View Full Version : Tell me I'm not a failure

04-14-2011, 09:10 AM
uggg! Tell me I'm not a failure as a homeschool mom if I put my 8 yr old in public school next year. We live outside a small town- and there is 1 private school - but it's not really great and too $$- so not really an option. Doodle is a challenge. He's adHd (yes- that's a capitol H for sure!) I've always said how great homeschooling was especially for him- with his adhd, how it was nice we could learn about what we want to learn about, and that he could have the 1 on 1 attention. I've told myself that homeschooling is best for him, but I'm beginning to doubt myself.

We butt heads over everything, math, english, spelling, fiar (yes- even the fun stuff) He simply doesn't want to do any of it. I try and make those other things fun- with fun computer games (he loves computer time) but even still it's a battle. I'm beginning to wonder if someone else could do a better job of this. After talking it over with Dh- he wants me to put Doodle in public school next year. He says that our youngest isn't getting the schooling and attention he deserves, because I spend all my day fighting and refocusing my 8 yr old. I'm not sure. I'm in debating. Doodle's not a morning person- so getting him out the door onto the bus would be a struggle. But maybe schooling would be better coming from someone other than mom. :/ :(

Rachel Jane
04-14-2011, 09:17 AM
YOU are NOT a failure.

I can't tell you whether or not putting your son in a PS will help him or not, but I can tell you this: it doesn't have to be set in stone. You could try it and see how it goes and if isn't working, pull him out. If it is working, rejoice!

How far into 8 is he? 7 is a tough age for many kids and if he is developmentally behind, you may just still be dealing with 7yo drama on top of the other struggles with which you are dealing.

What would happen if you changed his schedule to look like this:
outdoor time
clean up
outdoor time
outdoor time
art project
clean up from lunch
outdoor time
outdoor time

Cara in WA
04-14-2011, 09:26 AM
:group: I grew up in a family with a challenging sibling. I'm sorry you have this fight on your hands. It's not your fault. :group:

Melissa Crabtree
04-14-2011, 09:33 AM
You're not a failure!!! RJ's advice sounds great. (I'd like that kind of schedule!) I thought I had an adHd 8 year old as well (diagnosed even!)... what I really had was an 8 year old who was wrapping up all of my focus and energy by arguing all day. With the help of a psychologist, we set a specific plan involving a timer for each of his lessons and one hour of video game time each day (out of which came anything he had left to do when the timer went off). It was his job to get it done on time or live with the consequences. We posted it on the frig for it to be official and we still stick to it.

Within a week we had an entirely different school day and relationship. We went from finishing at 2 or 3 to finishing by noon. I did not argue anymore... I learned to walk away until he was ready to be respectful. He learned he did not want to live with the consequences so he changed his game very quickly. He needed this high amount of structure that I thought was unmerciful. He needed to learn that you can not argue your way out of completing tasks that have been assigned to you. He still tries to drag it all out to see if I'll play the game, but it only penalizes him because I won't engage in it anymore. For example, if he chooses to forget where we keep the pencils (though they've been in the same place for a year!) it's his loss. The math timer is running. He'd better find it quickly or miss LEGO Star Wars on the wii later today. If he argues and chooses a 5 minute time out, the math timer still runs so it does not serve him well... Does that make sense?

Is he difficult just with schooling or other activities as well?

Another thought, sending the trouble child away while you keep the other two home could be quite detrimental to him over the long term. I would feel like I was too hard for my parents to stick with me. Can you be really sure to not present it that way?

:group: to you! I know it's exhausting.

Rachel Jane
04-14-2011, 09:55 AM
Melissa C, I'd love to see your schedule and consequences if you can share it.

04-14-2011, 10:01 AM
Melissa C, I'd love to see your schedule and consequences if you can share it.

:yes: Me too, Melissa! My ds sounds very similar to yours, and this might really help us! TIA!

04-14-2011, 10:33 AM
From a public school teachers perspective...she isn't going to be spending much time with him when she has 23 others to deal with...and he will be in the classroom with 2-3 others with the same problem...and they learn to mimic each other.

He could POTENTIALLY really feel like a failure, when other compliant, more focused children end up being successful in the classroom, as well.

I am NOT saying that you NEED to homeschool, I am just giving you a couple of things to think about.

04-14-2011, 10:40 AM
p.S. You aren't a failure...you are frustrated.

Alice R
04-14-2011, 01:07 PM
Nope, not a failure. You know something is not working and your are trying to fix it by exploring various options. That is the sign of a smart woman!

