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A Homeschool Graduation, Homeschooling with Aspergers

By Lynn Hogan

Added Friday, May 20, 2005

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 6 No 20 May 20, 2005
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Lynn Hogan. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!
If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!



Notes from Lynn:
-- Reminiscing
Helpful Hints
-- Helping Your Child with Sensory Experiences
Question of the Week:
-- Help With 8th Grader's Writing
Reader's Response
-- Kindergarten with Asperger's



As you are reading this, I am probably on a plane to Jackson, TN
to attend my first born's graduation from college. I hope that
you will allow me to spend this issue reminiscing over the
homeschooling life of my family. This is, after all, the
culmination of our homeschooling. No, we did not homeschool
college, but the foundation that was built during my child's
homeschooling years is what carried her through a VERY
successful college career. I hope the ramblings of this proud
mom are encouraging to you.

When I began homeschooling, I did it with fear and trembling. I
had no clue that we would be in it for the "long haul." I did
not look at it as a long term journey but as something I would
"try" for a year or so. What about you? Is this you? Was it
ever you? I am here to tell you that we all come to
homeschooling from different places and each of them have their
purpose! It is where we are going that makes homeschooling so

When I began, I still worked part time. I thought all of you
that were homeschooling full time without jobs had SO much more
time than I did. What a surprise I received when I finally
could come home and homeschool full time. Looking back on it, I
had no idea how I managed to homeschool at ALL when I was
working because I was not accomplishing anything more when I
was "full time". It was then that I realized that homeschooling
is a full time job whether you do it officially 2 hours or 8 in
a given day. In the end, everything you do is school and your
students are learning from you whether you are "teaching them"
or not!

As the years went on, I discovered that I *could* and *should*
allow my students to have more input in the decision making
process of their school. I found that the more I allowed their
input, the more determined they were to make it work. Just as I
had throughout the years, my daughter made decisions that did
not always turn out to be perfect in relation to curriculum or
time management, but by letting her make the choice, she also
got to help resolve the problems. In one instance, we threw out
the curriculum. In another, she figured out a way to make it
work with a little tweaking. The sense of accomplishment she
had as she made the decisions she needed to was evident in the
smile on her face and the renewed vigor for her homeschooling

So, four years ago, we said goodbye to my daughter as a
homeschooling student and sent her off to college. Last summer
we said goodbye to her as a full time daughter and said hello
to her as a young man's wife. This weekend we get to say
goodbye one more time as a student and hello to her as a full
time productive adult member of society. We don't know yet what
the Lord has in store for she and her husband in the working
world, but I KNOW He has a plan and we are hoping He will
reveal it soon. By the way, if any of you know someone who
could use an excellent graphic design artist (my son-in-law) or
a graduate in communications (my daughter) who has directed the
filming of sports events and would love to work in the control
room of a television studio, please send me an e-mail for more

There were many up and down events throughout the years that I
homeschooled my daughter, but I always knew that it was the
BEST thing I could be doing for her. I was not EVER perfect and
our road was not always smooth, but, looking back on it, there
are no regrets. She has told me that she did not regret
homeschooling and so appreciates the time that her dad and I
spent teaching her to be independent. She is excited about her
future and has no fear about her ability to survive in the
"real world"! We covered plenty of academics in my daughter's
homeschooling career, but this is part of what my daughter's
last Mother's Day note said: "Thank you for taking such care in
the way you raised me. I really appreciate how you allowed me
to be independent and work and think for myself. Thank you for
teaching me to make and spend my own money wisely and to avoid
some of the pitfalls you fell into as a teenager. Although
everyone has their ups and downs, when I look back on my
childhood and teenage years, I remember all the happy times we
had as a family and all the places I was able to go and things
I was able to do that have since shaped me into the person I am
today." So this weekend, I get to watch my daughter cross the
stage with honors and walk forward equipped to accept all the
world has to offer. I am truly blessed!

So when you have your hard days, please know that they do pass.
You will eventually not remember the bad but will look at all
that you have accomplished. You and your student will be
grateful for a job well done. So keep on "keeping on" and see
how you and your student grow!




Helping Your Child with Sensory Experiences

The article regarding rainy day art projects reminded me of
something I learned this past week from my son's speech therapy
teacher. While doing speech she engages the kids in art
projects. My four year old wasn't too pleased when he got
glue on his hand. The teacher purposefully put glue on her own
hand to show that it was fine and that seemed to settle him a
little bit, but still he wasn't too happy about it. When we
were kids, my hubby and I LOVED having glue on our hands b/c
that meant we got to peel it off, LOL. Anyhow, she said she is
seeing that problem in more and more kids and that it was
important to provide proper sensory situations where he can
learn to touch different things and be okay with it.

She suggested a variety of situations to try out:
- rice or beans in a dish pan,
- with measuring cups and spoons taking pudding and
finger painting
- adding a little water to Jell-O and fingerpainting
- finger painting with washable paint
- finger painting with whipped cream or shaving cream

- Another activity could be using hands (not tools) to plant seeds
in pots or seed starter kits. When we did this recently, our
son didn't even want to plant his seeds because he saw how
dirty his older siblings hands got.

Obviously all of these ideas require adult supervision, but she
said that it would be very good to try AT LEAST one activity
each week, if not more often, to help encourage his sensory


Help! How can I improve my rising 8th grader's writing skills....
.....not penmanship, but sentence structure and technique? I'm
desperate for help in this area. - Penny


NOTE: my publication of these responses does not necessarily
mean that I endorse a product or an activity. You make your own
decisions about how these responses might work in YOUR school!


I have a home bound kindergarten son that has asperger's. He is
having trouble with the phonics method of words and reading.
Any ideas on what other method or approach I could try?

My Asperger's daughter was in traditional schooling (a terrible
trauma) and was uninterested in reading until the summer after
1st grade. We used to go Kmart after church for lunch, where
the book section was set up near the grill. She looked and
looked, and I began to buy one small book each Sunday and let
her "read" during the meal. Eventually she chose a "Pokemon"
book, which appalled me, but week after week she asked, and
then I noticed that this theme had books actually geared for
beginning readers, up to chapter readers. Against my better
judgment I let her buy the beginner readers 1-5 one at a time,
and actually taught her to read them with her at her initiative.
.. from then on she read everything nonstop. Instead of recess,
the public school let her go the library, greatly increasing
her quality of life.

I learned to bend for my special needs daughter, and she's the
better for it. Now she reads the encyclopedia for pleasure.
Pokemon was replaced by an avid interest in animals, then
plants, then the environment. (6th, homeschooling). - Lisa

I have a daughter with Down Syndrome, and many of our kids have
trouble learning through phonics because of difficulties with
the verbal/auditory pathways. It may be better to try teaching
him backwards. Try "blues clues-ing" the world (labeling
everything) and work within his attention span on cards with
simple words and photographs. Eventually you may be able to
drop the photos and get word recognition alone--start with
names. Once he has acquired several hundred sight words, you
can break up the sight words into their phonetic components so
that he can hopefully apply it to other words. Unfortunately
the literal nature of Aspergers may mean some additional time
and specificity.

BTW, Enzyme therapy (in lieu of the gluten free, casein free
diet) worked great for my daughter's autism-like symptoms.
- Tricia

Tags: home school graduation, homeschooling, aspergers, add, adhd, downs syndrome homeschooling, sensory experiences, homeschooling special needs, homeschool Asperger's syndrome, Down syndrome homeschooling, homeschooling with Down Syndrome, tips


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