Does anyone just \"hang it up\" and homeschool?

Posted on: Sun, 05/02/2004 - 11:57am
selketine's picture
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Joined: 04/11/2004 - 09:00

My son is just 2 yrs old and was just diagnosed with juvenile (the insulin dependent kind) diabetes and a peanut allergy all in the past 7 weeks. Maybe I'm just feeling overwhelmed with everything but at this point I can't imagine him going to school - and being safe. I have another son in 1st grade now and I know there is peanut butter all over the school - they serve it in the lunchroom for kids who run out of lunch money and the kids in K and 1st grade bring in snacks to eat mid-morning and I'm sure there is a lot of peanut butter and peanuts in those (my son has told me that is a common snack).

I feel like I have the mountain to climb with the school - considering how large our school district is I can't believe they don't have better guidelines for PA kids but looking at their guidelines they aren't that reassuring. The diabetes only complicates it of course - and that alone is enough of a problem.

Does anyone end up homeschooling over PA or do you all just manage to get along somehow? I'd never considered homeschooling (was planning on going back to work in a year or two until all of this). And can you breathe while your children are at school all day? I cannot hold my breath for 6 hours!

Carol

Posted on: Sun, 05/02/2004 - 1:32pm
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Hi Carol. Wow, you definitely have your hands full. Im sorry about the double diagnosis. My ds just started school this year. We had to pull him out of pre-k because of issues with the teacher and pa. But this year has been wonderful. They have been very accomodating, the whole school faculty was trained by an RN for EpiPen use, etc.
Now let me tell you, I was scared to death!! I think I was nauseaus for about 3 months before he started. And yes, I still get a moment of panic if I hear an ambulance while he is in school. I did consider homeschooling, but he really wanted to go to school like his big brother. You can get through it with a lot of advance prep. and work with the school way ahead of time. There are 504 plans you can put in place to protect them.
What will the diabetes entail as far as school goes? What accomodations will he need? A possiblity for you, my son has an aide that is with him all day, everywhere he goes. She carries his meds. and a walkie talkie, and the school nurse carries the other. I don't know if that is an option in your school district, but something to look into. At least you have a couple years to look into your options. Good luck, and welcome.

Posted on: Sun, 05/02/2004 - 1:45pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

We do homeschool, and really enjoy it.
Recognizing the emotional energy it would take to create a safe environment in our neighborhood public school (a friend with an allergic child unfortunately used us as an example of "really" allergic, and the principal's response was apparently "thank goodness" that we were *planning* on homeschooling...), we decided to direct our time and efforts into coming up with a truly excellent academic experience for M. We've shuffled curriculum a bit, but have come to a point where we are very, very pleased with what we are doing/learning. And I do mean that as "we" -- I am filling in a number of my own educational "blanks" as well!
It can work, and be incredibly rewarding.
To be fair, there are also those days when the house seems to have fallen apart, and I have to stop and bake or cook, and homeschooling takes place between dinner and bedtime. Overall, though, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Sue

Posted on: Mon, 05/03/2004 - 4:08am
selketine's picture
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I re-read my post this morning and wanted to add that I don't want anyone to think I meant homeschooling as an inferior alternative to a regular school. It just wasn't something I ever considered doing until all of this came along. I'll add too that if I *did* go this route, I would like to eventually enroll him in the public school system here as he got old enough to manage some issues himself.
The diabetes management would mean having a glucagon pen at school (like an epi-pen kind of) and folks being trained on how to use it. It would also mean having folks trained on how to test his blood glucose levels (finger prick) and give some snacks if necessary. I would have to be called if he was running high and needed another shot of insulin or pump bolus I think - until he was old enough to manage that himself.
My husband and I have both searched our county's webpages for their policies and info on peanut allergies and diabetes. What surprised me - and makes me uneasy - was a recent document there from March and April (PTA minutes and a school newspaper article) from one of the high schools in our county about how this boy had just moved here and started school at their school and he has a severe PA and the school was going to make changes to accomodate him...like removing snacks that had p.b. in them and so forth. From reading that it seemed like they had never dealt with or considered a PA there before. I talked to the nursing aide at our elementary school and she said she has never had anyone with PA and this is the first year she has had anyone EVER with diabetes! They keep the the diabetic kid's peanut butter snack next to the epi-pens for the kids with bee sting allergies. I just found that....amusing. (not a problem cause no one at the school has a PA) I'd LOVE for an aide to follow him around at school all day but I don't think that will happen. I know many folks on the diabetes boards have trouble even assuring there is someone at schools who can give the glucagon.
I'm hoping by the time he starts school (in 4 years) that there will be some sort of medication to limit the severity of peanut contact reactions. And a cure for diabetes wouldn't hurt either ;-)
Any good (non-religious based) homeschool websites that come recommended?
Thanks for helping - much appreciated.
Carol