I don't have a child with ADHD so I'm no help, however, I have worked in public schools with special needs children and Judyn has a few points to consider.

Can you observe the classroom he'll be in?

Hugs Andrea! :group:

04-14-2011, 01:21 PM
Thanks everyone. He's 8 1/2- will be 9 in August- with an august b-day I always said when he goes to public school (which we have sort of planned for high school with our boys) he'd go the grade younger- but after talking it over with Dh- this becomes another problem- does he go into 3rd grade or 4th in the fall. I'd want him challenged, but not bored.

It's not just school work we battle over, it's EVERYTHING, chores, teasing, arguing, being mean, getting up on time, going to bed on time... And this to say he's SO much better on the adhd meds he's on. Without them, we'd be in a world of trouble.... (thinking out loud- maybe the meds need adjusting again... which I hate to do- but last time we started having problems realized he'd gained a ton of weight- which he needed to do, and the dosage was off...)

Still in deciding- I'm trying to not make this a rash decision in the middle of a school battle, but a matter of thought and prayer. I do know this much- we can't continue doing what we're doing, it's not working. Ds does have some outside time- but it's hard to reign him back in after playing outside.

Melissa- I'd love to see your schedule and consequences as well- it would be helpful! Talked with Doodle's counselor yesterday- and he's supportive of trying the school option, or sticking with homeschooling- said he'll support us either way. I guess I just need to make a decision, and then see what we can come up with together.

Right now Doodle's schedule-
outside time
math calendar time
math assignment
go pick up oldest ds from Band
feed animals outside, play for a few minutes
Computer time (dance mat typing, 1-2 math games assigned by our math teacher aka- dh's aunt, spellingcity, and sometimes 1-2 grammar games)
growing with grammar (IF he didn't do grammar games on the computer)
PE- shoot hoops, ride bike etc for 15-20 minutes
Unit study along with lapbook/notebook assignments (right now we're doing some middle ages stuff- and he's doing Apple and the Arrow from homeschoolshare)
Something from the school cupboards that he wants to work on
together time- Astronomy, timeline, nature study
Quiet time/reading


04-14-2011, 01:31 PM
We've had to start medication. Ds just couldn't be who he wanted to be and we were both tired of fighting and not getting anywhere. There are behavioral therapies that can help as well. IMO, for high level ADHD, you are going to need outside help, medication or do a LOT of research on how to help him overcome it. We made it until DS was 10 with just my making adjustments, but at this age the work is just too intensive for him to sit through without some kind of help.

Oops, I see you've BTDT with the counselling, etc. Yes, I'd look into a different med or an adjustment of amount.

04-14-2011, 01:36 PM
another thing I would think of, would be, what do you expect them to be able to do succeed in, that doesn't happen at home? Does he just react better in larger groups, or follow the ranks when with friends? I would think about that and talk to a teacher and see if there is a way you can mirror that at home...it might be something completely out of the box.

I guess I would discover the root of the issue? When is the issue at its best (whats going on at that time), When is the issue at its worst (what's going on then too).

If the issue is a laziness, or self discipline thing...I can tell you that I am 99% sure the public school is NOT going to help the issue.

As far as what grade to put him in? I would have a p.s. teacher/friend or his aunt work with him for a couple of hours. It doesn't take a long time to figure out where they should be. But I would worry more with his maturity than his capability.

...and the worry of him being bored...he is going to be bored wherever you place him. It goes with the territory with an ADHD child.

One more thing, (sorry that this is so disjointed, but I keep thinking of things)
If he is one that needs activity and breaks...he won't get a lot of them. Most places don't even have PE everyday and recess is down to 15 minutes by 4th grade.

Again...not telling you what is best...YOU know him best. Just trying to give you a picture of what is going on in a public school, that I find most people don't know about.

:group: I remember questioning my child being in a private school...and didn't have an answer then, and it was one of the most stressful times of my life. And she was only in Kindergarten. Choosing what is best for your baby is tough stuff, but going into it with patience and prayer like you are makes it a lot easier.

Julie Y
04-14-2011, 04:02 PM
You've gotten some great feedback here; :group: hugs to you as you try to sort out the best option for everyone involved!

Laura F
04-14-2011, 04:39 PM
Hi Andrea. I can't add to anyone else's advice. I just wanted to add that I understand where you are. My 8 y.o. has ADD--no H but fairly severe--and you're right that ADD takes away from other children. Before you make your decision, when is the last time your ds had his meds checked? Are you seeing a pediatrician or a psychiatrist? We see a psychiatrist, and her knowledge of meds is far superior to any pediatrician we've seen.

