Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Homeschooling

My visitors from the US have arrived and bearing gifts!
Meet the Flat Stanley’s.
They may not be quite what you expected!! But I think they will make excellent house guests! They have been sent to me by Elf and Emperor who live in Missouri, as part of their home schooling project.
The concept of Flat Stanley was started 40 years ago when Jeff Brown wrote a book, since then children around the world have been making and sending their Flat Stanley’s far and wide to learn about different cultures.

So when I saw on Mrs Cs blog Elf and Emperor sending their Flat Stanley’s to Florida to stay with their Grandparents, I offered an invitation for the Stanley’s to come to the UK.

Elf and Emperor have already been learning about British history and food, in preparation for the Stanley’s visit here. C breaks up for Easter on Thursday so it looks as though we are going to be busy as tour guides.
Apparently they would like to meet The Queen and Mr Bean. Can anyone help me out on this one?!
So if you would like to follow the Stanley’s adventures with C and I for the next couple of weeks, pop over to Mrs C!

I'm surprised at the number of homeschoolers i have come across in Blogland with autistic children. It is not something i have heard of here in the UK (however I'm sure there are). There are many reasons for homeschooling. Some families make this choice on religious grounds. Many do it because of a dissatisfaction with the schools in their area or with the institutional effect of school in general. Others do it because their children are being bullied and abused by other children or teachers. It is also an alternative for families living in isolated rural locations and those who choose, for practical or personal reasons, not to have their children attend school.

C and I are looking forward to doing our bit!

52 comments:

belle said...

I homeschooled Tilly for 18 months instead of sending her to the local comprehensive. It was during a time the LEA were refusing to accept that she had special needs ... It's one of the hardest thing I have ever done and I have enormous respect for those that manage it.

Chris H said...

I take my 'hat off' to people who homeschool, for whatever reason. I could NEVER do it! I just thank god it's compulsory to send your kids to school to tell you the truth! I love all my kids, really I do, but to have them home all day every day would send me insane, for sure! I had my first 6 kids in the space of 10 years.. imagine 6 kids home all day!!!!! Every day!!!!! NO WAY.

Vi said...

I guess you are going to have to show them buckingham palace and hope the flag is up to say the queen is home! Mr Bean on the other hand. Just show a DVD! lol

Kittymama said...

In my country, there are not a lot of services (academic, prevocational, or vocational training) for adolescents with autism, and the handful that we have cater only to the higher end of the spectrum. As such, homeschooling is the only choice available for us and this comes directly from our own pocket. There are no governmental subsidies for the education of CWA. Sad, but true.

Nevertheless, homeschooling allows us many opportunities for bonding and forging relationship. I don't do it 24/7; we have a teacher who comes in part of the day while I deal with other household issues (laundry, meals, blogging, ahhh), but when my son and I do come together for his lessons, it's always a revelation.

I've jumped over to Mrs. C's site for a peep, and I think I will visit more often the following days to see how you and Flat Stanley are doing. And, hmmm, I'd like to meet the Queen too. :-)

Debstar said...

And onto a completely different subject altogether....
I just saw a movie called The Black Baloon. I'm guessing its called this because black baloons are unusual. It's a story about a boy growing up with an older brother who is autistic. Not an easy movie to watch and I think for some people who are living with an autistic family member this might be too close to home to actually enjoy. It's an Australian film and not really a mainstream commercial movie so it may not get to England but you may like to look out and see if it gets aired all the same.

Just thought you would be interested.......

Mima said...

Sounds as if you have some action packed adventures coming up, and maybe a great excuse to do some tourist stuff. It is so easy not to do the tourist things when you are living somewhere, you just think that there will always be time. Something like this is a really nice excuse for that time to be now!

motherx said...

What a lovely idea! Flat stanley! I admire anyone who home schools. It must be very challenging. I am very relieved my boys are happy at their schools.

laughingwolf said...

wondrous... and grats to all homeschoolers!

MMC said...

I love Flat Stanley!
When the Kit Kat was in Gr 2 they did a project like this (except each student make a flast version of themselves) and she sent her Flat 'Kit Kat" around the world. It went to Belguim, the US, the UK, back to the US, across Canada, to France and a few more places in Europe. Each person that received it was asked to keep it for a week, write a note in the diary and then send it on so by the time she got it back it came complete with memoirs from around the world. Some great notes and postcards and so many total strangers put in great momentos from their countries. Definitely a treasure and a keeper.

