Hi, I’m Tonnette Edwards and I homeschool my son. Jalen is autistic with other mental health concerns. He started out his school journey in the public school for kindergarten. He was quiet, didn’t talk, stayed to himself during playtime, he was bullied, couldn’t handle class trips, and more. The school tried to put a team together that could accommodate his ability to learn at his own pace.
I appreciated that however, it was short-lived.
When things began to change in the city public school system, such as staffing, closing schools, and reopening with new staffing became concerning. I knew that if I had to rate my son’s case regarding his disability and academic learning concerns, his needs would NOT have been met due to budget cuts and lack of licensed professionals that specialize in children with special needs in the inner-city public school system. So, I started researching everything about homeschooling in order to meet my son’s needs.
I contacted K12/Agora Cyber online School. This was one of the best options I found after researching online homeschooling for my son. After submitting all documents this school helped us all the way with everything! We were so thankful they provided everything we needed to homeschool as well as ADO DAYS which were days off to socialize with teachers, classmates, and games with friends. This helped my son so much.
My son Jalen was homeschooled for 8yrs. he loved it right away and he began to feel more confident, even talking and reading became more open because the teachers made him feel like everyone else. The class would clap and not shame him when he stuttered.
These students are taught respect of others and their disabilities from the 1st day of school! The students would say, Jalen you did a great job…even if he took longer than others to read or understand! Homeschool students were able to go into what they called a Breakout room to concentrate alone as they complete their work assignments.
Homeschooling provided a platform that helped my son and I grow into humans ready to share a testimony that could encourage many silent hearts. It’s good to know, regardless of his disability and race, that online homeschool really is an equal opportunity for all. Parents, understand that online homeschools have exceptional information and help that a lot of parents just may not know about. This experience also helped me become more aware of how parents and children can avoid stressed out moments with the offered help through homeschooling. We do not want this amazing help to go unnoticed!
As homeschool parents, you will be able to see everything your child has done or did not do!
People used to say…what about his social skills? I would reply and say our goal is for education FIRST! As they say, education is power, and you can get that through the knowledge of being educated first. Once you accomplish that, your child would have the knowledge and power to understand the right people to socialize with!
Don’t worry about what people say about social concerns when it comes to your child’s education. Your job is to provide that anyway in a safe way. Sending them to school doesn’t mean they would get the right social skills! If that was the case more kids would love going to school instead of being bullied and chased home every day! Follow your heart NOT someone else’s expectations.
If my son can do it with all the mental health concerns he has to deal with along with living in a large city that has its life challenges every day. I know any parent that cares would see that their child can reach for the stars through homeschooling just like my son was able to do!
Jalen graduated in 2019. My son’s online home school provided one of the BEST graduations I’ve ever attended. They allowed high school senior students with special needs to speak as well. My son Jalen looked like everyone else as he walked with many others at his graduation. I am so thankful that homeschooling helped him graduate on time against all ODDS!
More about Tonette Edwards
Tonette was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, and is married with three children who are now adults. Tonette was a stay at home mom so that she could homeschool her Autistic son and tutor other children with special needs. Tonette has a passion for children’s education and safety which leads her to speak out to the youth of all ages with SILENT HEARTS. Tonette is now an advocate for voices that can’t speak, minds that can’t sleep, and hearts that seek peace.