Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Article and comments related to homeschooling

While "googling" for something else, I came across this article. While I was not very interested in the original news story on The Obscure Store and Reading Room, many of the comments turned to homeschooling. So here's the article and the "homeschooling" comments. (I must say the site is a bit odd, made up of odd, gory, and sad news stories).

School bans second-grader's service dog

School officials say the dog has growled and barked at students and teachers. "We don't want kids getting bitten," says the school's lawyer. The 8-year-old girl, who has a congenital disease that causes brittle bones, and has suffered 60 broken bones, says: "I'm very upset about this. I want my service animal." (Boston Globe)


So homeschool the kid, problem solved.

Posted by: SwarthyTroll Aug 16, 2006 7:36:21 AM


I understand the desire for parents to give their kids a "regular" childhood, but also know the implications.

When my teenager was in 2nd grade, she was diagnosed
with a treatable learning disorder, eg a malfunctioning brain. I had two options: medicate, or take her home. I chose medicaiton, and I also persued therapies that has kept her need for bigger doses down and she takes less than half the dose than other kids her weight. Her problem is not health-threatening.

On the other hand, my friend's boy has cerebral palsy, leaving him with weak muscle tone in his legs and arms. He has an unsteady walk, and since he's nearly 6 feet tall at age 15, getting hit on the back would paralyze him. So, no matter how much he pleads to "be like everyone else" and take gym class, she won't let him. It's for his own safety.

With brittle bone disease, homeschool is the best option. I would worry over every stair, every bumped knuckle, every clumsy Claude. Consider how crappy a kid would feel if they accidently knocked the girl down and broke something?

There are homeschool clubs in a lot of communities these days, which allow children to socialize. Sure, it's not a regular childhood, but I feel it's one that puts everyone's best interests into the frame.

Posted by: Soo Aug 16, 2006 9:07:54 AM


To say the child could be homeschooled is not a fair solution. What if your child had ADHD and constantly interrupted the class? Would he be sent home permanently to be homeschooled?

I say get the dog additional socialization training. Barking is VERY easy to fix. It's not like the dog had bitten people or anything.

The poor child has *no* friends. Her dog is her only companion. Plus, he helps her navigate the school and stay safe. I don't get why I am the only one sympathisizing with this girl.

Posted by: Kristin Aug 16, 2006 10:40:42 AM



If you read my earlier post, it was about my child who was diagnosed with ADHD. I just didn't think I needed to broadcast it so plainly. We were told to medicate or homeschool permanently.

We chose medication and "deschooling therapy," which isn't anything like it sounds, but it worked for us. Either way, certain situations just call for parents to back off the regular kid routine.

Posted by: Soo Aug 16, 2006 10:46:36


As the mother of a special needs child (autism) and parent advocate, who also happens to live in Massachusetts, I am appalled, though certainly not surprised, by the acts of the Scituate school district. It is not just a matter of a the parents wanting their daughter to have a "normal childhood," it is their right. If it were up to school districts, almost every child with any kind of disability would be banned from school. Fortunately, their is a law that protects their (the children) and our (the parents) rights; IDEA - the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Then there are the Massachusetts Dept of Education regulations, the oldest in the nation, that support the inclusion of disabled children.

These pieces of legislation state that only the most severly disabled children (not this girl) should be kept from a "mainstream" education. Furthermore, the law mandates that school districts provide for a child's socialization - a large part of the reason for her having her dog - as well as her education. I think this is just another example of a school district attempting to circumvent the law.

By the way for all those who suggested it was in "everyone's best interest" for this girl to be homeschooled, I would simply like to point out that the law - IDEA - does not provide for what's in the best interest for "everyone," only what's in the best interest of the child.

Posted by: Rena Aug 16, 2006 12:56:41 PM


Rena and Eclecticcalico both make excellent points I had not considered. Certainly, the school environment plays a big role in how well a special-needs child is accommodated, and respected. As a teacher-in-training, I am very aware that teachers receive little or no education in special needs before they get licensed.

My point was long-winded but boiled down to this: the child in question is delicate, no one would argue that. Placing her in a classroom with so many rambunctious children, I feel, is placing her in harm's way. My youngest is a recent second-grader.

Homeschooling does, unfortunately, move her out of the greater realm of socialization. However, there are many outlets these days for homeschoolers for socializing, and could be done with minimal risk to the girl.

The service animal didn't even come into play in my post. Actually, I've known many service animals, and if I made a guess, there were too many kids "rushing" the dog and treating it like a pet, which is a no-no, and THAT is why it may have barked or growled. They're trained to warn of danger, and a bunch of kids running towards the girl and the dog definitely is danger. I'd growl, too.

My apologies for offending--Soo

Posted by: Soo Aug 16, 2006 1:25:18 PM


I was home schooled for Jr. and Sr. High. I lived a completely 'normal' life, thank you, and had to turn down socialization options. I am not disabled in anyway, however, I do not feel this takes away from the validity of my point at all. Home school is a completely viable option, especially with schools today in the disarray they are in. No, it's not for everyone, but it is not, and should not be called, abnormal.

Posted by: Susen Aug 17, 2006 6:21:04 AM


Also, educationally, home schooling is actually generally better. I know there are exceptions, yes, there are to every 'rule'; but home schoolers are generally under more scrutiny than school children and must take annual tests, etc, to make sure they are on the right level. Many times, home schoolers are above and beyond that. School is fun. But academically, for a student like me, it was not a good place. Home schooling helped to improve my concentration skills (I suspect that I have mild ADD that is now Adult ADD) enough to succeed (when I chose to) in college. School for me was purely social when I was enrolled there.

But the topic here is this little girl and her service dog. It is, I believe, against ADA laws to ban her service dog in the first place. Secondly, I agree with (can't find the name now) whoever said that the dog was probably only doing it's job when it was barking, warning the little girl of any percieved danger.

And, thirdly, having recieved training in Special Education, I also understand how often the teachers do -not- get the proper teaching, as well. Unfortunately, if one does not go for 'special ed', one does not recieve any training on how to 'deal with' or accommodate appropriately in a way that benefits not only the special needs student, but also the entire classroom. It can be done, but too few teachers know how.

Posted by: Susen Aug 17, 2006 6:33:13 AM


I thought it was interesting the when a parent was giving the option to homeschool or drug their child, that they choose to drug the child. So much for a "regular" childhood. If the girl has "no friends," of what benefit is socialization at school?

What do you think?

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Anonymous said...

Homeschooling is great for children who possibly have a learning disability in reading or math. But to say that all of our school systems are bad is not true. Yes some of these teens do drink, lie, cheat, and steal but I think your stereotyping a bit too much. I am a christian and have been able to say no to parties and drinking. So to say that all public school children are like this makes me mad. Ever since I entered high school I have become an even stronger christian and my faith in God grows stronger everday. Through social standings I am able to reach out to other people. I know how to talk and communicate in a polite and pleasant manner. What I am tryig to say is that if you send your child to public school they will not always turn out as liars and manipulators. Think before you write something so that you can get all your facts straight. Plus I understand that public school is not for everybody but please think of other people and the way they feel when they read this. Thankyou.

Janine Cate said...

School has a significant negative impact on the moral development of children. For every 100 "Christian" children who enter school, only 30 will indentify themselves as Christian by the time they graduate.

A 70% loss rate is huge. Of the 30% who still identify themselves as Christian, many have absorbed the humanistic doctrines of our day. They may call themselves Christians, but few actually live a Christian lifestyle.

Yes, some children make it through school with their faith and standards intact, but they are a small minority.