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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think we have definitely decided to homeschool 2.9 year old ds. He will be recieving speech and ot from the school system though. They are pushing for us to put him in the 4 day a week preschool. I am not comfortable with that. I wish I didn't have to use the public school for the therapy either.

We just finished evaluating him and he is functioning at an 18 month old level for receptive skills, and 22 months for expressive. Over a year behind in both. How in the world am I going to be able to pick out the right programs/curriculum to use with him to homeschool? Right now I am taking an eclectic approach with my 4 year old dd. I am just providing her with materials and workbooks for things that interest her. She is very self motivated for learning. I don't know if my ds will ever be self motivated for learning. I know how to teach him right now, but I am not sure what kind of materials I would choose to help him learn as he gets older.(5,6,7 years old.) Especially for the academic subjects - reading, math, science...

How did you choose?
I would love to talk more to parents who are homeschooling a child like mine. I have so many questions, a lot of doubts.
 

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I just noticed that no one has responded! My older DD had a hearing problem that was corrected by surgery and multiple system delays as a tot (speech and language, gross motor, fine motor, social skills) and has SID. She is not autistic. She is caught up now but some things are just harder for her than they are for other kids. I'm pretty sure she would be labled with a LD if she were in school. Some of the things that have worked well for her are:

Reading Reflex. This is a nice little book full of puzzles that you cut out and your child plays with. It allowed for lots and lots of practice instead of just moving on. There is a huge focus on phonemic awareness, which was another issue for my DD.

Singapore Early Bird Math. Really nice program, lots of hands on ideas. Singapore Primary was not a good fit, though, we we switched to.....

Miquon. totally hands on. This was recommended to me by a friend whose son has autism. My DD is doing well with it.

Five in a Row. Unit studies based on wonderful children's books. Each unit study includes ideas for science, social studies, art, applied math, and language. My kids loved this program and learned so much. It is very gentle, interesting, and easy to customize to the child.

Every special needs child is different. I think the time I felt the most down about my DD was a bout the time she turned 3. Her delays seemed huge and we were just trying to figure out what would help her. I've bought more curriculum that DIDN'T work than did worked. None the less, she is doing great now. She is very excited about learning and interested in everthing. She is reading well. She is slowly catching on to math and handwriting. She loves music and plays the violin very well for a child her age.

I know that right now your son seems very behind, but you really don't know where he will be in a few years or what wonderful talents he may have.
 

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I don't think you need packaged curriculums. Do what you're doing with your older dc, and go with his strengths just as you do with her! Kids with an ASD tend to be the type of learnerd who don't do well with traditional materials anyway. If you use the whole world, and all of their senses- they will learn it better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the posts. It just seemed like such an easy decision to homeschool my 4 year old dd. It was easy to pick out curriculum for her. I just picked out stuff according to her learning style and interests. She is the one who asks to do workbooks and read and do projects. She wants to learn to write letters, so I am just going to provide the materials for her. I just feel so unsure about my ds.

I am starting my older 4 year old dd in five in a row after Christmas. I have before five in a row to do with ds when and if he is interested. (Hasn't been interested much yet, but I can do some activities in the back of the book with him) DD loved before five in a row. I am also going to buy handwriting without tears for my dd. My ds can already hold a pencil correctly and with great control. He learned that on his own. His fine motor skills are great. Maybe I will get the preschool writing booklet for him and use it when he is ready and shows some interest. I realize that he might not be interested until age 5 or later. I have not thought about reading or math for my dd yet. I will keep the programs in mind that you mentioned for both of my kids. I just have to wait a little bit to find out ds' learning style. Thank you for reminding me that just because he is this delayed at 3, doesn't mean he will always be this delayed. Time will tell where his talents lie. I think he is very mechanical.

khrisday,
you might be right about not needing a curriculum. Right now when ds is not interested in something, there is no way on the face of this earth that he will do it. His therapists sometimes try to make him sit and finish a puzzle/game/whatever they are doing. I do believe that in his case this is sometimes necessary - especially when he is obsessed with doing some repetitive behavior or only wants to play with one toy for weeks on end. But he learns so much quicker when I allow him to choose what toy to play with and try to teach him using that toy. (What color is your car, Drive the car under the bridge, give me the green car) I guess it can be the same with academic subjects. I am just afraid he will never be interested in learning to read or doing math. I think I need to broaden my own thinking and realize that he can learn these things in everyday life. (Can you tell I am still in the deschooling process) I think I need to be more creative. I just wish I could be sure of myself. I don't want to look back and say, "If only I had done.....with Wilson's education. Then he would be better off now."
 

