What an empowering feeling to know that there was options for my kids to get an education. There was no need to keep plunking away at something that wasn't working. There was an escape for all the stress.
So our adventure at NIDES began with my oldest son Justin who has the privilege of being ADHD. Getting him through elementary school had its challenges and I probably spent about as much time at the school as the teachers , volunteering where ever they needed help so that I could be a support to my son. By the time Justin reached middle school it became very clear that he was not going to be able to keep up his grades and get through these years without having his self esteem take a beating. He had been on small doses of Ritalin for years but we were not prepared to keep upping the meds so he could be at school. As things continued to slide downwards I knew we had to find an education that would work for him. Talk about freaking out. I was no teacher, in fact I had to work hard to get ok grades in school, how on earth could I teach my son at home? Well here's the best news ever....I didn't have to teach him, the teachers did, I would have to organize the year, but hey that's not impossible. So after investigating 3 schools very closely I decided on NIDES. The reason I chose NIDES was because from the very beginning I had support. I didn't know who I was calling nor did I care if they were the right contact person, I was going to make sure to do this right, and they never made me feel bad for that. Justin's self esteem change was incredible. All across his assignments he had stickers that said, "great job!", "you rock!" , "way to go!", encouraging words he had not had in a class room setting. He finished his school with great grades and the biggest deal was that he did it without Ritalin.
Now for my second son Bryce. I wasn't even planning on taking him out of school but he thought it was so unfair that his brother could stay home all day in his pajamas and do school. So a couple years later I had 2 of them at home. To be honest, if you are already schooling one, not a problem to add another to the mix. Recently in November 2010 Bryce became sick. He was flown to children's hospital where he stayed for 2 weeks and after that we spent the following months traveling back and forth to the city for check ups. Was I ever glad he was already homeschooling. He was able to get on the road to recovery in his bed at home or in a hospital room with a ton of support from the staff at NIDES. Next week he will be celebrating his grad with NIDES and I am quite certain he wouldn't be graduating at this time if he didn't have the advantage to be home and continue to work at his own pace with his health restrictions.
So I am here to say it can be done. It's actually not scary at all. Yes it is a big commitment on your part as a parent/facilitator but what a rewarding experience it is. Your child/children learn how to be self motivated learners and what a great foundation for them to have when they are preparing for university/college.
The main key to be successful and learn at home is staying committed to the daily schedule. Everyday is a work day and even sick days you can work in bed....they kids love that one.
No homework after dinner or weekends. . So great for family time.
We have loved the options to plan the year around our own vacations and holidays.
The one on one time the students get with their teachers is just the biggest bonus. I can recall on numerous situations where my children were "stuck" with their work and after ten minuets or maybe thirty or maybe even an hour of being on the phone or online with their teachers they were able to get help they needed and move on. Connection with the teachers is "key" to success, so remember that one. We have always found the teachers happy to have the connection as well.
When we first started home school we didn't not even own a computer. Even that wasn't a problem because every year they have provided a computer for the boys to work on. They do all the maintenance and it has really been an asset for us.
The joys of not having to go shopping for school supplies has been the biggest treat! Yes it's true, other than a few pens, pencils, erasers and a calculators, no more money on expensive supplies.
We have loved the fact that our children have successfully graduated from such a great school. Our boys have learned they can do anything they set their minds too. They have learned how to take control of situations and complete what they have started. They have learned great organizational skills. They have learned to be independent.
Our experience with NIDES has been a blessing to our lives and we are so grateful to have met so many wonderful people who have done their best to be a part of helping our boys succeed.