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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Homebound, Homeschool, Charter, SpEd, oh my

Here it is again, the topic of school. Me, the mom who would rather homeschool for the first few years of education, and the battle of the pressure to send her to school. It is a constant stress in my heart.

I searched, interviewed and toured charter schools in April and May to prepare for Gabriella's 1st grade year this fall, fully knowing I was not going to put her in a general public school after what we saw and experienced for Kinder and those overworked teachers. I finally found a brand new school that I felt comfortable with, a place that FINALLY seemed like I could handle sending her to school. They have a dedicated speech therapist ON STAFF and a crazy strong focus on the students physical and mental well being. We got my godson into it and my sister in law even got a job there! Things were looking forward for Gabriella's ability to flow into a school setting and me be comfortable with it.

Then I got a call from the special ed department of the new school while Gabriella was in the hospital last month. Long story short, he proceeded to tell me that because another district wrote her IEP and she was on homebound status for Kinder, she would need to remain homebound through them until they were in a position to reevaluate her again and take her off homebound, then they would transition her slowly into a classroom setting. I was heartbroken, mainly because I had convinced myself this was what was happening, I was sending my princess off to school with kids and germs and self-sufficiency. I got my head wrapped around it, got her excited for it (even through her apprehensiveness) and it was going to happen. Then I was told to just erase my plan, it was all changing. That was a lot of work on my heart to get where I was and I did not take the news well.

Then it dawned on me, she was in rejection and given those hard core meds to stop it, which also meant knocking out her immunity again. Not only was she educationally and socially being held out of starting 1st grade, but now it was also medically necessary. I spoke to our transplant coordinator and she confirmed what I was thinking, and said it could be a few months into the year before her bloodwork shows us she is back at a level thats safe to be in school like that.


So now we are going to be starting 1st grade, yet again as a homebound student. We will be assigned a teacher, and after a couple months of homebound (medically permitting) she will start mornings only with me going with her, slowly weaning her (or me) into full time school. I don't know about you, but to me this is sounding like she will not be full time 1st grade until January or so.

I am struggling, yet again. Homebound, again. I feel even more now like she would be getting a better quality education if I enrolled her in the virtual home charter academy I have heard such great things about. Committed wholly to home school, local co-op field trips and groups, and the flexibility to meet all doctors, therapies AND school at our time schedule. Instead, we will spend another half of a school year in limbo... which doesn't excite me. Gabriella needs a structure, to be challenged and to be busy... and I feel I can have better control over that if I just commit to homeschooling.

I need to pray about this some more and try and eliminate from my pleas to God what MY plan is. School has been something of a struggle for me from the moment Gabriella was diagnosed, and I wish I had clarity towards one decision or another. Could you drop a line to God on my behalf? See if He tells you anything? :)
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