I also wanted to say that if you decide to put ds in public school, it's not the end of the world, and it doesn't have to be a permanent decision. We've been on the fence about sending dd to private school. What made our decision was not wanting to battle homework after school or having to reteach whatever she misses during the school day.

If your ds in public school, make sure you insist on a 504 plan very early in the school year. It might take a while to get one written and always let the teacher know at the beginning. Schools have changed how IEPs and 504 plans are written; you'll have to be squeaky to make sure your ds gets the appropriate accomodations.

BTW, you are NOT a failure!

Kendra AU
04-14-2011, 08:16 PM
:group: :group: :group: You are NOT a failure no matter WHICH choice you make. My cousin is a very sweet and loving person, but she and her eldest use to butt heads over everything too.

She'd had every intention of homeschooling her daughter, but her husband wanted her to put the child in school. My cousin was worried at first it was his tainted view of hs {he didn't have a good experience with it} BUT, really he didn't want them to hate each other, to have a bad relationship, or for my cousin to be stressed to the max attempting to homeschool her child.

Her child went to school for a year in a private school where cousin worked. That closed down so they moved her to ps where she enjoyed a year and then, I'm not joking here!! The PS system CLOSED because the state was so horribly underfunded in EVERYTHING that many government things simply closed up shop for a while as the state tried to find a budget that would work.

In the end my cousin and her dh moved states and she brought her daughter home to teach and then her boys were old enough. They've enjoyed homeschooling since BUT.. her dh has asked her to put all three children in school again as he's about to be deployed again. My cousin has agreed for one year to give it a go with them in the school system.

Having said all that, her children are bright, smart, and have a passion for God. My cousin is at peace with her choices. I think we all have seasons in our life where we have to make choices that are hard when we feel content and set in our ways in regards to homeschooling. We're making some changes in our own home which took me a long time to accept that they needed to be made.

I know that whatever choice you make you will still be the best mom in the world for your Doodle. You will not be a failure or a bad mom or a homeschool outcast. You will simply be you making the best choices you can for your children! :D

04-18-2011, 06:08 PM
Here's another random thought ... have you had his vision checked?

I only just got around to doing that this school year for my two ... I knew I needed a new prescription but had no hints that my kids had vision issues, just thought it was a wise parent thing to do. I was totally surprised to discover BOTH my kids have the vision that my worst eye has. That's pretty distressing to me! It's not horrible vision ... I actually can see pretty well when my eyes aren't tired ... but in them it would cause eyestrain and fatigue. Definitely not a help when you've got a kid with attention difficulties.

Ted has improved in his schoolwork attention span (somewhat) since getting his glasses. Not seeing much of a change in Maddy, but still I am glad we got the glasses ... maybe it will help correct their vision rather than just compensate like mine will (when we finally buy my glasses ... can't find frames I like).

Ted's attention is better than it was when he was younger, anyway, so he's maturing and he's not ADD unless it's the hyper-focus and daydreamer type ... but I am ADD and his temperament is very much like mine.

Not sure if I'm helping or not, and good luck with meds adjustment (I know that's going to be a wacky process!), but I hope y'all figure it out ... and it's definitely not written in stone ... you do what you need to do, day by day. It's okay to change course if that's what's warranted.

Chalane (FL)
04-18-2011, 08:42 PM
You aren't a failure. No matter what you decide.

I agree with the others to check the meds. Maybe they need to be adjust or something added. It took yrs :eek: for us to figure out oldest ds' correct meds and dosage.

Someone else mentioned behavior therapy and I would look into that as well.

IMHO I would look at meds and therapy regardless of the schooling decision. It could make all the difference for a happier home and school life.

04-20-2011, 08:50 AM
Thanks everyone- Realizing this isn't really a "schooling" issue- but rather an obedience issue- it's not just school stuff, it's life. :unsure:

Melissa Crabtree
04-20-2011, 08:51 AM
Thanks everyone- Realizing this isn't really a "schooling" issue- but rather an obedience issue- it's not just school stuff, it's life. :unsure:

That's exactly the conclusion we came to here. I remembered yesterday I'd forgotten to come back her and post more about our behavior plan! I'll start a new thread on it today or tomorrow. I can't do it now.

DD in IL
04-21-2011, 06:40 AM