My Little Corner of the World

Thoughts on raising and homeschooling a special needs child who has Aspergers, Tourettes, and ADHD. The life of a domestic goddess. Documenting the life of Superman (11 yrs) and Ladybug (4 yrs).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A New Quarter Before Us

Superman and I are back to the scholastic grind. We've had a lot of emotional work and healing to do the past few months and we all work through the mix of feelings and fears of the divorce. But now we seem to be heading into a better headspace and we decided we needed to start fresh. To put ourselves into a more predictable schedule. It was a project we embarked on together and the results were pretty outstanding.

We decided that English and Math must be tackled over a cup of tea. (That would be my British roots glaring brightly in his genes). We follow that up with our time outside. Usually a nature walk, bug hunting, hiking, whatever we can do with cooperating weather. We decided that bringing home specimans to look at with his microscope during our Science time would be lots of fun.

After our time outside we come back for video game time followed up by Science and Art. Then we make lunch together and watch a movie of his choice that relates to something that we're studying. Lately it's been a lot of movies about outerspace, UFO's, potential habitable planets, and various aspects of the solar system.

Next comes reading, discussion and research to work on social studies, history and unit studies. When that is done we'll head out to pick up his sister. Then they have an hour of play time/free time when we get home before dinner is served.

So it's schedule that fits everything in but gives him lots of variety. We'll keep tweaking it as we go depending on everyone's moods. But homeschooling is something that takes place seven days a week. Sometimes we get more out of a Sunday where it's completely unplanned. But something sparks his interest and we run with it.

That's the best thing about homeschooling. You never know where it will lead you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ending A Long Absence

It's been over a year since I've blogged here. My life took a drastic turn and I felt that I needed to step away for awhile.

Our family of one is now two. The marriage ended in June 2009 and we're going through the motions of separation. Lawyers, paperwork, schedules etc. I don't want to get into the details here but it was nothing messy like a third party.

But even though it is the best for us as a couple, and for the children in the long run, it is exhausting, emotional, and a times heartbreaking.

Superman and I have settled into an incredible homeschooling routine. He's flourishing like never before and although it's not always easy, it is by far the best thing that has ever happened to him. He's thriving. He always seems to be into a new topic. Researching, reading, experimenting. He works hard, has fun, and enjoys what he's learning. Such a drastic difference from sending him off to school every day where we never knew what the day would bring and his body was wracked with anxiety.

Ladybug is nearing the age of the 5 and loving school. She's in Montessori and she's a little workhorse. Loving what she learns, her friends, her experiences. She's always chatty about her day and her adventures.

As for me, I'm still dealing with the emotional downfall of a broken marriage. We're living in the same house until the custody dispute is settled. Once we move on to separate residences, I feel that I will thrive and feel comfortable in my own skin again. It's been nearly a year and it's still not wrapped up yet. I take it one at a time. That's all any of us can do.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We've been attacked by germs again

Apparently, Ladybug was coughing up a storm yesterday at school. When I picked her up she looked pale and tired. By the time we got home she had a fever of 102 and all she wanted was to be curled up on my lap with a blanket. So I stripped her down to a T-shirt and undies so that she could cool off a bit and we snuggled. She was getting drowsy and as her eyes were about to close she said, "Mommy, I think I love you. A lot." I love those moments. We were supposed to go to the Dentist because the kids had their regular cleaning scheduled but we had to cancel due to Ladybug not feeling well. That sent Superman into a huge meltdown. I don't remember the last time I have seen a meltdown like that. It came about because I had to cancel the dentist appointment 20 mins before we were supposed to leave and he LOVES going to the dentist. I suspect that would be because anytime he has work done, they give him laughing gas and turn on Treehouse TV while they work. Let me just say, apparently Treehouse is REALLY funny when you're high. ;)

If I could have that kind of experience every time I went to the dentist, I think I would love it too. Hmmm...must talk to my dentist about that. I think I'm being jipped.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Behold the power of Lego

If you were to come to my house, you would find a wild assortment of Lego creations. We have Star Wars, police vehicles, various spongebob accessories, enough little Lego people to populate an entire city, Super Mario made out of random blocks, a hot air balloon. Well, I'm sure you get the picture.

To most people, it would appear to be a collection of toys. Superman and I spend a lot of time building Lego. Why? We do it because it builds so many skills. Hand/eye coordination, fine motor skills, sorting and finding (which is a huge challenge to a lot of people on the spectrum), following directions and a process, problem solving, social skills of working with a partner and taking turns. If you start at the beginning and try to skip to the end, chances are that your Lego creation will look nothing like it does in the picture. ;) It also builds confidence. Every Lego set that I see represents creativity, hard work, determination, and fun!

Superman is discovering that learning is fun. He used to think that learning was a lot of fun. Somewhere along the way last year, that was lost. I'm working really hard to bring it back. We celebrate the little things. I don't need him to do 8 pages of math, or read a novel, or countless worksheets to see success.

Pencil/paper tasks are definitely a part of our every day routine. But to see him sit down and just do one page of math (14 addition questions in under 2 mins) is worthy of a party at our place! Usually we do one page each of math, english, reading comp and spelling. The rest of his skills accumulate during the rest of our day. We work out together Mon-Fri which has become a favourite part of my day. While I run hills on the treadmill, he uses the bike, and then we switch. He usually gets tired before I'm done so he hangs out with me and we talk. I see success when he shows signs of increased flexibility, when he gets excited because he was able to problem solve his way out of a frustrating situation. When HE makes ME lunch, or he sits on the stairs with a cup of tea (that he made himself) to watch his sister get ready for school because he wants to make sure he gives her a kiss and hug and can wish her a happy day before she leaves.

