Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Homeschooling Eleven . . .

With eleven darlings home and a huge variety of academic abilities
I am finding that it is time to re evaluate a few

I had a hope and a dream but I can see now, that it may not be what is best for each of the child in this family.

Instead, it is necessary for me to give up my own desires and give this to God.

He's got a plan and I need to figure out what it is and submit to it.

Have you noticed I haven't even said what it is yet.

I am stubborn and it's hard for me to even say this
I have too...

Okay here goes-
homeschooling 11 kiddos is HARD.

Really HARD...

Really really HARD...

Maybe not for some people BUT it is for me.

It's not just one issue that is hard, it's a variety of issues and when I put them all together it equals HARD.

I am sure that some of you out there are saying 
Ya, duhhhhh...
I coulda told you that...

BUT I look at it differently... 

if you have never adopted 
never homeschooled than you really don't understand
 how awesome adoption is and how wonderful homeschooling your adopted children really is!

It is my hope that someday, once again all the children will be home
but for now I am planning to use the resources available to us to benefit our children.

 We have 
severe to moderate cognitive delays and disabilities, 
we have PTSD, 
we have memory issues, 
we have ADHD, 
we have ELL (English language learners),  
we have speech disabilities and more.
We also have average students and 
very bright students where the sky is the limit,
We are shy, out going, quiet and talkative.
We are brave and fearful.
We are stubborn and go with the flow.

We have used outside resources for therapies and now it is time to use the resources available for our children with cognitive issues.

To be honest I feel like God is saying
"yes, it's time".
I have thought about it other times and would change my mind by the end of the day.

This time it's different.
I am at peace with it.
And because of that peace, I feel like God has planted this in my heart and now it is the right time.

We are beginning the IEP process for one of the children. Then we will begin it for another. And then another...

Only one will probably get to start school this month and the others will wait until fall.

Our school day is going in too many different directions and I can see some frustration with the children (and myself).
I cannot sit next to each child at the same time and individually tutor them.
I am only one person.

Sometimes when working with a cognitively disabled child it is easy to loose sight of correct expectations. Now the schools and I will work together for the benefit of that child.
We live in a wonderful school district and we are very blessed to have these services available.
PLUS, a good friend of mine is the school psychologist and will be part of the team- that is comforting!

If it doesn't work- I can bring them back home

and then we will devise another plan!

We are praying over this decision and will post more on it later.
(pics later)


Judy Deaton said...

That is a tough decision, but love your faith:) You are doing an amazing job! I don't think I could home school even one, so you are waaay ahead of me to begin with. The range of needs you have are truly HUGE! A good school with a good team of teachers is such a blessing! We have been blessed with our 2 girls that need IEP's. I hear over and over again how people have to fight for their kids' rights, and we never have. With a deaf child, and both being way behind, we might have had to. But our school has gone above and beyond! Praise God! God Bless you in this transition.

Jenny said...

Same thing for me - sent three children to school this year for the first time in 16 years of homeschooling. I am currently doing an IEP for a homeschooler, but they are going to provide special resources. It's been good overall.

ally said...

Jean, you have done an amazing job with all of your children. Homeschooling is hard with just your average large family but when you add in all the challenges our children face, sometimes we have to reach out for help. I have homeschooled some of my children for the past 19 yrs. There are some in school settings and some home. I re-evaluate each year and each child and seek God to show me where is best. Right now I have 2 at home and 4 in school. It's sometimes hard to balance both but it is what is best right now. I too would love to have us all at home but I know my limits and my weaknesses. Prayers and hugs as you forge a new educational plan for your children. Ally

Angie said...

It's great that you are at peace with it. It took us a long time to be at peace with sending Laura to school, but it has been a wonderful decision. She loves it, and I know they have the facilities, technology, and therapies right there every day for her.

Sarah said...

Sounds like wisdom, Jean. Different kids need different things at different times. You are always so thoughtful about what each one of your children needs.

Rebecca said...

