I know it’s been quiet around here. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say. It’s more like I am trying to figure out HOW to say everything. I’ve been inundated with life again. and that usually causes me to withdraw a bit until I get it all sorted out. This is the same.
God is the one who set everything in motion for us to begin homeschooling. He knew we would have a child who struggled with school. He knew that someone would give me a book about homeschooling. And he knew that once I read it, a new path would begin. I never realized what an undertaking it would be… not in a million years.
Beginning homeschooling right off with a child who struggled was challenging. Starting over again with our “Round 2 Kids”, again with learning challenges and developmental disabilities, has been even more challenging. The major question being that, this time around, how I can quantify what my son knows—what I know that he knows—when he is nearly incapable of producing written work?
And what is written schoolwork but the PROOF that he has earned those high school credits that I need put on a transcript. Thus, my current dilemma and what led me to what we’re doing now.
Sometimes as parents we have to make the hard decisions. In the case of kids with special needs, we often have to make VERY hard ones. This is one of those cases. I can advocate or speak up for my kids all day long, but if I’m not willing to go the extra mile and find those resources that help them be successful, what good is it? This is why the boys are now attending classes one day per week at a local homeschool extension program– a Parent Partnership Program.
Yes, we’re still homeschooling, although I feel like we’ve gone to The Dark Side.
I know I said I wouldn’t “go there” again. Yes, I know it is pretty highly regulated. I also know that my boys’ needs will be met from here on out in the area of receiving CREDIT for what they know. D1’s disabilities aren’t out of the ordinary, and they are workable using a few programs that they have available to their students. They have great online courses through Compass Learning, aka Time4Learning.
D1 will get his credits and will graduate.
For a kid on the Autism Spectrum, who can’t write things down or even take notes like most kids can, this is huge. Huge.
The Advisor they assigned us is a part-time teacher at the school, a Christian, and a homeschool mom herself. She homeschools her own kids while she works part time at the school. She helped me design a curriculum package just for my sons and their own special needs.
She has helped me troubleshoot some struggles D2 is having, and some workarounds for those. In short, this lady is helping me and I think right now if I didn’t have it I’d be inclined to let too many things slide. Because lemme tell ya, things have been hard around here lately. Really hard.
They are both taking middle school level Physical Science online, as well as Social Studies. In D1’s case this means World Geography, and D2 is hitting Ancient World History again. D1 is enjoying both. D2 isn’t a ‘book’ type kid but he’s tolerating. We are still using BiblioPlan but it isn’t written into their official Learning Plans, for obvious reasons.
I had them each take a reading and math assessment to find out where they are, and found we have some things that need addressing. I’m looking forward to seeing some progress in those areas. We found language arts materials, CoreSkills Writing and Reading, that will help fill in the gaps for the remainder of this year. The books received good reviews at Rainbow Resource. We will opt out of the state mandated assessments this year, as the ones they already took are acceptable substitutes, according to the school.
So that’s where we’re at. The boys are also taking some really great classes (read: ASD Science Geek’s dream classes) one day per week, too. Classes like Repairs (fixing broken things), Reverse Engineering (taking apart electronics, appliances, etc, harvesting the parts and creating new things!), Rocketry (guess how many rockets have landed on the school roof?! Too many!! lol), PE, and Creative Writing. Next year they are looking forward to Barista class, and commercial bakery. They have so many awesome options!
Now I take Wednesday and use it to work for Blessings Under the Bridge, as we are stepping up their online presence and moving them into the 21st Century. 🙂 Oh and I tackle Mt. Laundry too.
Necessary Disclaimer: What works for my family may not work for your family. This is in no way an endorsement for parent partnership programs as a whole or in part, nor is it my recommendation that you quit homeschooling and start doing this. It is just what we have found will work best for our family, and our boys, with their particular special needs. No condemnation will be given or received. I will delete negative comments.
Secondary Note: The image used in my title graphic are of my “Round 1 Kids” back in 1999, now ages 23, 21, and 24. Weren’t they cute?! They survived. I survived. 😀