A 3D look at having “Normal Expectations” for your child.

Having a child with FASD is a challenge, which each parent raising these precious ones knows.  However, as a parent we still desire the best for our kids and wonder “will they be able to ______________.”

Having “normal” expectations can be very discouraging, destructive and deceiving.

Discouraging:

As parents, we desire for our children to be able to do the things their peers can do whether that be socially, physically or academically.  Often we try all sorts of things to make them “fit in” and then we are discouraged when they don’t.  We often try to push them academically, because we feel pressure for them to be at grade level, and what results is a feeling of failure when it doesn’t happen.

Destructive:

If we aren’t careful, our reactions to the discouragements lead us to destruction of our selves and our worth in Christ and especially as our job as Mother or Father.  These times of discouragement can lead to yelling at our kids or showing our children we are disappointed in them and that they don’t measure up.  This results in the worse possible outcome which is destruction of our precious childs self-esteem and worth and just causes them to spiral down into feelings like they “just aren’t smart enough or good enough”.

Deceiving:

These discouraging times and destruction leads to deception.  We deceive ourselves into thinking that our children are “never” going to be able to do __________.  We deceive our children into thinking they are “not able” to do ____________.

So what can we do to avoid these 3 D’s?

1. Divine Intervention and Control:  We MUST go to the Lord with our children each day, throughout the day.  Asking Him to meet the needs we or our children have no matter how small.  He created them, He has a plan for them, He will make them into who He wants them to be! Believe it!! (1 Thess. 5:16-18, Romans 12:12)

2. Don’t give up: I don’t think we should have no expectations altogether, but we need determine what they can do and work with them on those goals.  As we see these goals accomplished it will give us an our child something to celebrate.  Trying to silence the messages from “typical” parents and our own desire to have them be “typical” and be able to do ________”, is a constant battle that needs to be won.

3. Document: Journal the situation, your frustrations, scripture that you can hold onto or that the Lord may have given you, positive characteristics about your child, Your childs strengths, your fears etc…

4. Then determine to look at your child through the eyes of the Lord and help them to become what God wants them to be, and not what we want them to be.  (1 Thess. 5:11, Psalm 139)

I write this from the place of necessity and not because I have it down, because the Lord and the other ladies that I work with on this blog know the deep struggles that I go through daily, and have seen how I fail.  However, if we dwell on our child’s disability (FASD) we will have no hope and it will destroy us and our children.  We need to look to the Lord even more and encourage one another in HIM, so that we can get through each day and that in the end the Lord will be glorified in our children’s lives.

I would love to hear your feedback on  “expectations” and how you deal with it on a daily basis.

Blessings,

 

 

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The Pitfalls of Having Normal Expectations

Last week we talked about how our children ‘look’ normal to the world, and just how frustrating that can be for our children. I know that Bob hasn’t just been frustrated by the way the world sees him, he gets frustrated with me as well. I get rather frustrated with myself, too!

As Bob’s mom I’ve had to face the same questions and feelings the world asks and thinks: “He looks normal so all he needs is a happy, loving home, right?” “If I can give him a one-on-one education he’ll be able to catch up, flourish, thrive . . . and then he’ll be normal” Oh trust me, I’ve had a great many normal expectations for my son.

I can’t give up on normal expectations though, there is a standard to strive for and I can’t just excuse my son from life because he has a disability. I still expect Bob to try his hardest, do his best, and give his all. That is a normal expectation. What I have had to adjust is what is hard, best, and all.

It takes time to make that adjustment though, because from the very beginning I had expectations that my son could be normal like all the rest of my children. Why? We weren’t told he would probably have FASD. We knew he had some developmental problems, but we were told, over and over again, that with proper therapy, time, and maturity, a great many of Bob’s problems, if not all of them, would go away. Except they didn’t. I kept waiting, year after year, and Bob kept trying, day after day, but things weren’t getting any better. While Bob can do things now that he couldn’t do before, he is not at age level. He can recognize a word, but he can’t decode the word. He can now recognize when he is cold, but not when he is hot. He still bangs his head at night and the whole house can be heard to say, “Bob! STOP!” Then for 15-30 minutes we sleep, and then the banging starts again. Thankfully Bob doesn’t bang his head every night anymore, at least not loud enough to wake us all up, but there used to be nights when I would wonder, “If we get him to normal enough, and he gets married, will his wife be able to stand the head banging?”

