Friday, July 5, 2013

Peering Through Doors

I am feeling like I'm at the beginning of several new things this week. I think they are going to be great things, but it is just too soon to know for sure. You know how it is when you are peeking through a door and can only see a tiny portion of a room? It might look amazing from your vantage point, but then you open the door wide and are sorely disappointed.  So, this week I am cautiously optimistic that we are finding some great new resources.

Goldilocks attended two sessions of math tutoring with her new tutor this week. I really think this may be an amazing opportunity for my girl. So far, she is working on factors (not that we haven't worked on this for years), but she is eager to learn and perform well for her tutor at the moment. As her tutor said, "I am a novelty right now."  She and I wonder how long that will last. She also said Goldilocks was making so many mistakes, because she was guessing at her work since she was suffering from "know it all syndrome" (my words). She suffers from this syndrome in all walks of her life! Her tutor didn't see any severe learning challenges that would get in the way of her learning. I love to hear this from a special education math teacher!! Basically, my girl has a huge chip on her shoulder (no surprise there) and doesn't want to be bothered with working hard.

We also attended the summer picnic of a special needs support group this week. Being a newcomer, it was a little hard to break into the tight circles of conversation. However, the monthly meeting is usually a topic presentation, Q&A, and social time for the parents. The kids break off with child care providers and do lots of fun activities. There were lots of kids and parents at the meeting. My first peek into this group looks like it will be a good thing, but time will tell!

Timothy is having many medical tests over the next few weeks to try and figure out what is going on with his energy level, general feeling of illness, and overwhelming stress level. We are assessing him from many different directions and pray that we find an answer soon. I am hoping this year is a turning point in his mood and overall sense of well being.

I am sifting through all of our options for next year. There are so many things to do and only so many hours in a day. This is my plan right now.

Goldilocks (12 years)
  • Math tutoring 1 to 2 times a week
  • Special needs gymnastics
  • Reading/writing tutoring once a week
  • Neurofeedback one hour a week
I am considering "Girls on the Run," which is a nationwide program and consists of a 12 week course in running and character training for girls 8 to 13 years old. I am also waiting to find out about a co-op that may provide more academics for her one day a week. I'm looking at free computer learning for her, since we both agree that I will not be teaching her next year (and I found out that she is cheating on Time4Learning). I'll be keeping her home, but I'm done dealing with her sassy, angry, know-it-all attitude. I can only present her with learning opportunities, but if she refuses to learn from them ~ not my problem! I know that may seem wrong to some, but she needs to take responsibility for her actions. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. I am also looking for an attachment therapist to help guide her/us through puberty.

Tom Sawyer (11 years)
  • Continue taking the all boys dance and theater class
  • Physical therapy
  • Special needs gymnastics
  • Neurofeedback one hour a week
I am looking for a robotics class for Tom Sawyer. If I can't find anything, we will buy some small robotics kits. I want to be sure to honor this interest about which he has been asking to learn for some time now. 

Little Red Riding Hood (9 years)
  • Begin classes with the Tween Company at the dance studio. Because of her dedication to dance, she was invited to join this group that involves between 5 to 7 hours of commitment each week (not including practice). This encompasses classes in ballet, modern, and mini workshops in other forms of dance.
  • Special needs gymnastics (She does not need this class but is allowed to take it since her siblings have special needs.)
I am considering having a physical therapy evaluation done on her. I think her foot is still turning in too much and her balance is still a bit unstable. Since her first dance classes years ago, she has said she plans to make a career out of dance. I want to make sure her body can support her desire. I'll see what the dance studio thinks when classes resume.

Tim (23 years) 

Our adult special needs son
  • Brain Injury Day Program ~ three to four days a week 
  • Volunteer at the nature center one day a week
  • Fencing ~one class a week
  • Neurofeedback one hour a week
He plans to leave the traumatic brain injury program at our community college this summer. It just is not a good fit for him right now. We are hopeful that the brain injury day program will be the fit he needs right now. He looks forward to going, which is a vast improvement over the college program. This new program also sat down with us and made a great set of goals for him to work on over the next few months.

Here are some pictures of our very wet July 4th. We had another family over for dinner and enjoyed putting off our own fireworks display between the downpours of rain. We have had 5 inches of rain in the last 3 days and are 20 inches ahead for the year. Where are you, Sun!?

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Homegrown Learners

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Dawn - we are right there with you on the's sad, my garden is no more due to too much rain 8( I love the 4th pictures! Enjoy your week.

  2. I love your pretzel flag! That is cool!...As I was looking at your list for the kids, I noticed robotics was on it. Firecracker is only eight, but we used the Amanda Bennett Rocking Robots unit study. It's a good basic introduction to robots, and might give you some avenues of interest for exploration. It's something that Firecracker is wanting to spend even more in depth time with, but he has a new Ninja interest that is taking up most of his time right now.

  3. This is the first week that we haven't had rain since the beginning of May. We were in a severe drought last year and that's all taken care of now, which is wonderful news. I pray that you will get some relief soon! The plans for next year look wonderful. I love the variety of activities for the kids!

  4. I like your title metaphor :-)
    The special needs support group looks promising. I'm looking forward to seeing how your plans unfold as the year progresses. Lucinda

  5. You have a lot going on, Dawn! The math tutor sounds promising, and I hope that you find a good solution for Goldilocks for next year. I completely understand your feelings about not teaching her. I'll pray that you find the right attachment therapist. I'm so glad that you found that support group, and I hope that it works out. It sounds like it's structured well. I'll also pray that you get some answers from Timothy's tests. I love your July 4th pictures. We actually got a little break in the rain yesterday. They're calling for it again all next week, though!

  6. Seems to be crazy rain so many places, here too. Looks like some great planning for next year! You should try out All in One Homeschool. Not sure it will be a fit for her but you never know. Keilee likes it NOW, but in a month... :) Happy weekend Dawn!

  7. We're thinking along the lines of a maths tutor for my eldest twin, who struggles so much with numbers. I'll probably give it another year and review. I'm so glad it seems to be working for your daughter.
    Looks like you've got it all sorted for next year!

  8. Wow! Busy, busy with all those activities! We've been getting a lot of rain too. :sigh: We're soggy! But the sun was out today and it was SO HUMID. Ugh!

  9. Sometimes having a tutor for a student is not so much about what the tutor does, as it is having someone that is not Mom to be the teacher. They will work harder for someone else. I am so amazed and impressed by all the special needs resources you have found for your kids.

  10. Thanks for joining us at Friendship Friday! I appreciate your support and hope you'll become a regular! It looks like we have quite a bit in common! I hope and pray that your cautious optimism about new and exciting things possibly happening becomes a successful reality! Glad to hear that Goldilocks is doing okay and that everyone has a plan!