How do you honor your children?

“Honoring your children” is a phrase you will hear a LOT in the homeschool community–but especially the unschooling community.  I’ve come to see how this phrase is very subjective–with an incredibly broad spectrum of meanings.

Let me tell you what it does (and does not) mean for my family… Continue reading How do you honor your children?


Homeschooling children in the autism spectrum and socialization

The Old Schoolhouse was seeking some articles about homeschooling and special needs.  I was fortunate enough to be chosen to write about a subject near and dear to my heart:  how homeschooling children in the autism spectrum can provide wonderful and intensive opportunities for socialization.

This is counter to what many educators will tell parents.  Often, we are told that these children MUST be in school for socialization purposes.  I was told this.  I was told this at least 3 years into intensive therapeutic interventions for my son in the autism spectrum and having a Master’s degree in teaching that included additional graduate level credits in special education and specifically in teaching children with autism.

But I was told that I didn’t know what was best for my son–and that I would be crippling him for life by keeping him home.  In fact, he’s come farther than they anticipated was possible and note that his recent evaluator (who can spot a spectrum child in 2 minutes) was unable to peg his spectrum diagnosis until she was more involved in his testing–where it was unquestionable. She sees kids like mine daily and is involved in many research studies. It comes with new challenges but even she conceded that some of his surprising areas of functionality were undoubtedly the result of the “intensive” or frequency of training he gets at home.

Certainly your family situation, your child’s severity of impairment and your access to services are HUGE factors in this decision.  But for those who have figured out the rest and the final sticking point is socialization… or if socialization has prevented you from even trying to figure out the rest–I invite you to visit my article on this issue at The Old Schoolhouse and let me know what you think.  

Does this raise new thoughts for you?  Concerns?  Challenges?  Awakenings? Opportunities?
Much love to you,

Mama signature orange JPG

Kids jumping in lake Michigan

Focus on forgotten fundamentals: exposure and experiences

So often I find myself wondering what to do and how to facilitate learning at the direction of my children and in the last year, I have struggled most with Girly.

And it’s kind of stupid because for one, she TOLD me what she wants. All I needed to do was follow. I didn’t. So that was the first mistake to correct. Continue reading Focus on forgotten fundamentals: exposure and experiences

Girly in shark class

She is brown…

Girly was placed in our home at 12 days old.  From birth, she had very little human contact and there are a lot of reasons for this–but it was what it was.  I didn’t grasp how “big” that was.  Twelve days didn’t seem like a long time.

As an ignorant adoptive parent who didn’t know what I didn’t know, I have since learned an awful lot.  And one of the things that I learned a lot about (and continue to learn about) is race.  My now-7yo daughter started teaching me that as an infant in ways I never expected. Continue reading She is brown…

kids in car

What happens when you are helpless to having expectations

I don’t know what happened… One minute, we were really happy and free and loving.  Then we kind of got thrown into learning–driven by BigGuy’s goals and desires as I floundered to figure out to support him.  Then I thought I had it, but I was neglecting Girly’s needs.  Now, as I plot ahead for the next school year, I am already overwhelmed.  And that’s stupid because as unschoolers, there really shouldn’t be a lot for me to do.  Seriously.  But I’m noticing that our recent realization that BigGuy is high school-eligible has given me temporary brain shift and with it came a wave of crazy expectations…. Continue reading What happens when you are helpless to having expectations


Surprise! It looks like we have a high schooler

A week or two ago I attended BigGuy’s Gavel Club end-of-year presentation.  BigGuy is 12 and by public school standards–he would’ve been in 6th grade this year.  The local Gavel Club had a junior high “section” or “division” or whatever you want to call it.

A friend’s daughter was graduating out of Gavel Club that day (there is a curriculum to complete and she was finished with it).  She told me that she had not put her son (a year older than BigGuy) in Gavel Club because she wanted to be able to use it for high school credit… Continue reading Surprise! It looks like we have a high schooler