Every 4 months or so I block out a couple of days for planning Parker’s home school curriculum. You’d think that in that much time I’d be able to knock out the entire year. Nope. No such luck. It takes time to translate Parker’s IEP, find the patterns I need, figure out new ways of introducing stuff, pick out our literature list, and remind myself that hanging out on Facebook really isn’t helping me get anything done. Homeschooling a child with Down syndrome is not for the lazy.
I go back and forth telling myself that this will be the best homeschooling year ever, to telling myself that I’ve got to get my act together and focus more on Parker’s progression. I know we’re behind where we should be and that is upsetting. However Parker is progressing and progressing well.
A lot of how far we get depends on if Parker is sick or not. A lot depends on how busy I am with other stuff, like giant yard sales to raise the money for the therapies this kid needs. A lot depends on if Parker has had to go under anesthesia lately.
I have found an out patient OT via Primary Children’s that Parker’s waiver will cover. Score! However his waiver will only cover ONE therapy at a time. So I guess that he’s stuck not being able to talk until he can write his name. Welcome to Utah, Baby.
I’m extremely blessed in the fact that Parker LOVES to go into his classroom and work. We work for about an hour and then take a break and then go back and hit it again. Unless Parker is sick, he no longer takes an afternoon nap. So this year I’ll have an extra two hours to play with.
Homeschooling isn’t as easy and smooth as some bloggers portray. At not least around here. I can’t give an assignment and walk away, unless I want to come back and find that assignment shoved down the nearest heater vent. We are still at the hands on level of education at our house…..meaning my hands are always on him some where, some way.
Homeschooling a child with Down syndrome takes an amazing amount of organization. There’s more than a bit of sacrifice about it. It can be expensive if you choose for it to be expensive. It can be pretty cheap if you choose to spend less. Of course my ideas always tend to fall under the expensive heading and so I have to spend time wheedling them down into the cheap category.
My biggest struggle with homeschooling is making the choice to put in the time to work with Parker or using that time to clean or organize something around the house. I know. I know. Totally nuts. I’m kind of extremely particular about how clean my house is, and I need to continue to choose to let that go if I am going to give Parker the time and attention he deserves. I’ve had a hard time doing this, which I know sounds weird to a lot of people.
I’m finding that the more I get rid of, the less I have to clean and organize. The less I have to clean and organize the less crazy I am. Interestingly enough, less crazy is better than more crazy. I’m waiting for TLC to come out with a show that is the opposite of Hoarders. I’m pretty sure my family will be the first in line to sign me up. Reed is eternally making comments like, “You threw away the so and so, didn’t you?”
I’ve become really talented in my ability to pretend I have no idea what he’ s talking about.
It is worth it. Put aside that fact that we really don’t have a choice, I still consider homeschooling a child with Down syndrome to be well worth it.
Just like the Peace Corps, it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love.
Or something like that.
Are you homeschooling a child with special needs? Do you know of any other blogs that share their experiences homeschooling a child with special needs?
One of our favorite homeschooling blogs? Confessions of a Homeschooler