school?

if it is everything -- how do you accomplish daily stuff -- ie you have to sit int he car in a carseat or booster -- can you do the same things with limited lessons ....

2.

Quote:
and his curriculum is "modified" in that we can teach to the objectives so he doesn't have to complete ALL the work. (However, this is still a huge problem as the objectives are over his head at times).
can they be modified more -- bare bones --

or

has he had IQ testing in all that testing? is he capable of these requirments if we would be willing?

3. can you start a "program" to "teach" him to sit for lessons ... I mean it would have to be sloooow. 30 seonds of on task gets a reward (stick?) then 60 seconds? ... or something he likes he can keep as long as he sits at the table for school, he gets up the thing he likes is gone -- we can all help you brainstorm a program for you ....

that might actually help some

and that would be something "real" youc an SHOW with regrad to the "he needs to learn to sit and learn" line that you keep running into.

4. does he have an offical Dx for the sensory stuff -- no matter if the rec was school or not -- do you have a professional on board with teh SPD or whatever it is? That is documentation that would be good to have -- for the school and if you run into DFS.

5. if you need help being creative with his learning -- i am sure many of us here can help you brainstorm it. because in the end -- stress of virtual school or not, at some point you will need to find a way to 'work with him' that he will "accept" -- even if not doing so to make the school happy -- it is still gonna be a challange of homeschooling.

HUGS momma

oh and 6. Does he respond better for other people -- I know when Theo was assessed he was shy (thus calm and reserved) by the new place and new people and thus we didn't get a good full Dx -- our Ped commented on the real boy (who she loves).....

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#15 of 41 Old 01-30-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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I was going to contact HSC and ask them a few questions about this. If I pulled him and he was homeschooled, it would be under a private school (affidavit). I think they are then "exempt" from having to offer speech. If he was in preschool, then I think we'd have a case. The other thing I'm working against is the fact that his behavior is a huge problem. We have stacks of reports from professionals stating their opinion of him needing to be "in school" with LOTS of structure. I often wonder what my rights as a parent are if (God forbid), we were to be investigated as a "private school". It just seems more complicated when you have special needs children (re: homeschooling).
This is why you need to dig through the information in that section of their website - because I think you actually can get some help if you're homeschooling independently. And there's also something in there that addresses the IEP complications that can com up. I'd give a call to the woman who wrote the first article in there - she's connected with a network of people who've dealt with this sort of thing. And you can join HSC's large email group to ask questions there.

It seems to me that you little boy is being pretty reasonable - he's been the recipient of a lot of inappropriate and stress producing expectations from that program, and he's having natural reactions to it. I can't help but admire his spunk in holding his boundaries - I think it will serve him well at some point.

All the best - Lillian
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#16 of 41 Old 01-31-2010, 03:19 AM
 
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He does have an IEP. It has goals on it but I am basically responsible for helping him with the RS support. He is also "required" to attend an online class (which is a joke and he won't sit for it).

There is freedom in tweaking the curriculum a bit...but he still needs to move forward with the enrichment courses (science, art, music, history). Those subjects are too over his head.

I basically have been working on doing some of the lessons while he's playing but the school needs to see samples...so he needs to "write". If he refuses, then I have nothing to "show" them and that's a big problem
I know of several students enrolled in the same K12 VA as my children who have serious learning disabilities, and their programs were far more accommodating than you're describing. One of them was fifteen years old and working at a third/fourth grade level in all subjects, for example. They did have to take a state assessment, but not the same test that's given to more typical students and under special circumstances. I'm not sure whether that has to do with state law or not, but I know that it's possible for the program to be adjusted significantly across the board. It sounds to me as though your son needs a far more comprehensive IEP, and more accommodations than are currently being made for him.

That said, for some children it's just not a great fit. My kindergartener does not have any learning issues whatsoever (in fact she's probably highly or profoundly gifted) but K12, while a great program, is not ideal for her learning style or her personality. The benefits, in her case, just aren't worth the amount of work that goes into teaching her-- neither for her nor for me. She will finish this year, but we're pulling her out to unschool next year. (It's taken Mike this long to come around to the idea that unschooling might be appropriate/acceptable at all for any of our children... several months of helping to teach Boobah have shown him the light. ) Boobah's personality and learning style are radically different from those of her older brother, who has been thriving in the virtual academy; She requires a radically different approach.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#17 of 41 Old 01-31-2010, 04:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It seems to me that you little boy is being pretty reasonable - he's been the recipient of a lot of inappropriate and stress producing expectations from that program, and he's having natural reactions to it. I can't help but admire his spunk in holding his boundaries - I think it will serve him well at some point.
All the best - Lillian
Thank you, Lillian I'm going to poke around HSC some more and email a few people.