I have to constantly remind myself that Bob is probably never going to get married. He will probably have to live at home for the rest of his life. It’s sad when Bob himself talks about the day when he will get married. Even he has a normal expectation.

I’d have to say that for us, the pitfalls have been the that Social Services didn’t give us a clear picture of what to expect and told us that with a loving home, Bob could be normal. We put a lot of hope in normal. So we went with what they did tell us, and even added our own. We just knew there was intelligence behind those deep, dark eyes. Don’t get me wrong, there is, but not what we had hoped to uncover; some hidden genius or talent. We haven’t even struck normal. So I can get bogged down in my frustration, sadness, and fears, the deepest pitfalls of all. So when I see the hole coming, I have to find a swing rope or a plank to get myself across. They usually come from Bob himself: a joke, an act of kindness, his smile, his innocence. I’ve learned and received a lot from Bob’s normal.

 

“But He Looks Normal . . .

. . . so you just need better parenting skills.”

That’s the response, or ‘attitude’ I receive when people find out my son has a FASD. FASDs aren’t like so many other disabilities that can be seen, such as Down Syndrome. I hope you will allow me to compare the two because in some ways they are similar.

  • Both can have facial deformities; some are just more obvious then others. To clarify, FAS features may seem normal to you but that’s because you don’t know them. I always thought Jim Hensen’s elf creatures in, “The Dark Crystal” looked like they had FAS. You probably just thought they looked like elves.
  • Both can have very sweet personalities
  • Both struggle with grasping concepts
  • Both can have odd behaviors
That’s a small list, but the most obvious. Yet, when it comes to compassion or understanding, the child with Down Syndrome will (usually) receive kindness, patience, and a “Bless his heart.” The child with a FASD will receive incredulous looks. The parents of a child with FASD will be given advice on how to better handle the situation presenting itself, and somewhere in there is a, “this is just an excuse for bad behavior.” Which is fascinating for me because I’m not asking anyone to actually excuse my son’s bad behavior. We address all bad behavior and deal with it. You just can’t deal with it in the same way as you would a ‘normal’ child. You have to recognize what is foolishness and what is childishness, because even in my 15 year old son he can still have very childish behaviors because his brain mainly functions at a six-year-old level.I think what stirs up my frustration is that somehow a FASD is not seen as a real disability. Down Syndrome (and other genetic disorders) are not the fault of anyone, so it’s easier to have compassion for them. FASD on the other hand, is the fault of someone. I won’t say it’s just the fault of the mother because culture plays a huge part in it, but that means it could include youas a part of the problem and we don’t ever want to be the cause of something like this. So people tend to not really see what they are looking at. They only see a threat.Which is where I have to realize that they are seeing some truth. They are seeing one side of my son that, if left unchecked, could become a problem in society. How many people with Down Syndrome do you see in prison? I personally can’t think of any. How many people with a FASD are in prison? According to one statistic, about 3 million. They are in prison because they were tried as a normal adult. Although so many of them are there due to no real fault of their own. They have a disability and do not have ‘normal’ thinking patterns. Yes, some are a danger to society and need to be handled somehow, but they are now victims in prison because they are swayed so easily, which is how they wound up on the wrong side of the law to begin with.My son may look normal, but he is not. He has a real disability, one that has affected his body and his brain, through no fault of his own. He wishes he was ‘normal.’ I can’t wait for the day when FASDs are normally treated as a true disability by all of society. Even better, I can’t wait for the day when there are no more FASDs.

“But they look normal”

So, the topic for our blog this week is “But they look normal”.  In our case, our son is classic FAS, with physical features and all.  Most people don’t recognize his disability, but those who know the “face” of FAS spot it right away.

Our son is often mistaken for a “normal” child of about 5 years younger than his current age.  As he is getting older, this is becoming more noticeable and much more irritating for him as people talk “baby talk” to him because they think he is in elementary school when he is in fact in middle school.  Recently, when he helped pack boxes for a mission organization, they grilled him about his age, and were sceptical that he really was 13.  He had to be defended by his choir director who had coordinated the event.

Since we home school, he does not experience as many issues related to people mis-classifying him because of his appearance and age.  He does struggle consistently with his height, because the gap seems to be getting bigger and bigger.  We encourage him and those who make comments, that we all come in different shapes and sizes and that God has a plan for each of us.

