Behavior

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┬áthe 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.


 

Book Review: Square Peg by L. Todd Rose and Katherine Ellison

by Caroline March 4, 2013
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I recently finished reading Square Peg by L. Todd Rose, a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a man with a first-hand account of what it can be like to grow up with ADHD. Working with Rose is Katherine Ellison, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author with her own experience of having ADHD. […]

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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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Book Review: Movers, Dreamers and Risk-Takers: Unlocking the Power of ADHD by Kevin Roberts

by Caroline July 2, 2012
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As any of you who read my blog know, my husband and both of our girls have ADHD. To me, our household is messy, chaotic, and loud. Things never get put away. Deadlines are usually missed, or at least pushed back. Schedules are rarely adhered to. This makes my life seem completely out of control, […]

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Is Behavior a Matter of Perspective?

by Caroline June 25, 2012
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Right now the girls and I are visiting my family in Colorado (Decoder Man had to stay home), and I’m struck anew with the realization that how you think about or react to things/people in your life all depends on your perspective. Case in point: Both my girls have ADHD. M-bug is more the inattentive […]

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