Friday, October 22, 2010

Who Knew?

When I first began homeschooling the boy last year, I thought I was doing it because of autism...with the hopes of giving him a real, true solid education.

Similarly, when I began the same journey with L2 this fall, I thought the real reason I was doing it was to keep her sweet, free spirit safe from all the ugliness dished out by school children.

Little did I know, that the real one being educated here was going to be ME... Now, I mean more than just brushing up my rusty memories about Ancient Greece. What I have found brought to the forefront is a huge, growing pile of my own personal issues that needed to be tended to. I have tried my best to be a what I thought was a good Mom, but it seems that my patience has been growing thinner and not thicker over the years. I have been easily annoyed, and quick to anger...not good traits to have if you are spending 24/7 with small people.

And would seem that this whole deal, it's success or failure, really is going to depend on how well I can adapt myself. I have been praying ...ALOT...asking for help, but most of all for grace. I need to accept that these kids are not going to follow any book or set of rules...why I am I just now really seeing this? When it all is said and done the main thing I want for them is to love learning...and shoving workbooks down their throats is really not a good way to make that happen. So, I have been working on adjusting myself and my methods.

And the results of this change have been nothing short of amazing. We are now doing spelling, not at the dinning table, but as an oral spelling bee while they swing wildly on the playset. Reading happens in the back of the van while we drive home from Grammy's house, or huddled under a blanket roof in the top of the fort. But most importantly it is happening when they WANT it to happen, when they are HAPPY for it to happen.

Now I do have a few tricks up my sleeve. Obviously there are some things that simply would never get done if they stayed on their own timeline forever. But I have found that a few strategically placed books will do wonders for them wanting to read...this requires a little thinking ahead on my part at times, but is not hard overall. They do have an "assignment list" everyday, and for the most part they are in control of when each thing gets done. They take lots of long breaks to play together outside...I like to think of this "Building Imagination 101". And I hope that by putting them on their own schedule they are developing a sense of personal far so good.

The most surprising thing that has happened is the bond that is growing between them. They are now truly each other's best friend, thinking more of each other's feelings and needs each day. And if you know of L1's background that is AMAZING indeed! No social skills class at school has done for him what spending time playing with his own sister has been able to accomplish. There is a great deal of learning going on in this family these days and most of it has nothing to do with school studies.....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another reason to LOVE homeschooling!

I woke up to this the other morning...
all from my boy who HATES to write...
no one even asked him to this time!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yep, it's been awhile....

Really I had all but given up on this blog...I started homeschooling the boy back in January and I have had little to no time to even think about writing anything here......or doing much of anything else for that matter. But I do miss it. Many times I feel like I have a few things to say, but if I don't have a pretty picture to add I just don't bother.....or like right now I decide to sit down a write and 5 bombs go off in the house distracting my already scattered mind and requiring my immediate attention.

We have been on a never ending roller coaster of determining our ultimate family plan just because I want to do some landscaping......

Me: "I want to plant some crape myrtles in the yard."
R: "Well, no we might get a pool and then have to dig them up..... if we get a pool.."
Me: "I really want a pool, let's get a pool!"
R: "Should we get a pool? Is our yard big enough for a pool? We need to just sell this house and buy a new bigger house....Can we afford that?"

Usually I just say no, that is not a good idea and the conversation starts anew in about a month, but this last time I said "Sure, what the hay....let's do it!"

Truthfully all I really want are some crape myrtles and a pool, but it seems we get mired down in this whole house debate every time. A few weeks ago we started full steam ahead on the "sell this house" path which meant major cleaning, painting and decluttering that lead to a storage unit...that is now full of lots of junk and a some random toys that I was sure no one would miss. Of course those are the ones they are now looking for... We just don't have room for all this stuff in our house, but after a more in depth study of our budget we have found that our previous notion of "Oh yea, sure we can swing a few more hundred $ a month in mortgage payment" may not be the smartest idea. This point was punctuated by my sudden toothache followed by the first trip to get one of 2 required root canals today. HELLO UNEXPECTED BILL.... That will run us about $1200 once all is said and done... Yea for our awesome insurance but still $1200 is a blow to the ol checking account, kinda like the 16 shots they gave me today were a blow to the ol mouth.

(Number of times small people have called "Mommy...." while writing this....about 31.......)

Sewing has come to a halt....I just don't have time and am not sure how i ever did. I am hoping to get back to my machine and clear out some fabric soon, but with all this painting, cleaning and child maintenance, I am not sure when that is going to happen....

OK now on to more important things...the homeschooling...schooling the boy has been both the most rewarding and most stressful thing I have ever done. I know without a doubt that it is what God has called me to do. For years he has been whispering to me and nudging me in this direction, and finally I stopped listening to all the self doubt and all the "experts" who told me you cannot homeschool a child with autism. My poor child was in 2nd grade and falling farther and father behind because his sensory issues made it impossible for him to focus on anything in a small crowded classroom of 32 wiggly, noisy bodies. He was so stressed about school and would cry getting ready for school every morning, refuse to eat any breakfast, sit in a deafening cafeteria crying with his hands over his ears not eating any lunch, and would be crying when I picked him up everyday. He would do little if any work at school and the teachers had no way of making him. They tried reward charts, treats and even missing time at recess which was really more of a reward because he could finally get away from all the commotion. Eventually school being school, they would just move on to the next activity whether he had finished or even started the previous one or not. But really the worst part about it was that it was killing his little spirit...he was simply miserable...and he was ALONE....alone all day in a sea of noise that was just too much for little boy with autism to handle. The school's answer was to take him out of inclusion and put in into a self contained Special Ed classroom.....NO THANK YOU was my reply.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I won't bore you with all the details, but in summary....

I've been to see doctors...lots of doctors.

I've had tests...lots of tests.

They put me in a cast..for 5 weeks (AT CHRISTMAS)!

I've been scanned in multiple fashions, they even shot me with radioactive dye...

They still don't know why I hurt or how to fix it.


But they did after 6 months of appointments finally give me some steroid meds.

They helped...a little.

But at least enough for me to SEW AGAIN!!!!


So I started slow with this...

Ok that was easy enough.

Now on to this....

Finally I got brave enough to try this one....

See it here.

Hoppy Esater!