One thing I struggle with is sharing with people that he has FASD.  As he gets older, I feel there is a need to not be so free in sharing this and that I should probably ask him if it is o.k.  This is an area we are just trying to work out.  I tend to be a “helicopter” parent and want to protect him or “educate” people so they will understand if he says something inappropriate or “doesn’t get it”.  I know there is a fine line, and not everyone needs to know.  I know I could be hurting him more than helping him.

So what do you do when people say “but they look normal”?

An Update On Why It’s Important to Get a Diagnosis

Dorothy recently posted on her blog, Urban Servant, a post that touches home on why you need to get a FASD diagnosis for your child. Six Hours Later: I’m Even More Convinced That FASD Diagnosis Is Critical gets to the bottom line problem area that so many others see in our children–Trouble, with a capital T. While our friends and family may not be willing to accept an “excuse,” the law is beginning to recognize that they are dealing with true handicaps when it comes to people with an FASD.

If you haven’t already, please take a look at our other post/s on why diagnosis is important.
Diagnosis – Why Do You Need It? 

Dealing With the Holidays – Or Should I Say, the Family?

Holidays are stressful on everyone, but especially for someone with a special needs child, and most especially if that special needs child, “looks normal,” like many children with an FASD. Now, everyone in my family knows that Bob isn’t normal, but some have been disturbed by his behaviors, to the point where they tell other family members that he gives them the creeps. Imagine hearing that about your child! You may think I would be outraged, but the plain fact is Bob does have some inappropriate behaviors, that are fairly common to FASD children, that make a person uncomfortable. I’m not outraged, I’m hurt, because they have overlooked the rest of my son.

I know that some families try to avoid the discussion of, “Just what’s wrong with your kid?” and I don’t blame them because you get a lot of unwanted advice, or I should say, opinion, that can usually lead to someone getting upset. Oh, goody. I’ve had to learn though that educating my family is the only way to help them understand my child. After all, it was the only way that helped me to understand him!

So here is my tip on how to educate the family, before the holiday gathering! Write your family a letter. That’s it, that’s my tip. All right, I’ll give more detail. If you are already in the habit of writing a family letter for Christmas then you just need to add more detail for your special needs child. If you don’t write letters, then you can just write a letter telling everyone how you look forward to seeing them. Outline your praises and concerns about your child. Let them know the following:

  • Start with telling them that you just want to update them on how your child is doing. Don’t write this letter as an attack or as a defense. You are bringing them on board. Give them some tools to help remind them of what special need your child lives with. Include links to Web sites, articles, and books.
  • Next tell them all the great things your child has done and that you have praised the Lord for like doing better in school or learning to ride a bike.
  • You need to outline your concerns as well; your child’s health, new medication, or even sleeping patterns. You also need to include behavioral issues such as use of bad language, or inappropriate touching. Tell them that these are areas you are working on so to please come to you directly so that you can handle it.
  • Cover any special diets your child has and why. You don’t need to go into great length, just mention that you have now gone wheat free to see if that will help your son. Again give them a link to a Web site or book where they can learn more about it if they want to.
  • Don’t end the letter on the bad side! You’ve just discussed diet so now tell them the foods your child loves! Hopefully this will encourage the family to bring something along that will please him. Let them know if you will be bringing any dishes that go along with his diet.
  • Tell them some other things your child enjoys. For instance, Bob loves Legos. Perhaps tell them his favorite movie, book, or game. Give them tips on what will help your child get through the gathering and/or will include him.
  • Be sure to tell your family that you love them, and so does your child. List any fun memories your child may have of family events or time with a special uncle. Let them know your child is looking forward to seeing them.
  • Finally, tell them that you welcome any questions, but that you would appreciate it if these discussions didn’t take place in front of your child (especially as if he wasn’t even there.)
I do understand the fear of telling certain (or maybe even all) family members too much information. You don’t need to go into minute details about the topics listed above, but a lot of what you don’t say will be found out anyway, either at the dinner when they notice you politely took the wheat roll off Bob’s plate, or from “after you’ve left family discussion.” That may very well happen anyway but at least they’ve got the information from you.
It’s going to be a long letter, it needs to be a long letter, because you are preparing your family for what they are about to become a part of. Your doctor didn’t just announce, “Well, your son has an FASD. You’ll have some problems but you’ll figure them out.” and then send you on your merry way! No, he gave you information to help you to be able to first cope with the news, and enabled you to go home and learn more about it. We need to give our family the same respect in this area.

