I am seriously considering independent study at this point

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, May 19, 2015.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    difficult child continues to struggle with getting to school and I am just about ready to throw in the towel and put her on independent study. The alternative school where she is at now has bent over backward and forward to accommodate her. She was unable to get to school at the usual start time of 8:30, so they gave her a later start time of 9:30. Things still hadn't improved, so they moved it to 10:30. difficult child still can't get up and get on that darned bus on time.

    We recently had an IEP and they decided to put her back at regular schedule since at this rate she is way behind on credits and won't be graduating on time. That was approx. three weeks ago, and so far it's been a nightmare. difficult child has not gotten up once for school, and I have had to either have my mom drive her there later, or I have picked her up on my lunch break and driven her. At this point she is only going to school half days. It has already been determined that my daughter will not graduate next year. She is too far behind.

    Right now she is also battling insomnia and the Geodon that once worked so well for her is failing. I have tried giving her melatonin on top of the Geodon but she still can't sleep and then can't get up in the morning. We have another appointment with her psychiatrist on the first of next month to discuss a possible medication change. The principal has talked to me in the past of transferring her to a different school, where she does all of the work at home, and turns it in at the school once a week. At first I was totally against it. difficult child is not an independent worker. If left up to her own devices, she would be on the internet all day and not get any work done.

    Now I'm getting desperate, as I have the DA breathing down my neck. Next step is truancy court. I feel helpless and hopeless to get difficult child to school on time. I hate to sound like I'm giving up on her, but I don't know what else to do. Every day I wake up with anxiety thinking of difficult child not going to school. Every night I go to sleep with anxiety wondering if she will yet again miss school the next day. I am at my wit's end. I am requesting and emergency IEP meeting with the school to discuss alternative placement, or a different schedule. I just hope and pray we can come up with something that works for difficult child. I am so ready to give up.
  2. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    What does your daughter want to do?

    She will be 18 pretty soon, right?

    The quickest, easiest route to a diploma would be my vote, whatever that is.

    Ultimately, its up to your daughter to make it work.
  3. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    She will be 18 in 7 months. Right now there is four and a half more weeks till the end of the school year. I really don't see how we can continue along the same path as we are now for another month.
  4. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Her teacher just emailed me and let me know the next date for the IEP isn't till June 8th. We can't last that long! Due to difficult child's non attendance, the bus is making me call every morning she needs a ride to school. I have been calling transportation every day and difficult child has continued to miss the bus. They are getting really pissed off at me! I can't keep calling them every morning just to have difficult child fall through and not show up. I don't know what to do!
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Homeschooling is good for kids who don't want to go to school. She is old enough to do her work on her own or after dinner. When you homeschool, she can get her work done weekends or evenings, not on a school schedule. My daughter did it. If she is that afraid to go to school, she is not going to learn if she goes there.
    Your daughter (and yourself) have some of my mental illness traits. While I went to school, I hated it and had panic attacks all the time or I put my head on my desk and slept. I didn't do any homework. I didn't read anything. I had given up. A homeschool cirriculum, if there had been one, would have been great for me because you can sort of do it with a lean toward what your daughter likes (although maybe it's different in California).

    Not all kids are meant to sit in a desk for six hours listening to endless blather. I couldn't concentrate and, when I was really in a panic state, I'd leave the room and run to the bathroom (my safe haven) and stay there. I often walked out of school early and took a bus to the beach. I learned everything I know AFTER school because I do like to learn. I just didn't like school.

    Yes, I did get a diploma...barely. I had under a C average and didn't care. The only reason I passed was because my parents were so mortified that I may not graduate that they hired a college student to tutor me in math, my big nemesis subject, and for other classes I'd failed as well. They cared about it more than I did, although I would have been embarassed without a diploma. I can't say I earned it.

    There are so many options now to help kids who don't fit into a mainstream school setting. I bought my daughter a cirriculum and she finished it early and graduated at seventeen with a real diploma. They accepted her at two junior colleges, and she has two certificates...Cosmetology and Culinary (She is a chef). As for making friends, the kinds of friends Princess made were horrible and now that she is drug free her and her SO are just loners who hang at home with each other and the baby. And that's ok. Not everyone needs to have a bunch of friends.

    Hugs and hoping for the best for all of you.
  6. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the feeback, SWOT. I am really starting to think that home school will be the better option for my daughter.
  7. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    California, yes, its time! Just sign her up now. I mean, I know its scary and hurts esp since shes so close to graduating at a school, with all the Prom and walk down the isle with cap and gown. In a way, I think it bothers me honestly, but my daughter is fine with getting her diploma mailed and then just going out to dinner or movie, vacation or something. And I tried repeatedly over and over to get my daughter to understand what she will be missing. ( of course my daughter has the asberger .. in progress still almost there to confirm... and yours bipolar, but still, they both do not want to go)

    I think to be honest, its harder for you and me to accept this, and easier for our girls just to be at home. My daughters 2 schools bent over for her too, but, it wasnt enough for her( even the the last was was SPECIFICALLY for kids with Learning Disability, Autism, ADD , with therapy!!) But she fought tooth and nail. Keystone is great and my daughter needs to catch up and finish her courses shes on, you can check the min class load for your state but for my daughter will go back to 3 classes, ( quicker for her to do three, finish, next three). But your daughter doesnt have much more to go. There is GED? Maybe that will work to. Usually thats 18 but check your state and prep classes for it.