More and more children with special needs (including but not limited to autism) are being home schooled here as parents finally get too worn out to keep fighting the good fight. Or see too much harm being done to their child to justify leaving them im school. It's really quite sad ... It's one thing to make the choice to homeschool because that's what you really want to do but quite another to be 'forced' into it.

Mrs. C said...

Thanks so much for the lovely post, Casdok! Elf and Emperor are so excited about Stanley's adventures.

lime said...

how cool is it that you can participate in the education of a child on another continent from you!

Stinking Billy said...

Wow, it must have taken you forever to embed all those links into that post. But then, that is consistent with the level of your devotion to the cause. So good-looking, too. ;-)

captain corky said...

I heard that they are trying to outlaw home schooling in California because the parents are not certified teachers. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

The Lone Beader said...

Hehe. I took a Flat Stanley to Europe with me last year. He enjoyed visiting Buckingham Palace, the Eiffel Tower, and the Koln Cathedral.

andrea said...

My kids' Grade 1 teacher did the Flat Stanley thing with them, too!

"Leelee" said...

Today at my sons school(california) they are having a flat stanley party. All the kids will hopefully get there flat stanleys. They will see where all of the flat stanleys have gone. I worry that my son will not get his lol. We sent his to my friend in Nevada but she is very bussy and known not to be very timely lol. I hope it doesnt bother him much.

Pavel said...

Cool! My kids did the flat stanley thing as well. We got one from my family in Miami and we took him to Dollywood and the kids had a blast going on the rides with him while I took pictures.

Honeysuckle said...

Never heard of Flat Stanley before - what a great idea! And an excuse for you and C to have a few adventures. Enjoy the Easter break.

Rach said...

I've never heard of flat stanley it sounds like a cool idea. Can't help with Mr Bean or The Queen - Sorry. x

LceeL said...

If you find a way to meet Mr. Bean, could you let me know? I'm flying to London on Saturday and I'll be there a week and it would just raise my stature in my son's eyes if I were to meet and greet the ever graceful, Mr. Bean. And his little car.

nitebyrd said...

How fantastic you're doing this! The kids will be thrilled. I admire parents that homeschool. I couldn't even attempt it.

It might be more difficult to see Mr. Bean then it is the Queen! ;)

Billy said...

Actually, I was hoping to meet Mr. Bean myself. -:)

Ellee Seymour said...

They are so cute, I love flat Stanley.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I couldn't homeschool I'm afraid. I really think children need to be with other children in order to learn about the world around them. It might be almost impossible for some children I know but if there's just that small chance that it could benefit them in their future I think children should be at school.

My opinion only.

Crystal xx

Sandy C. said...

What a fun and creative idea :) My hat goes off to homeschoolers. My daughter is not of school age yet, but I can only imagine the challenges.

Robert McEvily said...

Interesting piece this morning on the CBS Early Show here in NYC about a new HBO documentary called "Autism: The Musical." It follows five children with autism and their families as they write, rehearse, and perform their very own musical.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/19/earlyshow/main3950206.shtml

Quin Browne said...

hi,

i couldn't find an email, so, pardon me for hijacking the comment section...

thank you for your comment on my six sentences.. i wanted to mention my son has asperger's...i'm on the border... and i watch my landlord's son, who is autistic (i just posted on my blog about my time with him).

i'll keep coming here, to be inspired.

thank you for this.

thank you.

interesting life.

david mcmahon said...

Flat Stanley sounds like a well-rounded character.

The Queen and Mr Bean? Yep, no worries. I can organise that .....

LceeL said...

I will be staying at the Hotel Alexandra in London from this coming Sunday through the following Saturday morning. Should you find yourself in London sometime during the week, leave a message at the front Desk. We'll do tea. On me.

Casdok said...

Thank you, a lovely thought!

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

What a neat concept!

Jenster said...

We LOVE Flat Stanley around here! Geesh. My son's class thought his Flat Stanley's trip to Los Angeles was great. If only we'd sent him to the UK!

slow panic said...

we love Flat Stanley -- although we have never sent him anywhere. we have the books.

Jeni said...

Flat Stanley is a terrific program! My older grandson (age 10 now) did a Flat Stanley project when he was in 2nd or 3rd grade and one place he "Sent" Stanley was to where his maternal grandpa lives in Nevada. Poppy took Flat Stanley to see a drag race there and got the lead drag racer in the US to autograph Flat Stanley -along with taking him to other places out there too. I don't know who was more excited about that deal with Flat Stanley - my grandson or his Poppy!

