Parents may face the decision to homeschool their tween or teen for various reasons, some personal, some academic. The decision comes with a lot of concerns, such as family and friends disagreeing with your choice, wondering about a lack of socialization, worrying that you’ll have the time to help your tween with school work, and just fear of the unknown.
My husband I decided to take our 13 year old daughter, Sammi out of middle school this year, which is 8th grade. We made this choice after much deliberation and after questioning the school professionals we trust, her pediatrician, her neurologist and her therapist. Our choice came about mainly because Sammi missed a great deal of school in 7th grade due to health issues, including Sinus Tachycardia, borderline Long QT syndrome (which prevents her from taking many medications) and having a tonsillectomy. Although she had a 504 Plan, which took into consideration her need to be absent frequently and a homebound teacher, she continuously missed school work. A big part of the problem is that she wouldn’t ask her teacher’s for make up work (partly due to anxiety, partly because she felt she couldn’t handle all of it).
Try as we would with the school’s administration, letters from the neurologist who wanted her tested for Processing Disorders, and multiple meetings including her IEP meetings, it seemed as if we hit a brick wall. For a child who scored a 5 in Reading and a 3 in Math on her FCAT, who enjoys reading and science, she was miserable at school. She felt like a failure.
Not wanting this for our daughter, we made the decision to enter her into Florida Virtual School. This is an online, accredited homeschool program with professional teachers. Sammi likes to use the computer and is looking forward to getting started with her classes. There are clubs that she can join and I am looking into sports and other activities for her.
Her homeschooling will end after 8th grade. She will return to public school for high school, but for now our decision is to homeschool.
How did you make the decision to homeschool your child?
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