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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Before We Started

I started researching homeschool waaay back when - long before we got serious about the idea, but long after I started to become frustrated with Tommy's public education. I wrote articles; talked to friends; read books... but because I do a good deal of curriculum development for clients (and my husband Peter is a professional museum and university educator), I didn't spend much time looking at specific curricula.

I figured that, if I ever really DID start homeschooling, I should be able to make it up as I went along, creating Tommy-oriented unit studies, worksheets, activities, and so forth. After all, I've got this great imagination - and if I can do it for Scholastic, surely I can do it for Tommy, right?!

I already had some great ideas: I wanted to make music, one of his strengths, a major focus of his education. I wanted to use his interest in storytelling as a jumping-off place for writing. I wanted to build science and map-reading/geography into everything. I wanted to get into "real," significant activities.

Now, I start to wonder how many of these awesome ideas were for him... and how many were for me...!


Dee Gordon said...

Dear Lisa,

Well the good thing is... Tommy is my Jacob!! The more you feel alone in this battle of education and child care the more you read on the spectrum you know that you are not alone.

Only from research on my own as a parent I have been able to understand how this little child is developing and how I can help make his life safer and fun.

I have dreamed of living next to the ocean for many years... Long before Jacob ever came into our life. I can only imagine how wonderful Tommy's life is with you and your husband and daughter in Cape Cod. It is something I long for in my heart.

We live in Toronto, Canada. Of coarse the system is differant in the USA and Canada but the diagnosis is the same. Heck, even our dollar is the same right now!! However, treatment is differant.

For now Jacob is learning strong social skills to get into a regular program at school. The school is working on his IEP as we write. The testing has begun but can take weeks for evaluations. I have had our IEP meeting and it is time for more testing to be updated.

When I mentioned Special Ed class's at our last meeting I was told that Jacob would be integrated into a regular class and that Special Ed would not be an opion for him.

Jacob is diagnoised like Tommy. But, with more labels attached... ADHD & ODD. It's taken me along time to understand what works and what doesn't for all this because I had no idea what all this ment!! There really is no hand-out given with the diagnosis. You leave the hopital/office in wonder... Fortunately, I have wonderful doctor's for Jacob that keep in touch as needed.

Lisa, I look forward to hearing more about Teaching Tommy. I really enjoy reading your writing. It's hard to give up when you see so much potential.


Lisa Jo Rudy said...

Thanks so much for your thoughts! Living by the ocean really is a wonderful choice for all of us, but it's true that Tommy is especially into it. We can walk to a local harbor, and so far he has discovered crabs, mussels, schools of fish, cormorants, geese, sea gulls, eels, shrimp, scallops... not to mention all the different types of boats, channel markers... Observation is his big talent, and he's getting a chance to really exercise it here!