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HUGS momma

a few things to think about

1. Does boo react with oppsition to EVERYTHING -- bath time, dinner time, sitting in the car seat belt, transition of activities -- or is it some how jsut school?

He opposes anything that isn't "his" idea or something he agrees with. He has gotten MUCH better than he was even a year ago but we still struggle with his opposition. Most of it stems from transitions. He does NOT transition well. I was supposed to put together a picture schedule chart for him and still haven't done that. Although I've partly put it off because trying to implement it sounds like an uphill battle.
if it is everything -- how do you accomplish daily stuff -- ie you have to sit int he car in a carseat or booster -- can you do the same things with limited lessons ....

Possibly.
2.



can they be modified more -- bare bones --

or

has he had IQ testing in all that testing? is he capable of these requirments if we would be willing?

He scored on the low end of average. The problem with the testing is that it doesn't show all his deficits. He has what the professionals refer to as "swiss cheese brain". He has holes in his abilities that can change daily. For instance, one day he may have the letters E and M nailed....but the next day, they are gone

3. can you start a "program" to "teach" him to sit for lessons ... I mean it would have to be sloooow. 30 seonds of on task gets a reward (stick?) then 60 seconds? ... or something he likes he can keep as long as he sits at the table for school, he gets up the thing he likes is gone -- we can all help you brainstorm a program for you ....

YES!!! I love this idea. This is exactly what I need to work on. I know it sounds like I've let him rule the roost but it's so much more complicated than that. We were starting from a point where he would literally fall to pieces and tantrum for HOURS when things didn't go just right. He could have been playing with a toy and he dropped it, and it would be enough to set him off

4. does he have an offical Dx for the sensory stuff -- no matter if the rec was school or not -- do you have a professional on board with teh SPD or whatever it is? That is documentation that would be good to have -- for the school and if you run into DFS.

Yep. He has many dx's and they are all documented thankfully.

5. if you need help being creative with his learning -- i am sure many of us here can help you brainstorm it. because in the end -- stress of virtual school or not, at some point you will need to find a way to 'work with him' that he will "accept" -- even if not doing so to make the school happy -- it is still gonna be a challange of homeschooling.

HUGS momma

Thank you, I really appreciate the input and support

oh and 6. Does he respond better for other people -- I know when Theo was assessed he was shy (thus calm and reserved) by the new place and new people and thus we didn't get a good full Dx -- our Ped commented on the real boy (who she loves).....
Yes. He tends to respond to others better than me (at first...but over time he will show his true colors)


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One of them was fifteen years old and working at a third/fourth grade level in all subjects, for example.
We were told that he has to start with Kinder curriculum because that's the "lowest". He can take up to two years to accomplish it (but even that has been sort of challenged lately as we have been enrolled for 2 months and he's only accomplished about 4 history lessons, 4 science lessons, 1 music lesson, and probably about 20 language arts. That isn't enough for them. They want to see him going faster...ughhh
Also, thank you for telling me about your kindergartener It's encouraging to hear that it isn't working even for a gifted child (I hope that comes out ok). If your child who is gifted, isn't meshing well with it, then it validates my suspicions about it not being a good fit for my son Thank you !!!

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#18 of 41 Old 01-31-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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3. can you start a "program" to "teach" him to sit for lessons ... I mean it would have to be sloooow. 30 seonds of on task gets a reward (stick?) then 60 seconds? ... or something he likes he can keep as long as he sits at the table for school, he gets up the thing he likes is gone -- we can all help you brainstorm a program for you ....

YES!!! I love this idea. This is exactly what I need to work on. I know it sounds like I've let him rule the roost but it's so much more complicated than that. We were starting from a point where he would literally fall to pieces and tantrum for HOURS when things didn't go just right. He could have been playing with a toy and he dropped it, and it would be enough to set him off
I do understand. Theo is not as extream is your son, i don't think, but he is a lot like him. Theo is very very emotional and very very senstivive and prone to cry and melt down for hours over a little thing that we adults can't even figure out -- seemingly out of nowhere -- and yes age is helping us some, but it is still a dance.

I am wondering -- given the pressure to "get him to sit and learn" -- if showing a program like that would make the school happy -- and you know .. you give some, show effort to wortk on something -- maybe they give some and "realize" that the goals are beyond DS right now and work on thier side too.