    I wish you luck and I completely understand! Many hugs and hang in there!!!!
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  8. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    I hear your anxiety and understand you want her to graduate. I also hear you are fearful of the DA. I probably would be too! Have you ever thought to let your daughter "own" this? Because basically she is, because she is calling all the shots and you are the one tearing your hair out worrying about what will become of her and what trouble you will get into.

    Why don't you just go to the DA yourself? She has been old enough for quite some time to realize she needs to go to school and is required to go to school and if she doesn't there are consequences for YOU! There is not too much it seems to be motivating her to go to school. It seems every accommodation has already been made and your daughter is not willing to even meet a quarter of the way. Go to the DA. Tell them what has been happening in your home. What you have tried, what arrangements you've made, how you go out of your way to pick her up at lunch time....... Tell them!

    What are they going to do ARREST you because you went to them asking for help? No they will not. They will see that you are not the problem and quite possibly there is something they know of to motivate your daughter to do the things she needs to be doing. There truly are no excuses, not one, why she has missed so much school other that it is a big power play on her part and she has gotten away with it.

    It should be obvious by now that not ONE thing you are going to do will make her get her education. She doesn't want it and she does not want to be responsible or held accountable and she has learned to get the things she wants in her own way. The only responsible thing I can see you doing as her mother and as an adult who cares about her future is to go to the DA. Hugs CB, you keep spinning your wheels with her and have gotten nowhere. It's time to stop spinning and make her go.
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't take her to court to get her to go to school if there are other options. Sorry, but going to school does not mean you will learn, especially if you are afraid.

    Confused, I didn't WANT to go to prom or homecoming or give a fug about any of those festivities. I could have. I had a boyfriend (I always had some boyfriend...lol), but I didn't have any interest in the "rah-rah" I love my school routines that many parents dream about for their kids. My boys, who both stayed in school, didn't go to those things either. Not all kids even care.The only child I had who loved her school and activities was Jumper and Jumper was a school star for her athletic talent. The ONLY one. The others couldn't have cared less. Often I think these events excite the parents more than some of our kids. Sonic was pained when a girl asked him to homecoming. He felt he had to go because "she's my friend, but I really don't want to go." That was his only homecoming, although he did go to the party they had on prom night, which was usually bowling, which he likes. But he skipped the dancing. He did like his school, but he is not into large groups of people. That's not him.

    When I refused to go to graduation, thinking about sitting in the hot sun (it was outdoors) with a late-in-the-alphabet last night, the hot son, almost 900 graduates who had to have a turn to cross the stage, and my phobia of fainting in full force, my father told me that if I didn't go I'd regret it for the rest of my life. But I never think about it. I was not going to go. I was too scared of those hours in the son and the fainting. And my grades weren't good..not like I was proud of my wonderful achievements there. Plus I was not interested in school activities so basically for me school was a place I hated t hat I went to because I had to...there were no alternatives. I often cut school and I learned almost nothing. I have no school memories other than hanging with my friends at lunch. My friends included three girls who were two years younger than me. I was very immature.

    I don't think it does any good to threaten a child to go to school. You may be able to make her go for a while, but you can't make her learn. If she is afraid, she CAN'T learn. If she has learning challenges, learning in a group is very hard. Homeowrk is hard. I don't think I did any all through high school.

    I would have loved homeschooling, not because I was lazy (I'm not), but because I didn't have to sit in somebody's classroom with twenty other kids listening to boring lectures and reading boring presentations of material. I'm wired differently and school is geared to "avearge"kids. My daughter who was homeschooled did so because we yanked her out of school trying to give her less access to her druggie friends. She is extremely bright and did very well, even doing drugs ;) She could have attended a four year school as her program was certified.

    Now she has two careers when she goes back to work. And there was no police, DA, nothing involved in this. Actually I didn't know how intelligent she was until after she was out of school. Bet she is way up there in IQ. But she didn't like school and did not try, so she rode along with average grades.

    Six hours a day at a desk is not for all people. Also, it can give us parents peace of mind about the truancy officers. Schools get crazy w hen our kids don't show up because they get money for the kids each time they are there before noon. That's their bottom line.
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  10. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    As close as your daughter is to 18, I would present all the options available to her and let her choose. Maybe 'owning' her education will give her some motivation.

    I have homeschooled all my kids at various points in their lives, in several different states, and all three of my older kids graduated from homeschooling. My kids HAD a graduation ceremony AND a prom through the homeschool group we were involved in. Some states do this through the pubic school system. IF your daughter is interested in those things, they may very well be available to her. I don't know much about homeschooling in California, but I do know that MANY, MANY people homeschool in that state and there are lots of resources available. You will probably be quite surprised if you choose to go that route. Start by inquiring into the state and local homeschooling groups found online. Call and talk to a 'real person'. They can tell you what is available in your area.