ChainingMagic said...

The law in California only affects homeschoolers who aren't affiliated with a school. I homeschool but I can't do it without the supportive materials and activities the district program offers. My little one has to have band, P.E., field trips and anything else social they have to offer.
The Flat Stanleys are cool! I can't wait to hear about their adventures!

Dr.John said...

I can understand the why of home schooling but I also understand their are some parents that just aren't any good at it. I do look forward to the adventures.

SB said...

I homeschool my youngest to supplement his public school ed. He's so bored in his K class. He's reading on an almost 4th grade level. I started it just to keep him happy and he's blossomed.

We have not had anyone send US a Flat Stanley. I would take him to the US Capitol though.

Kelley said...

Boo will be homeschooled when he finishes primary school. When he turns 13. God help me.

There is nothing available for him at that age which breaks my heart and means I have to leave my career.

It sucks.

Anyway, good luck with the Flat Stanleys! I remember them from when I was a kid!

my life with bipolar disorder said...

Homeschooling is not easy but surely beneficial to children. I admired parents who are successful at that. Thanks for the post :)

abstractjenn said...

Casdok - I'm back! Do I look different now that I'm a graduate? I gave your blog address out to a few of my students who are studying autism. I told them to introduce themselves to you so you'll now where they came from.

Flat Stanley's are cool!

Ron said...

Oh my God, Casdok...I've never heard of Flat Stanley, but WOW, what an awesome idea!!!!

And YES...they would BE excellent house quests...they wouldn't eat anything or even have to use your bathroom!!!

Hey...and I'm ALL for homeschooling. I only wish they had that when I was a child. I always seem to learn better in my own environment!

What a GREAT post, Casdok. Thanks, dear lady! Have fun with your American guests!

Angela said...

Have fun!

Eileen said...

Flat Stanley visited us a few years ago from Nashville. My niece sent him up to us, here in New York, for a visit. We has a great time showing him the sites and taking pictures with him. We had to send him and the pictures and our story back to Nashville, to her classroom. We loved doing it, and my niece loved reading it to her class. Such a great project.
XOXOXO

Annieye said...

I remember Flat Stanley from when my kids were at school.

Emily's school have a plastic gnome that goes on holiday with staff and kids alike - and brings a postcard back with him of where he's been. He's been all over the world.

LAA and Family said...

What a fun way to learn about other cultures! I have never heard of the Flat Stanley's either.

There are many many reasons that people like to homeschool. I have lots of reasons myself. It's not always easy and there are days that having just a little time to myself would be a luxury, but I'm so glad that my husband and I are getting to raise our children!

Nicole said...

I don't have any kids so, imagining homeschooling is hard for me.
I haven't even heard of homeschooling until a few years ago.
Not sure you can do it in Germany.
I sure take my hat off to everyone that does it!

I participated in a Flat Stanley project in Korea.
Took that little guy for a tour through the hood :)

Elissa - Managing Autism said...

Ooooh, how exciting to have such lovely visitors staying with you... I love the concept!

We'll be waiting to hear all about their adventures!

Angela said...

I love Flat Stanley...your post makes me think we should make a FS to take with us to Tx for all of the adventures Grandma has planned! By the way, thanks for mentioning homeschoolers in your post...we love it in our home!

A.Bananna said...

I came here from david's blog. :)

I really enjoyed your post! I homeschool my children...well...ok my oldest is 5 so she is really the only one I do right now. LOL. Homeschooling was a hard decision for my husband and I to make. I am so glad that we are doing it. It seems a lot harder than it really is. :)

have a great day!!
anna

CrazyCath said...

Aaahhh I remember Flat Stanley from years ago teacher training ( I never followed it through though). It is a great idea.

A friend of mine home schools her eldest (religious grounds). The LEA have been quite supportive and like you all, I take my hat off to her. She didn't start the home schooling until age 14 though and so it could all be discussed with her and her responsibility etc. She has no learning issues and is managing it fine. Those of you who home school autistic children need a medal, but, if my child was autistic I think I would home school. No one could give him the individual attention he would need but me!

Lovely post. Hope you enjoy your adventures.

Marla said...

What a wonderful idea! So much fun! Maizie is crazy about Mr. Bean. Those flat Stanleys will be so lucky if they get to meet him. ;)

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Wow I had never hear of this before thank you for introducing me to the Flat Stanley's.