Sunday, July 9, 2017

Feeling Recharged For Homeschooling!

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My blog has been slow since I have been working on many things including my children being in a public school online.  Once we got done spending our time in public school online to qualify the Empowerment Scholarship I think we all needed a break!  So we took a break and just relaxed for a bit.  Now that July is upon me, my thoughts are back to homeschooling, and what we are going to do this school year.  This year I was able to attend my local homeschool convention.  I must say, if you have never gone to one, GO!  I feel recharged and full of some good ideas to help my children!  What a great way to feel to start the next academic phase of my children's education!

I was able to attend several workshops at the Arizona Families for Home Education (AHFE) convention. There were some that I thought were a real stand out and I wanted to share with you some of the ideas I learned. One of the workshops I liked was Monica Irvine's discussion on scheduling.  Having multiples we live, and died, by the schedule from the time we brought the children home until they were five and I went back to work for awhile.  I have tried to make a schedule once or twice before but we did not stick to it.  This year, since I have the addition of ESA money, it is vitally important to make a schedule and stick with it.  A schedule will be the only way we can time manage our day with therapy and the schooling that needs to be completed.  The second, and truly most important thing I learned, is to make sure I schedule some fun time in with the children.  I often forget that the kids need some time to just have fun with me versus being the person always making them do the not so fun things in life (grooming, cleaning, and school).  I will be putting game/fun time with mom into our schedule this year so that will be my commitment to them!

The workshop by Heather Haupt discussed why movement helps the brain to form neural connections.  I have experience this first hand!  The way I got Margaret to learn spelling words was to make a cheer out of them.  Joseph likes to march to the letters or drum.  He LOVES drumming ALL OVER EVERYTHING!  LOL  So he taps out a beat on the table as the learns his words.  Now I know why this is an effective teaching technique for them and I need to work on incorporating more movement into their lessons.

Beth Mora gave a great presentation on how to develop an educational plan for children with ADHD, Dyslexia, and Dysgraphia.  Honestly though, her S.O.A.P. method is great for any child with a disability or not.  She explains we need to study our children.  We need to understand their quirks, when they learn best, how they learn best, their love language, and to put all the information into a notebook.  By doing this we can remind ourselves WHY we are homeschooling in those tough moments and HOW we can help our children best by using their love language.  She covered a lot more but her lecture notes can be delivered to your email box by simply clicking on her name.  I hyperlinked all the speakers to their website.

Overall, I really enjoyed the convention.  There was a lot of great moments, I got to meet a lot of great parents, and I am looking forward to the next convention in October for special needs and gifted students.  I am hoping I can get a speaking engagement there so I can discuss the Empowerment Scholarship, the law, how to advocate for your children with their doctors/therapists, how to interpret testing in IEPs or testing completed by neuropsychologists or psychologists for the homeschool environment, how to teach multiple disabled children at one time, and how to fit therapy and everything else into your day.  I know I would be happy to share what I have learned homeschooling my children since they have been old enough to sit up in a high chair.  I have learned a lot over the last ten years and would love to share!

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