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Brining son home from PS

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For those who remember me, I was pretty active on the boards a couple years ago. Due to life circumstances, we had to put the kids into school for two years.


Autistic, ADHD, OCD son (8) has not done well; in fact he has been traumatized by the process. I could really use some advise from the hive minds in bringing him home over the summer and into the next year. Starting my planning now.


He is bright, especially in math, but as most autistic kids, his language skills leave a lot to be desired and he has processing disorders. What are some of the products that have helped some of you in the homeschool arena? I feel very out of the loop!


Thank you!


Edited by ClassicMom
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Guest cookfromscratch

We brought our oldest home from PS at the end of 3rd grade. He has multiple learning disabilities and low muscle tone as well as PPD-NOS tendencies and severe ADHD. We now know he should have been home all along but what's done is done. He was always in spec ed with an IEP but promoted each year with his peers. All his academics were in the spec ed and he went to PE, art etc with his class.


I decided to go back from the beginning and set the foundation for our son's education. My youngest was entering kindergarten so it made it easy to just teach them together. We muddles through various things last year and did the very basics with them both. This year I made some changes turning more Classical through Well Trained Mind. We love it. The repetition works wonders for my oldest who needs it in ever aspect of his life.


We currently use:

Ordinary Parent's Guide to Reading

Language Lessons

Apologia Flying Creatures

Story of the World I

Math on the Level (not classical but works for us)

Lots of library books

PE, Art and Social Skills through a local co-op


Feel free to contact me if you would like to talk further! Here is a link to my blog: http://www.tractorsandtireswings.com

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Welcome back!


If you could give some specifics about what challenges most concern you, we might be able to target suggestions a bit more.


We pulled our son out of school at the end of third grade. It was traumatizing to him too. He has a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome, and of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. He used to have a lot of OCD symptoms too, but those have disappeared over the 5 years since leaving school. He is still a little behind in some areas, and in some subjects he has some negative emotional associations related to school that tend to trip panic attacks at odd moments. He doesn't seem to have ADHD issues, although some of his ps teachers thought that might be an issue for him. My dd does have a diagnosis of ADHD. (Maybe I should be glad the autism and the ADHD aren't living in the same child at my house. That must be quite a challenge!)


I would agree with those who have said feel free to take your time and don't feel pressured to follow a "traditional" track. You will likely find that you zoom ahead in some things and lag behind in others (writing has been a big issue at our house), and that's ok. Kids are individuals, and autistic kids even moreso, if such a thing is possible. :)


If I could go back to fourth grade again I would definitely use Math-U-See for math. I love how customizable the pace of their materials can be, the explanations are clear and developed in intelligent increments and the hands-on manipulatives along with the video instruction uses a lot of sensory channels to get that information in there. This program has done wonderful things for both my autistic child and my ADHD child. There has not been much in the way of prep time other than deciding each day after I mark the papers whether each child needs more practice or is ready to move on to the next lesson. When the child is ready I give them the test from the test booklet, and assuming they do well we watch the video together the next day, which so far has been enough explanation for me to be able to answer questions and help out. The flexible format has really helped with ds, who has little patience for anything he perceives as meaningless repetition of stuff he already knows.


Another program I'm loving is the All About Spelling materials. Again, it has a very logical structure, uses a variety of sensory channels, has a flexible lesson structure, and is easy for Mom. AAS is what finally helped my dd learn to read. (Well, that and Adderall, which allows her to focus on one word long enough to sound out the whole thing.)


For handwriting I am seriously in love with Handwriting Without Tears. Neither one of my kids learned to write letters at school. I think what they did was give them a copy sheet and just turn the kids loose to figure out on their own how to draw the letters. Both of my kids came home having to look at a model and copy it for every. single. letter. they. wrote. EXTREMELY tedious for both of us. The Handwriting Without Tears materials do a good job of teaching a basic, simple sequence of strokes for each letter and then doing a very manageable amount of practice until the process is automatic. It seriously saved my sanity.


What works best for us for history and science is more or less the WTM methods. For history I a book and we read a chapter and then make a notebook page about it. They both do a map exercise and dd does a lapbook minibook activity thing while ds does additional reading on the same topic at a higher level and has worked up to the point where he can do a decent basic outline of the text. (I cannot tell you how tickled I am about this. I was not sure when we started that I'd ever get a coherent written sentence out of the child, let alone a paragraph or outline, in spite of the fact that he was reading at upper high school levels in 3rd grade.)


For science, I made a list of what topic I want to cover each week and we read about that topic from one of the various books we have, and then write about it. Sometimes we do a hands-on activity--demonstration or experiement--on the same topic and write about that. (Some days we take a picture because none of us can face the thought of more writing.)


I like this approach because, again, it offers flexibility. If all we get to is reading one chapter on the topic of the week I can still move on to the next topic the next week without feeling like I'm not doing "enough" because there's a workbook we didn't do or whatever. And if there's huge interest and everyone's "issues" are more or less under control and we wind up with extra time, it's easy to expand by giving more reading or writing, or finding an activity or video to add in or whatever.


You might notice a theme here: flexibility. This has been really important with my kids because some days they (especially autistic ds) are more functional than others. It is increasingly less of an issue, but still necessary because we do have days still on which nothing much gets done because we have what I (not so) affectionately refer to as a "high autism quotient" operating in the house. And then there are other days of extreme lucidity in which I don't want to hold him back because the lesson manual says that's where we should stop and I didn't prep the next lesson. So for us, flexibility is key to staying on track and keeping sane.


HTH :)

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I have enjoyed reading all of the posts above. There are a lot of great ideas here. He does like math and really enjoys art. I am hoping to get him into some art classes.


Thank you for all of your wonderful responses. I do look forward to getting to know you better and getting some of your input as we move forward.

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I have a stupid question...is there a way to print out this thread?


If you click "Thread Tools" at the top right hand of this thread there's a "Show Printable Version" option that takes out a lot of the extra stuff. Then you should be able to just click "Print" on your browser window and go from there. :)

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Guest 2BoysAtHome

Hi All,

Watching this thread. Today is the last day of public school for our boys, age 6 (K) and 8 (2nd). Younger is diagnosed PDD-NOS with auditory issues, and is traumatized by 100 kids on a tiny playground screaming all at the same time every day at lunch. His class of 24 has 17 boys in it. It's just overwhelming for him.


2nd grader is doing well...why wouldn't he be, when his spelling list--in SECOND GRADE--continues to be made up mostly of two-letter words. Horrifying. So tomorrow we start homeschooling (although we've been "afterschooling" with Story of the World for a while). So glad we aren't waiting till June.

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My PDD-NOS was in public school through 5th grade. To see what I use with him now, you can look at my sig. He was an A/B student in school. He's always been an exceptional reader, but writing has always been a huge challenge. I just want to encourage those of you considering bringing your ASD kids home with what a great choice its been for us. I don't regret at all the ps years preK-4. He had great teachers, received lots of therapy and while he never liked school, he learned a lot there including social skills. It was a mistake not to bring him home for 5th, but we've moved past it.


Being home, he was able to work at his level. I was able to modify curriculum to require less writing and allow him to give more verbal responses. He caught up in every area he was struggling in and moved ahead in those he was already good at. He loves it and has gained confidence in every area of his life. When he was in ps he used to say he was dumb (IQ measured at 150). Now he will tell you students in our homeschool are all smart! I've had several people at church comment on his improved social skills too. He quit being afraid of bullying and quit being so distrustful and gained friends!


It is hard for me to recommend curriculum. Every ASD child is different and mine changes constantly. I hope your homeschooling journey is as positive as our has been.

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