Considering homeschool for 11 and/or9 yo in Northern Alberta

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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:57 pm
Location: Alberta, Canada

Considering homeschool for 11 and/or9 yo in Northern Alberta

Postby cpbmom » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:53 pm

I have 3 kids in total, my 13 yo son has successfully navigated the public school system and seems content and adjusted to junior high. Him, I am fine with leaving where he is, he is mature, responsible, and happy.

My 11 yo son, on the other hand, not so much. We have struggled for a very long time with him, he has seen a myriad of doctors and therapists over the years to try and figure him out. He has an ADHD diagnoses, and is medicated for it. He is very smart, academically does very well in school, especially in math and science. He loves robots and dragons, and wants to grow up to be an inventor. He is socially and emotionally immature. He tends to be hot tempered, yelling, whining or crying when he is angry or frustrated. He is high strung and prone to anxiety over many things. He is a chronic insomniac. He is a rule enforcer, but not a rule follower. He has seen therapists and caused me gray hairs over the years for a myriad of behvior problems at home: violence towards his siblings (sending each of them for stitches), lying, stealing, and bathroom "accidents". Currently, we are dealing with lying, bathroom issues, and keeping emotions under control. He has been bullied for a number of years, be it teasing, being called weird, and this year, a bout of cyber bullying that the school saw fit not to mention to us, rather called the parents of the perpetrators and yet expected our kid to come home and tell us. I have recieved two phone calls from the schoool this year, asking us to remind him to shower as he "smells bad". (For the record, we have a strict bath every second night routine in place for all 3. And the kid does have horrible foot odor.) He has a very difficult time making friends, and when he does, he seems not to be able to keep them. He is eager to learn, even given all this, but tends to put off projects until the last moment, and routinely hands things in late, if at all.

My daughter, the 9 year old (obviously....) has been diagnosed with Essential Tremor and a Moderate Articulation Delay. For the unfamiliar, Essential Tremor is a nervous problem that causes her hands to shake, especially under stress and almost always upon extension of her arms. It probably will get worse over the years. It makes things like writing and eating labour intensive and frustrating. She has had OT through the school last year and the year before (but not this year when she actually had the diagnoses). She has had speech therapy since Kindergarten. She has not had very plesant experiences in school this year and last. Last year we had to have her removed from her classroom to another class due to possible sexual abuse by another student. She was definitely victimized by this individual in that she was bullied by this girl at school and on playdates, not allowed to have other friends, and this girl tried to control every facet of her life down to whether we chose a cat or dog as a family pet. This child has since been removed completely from her life, as she is no longer at the school. My daughter suffered severely from anxiety through the whole thing, to the point of developing migranes at 8 years old, chronic stomach aches, and nausea and vomiting at the worst point when she was faced with returning to school. This year she has been bullied by a girl, for not having the proper manners, clothes, and been told she was ugly by this girl. She has come home crying on many occasions, and is always looking over her shoulder for this girl. We have tried many, many things to try and get her through this. Her school councillor did some testing ( I am not sure of the names of them) that we only found out about after the fact, and now wants her labeled Learning Disabled in both Math and Language. I have a small novel's worth of offical forms they want filled out to have her further tested by a clinic that I have been dragging my feet on filling out. She seems to be of average intelligence, loves writing stories, singing and drawing. She wants to be a food critic when she grows up. She is compassionate and loves animals. When not bogged down with the stress of school, she is a happy, bubbly girl.

I loved the school that we put them into when we started 3 years ago. They have some very wonderful extra curriculars, my daughter won two golds with her choir this year. They have good teachers that I genuinely like as individuals. I guess I am falling out of love with it in that I am getting sick of the constant phone calls home from my kids after being told by their teachers asking me to bring this or that that they have forgotten to take with them! We are trying very hard to teach and practice personal responsiblility to all of them, and having the teachers tell them to ask us to bring things to them undermines everything. They are not diciplined or penalized for late assignments, the knee jerk reaction is to give extensions or tell them to call home and have someone run this or that to them. I notice they even changed their policy on class placement requests, which for some reason just irritates me. (It has always been politely stated that the will not honor requests to certain classrooms...until this year.) Pardon me if I rant for a second, but it seems to be turning into a place that panders to the will of the mob with no thought of what their own stance on practices might be, as long as the the majority of parents are appeased. I feel like I am swimming up river against a rush of water I can't ever hope to overcome. My son is doing well academically, so we are expected to be able to snap our fingers and make him toe the line. My daughter...I know my daughter, and the only learning disability she has is that she is a square peg they are trying to smash into a round hole.

Whew. Ok, that all being said, we are considering 3 options: One, leave them where they are for one more year, as our son will then be heading off to Jr High, and make a choice for our daughter at that point. Two, go school shopping and see if one of the other schools in the area will cater better to their needs. or Three, homeschool one or both of them, most definitely my daughter.

I've printed out the handbook from Alberta Education, looked up the local Homeschool support group for future reference, and voiced my frustration to my spouse. He would like to sit down and discuss the issue and any information I can come up with on Thursday (June 16/11) and then speak with the kids to get a feel for their position on the issue.

So...after all that, any advice? I'd love to hear from someone in Alberta, even better, someone from the Edmonton Area (I live in St. Albert) but I will take any and all advice/wisdom/knowledge that I can get! Thanks!

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Postby hscoach » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:45 pm

I think that your children would thrive in a homeschooling environment. Given all that has happened with them, how could you not homeschool them? If they are in agreement, I think you should definitely do it. They will be happy at home. They won't have any anxiety; they won't be bullied. They will be safe and they'll be able to focus on academics. They will also have time to pursue their individual interests. Here is a link that might be helpful for finding some other homeschool moms in your local area. Best wishes. ... lberta.htm

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Postby Theodore » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:25 am

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