SCHOOL AT HOME YES OR NO

Posted on: Wed, 01/16/2002 - 1:06pm
KATHYANN's picture
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Joined: 09/29/2001 - 09:00

I HAVE A 4 YEAR OLD WITH PA I RECENTLY STARTED CALLING THE SCHOOLS ASKING ABOUT HOW AND IF THEY ARE PREPARED TO HANDLE THIS WHEN JAMES GETS TO SCHOOL AGE.. WOW, THEY WERE VERY SILENT AND ONLY ONE SAID WELL WE HAVE A COUPLE OF DIABETIC CHILDREN IT CANT BE THAT DIFFERENT CAN IT.... I CANT STAND NOT BEING ABLE TO LET HIM GO BUT IM TOO AFRAID TO LET HIM ... AM I DOING THE WRONG THING BY KEEPING HIM HOME... ANYONE OUT THERE HOME SCHOOL ?? PLEASE HELP THANKS KATHY ANN

Posted on: Wed, 01/16/2002 - 11:20pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Kathyann,
I'm going both ways. We're doing everything (letters/504, etc) to plan for my son's entrance into public school 1/2 day kindergarten. However, he has said repeatedly that he wants to attend a cyber charter school. However, recent school district lawsuits against cyber schools are presenting us with a tricky situation. If this doesn't fly, homeschooling is the third option--although some people don't seem to make the distinction between a cyberschool and homeschooling, but I do.
We're getting the doctors' letters ready now, working on the 504 soon, and am registering him in March. We'll meet his teacher and schedule a joint meeting with important individuals around June to July (principal, bus drivers, art/gym/etc.) to nail down our plans to protect him. We'll do the school visit, ride the school bus with him, then ask the final question: Do you want to do cyberschool or regular school? We'll give him every opportunity to make a informed decision, then we'll do what he wants to do. I want him to look back on his early years and know he had a choice--he didn't miss out on something because of his PA. But he has to also know that going to public school can be very complicated, and it's scary for a young child to go from a peanut-free house to a school where peanuts are served everyday and people/kids just don't wash their hands. Whatever he chooses, I want him to be an informed "consumer", feel safe and secure, and confident that he is making the right decision.
I know, I know, so much to ask of a 5-year old. But unfortunately, our PA children have to assume so much responsibility at such a young age, and they know something bad can happen if they don't. We can only hope this will make them mature, responsible, and compassionate adults.

Posted on: Thu, 01/17/2002 - 12:38am
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Joined: 11/11/1999 - 09:00

We have three PA children. Two school age. A 4th grader and preschooler. We send them to the public schools. The schools and teachers have done a very good job and are receptive to learning all they can about PA. It is all about Educating them. My husband is a Principal and I am a teacher- staying at home for the time being. So homeschooling was never an option- we believe in the public schools for our children. I guess my opinion is that our PA children feel different enough when they can't eat what other children do, I wouldn't want them to feel like they had to miss out on going to school because of it either. My best friend homeschools her three children, and does an exceptional job. So I am in no way against people that homeschool. Just sharing my thoughts. We have sent home letters to parents of the children in our kids class and they have all been receptive also. Many ask what they can send in for treats that my child could eat. My preschooler is also allergic to dairy, egg, shellfish and tree nuts. If you do want your child to attend school, it can be done just educate everyone!
good luck with your decision! I know it can be so hard to entrust others with our babies.

Posted on: Thu, 01/17/2002 - 1:42am
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I just have to say that I don`t think there is really any right answer for this one. When you read these boards, there are all different kinds of experiences people have with school, whether it be preschool, public elementary school, private school, etc. Some people have had great experiences and some have had terrible experiences. Also, the food allergy awareness issues seem to vary somewhat state by state. KathyAnn, there is a post on the Introduce Yourself Board, saying something like "the teacher violated my child`s 504". It sounds pretty bad. But that doesn`t mean everyone`s experience is bad. My only advice is that if you do send your child to school, get really informed about the law. My daughter is in public school, and I chose our school based on the nurse, so it has worked out well. The nurse is very allergy aware, so when I wanted stricter measures taken she was always my child`s advocate. However, before picking her school, I interviewed school nurses at three different schools. One was definitely not allergy aware. Even though the school was very highly ranked academically, I decided I couldn`t send my daughter to that one. Our experience has been generally good, although there have definitely been hurdles at various points along the way. And if the school nurse ever moved out of town or something, it could be a totally different story for us.

Posted on: Thu, 01/17/2002 - 1:52am
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Hi Kathyann,
We are going through the same thing right now with contacting the local public school regarding his allergy. My feeling is, Ryan's safety has to come first and if I don't feel he is going to a safe environment every day, I will school him at home. He is very excited about going to kindergarten and riding the bus. Ryan is already bothered by the fact that he can't eat the same snack as the other kids at preschool. I worry that he would feel he was missing out and be very upset if we go the homeschooling route, however I know he would understand some day that we made what we thought was the best decision for him at the time. If I do home school, there is a group of homeschoolers in our area who meet regularly and do things like go to the YMCA for gym class and I will join that group so Ryan doesn't feel as different. There may be a group like that in your area too. I also want him to develop his social skills and friendships, but I know that can come from activities like the soccer team and not just school. It is a hard decision, I know. Is the school receptive to learning more about PA? I have held training classes before for Ryan's teachers and caregivers and educating them about the allergy has helped them understand the need for certain practices like the hand washing. Good luck!

