Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Well, we started our home school adventure and so far, so good. Elliott is testing out of everything and about to work his way through the 2nd grade program. (he is only 6, mind you)
Elliott started pre-k at age 4 and was officially diagnosed with Aspergers during that year. We knew BEFORE the official diagnosis, but getting the "word" provided his with special education services in school. He did great, but was always ahead of all the other kids, academically. He had fabulous teachers and aides. He went to summer school to try not to deviate from his schedule, and started Kindergarten in Sept. 2011. This year became much more difficult. He was not being challenged enough and although his Special Education team tried everything to make his life better, he was having more and more anxiety about school and meltdowns galore. Eric and I started discussing the possibility of home school, but we still weren't sure it was right for him. At his last IEP meeting, the teachers even admitted they were at a loss as to what to do to challenge him more. They really can only do so much with so many other children to consider. And, with no Special Education classes (kids are all merged together) he was starting to get lost in the shuffle.
We researched hundreds of programs and found Seton Home Study School. We fell in love with the curriculum almost immediately, and being that we wanted to incorporate Catholic Religious Education along with his core courses, this was perfect!
We met with the school, and although it was sad to say goodbye to the fabulous staff at his elementary school, we ventured out to keep Elliott home. What a difference the one-on-one attention has made. He is happy, learning a ton and he is having much less anxiety. I have no doubt we made the right decision.
While working on Elliott, my daughter, Emmalee, started talking about the possibility of home school for her. At first, I'll admit, I was against it. She is in 6th grade and had come so far. Emmalee has also been diagnosed with Aspergers, but she is more like her Mom! She is functional, but friendships and social things are difficult for her. She expressed anxiety about going to the Middle School next year (peer pressure, girl drama, etc) and begged us to try this with her, too. After much back and forth, Emmalee is home! We shot right to 7th grade...she is enjoying school and says she is learning more because there are less distractions. (Really? A 4 and 6 year old are LESS distraction?) LOL. My Mom is teaching her every Monday and Friday afternoons. Her job is Spanish and Reading. Emmalee loves it because she gets bonding time with her Grandparents and let's face it, my Mom is an awesome teacher!
Gideon, who is 4, is also home schooling, at the moment. He is using the Bob Jones Pre-K Program and doing terrific. (I had purchased it a few years ago for Elliott, but since he got into Pre-K at the Elementary School, I never used it) We will be getting him the Kindergarten curriculum from Seton as soon as he finishes the Pre-K program.
So, here we go...our home school adventure. It is NOT easy, but so far, the kids are loving it. Emmalee seems much happier and less stressed out. Elliott is most definitely having fewer meltdowns and moving at HIS pace (which already has him doing 2nd grade work) and even Gideon will start Kindergarten a year ahead of time. Not to mention, being able to teach Religion, which they do NOT get in school! The kids are learning how to pray the Rosary (each got their own) and we can all pray whenever we want to. How awesome is that?