the unlikely homeschooler

montessori homeschool

Back when I was teaching, I thought homeschoolers were strange denim-jumper wearing aliens who hid their kids in attics and basements.  I kid.  I knew one homeschooler: my cousin Tara, who incidentally, finished high school at home and quickly went on to pursue her dream as an interior designer.  Now, in her early 30s, she's living the dream she … [Read more...]

thank you, kind stranger in the parking lot

random acts of kindness

The boys and I set off this morning to visit a friend who just had her third child.  Given that I have been swamped with work and homeschool and life, I didn't have a gift. We quickly stopped at Marshall's to pick up a few outfits and board books.  A few years ago, when autism was at its height, such an errand would have left me in a cold sweat. … [Read more...]

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

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

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...]