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    Default Home schooling if you feel child not ready to start mainstream

    My DS will be 5 in September so is due to start school 2017. He currently attends preschool 4 days a week 2 days (Monday & Tuesday) at one centre and 2 days (Thurs & Fri) at another. He has a speech disorder (Childhood Apraxia of Speech) and some OT issues. OT has raised questions about him being ready but his educators are not overly concerned and are working towards school readiness. It's led me to consider home schooling for Kinder (NSW) but I'm not sure how good I'd be at it and I'm concerned about social interactions etc. I would only be considering doing it for the one year and then him start YR1 at mainstream school. Would doing this help or hinder his schooling? I really don't know what to do at this stage.
    Last edited by WiseOldOwl; 18-04-2016 at 10:40.

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    Id say hinder. My ds is also 5, is doing speech therapy and OT, the social interaction is good for him, the teacher aides wonderful, the speech therapist and OT also see him at school so the teacher is kept in the loop on what kind of activities to give him, but honestly he has come a long way very quickly just after one term., he knows things I possibly couldn't teach him and he's made some nice friends., im aware he may need to repeat this year but his confidence is already growing. Year 1 is alot more full on, i think it would probably be a bit of a shock to your ds for him to just start there. The workload and expectations are alot bigger than kinder/prep. Also friendship groups are already formed so he may feel nervous on top of everything else.

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    I think it can be beneficial depending on a few things.

    How is he socially? And his emotional readiness?

    If he is not ready for emotional/social and developmental then I would say that he may benefit from homeschooling.

    From what I understand there is big support in homeschooling groups so he can still get all his social needs met.

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    WiseOldOwl  (18-04-2016)

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    I would think it would hinder. Firstly it's likely he would have less speaking opportunities when home schooled compared to playground chat, news time in classroom etc and secondly Kindy is a lot about learning school routines, norms and appropriate classroom and playground skills and behaviours. I think he would struggle more starting in year one when the other kids have been doing all this for a year already. I would either send next year or hold back but send in Kindy in 2018 but not year 1

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    If you're looking into homeschooling, make sure you check if you can actually homeschool before the compulsory school age of 6. (I know when I looked into it, you couldn't). If that's the case, you wouldn't get approval to homeschool your son instead need approval from the school to hold him back 1 year.

    If you think it's going to help him then I say do it, only mums know best. I do also know certain schools have different programs that help child and take them out of class to help with speech or OT etc.

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    I hope to speak to the principle of the school he would be attending as soon as school holidays are over. If they allow his therapists to attend the school for his sessions and possibly get some support funding he will probably be better off there. The thought of home schooling makes me a bit nervous because I don't want to not provide enough for him. The only reason I would consider it is because the OT suggested late start for him which would mean him starting in Sept 2017 when he turns 6 and I think that would be worse than home schooling the whole year and then start Yr1. He will more than likely start mainstream beginning of next year.

    Thank you to everyone for the input, it's helped.

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    Personally if you are comfortable with it, I think homeschooling is an excellent option for self paced, one on one tuition. Homeschooled children consistently score better on testing (so I've read, and not starting a debate here!).

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    I personally wouldn't. I don't know if you plan on private or public after kinder, but I know that NSW public schools have become very good at delivering quality education to kids with diverse needs. Kids with additional needs can attract extra funding for teacher's aides with remedial programmes.

    I admit I have fairly strong views on the subject but I believe in the vast majority of cases children are better being educated by teachers, not homeschooled, particularly those with additional needs. I would also say your child would benefit more socially from being there from kinder. There are lots of children at our public school with speech delay, and lots of kinder kids have access to a speechie that regularly comes to the school.

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    I'd definitely consider it. I'm a firm believer that mainstream schooling is not for everyone. In QLD however you can't officially homeschool until the child is 6yrs of age, so you'd be going alone in terms of curriculum and learning materials but I'm sure there's plenty of homeschooling groups around that could assist you in shaping his learning.

    Have you considered delaying his entry until the following year? That is another option to consider.

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    Hmm it's a tricky one. Why does the OT feel that he isn't ready?

    I guess my question would be - in what way do you think homeschooling would increase/contribute to his school readiness?

    We had a student a couple of years ago who seriously was not ready for school on any way except for being toilet trained. It was really challenging for everyone concerned - his teacher, his parents and his peers. He has come such a long way, but is now in year 2 and only just ready to begin academic learning. It was in no way in his best interests to begin school when he did.

    What we did in his case was make his transition as easy as possible by having him go home at lunchtime three days a week, and he had one rest day. We gradually increased his time at school over his first year. Do you think something like that would work?

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