He has become a pro at using the GPS system and can get us from our house to his sister's school (which is 25 mins away from our house) all on his own. He has also learned how to find items in the grocery store, use the self checkout to scan and pack his items, pay, and go on his way.

On Friday we were taking a walk in the neighbourhood where Ladybugs school is located. We like to get there early if the weather is nice so we can go for a walk and have a good talk. He said to me, "Mum, you remember how when I was little, I used to be with you at home all the time because I was too little to go to school? And then every time I had to start at a new school you said it was because you were trying to find the best school for me? Don't you think it's kind of funny that it took us five schools to figure out that I learn best when I do school at home?"

Yes, Superman. I do.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Annnnd....we're back!

I have had to put everything on the back burner for the past few weeks. The whole family ended up getting dreadfully ill. Ladybug had a nasty virus that kept her in bed for a good 6 days and Superman's cold turned into croup. I was afraid we were headed to the ER one night, but we were able to get through the night by staying outdoors in the cold to open up his lungs. At 2am, in the middle of a snowstorm, Superman and I were wandering around outside. At least he could breathe!

Ladybug is back at school and Superman is back on track at home. Both have a lingering cough that they can't seem to shake and my voice is still almost gone. But we're hanging in there.

Superman has made great strides in his level of independence. He can make himself breakfast and has become a pro at making tea! The only glitch we're running into on a daily basis is getting him out the door to pick up his sister from school. He hates having to leave the house but there's not much of a choice so I'm still trying to figure out a way to make it work on a less stressful level.

We have been bombarded with insane amounts of snow and today I couldn't feel my fingers when I was trying to put gas in the truck today. It was bloody cold outside today!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A moment in history

There is no better way to bring history to life than to watch Obama be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America. It thrilled me to no end to sit, spellbound, on my couch with Superman by my side, and watch the days events unfold. All of the questions, the wonder of the moment in my son's eyes. He loved it. He knew the importance of such a huge milestone and he was captivated. There is no better opportunity than that to talk about history and the struggle of nations and cultures and religions and how it all brought us to this one defining moment that will carry us forward. It was a brilliant moment in time.

Things here are also moving forward brilliantly. I've been trying to kick a cold that seems to like me too much and refuses to leave my body. As I went through the motions of the day, Superman was busy on various tasks and at one point he was emailing my parents about some topics of interest that they wanted to know more about. He kept calling out to me "Mum, is this how I spell....." and it hit me that after the 20th time of him calling out words, he had made no mistakes in his spelling!!! I stopped to look at him, feeling so proud and I pointed out to him how every time he asked me about a word, he had already gotten it right all by himself! I think his eyes literally sparkled.

Ladybug is still enjoying school. She loves her work, having friends to play with (some little guy by the name of Cody is a constant topic of conversation at the dinner table every night) but she's having a tough time getting out the door in the morning. We've slowed down our daily routine so we can fit in some extra snuggles before it's time for her Daddy to take her. She says she misses me too much and would rather be home but the promise that I will be there as soon as her day ends seems to bring comfort.

Over the weekend Superman and his Dad went to the Monster Truck Show with a friend of ours and his son. They had a blast. Superman took pics and was quite excited to show us when he came home. While the boys were gone, the girls had a pj party!! Ladybug and I put on a fire, curled up on the couch under blankets, had snacks, painted our toes a matching burgundy colour and watched Broadway's Lost Treasures on DVD until our nails tried. We were both feeling under the weather so it was the perfect afternoon in. The down time did us both good and help to fill that anxiety Ladybug has been having about being away from me during the day. This has also caused her to suggest that pj parties are something we should add to our DAILY routine. ;)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm giddy

Things are really great. I find myself continuously surprised at how relaxed life is now. It's like it sneaks up on me, the day passes, and then I think, "Wow! The day went by beautifully!" I've spent the week with my nose in a book. My girlfriend told me that I should read the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. The storyline didn't interest me at all and I never got around to picking up the book. Then last weekend I was at the bookstore and decided to buy the first two. I have come to find that if my girlfriend says I'll like it, I don't argue. She knows me too well and nine times out of ten, she's right anyway. Sure enough, I finished Twilight in three days. Then went on to New Moon and finished it in one day!! Now I'm 300 pages into Eclipse and will be sad when I finish Breaking Dawn. And yes, here I shall put it in writing. She was right. I love it! ;)

Superman has been keeping busy as well. He's been working hard on his reading and English. He flew through 5 pages of work on Friday in just a few minutes. It was incredible! He did all of the writing himself and was relaxed while he did it. That's a big first for him. He also did 10 math questions in under 2 minutes. Again, a big stride forward.

Ladybug came home from school on Friday and said to me, "Mommy, we were in the gym and the bell rang. And we went to the fire station outside and it was cold so they put us in someones car." Uh....I had to investigate that one a little more. I think what she was trying to say was that there was a fire alarm and they had to go outside but it was -25*C and without coats, very chilly for the little ones so the staff took them to their cars and stayed with them until it was time to go back inside. It kept them out of the wind. But it's incredible how things can sound just a little off when you hear the three year old version.