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When a long term special need makes it hard to teach the siblings (decisions)

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How do you decide if you can handle homeschooling the siblings of a special needs child? What things do you take into consideration? Is there anyone here who decided they couldn't fulfill the needs of both/all children? What did you do?


I've been putting of this decision a little too long. I'm only homeschooling 2 (out of 4), but last year the neuro-typical child got no help from me (other than planning) and it shows in some testing I did last month.


Now I have to decide:


~3 neuro-typical children in PS and SN child homeschooled because he needs it the most

~SN child part time HS/half day PS because I need the break

~everyone in PS at least part time so I can finish my Masters before the 5 year limit is up (and previous money spent is wasted)

~some kind of video schooling for NT child

~some mix of the above

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This is tough.


I have 3 with various special needs. At one point I did decide to put my oldest (mentally impaired/fetal alcohol) in school for 6th grade as my youngest at the time was very sick and her medical stuff was just taking up too much time. He thrived in school and stayed the rest of his school career.


What program did you use for your NT child last year? If you really want to keep them all home, maybe something more self teaching/paced like ACE or Christian Light or other more "complete" program that needs less adult teaching/supervision.


I would also consider what program they have for your SN child. Would it be a good fit? Would they enjoy their time there? Sometimes giving mom a break and the siblings a break is a great thing. Many kids with special needs just LOVE LOVE LOVE school.....again, depends on the program and the teacher and individual kid.


Not much help but I understand the choices you are making.

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Right now I am trying to do lots of our classes together and limiting the output I require from the kids (i.e. things that they will want me to help them work on and/or I'll need to grade later).



I separate out the kids for individual lessons on a few topics, but where I can I combine. Sometimes that means that older gets an easy lesson (phonics) and sometimes it means the youngers get a harder lesson (history). I adjust my expectations of what each one will retain based on age and ability. i.e. I don't expect my 2nd grader to understand syllables as well as my 6th grader. But they are both listening as I teach about syllables. ;)


ETA: I have used video learning and still do, but have found that I still need to be present to help with understanding and review.

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It would depend on the special need.....


I've had three sn kids so far (one not NT, one with intense medical needs, one with vision/OT issues)....I'd be inclined to send the non-NT kid to school first just because he would have a lot of structure there and would enjoy recess. His education would be adequate in our local public school.


I don't know all of the details of your situation, but freeing up the time I spend with my non-NT kid would still allow me a good chunk of time to work with my NT kids + work on a serious outside commitment like finishing up a Master's. I put 3x the time into him as I do the others....


I try to take our decision making one year at a time...

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I am probably no help. But I put my special needs child in public school because he gets a lot of services and gives up way too easy for me, which leads to frustration for both of us. He works very well for his teachers, or they just don't take his BS. I don't take it, but then he runs away when he doesn't want to do anything-he doesn't do that in school - he will run out of the room and go downstairs. He is only K, but has been going to PS for 1 1/2 years in their PPCD program. He is 6, so he is starting a year late compared to when most people start their Kers. He needed it. I wanted to keep him in Pre-K again, but he aged out. He has knowledge, his fine motor skills are lacking. My goal is to keep him in PS until he can read and write well or unless he is getting bullied or having an awful time at school.


My other two kids are relatively easy to teach. If my special needs child was easier to work with, I would be more apt to keep him home. He gets a good ratio for his important subjects (phonics, reading, writing, math) at his school 5 kids, 2 adults. The electives he is mainstreamed with the K class. The school has a great structure too, which I know he likes. I provide structure, but not like a PS does.

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May the Lord direct you.

I have been homeschooling almost 2 decades and have 10 children ages 5-22. I have nuero-typical children, and others who aren't.

Let me know if I can help.

No one answer fits everyone. I have my biases, but they may not be best for all.


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Thanks for the input.


We tried Kindergarten in PS for a half day (with his seizures we didn't want to chance a naptime). I wasn't really impressed.


He was considered 'normal' and was mainstreamed with no aids. He wandered through the building, would't let us leave, wouldn't do the work, and learned more when he was home sick then there. It was a hard year. He did not learn much. Even at the end of it they didn't think he had any special difficulties and just had a behavioral plan in place for his wandering and non-compliance. IEPs are set up to change when what's been planned has failed.


Budget cut backs meant his teacher would have 25-28 students, not 12-16 like in years past. I didn't think the teacher would be able to keep him in the room, let alone teach him anything. When he stopped eating in August it kind of made the decision moot.


This past year was a survival year, no learning. Basically everything got so bad we got a ton of evaluation (4-5 developmentally, 7 chronologically), behavioral therapy, and hopefully an evaluation from a feeding clinic. If we started again in PS it would be in first grade.


My NT child is 12 and very self-motivated. I never had trouble with him not doing his work. I just had a hard time keeping up. I was grading every 3-4 weeks, and on that schedule you can't make them re-do any but the very worst work. I could do some teaching, but usually only teaching to questions he had.


I'm going to re-test him in the evening (no excitement for friends coming over) and have a serious discussion with him about what we should do.

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