Friday, April 22, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal - Week 6

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…

We have had an emotional week.  Living with kids on the Autism Spectrum is hard.  And living with multiple children this way is mind boggling.  Ours are highly distractable, hyperactive, cannot control their impulses, or their speech, and have severe OCDS...and not the kind that Monk has., because trust me if they did it would help with the stress of keeping our house just the slightest bit hygenic!  On top of all these issues (and the list seems short...but trust me there's lots of headaches involved), our oldest has began having manic episodes similar to bi-polar disorder.  They are getting more frequent and old ways of controlling behaviors is not working anymore.  This week we had to add two meds to try and control these episodes because he was swinging back and forth emotionally like a kid trying to swing to the sky on their swingset!!!  This is rough on everyone in the house.  It has been an emotionally, mentally, spiritually and a physically draining week. 

Some things I am grateful for:
  • That my hubby is able to work from home and help me out with all of this daily struggle. 
  • Joey's manic episodes haven't reached a hospitalization level.  Praying for continued control through meds.
  • A very understanding set of coaches with his soccer and equestrian team.  I don't how he would be able to do any sports without Special Olympics.  The encouragement is unreal!!!
  • That I have the ability to pray for strength each day, because the struggle each day is overwhelming. 
  • That all of our children are physically healthy right now.  Emotional issues are severe enough.
  • To get to know each one of our children...they are all very special.
  • Gluten - free pretzels!!!!:)

In our homeschool this week…

I feel very inadequate as a teacher.  We finished our Amanda Bennett unit on Soccer...and I highly recommend this unit study.  She has some great links for the kids to watch on soccer plays and interesting historical facts.  The boys got a little bored with the soccer player info...but that's not a big deal.  It just wasn't of interest to them, so we went through that section quickly.  But let me say when we started soccer earlier tonight, Brayden and Joey did an awesome job dribbling that ball up and down the field.  They made their shots almost everytime.  I think the soccer skill videos and the DVD we got from the library really helped them alot. 

We talked about Earth Day all week and how we could make changes in our lifestyle.  We committed to recycling all that we can and purchasing items that are made of recycled products.  For example, Lydia and I found garbage bags made of 65% recycled plastic.  We also are working on replacing our cleaning products with more Earth friendly products.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  I am a bit addicted to my antibacterial cleaning products, so if anyone has any suggestions I would apprecate it.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This week was busy, busy!!  We had Geography Fair on Monday and Med Checks for the boys.  We had vet appointments for both our newly adopted cats and we had one declawed.  Lydia and I volunteered at the Humane Society again.  Joey started horseriding, Lydia and Caty also.  The boys started Soccer with the Special Olympics.  It's our 3rd year!!  We are planning more busy next week also!!

My favorite thing this week was…

I think watching all the kids during their riding lessons. Oh and Caty's face when we showed her the Barbie bike was so cute!!

What’s working/not working for us…

Brayden trying to "forget" his work.  It is my fault we kind of got out of using our workboxes on a regular basis.  I will be enforcing this in the next few days.  I already told the boys that they will be responsible for finishing these each day or privileges would be lost.  But they would gain activities if they finished without argument.  The second half is a long way off:)

What is working is breaking apart unit studies a little longer than suggested.  The Amanda Bennett Simply Soccer is set for 5 days.  We worked on it for about 11 days.  But I have to keep lesson short.  We also broke the 5 day lapbook from Hands of a Child on Rainforests down to 10 days.  The last day I sat down with each child and asked them questions about what they learned and we filled in the remaining mini-books in the lapbook together.  It kind of served as a test for them.  It worked out well, and I will continue this practice.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…

Will the worry that I am not doing enough ever end?  It's been 3 years for this adventure.  First it was Joey out of necessity, then Brayden out of fear they were harming my child and Lydia was by choice.  Caty will follow soon.  I don't want to push them too hard for shut down, but it is hard to draw a line between what I know they need to learn and what they can learn.  It's very hard too because Lydia is considered a typical student, and of course her curriculum is different.  I don't want to present information too broken down for her.  How many out there create their own curriculum?  That is what I am doing right now.  Is it because of special needs?  If you do not, do you know of a good curriculum that works well for both special needs and "typical" children.  This is what we have planned for next year:

History: Story of the World Book 1--with History Pockets and experiements
Science: Real Science 4 kids after we finish the Habitat Series
Math:  Joey and Brayden Teaching Textbooks.  Lydia, not sure yet
Spanish: (we are going to continue this we just started)
Language Arts:  Boys Five in a Row and Girls Before Five in a Row
Grammar:  Boys:  Switched on Schoolhouse
Phonics:  Lydia--hopefully she will be in A beka Grade 1 by then.
Spelling:  All About Spelling
Health:  Will be alot of life skills, and we'll do an annual study of the body. 

I supplement alot though when things aren't understood.  We homeschool year round, so we will be finishing some curriculum and starting new over the next month transition.  We mark our school year as June 1 - May 31.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Caty was trying to ride her tricycle and kept tipping herself.  So we found the 12 inch Barbie bike for her and got it for her yesterday.  She was so surprised.  She'll outgrow it in a year...without a doubt.  But she was loving it last night.  Our other daughter had a harder time riding tricycles also.  She took off on a two wheeler.  Caty loves the brakes last night!!!


  1. I'm sorry you had a stressful week :( Praying for you!

  2. You have so many challenges! I hope that you can rest this week- end and find Joy and strength in the season!

  3. I am thankful I can pray for strength, too.

  4. I am praying for a "calmed down" week for you. I know what it's like to live in that emotional chaos, and I only have one with special needs. Hang in there!

  5. I'm sorry things have been so tough for you lately. I feel like my mind is going in 20 million directions dealing with my children and their spiritual, academic, physical, emotional needs. I can only imagine the ups and downs you experience. I hope you have a more restful week! Cute pictures of your daughter on the bike :) Thank you for linking up to NOBH!