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I am new around here. I have a beautiful 6 year old DD named Karuna. She was born at 25 weeks and has some issues that prevented her from going to kindergarten in the public school here. She went to preschool in a Catholic school and did very well but her kdg class just wasn't for her. We decided to homeschool her with an online academy. We struggled the entire year. After finally getting a neuropsych evaluation, she was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, and visual-motor integration delays.
Initially, we had planned on re-enrolling her in kdg at the Catholic school she previously attended. Now, as we look at our finances and the ridiculous tuition, we're thinking we may not be able to afford it. The Catholic school was appealing because the class size/student-teacher ratio is smaller. Their classes have about 15-18 kids in it. The public school has 25-30 and gave Karuna way too many attention issues when she attended (for the few weeks that she did attend).
Anyhow, one of our options is to go back to homeschooling. Karuna is a very social child, despite the anxiety, and I am worried about that aspect of homeschooling. I will look into playgroups but she definitely thrives with other children around. I'm also hesitant to do this again because of her ADHD. It made things very difficult and frustrating for us this past year. For those out there with experience, how have you dealt with this?
I guess my main question would be if you homeschooling veterans have any advice/thoughts/suggestions. I love spending time with Karuna and watching her learn but I don't want this to hinder her in any way. She is very intelligent but the ADHD makes it difficult to test/measure it and I don't want her to get lost in the crowd, ya know?
I have a 6 yr old son who is very active and hyper. He does very well with homeschooling because he thrives on 100% attention to him and him alone(his brothers be darned LOL). It is a struggle though but when debating what would be best it boiled down to what was best for him overall. We knew putting him in public schools here would bring down his love of learning and he'd be in situations that would drive him crazy and he'd end up in trouble. Private was just too much money and even though he can be a handful I knew homeschooling was best. My fears and anxieties aside and the fact he and I butt heads a lot...it was our best option for him to keep learning at a good pace and loving it.
I wish I had answers but for us, it all really boiled down to what was going to be best for him and what would keep him loving to learn.
I have a DD much like yours who is a social butterfly, she didn't do as well as she could have in PS kindergarten because she was spending more time trying to talk and play with her classmates than listen to her teachers. When we are home and I am trying to teach her something it sometimes can be a chore but I do believe a lot of that is her age and not the she isn't "teachable". I think she'll grow out of that as she gets older. I give her lots of breaks and rewards, that seems to help quite a bit.
Momma to E-10yrs 11/03, S-7yrs 8/06, A-5yrs 3/08, J-4yrs 11/09, and K 2yrs 9/2011
I don't have children with ADHD, but I've taught some in a public school setting. In my experience, they absolutely THRIVE on having one-on-one interaction with the teacher. They need to feel like they're free to learn without being ridiculed by "normal" kids. Excellent example... I had a 5th grade student in my beginner band one year who was *constantly* being suspended. I mean... he even tried to burn the school down because he couldn't break in through a window and didn't want to wait for the bell to ring at the start of the day. That child was wild and crazy... the worst I've ever seen. However, when we pulled him out of band for disrupting the class (over and over!) and started teaching him in a separate room, we realized just how sweet, motivated, and smart he was. He had trouble sitting still, BUT when he was playing his trumpet, that became his focus, and he was really, really, REALLY good. Even as a 5th grader, he could've easily competed at a high school level. All he needed was time alone to focus. There were too many distractions around him, and no one had ever taught him how to deal with them.
The easiest answer is medication, but I'm personally not the type who would want to medicate my kids if this were an issue in my own family. I would rather work with them in a homeschooled setting to teach skills on their own terms and timeline. Some public schools have started allowing things like exercise balls in place of a chair (so that a wiggly child is still able to sit and listen without having to get up). Things like that and so much more would be easy to implement at home. You could also focus your attention on ADHD diets and so forth without having to use medication.
As for social opportunities, depending on where you live, the possibilities are endless. Children in a PS setting learn how to socialize with just one group - kids who are the same age. Children who are homeschooled have the advantage, because they learn how to socialize (talk, behave, listen, interact) in all sorts of settings and with all ages/types of people. You can do playgroups for the "play nice" part of your teaching, but for daily living social skills, actively involving children with things like grocery shopping, bill paying, going to the library, etc. are wonderful. Keep in mind that homeschooling does NOT mean your child sits at home all day long. You can still do classes (co-ops, private academies, etc.) to teach classroom behavior. You can still do extracurricular activites like art, music, or sports. Most places even allow you to use the public school system for certain things.
My son has difficulties in social situations. He' able to be in far more social environments than time would allow if he was in public school. He'll start boy scouts this year, Saturday art, Bowling, theater presentations, co-op, karate, and he wants to "play" soccer again. It's very trying sometime home-schooling but it would be at least that trying getting him to complete his home work.
Thanks, ladies! I am worrying myself sick with this and it is so overwhelming. I homeschooled her for this past schoolyear when the PS situation didn't work out and it was rough for both of us. Her lack of attention and visual-motor integration issues made it difficult to accomplish what we had to. She is actually repeating kindergarten because of this, and I don't want to hinder her progression even more.
I loved HSing her and having the chance to work with her so closely but I am now wondering if I do not have the expertise necessary to educate her with the ADHD/anxiety/visual-motor integration issues. I am going to speak with the special education coordinator for the school district and discuss our options through them. Karuna is so intelligent and, unfortunately, the ADHD has limited her so much already. Because she was a micro-preemie, we expected some difficulties but I feel like I dropped the ball somewhere along the line.
I can almost guarantee the school will try to talk you out of HS'ing. Not all do, but most will. If that's what you really want to do, talk with confidence. Say right up front that you're planning to HS, and then ask the school what services are available. Some states require PS to offer services and activites to HS, but some don't. I know Ohio is one of the tougher states to HS in, but I don't remember how they are about working with PS like that.
Are there any child psychologists in your area? You can probably find one who specializes in ADHD (there are tons here!). They can help you, and you may also be able to get therapy for the integration issues. Talk to your ped about getting a referral. Sometimes health insurance will cover those things and sometimes not. (Some are picky about the code you use, so be sure to mention that to make sure the services are covered.)
You can also look into hiring a tutor, going through Sylvan, or something like that. You can make it work. Just have faith in yourself and your daughter.