Aug 172013

Homeschool to President’s List with 4.0 GPA

Welcome to another one of our homeschooling special needs success stories.

I’d like to introduce you to my long-time friend and active member of the Learning Abled Kids’ Support Group, Kellie.

I’ve known Kellie since the beginning of my homeschooling days. Since she and I were both homeschooling special needs, we connected with each other.

Homeschooling Special Needs Kids Provides Safety and GREAT Educational Outcomes

Kellie has agreed to share her homeschooling special needs story in hopes that it may be an encouragement for you. If your child has medical issues and/or learning disabilities, this story of homeschooling special needs may help you.

Have you been homeschooling special needs from the beginning?

Kellie: “I have four children. Our oldest attended public school for K, 1st, and 2nd grades. Our other children have never attended any school other than our home school. Our second and fourth child have learning differences.”

What made you decide to begin homeschooling special needs?

Kellie: “I had a desire to home school from the time our oldest child was very young.  I could not imagine sending a five year old off to spend the entire day with strangers.  It broke my heart.

Over those three years, we saw so many flaws in the one-size-fits-all government school system.  Our final reasons to home school included moral and religious reasons plus the intrusion their schedule imposed on our family schedule.  We also saw that there was no way our second child could flourish in such a system.

The final blow was when the school system would not cooperate with his special needs surrounding his severe food allergies.  Those were the years when school shootings became issues for our nation too.  Safety was a great concern.”

Since you started out in public school, what issues and problems did you face with your children in school?

homeschooling special needs
Kellie: “Our oldest child was sick a lot.  He caught strep throat approximately every 8 weeks.  He had to have his tonsils out.  The school was over the top about his absences.  Our state was cracking down on truancy at the time.  We were threatened with truancy charges even though our son had a doctor’s excuse for every absence and the teacher actually visited the hospital.

He had to have two other surgeries in those three years and also contracted mono which put him out of school for over two months.  It was ironic to us that though we were being threatened, his teachers said it wasn’t necessary for him to do make up work because even in missing 40 to 50 days of school, ‘he wasn’t missing much.’ These issues only scratch the surface of the many appalling problems we witnessed in the system.”

What is your personal level of education?

Kellie: “My husband and I each graduated high school and attended college.  Neither of us graduated college.”

Did you feel well-qualified to teach your child before you began homeschooling special needs?

Kellie: “I felt qualified in that I couldn’t do worse than the public school was doing and was quite sure I could do a better job.  There have been moments over the years that I was less prepared than I had hoped, but still sure that our choice to home school was best.  I think most of struggle with doubts from time to time and sometimes those doubts linger for a bit.  I certainly don’t regret our choice to homeschool.”

What struggles did you face when homeschooling special needs?

Kellie: “There was no map to follow, no play-by-play guide.  Choosing curriculum was often hit or miss.  Feeling as if I didn’t know which way to turn to make sure my child met his potential was difficult.  There was a sadness at times.  The home school community was not as well connected for most of my home school years as it is now.  It was difficult to find information on home schooling in general much less for teaching a learning abled child.”

What benefits did you experience in homeschooling your special needs child?

Kellie: “There were many wonderful experiences.  I had time to talk, really talk, daily.  I think quality time being what our kids need is a myth.  They need quantity.  They need face time.  I was not able to protect him from everything wrong in the world, but I did shield him from much of the negative effects of placing a learning abled child in a public school setting.  He also got much more time with his father and grandparents while home schooling than we could have achieved with a public school schedule.”

What is your son’s educational outcome and what is he doing now?

Kellie: “He graduated from our home school on time and dual enrolled in technical college during his last semester of high school.  He was on the President’s List with a 4.0 GPA.  His plans are to continue his course of study to completion.  He will soon be 19.  He is responsible and confident.  The confidence is a very new development.

“It is never too late.  We have been told by college officials and employers that he is well liked, valued, industrious and respected.  Most of all, I’m happy to report that he is happy.”

If you find this story inspiring, please leave a comment below telling how Kellie’s story encourages you. I’m sure she would love knowing her son’s story is inspirational to others.

Check out other homeschooling special needs success stories of overcoming learning disabilities through homeschooling.

Also, if you’re concerned about legal issues in homeschooling special needs kids, check out the HSLDA homeschooling special needs page.

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