The beauty of unschooling kids with special needs

Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

I have two twelve-year-old boys.

One reads at a college level.

One reads at a 1st grade level, on a good day.

Both have been nurtured in the same environment, raised on a diet of the same beautiful books. Surrounded by an environment rich in words and the classics since the day they joined our family.

They have one more thing in common, as well: Both love learning and feel smart, confident in the knowledge that they each have God-given strengths and abilities.

THIS is the beauty of unschooling children with special needs.
[Read more…]

Are you homeschooling a “different” child?


Written by Sally Clarkson

“I have a Nathan, too!’

This was the comment I heard every time I spoke at a homeschool or mom conference.

My out-of-the-box boy – clinically OCD, ADHD, argumentative, on a small spectrum of other issues and with learning disabilities, certainly provided me with lots of stories to share through the years.

And I was amazed at how many women breathed a sigh of relief when they realized they were not the only ones with children who were often a puzzle.

My journey with Nathan was challenging, lonely, and difficult in so many ways. My most difficult challenge was that I did not have friends who understood him or my struggles in homeschooling him.

I often felt like a failure, living in and out of frustration, wanting to love him but losing my patience. It was a constant drain on my life. It’s why I agreed to write a book with Nathan about our journey as mom and child–so that others like me will not feel alone.

[Read more…]

Homeschool lessons learned at public school

schoolpicmo

Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things.

In what can only be described as a surreal moment, I found myself signing documents to enroll my son in public school last month.

I love homeschooling.

My sons love homeschooling.

I write all about how much homeschooling has made a tremendous impact on my sons’ education, despite their learning differences. The longer we homeschool, the more I can imagine us continuing to do it all the way through high school.

So it took a lot to sign those documents. But it was worth it.

[Read more…]

Homeschool is not the boss of me

Homeschool is not the boss of me

Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things.

I love this season.

Getting ready for the start of a new school year means I get to do all the things I naturally love.

Planning our homeschool calendar.

Typing up our daily schedule.

Researching and (even better) ordering and unpacking new books and curriculum options.

Buying new pens and pencils that we don’t need, but look how pretty they are. (Really, this applies to any office supply – I texted my friends from the store the other day asking if they would help me justify buying a golden stapler. I have issues.)

It all feels so refreshing to me – a new year, a fresh start, a lovely golden stapler.

Then the actual learning begins.

It takes a few weeks, but eventually, I know the newness will fade. The crisp, new books will have coffee spilled on them. A few of the darling pencils will be broken by my ten-year-old in frustration during his phonics lessons. The schedule will mock me. And the curriculum will move too fast for either of my boys, and their learning differences.

It is just part of homeschooling these children.

So this year, I am committed to one goal, and only one:

Homeschooling will not be the boss of me

[Read more…]

When summer break isn’t a break

When summer break isn't a break
Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things

I remember summer vacations so well.

When I was a child, summer break meant eating way too many popsicles, not having to get up in the morning, swimming for as long as I wanted, impromptu trips to the lake, and absolutely no real plans.

The summer break of my youth was glorious.

The summer break of my children? Not so much.

When we first began homeschooling, I had big plans for the last day of school. We had a party. We took pictures. We discussed all that we had learned that year. It was a great day.

Then the next day came.

The first day of our summer break.

I was looking forward to doing nothing. I was looking forward to sleeping in. I was looking forward to less structure, less requirements, and less planning.

My children, however?

They were grumpy, out of sorts, and fighting constantly.

They were like different children, and not in a good way.

And then the next day came, and the next, and the next.

Our first summer break as a homeschooling family was our worst.

[Read more…]