Thursday, September 27, 2007

Do I Really Need All the Therapies the P.S. Offers Special Needs Kids??

Let's start with the fine print. This is not intended to be medical advice. Please check with your own healthcare providor to determine what is appropriate for your child.

Now, that that is out of the way. My oldest son was in the public school system from the age of 3 until I pulled him out at the end of 1st grade ( with two years in Kindergarten). So, we had experience with what the school systems will offer, if they decide to pay for therapy for spcial needs kids. And he got most of what is offered, speech, OT, PT,  and an educational one on one aide.

So, to seperate from the public school system and still give our son what he needs. That was a daunting task.  And I will admit to you, over the years  I have wondered, am I doing all that I can do for my son, is there anything else I can do for my son?

Well, the answer is yes I am doing all I can for my son. And the school system could not do it any better than I am. Yes I say that with great confidence. A few years back, I really was questioning what we were doing, so we took a few school tours. I took 2. One was the local school district. I was taken to the lower level classroom as well as the high functioning classroom. The two options I was offered.

He would not be able to function at the higher functioning class. So I was looking through the lower functioning class. Well, there was nothing in that classroom that I was not already in my home. I am talking about the resources they were using. I either had the exact same thing, or in my opinion a superior version of that same item. The difference would be that while he is at home, he is not stuck in a room with other children with learning disabilities, but rather he is being taught at his speed, with typical learning kids, and kids with some struggles ( his siblings).

At the other school we looked at, I must admit, if I were to ever need to send him to school, this would be the school I would want to send him to. However the cost is $25,000 a YEAR. I cannot pay for it, and the fight it would take to get a school district to pay for it.. I do not think I would win that one, not in this school district. But even with that school, lots of what they did, we did as well. But they were able to deliver those services far superior than the local school district.

But still at home we were addressing all of the same areas, with the same kinds of resources, if not exactly the same.

One last little story, before I tell you how we have addressed some of the ways we handled therapy. I had a friend who works with special needs kids in the local high school district, who said to me, why don't you put him in school, they will teach how to use the computer, and life skills. I told her that I can teach him the computer, and he is already learning life skills. And he is already out in the community doing community based learning.

Now, some of the ways we have addressed his needs are as follows, he has taken piano lessons for 5 years now. He is doing very well. He has to work very hard at it, but he has accomplished quite a bit and has performed before an audience at recitals which are held 2 times a year.

He took horseback riding lessons. This addressed PT needs as well as OT needs. This was not a developmental horse back riding program, but the same program his siblings were in. After a year, he was doing almost as well as his siblings, while riding. His posture is always difficult. But he really learned how to work his left and right brain simultaneously. And he was also able to groom the horse down to picking the shoes and putting the saddle on.

We also have him signed up in PE class.  He now goes twice a week. This is our 4th year of PE, it is great for him. Addressing all the PT needs he has. In fact after two weeks this year he has finally mastered how to do push ups correctly, his body was straight as a board, for the first time.

We also had him take Jujitsu, we signed him up for this class when the horsback riding classes ended. This was another way to address both the OT and PT needs.

One thing that is free that you can do as well, is take them to Home Depot or Lowes, whatever you have near you or both. Each one of them on 1 saturday a month has a day you can take your children to a clinic where they build something. They nail and sand and glue and follow step by step directions. A great way to get them working with their hands and they are having fun with mom or dad at the same time!!

As far as speech goes, we have addressed that ourselves at home. I have sat in enough speech sessions to know how to handle that. So I have continued and expanded where they left off.

Now I will say, if you have never had your kid evaluated, it would pay to have them evaluated to know where to focus your time and energy. There are places you can pay to have evaluations done.. one place I know of is

I have not used them, however I plan on using them when I need a new evaluation.

All of these things may not be available in your area, however I hope that these ideas will get you thinking outside the clinical therapy  unit when it comes to addressing the needs of our kids.


