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(SAhD) School At home Disorder


Pasadena, MD - The Center for Communicable Scholastic Disease Control has released this urgent alert. School At home Disorder (also represented by the symbol :-( or the acronym SAhD) is a serious threat that has achieved epidemic proportions among the widely scattered members of the homeschooling community. (Although there have been reports of outbreaks among people who do not homeschool, the problem seems to be less debilitating due to immunities developed from exposure to School At School Syndrome (SASS) and by limited exposure to other family members that seems to occur for only a few brief hours between dinner and bedtime. While SASS (especially from teenagers) can cause problems, that is not the subject of this alert.)

The CCSDC asks that you pass this information on to every homeschooler you know, and to those you suspect may be homeschoolers. While symptoms from SahD can be severe, it is completely curable if proper actions are taken.

SAhd affects the entire family but often first manifests itself in the parents. Anxiety and self-doubt are early symptoms. Impulsive purchases of expensive pre-packaged curriculums often strain family finances and causes more stress among family members. The curriculum materials are often obviously unsuitable, but the parent feels obligated to rationalize the large expense and will often insist that the problem is with their children, not the curriculum. They may push their children harder and as more evidence mounts that the program is not working, they will redirect their frustration with the curriculum towards their children. They may begin to increasingly experience paranoia, convinced that relatives and friends are just waiting for a sign of failure so they can pounce with  "I told you so," and "Whatever made you think you were qualified to do this?"

As the paranoia increases, parents often feel the urge to hide children indoors and may become increasingly reclusive. Many affected parents will refuse to leave the house and fear being seen in public between the hours of 7 am to 3 pm. They will often even ask friends not to visit or call them during those hours. (Strangely enough, these symptoms usually disappear during weekends, on holidays, and during the summer) If left untreated, parents with SAhD frequently end up unable to spend long periods of time with their children and will often enroll them in public or private school within a year of starting their homeschool program.

In children, the symptoms of SAhD are very similar to the closely related School At School Syndrome. Children begin suppressing natural inquisitiveness, and lose their willingness to experiment. Their natural enjoyment of learning new things may be replaced with a passive attitude in which they refuse to learn unless direct instruction is provided. They show little initiative and may constantly ask what they should do next after they finish a task, or they may complain constantly about being bored. They sometimes experience a paralysis of inaction caused by fear of making mistakes.

They frequently become obsessed with time and may even begin to think that learning only happens during certain times of the day or certain times of the year.

The CCSDC advises that the best current treatment for SAhD is FUN. Treatments are not expensive, but they do involve a commitment of time and the participation of the entire family. Exercises involving side-to-side scanning eye movements and the grasping of thin sheets of processed wood fibers combined with wrist rotations have proven to be very effective. Amazingly enough, if the person performing these exercises also engages in external vocalizations, then other members of the family often experience therapeutic benefits just by being close enough to hear the vocalizations.

Studies indicate that FUN can quickly counter the effects of SAhD. Within a few weeks of treatment, you should begin to notice improvements. Parents and children soon become less irritable and experience less conflict. Children will become more inquisitive and self-directed. They will demonstrate the ability to learn in a variety of situations and locations, often in quite unexpected ways. In fact, they often quickly begin to enjoy learning once again.

Parents may notice fewer financial stresses as they no longer feel obligated to make large single expenditures for pre-packaged curriculums. This makes it easier to recognize if something isn't working and to try another approach. Parents often become less fearful of failure or of being seen in public.

Studies have demonstrated conclusively that families who include FUN on a regular basis are much less likely to enroll their kids in school or to give up on their homeschooling program. Help stamp out SAhD in our lifetime! Tell everyone you know about the benefits of FUN. For help in selecting your own personalized FUN treatment program, go to

Copyright March 2000, Family Unschoolers Network 

Feel free to reprint or otherwise distribute this urgent alert as long as it is used in its entirety.

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