Chaos

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.


 

A Break in the Chaos

by Caroline February 20, 2013
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Wow. I can’t believe it’s been over two months since I blogged anything. Actually, scratch that. Yes, I can. Here’s what all has happened: The girls went to Seattle to visit family after Christmas. Decoder Man and I started going through our house to get it ready to sell. You might remember that in early […]

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Life, Interrupted: An Announcement

by Caroline December 28, 2012
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Well, it’s been a looooong time since I’ve posted anything. Sometimes life just gets so crazy, especially around the holidays. For our family, the holiday chaos starts with our involvement in our church’s annual Living Christmas Tree. It’s a huge production, and as a member of the executive production team, I practically live at church from mid-November through […]

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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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Not Sure I Can Survive Homeschooling

by Caroline September 5, 2012
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Last time I walked you through what a typical day of our virtual homeschooling looks like. It’s been crazy, but on the whole, we’ve been doing OK. I’m not OK today. I don’t know what it is, but I’m halfway to either freaking out or shutting down right now. M-bug had her first day of educational […]

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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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I’ll Never Run Out of Milk Again

by Caroline May 28, 2012
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I hate going to the grocery store. Actually, that’s not quite true. I enjoy grocery shopping early on a week-day morning, when the air is cool and the store aisles aren’t packed with crazy people. But I’m not always able to go during the week, and I refuse to go anytime after 4pm. It’s been […]

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Science Fair

by Caroline May 25, 2012
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This year, for fourth quarter science, the girls both had to do a science fair project. They had lessons that taught them all about the scientific method and how to conduct experiments. Now, when I first heard about the science fair, I was a bit dismayed. You see, when I was a kid, I did […]

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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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Guest Post for Team Extreme!

by Caroline May 1, 2012
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I am so excited to be today’s featured guest blogger at Adventures in Extreme Parenthood! Now I’m officially a member of Team Extreme. My guest post is all about the months-long process to teach M-bug to swallow a pill. Click on the link and go check it out!    

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ADHD Makes for a Crazy Morning

by Caroline April 18, 2012
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School mornings can be difficult at the best of times. Even if you have a child who is fairly easy to wake up, like M-bug, every morning has the possibility to turn into a rushed, harried free-for-all. Both from research I’ve done and my own experiences with my girls, I’ve learned that school mornings (any […]

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