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Showing posts from 2013

Rethinking Homeschooling as a Boy Becomes a Man

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Eight grade is a transitional year for many students, Jackson included. So as I entered our 3rd year of homeschooling, I decided to shift my homeschooling focus from my lesson preparation to Jackson's new found wants and needs as a young man.  The majority of homeschooling lesson planning resources that I have encountered seek to ensure that I, as the teacher, am fully equipped with all the materials and tools that I need to present the best content, coupled with the most appropriate educational technique to meet the needs of my child.  And while this has worked wonderfully for Jackson's 6th and 7th grade years, I was feeling a longing for a simpler and more student focused approach.  I felt a lot of stress regarding my readiness and teaching aptitude - meaning that way too much of his success depended on my success as a teacher.  Not a good formula for an effective and peaceful school year!


So as the summer began to wind down, instead of ramping up as the teacher for the sc…

My Most Honest Confession

Their faces say it all. What starts as judgemental stares quickly change to desperate concern as they watch Jackson go from angry and frustrated to full blown wild animal. The flash point is so intense that it scares people and while they move away, I have to charge in to try and rescue him from himself. It is heart breaking to see him suffer and in that moment onlookers can finally see his pain as I do.  I pull him close as he bites me, pulls my hair and scratches my face because he needs love to recover and heal and while it hurts me, it hurts him more to feel so out of control not knowing why his mind fails him when he needs it so desperately. My anger at autism quickly moves to anger at God as I struggle to understand why He doesn't charge in to help Jackson.

Our One Year Homeschooling Experiment Take-Away

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Now that our time as a true homeschool family is coming to a close, I have had more time to reflect on the ups and downs, victories and failures, and lessons learned.  With Caroline going back into public middle school this fall, our homeschool will once again, be just Jackson and me.  And while I love and miss our special one-on-one dynamic, there will be a huge hole in our hearts without her here, because the biggest take away I got from this year, regarding both my kids, is that quantity of time always trumps quality of time with children, especially adolescents.

A great analogy for this truth is the dreaded power outage.  I spent the past two days fretting over losing power during the latest derecho warnings in the D.C. area.  We lose power at the drop of a hat in our neighborhood, as it is filled with large, old trees and overhead power lines.  But as I reflect on the times we have lost power for extended periods (blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes, Oh My!), there is always that …

Teenagers with Autism are Awesome!

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So what have we been up to the past few months?  Not blogging apparently...  The addition of my 5th grade daughter to our homeschool day has made for very little writing time!  And thanks to my husband's Christmas gift of an Ikea chaise lounge for our bedroom, any down time I get, I find myself curled up on there with a cup of tea and a good book...this introverted mama needs some alone time after all:)

As spring desperatly tries to bloom here in Virginia, I find myself watching Jackson grow into a man before my very eyes.  He just turned 14 a few weeks ago and seems older and wiser with each passing day.  He is tall, strong, handsome and charming.  He is funny, gregarious, extroverted and friendly.  He is musical, athletic, comedic, and techy.  He is moody, loud, disruptive and angry.  He loves YouTube, Netflix, Sports Center and The Colbert Report.  He is 14 and acts more "neuro-typical" everyday...for better or worse.  
His academics are still a work in progress, with…