I have been reading Educating the Whole Hearted Child because I am not overly thrilled about the lack of interest Tyler has in school right now. I like to fix things when they are broken and so I was hoping for some insight into what I am not doing right. Last year we had a great school year with a lot of enthusiasm on his part and so I don't feel like it is a problem with our workboxes because they have truly been the best thing for him yet. I have also been worrying if I am providing enough activities for him or if I have been adapting the material enough. I have been feverishly trying to accomplish both and I am wearing myself out in the process. I know he needs these things and I did them last year but I don't remember it consuming this much of my time and energy. Anyways, this book has helped me a lot this weekend as I have tried to make sense of it all. I have been homeschooling now for over 5 years and it still amazes me how I can fall back into the pit of trying to do school at home instead of the natural relaxed homeschooling I love. I have become such a bad box checker over the years. I certainly wasn't this way growing up so I am confused as to when the transformation occurred. I think part of my problem this year started when I thought about the fact that Tyler is entering into the teen years and therefore our textbooks should look more like textbooks. I have to stop and kind of laugh at myself for that because it is the exact opposite of the advice I would give to someone else picking out curriculum. I have noticed now how many of our boxes each day are filled with big old textbooks though. I have tried to make lapbooks and activities to go with them but I thinking I am just overwhelming him. I have had to face the fact that from here on out that maybe his grade level curriculum isn't going to be workable for him. I guess the really hard part about autism is looking at a young man who is so smart on the logical side and has a great memory but whose ability to analyze and problem solve is way undeveloped may not be able to accomplish everything as quickly as a typical person can. He was always so far ahead on everything when he was younger and didn't have to use reasoning as much that it is hard to watch him struggle more as the years go on. It occurred to me today as I sat and watched him read all the way through a Kids of Courage newsletter that had come in the mail without any problems that maybe part of his recent reading problems are that what I am having him read is just to hard for him and requires too much analyzing. I am feeling very enlightened today and a little scared of how dense I am on most other days.
My other big realization for the day is that I need to get back to all the wonderful little organizational tools that help to keep me going so I printed off menu planners and monthly and weekly calenders and put them on a clipboard so I can keep track of myself. I need to write down what days I am going to do what is I can get done all the things I want to and not alternate between working like crazy and standing there overwhelmed and staring into space. I need to get my menu planning done every week also and not just here and there to make sure we are eating healthy and not spending a bunch of extra money on food. I clipped coupons today too which felt great because I haven't done much of that since we moved. I hate spending extra money on things.
I think I am going to drop some of our formal school stuff for now and try to shorten our days a little so I can get into a better routine in the rest of my life. Tyler wants to do Amanda Bennet's new dog unit study so maybe we will concentrate on that and some great fall stuff for awhile. Christian on the contrary has been doing very well for me so far this school year so I don't see a lot of need to change much there. He has also been eating really well too. I hope he continues to do well. Our children tend to ebb and flow!
I was able to spend some time with my husband this weekend, hanging out and playing games together. That was something I was happy about because I feel like we have been letting that take place behind a lot of other stuff. It can be a struggle in a home with special needs kids to find time together but it is sooo important. Fortunately I am married to a great guy and he works at it too.
I know I have rambled a lot tonight and I am not sure if it even sounds very organized so I won't keep you very much longer. I don't have a bunch of pictures from this week but I do have a few that I wanted to share.
A couple of pictures of Tyler
enjoying our new apple tree center
Reading Kids of Courage
So excited that his new Jonathon Park CD's are finally here!
A couple of pics of Christian
Multitasking- bouncing and looking at a toy
Keeping mom up at night makes me really tired!
(Don't tell her though!)