Why do I homeschool????

Why Do I Homeschool?
Well I saw a few people jumping on this linky and I thought what a great topic, I always love knowing WHY people do things. Especially with homeschooling, everyone has such different reasons. 
Schools are different now then when I went. Cliques are starting in kindergarten. I remember talking to someone I knows daughter who was in kindergarten at the time and she told me who was “cool” and who was a “loser” in school. She was in kindergarten!! When I was that age I was friends with everyone (lol except one girl who cherry bombed me on the tetter totter. But I wasn’t mean to her, I just didn’t care for her). Now a days young kids are being threatened by peers, sexually assulted by adults, and having there self esteem torn down to nothing. Because my son has a speech delay, I feel I would be send him to the wolves so to speak. He is finally building confidence and improving, why would I sent him to an environment where he would be torn down to nothing. 
Another reason I homeschool is because I know as a mother what areas to challenge my son and what areas to take it easy on him and support him. I don’t understand how one teacher can teach a class of 20,30+ students who all have different learning styles, interests, dislikes, etc can learn to their full potiential in a classroom settling. It’s so easy now to get some extra help online as well. It’s not just me that is doing all the teaching. If I think that he is struggling with chemistry for example, I just go online and type in chemistry homework help online. These types of sites are great for giving just that extra bit of information, so I know that my son isn’t missing out on his education.

Now please don’t think I’m bashing teachers. No that’s not it at all, teachers are doing the best they can with what they have to work with. Some are amazing and dedicate their lives to making sure their students have the best education possible. However the system does not reward these teachers who stay late, work through lunch and try to get their kids the best marks and education possible. No those Heroes have the same benefits, pay cheques, bonuses as the teacher who walked in as the buzzer rings for class to start and is out the door before the students are. 
Plus I have seen it with even my sons tutors and therpists, they think because he has trouble talking he must be slow. When it’s actually the opposite , he is extremely bright, he just has trouble expressing it to people. He suprises me daily and this reminds me to keep challenging him. 
Will I home school him right through to grade 12. Oh I don’t know. Right now I go one year at a time, and I take it from there. 

The Berenstain Bear cub who is locked in the basement and fed fish heads…

The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with ChoresOk, well maybe she’s not locked in the basement and fed fish heads, but where as this cub been? Wesley and I were suprised yesterday when reading The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Chores there is a third cub!! Honey was introduced in this book. Well maybe she wasn’t introduced to the whole series in this book, but she just appear and it was the first Wesley and I ever heard of her. I was talking to Wesley tutor, and I told her what we were reading and about this new cub and apparently she is in the chapater books too. She use to read about Honey when she was a kid.
This baffled me LOL. Enough I felt like I should write an entry about it. But I mean, really are most little siblings at birthday parties, and dinnertime, ect. She’s never really anywheres.
LOL anyhow. This was a great book that shows the importance of getting chores done, and what happens if your ignore them. Its always easier to just get them done then come up with ways to avoid them.
Yesterday, Wesley and I drove to my parents for a visit. My parents recently painted there house brown, and Wes has seen it before me. He told his tutor that “Mama and Papa live in a brown house now” So his tutor thought they had moved LOL. We made it there and just got in the house in time to avoid a down pour. Its been raining like mad here. And the lighting shows are amazing.
Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda Storybook and Scrolling ScenesMy parents went to the states last weekend and bought him Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda Storybook and Scrolling Scenes. We’ve been having tons of fun scrolling through the pictures and flipping through the book. The only problem is the scrolls are distracting from the book itself lol. But Wesley loves Kung Fu Panda (Widescreen Edition) the DVD. We even play it in French to make it somewhat educational LOL.
Have a great day!!

Homeschooling a Child with Autism – Day in the Life

Well our homeschooling routine is going well. When the daycare babies leave for the day we sit down and do our “work”. During the time when the babies are napping, I try to do a few lessons here or there to break things up a bit.

So far we are LOVING Math-U-See Primer. We are working on the Primer level. It seems to give lots of practice and as we move on to other concepts they throw what you learned in the past to keep it fresh. We have been working on it for about 2 weeks, and we are starting Lesson 3.

Homeschool Money Saving Tip

I pulled the book apart and put it in a binder so that I could just remove the pages we are working on and put them in a clear sheet protector. We then use dry erase markers, so that way I can save the workbook in case we need to go back and review. Also I can use it for future children which is nice too.

Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read -First Grade is going great. I’m doing that for language with a mix of Little Reader and Reading Eggs. Reading Eggs has become almost an addiction for us. Since Friday he has almost completed a full map. I think part of this to is the fact that he didn’t perform properly on the test. He slipped while taking the placement test and for the sound effect for the incorrect answer more interesting, so he purposely got 3 more questions wrong. But hey a bit of review isn’t bad right?

Hooked on French was dropped of by the UPS guy today. To be honest… I’m disappointed. The readers it comes with are in English and only the words they want them to learn are in french. I personally believe in a more immersion approach. The workbook looks pretty user friendly, so I’m hoping I can salvage the kit.

I should really go to the Library and order some french audio lessons. He also seems to be liking Little Pim: French for Kids. I have a few more products I’m hoping to get in the mail soon that might help our journey.

We just finished the yellow book in Hooked on Handwriting – Learn to Print Kit. I’m looking forward to starting the next level!

He has an real ear for music. I’m working really hard at fostering that for him, but with me being Musically Challenged, it’s not so easy. Luckily on the Brillkids forum there is a person on there that has much more musical expertise if you will, that has given me some great suggestions.

