Education has been a huge issue from the beginning with Jadyne. I've heard so many similar stories. You would think if 1:150 kids have this disorder (and that number is very liberal) than the schools would be equipped for what our kids need. After all the federal government has put protections in place like Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Then why is it such a struggle?
Sunday, January 16, 2011
The sad truth is most parents aren't aware of their children's rights, and if the parent's aren't aware, who is there to make the schools aware. Then what happens when a parent that does know comes in? That parent becomes the bad guy for requiring the schools to implement programming that should have been put in place 30 years ago.
Because of my career, which I did eventually leave to stay home with Jadyne, I moved a lot and got a lot of exposure to a variety of education systems. Some were great; some were just a nightmare. What I've come to realize, though, is NONE provide the level of care I can for Jadyne, not because of their own inadequacies, some teachers just rocked, but because of Jadyne. She simply doesn't respond the same to outsiders as she does to me at home.
Recently, I began to realize, although it will be more difficult on me (I do kind of relish that time she's in school), I feel like I'm cheating her if I continue to put her through the public school system. However, once I realized this I was bombarded with more and more decisions.
Homeschooling gives you complete control of your child's programming, but you get very little assistance financially or educationally from the school system.
Public school, well is public school. She's gone 8 hrs a day and brings home an IEP progress report every so often saying how thrilled they are she can identify 6 letters at 7 years old.
Then there was a middle option. Cyber public school. Even in that there are two options here in PA. I chose Agora. Jadyne will be starting there soon. They will provide her a computer and all materials. They will adjust her programming to suit her needs. She'll be home with me. I'll be given support through a para-educator along the way. I will be considered a teaching partner, not just a nagging parent. There are multiple homeschooling parent support groups and co-ops around my area. She'll still be able to attend field trips and the like. I'll enter her into Special Olympics for added socialization and physical activity. Instead of an 8 hr day at public school, we'll be done in 3-4 hrs each day. That will leave us plenty of time for other activities such as sensory therapy, speech therapy, and even music classes. We're excited for this change. =)