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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Public School vs. Private School vs. Homeschooling

Posted by on Aug. 17, 2014 at 8:27 AM
  • 36 Replies

I am curious what everyone does, and what led them to that conclusion.  My son starts pre-school at a public school in a couple of weeks and I have been reading and reading and reading more.  It can really make your head spin...lol.  I think it is generally more beneficial to learn from real experiences.  I appreciate any insight you feel up to sharing!

by on Aug. 17, 2014 at 8:27 AM
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Replies (1-10):
ineedcoffeemom
by Brittaney on Aug. 17, 2014 at 8:37 AM
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Things will change for us as time goes by I'm sure but I have a "plan" in mind. My dad will start public preschool as well in a couple of weeks. She was in a private group speech program this summer that was amazing and I'd love to keep her in it but my insurance wouldn't pay for it and I can afford another semester.
So private is out for now due to money issues. I always wanted to home school but mydd needs too much support for me to teach her on my own. Also, what I found from the summer program ... She's a lot more willing to do new things with others because she has certain expectations of me since I'm her mom.
My hope is start with public preschool and maybe public kindergarten, then get her in the 2 day a week charter school. Its a hybrid private/home school that's very affordable. Your child goes to school 2 days a week and you teach them the other 3 days a week. Its my hope .... We'll see if it can happen when we get there.
Good luck on your sons first year of school! I'm nervous but very excited for my dd.
mcclanto
by Member on Aug. 17, 2014 at 9:07 AM
1 mom liked this
Homeschooling has turned out to be the best thing for us. My DS went to a private school for kindergarten and he did very well. He had a great teacher.

First grade didn't go well. That is when we got him evaluated and he was diagnosed with Asperger's. We pulled him out of the private school and then he went to a highly rated public school. He was in a regular classroom with a full time aide. He had a great teacher who made his school experience a positive one. We did have issues with the school and the people they contracted to hire the aides. They liked to give him the same aide for 8 months and then switch for no reason and think that would have no impact on his education. It caused my DS so much stress and he regressed.

Then in third grade, his teacher didn't like having him in her class. She didn't do much teaching. It wasn't a good environment. Then they decided to change his aide again, after six months. We ended up pulling him out in Feb 2014 and now we homeschool. It has been great. He isn't distracted and learns so much more. I can tailor it to his interests. He is into Japanese Anime, so now he is learning to speak Japanese. He is into video games, so he is taking an online game design class to learn programming to make his own game. I do worry about socialization. He is currently in social swim class and an all boys gymnastics class.

The biggest thing I notice about him now is that he is more relaxed and less stressed. School was stressful for him because he has so many sensory issues. It definitely affected his learning in school.
mypbandj
by Jen on Aug. 17, 2014 at 9:34 AM
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When my oldest was ready for kinder I fully expected to put him in public school. But we were just learning if his issues and I didn't like how they were going to address those. It was either a self contained special ed class or nothing. No para, no anything! And this really upset me.
First of all the kinder classes were overfilled. I knew it was crazy. I really worried he would be lost in the crowd of craziness. My son could not modulate his activity level. When excited it went up and up and up. I greatly feared he would quickly become seen as the bad kid. Or the kid with a behavior problem.
Yes his behavior was active but he wasn't bad. He had no mean bone in his body. But when you have 30 kids and one seems out of control, I couldn't expect the teacher to see him as an individual with a disability. So kinder without a para was not a choice. And I definitely didn't want him in a self contained classroom. I mean, he was wicked smart! And I didn't want his education watered down an oz.
SO this left us in a bind. We had toured private schools but none felt right. Then we got this new child psych and he was the best. Amazing man. He suggested a specific private school for us. It was expensive but by the grace of god my grandmother agreed to pay it. (Probably because I told her the options were him being in the self contained class or me homeschooling).
Anyway, the school was amazing! The kinder teacher was beyond amazing! It was the best experience ever!! I was so happy there.
But within a few yrs, the administration changed. Teachers were let go. Others were mad and left. It went downhill fast. And after six years there, we moved to public school.
By then my son was older, mess hyper. And he had a well established IEP as well as gifted label.
He had been in an environment that celebrated his academic ability and he wasn't singled out as the bad kid.
Public school has been great for us. I really can't complain.
Homeschool is my last option. I'm not against it but personally we want our kids to have the school experience. If ever that stops working and my child starts to have a bad experience that is affecting them in a profound negative way, I will homeschool. I will. But it's not my first choice.

