Thursday, September 11, 2014

Life Disrupted - We're Homeschooling

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who walked to the beat of his own inner drummer. The little boy had an autism spectrum disorder called Asperger's. Sadly the local public school could not hear or just refused to help him on his walk through life. Life at a traditional brick and mortar school became a daily struggle and disappointment for both the little boy and his parents. By the end of last year it was a struggle to keep him motivated, productive and safe at traditional school, and so it was time for a change.

Fast forward to the beginning of this school year..... While my hubby was nervous with traditional homeschooling, he did agree to an online program where I took the lead. Was I nervous? Yes! My whole "class" new how to push my buttons. I knew how my student's behavior could escalate. What *if* I bit off more then I could handle!?! What if I failed him like the brick and mortar school!?!

From the first day, I am not going to lie, there have been stressful, trying moments. Some days we get done just fine, others it is like a never ending "could you please focus" so we can finish loop. I am so not MacGyver and some of these science lessons.... well, umm, wow! Yes, we did build a humidity tester out of household items (and it took almost 2 hours!) And while I am exhausted, I see him learning! I can also see his love for learning returning. He is finding his self esteem and confidence again. These were all things the brick and mortar school had stripped from him.

Humidity tester for science class
It makes me smile to see that he is growing in just a short time. But to be honest with you all, life has been disrupted. There is so much schooling to do with him on top of the regular chores of critter and home care. Not to mention his little brother who just wants to cuddle with mommy and watch Mickey Mouse. The rhythm of life is off. The dog is staring at me wondering where breakfast is. The chickens give me an earful when I am late letting them out of the coop. There are nights when I don't get to bed till midnight trying to get everything done. There are dirty dishes in my sink and my god, do my floors need to be vacuumed!

That being said, I am positive we made the right choice to homeschool him. I am sure with a little more time under our belts, we will get a new flow going. And maybe, just maybe I will be able to accomplish all of my daily "to dos" before 10pm. A girl can dream, right? But for now, our lives are in a jumble trying to fit everything in. Homeschooling of any nature, if done right, is not for the weak. It is a commitment to your child that has great responsibility but also amazing rewards. Here is to a new way of life and the many rewards to come!

The board of learning is beginning to fill!!



23 comments:

  1. Your son will always feel special because you took the time and energy to teach him not because of his Asperger's. Thank you for being such a great Mother and remember your children will always remember their time with you but they will not remember whether the floors need cleaning or the dishes in the sink. God bless you and your family!

    Julia

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    1. Thanks you (but if I don't vacuum soon, we may start loosing children in the clutter! LOL)

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    2. Well, look at it this way, that would be the answer to part of your problem I guess if the dust sucks the little one up! Always look for the silver lining. You're doing an awesome thing Mindie and I really admire you.

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  2. That's just sad you're school won't offer him services. I used to be a spec ed asst. and worked with all kinds of kids. You get to know them, what works, what won't and tailor things to fit. Too bad your school won't help....

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    1. Nancy, I tried to work with them for 2 years and while by law, they owe him an education.... it isn't a fight I want to be part of any more. Some folks say I let them off the hook, but I prefer to see it as putting my son's needs emotionally ahead of right and wrong. Which is sad we had to do it but he will be better for it.

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  3. Best of luck to you on your homeschooling journey. I homeschooled my kids for 3 years. We had great days, we had horrible days & we had all kinds of days in between. Through all the variety, homeschooling is something we all will remember & treasure.

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    1. I doubt either of us will ever forget it! LOL It has been an interesting first two weeks!

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  4. I here you, I'm not a fan of bureaucracies either....

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    1. And that is why folks need to take life in their own hands :)

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  5. Whew!!! I am a retired teacher and while I loved my job, I sure never wanted to do it with my own kids;-) Just kidding. I think homeschooling is like anything new, it is difficult at first but you will find a rhythm to your day. I'm amazed that your school isn't more receptive to your needs, however. I've heard there are schools like that. You are going to love this experience and cherish it always. My one suggestion is that you find a social outlet for your son. Children with Aspergers do need to develop strategies to deal with change and scripts for social interactions. Good luck and have a wonderful time.

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    1. Kathi he is involved in 3 different 4H clubs (and wanting to join a fourth!) I think he is covered LOL He loves being social and has really come far in that area thanks to activities we do like 4H and zoo camps

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  6. Proud of your devotion to the country kids.

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  7. Found you on Simple Saturdays. We started homeschooling our Aspie 8 years ago and haven't looked back since. It was by far the best thing we've ever done as a family. Keep in mind that what's important is that your son feels loved, safe and valued for his contributions to this world. So glad you are taking the journey. If I can be of help, please let me know. Continued blessings...

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    1. Awww thank you. Tell me it gets easier! LOL This has been a very trying few weeks. But it is all worth it as I already see him blossoming.

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  8. I'm all for homeschooling...pulled my daughter from traditional school for her last 5 years of school. Looking back, wish I'd done it sooner.

    Thanks so much for linking up at Teach Me Tuesday last week! You are very much appreciated! Hope to see you again this week. Starts tonight at 8pm CST.

    Have a great week!!

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    1. It was the right choice for us but wow does it take a lot out of the person doing it!

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  9. Homeschooling has stretched me more as a mom and person than anything else I have ever done. BUT, it's also the most fulfilling thing I've ever done. You're gonna love it. Thanks for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday; hope to see you again this week.

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    1. I do love it.... but boy I need a vacation LOL

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  10. Hi Mindie. I applaud your decision to homeschool. You are right... it is not for the faint of heart. The rewards, however, far outweigh the struggles. Even if you find that it is just for a season, your son will benefit and you will grow as well. We've been homeschooling for 7 years and I agree with another commenter...it's the most fulfilling thing I've done...and the most challenging. Thanks for sharing at my Creative Ways Link Party! Hope to see you again this week!
    Blessings,
    Nici

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  11. Mindie, I homeschooled our 3 for 22 years, K-12. It is the best decision we ever made. Honestly, there WILL be days when you want to sell your children to the highest bidder...heck, ANY bidder. ;) But that's normal, it's tough but worth it. Might I suggest all year schooling for your situation. That way you don't feel pressured to finish in a typical 9 month school period, and once you find your stride/schedule you won' have to disrupt it with a 3 month break. Just take off necessary day for holidays, vacations, farm necessities, etc. God bless you on this wonderful journey.

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    1. Are you bidding? LOL We are starting to find a good flow. And while there are days that still make me want to pull my hair out. I know in my heart, we made the right choice :)

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