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Maybe it's just 4th grade...and the gap is wider.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Maybe my problem...as I sat there doing planning tonight and thinking, *$&% it, I'll just eat until I pop...is that teaching my autistic son 4th grade is just so hard. It's really showing the gap between where he is and where "typical" grade 4 kids are like no other grade has. I homeschool him b/c he wasn't getting much of an education b/c he really needs an extremely alternate way of learning that no school could possibly offer. Without getting into that whole schmeer - the homeschooling has never been **easy** but this year it's really a huge challenge. The lessons aren't cute little 4-page science lessons with mostly pictures. No, they're ten pages of heavy facts, explanations, logic behind, diagrams that my EE and CE master's husband who is the CTO of a company said that he didn't even see until college! Really?! And I have to interpret this stuff for my seriously communication delayed child.

I can say I've had thoughts of sending him back to school, but that's like saying I'm giving up on him completely. I KNOW that his learning style can't be met in a traditional environment, and to stick him in one not only will slow his education, but will return him to all the nervousness, the panic attacks, the fears, nightmares - everything that went along with traditional school.

So, will identifying this new and very powerful push toward the pantry help me at all? Well, it sent me to the computer to type about it rather than to the fridge or pantry. So maybe analysis is a good thing. Maybe, even if nobody gives a hoot about my homeschooling problems, they can benefit from watching my journey of trying to identify why oh why I'm struggling so badly this fall.

I know I'm full of conjecture lately, but I'm grasping for reasons so that I can start to defeat them - combat them - come back at them with, sure I know but it doesn't mean I have to EAT!!

For some reason just applying that as a blanket theory doesn't work for me. I seem to need specifics. That's the anal retentive part of my character that has served me well in so many occupations up to now. Now, I'm this control freak with not enough control.

eeeeeeeeeeep

So tonight I actually told myself, while standing in the pantry gazing at what I might find, "yeah, if I eat something it won't make me feel any better - in fact it'll make me feel kind of bad about myself, like I'm so out of control." So see, maybe I can play on that control freak in my head and get HER to run things in the food department?

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  • LAMBOFHISFLOCK
    Hey there. Have you considered a different curriculum? Not all science curricula are the same. I favor a much more relaxed and hands on method in science and my daughter is now in physics and calculus as a young junior. You won't mess him up by just giving him a taste of science in these grades.

    We did interest based. That meant my kids spent a month building a weather station including homemade humidity detector. They hatched eggs. Grew plants. Did kitchen science. We used the Magic School Bus to kick off many interests. And science museums as well. They learned a TON and had fun too.

    I saved bookwork for my children at that age for the core.. math (which I still supplemented with lots of fun hands on and manipulatives and real world stuff) and english. History was with lots of read alouds and fun extras. Science was reading and experimenting. And there was a TON of fun to be had.

    We kept seatwork lessons SHORT. I would rather have full attention for 15 minute bursts 4 times a day.. than to drag through and get low attention for hours.

    Hang in there. You can DO THIS. :) And your child is blessed for having you.
    3506 days ago
  • MEDDYPEDDY
    Kudos and all admiration to you who does this! I am living with my own anxiety over not being able to protect my child - who does not have a diagnose but would need another kind of school. But I do not have the focus or courage to fight for it, I am trying to balance the confidence turndown she gets from not being able to be quiet and concentrated enough - I think she needs a lot of physical movement - I bought one of these ... I do not know the word i english, directly translated would be "ballseat" it seems that hyperactive kids and grownups could be helped by being wrapped in a "ballblanket" - which I could not afford so I sent this seat to her school instead and I hope she is using it... but I don´t live with her and I can´t be there to help and it is very hard to feel inadequate...

    Any way, as I am swedish I can´t compare or know how it works where you are, I just want to tell you that I think you are heroic!
    3509 days ago
  • MKPRINCESS007
    Hey there......found your blog via a friend feed. Let me just agree with others here that 4th grade is a coming of age of sorts these days. My son has Aspergers, so I know your pain. He started coming apart in a standard ed (with supports) in 4th grade. He hit the wall in 5th, and began school refusing. I was able to get the district to provide an approved private school setting for kids with Aspergers, but it wasn't easy. They are definitely a non traditional way of teaching. As for your homeschooling, I give your props and kudos all the way! I believe eventually my son will need cyber school, probably in high school. I am ignorant to the process of supports available to you as a homeschooler, but can the curriculum be adjusted to his learning style/needs? Does he have an IEP as you would in traditional school? Wishing you the best.

    As for the halting of the food overindulgence...........that is awesome! Pat yourself on the back for that! You deserve it!

    Best wishes,
    Karen
    3514 days ago
  • DEE797
    I give you a lot of credit for homeschooling your ds. It does seem like the schoolwork has progressed a whole lot since even my kids were in 4th grade. Try and take things one day at a time and see if you can break down the lessons even further in order for your ds to understand them. Are there any homeschoolers in your area that you might connect with and get support from?


    3514 days ago
  • JITZUROE
    Ughhhhh I feel for you. You need to whip that gnome goodie I sent you a while back from outta the closet so he can guard the pantry : )

    I cannot begin to understand the challenges of teaching at home, and also add in curriculum that seems ridiculous for present days. But I want to encourage you not compare your awesome kid to the 'norm' for his age, since it only adds more poison to the binge monster, and robs your smiles, you know?

    Not sure if this helps any, but I was in special classes for remedial kids when I was his age. I was very quiet and had a lot if anxiety. Later on, I came into my own. I was re-tested and moved to advanced ed ( who knew???).
    Don't let this strip away your defenses and motivation. You are doing something soooooo great for your kiddo!!!

    I'm here to drop kick you to the floor too if you head to those stale crackers again. ..

    Bren
    3515 days ago
  • EBPOOKIE
    You won't fail if you're not perfect, you'll fail if you're not committed to improving yourself slightly each day & you are committed !


    Keep Binge Monster under lock and key you are doing great!!!
    3515 days ago
  • LPETRO119
    Yes, 4th grade seems to be where kids that think differently seem to stand out more. My oldest daughter (who we KNEW didn't read well) really started struggling in the 4th grade - that's when we FINALLY got the district to test her! Found out she's ADHD inattentive with a reading disability (duh!). My youngest daughter on the other hand, started 4th grade this year and is breezing through after struggling a bit in 2nd and 3rd grade.

    I know autism is a whole different ballgame, though. My hat's off to you keeping your son home and teaching him yourself! Stay with it - you are the best person to evaluate his progress - get help where and when you need it, though so you don't get overwhelmed. The pantry isn't holding your answers, but various groups on the internet or your local homeschool team may be able to help.

    emoticon emoticon
    3515 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8667808
    Lisa, I love your blogs. You're just awesome!
    3515 days ago
  • KLUVSTFORMERS
    I feel for you, but you will figure it out!!! just be patient and hang in there! emoticon
    3515 days ago
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