Our Unschooling Tuesday

                                            Good Morning

 

Miss Chloe is sleeping a lot better now, which is wonderful! The funny thing is she still wakes up grumpy. She is just not a morning person. I though I would share one of our Unschool/Homeschool days with you.

Once Chloe crawled out of bed and I mean crawl. She has been crawling down the hall lately to come to breakfast. Don’t know why and I don’t poke the bear. Lol. She ate her breakfast and took her vitamins, while I drank my coffee. I told her we had a few errands to run. I was a bit nervous about taking her, but had an idea on how to keep her from doing her “inappropriate tic”. Typically she moves fast getting dressed when its something she wants to do, but moves at a snails pace when its something I need to do. She finally, after 30 minutes got ready and out the door we went. She behaved very well and giving her hand fidgets helped with her “tic”.

When we got home it was time to prepare lunch. She ate her usual veggie noodles and hot dogs. Then she was ready to go outside. We try to get outside early since it is still super hot here. While outside I showed her how the leaves were changing color and we walked over to the trees at the end of the yard and saw how some had already fallen off the trees. Science…check. She finished outside time by swinging on her therapy swing. 

Once inside we worked on Reading Comprehension using a worksheet from K5 Learning. Some days Chloe loves using worksheets. We then worked on reading and tracing sentences. She worked on spelling by me giving out words to her to write on her magnadoodle. Math consisted of working on telling time, filling in missing numbers from 1 to 100, and filling out a graph of how many of each picture of a treat she saw on the sheet. She loved that one. Chloe read books for 20 minutes and then I read her Summertime in the Woods (Little House Series). We ended the afternoon by watching a video on YouTube about going to the pumpkin patch, which we will be doing in the next few weeks. I just hope it cools down before we go. It is hard to enjoy Fall activites in 90 to 100 degree weather.

Later I had her work on a few Fall art activities. We colored fall leaves and made a  green apple by tearing green paper and gluing it on the apple. 

Our Learning continues all day long. It never really ends. Unschooling has really changed so much for us. If Chloe wants to do worksheets I print her off a few and if not I have hands on activities for her to do. Lately I have been asking her tons of questions and telling her different facts during the day. We have been talking a lot about Fall since it is only 4 days away. She loves going to the Pumpkin Patches in our hometown. I am hoping to meet up with friends there and we always take her older sister Mattie with us. It is a fun time of year. 

To end our night before bed we watched Return to Neverland. She giggled all the way through it. A nice way to end our day.

Welcome to all of my new followers. Thank you so much!!

Have a wonderful day

 

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Don’t Make My Mistake

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Good Morning

Have you ever offered your child something new for a treat and it is an instant addiction for them? Chloe went through a spell, as a toddler, when she wouldn’t drink water. I bought some of those flavor packs and would add them to her water. She loved them! Here is the issue…she will not drink plain water now. Oh well not here. She guzzles it at my parents house. 

I have tried being tough and saying “We are out of flavor packs, you need to drink water”. She goes into full blown meltdowns and screams forever!! I am at a loss as to why she will drink it at my parents and not at home. She develops habits so quickly you can’t correct your mistake by the time you realize you made one. I am kicking myself over this one. So now I try to find flavor packs with zero sugar and no aspartame. I had to concede after her last fit, at bedtime, that I will have to let this run its course and let this be one of those things I let go.

So my advice is to not give you child, Autistic or not, something you don’t want them to want all the time. I hope someday she will get tired of the flavor and go back to plain water. I water it down now, so maybe someday she will stop wanting them.

Have you run into a problem like this with your child. Share below.

Have a great day!

The Calm Before The Storm

20190916_092619   Good Morning

Yesterday Chloe woke up in a pretty good mood. She had only gotten up once to go to the bathroom during the night and fell back to sleep within 30 minutes. She had asked me to take her to library Sunday, but I haven’t taken her since her last fit there. I told her we would go, but she had to make good choices. No screaming, no running, no singing and NO FITS!!! I continued to remind her of the rules anytime she brought up going.

I know it is important to take Chloe out and help her adjust to the world outside her home, but I will be honest it scares me. I never know how she will act and she is too big for me to handle physically. Usually I am lucky and she responds to verbal redirection at the library. Unfortunately this was not one of those times.

I try to go when I know there are no story times going on. That way it is quieter and less crowded. Little did I know they had switched this activity from Tuesday to Monday. We got there and it was packed with parents and toddlers. Chloe did well for about 20 minutes. The toddlers went into their room for story time and Chloe started walking around and seemed happy. The only redirection going on was redirecting an inappropriate tic she has developed. I was told how to redirect it in a calming way and I was doing that. She kept saying “Play”, but every time I had to redirect her she was getting more upset. It was not something I could let her do in public or anywhere really. 

