Math-U-See and out of the Box

Here is an out of the box way my son uses his blocks to finish math. He came up with this himself. 

In my Head

Being a Trail Blazer BITES!

It is a day like this that I just want to wash my hands of the whole homeschool community. They don’t get our family. They don’t get my son. They don’t get ANYTHING about us!!!!!!! AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH.

What brings on this tantrum? My local homeschool publication came in the mail today. It is the one where the speakers for the annual conference are introduced and topics presented. As I hopefully look through the listings I become dejected. It is the same old stuff and nothing that helps me with a kid with disabilities. There is nothing on how to actually teach a subject. These workshops are mainly curriculum ideas. I get that we are autonomous by nature but it would be nice to have a bit of instruction for myself. I would like more instruction because, as I have stated in the past, complete curriculums do not work for us. They don’t take into account the kinetic nature of many kids with disabilities. And as I have stated in the past I have acquired a hodgepodge of material that addresses those very needs.

Perhaps it is time to be vocal about my needs because they can’t just be my needs but other’s as well. There needs to be a voice. If it is not my voice for my son then who’s? In my homeschool co-op I have been a voice for those kids who need extra help. I am making slow progress but at least there is progress.

Be that voice that you need. Be that advocate for your kids. Be the one that shakes up your homeschool community and to make it better in the process. Heck start your own blog, write articles, and spread the word. Perhaps we will find together that we are not in such a small minority after all.

May God give you patience and grace. Keep on trail blazing!


Science Summers

Let’s face it there is a boat load of things we have to get done in the school year and many things go by the wayside. That is why this year we are trying something new. SCIENCE SUMMER! Even though I love science (BS in Health Science, baby) it is just one of those subjects that get put on the back burner many of the times. Okay, I will be honest, a lot of the time. That is why this winter I thought to just do away with science in the classroom and start up in the summer. This summer we will be raising our own butterflies, tracking the weather with our own weather station, and learning to classify animals (Zoo Trip!). This is my plan on June 1st. We will see if the plan sticks. Wish me luck!

May God give you patience and grace. Keep trail blazing! 



Reading: When to Stay and When to Go

As I teach my son to read I have noticed his speech delay holding him back from going on to the next lesson. In our case it is the next page of our phonics book. We would spend up to two weeks on a single lesson because I wanted him to pronounce the words perfectly. I was doing this thinking that it would help with his speech. The only thing I got at home was a frustrated reader and self defeat in my little guy because he could not say the word.

Then I had another “well duh,” moment. Of course he is not going to read perfectly because of his speech delay. So I decided that if he got the majority of the page read then we will go on. As we went faster with the reading lessons he became more confident and started to like reading. A current example of this is the following. We are learning ch and tch. Because of they way his mind works he adds a g to words with m at the beginning. Much is mugch and match is magtch. I correct him and work on saying the word correctly but this isn’t going to stop us from going on to the next page of ch/tch words. I can also tell his speech therapist what is happening at home and she can incorporate those problem sounds into his therapy session. My little guy wins! He is happy that he is reading and he is getting the extra help he needs at therapy.

Again it all comes down to knowing your kid and not striving for the homeschool perfection. So if you and your child/children are frustrate with the pace of a subject then kick it up a notch. It just might help them gain confidence to learn. They will probably surprise you in leaps of learning instead of baby steps. My guy is still amazing me with his leaps.

May God give you grace and patience. Keep on trail blazing.

Encouraging Words

Taking it Slow

Wether your kids are typical in development or have a disability one thing is for certain: sometimes you must take learning ssslllooowww. When my son started to learn to read we finally found Phonics Pathways by recommendation of a friend. This book recommended only using it for 10 minutes a day. That was it. Just 10 Minutes! This was outrageous to others. How can anyone learn with only 10 minutes of practice each day. I am glad I did not listen to them. My son thrived on the 10 minutes. It was enough time to do a page in the book and it didn’t overwhelm him. In the beginning we where just doing 1.5 hours of “formal” schooling each day. Now we are doing 3 hours of schooling! It isn’t 3 hours straight but with 5, 10, or 15 minute breaks. He is doing well and is excited (most days) to learn. I am so glad I didn’t push him in the beginning and let our days increase over time. My son grasps a subject slowly but when he does it is a leap in learning.

We still are not doing all subjects. History is sporadic and usually involves holidays. We are working on the 3 Rs and adding art into our day. Note: I am an artistic person so art is natural for me. Add a subject that comes natural to you. Your kiddo will learn easier if you are not frustrated.

Be encouraged that you are on the right track, even if it is a slow track. Slow and steady wins the race.

God’s grace and patience be with you. Keep on Trail Blazing!