Where a dad of two great kids (one on the autism spectrum) muses about life.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Always have a Plan B
One thing I've learned (and teach) when it comes to crisis management is to "Always have a plan B". Like a chess player, you always have to be thinking ahead about possible future states, your possible reactions to them, and the possible consequences of those reactions.
So although our present plan is to stay the course and try to work with our local public school educators to school Buddy Boy, we realize that that is subject to change at any time.
We've looked at private schools in our neck of the woods, and at least for now, none are appropriate for Buddy Boy, or the ones we feel are, aren't willing to take him on at present.
So rather than just hope for the best, we also have a "Plan B", which for now is home schooling.
Last year we exercised this option when things were spinning out of control for us. Rather than let Buddy Boy get wharehoused in a totally inappropriate setting, we withdrew him for a medical leave, and homeschooled him for Kindergarten.
I think we're fortunate that we live in the US in this regard. It seems that homeschooling is much more accepted here than it is in other places. This is one trend that Europe doesn't seem to "get" as much.
Tibetan Star's post for March 2, 2007 linked an article from Germany where a teenager was imprisoned in a psychiatric ward for being homeschooled. Also reported that day was a proposal from the UK to have a central computerized registry of all of those utilizing this form of education.
Here in the US, laws vary from state to state, but most are fairly lenient. Most states set some requirements in terms of curriculum and record keeping, but are fairly lenient when it comes to the credentials (or lack thereof) of parents. According to Wikipedia, in 2003 there were 1.1 million children being homeschooled in the US, or 2.2% of the school age population. There is even a legal defense organization to support those who choose to homeschool.
Sometimes, states even actively support parents in their efforts. Though most states don't directly financially support homeschools, this article details how one state, Missouri, is proposing to give support for supplies and books to homeschools.
Probably the biggest allure of homeschooling is the freedom from the predominant educational culture, which values conformity above creativity and individual expression.
For now, we've decided to stay the course where we are. Liz isn't wild about persuing the homeschool option (though she does a LOT of education with the kids as it is at the present time). I think she's mostly concerned with the record keeping requirements. But I'm sure we could handle this route if we have to. And it's always good to know you have a "Plan B".
Me- Joe, husband of a great wife, and dad to two great kids, who were both adopted at birth.
Liz- My ever understanding wife, who manages to wear many hats (mom, advocate, therapist, teacher) for our kids.
Buddy Boy- Born in 2000. Funny, intelligent, inventive, and autistic. Loves machines.
Sweet Pea- Born in 2002. Typical little sister. Competitive, outgoing, and smart. Loves anything pink.