Taking part in the first ever Blog Hope from Secular Homeschool today -
about Celebrating Success!
I thought "great topic!" I can easily write about our success ..... then I sat staring at a computer screen for far too long - mind completely blank.
It's not that we haven't been successfully homeschooling for the last 3 years. It's not that this 4th year isn't as successful as the last, but where do I start?
So I decided to make a list. A top 10!
After taking a procrastination lunch break LOL.
Successes in 2015, Grade 5 .... :
- We celebrated my son's 10th Birthday! We both made it - one whole decade! Trust me when I say that is not only something to celebrate but also huge success given all the hurdles, health problems and issues we have had to deal with. Since the start of the year and his birthday in March, I have noticed such a change in his maturity and am so proud of the young man he is becoming.
- My reluctant reader has been READING! He has willingly chosen to read books rather than play and read the entire book on his own. He even asked for a book series for his birthday. He is still not a confident or fluent reader, he still struggles, but the conscious choice to want to read is a huge step. He now loves sitting with me while I read aloud to him. Something that in the past brought too much anxiety to the task as he would panic that I'd ask him to read or get very upset as he hadn't learnt certain words yet etc.
- We have been able to attend group classes with other homeschoolers. Due to past bullying issues and his ASD issues, being around other children was difficult for him. We could go on random excursions or do occasional activities but not a regular thing with a group for learning. This year we have found a small group of kids that he is able to cope with for group classes.
- The activities we do with the group are Art and Music .... two subjects that have been off limits for my son since forever. Due to Sensory issues (noise in music, feel of art materials etc), Anxiety issues, Colour Aversions and lots of other hurdles, Art and Music were 'no go zones'. After connecting with the small group of kids, he was willing to try the classes and that in itself was huge. The fact he has actually sat through and participated in the Art class, and taken part in Piano lessons (and he is really good at it too!!!) has just astounded me. *check out my blog post here*
- Running with the Music theme I booked him in for private lessons with The Music Bus and not only does he LOVE it, he is good too! He is playing keyboard, drums, guitar and ukulele. HE IS READING MUSIC!!! Reading ... AND ... Music. Wow and wow. Loving this. *you can see more at my blog post here*
- This is MY first year of being fully in control of my son's educationn registered with our state's Home Education Unit (HEU). Our previous 3 years at home we were registered with a Distance Education provider so we had a teacher overseeing everything. I had to report to them and get their approval for everything. I got to the point where it was NOT for us any more. It was a Christian School providing the Distance Education service and we are not Christian, so leaving also meant we had the freedom to remove religion from our lives and embrace secular curriculum and really explore our own beliefs.
- I started this blog! A big step for me with regards to my own anxiety. It's still something small with a small audience but I don't mind, it's really an outlet for me to say what I need to, share, record what we've done and is a little like therapy for me. Our journey aka Expedition Homeschool.
- I survived 'THE' talk with my son. Yes that's right, the 'BOY' talk. Something I thought I would not have to do as early on it was agreed that it was his fathers place to do it. But things don't also turn out that way. *for more on 'the talk' see my blog post here*
- My son was invited to a birthday party. That is huge! On so many levels! It means friends, it meant coping with noise and competition (it was Go-Karting), it meant coping with not being in control and not knowing what to expect at a new place, it meant following rules ... so many things to cope with, deal with and overcome and he had a fantastic time! For many who have children with issues, you will know just how happy I was that he got that invitation!
- The last thing on my list to celebrate - and probably the biggest thing, is the successful relationship I have with my son. Both as Mum & Son and Teacher & Student. This year has been successful in the way we learn together, cooperate together and listen to each other. As I said in point one, my child is maturing and is becoming more independent with certain life skills and he is recognising when I might need a break or a helping hand. It has made life easier and all my hard work getting him to this point is paying off. We are working as a team more and more and it feels like a whole new era in our relationship.
So there you have it.
My Top 10 of things to celebrate and successes to be recognised.
It was a long post (woops sorry!) but if you made it this far then THANK YOU for reading!