Wednesday, June 20, 2012


image from: Beery's Horse Training Books, via
My Random Guy hasn't qualified for ESY since he was in preschool. He has been mainstreamed into regular education classes since he was in Kindergarten. He decided the first day of summer school this year to refuse to go to summer school. No amount of cajoling or consequences was going to get him out the door.
I talked with the Atomic Punk about what to do, and we decided if he stays home he is going to have to work. I hurriedly pulled together some materials for him to study and cobbled together a working curriculum. He fought me at first, but I think he enjoyed some of the work he was doing. He was mostly doing math worksheets, map directions and computer literacy worksheets, keyboarding lessons on the computer and then reading time. I gave him free choice of books for his reading comprehension, and he chose Harry Potter. No TV, no computer, (aside from keyboarding tutorials and typing games) and a break for snack and lunch. He was busy all day until SensiGirl came home from her ESY(Extended School Year,) schooling in the afternoon.
I really wasn't prepared to home school Random Guy, once I started working at it,  I enjoyed it. I know if I had to, I could home school him. It was really a test for both of us and I must say we both passed that day. I don't know how well we would do over the long haul, but I guess we are going to find out. I think we both learned a lot that day. It is good to know if things ever get to the place where I have to pull him out of  public school for any reason, I can handle schooling him. I have known of  a few parents who have done that as their kids reached the middle school years.
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It helps that summer school is elective and I don't have to follow state standards. Today I ordered our materials from Amazon. We have a review workbook for 4th grade coming as well as the book "All the Math You Will Ever Need" along with "Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills for 5th Grade."  The daily schedule starts with handwriting or typing drills and then typing games. After that is a block for math, one for reading comprehension, and a block every day of what I call general skills: these are grammar and dictionary use, geography, history, and learning how to create plans on Lego Designer or Google Sketch Up.  My Fancy Friend suggested as Random Guy gets more proficient with his typing/keyboarding skills we can chat online about the books he is reading for his reading comprehension. He really liked that idea.  He and I discussed what kind of plans to try on Lego designer this afternoon. I didn't think I could pull something like this together so quickly, but I guess you learn what you can do when faced with the challenge. I think a lot of parenting neurodiverse kids is like that. You don't know what you can do until you have to. We will see how it goes this summer.
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  1. Hey Lori... well this is right up my alley. I homeschooled the youngest for a year a few years back, best decision I ever made. Then we tried school again - worst decision I ever made. Now I've pulled them both out of school again, and three months in we're having the BEST time. I just can't believe the changes I'm seeing in them. We're doing the unschooling route, and I also can't recommend that highly enough either. I'm relaxed, they're relaxed, and we're all learning so much more as a result.

    Anyway, best of luck!

  2. sounds like you've got some great ideas! I love the cover of that book (the one with the insect). It makes ME want to read it.

  3. Thanks for the comments! I am glad that it seems I am on the right track. Now its down to sticking to the schedule. That Comprehensive Curriculum made me want to read it too!

  4. I find myself always looking for a "lingo" button like Sam over at Everyday Asperger's has when I come here. I have no idea who Atomic Punk is (?) and the way my mind works is that I wanted to find it so I got distracted a bit...

    Anyway, I love the "idea" of homeschooling. Not sure if the long haul would result in him homeschooling ME on how to homeschool him! (Probably without me even realizing it!) I love the books and the less stress-filled environment but I'm left wondering what it was that made Random Guy not want to go to Summer School anyway. Did it have to do with the social part at all?

    That's the only part I worry about as I consider home schooling. My son needs that socialization because he has no siblings or peers nearby. Anyway, I'm glad it is going well for you! It does sound like a great schedule you've worked out. :)

  5. @Karen, sorry about that, The Atomic Punk is my husband. He likes Van Halen and chose that as his alias.
    The reason given by Random Guy for not going to summer school is none of his friends are going and "summer school is for losers." So the social stigma of being in summer school has come upon us and I decided that I would just keep his skills going and tutor him in any areas he is weak in(ahem, math.) Don't even get me started on how bad Everyday Math is, and how it does no good to teach math in a spiraling/looping way to a kid who is focused on mastery.
    My kids need socialization too, but I am having Random Guy go to Yoga Calm, Aikido and he will start swimming lessons soon. SensiGirl is going to continue summer school until she stops making be progress at the end of the school year like she has for the last 3 years. I just heard from her teachers that she is doing great in her ESY class. Thanks for the commment!

  6. I thought it might have been your hubs but I would not assume with an alias like that- lol! Random Guy's reasons sound valid given his age. I can think of worse problems that a focus on mastery! Yay for that! You are brilliant with the socialization angle - so glad SensiGirl is doing well with her ESY too. :)