Friday, April 29, 2011

The blog that changed my life, and helped me start homeschooling.

I did not start off my life thinking I would be a homeschooler.  I  had no dreams of homeschooling.  My dreams involved yellow buses and sending my kids away to be educated.   I knew  some homeschoolers when we lived in Atlanta, GA, but I  had no intention of following in their footsteps.  I had no children at the time when I had these thoughts.  Funny how things change when you actually have children.

Fast forward a few years.  I had four  children four and under.  I had my four year old and two three year old children  in the special needs preschool in our district.  It soon became obvious that the school would not be a good fit for my child with Autism, my profoundly gifted child, and my child with learning issues.   I was spending a great deal of time managing all of their programs, and putting people on and off the yellow bus.   One day I thought, "you know I could do this myself and it might be much easier and probably take less energy."  But, I had no clue where to start.  I began to think how does one homeschool a child with Autism?  I had no idea and I started reading books and doing internet searches.  I came up a wonderful blog called aut2behome.  Now called  I was able to see that homeschooling all kinds of kids was possible.  I was impressed by the wonderful things  Tammy, the blog owner, had accomplished with her kids.  I was amazed actually.

A few years later I  was lucky enough to be in an email loop with Tammy and get to know her better.  She is an amazing women who loves her children, Charoltte Mason, RDI, and educating at home.  I was lucky enough to tell her how she changed my life and put me on a path that has been the right choice for our family.  She has graciously agreed to let me post about her, and I though you  might enjoy looking at her blog as well.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The winner is. . . .

The winner of the $10 Panera/Starbucks gift card is Lisa Blau.  Congratulations to Lisa!  A big thank you to everyone who entered and became a follower.  I really appreciate your time.  Please stop back as I will be talking about the blog that changed my life, summer activities, and my favorite yard sale homeschool finds. 
Enjoy the day!
Becky mom to 6

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ends today at noon! Starbucks or Panera Card Give-away

Drawing Wednesday April 27, 2011 around noon.

I became a mother  on Mother's Day on a tiny atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  They placed the most precious baby boy into  my arms at 3.5 weeks old.  I still remember that day with fondness that changed my entire life in a heartbeat.  (For longer version see below)
To celebrate Mother's Day  I thought it would be fun to have a tea/coffee give-away.  So though I can not send everyone a cup of tea, coffee, or some fabulous cold drink I would love to send one blog reader a $10 gift card to Panera or Starbucks. The winner chooses.

This is how you may enter the Ohio Homeschool  Mother's Day Contest.
Become a public follower of the Ohio Homeschool blog and write a comment telling me that you follow or have been following.

Please include a way for me to contact you if you should win with  your comment.  (Your email etc.)

If you would like to increase your probability of winning then you may also do any or all  the following in addition to becoming a public follower.

1. Reblog about the contest and leave a comment with a link to your post.
2. Repost this on Facebook and leave a comment to let me know.
3. Forward to a email loop or 3 friends and leave a comment to let me know. 

Happy Mother's Day. I will draw a winner on Wednesday April 27, 2011 around noon.
Good Luck!
mom to 6.

PS: To become a follower--Under "Thank you for following"   on the right hand side is a button that says  FOLLOW.  Click on that button and follow the steps to set up a Google account.  If you already have a Google account then use that one.  It will lead you through the steps. 
To post a comment click on the word "comments" or "post a comment"  under this post.  A new window will open.  Scroll down to the end and write "I am following" in the box with an email.  Follow the directions to post.  If you have have trouble please email me at for help.  I would be happy to post for you if you are a follower. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

My First Mother's Day

On Mother's Day 1999 we arrived in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands.  The Marshall Islands consists of 29 atolls and 5 isolated islands.  This was the view from my plane window of Majuro.
I wondered how the 747 jet I was on was going to land on this atoll.

  My husband and I had desired to be parents for a long time.  We arrived at our hotel and waited.  I went down to grab something to eat at the Mother's Day buffet.  A lovely woman pushed a flower wut on my head and said, "Happy Mother's Day." 
Wearing the wut a few moments before I became a mom.
We waited in our room for them to bring our son.   We were in the middle of a tropical paradise, but I could only think of holding our new son.
Amazing view from our hotel room.  Atolls have ocean on one side and a lagoon on the other.  You are looking at the lagoon and can see the other side of the island.  The water was amazing shades of blue.
Finally there was a knock on the door and their our guide and birthmom stood holding one of the most adorable little boys I had ever seen.  I  remember trying to act casual and calm.  We invited them in and his birth mom asked me if I wanted to hold him?  I remember sitting there and being so overcome with emotion.
First time in my arms.

