Encouraging Words, Uncategorized

Clarkson Book Launch

Have you heard? Clay and Sally Clarkson are coming out with a new book! The Lifegiving Parent is set to be in stores in May. This time I was able to join the launch team FB page and we have some great quotes to wet your appetite.

Reading, Uncategorized

I Hate Teaching Reading!!!

This is a rant by the mom trying to teach reading and she has had enough of it today. This is written in the moment. This is also for all those moms trying to do what I am trying to do. You are not alone. I know the tears you have shed. I know the feeling when you have had to apologize for your attitude. I know and, more importantly, God knows. On to my rant.

Trying to learn to read English is tough enough without being a kid who is completely wired differently trying to navigate all the rules. We have been cruising along nicely until we had to jump up a level. Every time we need to do this it is as if all the work we JUST learned goes out the door. The font is different, the pages are longer, and the eyes keep trying to scan for familiar words at the expense of focusing on the word that is supposed to be read. Even sight words are now sounded out. Right now I have quit for the day and am waiting for Dad to come home from work to finish the small, ten page, with pictures chapter. (By the way Mary Pope Osborne I really do love your books and they have been a lifesaver in our reading adventures.)

Part of my frustration is that no one in my world really knows what it is like to teach a child with a disability to read. I get all sorts of well meaning comments on what program I should use or how I should go about it. Yet no one is willing to spend a day trying to get this kid to do his reading on a level that is actually challenging.

Can you tell I am at my breaking point? Coffee and chocolate is the thing that is going to fix this attitude at the moment. That and some instrumental music.

Mentalfloss.com has some fun videos about why English is so HARD. Go check them out. I basically blame all the academics for the atrocity that English is today. I would love a reboot of the language.





Not “If” but “When” Those Holiday Melt Downs will Come

Ah yes the holiday melt down or melt downs. To be truthful it should be in the plural form. You have to deal with one in each of the stores you visit. You get to deal with one as soon as your child is about to sit on Santa’s lap (even though it was their idea to stand in line and promised this year would be different). You smuggle in the mail and secretly dispose of the toy catalog just so it will not be a source of conversation for the next 6 months. You are so blessed with several melt downs on Thanksgiving and even more on Christmas. Social media is not helping with all those cute, cherub faces enjoying the season as it was meant to be (not to mention said cherubs are actually sitting still for a photograph). You don’t post pictures of what is happening in your house. Actually you think you probably shouldn’t post those pictures. You don’t know what government agency might be watching your profile. Another reason is that you may want to refuse the pity “likes” and the “so sorry” replies. Holidays feel more like going to WAR! Your family still doesn’t understand what you have to go through just to prep that little “angel” to behave at grandma’s house. The weeks of practice that you have to orchestrate leading up to the family holiday meal are exhausting. Honestly Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood songs are becoming more and more an awesome tool to use with your 11 year old. You still pack a bag of favorite things and extra clothes even though the baby stage is long gone but you keep it in the car. You never know this may be the year when things go as planned (here’s hoping). You have candy already unwrapped in your purse to dole out just so you can sit through one Candle Light service without people turning to look at that family making all the noise at such a hallowed event. Silence is golden and no one knows that more than you.

Yet between those melt downs are magical moments. That moment when your child who will not eat anything white does not throw a fit when served whipping cream on the pumpkin pie AND eats the whipping cream on the pumpkin pie!  That moment when your child who has an aversion to hugs climbs into your lap just to watch the Christmas tree lights. That moment when they actually did the Thanksgiving or Christmas craft at school AND it makes it home in one piece AND they give permission to have it hanging on the fridge or the tree. That moment when they stop and just watch the snow fall. The moment when your child, who covers their ears every Sunday because the singing is too loud, sings a Christmas carol with all the fervor of the season. Those moments are precious to any mom or dad but for you they truly are rainbows after storms.

I pray for all of you that you will experience rainbows. I hope you will look for those rainbows and just stop to enjoy.



Music Appreciation

Wait! Hold on come back to this one. It isn’t what you are probably expecting. I know. I see blog posts like these and they give a long list of resources and how to implement this with crafts and activities and writing assignments, and math problems, and the science of music. And catch my breath…….. When did homeschooling become so complicated? But that is another post.

I got it. You are feeling overwhelmed by homeschooling your kiddo with a disability. The basics are hard enough. And to try to add another thing! No way! Not going to happen. But you can still add in a music appreciation class via youtube. That is correct youtube videos are our music appreciation class. At first I only showed videos of orchestras playing classical music. Now I have expanded our repertoire. Currently Lindsey Sterling is our favorite. She is a violinist that does amazing work. Love her! My daughter’s ballet teacher brought her into the light for us. Those of you who are America’s Got Talent fans will recognize her. I do not watch the show so I have been in the dark!

Back to the music. As I was saying we have enjoyed her music videos. They are kid friendly (mostly) with an element of fantasy in them. My son may not be able to tell you what a scale, treble or base clef, or tempo are. He will learn how beautiful music sounds. How it stirs emotions and can tell a story. My son can sit through a concert without asking for the iphone because he enjoys music (he does bring with him a small toy or something to manipulate in his hands because he needs that stimulus to be able to sit).

So relax. Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and put aside some time for music appreciation class. Here are a few videos to get you started.

May God give you patience and grace. Keep on Trail Blazing!


Must See Video on People First Language

As a parent with a child or children with disabilities we have all been there. That moment when our precious child is labeled. Everything inside you SCREAMS, “That is not who they are!” Would you like to educate your family, friends, and what the heck the World? Here is a great video on People First Language that was produced by students with disabilities. I dare you not to cry. I did.