Educational Service: What we have done.

We have done many interventions with our son since he came into our family at 9 months old.  He began an early intervention program at 10 months that consisted of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, sensory therapy, and music therapy.  They also had an inclusive pre-school program on Fridays, where the special needs kids and the typical kids played together and learned together during that time.  I believe this is a big reason that my son has done as well as he has in several areas; sensory issues, reading, and even ability to understand some math principles. After this, we were in the school district for a year and a half getting speech and occupational therapy.

We also saw a sensory integration professional who worked with our son and helped him improve in the following areas: eye-tracking was corrected, worked on issues related to his ability to cross midline, relaxed his muscles so he was able to write better and focus better.  We did this for almost 3 years, and we did see an improvement.  This particular professional encouraged me with new research at the time that showed how the brain could be re-mapped, so as not to lose hope with our son.

The last thing that we did was very expensive and I’m not sure it was worth all the money that we paid, but we felt we needed to give it a shot.  We have a desire to do whatever is necessary to help our son be as successful and function in society in as normal a way as possible and we want to get him all the help we can to help him reach his full potential.  So the therapy was a “brain mapping” type of program (called LearningRX) were he worked one-on-one (3 hrs a week) with a facilitator on various activities that would help him with math, reading and help him learn to “think”.  He also had 3 hours of work on the computer that he had to do at home which was in the form of games.  The most positive change that came about as a result of this therapy was his increased ability to do math and it helped with his working memory issues.  I have noticed that he seems to be having more trouble lately, being able to comprehend and even do math that he was doing well, when we finished the program. 

Currently, we do not have any formal intervention outside the home.  We homeschool which gives us the ability to work one-on-one with him, have more time to help him with life skills, and issues that he has trouble comprehending that most children/young adults just “get” without a lot of help. We are currently using a “self-directed” learning model and it is working out pretty good.  He needs my help, but not as much in some areas as he did before.  As part of this type of learning, he is required to read and find out information, to write about it (which he loves to do) and then read and figure out his math lessons.  It has helped me to let him go a bit and not help him so much.  He is 13 and I don’t have many more years before he will need to be equipped to get out there on his own (hopefully), so learning how to figure things out is so important.  He may stay in his room longer, have to work harder to get the information, but about 80% of the time he is able to get to the right information and does most things well.

It is hard, because all children with FAS are very different in the abilities and disabilities, but have very similar issues too.  When I read about other families with FAS children, I totally relate to what they are talking about.  I would be glad to share more about what we have done, just leave me a comment below.

Thanks,

Educational Services: Why We Don’t Use Them for Bob

Please keep in mind as you read this post that these are the opinions of Bob’s Mom, and not necessarily those of the other families that write for FAS Families of Faith. I am not against anyone using educational services as they need them; I may not consider it the wisest choice, but it is your choice because it is your child.

There was a time when we had no choice in what services we were going to give Bob because he was a ward of the state, our foster child. We had to do what the state told us to do. After we adopted Bob we kept up with each of the therapeutic services (speech, physical, and occupational therapy) until Bob was of school age. At that time they simply told me to put him in school. I grew up in the school system that they were asking me to abandon my son to. I’m sure they feel they may have improved but I had seen no evidence of that. We simply began homeschooling, just like we did with all of our other children. I did search for private therapists but they were all out of our price range. Then we discovered ND therapy and we learned a few things that made me more determined that my son would not be taking part in the standard system of doing things.

The most important thing we learned about was “stimming.” Basically that’s a term for self-stimulation. Children with autism, and other neuro-developmental problems like to stim a lot. In fact it was Bob’s stimming that had everyone around us convinced that Bob must be autistic. What we learned about stimming is that you must stop it! Stimming cannot be allowed to continue if you want your child to advance. (Please read the article I linked to get a better understanding why, I won’t cover that here as it’s not the focus of this post.) What surprised and upset me about this is that all of Bob’s therapists had encouraged his stimming behaviors; all of them, from three different states. We had seen no real advancement in Bob in his early years and I now understood why. To be fair, these therapists had only encouraged what they had been taught to be the thing to do, but they were damagingly wrong.