    Know that many people who homeschool do so because they have kids that did not thrive in the school system. You might find some support for yourself as well.

    Many groups have get-togethers through the summer months, so this might be a good time to explore this option.
  11. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    Very true that not everyone is worried about all the school stuff, even kids who like school! It is a good idea to ask about all options available. Schools lose money for each child who doesnt go, but you still have that right to home school! I also forgot about the home school groups available! Im so used to Keystone and havent looked up any other support in person, I will now though! Daughter doesnt even want the groups.

    Either way Calfifornia , we are behind you! You will have less stress too! I still have struggles with daughter but not having the daily drama with both kids( now just son to get up) is a blessing! It really has helped my relationship with my daughter again. She feels a little more relaxed, happy and in control. Of course we still have the hating to go to the Dr issues- sees no sense in them, shower issues, and needs more of a push to get her online classes done but that one we are getting progress!
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  12. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry to be a spoilsport but if I remember correctly, academics are not easy to her, nor is independent study. And getting GED could really be a struggle for her.

    If you take her out from school, would she lose all the support and accommodations? If she now has difficult time to get her work done with one-on-one aide, who would aide her at home? Would she accept your help and do you have time and energy to help her?

    How do you see her future and ability to make a living? Do you think she can make it at open work markets or will she need services or is she disabled enough to collect disability? How about her ability to live independently? If she will need help as an adult, will taking her off school discontinue any paper trails that could be important in the future?

    Do not take her out of school just to ease an anxiety over her school troubles without double checking how that choice may influence your future choices. If she is going to need assistance as an adult, taking her off from the system now may make things more difficult for you, when you will face that issue.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I have an understanding she is not doing grade level work at least in all of her classes. If that is an ability issue, that ability issue is something she will face also in real world after school. Often special education is the easiest route to adult services special needs kids may need also as adults.
  13. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for your input so far, and Confused I'm glad it's working for your daughter. I just want to make a point that difficult child will not be technically home schooled. She will be transferring to another school, where she will attend once a week for two hours at a time. She will do the majority of the work at home, and turn it in to the school and get any help she may need with her assignments from her teacher. I have talked this over with difficult child, and at this point she really wants to transfer to the different school.

    I am hoping I can get an IEP sooner than the 8th of next month. I am on pins and needles each day she continues to miss. Her social worker is telling me I need to take away her cell phone every day until she starts attending. difficult child is absolutely refusing to give up her cell phone. She is throwing huge tantrums, crying, and screaming, for literally hours in my face. I don't know what to do anymore. I am not well physically or mentally right now. We really need to figure out an alternative ASAP because right now this just isn't working.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Vidoetape. Does she have a therapist or psychiatrist? I'd be guessing psychiatrist at least - they need to SEE this, not just you telling them. This is not normal - not even for a "spoiled brat" kid.
  15. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I have been dealing with her hour long tirades since she was literally a year old. Back when I was in my twenties I had a lot more patience to deal with it. Now that I'm older and having health problems it's much harder. We go back to her psychiatrist on the 1st to discuss a possible medication change. I will attempt to get her on video in the mean time. She can get pretty nasty and nobody believes me.
  16. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I think this is a wonderful solution.
  17. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I am starting to think so too, SWOT.
  18. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    Oh I really like that idea of that school for her! That is still having her get teachers help in person! Im glad she wants to go to the new school! Yes, video tape, if possible, dont let her see you do it, hide one! If not, do what you can to record it, a little piece is better then nothing! I have done the same and this new psychiatric will review them!!! Sorry for all your struggles and health. Wishing you some peaceful days!
  19. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Oh, that's good and takes care most of the concerns I voiced :)

    Just one thing more. If it happens that she will not do the independent work during the week (and that may happen, independent studying can be a challenge even for typical children who do not struggle with school. My Joy had to do it quite a lot due his time commitment to sports and while he has always been a good student, managing his time was not an easy task for him), what happens? Do you need to coax her to do her work or will it be on her?

    In other words, will it be an extra stress for you to try to get her do her work?

    I understand that she is not getting much work done at school as it is and that it may even be that type of work she should do in school is not even so relevant for her future (depending her disabilities knowing world history for example may not be a priority), but I worry a bit, that when the struggle now is getting her to school at mornings (and believe me, I know how stressful that is, though for us, with Ache, it wasn't getting him there, it was getting him stay there) after this change, it could just transform to struggle to both make her do her work and to make her go that one day she has to. And at the worst case scenario that could mean, that instead of stressing about her waking up and getting to school why you are at work, you will end up stressing and arguing about the work she was supposed to do at evenings when you would need your time to relax.

    My point being: Before making that change, make sure, that her independent work at home will be on her. That no one expects you to supervise or coax her to do it. That it will not become your job to be her task master during evenings.