First up the most significant difference is we now have no ASD meltdowns of a morning like we were having with the whole getting ready for school (and getting to school) routine that had become a daily anxiety attack waiting to happen. We now have little to no stress in the mornings and basically throughout the day as well so it has made for a much calmer home and that alone has made this the best decision we have ever made.
Even though we can't legally register Ella until next year for Homeschooling we are still working on creating a learning environment that will help her continue to thrive. We are very intrigued with the concept of unschooling in the sense that there is not a set structured curriculum to follow, however there are parts of that concept that wont work for us with Ella's uniqueness so we are adopting an eclectic way of teaching that combines both unschooling and some structured homeschooling which will give us the ability to work with Ella's strengths and take time where needed with the areas she struggles in.
Since Ella loves books but struggles to sit still long enough to read more than a few pages we have worked on creating a space for her so that reading in a fun place doesn't seem like a chore. Hello to our outside book nook daybed where we can lay and enjoy the beautiful outdoors while reading together. So far its worked she happily laid there and read 6 of those early readers to me in half and hour! (seriously this is huge, it was a massive struggle to get her to read 1 of these types of book in a week so we were doing hi-5's on that part this week). She also spends time here playing her ipad or having a snack. I've even found it a nice spot to lay when I sneak outside for 5mins of peace (but don't tell anyone ok).
Ella & I testing out the daybed after putting it together. Another bargain buy of course!
Since we don't have the before school struggle of a morning now, we have put a new 'relaxed' style of routine in place. Before it was a massive fight to get her to eat and a don't even start on how the 'brush your teeth' battle ended up (needless to say half time it didn't happen). Now she happily eats the majority of her breakfast, brushes her teeth and goes and gets her clothes and then watches a bit of TV while I get my day started. It may not seem like much to most people but what a difference it is to us.
Ella's biggest struggle apart from sitting still is writing. It was a MASSIVE task, now we have a 'fun' way to approach it. Hello mister whiteboard! (my diy board didn't work too well but I found one on sale that is amazing). Everyday she gets a letter and number of the day and she happily writes on the board some words and draws 'x' amount of shapes, she even writes her name each day. Some days we play a mini pictionary game where she has to guess our drawings (I am no good at drawing so this is daddy's job) and then we get her to draw something too. We even played hangman and tic tac toe (as best we could while she is learning the concept of these games). But any excuse to use the whiteboard to get her enjoying to write and its slowly working.
Ella doing her morning writing.
Another activity we have done this first week is to make a weather dial and everyday she looks out the window and moves the peg to the corresponding weather for the day.
Ella's weather dial. More accurate than the news weather lol.
We have also been playing lots of board games (she is loving jenga and guess who), I have laminated some printable games that promote learning of sight words and counting, we have made a few crafty items, played some random number games, made a bird feeder, gone on a few scavenger hunts, taken a nature walk, visited the library, working on story telling and taken a few day trips to the local theme park plus we have even met up with a few local HSing families and made some new friends.
A nature scavenger hunt (battling the sunny gold coast winter breeze in her woolies)
Our first trip to the library as homeschoolers!
Our peanut butter bird feeder. It brought the birds and they pooed on everything, daddy wasn't happy.
A time wasting numbers game. Throw the pom pom onto the right number! Kept her interested while dinner cooked.
Sitting still rolling dice, counting and writing... triple win! The free printables I find are all pinned on my pinterest board "Homeschooling Happiness".
Working on story telling. Eventually I will get her to scribe. With prompting this turtle made it home and wasn't just eaten by the shark in the first line (as Ella wanted lol)
Yesterdays crafts we made a polar bear, penguin and snowman. More sitting still! yay!!!
I haven't taken as many photos as I'd wanted to but hopefully you can see that we have had a pretty good week. Ella not only seems happier and more relaxed, so are we! We are very much excited about this new journey and I hope to blog about our adventures on a weekly or fortnightly basis (depending on time). Bring on the next couple of weeks now that we are all mostly over our sickness.
Until next time.... keep calm and enjoy homeschooling.... :-)