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I homeschooled for 13 years. My children have been in local Christian schools the last 2 years. The reason for searching out local schools was because I was burned out and also suffering with health issues. I am a little better now. But I miss homeschooling and the freedoms and the simplicity that we once had. All the social problems, answering to someone else, keeping up with all the "unnecessary" stuff has worn me out more, in some ways, than actually homeschooling.

 

So I have 5 children (2 are done with schooling). 3 of them are the ones attending schools.  2 of them could go either way but one of them wants to stay in school (13 yo). But unfortunately she is the one I am having the most issues with. She isn't doing so well socially and has received multiple demerits and even received an after school detention (mainly for talking but some are for schoolwork). She doesn't do well academically. She was actually tested by the township for learning issues. She was border line needing outside intervention. She also showed add/adhd tendencies on the test and I was told to see a doctor about this. Whenever I have mentioned bringing her back home she makes very negative, rebellious comments. 

 

I just want to simplify things. I want to get her more involved in our church and begin working on our relationships and on her heart. I am concerned that I wouldn't be able to handle her add/adhd tendencies and her attitude. But I feel like sending her to school is giving up on her too. I am also fearful that I will make her worse by bringing her home. Most all of her friends from our church go to this school. But I have told her that she can still play sports there and be able to visit and spend time with them.

 

 I am fervently praying for God to lead me and show me the way regarding this. Any advice, thoughts or encouragement you can offer would be much appreciated.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Is there any possibility you could have her evaluated through a private neuropsychologist?  She may very well have some underlying learning challenges that have derailed her academically and emotionally.  A neuropsych could tweak a lot of that out, including any underlying strengths that aren't currently being tapped.  It might give you some badly needed answers for what the real problems are.  Frequently, if a child has learning challenges that are not readily obvious to the outside world they end up developing a terrible attitude about school.  They start to think they are dumb.  Better to cop a bad attitude and have people think you aren't doing well because you don't care or think school is stupid then for them to realize YOU are stupid.  Which she isn't, but I am showing you how a bad attitude can occur because down inside they fear they are.  It is a defense mechanism.

 

Other things that most people don't know to look into but could also be causing issues:  Developmental vision issues (you can have 20/20 visual acuity and still have developmental vision issues) and Central auditor processing issues (not her hearing but how her brain processes the sounds that she is hearing).  Have you ever had her tested for developmental vision issues or auditory processing issues (neither of which usually show up on a normal vision or hearing screening)?  I wouldn't leap into evaluations for that right away without a reason to but I thought I would mention these as things to look into.

 

And I would read up on current research regarding ADD/ADHD. She may need a lot more scaffolding than is currently being provided by the school.

 

What about her executive function skills?  Does she need help in this area?

 

You might read The Mislabeled Child by Brock and Fernette Eide just to see if anything in there speaks to you...

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Thank you. I always like to think that having my children with me is better. But sometimes, honestly, I can't stand being around her. :(   She is at that stage where she knows everything. She talks back frequently. Its just really hard right now.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Is there any possibility you could have her evaluated through a private neuropsychologist?  She may very well have some underlying learning challenges that have derailed her academically and emotionally.  A neuropsych could tweak a lot of that out, including any underlying strengths that aren't currently being tapped.  It might give you some badly needed answers for what the real problems are.  Frequently, if a child has learning challenges that are not readily obvious to the outside world they end up developing a terrible attitude about school.  They start to think they are dumb.  Better to cop a bad attitude and have people think you aren't doing well because you don't care or think school is stupid then for them to realize YOU are stupid.  Which she isn't, but I am showing you how a bad attitude can occur because down inside they fear they are.  It is a defense mechanism.

 

I haven't had her evaluated. I didn't even know to send her to a neuropsychologist. I was dreading the doctor visit with the adhd meds that would probably follow.

 

Other things that most people don't know to look into but could also be causing issues:  Developmental vision issues (you can have 20/20 visual acuity and still have developmental vision issues) and Central auditor processing issues (not her hearing but how her brain processes the sounds that she is hearing).  Have you ever had her tested for developmental vision issues or auditory processing issues (neither of which usually show up on a normal vision or hearing screening)?  I wouldn't leap into evaluations for that right away without a reason to but I thought I would mention these as things to look into.

 

Where do you have those evaluations done? The township said her auditory processing was fine but I have no idea how they tested her for that. We did find out that she needed glasses this year for distance. But she won't wear them because the kids made fun of her. So she sits up front to be able to see.

 

And I would read up on current research regarding ADD/ADHD. She may need a lot more scaffolding than is currently being provided by the school.

 

What about her executive function skills?  Does she need help in this area?

 

Not sure I know what this is? She is very independent and takes good care of herself.

 

You might read The Mislabeled Child by Brock and Fernette Eide just to see if anything in there speaks to you...

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:grouphug: :grouphug: Many kids with ADHD can have oppositional behavior as well.  Getting tested, getting advice on how to teach her or how to advocate for her in the schools can help with some of that. 

