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Old 09-13-2012, 02:20 PM   #21
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Re: Seriously considering PS

Hi there Shannon!

Sorry that you are having this struggle w/ Tharen. I wanted to wish you support and hugs. I also want things to get better for your family.

This situation is so tricky because I can tell you are at your wits end, Tharen is also suffering and doesn't know what to do. It seems from what you are posting that he really doesn't have much control over his defiance and fighting over not wanting to do school work.

Good thing that you are planning to get a trampoline for the playroom and looking into getting cheap skates for him to skate outside. Trampolines are awesome to get out energy. We have one in our living room and my girls use it all the time.

Earlier this yr I was helping my neighbor with her homework. I would have her spell a spelling word and then I would have her run to my trampoline and jump 7 times then she had to run back to the table to spell another word correctly to repeat the process. It worked so well, she had the biggest smile as she was doing that work.

Another thing is could it be that he is picking up some negative vibe from you because you are tense thinking of how he may react to your request to do academic work?

What about trying to change things up as much as you can to give him as much opportunity to use neat materials which he thinks are fun and also allow him lots of mobility? I forget if it is best for him to sit on a chair while he does his work or if it might work better if he is standing on say one foot. You could challenge him to write one line while he stands on one foot or he gets to do 20 jumping jacks if he answers a question correctly.

It's great that you are examining the reasons for sending him to school and like others have said it may or may not work. You feel that it won't work but at the same time you need a break. Is there a way to get a break w/o him going to school?

I love the idea of easing up on the academic work for a while and only doing it on derby days. How would it work out if you put in a bit extra work for those days since you won't be doing as much work other days? I understand it is difficult for you to let go and try out unschooling but maybe you can just ease up some days and see how things progress.

Is it possible that your family get to ride bikes to get to places? This could get out more energy and solve the problem of not having the car.

You also said he doesn't really seem interested in TKD some days. Is it possible that he only goes when he is interested or if he has to go because the rest of the family is there that he not have to participate?

I really hope something in this post is able to help you or at the least offer some support.

Best wishes!


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Old 09-13-2012, 03:23 PM   #22
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Whatever decision you make will be a well
thought out one. It will not be just because you need a break. I've seen you post in this forum enough to know that to be true. You are trying the best you can with the resources you have available.

Maybe he just needs a bit more time to get into the full schedule. Maybe you were feeling extra spent. Even if he does go to school there is no failure in realizing that there may be limitations to what you can do. If that is the case then you are only guilty of being honest.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:01 PM   #23
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Re: Seriously considering PS

I don't homeschool but I love getting ideas on this site and you have been so helpful with that and asd's in general that I wanted to offer

A classmate of my son's only goes to school for 1/2 the day. He has done this for k, 1, and 2nd. He has issues of his own and his day really goes to heck for the second half so he just does half days. His mom told me they are going to try full days on our early out day so he will do basically a 6 hour day then. Just giving you other options.

Looking at meds isn't a bad idea. Try to minimize the fights. Not just with school but everything. See what you can get rid of that you guys fight about.

Like a pp said there is still plenty of homework and everything else that will come home even if he does go to school. But, maybe he would do ok with a stricter routine. Its so hard to know. PS will still be there a few months or a year from now. I think it would be worth trying something like unschooling with him. I only know that term from lurking on here so its not like I have experience with it. Maybe something in derby will motivate him to learn down the road.

I think the sense of belonging and having his own thing is more important to my son than the actual exercise he gets from his activities. It doesn't seem to matter if they have a big workout or a minimal one, he's always more relaxed after swimming or tennis.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:13 PM   #24
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Re: Seriously considering PS

I put DS in school this year and honestly it wasn't as hard on either of us as I thought it would be. I agonized over the decision. He cried when I told him he was going to go to school. We are adjusting well though. I do miss teaching him, but I'm staying very involved with his education and I still try to teach him stuff on the side, but it's in a much more relaxed manner. It can't hurt to give it a shot.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:04 PM   #25
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Re: Seriously considering PS

Thank you all so much for your hugs, support and suggestions. It has all helped so much. It is true that right now I am under a great deal of stress and this is only a small part of it. I do not want deciding to put him into public school to be something I do punitively or as a reaction to a stressful time in our lives. If we were at a point where I knew we just could not work together long term or he had fallen behind and needed help I would do it but right now he is advanced and I don't want him sitting in a 1st grade classroom making trouble because he is bored on top of his special needs. I will certainly keep PS in the back of my mind as an option, just not as an "escape plan". That is not what I want it to be and right now that is what it was becoming.

