I have two 8th graders. One has to keep homeschooling due to special needs. The other very much wants to continue.
I want to make it work. It's not working. I would really appreciate help thinking this through. I'm mentally trapped in the everyday of it.
One has special needs that get in the way of school (autism and adhd--so lots of issues with attention/getting started/stamina and "extras" that need focus such as emotional regulation; anxiety; and chronic insomnia--making all the other stuff harder and learning difficult). Teaching him, or trying to, takes a lot of time.
The other child can work independently. He'll do whatever I tell him to do school-wise, but he's not driven for above and beyond. He really enjoys and thrives with discussion and interaction, though. I'm not finding time for that. He's speeding through his independent work, and then just doing whatever until I can find time to work with him. (He does do extracurricular things, and puts time into those interests in and outside the school day; but academics wise he's just getting it done, and quickly). When I find time to work with him is often little quick time pockets when his twin is occupied in the day or in the late evening, and both of us are tired so I end up mostly just checking and going over work for understanding. Blech.
How it's going isn't great for his brother either. I am spending hours and hours with special needs son trying to drag him through what I consider a basic education. But, for example, an Algebra lesson can easily suck hours because he's so inattentive and sleep deprived. My gut is that I need to build significant time for focusing on special needs areas. But he's beat with just the minimum school I do. And focusing on those things takes me too.
Meanwhile I feel like all I do with the kids is school or basic needs stuff. I am spending so many hours, and yet I feel I'm not accomplishing what I want with either.
What I think I want:
---Curriculum for child A that is solid academically and can be done fairly independently, but ideally would allow for us to interact with interesting material together--discussion or similar. Assuming I can find time/I need to find time. I just don't want an education of him on his own working through curriculum, and that's where we've landed in the last couple of years as his brother has become more complicated.
Right now he's not doing nearly enough composition/writing--I think I need a curriculum that's clearly laid out in assignments, or a plan that I can easily work with him. He's doing very little science, because the curriculum requires me, and we rarely get to it. He's working through history, but we rarely find time to discuss anymore. We've never found time for consistent foreign language--I wanted to do Latin, but when I would need to work with him and am concerned about time to be consistent, so....nothing happens. He likes to read. He likes to discuss. We never find much time for that lately as things are now.
----A bare minimum academic plan for child B, special needs kid, that allows time to work on those needs too. He just mentally can't attend for long enough to do a full day of school, yet that's what we're doing (yesterday he worked with me from 9 to 5:00, with breaks for food and mental and exercise, and a lot of him avoiding starting and getting distracted......we got probably nothing really accomplished, as he hasn't had a decent night's sleep in over a week and was mentally beyond spent before we even got through Algebra). He really thinks/feels he works the entire day--mostly he's avoiding work the entire day.
Right now he's going to be severely limited by his executive skills weaknesses. I need to streamline the academics so I have space for the special needs work without overwhelming him. He needs a lot of "self" space in his day to feel ok Ideally I would spend a couple of hours on streamlined, focused education with me, focused time on special needs throughout the day, and let him do the few things he can do independently while I work with his twin. He can write well and without medication or my sitting with him. He can do memory work without me too. He likes to read for pleasure, but there are probably issues with close reading/focus for school work. Everything else requires me.
I'm going to post this on general board and special needs. I know this was too long. I would appreciate any thoughts on either kid.