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  • Day in the Life

    Published on 10-06-2015 08:54 AM
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    Welcome to a "Day in the Life of a Secular Homeschooler" Fall 2015 edition! This week we are featuring a day in the life of....ondreeuh ! She has been homeschooling 6+ years, is a Homeschooling Mom of 2 and College Mom of 1 and you can keep reading to learn a little about a day in her secular homeschool.....

    I have a 2-for-1 -- between the two consecutive days, this is a pretty good picture of how our days go.

    DAY 1 6:45Ė wake up to sound of boys arguing in the playroom below my bedroom. I have no need of an alarm clock.Make them breakfast, pass out meds, and distract punky 2nd grader by hiring for the job of vacuuming the stairs. Pay him $1. Feed dogs, take them outside, etc.Drink coffee, check email until 2nd grader drives me nuts with attention-seeking behavior. I swear I would pay good money for a Ritalin nose spray.8:00 -- Convince him to play Qwirkle with me, with the caveat that we can quit if he doesnít like it after a fair try. He does fine, but we donít keep score to keep the drama down.Start math with 2nd grader (cumulative review), he falls apart when he doesnít understand how they want him to write down every intermediate step in long-form multiplication when he can do it swiftly. I bring him to the couch and scribe for him to get him through that part. He finishes up on his own and does his Math Minute easily.Send 2nd grader off to a break (finish Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle) while I correct 8th graderís Math Minute, finish the history reading (French and Indian War), and correct his math (proportions) and science (work).Quiz 2nd grader on his spelling words (100%!) and introduce the new composition assignment (compare/contrast essay about audiobooks
    by Published on 06-01-2015 12:44 PM
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    The full discussion thread for this post can be found here.

    When you hear the word gifted, what immediately pops into your head? Do you think of the straight-A student? Or, a musical prodigy? A prolific artist? A pint-sized mathematician? Do you assume that everything comes easily to a gifted child? That he has a leg-up over his peers? Do you envision his mom as a tiger mom, hot-housing him from sun up Ďtil sun down? Do you imagine his parents are the pushy, competitive type?

    My 7-year-old son, Leo, is twice-exceptional; he is profoundly gifted and learning disabled. As his mom, Iím forever frustrated by the gifted label. The label makes you think that gifted is neat and clean, as it conjures images of beautifully wrapped presents with neatly tied bows. Thatís far from my reality, folks. I love my son more than words could ever express but this journey has been anything but a neatly wrapped package. Instead, Iíd liken it to a wild, white-knuckled, roller coaster ride. It has been messy, and loud, and fraught with various concerns. Why? Two words: asynchronous development.

    A better definition of giftedness: giftedness as asynchrony

    The current gifted label carries with it many misconceptions and assumptions. The reality is, the social and emotional functioning of gifted children is largely ignored by the general public. Iíd like to share my favorite definition of giftedness, and it is a stark contrast to that neatly wrapped present:

    Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally. (The Columbus Group, 1991).

    What is asynchronous development?

    While most children develop in a relatively uniform pattern, gifted children are asynchronous in their development, and the more gifted the child, the more asynchronous that child may be. Do you want to know which children are the most asynchronous of all? The twice-exceptional children, those children who are both gifted and learning disabled. Children like Leo.

    Many ages at once

    It is often said that gifted children are ďmany ages at onceĒ, they are quite literally out-of-sync. So, what does that look like, exactly?

    Well, letís take a look at my little guy:

    This photo kinda sums him up, folks!

    Chronologically, Leo is 7-years-old. And he looks like your typical 7-year-old, but we all know that looks can be deceiving. We had Leo assessed last year and results indicated that his cognitive skills are above the 99.9th percentile across the board. That means that, intellectually, Leo is functioning at a level more than twice his chronological age. Socially and emotionally, however, he functions like that of a 5- or 6-year-old. In one moment, Leo can be extremely poised and mature, and in the next moment he can dissolve into a mushy mess of a boy. Just think about that for a second, folks. Can you imagine the frustration he must feel? His mind - his cognitive functioning- is like that of a teenager and yet those thoughts are housed in a 7-year-old body, a body with 7-year-old emotions. ...
    Published on 10-11-2014 08:36 PM
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    Welcome to our October 2014 "Day in the Life of a Secular Homeschooler"! This week we are featuring a day in the life of SHS member....Jazz! She has been homeschooling for 6 years and is Mom to 2 kiddos and you can keep reading to learn a little about a day in her secular homeschool.....

    Hereís a typical day for us with two working parents who own a design business together, a fifth grade dancer daughter, and a first grade Lego-loving son. We use a Waldorf-inspired schedule.

    Wake Up:
    Small Boy usually wakes up early and climbs in to snuggle with mom and dad for a while. Eventually he announces that heís hungry and I get up too. Small Boy and I get dressed and make breakfast while my husband makes coffee and attempts to wake up our daughter. By the time the other 3/4 of ...
    Published on 10-02-2014 11:53 PM
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    Welcome to our October 2014 "Day in the Life of a Secular Homeschooler"! This week we are featuring a day in the life of SHS member....Home's Cool! She has been homeschooling for 6 year and is Mom to 3 daughters and you can keep reading to learn a little about a day in her secular homeschool.....

    The only thing routine about our homeschooling is that we don't have a routine. We have gone through phases when a routine worked for us but, for the most part, routines just don't work... there is too much out there for us to do.

    I have three daughters; two 10 year olds and a 6 year old. All three have recently acquired pen pals, so geography lessons are built in with discussions about their new friends.

    Our mornings usually begin with all three girls tending to the needs of their pets, we have 3 dogs, a cat, 2 guinea pigs and a rabbit. We recently had a hamster and a second rabbit but those have died. We have also let my mother care for our turtle for some weeks now.
    by Published on 10-09-2013 01:48 PM
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    Welcome to a "Day in the Life of a Secular Homeschooler"! This week we are featuring a day in the life of....Aandwsmom ! She has been homeschooling 5+ years, is a homeschooling Mom of 2 teens and Daycare Mom of 5 toddler/preschoolers and you can keep reading to learn a little about a day in her secular homeschool.....

    Rise and shine, it is crazy time!
    • 5am Up with the husband, feed the dogs, cat and get him ready and out the door by 6am.
    • 6am: Load up the dishwasher with load #1(countertop portable as we have a tiny, old home), toss a load of clothes in washer, start picking up from evening before because in 2 hours.... daycare kids start showing up. A tiny house of 2 teen boys and a husband plus 3-4 toddler/preschoolers running around during the day makes for constant mess it seems. Tidy up the toy shelves, return things to their rightful spots, note the chalk is low and/or missing from the chalkboard-AGAIN. Decide what today's preschool agenda will be while I wipe down all surfaces and sanitize them from the lovely cooties kids carry and smear everywhere!
    • 7am: Shower, dress, toss clothes into dryer, next load of dishes, vacuum whole house except boys room as they are still sleeping. And yes, they can and will sleep through vacuum running. Check to make sure their schoolwork schedule is out for them, as most of their work is independent.
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