I do believe there is a Charter school in our area just for kids with behavioral special needs and spectrum kids. I stumbled across it on accident looking for charter schools. It comes up twice, once as a charter school and once as an outpatient school and therapy center attached to a local hospital. I think both listings are for the same place and there are only 11 students enrolled at it. Not sure about what you have to do to get your child enrolled there but it is something I can look into more. The charter school Kearnan attended is also an option open to us, class sizes are small and they were very open to shorter days (that was a great suggestion) and movement between grade levels as needed. There were some drawbacks to that school but I think we could make it work if need be. For right now I am going to do my best to see if we can't make home school in some form work though.

I have spoken more with Tharen's doctor and we are working on bumping his medication up in hopes that we will see some results. We won't know for a while yet if that works. In the mean time I will get the trampoline here and set up this weekend and look for some new or used cheap skates for him (perhaps his brother's old skates will fit now). I would love to be able to incorporate all of these great ideas but many of them just aren't going to work for us. I can't ride a bike and neither can Kearnan. I think Tharen could learn (probably the only one of the three of us who could). The weather isn't great here for biking most of the year though. We do have a small bus that goes around town so I'm going to investigate where all it runs. We can really only get around our own city on it though. Doesn't help much with energy burning but it could get us to therapy or other activities. I would also like to find a music instructor to come to the house for lessons. I think both of the boys would like it and as has been suggested just some one other than me teaching him might be nice. I am also going to try a modified schooling approach for a while. This is going to be hard for me so I may need some support. Tharen loved the unifix cube math lessons and he isn't minding so much some of the newer math book lessons either so we will try to do those maybe even once or twice a week. Then I think I will just break out some classic literature and read to him. If I can get him to listen or not that is fine. Maybe find an exercise ball for him to bounce on or let him jump on the trampoline while I read (or use his stretchy bands or fidgets). Then if he is willing I will have him write a bit in a journal or draw a picture and write a sentence or two either to go with the story or for his own story. We can skip spelling for a while until he is ready to settle down and come back to it. He is already a grade ahead so it won't hurt. He should learn to spell just by writing anyway. He has expressed a desire to get back to doing history lessons so I will try to make sure that we get history done every week and hopefully science too since we all enjoy that (who doesn't like experiments and chasing bugs). Then we can just try to get in some time of him reading on his own, to me or to the dog. Whatever works I guess. This whole letting go process is going to be hard for me but hopefully it will be worth it in the end.

Dh and I have also discussed the possibility of letting him skip some days of TKD. Unfortunately he does have to be at the school because we are all there. I need to be there because I help instruct some of the younger students especially if the classes get particularly large. We are there for 3 classes most nights and he is only expected to participate in 1. The problem we have had is that when he isn't participating he is actively trying to distract the other students. I have tried bringing school work (this is what Kearnan prefers because it allows him to do less work during the day and play more), books, and coloring books to keep him entertained but he feels the need to disturb class as much as possible. He knows he is doing it and he shouldn't and that is what he likes about it. He especially enjoys terrorizing the last class of the day because it is the advanced class and he knows he isn't even allowed to participate in it. So my fear with allowing him to come to school and not participate at all is that he would run wild through all three classes and that just can't happen. He has friends in most if not all of the classes which doesn't help matters any. He wants to play with his friends which of course is not what is supposed to be happening at TKD. However dh and I are still open to discussing with him the possibility of coming to class with the plan of not participating. We would allow him to come in his regular clothes and just relax.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:56 PM   #26
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Re: Seriously considering PS

Many of the mamas gave great advice, and I just wanted to throw in that if you do more of an unschooling approach, you may be surprised with what he wants to pick up and learn. Unschooling doesn't have to be "you can do whatever you want", but instead they can guide themselves. Usborne books and encyclopedias are a GREAT resource for this sort of thing.