First Family Picture

Mother's Day had been a sad day for me in the past as I longed for children.  Now it really is my favorite holiday as it reminds me of how our family began.  I never dreamed I would be privileged enough to have 6 kids.

Happy Mother's Day!  
Becky proud mom of 6

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Convention Finds

I love shopping and meeting people at the Midwest Homeschool Convention.  I love seeing old favorites and discovering new products.  These are a few of my favorite this year. I tried to choose some things that may be off the beaten path. 

Shatterpoint Entertainment has produced two movies involving LEGO®  parts and Bible stories that my children love!  Their second movie is Jericho: The Promise Fulfilled.  The Rondina family who produced the movie is a homeschool family.  My kids are crazy about this movie and now quote it around our home. The extras on the DVD are very interesting as it explains their journey into film making.  

I enjoyed looking around the Odyssey Learning Game booth.  What fabulous educational games. They carry one of my all time favorite games Set. (down the page 4th game on right hand side) They carry other favorites like Rush Hour. (8th down on left) I love playing games with my children that build thinking and math skills.

Another favorite I like to visit is the Little House Site Tours.  They organize site tours to the places from the Little House on the Prairie books.  They also sell DVDs  and books about the little house tours.  My daughter absolutely loves these.  They are very informative. 

Another family business is Virgina Soaps and Scents.  I have known about them for awhile, but really enjoyed seeing the family in person. Richelle Spargur, the owner,  shared with me that they are now putting their soap in boxes.  She said that is a big deal for a soap maker.   She also shared that they are putting a 2 story building behind their home to produce and sell soap.  Their family wants the kitchen back to smelling like a kitchen.  You have to love a homeschooling project that turned into a business.  I am a fan of the lavender soap currently.

Just a few things  I found to nourish the life long learner in me.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

What the Duggars and my family have in common.

I was fortunate enough to attend the Midwest Homeschool Convention.  A highlight for me was hearing  Michelle Duggar talk.   I have never seen the show, but always enjoy hearing moms of big families talk.    I am the oldest of 19 children, so  that is my connection with them.     From the picture below you can see our family formed a little differently.  The three oldest joined our family by birth and the next sixteen through international adoption.  Many of my siblings have special needs.    If you are interested,  The New York Times Magazine had an article in 2001 about our family.  Also, here is a link to a  TV episode about my family.  I often joke I am an underachiever with only six kids.
My family including  spouses and grandchildren from 2007.
Next week I hope to share my favorite convention finds.
Enjoy your week.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Relationship Development Intervention

April is  Autism Awareness month.   I have a son with high functioning autism/ Aspergers.    We have come a long way in the past almost six years with a program called Relationship Development Intervention.  It is a developmental program founded by Dr. Steven Gutstein.    Autism is a processing disorder where children miss many developmental steps along the way.  Dr. Gutstein surveyed all of the milestones that typically developing children pass through and came up with over 1,000 objectives in the RDI program.     Dr. Gustsein believes you can deliberately work on  objectives in the developmental order they occur at a slower pace with children with ASD.  By doing this with your child  they  master objectives and  move along the typical developmental path. It allows your child a developmental "do over" on what he/she has  missed.  You work with a consultant who helps you guide your child.  It is a great fit with homeschooling.  Dr. Gutstein believes that you are capable of guiding your child and making progress.  Dr. Gutstein was a homeschooling parent himself.

My son has made amazing progress with RDI.  He is able to do more school work, is able to solve problems, has friendships with his brothers, sisters and others, and has become a joy in lives.  He is becoming a functioning and contributing  member of our family.    If you have a child  on the Autism Spectrum I think you might enjoy exploring  RDI. 

Lastly, my friend Kathy Darrow, an RDI Consultant,  did an interview on Autism One Radio about RDI.    I felt the interview does a great job giving you an overview of the program.  Kathy also follows my blog.  :-)
Happy April!