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RobynMarie

Never homeschooled before - mid year pull out - CA education SUCKS!

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Hello everyone! Greetings from southern california.

 

I am new to the site and haven't even begun homeschooling yet.  I have so many questions, I feel totally lost but excited!  Maybe someone can help point me in the direction of some already open discussions that can help.  I am also going to give you a rundown of our situation... I'm sure someone out there can relate! 

 

My 4th grade daughter, Noelle, has struggled her entire school career.  We started at a classical charter school that I loved, however between common core math and the fast-paced schedule, Noelle was always always behind.  Her school career can be summed up in; she treads water and occasionally goes under water. She has never been able to swim and I want her to swim, to soar! We thought perhaps she was dyslexic like her father, only to find out she isn't.  Teachers have called her a "day dreamer", "lazy", "unfocused".  I use to work at the charter school she was at which allowed me the use of all sorts of professional individuals offering their advice and assessments. Some said she could have A.D.D., some said "she'll catch up, give it time.".  (We are halfway through 4th grade, still waiting for progress!) We also heard "processing disorder." and a few other guesses but based on testing and observation she didn't fit a specific category.  In the end, she was never diagnosed with anything, but teachers wanted to hold her back and also give her an I.E.P but based on what? They wanted to slap a diagnosis on her that wasn't true or accurate.  They said this will get her the help she needs.  (Which was completely untrue because this charter's school Special Ed program was a complete joke that had a new head of Special Ed, literally every single year.  Literally, every single year. They even hired someone to head the Special Ed department that didn't have a degree in Special Ed and ZERO Special Ed experience.)  I did learn later, her 2nd grade teacher told me in confidence, that the school messed up and the kindergartners from Noelle's year - Kinder had two maths - Math 1 (Noelle's math) and Math 2 (the more advanced group.) Due to the application of common core, heading into first grade those math 1 students were missing half a year's worth of math because they had to be lumped into the standard.  The school's original intention though (BEFORE THE INVENTION OF COMMON CORE) was to always put the students in the math they needed to be in based on what they knew.  Good intentions completely derailed by the government's application of "new math".  But the school should have notified me of the gap, but they swept it under the rug and they had about 90 1st graders with a noticeable deficit.  But many of them caught up over time.  

 

We ended up switching schools to our assigned public school. I thought at least here the special ed teachers are held more accountable and watched more vigilantly.  Anyway, same thing happened, she didn't fit any special need but was clearly not where her peers are and they wanted to start the whole process of SST and IEP but again based on only that she's behind, but never understanding WHY and HOW to help her.  The plan was to modify her tests so she could get a better grade but that wasn't helping Noelle learn.  It is only helping the school get a better score. We ended up going to an outside resource and paying a pretty penny to get her tested more thoroughly. Over time and many conversations and meetings (through God putting special people in our path!) we learned that due to Noelle never crawling as an infant and going straight from sitting to walking, some crucial transitions in the brain never happened which affected her ability to learn and retain information. She has memory issues and she cannot do multi step problems. She does have a dash of A.D.D and splash of dyslexia and sprinkle of processing issues but her learning issues are as unique as she is!  So now here are, December and we've decided to pull her out over Christmas break and begin homeschooling.  While I have no experience teaching whatsoever, I am capable and learn quickly.   What the heck do I do from here? I've read I need to file an affidavit through the state of CA as a private school.  I also need to settle on curriculum and I really do love the classical approach.  I found a charlotte mason and catholic mash up referred to me by a veteran, catholic, home schooling mom of 7. While, the Catholic element I love, it isn't necessarily a deal breaker, because they've been in public school forever, so I have already taken it upon myself to give them a religious education.  I would love to hear from anyone that can relate to any aspect of my story.

 

My story is a bit rambly, I apologize.  There is a lot whirling around in my mind and trying to keep it short and clear is very difficult!  Especially because I have a 1 year old running around my feet right now!  

