Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Is there a school holiday today?

Last night I did not sleep again because I have been having asthma issues and my son has been having trouble staying asleep at night. This is four days in a row that I have had not enough sleep or rest. It happens sometimes but is never ever fun. For those who do not have a sensory or spirited child please let me tell you that you do NOT want a tired sensory child at 2 am. You just don't.

So this morning, knowing I HAD to get groceries and that my husband will be working late because his project is due today, I dragged myself out of bed and got everyone ready to go to the grocery store. We school all three children at home, yes even the almost two year old, so going to the store is always a learning experience. We compare prices, ingredients, and talk about healthy versus unhealthy foods. We also model and practice good listening ears and proper choices so the little one sees good examples of how to behave at a store.

We made it through the health food store, which is about 30 minutes away from our house, without too much of an issue. There were two times when my son laid on the ground and refused to move. My girls chose to argue once. These things happen with children and we work through them and move on.

As we were checking out, you know me with three kids talking the person bagging asking questions and the person scanning my items speaking to me as well, the man behind me asked, "So is there a school holiday for your kids today?" Keep in mind how annoying it is to be interrupted as you are wrangling children and groceries, Keep in mind that I am blunt and not wishy washy at all. As I turned to look at the man, I realized he was speaking to me, he was turning red, and he was clearly agitated yet uncomfortable. So I had a little bit of mercy in my soul and decided to educate him instead of lambaste him for being so rude. After all he WAS trying to look out for my kids. In a day and age when so many people mind their own business instead of speak up and stop child abuse I have to be honest, I was impressed that he spoke up.

I looked him in the eye and said, "No, actually they are schooled at home. I am a certified teacher and they have been finished with their studies for weeks. We are fortunate that they are ahead because now we are working on enrichment activities and enjoying educational field trips." He immediately walked to another line, though my groceries were almost all already scanned. He said not one more word. Now he may have had enough information and been satisfied or he may have felt foolish for asking, but I am thankful he said something. I am thankful to have had the chance to educate him as well as anyone else who overheard our conversation.

I also want to mention that you do NOT have to have a degree in education nor a certification to homeschool or unschool your children. You only need ot have patience, research, and support. Anyone can school at home if they want to. I even know parents who both worth full time and still school their children at home, they work opposite schedules or have family or a tutors help.

My question to other homeschoolers out there is what would you do or say if someone asked you if your children were on a holiday from school?

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Few Tips I Have Found Necessary For Raising a Sensory Child

A Few Tips I Have Found Necessary For Raising a Sensory Child

1.       Often sensory events can be avoided if the child has small and frequent healthy meals, enough sleep, and enough space or enough touch depending on what your child’s needs happen to be.
2.       Keep in mind that not all sensory issues can be avoided and de-escalated. It is okay if your child flips out. It happens. Sometimes we can calm them sometimes we cannot. There will be a conclusion to the event.
3.       Remember that their emergencies are important and seem pressing to them BUT are not always emergencies. Calmly see what is wrong and proceed to offer several solutions the child can choose from in order to resolve the issue. Keep in mind that forcing the issue will NOT de-escalate most sensory events.
4.       Recognize your need for back-up or a break. If you feel panicky or angry, then it is time to call a friend or family member who will be able to calmly sort things out while you take a break to calm yourself.
5.       Ignore anyone who says you should harm your child or who says you have a “bad” kid. Neither is true and those folks are idiots.;)
6.       Make time for positive memories. Go places your child enjoys, play games he or she enjoys or sit together  while each of you read a book. Sometimes just being available is enough for our children. Sometimes your child will not want to be in close proximity, honor that but still be available in case your child allows you to be closer.
7.       Remember you are important. Your child is important. This too shall pass.:)