Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A new plan...

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley.

-Robert Burns
"To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough"

Our "plan" was for Jude to go to preschool.  Yes, he had a rough start to life -- some medical issues, some developmental delays -- but with lots of patience and therapy, we got him on the right track and he made incredible gains.  By spring of 2011, his doctors and therapists all said, "He's ready for school from our perspective.  He has a little bit of delay here and there, but a school/group setting should fix that, by virtue of being in a regimented program and with his peers."  So we happily enrolled him in preschool and awaited that first day in September. Life seemed good.

And then life happened.  After several months of seriously disruptive behavior, the hubby and I decided to withdraw him.  The decision had nothing to do with his incredibly awesome teachers, but let's face it...Catholic school teachers don't make enough to start with, and they certainly aren't getting combat rates for dealing with my little hellion who bites and kicks and spits angel. (He wasn't this bad before, I swear.)  Like I said, everybody thought that being in a school setting with peers would help him with the little bits he had left.   No such luck.  Instead of circle time, he sat in the corner. Instead of drawing with his crayons, he'd toss them at the teacher.  When the principal came to just talk to him, he would put his hand up and say "Go away or I will karate you."  When it got to him disrupting not only his class but others as well, we decided it was time to just take a break.  They all agreed he was a smart kid -- maybe too smart, because he knew how to manipulate things so he was left alone or sent home.  I gave him the option of staying home and following my rules, or staying and listening to Miss Kristen's rules.  He was adamant he was NOT following hers, so that left mine.

This means we have joined the world of homeschooling.  If it were up to him, he'd park himself in front of the TV and hog the remote until his sibs come home.  No such luck, dude.  Ideally, we'd like him to go back to a traditional school setting.  I'm thinking being a 6 year old in PK4 isn't going to go over any better than being 4 in PK4 did.  We decided to homeschool him for the next year and a half, because barring miracles, "regular"  Kindy ain't happening this fall. It's not even a matter of "getting older" and maturing -- with a kid who is in the process of being evaluated for autism, "getting older" doesn't guarantee anything.  Ideally, he'll be ready academically to go to first grade "on time," but if not, we'll adjust.  (Either he'll "repeat" kindergarten, or he'll homeschool another year and we'll try for second grade. Note I am not calling this a "plan."  It's a "concept.")   I've always considered homeschooling -- our public schools aren't *awful*, but they're not as good as I'd like, especially if you're coming from a private school with an advanced curriculum.  I've said if we were forced into the system by school closures (not a stretch these days when you're in Catholic schools), I would homeschool.  However, homeschooling at any point was one of those "We'll cross that bridge if we get there," things.  Apparently, we are now firmly on the bridge. 

So join us as we cross the bridge and wander down a new path. I'm not exactly sure where we're going -- and for the moment, we're enjoying that part of homeschooling.  We're more "meandering in the meadow" at the moment.  After all, it's "only" the PK year we're finishing now.  I'm also juggling how to either include his 18 month old little brother, or work around his irregular schedule.  (And I'm also thinking, if I'm homeschooling one...)  While  I know I will have to get my act together for Kindergarten level (especially if we want him to be able to enter back in for first grade),  for now I'm enjoying the process of finding out what my young man already knows.  I spent several hours last Saturday trying to come up with a framework & a lesson plan, and the past two days I have discovered enough that I think it may fly out the window.  Of course, because the best laid plans...


  1. Ohhh good luck Meg. There are so many blogs about homschooling little ones lately and they share so many great ideas. Look into some montesorri ideas and that would help include you littlest one too. I teach in public schools and wish I could home school my kiddos and be in charge of how and what they learn instead of someone else. I miss seeing my kids in the day and the joys of them Learning. Wish I ha more opportunity to do that but homeschooling won't pay my house note. So I keep teaching.

  2. That's one thing I'm loving about the internet right now. There is just SO much out there -- either actual activities to use "as is" or that can be tweaked. There is no way on earth I would have been able to do this with the big boys or probably even Celia, or at least not without driving myself insane gathering materials.


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