early birds and late bloomers: the missing ingredient from public schools

John Taylor Gatto quotes

My sons are polar opposites.  Monkey starting reading, on his own accord, rather early.  If I present a new topic to him once, he masters it.  Moose, on the other hand, needs tremendous amount of time, energy, and attention to learn new topics.  Repetition, movement, and music seem to be the modalities he responds to best. With a little under … [Read more...]

Deschooling: The Great Public School Hangover

homeschooling and autism

I'm closing in our first year of homeschool with our youngest son, and it's been over two months since I dove headfirst into homeschooling Moose.  From what I gather around the interwebs and every single book I've read about homeschooling, there is a period of "deschooling" that occurs once you wave farewell to traditional school. I figured, … [Read more...]

Farewell, Chicago Public Schools. Hello, Homeschool.

public school to homeschool

Our days of fighting the morning beast are over. Starting two months ago, Moose full-on STOPPED sleeping.  Like falling asleep close to midnight, despite his 8:00 bedtime.  He would itch his skin until he bled.  Refused to eat breakfast.  Fought me kicking and screaming to avoid his school uniform.  The morning, on his developmentally … [Read more...]

on homeschool, learning, and new chapters…

dinosaur unit homeschool

A few months into homeschooling, and I realize, that my years of teaching and my master's degree in curriculum and instruction, don't mean so much.  I ran into a father I knew from my sons' school a few days back.  He casually mentioned that the only reason I could homeschool is because I was a teacher.  I laughed, and said, if anything, it's a … [Read more...]

a prayer answered: autism and core words…our next step

Last night,  I asked for a sign.  I don't ask for much from the man upstairs.  But I did.  I asked loud and hard.  Show me the way, and I will do the work.  He must have been listening, because,  today, well, today was an interesting day, really. In the morning, I had a conversation with Moose's speech therapist, that felt undercooked. … [Read more...]

Common Core and the Death of Kindergarten

criticism of common core

Something ugly is happening in America's kindergarten classrooms.  Playtime and finger painting are a thing of the past.  Kindergarten, due to the stranglehold of Common Core standards, is now the new first grade.  The stress and demands placed upon our nation's 5 and 6 year olds, in my educational opinion, is ludicrous. As a former first … [Read more...]

Things I Learned on my Summer Vacation…

autism and play momnivores-dilemma.com

Tongue in cheek of course. It's that proverbial crap back to school essay.  This summer has been a challenge.  I decided it was best to stop writing for a bit.  To see if I missed it. Sometimes you need to step away from what you love to really appreciate it. It's this space that I love.  The quiet glow of the screen.  The looking back … [Read more...]

a tale of two brothers and a mom who may have cried while washing dishes tonight

autism and play momnivores-dilemma.com

So, yeah.  Something profound happened this evening. I mean, far more profound than that time Moose walked in the grocery store without tantrums or a fight.  Far more profound than his first sentence. Let me back up first. So, this kid goes and graduates kindergarten this afternoon.  To celebrate far away from the hellish sensory … [Read more...]

Twas’ the night before kindergarten graduation…

homeschool, IEPs, and autism

So, tomorrow. The end of an era.  Our little Moose moves on from the cushioned world of early childhood...to the big leagues. We still have a long road ahead.  This year academics has taken a backseat to plain ol' life skills, and despite a remarkable teacher and a overall incredible school year- this mom is at a crossroads. Where do we go … [Read more...]

Real Food for Beginners: Why You Should Ditch Cereal (Tip #1)

why you should ditch cereal momnivores-dilemma.com

I grew up on 1980s processed food.  Breakfast most mornings consisted of one of the heavily advertised cereals from my steady diet of Saturday morning cartoons.  We usually had  more than 5 different varieties on top of our fridge at any given time. Now, my children think cereal is the ultimate treat, because they NEVER get it.  I'm up at … [Read more...]