School Daze… — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

School Daze…

by Heather P



                               

It’s that magical time of year….

Or, if you feel like school the way I do, it’s: time to spend a ton of money to buy crap they’re not going to use, fight about clothing each and every morning, and prepare for the onslaught of colds. Hmmmm….

There’s public school, home school, virtual school, private school, charter school, unschool… and we all have to choose what is best for our own brood.

Today, I am going to share with you how we school here at Chez P.

We use a public school that is taught virtually online through the K12 system. That’s right. It’s public school (read: free). But we do it at home. The child is given assignments to do daily. Some are computer based, others are done in the workbooks and textbooks that are provided to you (they get UPS’d to your house). Some days you get to sit in a virtual classroom and listen to the teacher, other days, you do self paced learning. Personally, I absolutely love each and every thing about it (well, mostly– it can’t be perfect, you know?). However, if you are not really a flexible kind of person who can’t deal with computer and technical glitches from time to time, you might want to not consider it.

Ready for the kicker?

They are special ed friendly! 504, they love ’em! IEP…bring it on! As a special ed family you are given a teacher, who also serves as your “case manager” doing whatever she can to help you out. It’s wonderful… (or as wonderful as special ed can be).

Now, if you are concerned that doing virtual school is too secluding for your little social butterfly…no worries! There are outings and activites planned weekly within each community to allow the kids to get to know each other. I also belong to a facebook group that is for SN moms in the curriculum…they bounce ideas off each other, vent, and so on. They actually get together a lot, because for some of these ladies, they have never had any friends who had SN children to hang out with!

Check in to it if you are interested. I’ve done it for the past 3 years, and my daughter is happy as a clam!

Email Author    |    Website About Heather P

Heather is a mom of two, wife, and nurse educator doing what she can to save the day! She lives in Orlando where she is routinely spotted driving while singing ABBA--all on a mission to advocate and educate!

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1 Laurie September 3, 2011 at 1:18 am

I’ve been thinking of this for my 9 year old after two years of pretty poor handling in the school nearby. She asked me to homeschool her and I said, unequivocally, no. But as a former public school teacher, I’d feel happy as a clam to be in that realm but on more of our own pace (and without the bullies!) Hmmmm. You’ve got me thinking on this again.

2 Heather P September 3, 2011 at 9:56 am

Laurie, I really do love it. It’s the right balance between homeschool and lots of guidance…I really am happy with the choice.

3 Mary E.S. September 3, 2011 at 9:35 am

I live in Ga and had no idea that they do this for SN children.I homeschooled the oldest because I thought there was no other option.The school where he went said I had 2 options,Alpine or homeschool.This is something I will look into since we have a younger special child in the system who is having trouble.Thank you for telling us about this.

4 Heather P September 3, 2011 at 9:57 am

Mary, I’m in GA too…. We have k12 and Connections Academy. Check them out! Let me know if you need any help or information!

5 Mary E.S. September 3, 2011 at 10:51 am

Thank you,I will.

6 mamikaze September 3, 2011 at 10:48 am

I happy it is working so well for you! I have heard comments on the positive and negative sides. I have come to know personally that it is because each state sets theirs up differently.

We went through WA state’s K12 program last year. We only had a few outings all year. The families of each area were never introduced to each other and they did not respond to my repeated requests for LD screening.

I did like how we never felt pressured. Fluffy was allowed to work at the pace that suited her. I was allowed to read test questions aloud and other means of adaptation for her needs that were not possible in a classroom setting. Also, she received one-on-one math help (online through the meeting system) from her teacher weekly for several months. I think other states must have their K12 ducks in a row. I’m may even be jealous of your success. 🙂

7 Heather P September 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Oh wow! I think they are finally taking a look at themselves as a company too..because they now have clubs where the kids all get online and do something together (mine is in the cooking club, and there are like 400 kids nationwide who get on and get a recipe each month! It’s super cute!)

You can come live with me. I’d take care of you! 😉 xoxo

8 susan kearney September 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm

My daughter is attending an Elementary School here in Texas near the Dallas area…..! I love the school system here so far! she is integrated 1 hour a day into the kindergarten class room and seems to be loving school!
I considered home-schooling her but i think she does listen better to someone other than me … Plus , she doesn’t really have a lot of friends in the neighborhood who she can play with so she is learning to interact with others as well….

9 Heather P September 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm

That’s a good point Susan! Some kids do better in a structured environment…mine, he just needs as sterile of an environment as we can give him, so this works awesome for us. I sometimes wish he’d get some integration, but I know in my heart he would not do well. He’s got a huge issue being around too many people. Keep me posted on how your year goes! I hope it continues to go so smoothly!!!

10 Mama Pickles September 5, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I am so happy to hear your success. We have a K12 Virtual Charter School in our city and I am thinking of enrolling my son next year when he starts kindergarten. One day a week he would go to a school and be with classmates for 2 hours. The rest of the week we work from home. My son has such sensory issues and is starting to have anxiety issues. I am so fearful that sending him to the regular public school is setting him up for failure. We live in a very urban city with a horrendous school system. We never intended to send our kids to public schools in the first place, but the private school in our neighborhood is really not able to handle special needs. I am so glad to have this as another public school option.

11 Heather P September 6, 2011 at 9:18 am

YAY! You should try to contact them early in the spring…that’s when registration starts. And they fill up quickly in the younger ages…but I think it’s fantastic! It’s the good balance between true homeschool and traditional brick and mortar! Let me know how it goes!

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