 

Where do you recommend I have her tested? Regular family doctor? or as someone mentioned above, a neuropsychologist?

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Is there any possibility you could have her evaluated through a private neuropsychologist?  She may very well have some underlying learning challenges that have derailed her academically and emotionally.  A neuropsych could tweak a lot of that out, including any underlying strengths that aren't currently being tapped.  It might give you some badly needed answers for what the real problems are.  Frequently, if a child has learning challenges that are not readily obvious to the outside world they end up developing a terrible attitude about school.  They start to think they are dumb.  Better to cop a bad attitude and have people think you aren't doing well because you don't care or think school is stupid then for them to realize YOU are stupid.  Which she isn't, but I am showing you how a bad attitude can occur because down inside they fear they are.  It is a defense mechanism.

 

I haven't had her evaluated. I didn't even know to send her to a neuropsychologist. I was dreading the doctor visit with the adhd meds that would probably follow.

 

Other things that most people don't know to look into but could also be causing issues:  Developmental vision issues (you can have 20/20 visual acuity and still have developmental vision issues) and Central auditor processing issues (not her hearing but how her brain processes the sounds that she is hearing).  Have you ever had her tested for developmental vision issues or auditory processing issues (neither of which usually show up on a normal vision or hearing screening)?  I wouldn't leap into evaluations for that right away without a reason to but I thought I would mention these as things to look into.

 

Where do you have those evaluations done? The township said her auditory processing was fine but I have no idea how they tested her for that. We did find out that she needed glasses this year for distance. But she won't wear them because the kids made fun of her. So she sits up front to be able to see.

 

And I would read up on current research regarding ADD/ADHD. She may need a lot more scaffolding than is currently being provided by the school.

 

What about her executive function skills?  Does she need help in this area?

 

Not sure I know what this is? She is very independent and takes good care of herself.

 

You might read The Mislabeled Child by Brock and Fernette Eide just to see if anything in there speaks to you...

 

She may or may not have ADHD/ADD.  She may or may not need medication.  Medication may or may not be really helpful.  Without an evaluation through an experienced doctor you won't know.  Call around and see if you can find a neuropsychologist with a good reputation.  Also, check with your insurance and see what they cover.

 

For developmental vision issues you usually would try to go to a doctor listed here: 

http://www.covd.org/  They would have the training to do a developmental vision screening to see if she needs a full developmental vision evaluation.  Just do the screening first.  Don't pay for a full evaluation if there is no reason for one.

 

For auditory processing you need someone actually trained to tweak out CAPD.  A standard hearing screening won't do that.  See if the person you went to has that training.  

 

Executive function includes quite a few things, including staying organized, accomplishing tasks in the right order in a timely manner, keeping track of belongings, knowing that something needs to get done and then actually doing it, etc.

 

Does she have any hobbies or outside interests that she could pursue in more depth?  Something to boost her mood?

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Where do you recommend I have her tested? Regular family doctor? or as someone mentioned above, a neuropsychologist?

 

A neuropsychologist is best but it can be expensive depending on how much your insurance covers or doesn't cover.  I know you mentioned being tested by the township.  Is this the same as being tested in the public schools?  Depending on where you live, many public schools need to provide testing even for homeschooled children or those in private schools.  You will need to look at your state education laws to see what they say regarding that. 

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She may or may not have ADHD/ADD.  She may or may not need medication.  Medication may or may not be really helpful.  Without an evaluation through an experienced doctor you won't know.  Call around and see if you can find a neuropsychologist with a good reputation.  Also, check with your insurance and see what they cover.

 

For developmental vision issues you usually would try to go to a doctor listed here: 

http://www.covd.org/  They would have the training to do a developmental vision screening to see if she needs a full developmental vision evaluation.  Just do the screening first.  Don't pay for a full evaluation if there is no reason for one.

 

For auditory processing you need someone actually trained to tweak out CAPD.  A standard hearing screening won't do that.  See if the person you went to has that training.  

 

Executive function includes quite a few things, including staying organized, accomplishing tasks in the right order in a timely manner, keeping track of belongings, knowing that something needs to get done and then actually doing it, etc.

 

Does she have any hobbies or outside interests that she could pursue in more depth?  Something to boost her mood?

 

This is great information. I will look into all of it. Because there is just something different with her -- something is wrong. She is very well organized....at least at home with her clothes, room, makeup etc. She tries to be organized with her schoolwork but she is unable to accomplish it. It is too much information and overwhelming to her. She doesn't have to be told to bath or clean her room. All is organized and in order. She fixes her hair and applies light makeup daily. She likes to play baskeball and volleyball and is very involved in her youth group.

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A neuropsychologist is best but it can be expensive depending on how much your insurance covers or doesn't cover.  I know you mentioned being tested by the township.  Is this the same as being tested in the public schools?  Depending on where you live, many public schools need to provide testing even for homeschooled children or those in private schools.  You will need to look at your state education laws to see what they say regarding that. 

