Homeschooling in the Midst of Chaos

My house is a total wreck. I didn't realize how long it's been since my husband started renovations until I read one of my previous blog posts! When a friend asked me about it last night, I told her we started the first week of January. Now I'm reminded by my blog that it was just after Thanksgiving! It all started with just making the opening to the kitchen wider, and that progressed into tiling the whole house (except the bedrooms).
The fact that I thought it's only been since January scares me that I may be getting used to living like this! Nooooo! I think it may also be a way of preparing myself for the fact that we may not be done for at least another month or so. I'm just trying not to keep track of time. 

Our work spaces have been moved to our beds. My daughter has a small table she pulls up to do her homeschool. She's used to doing her school at the dining room table. 

She spends a lot of time in her room reading also. That's her favorite thing to do. She could read all day if I let her. I'm not complaining. I do have other children that don't like to read. So I know it's a good thing. But sometimes I have to pull her out of there and bribe her into playing a game with me, going to the playground, taking our dog to the dog park, going for a walk. A few weeks ago we went strawberry picking with our homeschool group.

 Last Friday we went to a Valentine's Day party for our homeschool group where the kids decorated cupcakes and boxes to place their exchange Valentine's cards and candy. Saturday I took her to a girls' book club and then to a dance for families with kids with special needs. She had so much fun dancing with her friends. 

Today we went to the theater to see the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She loves dance and music. So she had a great time! Last month I took her to the Winter Jam concerts, which are 10 Christian bands. I think she talked about that for weeks. And next week we're going to see a play that I've coordinated for our homeschool group to attend. Sometimes she'll skype with a friend. And she can do that for quite a while, too. But I'm happy for her to spend time talking with a friend on Skype. For a child with Down syndrome communication skills practice like this is so helpful.

Fridays is a great day for outdoor fun with friends at her homeschool PE group. We live in Florida and this morning was unexpectedly cold. I know. It's not cold if you live in any one of the other states, but for us Floridians anything below 70 is too cold. So I'm glad we had other indoor plans for today because it was too cold for P.E.  It was 59 degrees!  We both left the house wearing boots, heavy sweaters and scarves. I'm sure you northerners would be laughing at us if I posted pictures. 

Well, you get the idea. Yes, she's working on her homeschool curriculum at least 4 days a week, but we're also trying to get out of the house a few times a week, which we normally wouldn't do if the house weren't under construction. We're also finding creative ways to incorporate homeschool outside of home. Like at the grocery store, she'll pay for a few things herself. Before we get to the register, I help her add up everything on a calculator and help her to count out the money. And of course, always try to go when it's not busy and there are no lines. On our way to her speech therapy, we listen to audio books. This helps her with comprehension. Her reading fluency and comprehension have really improved tremendously this year. 

She also likes to practice her writing on a Boogie Board that she got for Christmas. 
She sits in the passenger seat, writes out something, and then shows it to me. I'll give her hints on mistakes she may have made in spelling, punctuation or capitalization. She erases and writes it over again until she gets it right. This is much easier and a little more fun than doing it on paper and having to erase. She doesn't even realize that she has to erase the whole thing and write it all over again. She loves her Boogie Board, so that doesn't bother her. It's good handwriting practice. If it were on a notebook paper, she'd only erase the mistake.  This photo shows how she wrote about her speech therapist, Elle. Elle got a kick out of this.

 Of course she also uses handwriting worksheets when we're home. I have notebooks for each of my kids of their journals, essays, and handwriting practice throughout the years. These notebooks and their art work are our most precious keepsakes in their homeschool portfolios

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