What is NIDES?
NIDES is North Island Distance Education School.
But I thought Mr. D. was home schooled?
But this says Distance Education – doesn’t it?
So what’s the deal?
The deal is the best possible deal for our family – it is wonderful, amazing, encouraging, supportive, financially viable, and all around splendid!
So what is it, already!
Mr. D. is enrolled with NIDES. As such, he is a Distance Learner but that just means he learns mostly at home. He does a lot of technologically challenging things and tackles a lot of work online.
What sets NIDES apart from many other Distance schools and nearly all homeschooling co-ops, curriculum groups, etc. is that they hold e-Class. All hail e-class! This means that for one day per week, Mr. D. goes to school like any other kid. We drive to a campus, he takes a packed lunch, and he has a classroom. He also has a teacher (this year, his class of 20 or so kids has two) both of whom are beyond tremendous.
This classroom doesn’t focus on academics; rather, it fosters social skills, encourages good ethics, arranges field trips and other gatherings that provide opportunities for community building. They have a playground and a gym. They learn skills, they have guest teachers (artists, musical theatre, etc.). Parents may stay. Parents may teach something in class if they wish.
Looking beyond the wonder of Mr. D. being able to experience a somewhat normal classroom without all the usual stuff that hurts and bewilders, there are his fellow pupils. I hope they don’t mind me saying this but I say it with pride – they are eccentrics – one and all! There are even other ‘gifted’ and ‘gifted and disabled’ kids on campus. Elementary school kids one day on campus, bigger kids another. Small buildings – large green land!
When my boy can say “but Mummy, NIDES kids wouldn’t ever laugh at me” then I know we’ve found our educational home.
Yeah – all right – there is also the bonus of Mummy and Daddy having a day without children in the house. Just in the spirit of openness and stuff. *g*
For a Special Needs kid with social difficulties and lots of educational needs – well – NIDES is a blessing.