23 May 2016

Caregiving in the Homeschool Community

Dad's dementia is progressing.  He needs ongoing help using the restroom, feeding himself, brushing his teeth, that sort of thing.  Mom needs to work, so Jacob is homeschooled.  He gets his schoolwork done and just keeps an eye on Dad to make sure he doesn't wander.  Not a biggie, but it does mean life is a bit harder.  Co-ops are harder to get to if they happen at all for him, as is studying at a higher level in high school courses via tutoring.  Extracurricular sports, field trips to the state capitol and so on are simply out of the question. 

I know several families who are homeschooling in whole or in part because of the needs of a family member.  It isn't always Grandma and it certainly isn't mostly single parent households as this article implies.  In fact, the people I know with this sort of arrangement usually have multiple siblings who take turns helping out here and there.  And they're married families with higher education statuses than you might expect. 

They often don't have very much money.  Get yourself eight or ten children with a working parent and a healthy homeschooling mom, and you're ok.  If a kid or Mom suddenly develops disability or needs intensive medical treatment?  Oh yeah, your life is hell.  Casseroles and visits from church friends only last the first week, folks.

I would venture to say that some families also homeschool specifically so they have that caregiver in the home at all times.  There are just beginning to be programs for children who have caregiving responsibilities who also go to school.  May I just say gently, these school-attenders are probably the people who have some extra help or a person at home who does not need help 24/ 7.  No one seems to care about homeschoolers who deal with parents with MS or other conditions.  You'd better be attending an accredited school if you want help (read the link if you don't believe me).

That's really chicken and egg to me.  I'm super pro-homeschooling, but I also see the reality these families face and the opportunities they miss.  In many cases, they're afraid to seek help or tell things as they are for fear of losing their children.

I don't mean to paint it as all bad, however.  There is something to be said for helping one another, spending time together as a family and that sort of thing.  I just wish people would recognise that you don't have to be in some poor, city-dwelling single parent family to deal with "issues." 

19 May 2016

"The girl was homeschooled..."

Really? Do you think these two fellas filed the requisite paperwork with the state of Ohio and spent actual time teaching this kid? Because I'm seeing a kidnapping and abuse story here, not a story about "homeschooling."


13 May 2016

11 May 2016

Give Me A Better Gift.

Nice that you came to my wedding but your gift of about $144 USD is not enough.  Since you're rich and stuff?  I'm expecting more.  Pay up.  Oh... we'll totally appreciate it when you do.

What would you do if you got that email?  Puzzledandpissedoff asked online and has well over 1,000 responses.  Most of them don't involve sending a larger check, although one smartie said to send a check for a penny. 

My fave response is that she ought email back, "I am so sorry for the oversight. Please do let me know how much you deem reasonable to gift and I will ensure I get this issue sorted urgently."

Because I want to know the answer to that one.  Just for fun. 

I would, of course, promptly "sort" the issue by having a good laugh.

09 May 2016

Welcome to the Autistic Community!

A new video covering the basics for newly-diagnosed people and their families. Prepared by ASAN, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

08 May 2016

Free Mini-Workbooks!

I've used these for a while and just thought I'd pass on the idea.  You can "subscribe" for free and all that happens is that on almost every Sunday, you'll get an email with a link you can click for an e-book you can download and print.  Sometimes if the topic doesn't interest me, I'll skip it and delete the email.

Often, though, I'll click the link and print the workbook.  I skip the cover pages because for whatever reason, the cover pages are rather cutesy and not reflective of the workbook itself.  I would say that the workbooks range from about second to fourth grades in terms of the reading level and activities presented and that they're a good supplement to whatever you might be studying in science and such.

This week, I printed a unit on "simple machines."  We might do this packet over the summer or I might save the packet for when we are doing a more detailed study on levers and so on.

When you click the link, you can also look around and play some of their free "funtime games" (see the tab at the top of the page).  My fave is called Shisen, but the children like to play Mouse Trap.

07 May 2016

U-Pick Strawberries at Weston Red Barn

Woodjie says that he's going to be brave and try a strawberry today.

We had so much fun picking strawberries!

It was the first day of the season and we got there just a bit after they opened.

A view of the strawberry field from the top of the hill/ parking area.

In total, we got about 3.5 pounds of strawberries.