Thursday, September 20, 2012

School Days!

Our weekly schedule changes every week, but in general we are working on school goals and activities 4 days a week and we are going to therapy one day a week.  Homeschooling with my crew likely looks a little different then someone else’s homeschooling day!  Yes, we work on academics, workbooks, and hands on activities!  We also have other activities to work on skills that are working toward a very different goal: self help and independence!

In their formal IEP’s, some of the goals for my children have previously been to identify objects, follow directions, play with others, focus on an activity, appropriately respond to greetings, transition between activities without difficulty.  You know, LIFE stuff.  Things that they’re going to use between now and forever, that will help them to survive as adults in this society. 

When our children are 30, what do we want them to do for themselves?  What are the steps to getting there?  How do we break those steps down in to reasonable chunks and goals to begin working on now?  Of course many of these skills I would expect most of them to do before 30, but start with the simple things that are REALLY important life skills and go from there!  A lot of those may be modified for Wesley, too, with his difficulty physically.

In a typical day of an adult, you would get up, take a shower, get dressed, brush your hair, put on deodorant, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, then go about your day’s activities.  Each of those takes multiple steps!  Right now we’re working hard on getting dressed independently with some of the kids that don’t already, and they can all EAT breakfast on their own (we haven’t begun teaching them to prepare it).

Things like showering independently aren’t something that you just teach while in the shower, though!  Before they are totally independent there will likely be a time when I need to say “did you wash your hair? Did you wash your arms and legs? Did you wash your body?”  In order for those things to be meaningful they need two skills: 1. Be able to answer yes and no questions CORRECTLY based on a previous experience.  2. Know all the parts of their body so they can understand the specific question.  Those are two things that we can work on in many different scenarios that will help get them to a skill goal.

Identifying objects, following directions, answering questions… we spend a lot of time in all sorts of different activities that work on those areas!  Even… when we’re out and about.  Maybe especially!  Practicing and learning skills for use in a grocery or department store, skills for waiting in the doctor’s offices and crossing parking lots…  Those are things that the kids NEED to learn, and they are doing great with them Smile

Of course, we have “traditional” school time too.  Academics and workbooks and puzzles and coloring.  But we are getting a good measure of social and self-help skills in on a regular basis along with the book learning stuff!!


  1. Where do you find resources for homeschooling kids with special needs? I am seriously considering homeschooling Matt and I have no idea where to start.

    1. Brandi, we are using all sorts of things mixed together... Whatever works for each child! I have workbooks that are very generic that are mostly from Sam's club, actually! I'm using a combo of pre k through 1st grade workbooks. I have a light box for Wesley and buy the gel clings seasonally from the $1 section of Target to build up a lot of objects to work on with him. I've made goal sheets that are somewhat generic of what skills, like those above, that I want to work on with the kids. They're still incomplete, but they are a work in progress. Things I want to be working on so I have a general layout of what to do. There is also a curriculum called unique designs that is made for schools to use in their ex Ed department that I have used some things from. It is expensive but we were given a copy to use... It is a complete curriculum, from math and reading to social studies and science and coloring, etc. I take it apart and use bits and pieces here and there, but it would be great for someone that doesn't know where to start, especially! Img background is teaching (degree in education) and I think that helps me to be more comfortable in knowing what the kids are getting in school and what would meet those similar needs at home and adding in the Bible component and social components that I want to add :). Melt me know if I can help any more- maybe catch me on fb :)

  2. Awesome post. Life skills are so important right along with the three Rs!

    Tammy and Parker

  3. Meredith I love how you think. So often people equate success with the title someone holds in their job but all I want is for my children to be good to one another and to be as independent as God intends for them to be. Beyond that is bonus!!!