 

Yes, it was through the public school. The private schools here utilize the same township testing that the public school use. All results were either "ok" or border line needing intervention along with add/adhd tendencies which I was advised to see a doctor for.

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Her borderline issues, combined together, may be troublesome enough to be causing problems. Or the school may have missed something.

 

Honestly, it is entirely possible that the school missed something, even if the evidence is right there in the test scores. My neighbor recently had someone look over her daughter's test scores from a year ago, and that person spotted something that the school had not (one of her language subtest scores was only in the second percentile, but she was getting no help for language in her IEP).

 

If you pull out the copies of the test scores and post them in a thread over on the Learning Challenges board, someone may be able to suggest some areas where she could use some intervention. You can go back and erase the scores later to preserve privacy. The people who post on the LC are knowledgeable and willing to help.

 

That won't replace a neuropsych evaluation, but it will give you some other perspectives as you consider what to do.

 

It is very difficult to homeschool a child who is oppositional and unwilling (personal experience here). I think in your case I would make sure you have been getting appropriate help from the school. What kind of accommodations have they been providing? If the school thought her difficulties were great enough to have the township evaluate her, perhaps she should have received a 504 plan, even if she did not qualify for an IEP.

 

My own children are in private school, and they have learning disabilities. I understand your desire to have her in a Christian environment. Does this school have an intervention team? Do they have a track record for successfully helping students with learning struggles? Sometimes the public school ends up being the better choice for children who struggle, because they have better resources and trained staff.

 

I think it will help you to grow in your understanding of her needs and then look at all of the available options -- her current school, homeschooling, private tutoring, or public school -- to figure out which one will be best for her. I will be 100% honest and say that I'm not sure that homeschooling her would be the best option, unless you have a plan that will make it go better than it did before.

 

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Her borderline issues, combined together, may be troublesome enough to be causing problems. Or the school may have missed something.

 

Honestly, it is entirely possible that the school missed something, even if the evidence is right there in the test scores. My neighbor recently had someone look over her daughter's test scores from a year ago, and that person spotted something that the school had not (one of her language subtest scores was only in the second percentile, but she was getting no help for language in her IEP).

 

There were 6 of us going over the test scores in a meeting so the chance of missing something is unlikely. :/

 

If you pull out the copies of the test scores and post them in a thread over on the Learning Challenges board, someone may be able to suggest some areas where she could use some intervention. You can go back and erase the scores later to preserve privacy. The people who post on the LC are knowledgeable and willing to help.

 

That won't replace a neuropsych evaluation, but it will give you some other perspectives as you consider what to do.

 

It is very difficult to homeschool a child who is oppositional and unwilling (personal experience here). I think in your case I would make sure you have been getting appropriate help from the school. What kind of accommodations have they been providing? If the school thought her difficulties were great enough to have the township evaluate her, perhaps she should have received a 504 plan, even if she did not qualify for an IEP.

 

Therein lies the problem. This is a small school and its vision is one of ministry. There is no option for a 504 because those are for public schools. They are too small for such things and there is no help other than through the township.

 

My own children are in private school, and they have learning disabilities. I understand your desire to have her in a Christian environment. Does this school have an intervention team? Do they have a track record for successfully helping students with learning struggles? Sometimes the public school ends up being the better choice for children who struggle, because they have better resources and trained staff.

 

Unfortunately, we live in a township that I would NEVER send my kids too. I drive 20 mins to take them to this school. The tuition isn't as much as most so that is why they are going there. We cannot afford anything else. I just feel that my options are limited.

 

I think it will help you to grow in your understanding of her needs and then look at all of the available options -- her current school, homeschooling, private tutoring, or public school -- to figure out which one will be best for her. I will be 100% honest and say that I'm not sure that homeschooling her would be the best option, unless you have a plan that will make it go better than it did before.

 

I think you are right. Having her evaluated and seeing if there are some real issues going on and address them. She has struggled so much academically at school that I am hoping once she is in a program that meets her needs that some of the pressure will lessen.  I thought of using a computer based program such as Switched on Schoolhouse. I like how there are videos and games along with an option to highlight and to have the text read to you if need be. I think this is a good choice at least for some subjects.

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Even if you haven't missed anything, putting her test results up on the Learning Challenges board could be helpful.  Many of us do homeschool children with learning issues.  I was initially concerned that if you went that route that you would need testing so that you had enough information to provide the right kind of schooling for her.  My own dd has learning challenges.  I've had to let go of some grade level expectations as I've learned to teach the student I have at the level she's at without undue pressure on her.  I would sit down with her (perhaps on a special Mother/ daughter date to Panera!) to assure her that if you did homeschool that you would work with her on finding a good fit for her.  My 14 year old dd needs a lot more hands on work and projects and less seat work in order to learn without frustration.  An older child would be very hard to homeschool without any cooperation, I think. 

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