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I am also concerned about homeschooling my four year old, who is language delayed. I do not want to use the public school system, but am worried about legal issues if he is not able to pass the mandated tests. if he was in school, he would have an IEP, so it would be excused that he can't pass. but is he is homeschooled, what can I do?
Gen
 

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Emma, I assume you're in Pennsylvania because of you name. Here is a link that may help:
http://www.geocities.com/hardingpj/homeschoollaw.html
It says that in PA, the kids do have to take the state mandated tests, but if you choose to do the homebound instruction option you may still be able to have an IEP. You'll have to look into that more.
In my state the kids are not required to take the tests- even if the kids attend public school the parents can exempt them from it.
 

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With my son, I have taken his interests and used them to teach the rest of the "subjects". My son loves science and history (which he woudl not have gotten very much of in K-2 in a public school). He writes lab reports, reads history books, and does experiments. He learned to read becasue he got interested in Garfield comic books from the library. We're not unschoolers by any means, but I just know that a packaged curriculum could not take into account the variences in my son's intellect. His reading ability is at a 3rd grade level, his history and science may be even higher, and his math is at a 2nd grade level but his writing is at a K level.
 

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I just wanted to say hello because I hs and have a 5yo ds who has Asperger's. He isn't in K yet. I struggled with the homeschooling decision for him, partly because I found it so hard to keep up with him. I have to watch him more carefully than my 2yo, yk?

I think ps would be awful for him. He would not even be able to think in the environment with so much going on around him. His social experience would be inadequately supported, as I believe it is for all children.

Ds is very musical/aural, so I have been getting him a lot of "educational" CDs. He loved playing at the Starfall website with all its musical phonics stuff. He is actually ahead for his age in basic number/letter stuff. We got him a guitar, and since he can't deal with music lessons, we got him a how-to video with lots of close-up footage to imitate. He has a perfect memory for things on videos and for music, so I figured he should be able to use it as a strength.

We spend time on things he needs to develop: For instance he is obsessed with trains and would only draw trains. So I decided to request that he draw other things, especially people. (He tends to have poor discrimination between things and humans, and relate poorly to people's feelings.) When he drew people, such as when I requested that he draw two friends playing, I would then get him to talk about how they are feeling, what they want to do next, etc. I would also do form drawings, as Waldorf schools do, with him. He enjoys their geometric qualities, and it really helps his hand-eye and spatial issues. And I also had him doing dot-to-dots for a while. They were amazingly difficult for him. He couldn't seem to look ahead enough to see where the line was going. I could tell this was addressing his weak areas. Drawing is the only thing we do that I even call "school" But playing board games is helpful too, because he has trouble with understanding how to win or do things that help one win, but loves the games. He seems to want to just play sill ystuff with the pieces, but often we all sit down together and we walk him through it.

Engaging him in family routines and montioring and coaching family interactions is a big part of what we do. I think this helps with his social challenges a lot. He has three sisters and we also have a lot of pets. Learning to treat the pets well is just like leraning to treat people well. Simple things like talking about our day at bedtime are more essential for him than average. This is what he mostly has to be learning right now.

I blended some therapy ideas into his everyday activities, basically. That is mostly all we do for hs now, other than normal things like reading, going for walks, building, playing, coloring, painting, cooking etc.

It is different, as he doesn't function well without directions. He is only self-motivated in a few areas. I have to be active about things with him--always ready to intervene, redirect, coach, etc. I let him go on his own a large amount of the time, but he needs to be pushed to some degree too.
 
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