Why and How We Are Homeschooling Our Son

I have been the parent primarily responsible for home schooling our younger son since late November of 2015. My wife sometimes helps out with educational activities as needed and as she is inspired to do so, but she is currently the primary breadwinner. I was not prepared ahead of time to take on this challenge, but it was ultimately an easy decision given our situation at that time up to today.

Starting in kindergarten, my wife and I had been sending him to one of the public charter schools located in the City of St. Louis. The staff and principal were helpful and responsive to our son's unique needs during his two and a half school years enrolled there, but it got to a point where they were no longer able to continue doing so without considerable hardship and strain for everyone involved, especially our son. The most valuable thing they did for us during his time there was have him tested and evaluated by trained professionals to better understand and accommodate his unique needs and set up an IEP for him. We found out that he is "on the Autism spectrum" which I had somewhat suspected based on his behavior patterns. (He began reading while he was still two years old.) Asperger Syndrome is what they used to call his higher-functioning form of it. At school, he was isolated from his "mainstream" classmates for much of the day because he had "anti-social" behavior issues stemming from his Autism, and he was also having occasional seizures while at school (for which he was already being medicated), most likely due to the stressful, over-stimulating learning environment.

The first thing I did when deciding to homeschool was research the home schooling regulations and statutes for Missouri. Fortunately, the guidelines are reasonable and allow flexibility in implementation. For example, we can eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and healthy snacks whenever we like, and take naps as needed in the afternoons to reboot and recharge.

Curriculum mostly for math and language arts as well as some science and social studies; Scratch to learn visual programming; Codecademy to learn coding and programming; his personal website to learn html; VirtualBox to learn about differences in working with multiple operating systems using a single Mac; Pages program on Mac for word processing, tables, graphs, et cetera; Script Editor on Mac to learn about scripting; Audacity and GarageBand on Mac to learn about recording and editing music; Google Earth to learn about geography (although I am not fond of the globe propaganda); Roblox Studio; art projects of various kinds; math flash cards; a bit of cursive; occasional field trips; books from the public library; lots of YouTube tutorials; and more.

We maintain a daily log in a notebook of all educational activities for record keeping purposes to be sure we stay on track.


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