Posted on: Thu, 01/17/2002 - 2:25am
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Joined: 10/10/2001 - 09:00

I agree with Carefulmom, that there is no right answer. Having a PA child, preparing to send them off to school, trying to cover all the bases, deal with all the personalities... it is exhausting. You must do what is best for you and your child. Your child's safety, your peace of mind are paramount to your child's happiness. We, as PA parents,think about so many more issues than other npn-PA parents. We "worry". No, we think, we consider, we try to make all the pieces fit for the most "normal" life we can afford our children. Just this morning my husband and I met with the school principal for the umpteenth time, pointing out what is still needed in his school setting that she has yet to address despite previous meetings and notes. We got the "keep him in a bubble" argument again. I should have said YES! if that's what it takes to keep his mind at ease and keep him free from "accidents". We left there with a promise for our issue to be addressed, but still feeling she doesn't get it. So what's best for our son? Moving to a different community with a different PA Policy? Home schooling? We will keep all irons in the fire and do what is best for our child. That means we'll say to people who poo-poo home schooling that it is what may be best for our son. Be strong, be true to your heart.
------------------

Posted on: Thu, 01/17/2002 - 6:36am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

There are several other threads regarding homeschooling so try doing a 'search'. We homeschool our two children and will be our third. There several things that factored into our decision about wether this was the appropriate thing for us or not...PA was not the only one. I can honestly admit that my children do NOT feel lonely or left out or that they are 'missing' something from not attending school. They are probably more involved in activities than children who are in the school system. We LOVE homeschooling (though there are rough days) but it is a pleasure and a joy to our family and I know it is the right thing for our family.

Posted on: Thu, 01/17/2002 - 3:49pm
KATHYANN's picture
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Joined: 09/29/2001 - 09:00

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR RESPONSES. THEY ARE ALL SO HELPFUL. I AM STILL CALLING THE LOCAL PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS BUT BECAUSE ITS THE BEGINNING OF THE TERM THEY ASK ME TO CALL BACK AT A LATER DATE. I WORRY MOSTLY DUE TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS STILL TREATING US LIKE WE HAVE THE PLAGUE.. WE ARE ESTRANGED FROM MY IN-LAWS SINCE CHRISTMAS... THEY WOULDNT COME TO MY SAFE HOUSE FOR DINNER BECAUSE THEY FELT WE WERE BEING RIDICULOUS AND TREATING JAMES LIKE A 'FREAK' THATS A PRETTY HARD ONE FOR ME TO GET OVER. AND OUR FRIENDS JUST THINK WE ARE OVERPROTECTING HIM... IF THIS IS HOW OUR SUPPOSED FAMILY AND FRIENDS FEEL HOW IS THE WORLD OUTSIDE GOING TO TREAT JAMES .. I JUST HOPE I FIGURE OUT THE RIGHT BALANCE FOR HIM TO GIVE HIM ENOUGH FREEDOM WITH THE PROTECTION HE REQUIRES ... I PRAY TO GOD I MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS AND I THANK YOU FOR ALWAYS BEING THERE FOR ME TO COME TO... KATHY ANN

Posted on: Thu, 01/17/2002 - 6:56pm
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Joined: 02/14/2000 - 09:00

Kathyann-I feel your pain. I'm currently homeschooling my 6 year old partly due to her PA/TNA (after all, I cannot trust even her grandparents to keep her safe so why would I trust a stranger who has xx amount of other kids to worry about?). There are other issues too, and we would probably be homeschooling even if she wasn't allergic.
About the family-I feel your pain there too. My family lives far away, so we don't have to deal with them. But my in-laws live close and we have to constantly deal with them. They act just like yours does-as if we're being ridiculous, overprotective, fanatical, etc. Two of my husbands sisters won't speak to us because my FIL told them they were not to put out nuts at an anniversary party a few years ago (sadly, FIL isn't normally that conscientious). If you read through some messages here, you'll find no shortage of vents (including several of mine-lol) about relatives.
Good luck
Gale
[This message has been edited by gw_mom3 (edited January 18, 2002).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/18/2002 - 1:58am
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Kathyann, you may find the schools to be tolerant of PA than the relatives. There are laws protecting PA children in school, both public and private. The school is required to accomodate the PA, and while schools certainly vary in how they interpret that, they definitely are not going to tell you that you are paranoid or overreacting for keeping your child safe. Part of what they do is deal with children with all kinds of special needs, whether it be a learning disability, a medical issue, or any other kind of special need. They have much more experience with special needs than your family. It doesn`t mean things will be perfect if you decide to send your child off to school; but I don`t think you will have to be subjected to the kind of intolerance you are getting from your family.

Posted on: Fri, 01/18/2002 - 4:16am
dreese's picture
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Joined: 01/09/2002 - 09:00

My wife and I are the parents of one PA child and one non-PA child. We decided before they were born (and hence before we learned of the PA) that we would homeschool for a variety of reasons both religious and non-religious. My advice to you is to research your options and make a decision based on the best one for your child.
Hang in there, our family goes from one extreme to the other and the bottom line is that my wife and I are the ones who have to be responsible 100% of the time even when she is with family.
Devon

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