Friday, January 16, 2015

Week 22 ~ Blessings and Trials

Life is filled with blessings and trials. We are faced with each daily. Some blessings and trials are huge and others much smaller. I always try to focus on the blessings, but often get bogged down with the trials. It is the struggle of life ... at least, my life.

Games ~ Games have been a great blessing and gift to our family. The activity of playing games together is one of the things that makes up the culture of our family. I posted an entry about games here. I would love to hear what your favorite games are. Please jump over there and let me know.

This girl of mine loves games -- especially ones that involve money and organizing. In the picture she was pleased as punch that she needed two cars to hold her "family". She wants lots of children and having them in the game was a delight to her.

Out-of-the-home classes...making it all work! ~ I've been working hard on our schedule. I really wanted my days to be spent much more at home than in the past few years. We have been running from one appointment to another for years. All the interruptions in the middle of the day have made staying on track extra difficult. I decided that as long as we were all home by 7 pm for family time, it was worth switching appointments to the evening. Luckily, the medical staff and therapists have been receptive to my plan this time, and we now have all day at home Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. Wednesday we are on a short waiting list for a 4 pm slot for PT. Our Physical Therapist thinks we will make the move to 4 pm in a few weeks. That will make four days at home!!

Thursdays are our homeschool tutorial day with other homeschoolers. Tom Sawyer is continuing writing class and has added a drama class. Little Red Riding Hood started a math class this week. She enjoyed her first class. She was worried that she would be behind ~ silly girl. She was not and the teacher said she was an asset to the class. Tom Sawyer thought that the drama class was a little dull and girl heavy (there was only one other boy). He already has 14 girls to contend with in dance classes. It is only the first class and the teacher felt that more boys would be joining over the next week or two.

The kids will continue dance classes in the afternoons. We will also continue with Lego Club and Culture Club once a month. Our afternoon/evenings are very busy now. However, I think it will be a positive change.

The trial of another school meeting for Goldilocks ~ I attended another school meeting for Goldilocks (14) this week and have one more coming up next week. She is transitioning from day treatment to regular middle school (with an IEP in place). It means a school transfer, bus change and a lot more freedom. The mental health team is expecting her to have a full meltdown and fall on her face within a month. However, the school/day treatment team thinks she is a sweet delight and her main problem is that she was homeschooled for her entire life until this year and needs school experience to be "normal". They take every opportunity to say she has poor social skills, poor coping skills, poor organizational skills, and can't stand noise, cursing, chaos, etc. -- because she was homeschooled. I am sick and tired of their nonsense. I have defended homeschooling a little bit but am not going to struggle endlessly with ignorant people. They spend their time in these meetings contradicting themselves. On the one hand, they talk about how she can't do her multiplication tables, is a poor reader and struggles all day long with the academics. On the other hand, they asked her if she wanted to try out for early college because, as they said, now that she's out of homeschool, "the world is her oyster" and placed her on AB Honor Roll because she is getting A's and B's doing 4th grade work in 8th grade. REALLY! They seem to be completely ignoring that she is diagnosed with a host of mental health conditions and obviously has learning challenges. Since she was a preschooler, she has repeatedly tested with a low IQ.

I can't predict what the next month will bring. She has shocked us for the better part of the last year. Nothing that we think will happen seems to happen or at least not in the way we suspect. Two things are for sure! One ~ she loves school and, whether she admits to it or not, she is relieved that she ran away from home and has a new life. She told everyone that her new life is really good (living with mental health workers and being an only child). Two ~ I know that homeschooling is the best thing for our family and I have no doubts that my kiddos at home are getting a stellar education in comparison to our local public school's offerings (especially considering my children's special needs).

The homeschool front ~ 

We are loving science again. I will be posting about our studies in a separate post soon. We are busy learning/reviewing about atoms, molecules and the effects of heat and water on walls of plant cells. I am so glad we are enjoying science again. There is a lot of other learning going on around here:
  • Independent reading every day
  • Research papers started on an artist of choice
  • Writing papers on Ted Shawn, the father of modern dance
  • The Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler with Veritas worksheets
  • Many grammar worksheets
  • Placement spelling tests for our new spelling curriculum 
  • CNN Student News daily
  • An Elephant in the Garden ~ almost done
  • Teaching Textbooks daily ~ bonus lessons for Tom Sawyer, who wanted to earn extra media time
  • Life of Fred Ice Cream (5 chapters)
  • Geography ~ The Scrambled United States ~ played this game numerous times
  • Music ~ started unit study on Edward MacDowell
  • Homeschool math class for Little Red Riding Hood
  • Homeschool drama and writing classes for Tom Sawyer
Blessings, Dawn


  1. Sorry to hear about yet more criticisms from people who are supposed to be helping! On the other hand, it looks like the other children are doing very well at home and with their learning, so it's good to focus on the positive aspects of each week. :-)

  2. I wish you didn't have to deal with such negative attitudes and inconsistent statements. Little Red Ridinghood and Tom Sawyer are thriving and so well socialized. I'm praying for all of you and for respect from those who can't fathom other methods of education.

  3. This whole situation must be breaking your heart. I'm so sorry and will keep praying for the best possible outcome for all.xx

  4. With all the difficulties you are facing, adding an extra helping of ignorance is a trial indeed. It is clear that your homeschooled children are receiving an excellent education, and a host of additional opportunities, and they are blessed to have such a committed mom. I hope you'll soon receive better support from those in the education system.

  5. I'm just catching up to your posts. I was out of town for a few weeks. I am so sorry that you are encountering such negativity. Sometimes the ridiculousness of people truly amaze me. I will continue to pray for your family; for guidance and encouragement. Homeschooling is a true blessing to so many people.