Cannon and I officially began our homeschool year in mid September! He is now a big 1st grader!
I spent A LOT of time trying to decide which curriculum to purchase this year. I liked the one we used last year. I really did. It was called My Father’s World and was really sweet and perfect for our first year at home together. As we tried to figure out how or if this whole thing would work. It had a simple flow to each day and there was good balance between what came easy for Cannon and what did not. I looked at purchasing the same curriculum again but felt it was time to really challenge Cannon. I had had my eye on a particular curriculum that I absolutely adored for a while but it was pricey. Really pricey. So, I looked and looked at every other option out there. My mom helped, too. And we just kept coming back to Sonlight. I just LOVED their 5 core values…..
1)Literature-based, Christ-centered learning – an educational philosophy based on children’s natural curiosity and love for stories that teaches from the perspective of God’s truth and His love for all people by using outstanding books
2)Parent-directed education – giving us lots of aids and helps but putting us in the drivers seat since we love and know them best
3) Family-centered homeschooling – making homeschooling more than a school choice…but a lifestyle
4) Global Outlook – exposing them to all cultures and religions and giving them perspective on their backgrounds as well as the contributions of all of those cultures. Hoping to help them see that God loves all people groups equally
5) Academic Excellence – providing a robust, challenging education that will equip them to excel in whatever God has for them in the future
So, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase it. It had a money back guarantee and I just wanted to get it and see if it was all that.
When it arrived, in 2 gi-normous boxes…..it was like Christmas! I couldn’t believe how much was there and how impressive it all was. The quality of the materials was insane! My husband looked it all over and never even asked what it cost! He was that impressed! And he is the cheapest man alive I assure you! We ordered many supplemental books and materials but here is the main package we purchased.
Have a look for yourself……..
Like I said, my goal for this school year is to really stretch Cannon. To help him to grow by leaps and bounds. I will use his strength…..reading. But push him by using classic literature that has challenging vocabulary, encouraging him to answer many questions regarding comprehension, and to perform creative writing assignments based on the reading. His struggles to articulate his thoughts and feelings will be difficult. But I know with all my heart that he can do it! I chose, printed, and laminated many inspirational quotes to encourage him with throughout the year. Cannon’s favorite so far is from Dr. Seuss. “Kid! You’ll move mountains! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting! So get on your way!” Mine is….. “Only are far as I reach can I grow, Only as far as I seek can I go, Only as deep as I look can I see, Only as much as I dream can I be.” – Karen Raun
We had a definite honeymoon period when we first got started. For a week or so, he was happy go-lucky about everything. But then, we had an absolutely atrocious week that was so so very bad! So bad, in fact, that we took a week off to recover. One of the luxuries of homeschool. I made some adjustments and new visual aides during that time. And the weeks since have been much better. There are still tough days. The innate stubbornness he possesses thanks to his Autism can really give him the ability to dig his heels in when he doesn’t want to work….like no other. And that puts us in quite a power struggle. But, we eventually do get past it and keep moving. Or we pack it in for the day and he learns the hard way that unfinished work from one day is added to the required work for the next day. And that isn’t much fun. But really….all is going well in the homeschool world. 🙂
The last year that Cannon was in public school, he had a teacher who really got him, accommodated him, and cared for him. And she really fought for him, too. It was great! BUT, the powers that be did not get him at all. An actual quote from one of our last meetings was this……”Cannon will never handle an academic program.” It is one of my most sincere goals in life to make sure that that statement does not come to pass. I have never, and am not convinced that I will ever see ANY validity whatsoever in that statement. He will not be easy to teach right now. And it is quite possible that he never will be. BUT, HE IS TEACHABLE! For goodness sakes, this kiddo taught himself his letters at 18 months and was reading and counting to 100 by 2. I think there is a foundation and hunger for academics there! I am no longer angry at them for not digging deep enough or trying hard enough to understand Cannon and determine his potential. I just shake my head and feel sorry for them. Because now they will not get the chance to see Cannon grow and grow immeasurably more than they can imagine. And I would think that is why one gets into the field of education. But the saddest part of that statement they made to us is what it could have done to us as parents. Hope is a necessity in special needs parenting! And to dash the hopes of the parents of a 5 year old, is a travesty! I refuse to have my hopes dashed! And I know WITH ALL MY HEART that Cannon will make his mark on the world! That he has so so very much to offer. And that if there is a way to engage my child and encourage him to be social…..it is through academics. And because I understand that, I know that I am the right teacher for Cannon. And it is with that very passion and fire…..we headed into this school year! Expecting great things and KNOWING beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are coming! God bless and thanks so much for following our journey y’all!
One last thing. A great poem I found. Every time I read it…..my hearts melts and I shed a tear or two. I love my boy so much! And I know he loves us, too!
Before I Go To Sleep:
Dear Mommy, don’t you cry now and Daddy don’t you weep.
I want to whisper in your ear before I go to sleep.
I know that when I came here I seemed perfect in every way
and you were so proud Daddy when you held me on that day.
And Mommy when you kissed me and wrapped me up so tight,
I felt as if I belonged here, and everything was right.
When things got really scary and I began to slip away
I saw your face dear Mommy as you knelt by me to pray.
And Daddy, I always notice when you wipe away a tear,
or watch the other little boys as they run and laugh and cheer.
I may not be able to tell you how much I love you so,
or even show you how I feel and what I really know.
But when you hold me Mommy at night when all is still
I hear your dear heart beating and I know that all is well.
And Daddy when you take me to the park to run and play
I know that you still love though the words I cannot say.
So Daddy don’t you cry now and Mommy don’t you weep,
I want to tell you something before I go to sleep.
I may be sort of different, and you may not understand.
I know that I am not that child that you and Daddy planned.
But I love you both so very much and I know you love me too
and one day when this life is done you will feel my love for you.
I know the future is unknown and you will always have to be
the ones that love and listen and take good care of me.
The road we walk is rough sometimes and you cry a lot of tears,
but one day we will turn and laugh as we look back o’er the years.
So Mommy don’t you cry now, and Daddy please don’t weep…
I want to say, I love you.
Before I go to sleep.
~By Sally Meyer