It dawns on me that I have skipped over the part about why we have decided to homeschool.  I came across a ‘vent’ I wrote to a friend in April, right after coming back from the Assessment meeting with all the specialists who tested The Naturalist to decide if she needed an IEP plan (Individual Education Plan).  Here’s my letter:

“I just got back from a meeting at my daughter’s school. I requested testing to see if she would qualify for any special ed. considerations, because at this point in 3rd grade her work (to me) is significantly behind and she is increasingly more frustrated and emotional about school. She cries every day before school, and after school she has NO IDEA how to do her homework.  We spend 2-3 hours a night trying to finish one homework sheet doing things she tells me she’s never done at school.  She frequently is late turning in assignments, which stresses her out.Her spelling concerns me.  She spells purely phonetically (bucuz, not because) and frequently turns her letters and numbers around. She struggles with ‘tracking’…words on a page, words on the board, soccer ball on the field…and struggled to read. As a baby, we dealt with sensory issues with Brooke, as in, only smooth foods, only certain clothing, only certain colors. She cannot concentrate if there are other noises/things going on around her.So, she gets the testing done, and I met today with the people who did the testing and the special ed people. They basically tell me that while her test results did have dramatic highs and lows, they all fell in the “average” range which precludes her from the special ed program. They did concede that she isn’t an average learner…that she will need special considerations from her teachers/environment to learn (but that those special considerations are my problems to figure out, not theirs).

Here’s the upsetting thing….THEN they tell me she is showing major and concerning signs for anxiety/depression. That I should definately get her some counseling and put her on medication. I’d had it by that point. Instead of addressing the problem, they want me to address the symptoms. OF COURSE she’s anxious, OF COURSE she’s depressed…she struggles so hard at school and KNOWS she’s different from everyone else. It breaks my heart. But instead of helping her learn at her own level, the school wants me to give her medication and counselling. 

They tell me she is a “special learner”, but refuse to help me help her. I don’t know what to do.

I feel the need to express, that my daughter is dynamic, creative, inquisitive, thoughtful, unique, and spirited. I’m so afraid that the older she gets, the worse she’ll feel about herself and her performance at school. I’m afraid she’ll lose all that and just be really, really sad/frustrated/depressed. I want her to perform at her potential (which is enormous…in some areas she was testing well above her age/grade level) but I don’t know how to help her do that and they won’t help me find out how. 

I’m so upset about all this.”

I spent the next 2 weeks tossing and turning all night, knowing that we weren’t going to get the help we wanted from the school, and knowing that my daughter was depressed enough to have a psychologist recommend medication.  It got harder and harder to send her crying off to school (which happened every day).  I decided that it was time for me to advocate for her, rather than trying to make her fit into a situation that obviously wasn’t working.  And so I started thinking “homeschool”.


4 Responses

  1. When we moved in the middle of a school year we could not get our daughter into school. After some frustration we turned to homeschool and it worked out very well.

  2. […] shell of herself and be upset enough to warrant medication. The post that talks about that is here: “Homeschooling…WHAT?” I just knew I had to get her out of that place. Maybe, I thought, I’ll just take her […]

  3. Tiff , It really has been a long journey isn’t it ? I was also going thru some of my earlier vents and sorts.

    When I first saw ur blog I did not even know this was a blog. I thought it was a community.

    Hugs to Naturalist !

  4. […] kids were in school and I had nowhere to really go for most of the year while they were in class. But when we pulled Naturalist out of school, followed the next year by Golfer, all of a sudden I had the freedom to go and do whatever we […]

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