Showing posts from January, 2012

Why I Want to be Homeschooled by Caroline Trotter

Caroline was home sick last Friday.  Ever since she has been begging me to homeschool her.  As a way to defer these irritating pleas, I told her to write me an essay detailing why she wanted to be homeschooled. I told her it was due by the end of the week and that we were not to speak about it again until then. She gave it to Paul and I last night.  I asked her if I could share it with you all because I think it offers an honest look at a traditional school environment from a 4th graders perspective.  It does not compel me to homeschool her at this point, but it does give me insight into the type of education she craves and makes me ask myself if I could provide that for her someday.

I think I should be homeschooled for many reasons, but I'm going to limit it to only four.

If you homeschool me, I wouldn't be late to school everyday.  We wouldn't need to rush to school, giving me three pieces of cereal for breakfast.  I could actually take my time, eat a healthy breakfast an…

Get on Twitter, People!

Unless you are a teenage girl, Twitter is not the mindless social media wasteland that many have come to believe.  As a 37 year-old wife and mother of two, you might not think I'd be a big fan of consolidating my random thoughts into 140 characters and sharing them with the world multiple times a day...and you'd be right. Because that is not why I use Twitter. I use it to listen, not to be heard.  

Everyone is passionate about something.  Whether it is photography, cooking, finance, cancer awareness, global politics, travel, tech, writing, baseball, film, music, or design, you can create a whole feed of information dedicated to that area.  I am on Twitter to learn from people who are passionate about educating special needs children in a way that has never been done before.

I am a Twitter novice.  I've only been on there since November.  But in that time, I have found some amazing people all over the world that are homeschooling special needs children with tremendous succ…

iPad App Review of Shake-A-Phrase

As many of you know, I am in love with using the iPad with Jackson. We have found so many brilliant apps that have worked seamlessly with our homeschooling programs.  I typically use the iPad to reinforce concepts because a big part of Jackson's learning style is massive repetition!  He simply needs time to go over and over and over and over a single bit of information to absorb and process it successfully.

That is why I was thrown a bit the app Shake-A-Phrase.  I was searching for good language arts apps that did more than ABC's, phonics and early reading.  Jackson is a good reader but lacks chunks of basic language arts understanding, which makes his comprehension terrible.  I was introduced to Shake-A-Phrase and was immediately intrigued by the iTunes description:

Shake-a-Phrase is a fun language app that teaches vocabulary and parts of speech for ages 8+.

The addictive language fun in Shake-a-Phrase will encourage children to:
• Read the silly, entertaining sentences
• Discove…

Public School PTSD

Oh My Gosh!!!!  I usually spend hours thinking about and writing my blogs but I had to get this down ASAP, so forgive the brevity and poor composition!

I just got back from Glasgow Middle School (J's new home-base school) to sign a form giving them consent to do an OT evaluation on Jackson.  Even though he is homeschooled, J still has access to any services that are in his current IEP and/or any services that are recommended by a teacher.  Before leaving the autism program in October at Poe Middle School, he was referred for OT because his handwriting was poor...not because he has massive sensory issue...which is a whole other blog...

Anyway, so I brought J with me for what was supposed to be a quick trip in and out.  The minute he set foot into that building he lost his mind.  It was like watching Jekyll turn into Hyde right before my eyes as he passed through the doors.  You could see all his senses spike and his anxiety soar!  He whipped his head around like a caged animal and…

Making 2012 as Awesome as 2011

Out of the 365 days of 2011, 330 of them were awesome!  Let's be honest, October was terrible. We watched Jackson regress academically and behaviorally in a way that was heartbreaking to everyone who cared about him. But, if we could erase that whole month, except for Paul's amazing Halloween Extravaganza, 2011 was our best year as a family ever!

We are committed to making 2012 as awesome!  Paul and I thought up some cool stuff to do this year as a family and I have also brainstormed some ideas for J's homeschooling that I am excited about.  So in the spirit of sharing, I wanted write down some thoughts that might seem a bit unconventional, but I think the best way to teach Jackson is to throw out the special education rule book and let him lead me into 2012! 
1.  New Understanding:
The first thing I asked myself was, "What does Jackson like?" The answer to that was simple - to make people laugh.  So then I asked myself, "Why does he thrive on that?" O…