Autism

Traditional Homeschool: Day 1

by Caroline on April 8, 2013

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Moving by Car

Moving from Idaho to Texas: 872 miles down, 836 miles to go.

My brain hurts.

We’ve moved to Texas. We made the 1704-mile trip over four days, taking a week break at my parents’ house in the middle of it. The girls and I have been in our new home for just over a week. We spent half of that first week trying to put the house in some kind of order, and I spent the other half fighting a panic attack over how chaotic everything was. Is. Will be for the forseeable future. Argh.

But enough about that. I’m sure you’re wanting to know how our first day of homeschooling went. I can hear you saying, “Wait, first day of homeschooling? Didn’t you homeschool already?” Well, yes, but now that we’ve moved out of state, and the public virtual charter school we were using is no longer an option for us, we prayerfully decided to switch to traditional, non-public homeschooling. Now, “traditional homeschool” can mean a lot of different things to different people. By traditional I mean an education not primarily delivered by computer. We’ll be using actual physical curriculum and hands-on activities.

And how did it go? Well … it was a hard day. That was expected; I didn’t expect everything to go great and everybody to be super happy. It didn’t help that both girls had trouble sleeping, and on their own decided to get up at 6 a.m., get dressed (I couldn’t believe it either), and go downstairs to play on the Nintendo Wii. Decoder Man and I woke up in a panic to shrieks that turned out to be laughter over Mario, Luigi, and cohorts trying to conquer a Ghost Castle. And of course, by the time we actually got through with breakfast and chores, they were tired. Definitely not the way I’d planned to start our first day of homeschooling. We had several mini-meltdowns throughout the day. Also, I wasn’t as prepared as I’d like to be, since I wasn’t able to open any of the curriculum I’d bought until we got here last week.

Family amidst moving mess

A small percentage of the moving mess. Panic inducing for the Type-A like me.

Overall, I’m pleased with how the day went and excited about the curriculum I’ve picked out. Even though we’re technically in our last semester of this school year, I’m starting at the beginning of the programs I’ve bought. When we finish them next year, we’ll move on to the next level, and that’s totally OK. I’m letting go of my preformed ideas of “grades” and “school years” and just trying to get through the work. (I’ll write more about the curriculum we’re using in the next post.)

Ultimately, even though it was an extremely hard day, I feel I have confirmation that traditional homeschool is the route we’re supposed to take for now. Why? Because today I saw how unused the girls were to working. To using their brains. Now, it’s true that they’ve had an extended spring break while we moved, visited family, and got our new home partially set up. However, it’s obvious to me that the virtual homeschool was not truly exercising their little minds. It “hurt” them to have to think, to write a sentence, to reason something out without being prompted by an animated character. And it definitely brought out some of the behaviors that children with their disabilities struggle with.

I’m not saying that all virtual learning is bad; in fact, I’m still planning to employ some of it. However, I do believe that with our girls’ mixed bags of PDD-NOS, Dysexecutive Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, language and visual processing issues, and other learning difficulties (phew!), I need to be teaching them how to think, how to write, how to reason, how to plan, and not just how to answer questions.

It’s a good start.


 

Getting Behind in Life

by Caroline November 6, 2012
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I haven’t posted anything besides macro photos in three weeks, and that’s just because I had several weeks’ worth of macro posts in the queue. I feel like I’m getting behind in my own life, not to mention my blog. (It’s been so long that I’ve almost forgotten how to use WordPress, and I just […]

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Communicating with a Child with PDD-NOS

by Caroline October 2, 2012
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My daughter, M-bug, has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS, which stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified. It’s a really big name for a disorder on the austim spectrum. Children who have PDD-NOS usually have trouble both communicating and relating socially to the people around them. It can be tricky to diagnose, because it […]

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In a School Daze

by Caroline August 30, 2012
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Thursday, 9:43 am We started school August 20. Ever since, I’ve had numerous ideas for blog posts. I write them in my head, but they never make it to the computer, because I have no time. None. Even though this year’s start of our virtual school was much easier because we already knew how it […]

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The First Step Down the Homeschooling Road

by Caroline June 5, 2012
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The school year is over, and I’ve been taking a look at how our first year of homeschooling went. The girls attended a public virtual homeschool, rather than us doing traditional homeschooling. So it’s somewhere in between traditional classroom education and homeschooling. Why did I choose virtual homeschooling? Well, the easy answer is that my kids’ […]

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Spring Fever (or, Thank Goodness it’s Almost Summer Break)

by Caroline May 15, 2012
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Holy cow. Man alive. Good grief. Great Scott! I cannot believe how out of control Bubbles has been these last few days. It’s like she hasn’t taken her ADHD medicine at all. She is literally bouncing off of the walls. M-bug isn’t quite as hyper, but more excitable than usual. They definitely have spring fever. […]

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Life, Unfocused to “IWishIDidn’tHaveAspergers” #AutismPositivity2012

by Caroline April 30, 2012
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A few weeks ago, someone googled “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers.” An autism blogger saw the phrase pop up in a keyword search, and wondered who the person was — wondered if they found what they were looking for. The blogger, along with other autism bloggers, wanted to create a site that contained “support, […]

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