Two memories of Bob’s time in therapy that caused Bob, and myself, no end of frustration was the need to do things their way. Bob had other coping mechanisms to achieve a goal, like putting rings into slots. Bob always did it wrong. What frustrated me was that the therapist wouldn’t (or couldn’t?) explain to me why it needed to be done her way. Another memory is of Bob’s last speech therapist attempting to teach him to sing, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Bob hated that song. It was clear on his face he thought it was dumb. One day, while at home, Bob broke into song, of his own accord, no accompanying music. It stunned us all. He was singing, “Edelweiss!” Not humming it, not just one line of it, he was singing the song! I couldn’t wait to tell his speech therapist (My word, I thought my child was a genius!). When we got to his next appointment and I excitedly told her his achievement she just gave me a blank stare didn’t respond with a single word, then turned to Bob and started in again, “The itsy, bitsy spider . . . ” Bob sat there mutely. No amount of anything was going to make him sing that ridiculous tune.

Again, to be fair, there is a reason certain exercises must be done in order, any reasonable person knows that, but what was upsetting was there were no explanations, no real patience with a mother who asked too many questions or her apparent lack of knowledge about therapy. Therapists deal a lot with parents who don’t ask questions. I’ve met several parents who, when asked why their child was doing such and such an exercise they respond with, “I don’t know, I didn’t ask.” I don’t know what the deal is there, if therapists are trained to not explain or if because parents haven’t asked they don’t know how to respond, either way it was all an attitude of, “We know what we are doing, you don’t, so just leave your child with me.” Not happening with this mama!

With ND therapy we are taught the “why” behind everything we do. It has been an eye opening experience, as well as educational in how to help our son. Things like why rock music is bad for the brain, how the ways babies develop can affect the way they learn later in life (crawling must come before creeping, etc.), and above all, I was a vital component to Bob’s education. ND therapy was behind me; I didn’t have to be totally behind it.

I have heard stories from mothers who have good experiences with their educational services, but they are few and far between. Some, I later discovered, were just blind to the truth about what was happening. I don’t mean abuse, I mean they just took the schools word for it that their child was doing well. He seemed to be doing well, so it must be so, only to later find out that their son wasn’t really getting what he needed.

My biggest piece of advice to any parent, not just those with special-needs children, know what your child is doing and why! Ask questions, stay with your child at therapy sessions (if you can’t find someone who can), don’t just wait for the IEP meeting to do all these things! Know your child better then anyone! You can’t know him/her if you abandon him to the system. If you do you will only know the child who interacts with you. Everybody acts differently in different situations or around different people! Your child is not necessarily the same person at school, and that is the part of your child you don’t know. Yes, kindness and caring, for instance, usually go across the board in all situations, but what about stress level? What about confusion? What about peer-pressure that you may not even realize is happening? (When I was growing up I knew full well not to cuss at home, but I cussed up a storm at school. This was rather shocking to my mother when she found out!)

Whatever you decide to do–with your child–take a full part in it!

Using ND Therapy to School Our Child

For many children with FAS school is hard. Some subjects may be harder then others, or all subjects drive everyone involved to tears. Frustration is the prevailing emotion of the day, so finding that perfect teacher, curriculum, and/or special needs program is a must. Except, there’s no such thing as perfect, at least not when it comes to education. There are certainly better ideas, but in my 15+ years of homeschooling of three “normal” children, not a single curriculum I have used was a perfect fit for any one child. So you look for what is the best and adjust what doesn’t work. So I’m telling you what we have found to work the best for our son, Bob, and it may be something for you to try, but it is by no means the perfect answer for everyone, and I’ll tell you why shortly.

Before we even knew that Bob has an FASD I came across neuro-developmental therapy. It sounded kind of out there, but I wanted to explore it further because my husband and I had watched a program about it a couple of years before on Nova. Alan Alda was the host back then and he interviewed a young lady who had a partial lobotomy. You’d think that would mean this girl couldn’t do anything, but with retraining of the brain she was able to talk, and had other skills that I can’t remember all of now. That’s what ND therapy is all about, retraining a disorganized brain (please read, “An Approach to Remediation“). Somehow I managed to find someone in my homeschool community that was using ND therapy for her son, so my husband and I invited the family over for dinner to ask questions and get a better understanding of how ND therapy worked for someone we actually knew. We were impressed enough to give it a try.

