Monday, April 2, 2007

A Good School District-The Journey to Homeschooling

My family and I moved out of Philadelphia in 2000. We chose a home in a suburb with a "good school district". Aside from just wanting to get out of the city, we felt that our children, particularly Red needed services that their current parochial school could not provide. We actually moved in October, so I had to drive my 4 children back and forth to school, an hour each way for 3 weeks.

One child was in middle school from 8-3. Two were in elementary school from 9-3:30. And one went to kindergarten at the same elementary school from 9-12 noon. At the time, I was working two nights a week, and the weekends, so things were completely crazy. It's not easy packing up for a family of 6 to move, while shuttling children an hour away to school. I stayed up in my new neighborhood all day, since I didn't feel like driving 4 hours a day. After 3 weeks, I knew where the mall, libraries, fast food joints, and convience stores all were.

Now back to the subject of the "good school district". Well, this was my first experience with public schools, aside from nursery school & kindergarten. It was a big transition for everyone. My children's elementary school seemed quaint with it's small size. The teachers all seemed nice. Everything seemed great for the first few weeks.

It didn't take long before Red's 3rd grade teacher was handing me assignments that Red had not finished during the 5 hours he'd spent in her classroom. Having anticipated that my son might need some intervention, I asked for an evaluation. Red had been DX'd with ADHD, and had an evaluation done back in nursery school. To make a long story short, Red's 3rd grade teacher delayed the evaluation quite a bit playing tricks, because she didn't want her classroom being observed. Why is this? Red's 3rd grade teacher was that teacher that every school has one of, the teacher that's so bad that parents put in requests to not have their children in that class.

It took all school year till we finally got our evaulation and IEP meeting. An IEP is an individual education plan. Well, I don't know what yardstick they used to measure my son, because according to their evaluation, my son did not have a learning disability, so he must have an emotional problem. They thereupon referred him to emotional support, which they did not offer at his current elementary school.

To be continued....

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