Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Waxing Poetic


As part of his Language Arts, I like to have Hyper Heathen memorize and recite poems. I know that I personally love being able to recite several poems I memorized from my childhood and young adulthood as they bring back memories of that time as well. So I have HH do this in hopes of evoking the same feelings in him one day as well as wanting him to be exposed to various poets and poetry.

This year Hyper Heathen has memorized and recited to me, "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost (a favorite of mine),  "The House By The Side Of The Road" by Sam Walter Foss (another favorite), and "The Guy In The Glass" by Dale Winslow (his father's favorite). 

The nice thing is that he has so far enjoyed and liked the message of each of these poems so he's happy to learn them. Other poems I have planned for this school year are;

"Sonnet 43" (How Do I Love Thee?) from Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
"Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep" by Mary Elizabeth Frye
"A Dream Within A Dream" by Edgar Allen Poe
"No Man Is An Island" by John Donne
"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll
"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas

I can't wait to see what his favorites are!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Things NOT To Say To A Parent Of An ADHD Child


I get that ADHD is over diagnosed these days but it makes me mad that so many people completely discount us because of it. Are there children diagnosed as ADHD who aren't? More than likely but can we ever really know? Here are some things I've been told/heard over the years that tick me off and my replies.

I give you my list of Things NOT To Say To A Parent Of An ADHD Child...

  • "Why don't you just medicate him?" We decided early on that we were not going to medicate our son until/unless he decided he wanted to give it a try and understood the side effects. I think it's a very personal decision and there is no right answer (medicate/don't medicate). We love our son just the way he is and don't feel he is "flawed".
  • "Are you SURE he's ADHD? Did you take him to a doctor?" Yes, we took him to three different doctors in fact. Two of them diagnosed him within five minutes of watching him. 
  • "You should send him to public school, they'll teach him to sit still." No, in public school he would be considered the "problem child" and constantly in trouble because he CAN'T sit still for long periods. He fidgets. He needs to get up and walk around. He needs to walk in circles as he thinks about things. Remember being in college and listening to a boring lecture. Not fun is it?
  • "You really should teach him some manners and to not rudely interrupt!" My son actually has very good manners. How many 11 year olds do you know who say "yes, ma'am/sir", "please", and "thank you", hold doors for others (to the point we have to make him stop), and so on? He interrupts because he can't help himself and he feels awful afterwards! For him there isn't that connect in his brain that says, "Whoa hold on until they finish". If you tell him, "Just a minute I'm talking", though he will do everything in his power to not interrupt you again.
  • "Have you tried eliminating sugar/dyes/gluten/dairy/etc from his diet?" Do you honestly think we would be doing this if the answer was that simple? I mean, what parent wouldn't jump at the chance to have their child NOT suffer if it was something so simple as removing sugar or dyes? I do feel people are trying to help when they say this so I don't get offended. Just know that most times yes we have already tried all of those.
  • "How do you deal with his constant talking. I'd go crazy!" Imagine not having a filter between your thoughts and your mouth. Imagine not being able to think something and keep it to yourself even though you know saying it might hurt/embarrass/alienate someone. Imagine the embarrassment you would feel. Imagine knowing people aren't listening to you because you've talked too long. Wouldn't that hurt? Welcome to my son's world! Whether the thoughts are good, bad, weird, sarcastic, funny, or sad they are out as soon as he thinks them. The thing is, this boy is brilliant. I learn so much from just listening to what he has to say.
  • "It must be so hard. You poor thing!" Don't pity me. Do you know why? I am the luckiest mom in the world to have this amazing, funny, intelligent, loving little boy as my own. I wouldn't have him any other way and I only regret that HE has to deal with this. For me it isn't a burden. He has brought so much wonder to our lives. It is eye opening and life changing to see the world through his eyes. The love that this child has in his heart just blows me away.
  • "Well you can hope he'll grow out of it." Most likely my son is an ADHD child who will grow into an ADHD teen who becomes an adult with ADHD. What I hope is that throughout his life he finds the tools to be his own personal best. I hope he never feels he is "less" or a "loser" because he has a harder time with things than others. I hope he continues to find people who love him the way he is and don't feel he needs to be "fixed". I hope he always knows his family has loved him just the way he is and never wanted him to be anyone other than his true self.
I'm not going to make excuses for my son, I don't feel I need to. I hope though that if you have someone with ADHD in your life, maybe you understand them a little better now. If you know a parent of someone with ADHD hopefully you won't make any of these rude statements. Don't miss out on knowing an amazing human being because you're not willing to look past their "social faults". We' re all fighting a battle and none of us are perfect.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ways He Learns- Social Studies


Many Homeschoolers use a curriculum that they buy from a company and that seems to work great for them but for us it was a total bust and waste of money. Now I homeschool basically for free and rarely ever buy anything to use in our daily lessons.




I have to say, Social Studies has been a pretty fun and easy subject for us thus far. Of course, when Hyper Heathen has a mother who absolutely loves History it makes things go much easier for both of us.

When we started Social Studies several years ago I decided to start at the beginning which meant we went wayyyyyy back to Prehistoric Man. I was nice though, we started at around 10,000 B.C. and have been working forward ever since. The downside to having a History buff for a mom though is that I tend to spend way too much time on each era. Oops!

