Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Decisions - Changes, Homeschooling

We have been having a lot of issues with school and Larissa. Yesterday we met to discuss her assessments.  She is passing everything except for math. In math she is currently receiving a 40 in class.   However, when they did the one on one testing she was able to score high enough that she doesn't qualify to receive any services.  I was expecting that.  We work with her trying to prevent her from falling way behind.  But, it is a struggle.  Her seizures, ADHD and bipolar make her days very long.  Getting cooperation after a full day of school is often difficult.

They acknowledged that she has issues and is an OHI child. She often goes to the guidance counselor just complaining that she is sad, no reason for it, just sad.  They wondered why she cried at home and not at school.  I think that her anxiety level isn't as high at home so she feels safe to be herself.  She pretty much walks off of the school bus and disintegrates. 

To qualify for services she would need to be OHI and have an academic need.  With their one on one testing she scored OK.  When she has to perform in class she can't.  The school says that she doesn't qualify for services  I don't think that she can succeed in the classroom without any help.

So we have two choices, let her continue on trying to work over the summer and after school when she is able and wait until she falls far enough behind or home school. One thing that stuck in my head was the comment, "our schools are not equipped to deal with mental illnesses." That is true. We talked for over an hour trying to determine how to help Larissa within the parameters of school. John and I had already discussed the option of homeschooling if we felt that her needs couldn't be met.  Finally I just determined that homeschooling her would relieve them of that obligation and offer Larissa what she needs. They said the usual....what about socialization. I think that we are fine there.
Afterwards, we had an appointment with our med doctor and he changed her ADHD meds, took her off anxiety meds and put her on risperdal. Anthony takes Risperdal and his made a huge difference for him. I hope that it does the same for Larissa.

Today was a hard day for Larissa.  She was dropped off at school and within 30 minutes they called us asking us to come and get her.  She was crying.  When John went to get her they looked at him like he should have never brought her in the first place.  I had tried to get her to stay home because she seemed off but she wanted to go.  They did say.......we have never seen her cry like this before.  Hmmm.....

She slept most of the morning and complained of a headache.  I am not sure if it is a medication issue or she is coming down with something.  I will see how tomorrow goes for her.

Today I signed Larissa up for a virtual school program K12.  I am going to try this program for a year and see what I think.  There is no cost for the program since it is a public education program.  They provide all the materials needed. I am still researching and making sure that this is the best option for us.

I had no idea that homeschooling only one child would lead to criticism.  I have already been told that we are showing favoritism towards Larissa and it isn't fair for the other kids.  I was surprised when I was told this.  We are homeschooling Larissa because she needs it; emotionally, academically and medically.  Our other children are doing well in school and I don't see a need to change their schooling.  We also allowed Sarah to do a virtual school because it met her needs at the time.  Also, Larissa struggles with distraction when all the kids are home.  Keeping everyone home would not be beneficial.

Anyone use the K12 program?  Everyone I told to who uses it seems happy with it.

Oh, we got another call for a foster child.  May get a 2 year old tomorrow.

Life is never boring at our household. 


  1. I taught for nine years, and though I do believe most teachers are doing the best they can, I think that the school systems get so caught up in politics, that they cannot help all children. While I certainly wouldn't want to homeschool my older son, I think it works for other kids. I don't have any personal experience with the Virtual Schools, I have a friend who is a teacher for one in CA, and she really likes it. I hope that this is a good solution for Larissa, it seems like it will be a really good fit for her. She'll be able to sleep more if she needs it, and have a much calmer environment. Good luck!

  2. I will say that my daughters school has tried to work with her. They really can't meet her needs. She needs to be in a smaller classroom but not a self contained class. What she really needs does not exist in the school.

  3. We use K12 in GA. We are finishing up our first year (1st grade). We have one homeschooled kid and one in regular school. I have really liked the program because we can go at our own pace and focus on her strengths and weaknesses. For stuff she really enjoys, we give her extra lessons to encourage her and for her weaknesses, we can take longer to help her learn. What I was really surprised about is how quickly you can get through lessons. You're doing the same work as regular schools, but when it's one on one, it's easier to get through and they learn so much more. We do have our problems, my daughter is 6 and it was hard getting adjusted to having school at home and sometimes she just doesn't want to do it. She would rather play in her room or do things she normally would do at home, but most of those problems went away after she accustomed to it.

  4. Silly clueless people who accuse you of favoritism!!! Whatever happened to meeting the individual needs of each child? Silly people! If not doing the same thing for every kid is favoritism, then I am playing favorites big time! This fall I'll have one in a private college prep school, one home schooled, and three in public school. You do what is best for each child, and you make the decision fresh each year. That's what a good parent does...constantly evaluates their kids and does everything possible to do what's best for each individual child. Good for you!

  5. You have to do what is best for each child at the time. I am actually splitting the twins up next year--one staying in our very good public school and one moving to the charter school with Jasmine (which has a much stricter discipline policy and requires hard work and more perfection). We been in Christian, public, computer based and charter--different kids, at different times. Not every child has the same needs so obviously the same education isn't the best for everyone.