Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Homeschool Prep!

As many of you may already know we are starting the very serious task of homeschooling Miriam this year. I have been like a mad person researching what needs to be done to prepare for this rather intimidating experience we have in store for us. From laws to groups to building a curriculum there is so much information that it is literally driving me into a frenzy. In fact if I wasn't the women I was ready to take on just about anything head first I would be preparing to camp outside the public school to make sure I get a choice seat in the assembly hall at orientation. I am SURE it isn't going to be as crazy as it seems, or is it? Considering there is a website just for first year home schoolers in Texas I am thinking I am right in being a little taken aback. I keep having to remind myself that it IS the BEST for my kids to home school them. Public schools are unsafe, lacking morals, cause self esteem issues and frankly do not provide the proper one on one learning environment a special needs child has to have.

At home, she gets all the one on one she needs along with the ability to build a solid moral foundation built on our christian values. Not that I want to force my kids into my beliefs because a mind of their own is another reason I want to home school. Public schools seem to be shying away from personal opinion more and more as the years go by. Anyone who knows me knows that speaking my mind is a big way I live my life. In fact I often get myself into trouble opening my big mouth so But hey, if we were meant to always be walking a straight line God would not have created mountains, oceans and thanks to the roundness of the earth we are always walking in circles. Might as well walk in a circle of my own creation even if that does mean sticking my foot in my mouth on occasion. Anyway enough about me and my wackiness and back to the subject at hand.

Do you have any idea how many websites there are on homeschooling and how many different ways there are to home school? There are people who go to private home public school, those who do it from a book, those who do it online, those who do it out in the world and those who just do it! I am leaning more towards just doing it myself. Making a list of what we need to learn then fitting it into a days work. I would like to do a bit more than the schools in that I know she is ca[able of more than the school knows. By the end of the year my goals will not be for her to push a ball on her own or talk more. She does those things here. My goal is going to be for her to do them everywhere and not only that do them better. By the end of the year I want Miriam to sit down and:

1. tell me her ABC's upon prompting not just out of the blue
2. count to 50
3. use the potty
4. paint a picture ON HER OWN
5. say her phone number and address
6. know what the alphabet and numbers look like
7. Make something with her play-dough instead of just smashing it
8. Climb the swing set
9. Use her cane WELL
10. KNOW what braille is (I am starting my braille course to teach her)
11. Have a conversation instead of just half a conversation (I plan on devoting at least 30 minutes a day to SPEECH on top of the speech she will be getting from the school)

Those are only some of what I want. I know it seems like a lot to ask from a little blind girl but I know it isn't. I know everything on that list is possible. And with her not having to head off to a public school where the attention is not always on her and she is not always the student being taught she will get full attention. My plan is for ALL 3 girls to be in school with Miriam. We will have gym time, music time, reading, art, math, English, outdoor time and lots more in our day. I am not really sure on the times yet. Tom is telling me 7:00-1:00 but I am thinking more along the lines of 7:30/8:00-1:00 with breakfast about 7am.

I am also doing everything I possibly can to find a local home school group but since Tom and I decided to leave our church we are having difficulty finding one that is not "Mormon" based. I have no problems with Mormon groups other than all of my Mormon friends abandoned us (real Christian right) when we left and I don't want to be preached to the whole time. If worse comes to worse I will just officially start a home school group for the area. One thing we have always known was important when we started this was socialization. Getting together with other kids, going on outings and field trips is very important to learning. I am hoping when we attend the ISD's private school meeting (did you know in Texas our home is now a private school?) that I will be able to meet some other home school parents who will either tell me about a group or will want to start one up. Wish us luck!

For now, I better get dinner started, I just needed to clear my head of all the home school craziness overflowing. I think my brain is running out of


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