The story time was over and out came the little ones. Typically at this point Chloe will say “Time to go”, but she just kept fussing and saying “Play at the Library”! I wasn’t preventing her from playing, just redirecting the behavior. All of a sudden she started hitting herself in the head and yelling. I tried to get her to a secluded area, but she wanted to be right in the middle of the kids. I was afraid she would throw herself down and hurt one of them. I got her to the bathroom, where she completely melted down. I was trying everything I could think of at this point. I was in tears as well. She finally calmed down, I thought, and walked over to the kitchen play area. She threw herself down and started all over again. I got her to the bathroom again. Once she calmed down all of the kids were gone except 2. There also was a security guard there too. I assured him she wouldn’t hurt anyone, just herself. The librarian came over and checked on us to see if I needed anything. I appreciated that. I was exhausted and emotionally drained. It took an hour from the beginning of the fit until I got her to the car. She was laughing like nothing had happened. I asked her if she threw a fit and she just mimicked me. 

Once home she was calm. Autism really stinks sometimes. I can’t wait to get her back into therapy. I need a lot of help with these behaviors. Until I get help with these behaviors we will not be going back to the library. I just can’t handle it right now.

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my new followers. Have a wonderful day.

My 10 Tips For Homeschooling A Child With Autism

Good Morning and Happy Monday To You!

 

Today I want to share my top 10 tips for homeschooling a child with Autism. I have been homeschooling my 9 yr old daughter for almost 3 years. It hasn’t been easy and I have thought about sending her back to public school a few times. I have learned to take a BIG chill pill and carry on. I hope some of these tips help you.

Tip #1: Remember your child may not be on their age level developmentally. They may technically be in 4th grade, but are really on a 1st grade level developmentally. This is where Chloe is. Teach them where they are.

Tip #2: Don’t buy tons of curriculum or workbooks. I did this and there was so much that Chloe didn’t understand or wasn’t ready for. I actually found it easier to go online and print off individual worksheets and activities for her to do.

Tip #3: Know what type of learner you have. Chloe is a visual and auditory learner. She has an amazing memory. I teach her through songs, books, cards and she learns on the site StarFall. There are kids that learn through reading and writing (that’s me). Then there are kinesthetic learners, who learn by doing hands on activites.

Tip #4: SLOW DOWN! Don’t push your child to hard. You will overwhelm them and may throw them into a meltdown. It is hard sometimes for them to tell you they don’t understand or they are tired and just can’t focus. If Chloe wakes up at 1 am and doesn’t go back to sleep I don’t make her work unless she wants to. It is pretty much 100% Unschool for the day. Watch for signs of distress.

Tip #5: Give them lots of breaks. I give Chloe tons of breaks. After completing a task, especially writing, she gets to run off and decompress. You can tell if your child needs a break. Even if you only get 5 minutes of work out of them, its ok. All children work at a different pace. Remember you want them to love learning.

Tip #6: Celebrate the Victories! If your child struggles with reading, writing or even sitting still for 3 minutes…celebrate when they accomplish something. Especially if they have been working on it a long time. Chloe really struggles with sitting down, so every few minutes I tell her “Good job sitting still”. This week she wrote the letter K right for the first time. I was like “Woo Hoo look at that awesome Letter K” She just beamed with pride.

Tip #7: Simplify Your Homeschool. This has been my greatest accomplishment. I use to make homeschooling so hard on myself. I would plan for hours a week and then Chloe wouldn’t do hardly anything I planned. I was frustrated, but then I found a few wonderful YouTube channels and the families followed a very simple homeschool routine. It made a massive difference in how I planned and how I felt, which flowed over to Chloe. If you are a stressed out mom the kids will pick up on it and get stressed too. I learned that Science and Social Studies (required by our state) can easily be taught without a curriculum. We can learn it in everyday life. I will begin sharing more on how I teach Chloe in certain areas very soon.

Tip #8: Build on their interests. If I notice Chloe is scripting or singing about a certain topic I think “How can I teach her more about it”. This week she is really into wanting to sign her letters. So we have been watching Jack Hartman on YouTube. She loves signing her letters. The first of the school year she loved Dinosaurs. We watched movies and played with toy dinosaurs in her sensory bin. I taught her what they eat and how big they were. Its ok to build on what they love. It keeps their attention, believe me.

Tip#9: Always fit those self help/life skills into their day. Yes reading and writing is important, but so is teaching them how to brush their teeth. I work with Chloe by making these skills a part of her daily schedule. She dresses herself, brushes her teeth (with assistance) and we are working on brushing her hair. She helps me around the house a lot more now. It is great to see her blossom in those skills.

Tip #10: Have Fun and Remember They Are Still A Kid. Let them play and sing during the day. Learning is important, but they are only a kid for so long. Some days all we may do is read books or go to the park. Thats ok. Learning is everywhere. Playing is learning. Some days we may not feel well and need a break. It is ok. We have plenty of time to get those hours of learning in. My state requires 180 days of school a year. There are 365 days in a year…..I’m sure we will get it done.

 

I hope these tips are helpful. It took me a long time to get a grip on my homeschool mom stress. Wasted time. Look at what needs to change and make the changes. 

Have a wonderful day

Need To Get My Health Under Control

20190817_094220    Good Morning and Happy Sunday

 

I have been trying to lose the weight I gained from having Chloe for over 9 years! I am a yo-yo dieter and have been since I was a teenager. Now that I am 48 years old it is getting more and more difficult. Add on Hypothyroidism and its even tougher. I am human and love eating out, especially Mexican food. I’m pretty much disgusted by all the fast food, but still love my Mexican food. 