Wes has been sitting this week at the keyboard I bought him at a garage sale for 1 dollar and copying what they say on Tweedlewinks. First he announces “This is C sharp,” and hits the key (like I said I’m not sure if it is correct, but I’m guessing him practicing is the way he is going to figure out if that sounds like what he has learned, so I don’t interfere because I really don’t know.) But It sounds like I’m going to have to learn. Then he says ” this is half a note” and plays, then this is a quarter note, and goes alittle faster. Its pretty amazing. I just wonder what else is soaking into that cute head of his that I don’t even know.

I’m putting an end to Your Baby Can Learn! (formally know as Your Baby Can Read), unless he’s tired and is just chilling. This series is amazing, however now that he can read all the words in the program, there is no benefit. He is past the reviewing stage and knows the materials taught like the back of his hand. I’m getting Your Child Can Read! in the mail soon hopefully. So I’m hoping that will bring a whole new perspective to the situation. Until then he is still doing Little Reader, Hooked on Phonics and Tweedlewinks.

The weather has been so hot around here I’ve been trying to get us all outside as much as possible. However its a little tricky as my daycare babies are 17 months and younger and tend to overheat. I’m hoping that the temperature drops just a few more degrees so we can go out and stay out longer.

Well I better clean up and get ready for another day. All and all I’m a lot happier now that I get to stay at home with my baby. And I maybe old fashion but I really like getting dinner cooking in the crockpot and having dinner on the table when my BF gets home. Its nice to have dinner ready at a good time, and being able to relax during the evening instead of cooking dinner.

Autism- What Gluten & Dairy Do To My Child

For people who do not have a gluten intolerance, it can be hard to understand what happens to kids who cannot digest it properly.

My son has been gluten-free since he was 2.5 years old. What is gluten? Why did I choose to remove it from my son’s diet?

In 2005 I had a beautiful little boy. As he grew older he started sending us red flags. I always imagined myself teaching my son so many things. However, he was a difficult baby. Always throwing up, screaming, and crying all hours of the night.

We tried everything, from Ovol gas drops to chiropractic. They both helped him with the stomach pains but something was still off. He was in and out of the doctor’s office, he had a chronic cough, runny nose, and was on and off antibiotics.

When I first switched my son from breastmilk to formula and started to notice the difference in him I ask the doctor if he could be allergic to milk. His response was “No the chances of that were one in a million, Milk allergies are so rare. So I believed him and for months we had these issues. I was a young mom having had Wesley one month after turning 20. Prior I had no real experience with babies.

I was a straight edge parent, following everything the doctor said to the tee. But things were not right and milestones were not being hit. Wes was not crawling at the same time others his age were. He sat there all the time and stared into space.

Finally, after one day when Wes was 11 months old, I noticed mucous in his diaper. That was it, I called around the city and finally booked an appointment with a pediatrician.

Our new doctor immediately sent a referral for Wes to go for allergy testing. After waiting for 4 months to get into the specialist we got a call.

A few weeks later I held my little boy down while they marked his chubby arms with little a pen. They made marks to match a little grid with all the possible allergens on a paper.

Then they started scratching those pen marks with little needles. As he screamed they wrapped his arm up in a paper towel and taped it. I was instructed that it would take about 15 minutes for the results to be available.

He screamed and screamed, finally I opened the door and asked the nurse if this was normal. She told me some kids have a harder time than others. So I tried cuddling and rocking him and nothing seemed to help.

My last resort, I reached into my diaper bag and pulled out a sippy cup of milk. This settled him, just in time. The nurse came back and removed the paper towel. She said he seems to have a reaction to the one item, the milk. I looked down at my baby’s tear-stained face and he sucked back the white poison.

The doctor diagnosed Wesley with a milk allergy and we were sent on our way. No instructions, no guidance, nothing. They never gave us a paper that told us what all the secret words like whey and casein. Just sent on our way to figure it out. 

I drove us to the local public health nurse clinic where I knew several of the nurses from our Healthy Baby group we attended till I went back to work. She called in the nutritionist and we came up with a game plan. 

Do you know what happened next? A few days later my clumsy crawler stood up and walked for the first time at 15 months old. 

Wesley started developing language well and at 18 months had about 15 words he used regularly. Then we went for our 18-month check-up and that’s when things went downhill. At the visit, they gave him his regularly scheduled vaccine, and that night he had a terrible fever. Poof! He stopped using the words he once did.

I started thinking about removing gluten from my son’s diet after reading Jenny McCarthy’s book “Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism” when he was 2.

Gluten is the protein found in wheat. Similar proteins are also found in rye, barley, and possibly oats. At this time I was in denial. It was apparent he was language delayed. But I refused to believe he had autism. But deep down I think I knew.

It wasn’t until that terrible day in January 2008 when Wesley was diagnosed with autism did I revisit the idea of removing the gluten. A month later we visited a naturopathic doctor. She also had me remove gluten and soy from his diet.

It wasn’t easy. Gluten can be addicting to some children. Wesley went through a withdrawal period, where his behaviors went through the roof. But after the rough stage, things did get better.

His speech started to improve. He started adding in little phrases, seemed happier. Another thing is we were able to start potty training him because his digestive system started to work right.

Basically what was happening to my son was that gluten was affecting the lining of the intestinal wall and large particles of food were getting into his bloodstream and affecting the brain. The body was then sending out antibodies to fight the particles. This was causing my son little body to go into overload.

You can see a MAJOR change in his attention to detail, and if he accidentally has something that has gluten in it he does act up and has trouble concentrating. One day we will try to reintroduce it, but for now, he’s doing great.

UPDATE: Read how we cured my son’s dairy & gluten intolerance HERE and HERE

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