Happy Homeschooling!!





How in the World Can I Afford All of This????

In the community around me, I have heard rumblings of I can't homeschool, because I cannot afford curriculum. I can understand the sentiment, especially from someone who is new to homeschooling.

I am someone, who does not have a windfall of money to purchase curriculum. So I have to be creative. I have only purchased a "boxed" curriculum once in our 7 years of homeschooling. And even then I bought most of it used.

There are several ways we have been able to do this. For one, our first year of homeschooling, I knew a 1st grade teacher, who gave me all of her discards. I supplemented with the internet and a few small purchases. I tried to , whenever possible to purchase used. There are a whole host of used sites out there, not just ebay. One of my favorites is...

This one is run by a local ( to me) homeschool family.

I frequented yard sales, and always had my eye out, for good educational books. It is amazing how cheap they will sell educational books, because their children were not interested in them...

The local public library is a given, when you are on a tight budget. However, there are some years, getting to a library was difficult for us. Sometimes even that was out of reach for us.

So what I have done, is try to find things on the internet, that I could use to educate my kids. Also, when I did purchase, I did not want to purchase consumables, workbooks, etc.. because then I would have to keep buying those over and over. So I am more interested in something that can be used over and over.

I have purchased Ray's Arithmetic.     this website is for a cd version for $59, however it can be used for years.  this website is for the printed version.  I purchased the whole set for $99. With 5 kids, and all the years oflearning we can use these for, I felt this was a wise investment.

I have come across some wonderful websites, that have lists and lists of things that you can do on the web to help you teach your children at no cost. If you are printing, then you will need to pay for ink and paper. I was blessed with a hand me down printer. It is about 10 years old, but it works!! It is a laserjet which is awesome, because you will not need to purchase ink nearly as often.  I had stopped printing altogether because of the cost of ink. I was just given this printer about 2 weeks ago.. and the amounts I have printed.. would have already run my ink out at least once.

I mentioned in my first post to the blog, that we are following Old Fashioned Education, loosely. Do check out her website

Even if you do not follow her curriculum as she has designed it, there is a huge abmount of information there, and books that you can either read online ( for free) or print, on a myriad of subject matter.

This next website has a great list of free website items...

Now this is listed on at least on OFE, however I wanted to bring attention to the fact that Answers in Genesis,  has free curriculum on line for Jr High and High School age.

This link is also for AIG, however these are for videos of their speaker series. For Free.

This is from They have a great list of freebies as well.

Well, I think this is a good start of al lthe wonderful places you can get some quality curriculum for your learners!  Keep checking this space for more great sites!

The Park and Books...

What a fun day we had yesterday!!!

Wednesdays are always a fun day at Creative Learners. We spend our mornings at the park with about 200 homeschoolers. It is PE class day. My older children have PE on Mondays as well, however, on Wednesdays the entire family is there. And the crowd is larger.

Our homeschool group has PE classes offered to all ages from Kindergarten all the way up to high schoolers.

So most of us moms, take advantage of being in the park, and have a time of fellowship, with each other as well as, the kids who have the chance to hang out with their friends!

Yesterday was the perfect day, weather wise. It was a beautiful day, probably about 75 degrees!

After PE, we headed over to our local library which is having their used book sale! Oh my, talk about a homeschoolers dream!

I walked out with 29 books, all for a quarter each, so I spent a whopping $7.25. I will be returning on Saturday to see if there is anything left, when I will be able to fill a bag for only $1.

I was able to get so many books that will be helpful to learning this year. We are studying American History and I was able to pick up quite a few on that topic as well as much more...

Here is a list of what we brought home.......

