Mommy Summer School

HardwarewordprocessorSince we’ve hit our summer stride, I’ve let quite a few things slide.  Laundry.  Mopping.  Sweeping.  But there’s one thing that I didn’t have in the first place….

Good organization.

Part of my problem is that I’m a part of that generation that didn’t grow up with computers (Brother Word Processor, anyone?) but was introduced to them in during college.  I never typed my notes from class. A blank school planner and a pencil was my life-line.  Yet, now I see how amazing having a good sync-able calendar is.  Computers make a lot of organizing of files and data easy and simple.  But, I still crave the use of a pen and paper to convey my tasks, goals, and any note taking.  Yes..there’s an app for that.  But, in a similar irrational argument that lovers of books hate ebooks, it just doesn’t feel right to me.

But I want to learn. I hate being on that generational gap fence; half in technology and half out. I learned to love ebooks after the simple logical lightbulb of realizing I will never, ever have to physically move 300 books from one home to another again.  When you read as much fiction as I, and have moved as much as I have, that’s a big deal!

So my current summer goals are to discover how to use both Evernote and Scrivener. I know, these have been around a while, but I’m just realizing how I could use them in my life. Both have been heralded as game changers for organizing, writing, editing and making the sticky notes actually become something more.  Can I become a better writer using them?  Will I not have to flip through old scribbly notebooks for my next inspiration?  Or free up space on my phone’s “note” app where I put every idea in and never look at again?  Will it be useful for a homeschooling momma or is it for CEO’s and entrepreneurs? Can I finally get off the generational gap fence and embrace this?  Only by learning and trying will I find out.

Mommy Summer School is in session!

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Grace in Learning Disabilities

We’ve already established I’m a miserable failure when it comes to matters of faith during trials.  Although redeemed, my natural tendencies of fixing things, preventing issues, and strategically planning perfection still come knocking.

Enter homeschooling two differently dyslexic boys.  There are some really excellent resources out there for parents, but I started here.  I have not had my children professionally evaluated.  Why not professional evaluation?  Personally, as a homeschooler, there isn’t a free or low-cost option.  While my school board can offer a learning disability evaluation, it doesn’t specify which one.  Though probably helpful in a school setting, that doesn’t help me as a child’s primary teacher.  When I sought an evaluator for my first son as we entered into this new area, I found they were quiet expensive.  When the office verified that I would be paying out-of-pocket, they never returned my calls.  Could I have pursued more?  Sure.  Did I want to shell out the money?  No.  I wanted to put my money into the schooling of my son.  Curriculum methods that would help them move forward in hope and self-discovery.

I’ve done my own research, looked at various factors, and sought some very practical hands on advice from those who specialize in this area.  I purchased reading programs that used the dyslexia standard Orton Gillingham approach.  I reduced the pressure on my boys to be like everyone else.  I have a milder case child, who in this last year has come a long way in gaining confidence in reading and finding the joy that can come with it.  I have a more severely dyslexic child, who every day is a struggle in remembering what letter is what, often confusing the name of the letter with its sound.  Numbers are always backwards to him.  And I seek, each day, to fix it.

There is no fix.  Going from a mild case of dyslexia in one child, to a more severe case in another, I have been faced with the realization of the fact that this is a true learning disability.  Not a slowness that can be fixed.  Not a lack of will or of trying.  This is a different kind of brain function.  And all of my fixing and forcing only serves to frustrate and impede faith in a boy who will one day know that God created him.  Do I want him to angrily say “God, why did you create me this way?” or to have faith and love for his Creator and say “Because you made me this way, I need Your grace.”

I need faith in homeschooling.  I need to rest in the assurance that these boys are of the utmost importance to my Father in heaven and that He has a plan for them.  I want them to embrace (not excuse) their differences and for them to grow up knowing how to learn things for themselves.  It means a different path than my daughter.  A different path for each boy.  I have a lot to learn and grow myself in this process.  But I’m learning to cherish my children’s differences and uniqueness instead of wanting them to be the same.  So I’m working to fix less and trust in grace more.