Public HS, Independent Study, or Homeschooling?

by Susan
(Sacramento, CA)

My daughter has been diagnosed with bipolar and OCD. She is a junior in HS. The past two years have been disasterous in terms of her ability to succeed in school. She does have a 504 in place, but the accommodations do not help her with her focus and ability to complete her work. This past summer she enjoyed a period of stability (no stress from school) and we thought it might last into the school year. Three weeks into the semester, however, and she seems to be headed for a manic cycle. My question is...at what point is it a good decison to look into another school arrangement entirely? Like independent study or homeschooling. My concern is that, when stable, she loves to be around her friends. I wonder what effect being home all week would have on her. She might want to go back to school two months from now when she is feeling better...



My dilemma is that while I want her to experience HS, I think it is unreasonable to expect her to navigate it while going through an unstable period. Kids can be cruel...a few have already started calling her "psycho." Heartbreaking.


So sorry for what your child is going through!


My rule of thumb is if the child is being destabilized by school, and we are looking at possible hospitalization or destabilization than its important to look at pulling them out. I do think that it is important to weigh the loss of friends into that equation, but if you are very creative about it, you can preserve those friendships and that social contact.

It may be important to look at putting an actual IEP in place, as this will hold the school more accountable to the accommodations. Of course, I would also include your daughter in these conversations to some extent.


Whether or not to home school is a difficult decision for many parents, but I usually support that option when the school is a hostile place to the children I work with.

Good luck!

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Nov 04, 2015
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RE: Public HS, Independent Study, or Homeschooling? NEW
by: vivien

Why not send her to an alternative school instead. There, she will be around kids her age so she can definitely make friends. Another is that the class is relatively small so she can focus on her studies without that much pressure and the teachers can also help her out with her difficulties which is a plus since there are only a few students per class. Talk her and her opinion, maybe she can help decide on what she want to do. Good luck. :)

Feb 05, 2011
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help for parenting a teen
by: Anonymous

My dtr is 17y and 11th grade. She was diagnosed 2 years ago as Bipolar and ADD. She takes Abilify and Lexapro and Vyvanse. She had been on Depakote but that was stopped last summer. She has IEP in place and accomadations with Spec Ed where she goes if she needs a place to work away from the regular classes. Otherwise she is in reg classroom. Basically my question is how to parent my dtr. I am a single mom. Her dad died last year- we had been divorced since my dtr was 3. She is very difficult - always wants things her way. Wont help around the house. Seems to always have to be going somewhere or with her friends. She lies a lot, her lying drives me nuts because I cant tell when she is lying or not. She gets very angry when I try to put limits or expect anything from her. In the past she has thrown things, yelled and basically had a tantrum like a 3 yr old. She is better than 2 years ago but still... I have begun to expect very little from her. She wont do homework at home and if I try to talk to her about it she gets mad. She can be actually funny and pleasant on good days, gets along with younger kids and adults. She seems to have difficulty keeping friends, and boys come and go often, which worries me. She eats mostly junk food and carbs, and wont exercise. She has gained about 30 lbs in the last year. She doesnt have a drivers license yet because I dont feel I can trust her. Sorry this is so long, just wonder if you have any directions on how help her. I worry about her future.

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