I drink mostly water, but occasionally have sweet tea or a soda. My big addiction snack is potato chips. I am human and on Friday morning I had donuts and coffee for breakfast, but did I feel good afterwards? No I felt horrible!! I know I make the choice when I eat or drink something unhealthy. I have always said, to others trying to lose weight, if you don’t want the temptation don’t bring it in the house. Sometimes its not me wanting it, but when you buy for a family you buy what others want, Now my house isn’t filled with junk food all the time. We occasionally buy chips or make a dessert. It just seems like even if I eat it every other week or whenever I eat it I feel terrible! So I have to make a decision. A decision that will benefit everyone. STOP BRINGING JUNKFOOD INTO THE HOUSE!!!

I love to exercise most days. I have days when I am extra tired from being up with Chloe all night or if I traveled home for the day (3 hour round trip). I am determined to work out at least 5 days a week. I have been doing old workouts from the 90’s like Susan Powter. I know some people think she’s a bit wild, but her workouts work and I am sore, in a good way. I heard a Dr say years ago that its good to start a workout first and then change your food. Once you are working out you won’t want to mess up your hard work with eating badly. Good idea. 

I am tired of being tired and feeling so frumpy! We all have a choice to make when it comes to our health and wellness, I am choosing to eat better and if I eat my favorite Mexican meal out I won’t beat myself up. It just won’t be weekly. I look at my daughter and know I have to not only do it for myself, but especially for her.

What do you do to take care of your health and wellness. Share in the comments.

Have a great day

Victory In Chloe’s Room !!

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Good Morning

A few weeks ago, to my amazement Chloe started slowly putting up toys in her room. Baby steps….and then one day she cleaned up the right half of her room! I was so proud of her. 

I try to talk to her often about how she can put the toys in her toybox and that they are still hers. I see that she gets anxious and so I don’t push to hard. This particular day it was like it clicked and she started placing toys in the toy box. Now half of her room is picked up and I was able to clean and vacuum. She still has toys out she doesn’t play with, but again baby steps. 

I love looking in her room and see that she is sitting on the floor playing. She wasn’t able to do that before. I just hope I can get her to a point of letting some things go. The toy box is literally full of toys she doesn’t play with. I think of how much better she would play if I could get rid of everything, except her favorites. I am happy about the progress we have made. 

Christmas is approaching and I almost dread adding more stuff to her room. All she has asked for is a music box from her Nana. She typically doesn’t ask for much. I may have other family members give her gift cards for outings. That will be super fun for her to use. 

I will update you if we make anymore progress in her room. I consider what she has done so far a huge victory.

Have a wonderful Day

Oral Sensory Items We Use

Happy Friday and Good Morning!

I wanted to share today what I use with Chloe to work on Oral Sensory issues. What is Oral Sensory mean? There are sensory receptors in our mouths that allow us to perceive taste, texture and temperature. Our brain receives information from the joint of our jaws when we chew different foods. Oral Sensory also is involved in the way we move our mouths, control saliva and produce sounds when we speak.

Children, who have issues in this area, are more likely to be very picky when it comes to eating and may chew or eat things that are not food. They may be very sensitive to textures, tastes and temperatures of foods presented to them. Some may throw tantrums or meltdown over foods. Children may also gag or throw up food because they can’t handle the feeling of it in their mouths. I had a child in my care 10 years ago that would chew holes in his shirts every day. Chloe had a very limited diet for years. She still has a limited diet, but she has made progress. My goal is to get her away from processed foods all together. A few weeks ago she ate chicken breast for the first time. I cut it into chunks, like nuggets. This is a huge victory!! No more yucky processed boxed nuggets from the store. 

I mentioned children that will chew on non-food items like clothing, hands, fingers, pencils or toys. Some even bite themselves or others. Chloe will make noises like humming, buzzing or clicking sounds.  She will also stuff her mouth with food when eating.  These children may be hypersensitive or have decreased sensitivity to oral sensory input. Children, who are Hyposensitive to Oral Sensory input may not even feel food in their mouths, letting it drop out without realizing it.

I would definitely place Chloe in the Hypersensitive category. Here is what I do to help. These are for Alertness: Vibrating toys (Place on cheeks or lips), vibrating toothbrush (which Chloe refuses to use), play with whistles, kazoos or harmonicas, blow raspberries and make clicking sounds with her tongue. Also use a handheld mirror to make faces and stick out tongue. Eat crunchy snacks, salty and sour snacks to wake up the palate. Massage the cheeks to wake up those muscles. 

Here are some Calming activities:  Suckers, sucking thick liquids through a straw, drinking from straws in general, chewy gummy candy, blowing bubbles and singing or humming. There are also chewy necklaces and other chewy toys for kids, but Chloe never wanted them. 

If your child is struggling with eating issue you may try these techniques or consult their pediatrician to find out if they are having Oral Sensory Issues. I hope this post was helpful to you.

Have a wonderful day!