We don't unschool ourselves for various reasons, but I do think there are some kids that would thrive in that environment.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:12 PM   #27
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Re: Seriously considering PS

since you said he does NOT want to go to school, can you use that as a motivator? If he wants to stay home, you have certain expectations of him and his education. Have you given him any ownership of his learning? For example, I used to sit with my kids at the beginning of each year and we would discuss things that they wanted to learn that year and things they wanted to do- field trips, science experiments and so forth. And if something wasn't working, we always revisited. I did have an unschooling approach myself, though. 1 kid went right to college a yr early from homeschool and 2 went to high school from hs and do really well. My 4th always, always hated school, but my XH wanted them all in school once we divorced, so he just started his freshmen yr in high school. He is a bit overwhelmed with all the work, but he really wants to play football and enjoys the hanging out with friends so the pros outweigh the cons of school work for him. It was a struggle even unschooling him every. single. day.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:05 PM   #28
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Re: Seriously considering PS

I second unschooling. My oldest learns much better when she doesn't get pushed. I let her find her own interests and we take it from there. She is just as smart and educated as anyone and she never does a single worksheet. My middle dd just started going to a private school and she thrives there. Two different kids, two differents ways of learning. I would definately try something different.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:20 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by iris0110
School here is from 8-3 with 30minutes of lunch and 30minutes of recess. They have specials in there somewhere but depending on the school 7hours is roughly what he would be looking at. Tharen has ADHD and Mood Disorder NOS so he really can't help needing to move constantly and being defiant but that doesn't make it any easier to work with, it also isn't going to make it easy for him to function in a school setting. We actually try to avoid dh instructing him at TKD, it doesn't help. None of the other instructors are getting a better response from him. He has two coaches at roller derby who can get him to do anything they want but the deal with roller derby is that it is something he wants to do more than anything else in the world and his coaches present it as "look at this cool thing I'm showing you". One of the female derby players tried to take over and he told her "no thanks I don't want to do that" and went back to skating in circles instead. She took it in stride but I am at a loss to explain why just these two guys can handle him and no one else can.

I am venting a bit but I am also trying to figure out what my next step is because I feel like I have hit a wall with him. He desperately wants to stay home, he can't think of anything worse than being away for most of the day and having to give up zoo trips, home school science at LLELA, night roller derby, and just time with his brother but I don't know what else to do. We don't have the option of hiring a tutor or homeschool co-op because I don't drive. We can't get him in any other classes for similar reasons (no way to get there). We are essentially married to TKD because dh is a partner so even having time for roller derby is tight. We need to make time for therapy for both of the boys. I don't want to put him in PS but part of me does just to end the fighting. I don't think he will thrive there. I think he will be miserable because 2-3 hours of work is "torture" to him. I know the local PS expects far more than that and even the charter schools that allow multiple recesses and PE every day are going to expect more than he has to give. His developmental pedi advised strongly against putting him in PS but I don't know what else to do. I am going to contact his doctor about adjusting his meds and I am changing up his curric but I just don't know if it will help.
I'm not a HS yet, but this caught my eye. Are you against using derby as a reward and take it away if he doesn't do his work? I've never read Love/Logic but is he capable of understanding logic?

I've worked in a few PS. Usually the time frame is 30 minutes.
Circle/Welcome Time- a song/dance, Calender, 30 minutes outside time, clean up, centers, snack, art, reading, centers, lunch, nap/quiet activities, snack, outside time. Centers till parents come. If you know a PS(before K) who does 2-3 hours of seat work freakin run away.
Megan, wife to Jason. Mommy to Asher, 2, Levi, 1 and Rebekah coming September 10.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:41 PM   #30
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Re: Seriously considering PS

Please don't take this the wrong way - but thank you for posting this . You have helped me so much in the past with your post so I know you've been doing this a long time and it is just encouraging to hear that you still struggle like I do some days . I'm sorry it's you today (lately) but I just wanted to say thanks for sharing!
Wife to DH for 8 years...Mom to 5 kiddos
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