Struggling Learner

Supporting Persons with Disabilities through the Holidays

I am so thankful for the wonderful resources available to families who are teaching children with special needs. Technology tools, low tech adaptive equipment, multi-sensory curriculum options―these are just some of the resources that make it possible to successfully teach a child with special needs at home. In addition to those tools that you can ‘buy’ are the wonderful people resources that homeschooling families can access. One such person is Barbara Newman who is a church and school consultant for the great folks at CLC Network. She is a special education teacher, author, and speaker who has a passion for creating environments that include, support, and celebrate people with disabilities. This week, I am pleased to introduce Barbara as a guest blogger. Enjoy! 

Come Fly With Us

It was a cool Monday late September when Jay called to let me know that a series of vintage (1920's and 1930's) airplanes were on exhibit at Frederick's Regional Airport for the "National Air Tour". I looked out our school room window, propellers already spinning in my mind.

"Hmm... I'm not sure that I can re-arrange things, but I know that the twins would love it. And I would love it!" But I hesitated as I looked down at my planner...

HSLDA on Pinterest

Well, we've done it. HSLDA has started a Pinterest account! Head on over to our Pinterest page and check out all the goodies we've collected for you! There's a board for everyone! Are you new to homeschooling? We've got you covered! Looking for some delicious, yet budget friendly recipes? We've got those recipes! How about some Christmas crafts or activities to do with your family? You'll find all that and more over on HSLDA's Pinterest page!

Music, Movement and Learning!

 

We love to sing and dance and move at our house. My kids are such tactile, kinesthetic (wiggly) learners! I continue to learn that rather than fight against this natural bent in their learning preferences to incorporate music and movement into my teaching times, be it acting out Bible stories or putting motions to poems, to singing directions during important routines and transition times. 

Have A Wonderful Thanksgiving

I love the fact that Dr. Ben Carson always speaks so highly of his mother's strength and influence in his life. I've heard him say that his mom often reminded her young boys that God gave them brains, so they needed to use them. That reminds me of...

...our eleven years of homeschooling, and how I often told my boys, "God gave you a voice, and He wants to hear it." So I related that to prayer, and how that  God wants all of us to praise Him, no matter what our age...

Autism Speaks Announces Grant for iPads

Autisms Speaks announces grant for iPads; On-line application opens this week, November 4th, 2013.

Autism Speaks has announced that through the generosity of Sevenly, Wyndham Worldwide, the Geier Foundation, the James Walter Pickle Charitable Foundation, the Agarwal Foundation and Jonathan Izak, 800 schools and financially disadvantaged individuals with autism will receive an Apple iPad 2 with a Kraken A.M.S. case, by Trident Case!

Parents Night Out Facebook Party!

HSLDA is excited to invite you to our very first Facebook Party this Thursday October 10th at 9:00 PM EST. We’re partnering with APOLOGIA Educational Ministries. The theme is ‘Parents Night Out’, and guess what? We’ll be giving away prizes along the way, including the makings of an actual parents night out~ think Panera Bread and the movies! 

We’ll start the party on Apologia’s Facebook page at 9:00 PM EST, and then move over to the HSLDA Facebook page at 9:30. Faith Berens and myself will be there to chat with you. You can ask questions- especially those that pertain to homeschooling a child with special needs, share ideas, and just fellowship. Faith and I love to talk, so it should be a lot of fun! 

Two Events for Families who Homeschool Children with Special Needs

 

We want to take this opportunity to tell you about two opportunities designed to encourage and equip families who are homeschooling children with special needs.

 

 

Homeschooling Survival - taking time to cleanse the palate


I've been doing a LOT of writing for work lately. I don’t mind  writing articles, and appeal letters, and thank you notes, and blog entries…really, but sometimes my head needs a break, especially when all the writing is piled on top of the homeschooling. As I sat thinking about this today I realized...I needed a palate cleanser for my BRAIN!

10 Benefits of Homeschooling ~ From the Brain of a Former Public School Teacher

 

What you’re about to read is a very light-hearted perspective of homeschooling.  If you’ve never been a classroom teacher, this list may mean nothing to you- but these are the honest thoughts and thrilling revelations that occurred to me as I began planning for Kindergarten and our first ‘official’ year of homeschooling!

 

Taking Care of Siblings

 

Most of the parents I speak with who are raising children with special needs are also raising children who are developing typically.  In terms of parenting, these moms (and dads) are dealing with more issues than the normal sibling rivalry and clash in personalities. In this post, I thought I’d focus on those other, very special children. 

To Our Kitchens, O Mothers

...I pictured myself back in my college days at the University of Maryland giving a speech to my fellow classmates. I envisioned telling them what I'm about to tell you. A few people, including the professor walked toward the podium. I knew that they wanted to usher me out of that lecture hall quicker than a flash...

I think that moms really set the tone at home, and that when it comes to nurturing their families --- no one is quite as good as a loving mother. And, specifically when it comes to nutrition, mothers are extremely influential. 

Including Children with Special Needs in Co-ops

We were all designed for relationship—not only relationship with our Heavenly Father, but also with one another—we need one another, so we can't go it alone. But did you know that people with disabilities are the largest population group missing from the body of Christ? Today I would urge families who are homeschooling children with special needs to consider participating in a local, homeschool co-op which can be a good place to find assistance and encouragement! I would also like to encourage families who are serving and participating in co-ops to be welcoming and inclusive of those with disabilities. The Lord Jesus was always reaching out to the blind, lame, deaf, and sick, showing love and compassion. And, we who are Christ's followers are called to do the same. 

Make It A TV-Free Summer

...The family of four sat motionless in the family room that night after dinner. All facing the same direction, their eyes stared at that blue screen, conversation abated. They couldn't hear the symphony of summer crickets and frogs in the little koi pond outside their patio door. And they didn't hear the breeze blowing or the distant whistle of the train...

As we calculated the many hours wasted in front of the TV, we decided to do something radical. We said goodbye to TV-viewing that night fifteen years ago, and don't regret it one bit! 

Choosing Curriculum

Are you making your final selections in regard to curriculum for the new school year? I know that many of the moms I'm talking to, are doing just that. As you're narrowing down your options, please keep in mind the following guidelines which originally appeared as an e-newsletter from the Struggling Learner website.

When choosing homeschool curriculum there are several factors that you want to take into consideration.

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