Our friends introduced us to an organization called CAN-DO, (Christian Access to Neuro-Developmental Organization), and that was what we decided to go with after further research. However, it isn’t cheap (insurance doesn’t cover it), we have to travel to meet Bob’s therapist every four months, and to be honest a lot of ND therapy takes time and is boring! That’s why ND therapy isn’t for everyone, especially in today’s economy, but it is a complete program for someone with special needs! ND therapy covers speech, occupational, and physical therapy, as well as education in the 3Rs.

What does a typical school day look like for Bob? Our program takes 3 hours; each person’s program is different depending on needs and time available. We have divided up Bob’s therapy into three, one-hour sessions. Each sister takes an hour and I take an hour. This helps because as I said the program can be quite boring because you do several of the same exercises over again each day (which is important in retraining the brain). I’ve got to confess though that very often we don’t always get our three hours done! Sad, but true. Right now Bob does math using Hayes Math workbooks, finger math, and flash cards. He is reading Dick and Jane, as well as 3Rs Plus books. We use, What Every Second Grader Needs to Know, for history, science, and other language arts.

So far you’re thinking, “That all sounds fairly normal.” Now add in Bob’s therapy exercises, and the dreaded digit spans! Right now for therapy Bob has to skip, bite “grabbers,” spin, pleoptics and fusions and pursuits (his eyes need to be exercised so he follows a light and an object with his eyes), crumple paper with his weak hand, tongue push-ups, sniff at scented jars, remember several words in order (this is called ACWS), lick beaters, and many others. Some of these are done twice a day, and a few are done 3-4 times a day. On top of all of that Bob has to have his right ear occluded for 8 hours a day. All of this to retrain the good parts of his brain to do what the bad parts damaged by alcohol can’t do properly. For Bob, it works!

We keep at ND therapy because Bob has improved academically and socially. We have seen results that nothing else was able to give him. He is more confident and out-going. ND therapy is unlocking our son. It’s not a cure, it won’t heal the damaged parts of Bob’s brain, he won’t be “normal” by the world’s standards, but he is able to do things that we were afraid he was never going to be able to do.

Even if you don’t homeschool your FAS child you can still do ND therapy. You’ll definitely want to get your child’s teacher/s involved but you are doing most of the work at home. That may seem like an extra burden on top of what your child needs to do for school, but it will help your child’s school work, thinking, and social skills.

If you want to know more about ND therapy I encourage you to click the above links and look for more articles on the topic (Only Talk Tools doesn’t include information about ND therapy). You can also leave me a comment with any questions you have and I’ll do my best to answer!

*No one on, FAS Families of Faith, was paid or compensated in any way to write this post or link to any of the above companies/organizations. They are shared to help you, the reader.

How we do school.

We have tried so many different curriculums, learning strategies and plans over the years.  However, this year we have been homeschooling using the Robinson’s Method.  This method of learning focuses on learning through the 3R’s; Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. 

At first, I was sceptical, wondering if my son would be able to handle it, because this method focuses on reading and self-directed learning.  We were a little concerned because we knew his reading comprehension was so poor and he takes a great deal of oversight and help to accomplish his work.  However, we have seen wonderful progress in him since we started schooling this way.

  • He has been less stressed since we began this method of schooling.  One reason that I believe it has worked, is that he is able to focus on what he is reading and learning about because he has fewer tasks to accomplish.  We aren’t working out of a math book, history book, science book, language arts book, reading book, vocabulary book etc… It is much easier for him to accomplish his daily educational tasks this way and I think it is more manageable for him and less overwhelming.
  • We have seen him comprehend much better, because he has time to focus on what he is reading and learning, and doesn’t get distracted by all the items he still has to do to get his school done for the day.  His reading comprehension has improved significantly and he is able to explain it verbally and in writing much better. The best part, is that he enjoys reading more than he has in the past.
  • There is more time: to talk about issues going on in his life, talk about how the information he is learning is helpful, to spend time talking about the Word of God and work on character qualities, to teach him life skills, to go on field trips and get out in the world and see what we are learning about, for him to do things that he like; making movies, writing stories, building Legos, and doing work with his Granddad.

I have seen him grow and develop skills, because we are not “rushing” around trying to get everything done.  It provides a better environment and a closer relationship with each other, because we have more time together without the hassles and lists of things to “get done”. We still learn the different subjects, but in the context of the 3R’s.

We have enjoyed this new way of learning and living, and it has brought order and simplicity into our life.  This is something I have tried to accomplish over the 6 years we have been schooling from home.  I am also seeing great benefit for my 5-year-old too, it is truly an amazing way to learn!