Good for you! We are putting Abby in school come June... She'll do VPK where she will also get speech therapy and then kindergarten in the fall. This is at our local school for kids with special needs. Averleigh will start preschool at the church across the street in August, 5 mornings a week. The big 4 will still be home with me, but doing mostly online school:) I too feel the need for some help... Still love having them all home, but I am not superwoman!

Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

Our motto has always been, "Education is a year by year, child by child decision." Public, private, and home, we've done (and are doing) it all. Kudos for realizing when it's not working.

Sue said...

You have been doing such a wonderful job with the kids. It takes a village to raise a child and sometimes a little help does wonders for everyone. I have admire your abilities with the kids and put one or more in school doesn't lessen that in any way. There has been many times when a teacher or someone suggest something and I am "why didn't I think of that" and that really could help. I have also said you try something and it doesn't work, you try something else, that is part of learning and so forth. There is nothing saying you can't change it.

Sally-Girl! said...

You know my thoughts dear friend!! Proud of your post!I know your heart and how you have struggled to get to this. Good things lie ahead!!!

acceptance with joy said...

I have totally walked that road with the DDD and needing help. I am so thankful for the services available. Sure, I would wish I could homeschool them all still, but for now, this is working out for the best.

Mama Ds Dozen said...

I am so glad that you are seeking outside resources. Sometimes we just cannot do it alone. :) I know that you will continue to seek the Lord first, and that He will guide your every step.

I have homeschooled for 22 years. We adopted 3 older siblings (to add to our 10 bio.), and I KNEW that I wanted to homeschool them, as well. And, I'm glad that I did.

However, last Spring we had to make the difficult decision to enroll our child with severe RAD in school. It was best . . . for her . . . and for the rest of us who were still at home. The Lord guided.

Keep seeking Him, and He will show you the path for each individual child.

You are doing a GREAT job! Keep up the good work!

mama of 12

likeschocolate said...

I feel for you! I am thinking about pulling out one of my children, but then I am not sure if I can do it with a toddler who doesn't sit still. Heavenly Father will let you know what is right and he will let me know what is right. At the moment we got the school to work with my sons medical issue (heart disease) and they are letting him go later do to fatigue. I think the most important thing is what is best for each child. If you live in a great school district than take advantage of what they have to offer. You would hate for a child to be held back simple because you want to stick with a philosophy of homeschooling. Oh, since you made changes has Mia's behavior changed??

Sammie said...

Your ability to stay balanced and step back and look at things, and the needs of yourself and your kids always amazes me. Our kids needs are often different then what we had planned. I also have a son with brain damage and a lower IQ and one with severe truama and realted learning diabilities. I Love the Wrights Law web site, lots of good informaion on special ed services IEP's etc,etc http://www.wrightslaw.com/

Kathy said...

You and your husband will do what is best for all of your kids. You know them the best and will do what is best for them. Prayers being said that things move smoothly for all involved and he sends clear pictures of what you are to do.
I will be homeschooling our 2nd grader next year and can't wait.

Sammy said...

We will soon have 12 kids (10 still home) and I send mine to school. I have them VERY involved in our church to make up for the liberal influences and so far it is working. I have great kids. Several of my friends homeschool, but I'm too lazy and like my days free. My kids really do like going to school too.

adoption journey said...

Everyone wondered HOW you can school 11 at home, with such different abilities and challenges...so go easy on yourself. Can you still homeschool a few of the children? I know that sending them all off to school is such a huge leap. I'm contemplating bringing a few back home. They attend a wonderful private Christian school (with six children per class) but I feel like I miss out on too much of their lives. And I missed the first six years already!

Wendy said...

Oh Jean, you have nothing to feel bad about or need to explain yourself. I cannot imagine homeschooling 11 children. If there are services out there that will add to the love and teaching you provide that is even better. Just think, when these children come home, you can hear all about their day which will be so much fun. Always think of the bright side. It takes a village to raise a child....

*Overflowing* said...

LOVED reading this...for so many reasons! I feel like this school year has been insane. Little mister's needs are so intense right now...add the other 2 high needs babe....schooling has been VERY HARD this year. Thank you for sharing your heart...I will be praying for you guys...I know this has probably been one of the most difficult decisions to pray through. Hugs!