World Down syndrome Day 2021
This time last year, our country was shutting down to prevent the spread of Covid-19. I unfortunately had to cancel a special shoot I had planned highlighting children with Down Syndrome. It broke my heart. Although I still want to get back to that, I just didn’t have it in me for this year. I may revisit it when the weather gets warmer.
I think the greatest gift I got this year was much time with my family. My husband PJ and I decided to homeschool our children. We did our research, and found an amazing program that focuses on using books, workbooks and very little computer time. Yes, Fiona is being homeschooled too and yes we gave up all the services that she was getting in school. After almost a year of homeschooling, I can proudly say it was one of the best decisions we have made.
So yes, we learned so many new things this year! My oldest, Trinity, is in fourth grade and I am teaching Fiona first grade (she is really in third grade) alongside my son Noah. We have a really great schedule and are done on most days around 2pm. We start with math and language arts in the morning, eat lunch and then usually do our couch subjects. The couch subjects are literature, history, bible, and science. After school if it is nice out we are usually playing out side.
The kids have come a long way in their studies. They are becoming more independent, more focused, and listen for longer periods of time as well. I have seen progression in all areas. My son is even writing all on his own and forming his own stories. This is huge because at the beginning of the year he would fight me over every writing assignment. Fiona can do about 12 addition problems on her own and usually get only 2 or so wrong. Trinity is writing amazing stories and I know she is a better writer than me now. LOL
I was definitely scared to take my kids out of school, especially Fiona. I wasn’t sure I could teach her and meet her special needs. She definitely proved me dead wrong. She is excelling in all areas. Her language has really improved, she is doing addition, subtraction, fractions, money, reading, bible, science and history. She would not get all these subjects in school as she was in a resource room with some inclusion in a regular ed class. I am so thankful that she gets exposure to these new areas for her.
Fiona has taught me so much! She keeps showing me that she can do most anything she sets her mind to. I am literally blown away at her ability to remember things and sometimes beat her brother in spelling and in finishing her math. She works so hard at all she does, and she does not give up. I have found that lots of repetition is great and also using little funny things to help her remember stuff. I also encourage her a lot when she does things on her own and gets an answer right. She really is a great student and I am looking forward to homeschooling for another year.
What have I learned, that the sky is the limit. If she wants to learn it she will and never ever, ever give up! She will definitely surprise me.