homeschool vs public school

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Hi everyone,

This is my first post and am very excited about having found a group of people dealing with our situation. I'm hoping to get some feedback on this topic.

I am the mother of a 5-year-old, who by good fortune missed the cut-off date for kindergarten this year. She is in a peanut-free preschool, that has been excellent at meeting ALL of our needs, demands and easing our concerns. Epi-pens are permitted in the classroom, plus the school nurse has a box of epi-pens, all staff members are trained in CPR and how to administer epi-pens etc.... Needless to say we've really lucked out with finding this preschool.

Next year we face the task of determining which route to take with our daughter's schooling - homeschool or public school. She thrives on being in social settings with other children. We casually supplement her education at home to test the waters for homeschool and things are going well, but she constantly compares our "homework" sessions to what kindergarten will be like for her. She has also told me she doesn't want to be at home being educated.

I contacted our school district last year and was told by the elementary school's principal that they have never had an anaphylactic peanut allergy in the school so they would need to be educated and are willing to try to help accommodate us. I really don't like being a pioneer in this area because of the ramifications an error could bring. I am terrified.

Our daughter knows she could die from a reaction. We have been brutally honest with her about the severity of her allergy and she is diligent about asking people to read labels , including us. She seems much older than her five-years.

I would love to know how some of you are dealing with, or have dealt with the school situation. My husband and doctor suggested public school kindergarten for the simple reason that she thrives around other children. I am terrified of giving up the control.

Sorry to ramble and thank you in advance for any insight you can share with me.

On Oct 21, 2003

Welcome Meadow. I raised a recent discussion on homeschooling in general. There are several families here who homeschool. You can also use the search feature to try to look up some previous discussions while you wait for replies. becca

On Oct 21, 2003

Meadow, welcome! My ds just started school this September and I know exactly how you feel. Our school district had never had a pa student either. I was terrified as well. I had to make sure they were prepared to handle any situation. I had to make up a 504 plan that covered everything. My biggest concern was, what do I ask for, and how will I feel if I dont think of something and he has a reaction.

I really wanted to homeschool, but my dh was against it and he really wanted to go to school. I spent probably 3 months sick to my stomach thinking about him going to school.

Well I talked to the school nurse, and she was very diligent, and the two of us together came up with his 504 plan. The school has been wonderful and we have already updated his 504 as needed. We have had no problems and it still makes me nervous but he is doing well.

I have raised some other threads on this forum under my name and some others on 504 plans, and you will find a lot of other plans posted here as well. MY son also has an aide and I posted her duties here as well.

If you need any more help, dont hesitate to ask. I got so much help here, everyone guided me through the whole process. I honestly dont know what I would have done if I hadnt found this site. I didnt even know half of what I know now, and didnt even know what a 504 plan was.

Good luck!

On Oct 21, 2003

Well, I homeschool, and you'll see many of my posts here about the homeschooling experience. There is more to homeschooling than just avoiding reactions. Now that I know what homeschooling is all about (this is our second year) I would homeschool healthy children too, for the quality of life, and the quality of education. You can read about my point of view on previous threads that have been raised.

Homeschooling is a lifestyle.

On Oct 22, 2003

I wrestled with the idea of homeschooling, but like you, have a child that thrives in social settings. I left the decision up to Ryan after explaining to him the pros and cons. He wanted homeschooling UNTIL he went for Kindergarten registration. THEN he wanted to go to the elementary school big time. Neither he nor I have ever looked back on that decision. I spent many hours planning his 504 with administrators, teachers, and the nurse. Ours is fairly detailed but am so pleased with the implementation thus far (Ryan is in first grade).

On Oct 22, 2003

Our decision is homeschool or private school. You cannot go by me though, as we are very opposed to public school for other reasons. So if you aren't, that is an option for you. I wanted to add that for our family, we believe a child of 5 or 6 is too young to make the decision. We will make it for our children weighing all of the factors they can't possibly understand. Just my opinion and saying what WE believe. I think that in many cases public schools can be better about PA because by law they must be, and private Church schools are not obligated. This sometimes requires a legal fight, though. Good luck with your individual choice, you have good intentions on your side and the best interest of your child at heart, so you will make the best decision for your family. Your child is already way ahead of the game by having a parent who cares. That's the way I like to think of it anyway, and keep that in mind even when people here disagree.

On Oct 22, 2003

Thank you so much to everyone who responded and gave me some insight into their situations.

This is probably one of the biggest decisions regarding our daughter's welfare we've had to make that we have little control over. Right now I am going to look into the benefits of a 504 plan vs an individual health plan. Before we approach our school district, I want to have a lot of knowledge behind me.

Again thank you for sharing!!