My America- My Brother's Keeper  Virginia's Civil War Diary              by Mary Pope Osborne

Air Raid- Pearl Harbor! by  Theeodore Taylor

Colin Powell by David Roth

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

Billy Sunday by Elaine Cunningham

The Statue in the Harbor by Jeffrey Eger

In the Line of Fire Eight Women War Spies  by George Sullivan

George Washington by Augusta Stevenson

Meet George Washington by Joan Heilbroner

By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The American Boy Anthology by Franklin M Reck

The American Girl Book of Horse Stories from American Girl magazine circe 1949

No Place for Baseball by Alex Allen

Little Leaugue Ball Hawk by Don Creighton

Hey Listen To This Stories to Read Aloud by Jim Trelease

They Called Me Mama by Margaret Nicholl Laird

Bubbles  by Bernie Zubrowski

A Promise to Keep  by James Smart

Everygirls Companion complilation of stores circa 1968

The Call of The Wild by Jack London

The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop

The Girls of Lighthouse Lane Rose's Story by Thomas Kinkade

Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates

On the Other Side of the Hill by Roger Lea MacBride

Little Farm in the Ozarks by Roger Lea Macbride

The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ by Jerry Ross

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Six by Suess by Dr. Suess ( inside this book are 6 stories...Mulberry Street, Yertle the Turtle,  The 500 Hats, Horton Hatches the Egg, The Lorax and How the Grinch Stole Christmas)

I will tell you this was a homeschool moms paradise! I couldhave spent alot more money ( well not alot, sicne hte books were so cheap) and alot more time in there. I love books!!

So needless to say, if you have limited funds, it would be wise to watch your local library. They usually allhave a sale time each year, or some have a sale table that is always out. You can get some great buys that can really help to stretch your education budget!

Happy Homeschooling!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wholesome Words

I also stumbled across this wonderful little wesbite today. They have a bunch of neat Bible printables for the kids. Among other things. Enjoy!




Free Bible Study Family Devotional

I have just found this. I knew I could purchase Bible Studies from this site, but had no idea they had a free program.

What I liked about these, was they had several studies listed for each week, for the different age levels. From Preschool all the way up to adult! This is going to be a great addition for our family!

I hope you all can use it as well!

Sequential Spelling

We have finally unlocked a door!!!!!

I cannot express to you, how thankful I am to finding Sequential Spelling, from 

My son who is dyslexic, really is struggling with reading. He can read, but he is below grade level. Not for lack of effort. On his part and on our ours. However, he still felt like he was unable to ever conquer reading. Now, after Sequential Spelling, he has finally started having a love and an interest in words! Praise the Lord!  I am so thankful. I highly reccomend this program, TOS bookstore sells their stuff as well! I also reccomend the book they put out called To Teach a Dyslexic, by Don McCabe. He is a dyslexic, and it really was eye opening!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Greetings from Creative Learners


I am new to the blogging world. I have read blogs for some time. This morning I thought perhaps I would start one for our Homeschool Family!

We are in our 7th year of homeschooling our  children. We have special needs learners, advanced learners and right on target learners.... and sometimes reluctant learners.... Wow how many kids is that???  Actually we have 5 children. Though, isn't it true that they  will fit into more than one category?

I am not a textbook user. I classified this blog as an eclectic blog. I figured that was the closest way to describe what we do.

We do living books, Charlotte Mason, hands on... we have done Sonlight Curriculum, while I love their methodology and their wonderful books... it was not a good fit. This year, I am loosely following OFE, Old Fashion Education.

This is a free curriculum online, that Miss Maggie from has put together.  I do not follow exactly as she has written it, and that is encouraged.... I have several different grade levels and so I put things together, from a few different grade levels, and add other sources.  We are all in all having a great year.

I thought that I would share here, in this blog, things that have been helpful to our children with special needs.  As well as, share what we do with our non special learners.

I have a son, with epilepsy, and autism and a myriad of nuances in his learning. As well as an ADHD and Dyslexic son. And a daughter who also has Dyslexia.

I look forward to getting to know all of you as we travel down this new blogging world!  Please be patient with me as we add more and more every day!

Grab a cup of coffee for your next visit.. and we'll sit and chat awhile!