6 Month Anniversary!!

Today marks the 6 month anniversary of Jackson's homeschooling adventure!  We began on Friday, October 27th, 2011.  It didn't hit me until I was reviewing his math work from this morning, saw the date, and then realized how advanced his work has become in such a short period of time.  When we first began homeschooling, he could not add or subtract double digits, did not know all his multiplication facts and forget about division or fractions.  He was just telling time, counting money and doing basic computation. But this morning, he was doing all kinds of complicated math, with zero help.  I wasn't even in the room!  Not only has his skill level increased, but his independence and confidence has skyrocketed as well.

Morning Math Work from 10-27 and 4-27... 2 grade levels difference

Here are some other updates on how far he has come in just 6 months:

Getting Ready

Then:  I would have to help him shower, get dressed, brush his teeth, put on his deodorant.  We had a list and followed it faithfully so he understood good personal grooming habits.

Now:  At 8:45 on the dot, he disappears down the hall, does all of the above by himself, reappears at 9:00 totally clean and ready for yoga!  Unbelievable change from 6 months ago - life changing for the both of us.


Then:  Very slow and deliberate movements that he could follow easily so he would not lose focus or get too silly.  http://homeschoolingautism.blogspot.com/2011/12/yoga-autism-natural-calm.html

Now:  He leads our practice every morning for 20 full minutes and we add new things weekly - this week was a headstand! We also go to an hour long class at a studio in Alexandria with other homeschooled teenagers with special needs.

Morning Work

Then:  Handwriting sheet, simple math and language arts sheet, outloud reading of Lyle or Big Nate (picture book and comic book level) at the dining room table http://homeschoolingautism.blogspot.com/2011/11/daily-schedule.html

Now:  10 minute Bible reading & devotional time with prayer followed by 20 minutes of outloud chapter book reading (Fantastic Mr. Fox and Frindle recently) - all on the comfy couch instead of at the table.

Shopping / CBI

Then:  We ran errands or visited local attractions every morning, but he needed his iPod to help him stay focused and calm while we were out and about.  http://homeschoolingautism.blogspot.com/2011/11/freedom-from-four-white-walls.html

Now:  At 10:00, he jumps in the car, iPod free and raring to go out and see his friends around town...Yasouke and Marcus at Trader Joes, Saba at Harris Teeter and the gang at Starbucks are always psyched to see him!

Language Arts

Then:  Basic, basic, basic reading and writing.  He was relatively combative regarding his work and struggled in so many areas.  It was clear that he hated all things language arts and we muddled through most of our lessons.  There were some big breakthrough along the way, which helped keeps us both encouraged.  http://homeschoolingautism.blogspot.com/2011/12/unexpected-reading-breakthroughs.html

Now:  We begin each language arts block working on reading stamina in the form of audio books...this has been a great way to help him transition into harder work.  He is currently reading Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone.  Once he is in the reading zone, we move to 3rd grade level comprehension level work which he can now do without much trouble.  His spelling continues to be amazing and he even enjoys his daily handwriting practice.

I am so proud of how far he has come in the last 6 months!  He has overcome a lot of obstacles and challenges that many thought were insurmountable! He exudes self-confidence and genuine happiness that is contagious to all those around him.

I am excited to see what the next 6 months bring and can't wait to watch him grow into the man that God has planned!

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  1. Happy 6 months to both you and Jackson! I love reading your blog and following your progress together. You two make a great team and it sounds like you have awesome community support. What a blessing =)

  2. FANTASTIC!! I am just so proud to know you and to be able to direct people I know to your blog for ideas. Thank you so much for this very real life example of parenting. Jackson and Caroline have a really great mom and Jackson's teacher is beyond amazing!!

  3. Can I just say AWESOME :o) This update made me smile! Way to go J! I am so proud of you!!

  4. That almost made me cry! Especially the part about the friends you guys have made on your outings. So exciting!

  5. Wow! So proud of both of you!! J, you can continue to amaze me. Ali, I'm so proud of the mom you have become and the choices you have made! Happy 6 month anniversary!!

  6. I just got out of bed from taking a nap with my two boys. I laid down with them bc it had been a tougher day today. My first motivating thought that got me out of bed was...Jackson, I had to see what he was up to today! I find so much encouragement in reading your posts about him! Both my boys are very young, and autistic. You and J have been a blessing to my world the last month or so! Thank you for making this blog! I now have the boys on a fairly solid schedule and I am in teaching my oldest(2yrs)basic communication (ASL, PECS). I look forward to teaching them, and watching them blossom like you see with Jackson!

    1. Wow Jen! That is so encouraging to me:) I remember when J was only 3 and I felt overwhelmed with what lay ahead. I found a lot of comfort in reading books by other moms who had gone through the journey before me (back in 2003, blogs were not as popular). We will add your sweet family to our morning prayer time and I will smile when J speaks your name:)

    2. AWE! Thank you so much! My boys are Baylor and Bently. I have been praying for you guys as well. It was very important to me to find other Christian families to follow. I am so glad to have been led to your blog!

  7. It is lovely to read about your son's progress! I also homeschool my 2 sons with ASD who are 11 and 8 years old. Its been a good few years now and we have never looked back, homeschooling was the best move we ever made. Look forward to reading more about your homeschool journey!


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