Homeschool or Public School??

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Hi there! I know I've seen a few post about the argument of homeschooling. But I have been under stress about my daughter starting school this coming year. Prior to a few months ago, I thought I had it all planned out. But then, her older brothers came home from school. At lunch both of them ate peanut butter crackers and never washed their hands. When they got home and gave her hugs, within minutes she was breaking out! She is technically only allergic to Tree Nuts but we have noticed recently that basic peanut cause her to react. My fear is that, although the school will separate her from the other peanut eating kids, once they go out to recess all bets are gone! It only takes one kid to touch her for her to start breaking out. I spoke to the school nurse about it and her response was "She needs to be educated and know what to do." My daughter knows what she can and cant eat. She informs everyone she knows! But how will she know to ask every child did they wash their hands?! I am really considering homeschool at least till she is a little older but I'm really struggling. She has been looking forward to going to school for so long and will thrive in that environment. We are just stuck. Please any advice would help! Non of our friends or family have a PA we are alone on this.

By PA Mommy on May 8, 2011

If she's having reactions to touch like that, I'd honestly suggest you look for a nut-free school or home school her. I know the arguments against home schooling, but there is also the matter of keeping her safe. No school can honestly watch all the kids closely enough to make sure everybody washes their hands at lunch, and we all know how not-great kids are at keeping their hands to themselves. If you put her in a regular school, you'll end up having to make her phobic of human contact in order to keep her from having a reaction. In that case, I think the benefits of a school environment are going to end up being lost.

By HookwormIsHope on May 9, 2011

My parents have been training me since I was little; the same reinforced idea: always ask, and never accept food unless you know you can have it. Don't touch doorknobs. I've always known, for as long as I can remember. However, I didn't go into public school until I was in the 2nd grade, and it really wasn't public, it was a charter school. This was better because it was smaller, and even though I knew everything I needed to, it was still safer, with less chance of exposure. For the first few years homeschool,for the next few years charter, then public. It worked out well. I'm 13 and still alive! :)

By Nikkiz on May 22, 2011

Your daughter has a right to a public education if you so choose to seek that avenue for her. The school HAS to accommodate her issues and they are responsible for keeping her safe. Are they familiar with 504 accommodations? The law says that they must provide a "Free Appropriate Public Education" to her, and that means accommodating a life-threatening allergy that is recognized by the federal government as a "hidden disability". Homeschooling is wonderful, and if that is your choice, that is great. It wasn't an option for our family as my son really needs the social component to school. As such, we are forcing the school to stop flying under the radar and take care of him in the way that the law demands they do. It's a long road, but these children should not be forced into homeschooling or private schools. Some families can not make those options work, but our kids are still entitled to an education and to feel safe.