In the past 2 years my husband and I have been fiddling with the idea of homeschooling our 11 year old son, Giovanni. It wasn’t until the last six months that this idea inched it’s way into becoming reality.
Being that we are t-minus 11 days away from 6th grade being a wrap, making the decision has been more pertinent than ever for several reasons i.e. safety, separating our child from the other children that are going to expose him to things he isn’t ready to be exposed to or exposed to at all, and taking him away from a classroom setting. Because of this I have had a plethora of mixed emotions and feelings. . . am I doing the right thing, is he going to succeed, is his social life going to suffer, it goes on and on. I know that all these questions are normal and stemmed from a bit of fear and guilt involved in making this decision.
On one hand I had the traditional Pre-k to 12th grade experience (minus I went to an all-girl catholic high school) then from there I went on to college on an athletic scholarship to play basketball. I guess the guilt lies in not knowing if my child is going to have the same opportunities I received growing up going through the traditional school setting.
Any parent will tell you they want their children to live a better life then they had and this all starts through the opportunities we open up for them during childhood
For Giovanni he is an extremely gifted child academically. When you pair that with an intense case of ADHD, the combination of the two when not given the proper nurturing and attention leads to a lot of class clownery . . . which ultimately comes from two things: he isn’t being stimulated enough in the subjects being taught to him and what I think is the biggest reason . . . the student to teacher ratio is too high.
Since moving to Colorado from Michigan 5 years ago our family has bounced around in attempts to find the best school for our child. After 2 failed attempts one in Cherry Creek School district and another at a charter school in the Aurora School District we finally settled into a suburb of Denver two and a half years ago.
Our Neighborhood is the quintessential smallville type neighborhood where all the kids go to the same school and 95% of them walk. To say the least we have been very blessed to be in the area we live in and to be in the Douglas County School District.
Out of every school district when have been in from Michigan and the two other districts I mentioned above, DCSD has been the most attentive to Giovanni’s needs as an individual student. From his 504 plan to the administration at the school understanding that he doesn’t fit the cookie cutter mold of what a school student should be.
Even though the school he has been at has been great . . . we have just seen some red flags as far as it comes to his academics and growth socially. At the beginning of every school year my husband and I do an evaluation of what we think Giovanni needs from administration and his teachers, where were believe he is currently at academically and where we like him to be at as a whole by the half way mark of the school year . . . in conjunction to that we do an end of the year recap. With doing this we are actively staying involved with our son’s growth as well as taking his success into our hands instead of letting school system dictate his path. We have found that by staying up in the mix all the time we keep everyone on there toes and on point with the dealing of our child.
So being that we are near the end of the year and with the recent school shooting that happened in our district we have decided to enroll him in an online hybrid program (still in our current school district) where he will attend classes virtually as well as have 2 days a week in a small classroom setting which can be likened to tutor sessions. In this Hybrid program he is still aligned with the middle school he was going to attend fulltime and still has the perks of playing on the sports teams and can even take a couple elective classes at the school if interested.
The change has really let us control his academics and set a learning plan specifically for him not based on the guidelines the district gives educators to fulfil for the school year they are teaching and at what grade level.
Not to mention his school day is cut down to 3-5 hours a day in a setting comfortable for him and for anyone that has a child with a learning disability this is a godsend. The lack of the traditional setting gives them the opportunity to take breaks fidget and re-center all which isn’t so possible at a brick and mortar classroom setting.
So parents if any of you have questions how to enroll your child in homeschool or which program could benefit them shoot me and email and definitely stay tuned for updates on my podcast where this is own of the topics that will be discussed.
Until then . . .