 

I'd appreciate any advice.

 

Thank you!

 

Sincerely, 

Robyn 

Mom of 4 from California

 

 

 

 

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Firstly the PSA is very easy to file. You do not need to choose any curriculum to file the PSA so you have time to decide that later.

 

The PSA link is here. Choose the All other schools (blank form) option for your case. https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/affidavit.asp

 

As for your child’s issues, including the skip crawling stage issue, there are many parents who have experiences with those at the Learning challenges board on this forum. You would get responses if you cross post there http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/forum/6-the-learning-challenges-board/

 

There is a California thread “Okay California girls where are you? (and boys too)†even though it is not active http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/2765-okay-california-girls-where-are-you-and-boys-too/

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Hello and welcome to the club!  Former Californian here.  :-)  

 

I can't help specifically with your daughter's needs, but there are parents here who can.  I think you're absolutely right to give her a custom-made education, move at her pace, and fill in gaps.  Best of luck!

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Oh, I meant to add:  Some Catholic resources are:  Mater Amabilis, booklists from Mother of Divine Grace, and booklists from Angelicum Academy.  I don't actually use their materials, but I do like the booklists available on the websites.  

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I'd suggest you start with just two subjects (math and one other), trying to find curriculum that will fit your dd where she is, rather than choosing a whole program or philosophical educational system. Plus leave room for things like physical exercise and nature. My bdtd experience dealing with a child with learning differences is that choosing things piecemeal worked best. As you start in on just a couple of things, you will both get into the rhythm of homeschooling and learn more about what works for both of you and what doesn't. At that point you can add on more.

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btw in 3rd-4th grade, my ds used the audio version of Story of the World, all 4 sets. Many other parts of "classical" or WTM approach did not work well for him, but that was awesome and feeling like he had learned something about history from the earliest nomads to the fall of the Soviet Union was good for his sense of accomplishment.  At that stage, he used MUS for math successfully.

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Hi Robyn!  

 

It makes me so sad to hear what a rough time you both had with school, but I'm glad that home school is an opportunity for you.  I hope you both end up loving it.  

 

My twins both had a physical issue (torticollis - the shortening of the muscle on one side of the neck) that they had from birth, probably from being crammed in the womb together.  We weren't able to fully resolve the issue quickly enough and neither of mine did their crawling either.  It definitely had consequences.  It sounds like maybe you're getting help in this area, but in case you need more resources to look at:   I used this exercise program with mine (Assessing Neuromotor Readiness for Learning: The INPP Developmental Screening Test and School Intervention Programme

   https://www.amazon.com/Assessing-Neuromotor-Readiness-Learning-Developmental/dp/1119970687/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513634870&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=inpp+program).  It changed our lives.  Once those physical developmental issues are helped I think you'll be able to make a lot of progress in the other areas - especially the dyslexia.  You may even see some of those issues become less severe on their own.  

 

 If I were in your shoes, but with the home school experience I have so far,  I think I'd spend a good amount of time just getting into a daily rhythm and getting used to being together so much.  I think I'd figure out what time of the day you think the most learning could take place and start structuring days around that.  I'd start with good books to read aloud, or listen to audio books, and get into having a day each week you go to the library to re-stock.  Start playing with mathy type things in a fun way (like with pattern tiles).  Play games.  Do some cooking.  Doing all of this will give you a picture of her skills and her strengths and weaknesses, you can bond and work on the relationship of spending time together every day, and begin setting the tone of having a certain time every day to do some work.  Then you can figure out a way to work forward finding curriculum that would be most helpful to improve skills.  For example,  there are lots of great math programs but it could be frustrating if you need to work on lower grade skills and it seems like its for little kids or something.  Something like Life of Fred doesn't have grade levels so you can start at the beginning and work forward.

 

Also, I'd go to the park a lot and smile and play A LOT to shake off anything that might be hanging on from school.  

 

:-)

Good luck and have fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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