Homeschooling with Special Needs

20100212_1313 blog
Jubilee (7) being stoic as I pose her in the cold February wind…just to have Avi (4) come and steal the limelight… I must admit, this was not the look I was going for, nor the image I had pictured in my head but I love it for the 100% genuineness of the photo.

Ah, Monday again. I have a new resolution, because what's a Monday without some kind of goal in mind? I have determined to make Mordecai my new priority in homeschooling. While I've had some late readers (Enoch and Kalina reading independently at 8) both had the mechanics down much earlier, and I knew in my gut that there wasn't a problem that time wouldn't solve. And I was right. 

Mordecai is a different story. He hit all of his baby milestones right on time: rolling over, smiling, crawling, walking (despite missing toes on both feet). As he got old however, we noticed he had cognitive delays. He still couldn't put two words together at age 2 1/2. He had poor receptive language skills. He couldn't tell the difference between a boy and girl until age four and couldn't use the  pronouns "he" and "she" appropriately until age 7.

Learning doesn't come nearly as easy for him. Two years ago, when he was five, we adopted his three older siblings from Liberia. These three did and do take up a huge portion of my one on one teaching time. It wasn't a big deal when he was five, but is more so now that he is 7 1/2. He doesn't not learn academics easily at this point. So, my  new goal is to make his learning (basic math skills and reading) a priority. He gets me first. 

I will keep you updated on our progress.

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6 Responses

  1. Aunty Tara

    Yes we are dealing with that issue of homeschooling over here. I give each child 1 hour of my full attention and they work independantly with much less help from me after that. I thought I would put someone in school if I couldn’t find a way to teach them all including my dyslexic child. So far this plan has saved my sanity. 🙂 All our love, Tara

  2. Kristine

    One of mine has had milestone delays and is struggling to learn to read. It’s nice to hear I’m not alone in this.
    Great picture by the way 🙂

  3. Joolzmac

    That Avi sure is a rabbit! Absolutely love the photo – Jubilee so serene, Avi so mischievous!
    How blessed Mordecai is to have you nurturing and teaching him. You are an inspiration to me in all that you do with your beautiful family.
    Cheers – Joolz

  4. Koe

    A recent “tweak” has really helped some of our struggling readers. I copy the pages of their lesson in “100 Easy Lessons” (the book I bought because of your recommendaion and love :)) and after going through it with me, I have my two not yet readers bring it to each of their four older siblings sometime during the day. They read it to the olders and the olders have to sign off on it. This gives them extra reading practice without my full attention and they’ve been so much more succesful with the story after that… they gained confidence too. Also, I’m having them highlight sounds in their lesson’s story… again, somthing they can do independantly. For one, I have him highlight the first sound of each word and say it as he’s highlighting. For the other, he needs help with vowel sounds, so I have him highlight a vowel sound he’s struggling with. Thanks for all your words of wisdom!

  5. Theresa

    My little JBug has special needs as well. Teaching her is very, very different than teaching any of my other children has been. Luckily for her she came at a time in my life when I am much more confident in my ability to address her issues. Ten years ago, I’m not sure I could have handled it. Thanks be to God for His perfect timing!
    Good luck to you in your efforts with your son. Thanks for letting us follow along!

  6. joabair

    I think its wonderful that he has you as his mom, but also dont worry. So many boys learn at an older age and some schools of thought are to let them play learn until age 9. My brothers did this, and never read until that age. They all 3 graduated valedictorian of their highschool classes at 18 and 19 yrs of age. My son still struggles with “sit still learning” and he is 9. We find ways around it, find games and puzzles and activities to keep him where he should be, but honestly being relaxed about it is what allowed him to finally grasp reading.

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