I am wondering if a documented "program" that you are working -- sloooooooowwwwwly and in tiny tiny tiny bits to reduse fustration and stress -- might oh I don't know, give more crediblity to how little DS can handle what is being asked of him?

and you know -- it might help a little -- eventually. and k12 or not, at some point you are going to have to address some of his behaviors 9as i knwo you are) jsut in life -- homeschool or not.

If it was me i would start with the picutre daily schdule. Again it shows you are working your end of the program and you are willing to try differnt things .... and you never know it might help. we are getting ready to start one here too. you don't have to do -- at now, the startt -- as a full fledged routine like they suggest or as "standard". We are going to start with a few "big points" of the day velcroed to a sheet -- not in order -- and as we do them DS can take them down.

you could start a "this than that" -- just two items ... just to work on transtions .. a picture of washing hands then a picture of a cookie .... wsh hands then snack. I would start with a transition that he is pretty ok with -- maybe even with something he is good with ...first we brush teeth then we brush hair ... and build from there.

IMO now matter how great ANY idea is or is not -- you are bound to fail if you jump in all at once. wade in .. and take as long as you want to wade in ... again the point is to HELP not to hinder.

again k12 or not -- maybe it can help you in your daily life.

and if you do try it and it crashs and burns -- well you have that to document too.

the school officals are not going to move on from an idea or suggestion till you can really say "it did not work, and here is why".

If I was you i would start a journal -- things tried, how tried, and what happened. School or not -- such data would be useful to the OT.



I had another thought -- but stopped to make toast and jelly and now it is gone, i will post later.

Aimee

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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#19 of 41 Old 02-02-2010, 03:42 AM
 
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Mykdsmomy, a discussion just came up in the HSC email list about a parent wanting to get services - and it was brought up that she should not refer to "homeschooling," but just to the fact that her daughter is enrolled in a "private school." Because that's really what it is when you establish your own private school and file the affidavit to let officials know about it - there's no such thing as a "homeschooling" option per se. This would be a good time to join the email list and follow the discussion and/or bring up your own questions. - Lillian
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#20 of 41 Old 02-02-2010, 04:12 AM
 
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My older two kids are enrolled with CAVA. My youngest will be ready for kindy in September, and I'm almost positive that we won't enroll him. He has a speech delay and a fine motor delay, and I don't suspect he would benefit from the k12 curriculum at all. We do want to stick with a charter school because we enjoy some of the benefits, so we're probably going to go with (and move the other kids to) one of the other local homeschool charters that are more flexible with regards to curriculum choices.

as for work samples. . . fudge if you have to. I remember kindy having a LOT of coloring pages. . .I would just have him scribble on one per quarter per subject and turn it in. Skip the music. Just mark it off as if you did it. No one will know the difference, really. Skip the art history portions of art - just do the projects that you think might be fun for him, and mark the rest completed.
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#21 of 41 Old 02-02-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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could you take photos of him "learning" sice he doesn't produce "work" to show?

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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#22 of 41 Old 02-02-2010, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#23 of 41 Old 02-02-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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Oh WOW if I were in your shoes I'd be pulling out of k12 now after that meeting. I've been blessed that our teacher only does stuff on the phone and elluminate sessions, and is really laid back in general. If I had the experience that you are having I'd be pulling and telling them where to stick their curriculum and computer........................

And honestly, if you want to succeed with homeschooling you will find a way to make it work. Don't give up hope! But yeah, definitely sounds like your VA is a total pain...................

Cat- FT ministry student and Sonlight hsing momma to a wild crew of girls
Melissa 4/03, Lydia 5/04, Kimberly 1/06, and Jordan 9/07

And waiting impatiently on baby Isaiah ******* to appear around 3/12

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#24 of 41 Old 02-02-2010, 08:49 PM
 
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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).
Wow, that's completely insane. I can't imagine continuing with a teacher who thought my kids were just a pain in the neck and treated them accordingly.

Quote:
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).
Many children have homeschooled successfully without K12, and many more will. That said, it sounds to me as though your teacher has absolutely no understanding of the program's philosophy. Her complete inflexibility is totally at odds with the fundamental principles of cyberschooling, to say nothing of homeschooling. We wouldn't have finished the first year under those circumstances. I'm really sorry that's what you have to deal with.

