Sunday, September 23, 2012

Homeschooling

This is not what I planned for the year but it is here and I must embrace it.  Homeschooling.  Alyona is with us this year again.  I wanted her to go to middle school. But, after countless calls to Cleveland Middle and getting nowhere fast, I decided that in & of itself had to be a major sign.  Really, it was.  Deep down I knew it would have been a major fight to even get her in the placement she needed to be in and frankly after 12 years, I'm out of fight w/ JCPS.  I am.  Officially out of fight.  I hate IEP's.  Shocker, I know.  I hate administrators doing what's best by their #'s versus what's best by your kids.  I hate the whole dog gone set up to be frank.  I've only really ever had a problem w/ two teachers out of all the teachers we've had so that is really good.  The teachers never really were the problem anyhow.  It's the "laws" put in place to make it better.  Ha!  I know many are all for inclusion and I'll probably get reamed for saying this but I hate inclusion.  Yes, yes I do.  It has done nothing but damage my kids.  I've seen this happen over all these years. In high school, they have inclusion classes.  And middle school.  The idea is to get the kids integrated into a general ed population.  That would be fine if they didn't stick out like a sore thumb.  They do.  Why?  Well, how would you like being in high school and having the teacher follow you and go to your desk to help you.  And yes, though the staff tells you well, those special ed teachers are walking around and no one knows who they're there for.  That's such B.S.  The kids DO know and it makes the kids in special ed look even more "special" than before.  Doesn't work.  Self esteem goes down dramatically when you are pointed out constantly that you don't fit in and are different.  At least in a self-contained room they are different along w/ everyone else so you have this sense of camaraderie.

In inclusion, that is not the case.  My kids felt singled out big time.  In some cases, inclusion can work.  I actually think it works better if the kids are physically different.  Why?  Because neuro typical kids will "expect" them to act or behave a tad differently.  With kids w/ out physical differences, the neuro typical kids can understand why they do the things they do and scoff at them.  It's true. I've seen it time and time again.  With a physical difference, kids are indeed treated differently.  Bojan and Nik are two prime examples in this house.  Drives me insane.  I don't know if it's a type of pity factor or what.  But my FASers who truly, truly struggle with daily life skills and academics especially, aren't seen this way.  Why?  Why must someone have to have some sort of physical look to be accepted more in the world?  If I put my kids that look "normal"  in a restaurant & one of them started up w/ their autistic behaviors (many FASers do this btw) people would stare and say things.  They "looked" normal.  However, put Nik or Bojan in there and it's OKAY for some reason that they behave that way.  What?!  I just don't get it.  This is the problem I have w/ school and the whole inclusion bit.  

Again, inclusion can work for some.  So far though, it has NOT worked out well for my FASers.  It's if anything, created much more heartache.  How would you feel seeing others succeed day after day while you stayed stagnant?  So, we are homeschooling a bunch this year.

We are spending four days a week hitting the books hard.  On Fridays we have field trip Friday or Fun Friday.  They get plenty of exercise.  Not worried about that aspect.  They play soccer.  Doesn't end till the end of October.  They ride bikes, walk, bounce on the trampoline, play soccer, etc.  Art, we just do a lot of crafts.  Over Christmas break, we will study the Fine Arts.  We are currently studying weather for science.  Social studies, we are on the Revolutionary War.  Netflix has many documentaries.  Magic School Bus kids provide plenty of side experiments as well.  I know I need to add computer time.  For many reasons, we don't let the younger kids on the computer.  And with Logan's history when we met him, don't want him on there at all.  We need to "deprogram" him first before he's allowed back on. He's getting there quickly but we need to make sure.  Reading is the hardest thing for all my kids.  Really is.  Comprehension is tough.  I have some non-English speakers which are learning a whole new language this year.  That is so tough.

Homeschooling has its ups and downs.  The kids love cooking, learning stuff at their level and their pace, and going places.  The only ones who really miss school are Logan and Alex.  BUT, let me tell you why.  The ONLY reason they miss school is b/c they think they'll have a girlfriend if they go to school.  They know the rules in this house...no dating till high school.  High school, fine.  Middle school no maturity whatsoever.  Our house, our rules.  Everyone is learning and that is what counts.  Keeping fingers crossed they continue to learn.  Whatever the pace.  Found out from Max this past week the high school doesn't even use the history books!  Really?!  I know there are smartboards but there is just something about reading a chapter for homework, going to school the next day to discuss it.  Crazy how things have changed.  Plan is for next year just to have Reni and Summer and Nik home.  We'll get tons accomplished w/ that bunch.  Irina will have a job by then.

Alright, not much of an update but it's all I got.  Got to get some more done.  Warren got a grill today.  Ours was totally busted and unusable.  Not much of a deal but better than nothing.  Cleaning up the yard.  Tomorrow is take a whole pile of trash day.  How did it all come from our yard??  Nuts.  Going around seeing what can be fixed, what is needed and what is to be tossed.  We're getting there slowly but surely.  More posts and pictures to come.  Trying to post on Craigslist to sell some things.  Call it a fall purge.  

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