Thursday, February 5, 2009

Welcome to the world of special services available for OR NOT for homeschoolers

Nate had a screening for kindergarten @ LSC. (the school that Justin, Megan and Helen attend) Helen had the kindergarten teacher last year and I was looking forward to her thoughts on Nate. She believes that there is something else going on with him besides the speech issue. For instance he is left handed and when he writes he'll trace what he is writing (letters, shapes, numbers) with his right hand while writing with the left. She's never seen anyone do that before either. So he has these fine motor things going on but at the same time he is amazing at video games and on the computer, which also are small motor skills. He has a young gait but can dance very well. It's all these little things that don't make sense that makes her believe Nate should have a complete screening. I have put in a call to the local public school district to sign him up for kindergarten screening there as well. As a homeschooler the laws have changed as far as services for Special need students go. The best I can tell is that previously home schools were considered "private schools" so the home school district legally had to provide services for children with special needs. The wording has changed from "private school" to non public school for home schools so now they no longer need to provide services. There are many issues that I have with this... not the least of which is that some students are home schooled BECAUSE the student is better off home for any number of reasons. Each situation is individual but there are plenty of reasons why a parent would want to homeschool a child with special needs. Now they have reworded it so that you either have to pay for private specialists to come to your home or send your child to either public or private school to obtain the services. So we are looking into all three options for Nate. Welcome to the world of special services and homeschooling. What really bugs me about this is that we pay school taxes. We pay for our children's books and supplies for home schooling. The school does not even offer bussing for our kids in private school (the distance is too far). Nate and these other students have real needs but have to attend PUBLIC school or private school to obtain them. Where is the needs of the kids put first. I worked in the local public school and my oldest two childern did attend the school for awhile. There were many reasons why we decided the public school was not the best choice for them individually or our family. So now we are taking our first steps into this new world. I'll keep you posted.

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