Some things I've had HH doing are:

  • Reading various books that pertain to the Era we are studying. For example, when we studied Ancient Egypt I had him reading books on all the great pharaohs, queens, reading hieroglyphics, the various pyramids, burial practices, learning the Egyptian Gods, and etc.
  • HH creates Lapbooks sometimes for whichever periods or people might interest him. So far we've done one for Ancient Egypt as well as one for Ancient China.
  • We watch as many documentaries as we can find on the time period we are studying. Netflix is a huge help with this and so is YouTube. 
  • We took online tours of several museums. Basically I look for whoever has the best online tours for our subject then we sit and watch them. Obviously it's not as fun as visiting the museums themselves but its a nice way to get to visit say the British Museum when we live in New Mexico.
  • We keep a Timeline that we add to as we go through each era. If really helps to show him where people and important dates really fit into our history. 
  • Various worksheets and activities that I print off of the Internet. I can't stress enough how much I love finding and printing worksheets for free. There are so many resources out there and the most I've ever had to do was get on an email mailing list in order to be allowed access to a site's free printables. 
  • Just getting out and visiting historical sites whenever we have a chance. In March we went to Boston to see family and while there we walked the Freedom Trail plus visited Salem. We saw a lot of amazing historical places and listened to some really great tour guides tell us the history. There is no way I could have found a better way to teach HH about life in Massachusetts in the 1500s-1800s. I highly recommend it if you are ever in the area!
So I've been doing a lot of pinning on Pinterest over the past year looking for new ways to help Hyper Heathen and found some really great ideas. You can see them on my Social Studies board HERE. You're also welcome to visit any of my other Homeschool Boards and pin whatever might help you as well.

Hopefully I've helped you with some ideas but if you can think of anything you'd like to see involving homeschooling a child with ADHD or homeschooling in general, please leave me a comment with your suggestion and I will do my best.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ways He Learns- Language Arts


Many Homeschoolers use a curriculum that they buy from a company and that seems to work great for them but for us it was a total bust and waste of money. Now I homeschool basically for free and rarely ever buy anything to use in our daily lessons.

As you can see by the list on the right hand side, Hyper Heathen has been reading several different books during his daily Silent Reading time. While he's reading he's also learning the correct spelling of words, punctuation, vocabulary, and depending on the subject of the book it can also cross over into other subjects thus making it easier on both of us! Some examples would the be Alexander Graham Bell and George Washington books... they teach History as well. The Magic School Bus books teach him Science and introduce him to topics that we are able to further explore during our weekly Science time.




Language Arts covers Handwriting, Copywork, English/Grammar, Literature,... anything having to do with learning how to write, speak, and use proper Grammar. Some things I've had HH doing are:

▪Reading poetry from various authors. Currently he has been memorizing and reciting, "House By The Side Of The Road" by Sam Walter Foss.

▪Copying Poetry from various Authors

▪Writing Thank You notes for gifts

▪Making cards for the local Assisted Living Center and writing a message

▪Do Reading Comprehension worksheets that teach parts of speech etc. I usually print these up for free from the internet.

▪Reading and discussing the books he reads with me

▪Book Reports

▪Spelling and Vocabulary Lists

What we do depends on how open he is to it. Handwriting is the one subject he really really hates so its always a struggle for us. Recently I started having him write in cursive instead and things are so much better! His writing is nicer and he's not angry or frustrated anymore so yay us!

Anyway, I've been a bit of a pinning demon on Pinterest lately looking for new ways to help him with this subject and found some really great ideas. You can see them on my Language Arts board HERE. You're also welcome to visit any of my other Homeschool Boards and pin whatever might help you as well.

Hopefully I've helped you with some ideas but if you can think of anything you'd like to see involving homeschooling a child with ADHD please leave me a comment with your suggestion and I will do my best.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ways He Learns- Science

Many Homeschoolers use a curriculum that they buy from a company and that seems to work great for them but for us it was a total bust and waste of money. Now I homeschool basically for free and rarely ever buy anything to use in our daily lessons.


Science is a subject that Hyper Heathen actually doesn't mind doing. For a few years our Science was covered with "Homeschool Science Classes" at a local museum but it was quite pricey especially after we moved to the suburbs. HH enjoyed the classes though and made some really great friends that he is still close to today.

Science covers all forms and categories of science from Earth Science to Astronomy, Biology to Geology, Chemistry to Physics, and everything in between!  Some of the things we might do are: 

* Having him watch shows like Beakman's World and Bill Nye The Science Guy to introduce topics to HH that we can further study. We use these only as a jumping off point since he is older.

* Using our microscope to study everything from dead skin to plants.

* Chapter reading from books I get from the library. Recently he finished reading "DK Time and Space"

* Watching documentaries on our planet, insects, animals, space, how machines work, chemistry, biology, etc.

* Worksheets from workbooks I bought at Costco and teaching stores (they cover lots of great subjects and are a great launching point for further learning) as well as ones I print for free from the internet.

* Nature Walks where we explore the local plant and insect life documenting as we go.

* Field trips to Museums and places where we can learn how something is built or works. You'd be surprised how many local businesses are willing to teach kids about what they make!

And some other ways that just come naturally as we go about our day. 

Anyway, I've been a bit of a pinning demon on Pinterest lately looking for new ways to help him with this subject and found some really great ideas. You can see them on my Science board HERE. You are also welcome to visit any of my other Homeschool Boards and pin whatever might help you as well.


Hopefully I've helped you with some ideas but if you can think of anything you'd like to see involving homeschooling a child with ADHD please leave me a comment with your suggestion and I will do my best.