As far as comparing "private" vs "public" I think that is very hard to do. Just because no two schools are alike. I have seen great and awful on both sides. What really matters is how the school is run, what the admin is like, and how well it will mesh with YOUR individual child. These are not things you can learn by simply looking at labels. You have to figure out what's actually going on inside.
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shunnicutt
by Stephanie on Aug. 17, 2014 at 10:08 AM

It is so scary as my son can't communicate to us what we would want to know about his classroom experience!  I guess we will have to gauge it on his behavior, development and what the teacher's observations are and then compare all of this to what we already know about our son.  There is a private school here that sounds great, but the tuition is crazy high for us and not an option.  I also feel like I am not qualified to give my son the education he would need and deserves, although I have read that there are home school programs with amazing curriculums that make it so that anyone who is dedicated enough would be effective at teaching their child. 

So much to worry about, and I'm sure all of my fears are premature, but that doesn't relieve my anxiety.

librarywizard
by Member on Aug. 17, 2014 at 10:41 AM

My son went to public school from 3 years old up until this year (he is12). Puberty hit and he became more aggressive and kept trying to escape, so the public school could not handle him anymore and transferred him to a therapeutic school. The school district pays for my son's tuition and transportation costs. The therapeutic school is wonderful and the right thing for him. 

What we are dealing with now is that my mom can't handle my son anymore (she takes care of him while I work) and I can't quit my job, so we have to put him in a group home. I am feeling sad about it, but he needs more care than we can give him at home.

Macphee
by Silver Member on Aug. 17, 2014 at 12:07 PM
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Ds has been in public school since 3 yrs, now 7. I also instruct him at home. I would love for him to homeschool, very bright and eager to learn. However, I prefer for him to learn social skills at a young age.

I want to send both my ASD and NT boys to private school for middle and high school. Our local high school sucks. But they are in 1st grade. This will be ds first year in Gned full time, excited.
pookietooth
by Member on Aug. 17, 2014 at 2:18 PM
2 moms liked this

We homeschool because it was pretty obvious that the public school classroom structure was not suited to his personality -- the noise and chaos of the other kids, the authoritarian, cold teachers, and the school bus, plus he gets really bad separation anxiety. Private schools for kids like him are very expensive, and with another kid who is still young (4), I can't find flexible enough work that would cover the costs for daycare plus private school (since school hours don't match work hours).  It's hard, but it's what works for us right now.

Bobcatridge
by Carol on Aug. 17, 2014 at 3:05 PM
1 mom liked this

My dd went to a private christan school from kindergarten to 7th grade.  It was not a good experience.  The regular public schools are known to be bad in this area.  This year she will be going to a public hybrid charter school - 2 days regular school and 3 days homeschool.  Any school can be good or bad.  It is dependent on the individual school. 

lady_katie
by Silver Member on Aug. 17, 2014 at 4:00 PM
1 mom liked this
My son is in a private inclusive preschool for the next two years. I've always wanted to homeschool him when he starts elementary, but lately I've been feeling like his behavior might be too much for me to handle 24/7. I'll decide next year whether or not I want to start advocating to get him into an autism program or do the homeschooling. It will have to depend on his progress since our states respite programs are proving to be a joke and school might be the only break I can get.
DACIA79
by on Aug. 17, 2014 at 4:05 PM
Damien goes to a college prep charter school K-12. I had to have him tested to prove he could handle the workload though.
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