Jump to content


Newbie- introductions and all that...

Recommended Posts

Good day to you all! I've been reading your posts for the last couple of weeks and finally had time to get registered today. I have just begun homeschooling my dd13 (adopted at birth, bipolar, adhd, gad) after trying private school for 6th grade and public school for the first semester of 7th grade. We have had quite a difficult last couple of years due to an exacerbation of her symptoms (anger, rage, etc., as well as major school avoidance).


So far (one week in!) our experience with homeschooling is going well. She is bright and willing to work when a subject interests her. The trick will be getting her to work on subjects that DON'T interest her. I'm going for more of a weekly schedule rather than daily schedule in that regard. My hope is that by the end of a week we will have accomplished much of what we wanted to.


Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself. I'm a pediatric operating room nurse by trade (still working two days a week) and I'm also a musical theatre actress here in San Antonio. (So of course we're doing Shurley Grammar, lol!)

I love all things vintage, I love to read, and I love to laugh. I haven't figured out the whole "signature" thing yet, but I have a blog at http://www.kathrynsmoore.wordpress.com.


Looking forward to getting to know y'all. So grateful to walk this journey together!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome! It sounds like you're doing well so far. 2-3 hours/day of willing participation is a great beginning. One of the most important compoents of the teacher/learner relationship is the learner's ability to follow the teacher's lead. One key skill in becoming a teacher/guide is learning how to find the edge of the student's competence in each skill area, and then choose/design activities that include some activities which are at a comfortable level, most which are right close to the edge, and a few which stretch the learner into new learning. At this time, while your daughter is getting used to responding to you as her guide for learning, it's best to stay in the first two areas and not poke too hard into areas of new concepts that you think she might perceive as too difficult.


Have your had any cognitive/academic achievement/neuropsych testing done? If so, you might have some understanding of her strengths and weaknesses as a learner. Understanding such things as how her short-term, long-term, and working memory is functioning, how quickly she processes information, whether she is stronger as a visual, verbal, or kinesthetic learner, etc, can help you choose learning activities and materials that fit your daughter best. If you've had testing done before, you can use the report to begin to understand your daughter as a learner. If not, it might be helpful to keep a journal of which activities worked well & which didn't work so well & any insight you might have as to why. Over time, you'll begin to see patterns that may help guide your choices.


What do you see as your daughter's strengths and weaknesses as a learner? Which subjects does she avoid and do you have any insight as to why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi and welcome to the boards! You should fill in your sig so we can tell what you're doing (or attempting to do). :) My dd is of similar age, so I was curious. I can tell you that, at least in our house, when we hit those "won't do it" walls, it's more of a can't do it and the question is why. So in that case I'm with Marie. Sometimes we go into it with really preconceived notions. Ultimately we're teaching *1* kid, and we have to bend if we want a certain reaction out of them. I mean is it more important that you win this (whatever it is) or is there a state of mind in her that is more important? Whichever is more important to you is what should win, and you shouldn't be bashful about that.


I tend to think the system of labels, grades, and fast food schooling tends to make kids look NOT GOOD at so much that we really have to swing the other way and find what they're GOOD at. Some things that helped me in that? "Do What You Are" by (I forget the authors, look it up on amazon) is awesome. And just look at your kid. Look at what brings her alive or what is working well and then take that methodology or approach into everything else you're doing. My dd isn't keen on grammar at all, but I finally realized after years of doing this that Shurley, her least favorite subject in theory, was actually the one where we were having the most fun! And I had to stop and figure out *why* that subject went better than any other to see if I could capture that magic and carry it over to our math time or our... time. Get the idea?


Just to second Marie, if your neuropsyh or whoever evaluated her DIDN'T give a good sit-down with educational recommendations, that would be WELL worth your time. If the eval is several years old, you could push for a re-eval. It's so nice to have somebody tell you how you translate the labels on the child into something that will actually work for the child. Sometimes you have problems and they're telling you the terms or what you need and you still don't even know how to make that happen. That's where the help comes in. The boards are good, and the *right* psych or ed psych or neuropsych can be golden. Ours was at least. I left so affirmed about my child and CHILLED about all the things that had worried me. It made me more ready just look at her, build her up, and enjoy who she is and hang the theories.


So if she's not having fun at SOMETHING yet, I'd definitely make sure you find that. It gives them something to work toward and gets over the "I hate this but have to do it anyway" hump. BTW, our neuropsych actually put the EF scores into the realm of real. Like if you have a kid who's EF is more typical of something 3-4 years younger than her chrono age (and IQ), then you have to go down on length of lessons, etc.


Have you read Freed's book "Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World"? Might give you some new ways to work on things. I also liked "No Mind Left Behind" and the books by Halloway. But the biggest thing was to look for the positive things the differences create in their brain, because there ARE positives and strengths. And then when they find something they're actually good at or strong at, it makes them blossom.


Linguisystems sells some workbooks on Executive Function that several of us here are using. They'd definitely be worth your time. Start with the younger one, even though the age on the front looks low. Some will be easy, but just one section in that book has resolved some problems for us that seemed INSURMOUNTABLE a few months ago. Definitely worth the buy.


Have fun hanging out here! There's so much to learn. The thing our np emphasized over and over was that small group environments are the reason dd has done so well. You're definitely on the right track. It just takes a while to find your groove and how to get there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...