Homeschooling Teen

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Sheltering Tree Ranch

autismBy Alesha Dodd

Recently I started volunteering at a school for autistic children with my homeschooling group. But then my sister and I found out that they have horse training for adults and children with special needs, and my sister wanted to start helping with the horses and I wanted to help inside.

The founder’s name is Bobbi Boroughs. She is married to James David Boroughs; they’ve been married for 26 years and have one son who is now 21 years old. When Bobbi was younger she never thought that she would become a teacher, especially for children with special needs. It was not until her son was born and diagnosed that she ever really thought of teaching. But she feels like God has prepared her for this journey because she has severe dyslexia that made her struggle in school, and she feels that it helps her relate to her students. Before her son was born, she gave riding lessons to children. She also boarded and trained horses for a while. After her son was born she helped her husband with his business; she would bring her son to work with her before she started the Sheltering Tree. They now have a foreign exchange student living with them; before that they had a foster child and then another foreign exchange student.

Starting the Sheltering Tree                  

Starting the Sheltering Tree was almost an accident; Ms. Bobbi just started teaching her son and tutoring a couple of other special needs children.

Her son went to public school for a couple of years before he was diagnosed. She couldn’t find a special needs school or any schools other than public school, so she started her own. She started the Sheltering Tree at a church that already had a school there. But the Sheltering Tree was not a part of that school; they were just using a room inside the building; she said it was just a school within a school.

The Sheltering Tree recently moved to a ranch in 2015. Sheltering Tree Ranch is a 501C3 school which is a non-profit school and they plan on keeping it non-profit. They’re run by a board of directors, and the board members allow them to run the school but one person does not make the decisions for the ranch, it’s a group of people that do. Ms. Bobbi is the director of the school but all the decisions are run through the board first.

The school has a director, a president, a vice president, and someone that does the finances, which are all different people. The school is a family-based school and Ms. Bobbi believes why they are so successful is because they have such a high ratio of teacher per child, which she believes is where some of the success is coming from. The school itself does not have anything for adults with special needs, but in the future they would like to have housing for adults with special needs and so much more. Sheltering Tree Ranch is full of opportunities and things that it can become; it is a blessing that they can and will be able to offer so much to anyone with special needs.

The Sheltering Tree is a blessing to me and all volunteers and even the people that work there, because they get to watch these children go from not speaking to having a 20-50 vocabulary. And they also get to be with these loving and caring children.

Well, that’s my article for this month. Hope ya’ll enjoyed reading about Ms. Bobbi and Sheltering Tree Ranch.

~Alesha Dodd

 

Alesha Dodd, 14, has been homeschooled her whole life.

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