Saturday, 30 August 2014

Schooling options....what works for you?

We as a society are fortunate that there are so many options available for schooling our children and if one program doesn't fit your child's needs you are free to try something different.

Over the years we have had many go through the public system and it has worked well for some of them.  This year we do not have any in the public system which  in a way is fortunate as the teachers are currently involved in contract negotiations and school isn't expected to open for a while.

For some of our children with special needs we found they were able to be better supported if we home schooled them.  With the program we are enrolled with the "home school" has access to the provincial special needs education funding.  With the use of this funding the parents are able to direct how they would like the money allotted to support their child.  The parents can request therapies, special education assistants, therapy equipment, activities, resources, etc. This home school program is also able to receive special needs funding for our adult learner providing extra support for working on life skill training.

Some home school programs have a combination of home and face to face opportunities.  The school we are enrolled with has this option and the face to face programs range from academic classes to supplemental field trips.  As a family you are free to choose what works for your child.  We have been able to choose to send our child to activities that they are successful with and keep them home for extra one on one support with the challenging subjects.  We feel the children are getting the best of both worlds by having the benefits of being in a class and the added support of home.

This year, like last year, we will be home schooling 8 children with a range of special needs.  We have 3 special education assistants hired that will come into our home and work along side me schooling the children.  The children will also receive weekly speech, physical and occupational therapy supports.  Other supports they will be receiving include vision therapy, therapeutic horse back riding, private swim lessons, art therapy and therapeutic equipment.

The school provides a special needs teacher that helps select curriculum that is appropriate for the child, prepares the IEP and report cards.  The school with the parents hire the education staff and the school looks after the staff training and other staff issues that may arise.  The parent is responsible for the planning, implementing, overseeing and teaching along side the education assistants.

This weekend I will be busy organizing and setting up our learning areas, planning out our days and getting ready for back to school.  I have been researching hands on projects to match up with our learning outcomes and it looks like we will be having a fun year.  The first day of school for the teens is a retreat to a local summer camp where they will meet up with their school friends for games, water sports and lots of fun.


  1. Sounds like you have your hands full (in a great way)! Prayers for a great school year :)

  2. How I wish homeschooling in the UK was as well-organised as this! Sounds great!

  3. I homeschooled my teenaged daughter with special needs (moderate cerebral palsy, non-verbal but signs fluently, no hearing loss, functioning academically at fourth grade) for three years. Best decision ever. But... we decided to send her back to public school for her last two years of high school for several years. It was SO tough at first. But, the season of life had changed and so had her needs. How wonderful that we have those options!

  4. Homeschooling 8 children requires a great deal of organization, perseverance, and love. As a former country school teacher, I say hats off to you! Thanks for adding this post to the Tuesday link up.