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Working through Winter

Posted Jan 31 2013 5:14pm
Just checked the last post is dated November. That is how busy things have been around here.

The terrible weather and flu season has kept us under and indoors pretty much the entire season. Although yesterday I stepped out for a walk because of the freak 12 degrees Celsius. Reminded me of how much I missed being outside with my kids. Truly the best thing about this winter will be that it will come to an end.

Since I never really feel like I have done anything, unless I have stepped outside and touched some trees and rolled in some grass, I haven't really found anything motivating enough to pull me away from my massive todo list and on to posting something. Hundreds of posts have been written, all in my head, lost after I had stepped out of the shower, got out of my car or put down a finished cup of coffee.

So yesterday's very brief excursion through the creek trail made me miss my blog!

We have done other random things while being locked indoors for weeks on end. Things like learning how to read and sitting at a desk to get through several basic worksheets. No big deal really.

Right? Or I try not to make it a big deal to myself. Ok, it is kind of a big deal. However if we had not wandered the woods and trails for hours on end for years, none of this would even be possible. So when the big thaw finally happens, guess who will be the first one out with three little people in tow?

Until then, amuse yourselves with some interesting pictures.

My son wanted to recreate a "falling" scene on some ice puddles yesterday. I thought this was precious.

And while we are at it, here is a short video of my son reading on his online reading program. I do a lot of other activities to supplement his learning, but he has come a long way from stimming, scripting, behaviors and I feel is finally taking ownership of his own learning.

It has been possible because both K and I have not been fighting stupid battles with schools and IEP's. I have not been chauffeuring him around from one place to the next. Everyday I embrace the simple things, we follow a basic simple structured day, adding and changing a few things here and there, to make sure it is not rigid and learning still happens. His ABA program is separate from his academic learning right now.

He really wants to write things, although he gets very frustrated when he has spelt a word wrong. We have been writing a rough daily schedule that he really enjoys following. He tries to write words phonetically, but his own speech isn't a 100% clear so he often misses letters. I used to correct him gently, but I found that since he has realized he doesn't remember the spellings and will be corrected, he gets whiny and frustrated before we even start writing his schedule. Just shows that from an RDI viewpoint he still really really resists being guided or being in any kind of guided participation interaction. However he is learning, the hard way, that the things he wants to learn are just not going to come to him. Someone will have to teach him! Not sure how long K will take before he completely accepts this little fact. The fights are getting smaller and more manageable, but they are still there. This is why the basic RDI back and forths never worked with him. He was always smarter than the challenge, and he needs these functional kind of challenges like writing schedules, following recipes and other things the feels he owns, to allow others to guide and teach him slowly. In these frameworks we deal with his anxiety, slowing down and thinking and all of that.

Here is a picture of a schedule he wrote.

There is enough to challenge my son in his current ABA program and his homeschooling, plus two little siblings and extra curricular activities.

I am so grateful to have been given this chance to homeschool. I am grateful that I live in Ontario where it is my legal right to homeschool him. I am grateful to Allah subhana wa ta'ala who allows every single little thing to happen.

K still has challenges but we have a rythm now thanks to all the great ABA therapy he receives in the comfort of his home, to the RDI knowledge we have, and the wonderful homeschooling community that we are blessed with in Toronto.

No progress is linear. But we try to learn from our mistakes and continue on the path we have chosen.

I feel people have a very idealistic view of homeschooling. Once you realize and accept that learning does not happen in neat little steps and stages, that LIFE is learning, that is when you really let go of your inhibitions, and get in touch with your brave, creative and ambitious side. It is scary at first, but acceptance of any challenge also brings with it so much peace.

Who knows where we will be next year or what challenges the next week will bring? And that is just fine.
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