Posted on: Mon, 05/03/2004 - 4:42am
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Just wanted to add that my son is also the first pa student in the district. In some ways its easier because they can't say "Well the pa student last year could do this or didnt need that, etc...".

Posted on: Mon, 05/03/2004 - 10:24am
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Joined: 12/12/2002 - 09:00

We school at home through an online charter school. They provide the computer, materials, and curriculum on line, and it's paid for with state school funds. I don't think they have this available in MD, but you can check. The curriculum can be purchased privately also, and it's not obviously not religious based (although it's spokesman is Bill Bennett- Book of Virtues). The website is [url="http://www.k12.com"]www.k12.com[/url]
Like you, I would not have considered homeschooling if it wasn't for the allergies, and I didn't want my son to be the "test case" for the local school system. There are a couple other kids with peanut allergies who go to the elementary school and do fine, but I know them and my son seems a little more sensitive allergy-wise. Plus, he has a whole list of allergies.
Anyway, back to homeschooling. Now that we have made the decision to go this route, we love it. My son is thriving academically and socially with all his extra-curricular activities. Best of all, I don't worry all the time, which I probably would if he were in school.
If you have any more questions, let me know.

Posted on: Mon, 05/03/2004 - 11:09am
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Nancy, you are so lucky. I looked into K-12 and even called to ask if NY was being added anytime soon, but no luck. I would have done that in a heartbeat.

Posted on: Mon, 05/03/2004 - 12:04pm
JacquelineL-B's picture
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Joined: 02/14/2002 - 09:00

We homeschool with a secular curriculum called Calvert School. It has a wonderful teaching manual which is holding my hand for kindergarten!
Two other secular curriculum besides Calvert and K12 are Oak Meadow School, which is Waldorf based, and The Well Trained Mind, which is classical based.
There are just as many options for homeschooling as there are for classroom teaching! If you choose to do it, you'll have many styles to take your pick from.
Jacqueline

Posted on: Tue, 05/04/2004 - 1:13pm
darthcleo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

We're also homeschoolers, although the food allergies were a lesser concern to us than our son fitting into a school environment. He's got other issues than just the food allergies.
I had NEVER considered homeschooling before. But it quickly presented itself as not only the best thing to do but the only thing to do if we wanted to keep our son sane and alive. So we took the jump.
And now that we're in it, I'm glad we did. I am not going to consider the school system for as long as I can! I love the freedom, I love the academic level, my son loves the freedom and the short class day [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
We follow The Well Trained Mind, in a secular way, although you have to know that most people (including the author) do it with a religious approach. We also follow a curriculum from France (we are French speakers).
The idea of homeschooling is scary. It's a big jump, I totally agree. But man, it's great!

Posted on: Tue, 05/04/2004 - 2:28pm
nancy023's picture
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Joined: 12/12/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by momma2boys:
[b]Nancy, you are so lucky. I looked into K-12 and even called to ask if NY was being added anytime soon, but no luck. I would have done that in a heartbeat. [/b]
I think the school aide is a great option. If I would have thought of it, I would have looked into it more, but now that the cybershcool is going so well, we'll just stick with it.

Posted on: Tue, 05/04/2004 - 8:21pm
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Chris has always been in public school. He has done really well. There have been a very few instances throughout them but things that were solved very easily.
He is now in 11th and doing fine. Yes I do worry and yes considered homeschool. I would not be a good homeschool mom because I am not strict enough to make the kids listen. My DH would be great at it. He is smart and very good in the disiplinary part of things.
I am the put it off kind of person.
I don't disagree with any one for the decision they make because I kind of like both homeschool and public school.
As for the allergy by going to public school we have educated a lot of people and taught many kids the severity of the allergy.
I am sure homeschooling can do that as well.
I guess we have to do what is in our gut.
Good luck to you with whatever decision you have to make. claire

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