Monday, May 30, 2011

School Schmool

Was shopping with Aiden today, saw this bear and cracked up!
I started this blog, initially, partly as a way to keep record of the one year I planned on homeschooling.  I have come to learn that many people enter homeschooling as some sort of temporary arrangement, but quickly fall into its charm and many merits.  I no longer preface my homeschooling choice with a disclaimer of its intended duration.  I no longer feel the need to seperate myself from whom I had imagined most homeschooling moms to be. (Sorry ladies....) 

I am more comfortable in our choice, mainly because I have been blessed enough to have access to a local support group, filled with lovely women, and their beautiful children.  Finding others who share your normal makes all the difference.  A few months ago, I started arranging monthly meetings for those of us within the group who are homeschooling children with special needs.  This has been a great source of encouragement and support to me, like I have learned so often since Aiden's diagnosis, none of us are alone in our challenges.  For some reason, that is one lesson I keep on learning.

Knowing that this is the right educational choice for us doesn't mean it's an easy one.  There have been days that have been just plain tortorous.  Seriously, painful.  But there have also been many, many days that have been highly successful.  Sometimes I look through all of the work we have accomplished, and I can't help but feel proud.  Today Aiden started work on a "Cleaning up on Grade One" booklet I made him, with relish he dipped into his janitorial themed math problems.  Where else could he recieve such individualized, motivational materials?  He carefully drew and recorded the changes in his caterpillars, anxiously awaiting the formation of a chrysalis... engaged, excited learning.  In a regular classroom, he would be too distracted and distressed to benefit from such a science project.

I've had a paradigm shift with my attitude towards homeschooling.  Initially it was begun out of necessity, and our sheer terror of facing the public school system.  Now, I see its discovery as yet one more gift discovered by our family since we started calling Aiden's autism by name.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

And now they want to bake cookies...

Ever have one of those days you thought would never end?  When bedtime seems like a far distant shore?  I had one of those days today.  In fact I'm still having it.  Go. Go. Go. 

-Could you get me a....
-I wanna...
-Mommy he's....
-Mommy she's...

One and a half hours .until bed.
Nothing but cleaning the kitchen, bath and bed standing between me and five minutes peace.

And now they want to bake cookies.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Our little artist participated in our second annual homeschool Creativity Fair last night.   We sorted through the reams of paper containing his artwork, and chose some of his favourites for his display board.

I just love this event. Because our children are homeschooled, they don't always get opportunities to share their school work, their big projects, unit studies or artistic endeavors with a large group.  And let's be honest, many kids are exhibitionists at heart.  Another component of this even is a contest for an art project and creative writing.  Last year Aiden won in his age category for his drawing of a track crane, and this year he won first prize for his drawing of "Daddy's Guitars" and also an honourable mention for his poem, "Ducks."

I cannot express in words (although admittedly I am trying) how beyond proud we are of him. This is truly his opportunity to let his little light shine.  So often his abilities can go unseen in the blur or his energy and perpetual motion, but his art stands still for all to see.

Sure his display depicted many things not typically drawn by six year olds, but who needs typical..give me his drawings of bathroom carts, buckets on wheels, stand up dustpans, and chairs any day!

So allow me this.  My pride.  And probably way more pictures than necessary.

Aiden and Margaret

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This World is Small

Back in March, in the post You Can't Make This Up,  I let you all in on Aiden's desire to own his very own Rubbermaid cleaning cart.  Well, we managed to convince him that that was indeed too big for the Easter Bunny's basket.  His hopes are now firmly in the hands of dear old Santa Claus.  As I suspected, this new area of interest has not wavered in the least.

In the meantime, Aiden often watches videos about Rubbermaid commercial products on YouTube. (Yes, these exist.)   His favourite so far is one that he calls "the Next Generation of Cleaning Carts"  They also have videos that show how the carts are assembled, how different features work, etc.  The other day he was watching these videos with his daddy, when they came across a video called William gets a Cleaning Cart.  They didn't make this up either

As impossible as it is to believe, there is in fact another little boy out there in this world who also asked for a cleaning cart for Chrismas.  The world is indeed a small, small place.  To watch the boy marvelling over the vinyl replacement bag, and front and back casters, well, it could be my boy!    This video has been watched many, many times now at our house.  I think Aiden is delighted to see that Santa can, in fact bring such an item to a child.  but he has also become seriously concerned because this boyo's cart was not equipped with all of the accessories, such as spray cleaners, mop, broom, and more specically, his came without the bucket on wheels and ringer attachment.  Aiden is quite adament that he wants a cart that is already, and I quote, "Rigged Up!"

While Aiden doesn' t seem to mind that his friends are not interested in janitorial supplies, I cannot even begin to imagine how much fun he would have with this little boy who is. 

Keep on cleaning boys!