I just need a wee rant so please bear with me. Since the start of the year we have been requesting an IEP for our son. Now term 3, still nothing. At home we are reading about evolution, genes, molecular gases and the periodic table. He is well adavnced on his reading, maths is at least on average and writing is coming along - when given the opportunity to write about what he is interested in. So its not like he needs to focus on the basics, but at school he is getting worksheets with questions like "What colours are on the bed cover?" and reading that is simple for him. We didn't realise how simple until an incomplete sheet came home. Not enough time says my son - I know what that means from experience - plenty of time, not enough interest to bother finishing.
What do we do? The teacher is not listening. We are going to shift him to a new school next year but have to wait for the ballot (Which is fairly well guaranteed not to be full, but means we cannot access till the end of the year). What do we do in the mean time? We are not being listened to at all and our son is barely learning anything at all. Funnily enough he doesn't much like school.
He is a very well behaved child and it seems that this doesn't really help as it means no alarm bells ring to create any action. AAAHHH! It seems that he is going to have to waste two more terms at school with nothing happening by which time their is a chance he will have lost his drive for learning at school completely!
Homeschool in the meantime seems the obvious solution. Let him learrn according to his interests - it is certainly going to be more learning than at school based on the information you provided. If he is not yet six he does not have to be at school and does not need a homeschool exepmtion. Then try again next year. Your local homeschool association is likely to have all sorts of learning opportunities for you to join.
I can completely relate to your experiences regarding IEPs. My son, who is 9 is in exactly the same position. After months of inaction on the part of the RTLB we eventually pulled the pin on the whole process. Like you, my son has effectively given up at school through sheer boredom, he doesn't seem to finish anything and he is too well behaved to qualify for any assistance even though we have ed. psych. reports indicating mild dyslexia/dyspraxia as well as being rather bright.
We are not in a position to be changing schools, neither do we have alot of cash to throw at the problem. We have settled for a couple of extra curricula activities, ODS, Explorers club and periodically I just let him take the day off and we do stuff at home. There's no easy answer to this problem I've discovered, although obviously offering lots of support and focusing on self esteem to me seems the most important. Schools claim that they have a responsibility to all students to meet their individual educational requirements but in my experience this is lip service. Unfortunately this means some schools are failing lots of kids who don't learn 'conventionally', but I think this has probably always been the case. Good luck, I know how upsetting this predicament can be.
Unfortunatly he has just turned six so missed the boat there. Don't think I can manage homeschooling with our current situation at present which is frustrating to say the least. We have certainly talked around the idea quite a bit. Meeting with his teacher, RTLB and DP in a couple of weeks so we'll see what comes of that - hopefully it doesn't just makes things worse for him! His self esteem is starting to take a real battering and it really worries me. There has got to be another solution for the next half year. How long does it take to get an exemption for homeschooling - can it be just for half a year, or can he dual enrol - homeschool for specialist purposes, and state school for any needs they can meet better, such as sport and cultural?
It takes about a week to get an exemption. Our kids have never been to school. Our aim is to maintain their love of learning and it seems to have worked so far. They have all gone to ODS for one day a week at some stage - thats the only dual enrollment allowed unless you can negotiate a 'learning at home day' from school - but they are still enrolled with the school. We do weekend sport - martial arts, soccer, sailing & netball. During school hours they do ice skating and swimming lessons via the homeschool group. In Christchurch there is also a once a week sports afternoon with other homeschooling families so that nicely covers 'sport'. For "Cultural" the older ones are in a homeschool choir, and do piano lessons, privately. They are involved in after school dance and drama groups. The homeschool association also organizes an orchestra, craft groups, carpentry, a band and chess club etc. I hope this information helps. All the best.
I'm quite surprised that you say that it only takes a week to get an exemption! Wow - you must have a very on to it person doing yours! I don't know of anyone that has had it through quite that quickly! It can take some time to write the exemption, and then by the time you post it, they go through it and send back, most often I think it takes more like 10-15 working days. Anyone considering homeschooling needs to take this into consideration.
I totally feel for you. My son, 7 in a few days, has never had any any help from the school. We have had him seem by an educational psychologist who recommended things such as RTLB's and IEP's etc. we have hit a brick wall in all directions. They told us ther wasn't an RTLB avaliable. The reluctantly filled out an application for one but I have no idea if it was ever passed on as I heard nothing more about it.
He is a very difficult and challenging child both at home and at school. he has been labelled as the naughty silly kid in class and spends most of his time in trouble. We have a lot of unfinished work and no one seems to want to consider that there might actually be a problem even though it was identified in his report as a problem area. As far as the teache is concrned he just needs to sit and do the work. I could go on forever about it but I'm sure you know the drill.
We are about to move so we are hoping that the new school will prove a little better. They seem very open to RTLB's and IEP's etc so fingers crossed.