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#25 of 41 Old 02-02-2010, 09:34 PM
 
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Many children have homeschooled successfully without K12, and many more will. That said, it sounds to me as though your teacher has absolutely no understanding of the program's philosophy. Her complete inflexibility is totally at odds with the fundamental principles of cyberschooling, to say nothing of homeschooling. We wouldn't have finished the first year under those circumstances. I'm really sorry that's what you have to deal with.
This, totally. My face to face meetings have been nothing like this (and my kids don't even have IEPs). My teachers have always made tons of suggestions to help limit the amount of sitting at the table/in front of the computer and how to teach to my kids learning styles. Maybe call and request a teacher change?
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#26 of 41 Old 02-03-2010, 03:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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could you take photos of him "learning" sice he doesn't produce "work" to show?
Nope They have to see physical samples in case they were to be audited.

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This, totally. My face to face meetings have been nothing like this (and my kids don't even have IEPs). My teachers have always made tons of suggestions to help limit the amount of sitting at the table/in front of the computer and how to teach to my kids learning styles. Maybe call and request a teacher change?
Our assigned teacher is actually a friend She honestly isn't trying to come off sounding rude. The school is really cracking down on the teachers this year and everything has to be just perfect. They have to be able to measure growth not just by what is marked complete on the OLS but also what the teacher sees with samples and random "testing". She also seems to have a pretty strict view of what the kids "should" be doing as far as a typical school day. (She used to teach public school).
I even told her that while printing up the daily plan for the kids seems like it would be helpful (her idea), they still can't manage to get it all done sometimes due to distractions/needing help/etc. She seems to think that you can't make it any more simple than printing out their daily plan (on the OLS). They should just run down the list. We should be sitting at the table working together and when they are done, I should correct their work immediately so I can make sure they aren't fudging or skipping out on something.
All of this sounds too much like a classroom. My house isn't a classroom. It's filled with all kinds of interruptions and mostly ds6's constant need for stimulation and attention. This is why I think she thinks if we can't make it work, then maybe they belong in school

(of course I disagree but it shakes me up a bit...because she is a friend and because it IS hard to just get through each day).

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#27 of 41 Old 02-03-2010, 03:55 AM
 
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Is she a real life friend, then? I think maybe having outside perspective - someone who isn't coming in with preconceived ideas about who your kids are and what they should be doing would be helpful. Also, were you assigned a special ed teacher? I thought all kids with IEPs were supposed to have one.
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#28 of 41 Old 02-03-2010, 04:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Eclipse~ Yep, we have a SpEd assigned teacher as well. I don't hear from her very often

Last time I spoke with her, she told me to go ahead and just simplify and teach to the objective. I don't think K12 as a whole is getting how difficult it is to teach my son. I have also been told that "if a student can't do the work, then maybe K12 isn't the right school for them". So I'm not too clear on what my children's rights are as far as all that goes.

I have to look back on my ds6's IEP because I think it even states in there that by the end of this school year he will be able to identify like 7 out of 10 random letters with 80% accuracy. When I mentioned to his Gen Ed teacher that ds is STILL struggling with just learning letters, she said...well he has to have them all down before he starts 1st grade.

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#29 of 41 Old 02-03-2010, 10:23 AM
 
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It sounds to me as though your son, at least, needs a stronger advocate. The child I mentioned before, the fifteen year old? That child was in K12 from kindergarten on, and it obviously took more than two years to complete kindergarten. That said, despite serious disabilities, they were enrolled in the virtual academy as a ninth grader. They were on a completely different track, and things had to be altered significantly to accommodate their needs. My own son is not disabled at all, but K12, while an excellent program, still has to be very flexible to meet his needs. It's mostly a matter of making it clear to the virtual academy that it needs to be done. In the case of a child like your son, I'm fairly confident that every state has laws entitling him to a free an appropriate education. I think you need to make it clear that your son's needs are not being met and that things need to change significantly. Your son's IEP should be explicit about accommodations to be made on his behalf, and his teachers (all) should be fully informed as to what that entails.

I don't know how things work in California, but perhaps someone on Learning At School or Parenting the Special Needs Child will have some insights into the process for getting appropriate services for your son.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#30 of 41 Old 02-03-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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Are you using this K-12 just for the services for your son with disabilities? Could you independently homeschool the other children and just use the k-12 with him? Do you have a homeschool resource center (parent led alt. ed program) that provides classes? Maybe one in a nearby district that accepts out of district students?

I use a resource center, which is kind of like a k-12 and our meetings are nothing like that. They never see samples of anything or tell me what to use. Maybe it's a state thing?

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?

This is the problem with the parent partnered programs though, like you said earlier, they want more and more each year. When I started, we had to fill out in SLP, then they wanted and slp and hours, then hours there and hours at home, etc. I wonder if they're going to want samples next year? But it's a trade-off, especially if you have a child with special needs.

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