Frankly, I Cried Too!

By Amy Lynette Simmans

The article shared below is another beautiful perspective of mothers now homeschooling. Yes, I too cried in the beginning because I thought I was failing at it and failing them.I was overwhelmed with millions of resources. I was overwhelmed with other homeschool mom’s opinions, I was overwhelmed because my kids are Autistic so may of the easier homescooler sites where everything is worked out for you with reports and all were all rejected by my children (learned that is why schools are forcing those programs- diagnostics and reporting). I was overwhelmed with the research and courses of information on approaches to learning and methods and Curriculum. I was financially crippled by the purchases in trial and error and for that resent that it was so costly for us while everyone else is getting it free. I was overwhelmed because I had NO ONE who understood what special education entails and what resource is for accomodations and modifications for FOUR kids at once. If the schools cannot afford it- how can I? I was overwhelmed with the pain and trauma of a school system who allowed my children to suffer. I was overwhelmed with having to put together full learning plans for all kids at once. And I was overwhelmed with the fact not one person in our lives knew or understood what we were going through. I was overwhelmed because the school had misrepresented all of my school kids Education be it over or under represented which meant everything I tried to continue was either too easy or too difficult so I had to find their real place and close the gaps myself. The school had minimal unambitious goals for one child and refused to do more while another child they had severely over represented and yet one more is twice exceptional so now I had to learn to provide a gifted Education. The Education my twice exceptionally gifted child deserves we will never afford to do him justice unless some very generous people find him and scholarship or apprentice him. He is twelve, a mathematical genius with 99% IQ and is into math beyond college level, quantum physics and coding. He already understands code in a way I never thought possible. The numbers in code have value and meaning to him and tell a story. He is twelve. How do I look at the schools joke of a packet when he is breezing through every assignment I give him. I have every aspect of Autism and co-morbids in this home. No one can afford this. Also, we were moving in the middle of it. This was Jan 2019.

Not now like everyone else – last year.

I cried. So did they.

And as my Autism goes I melted down with all of this at once. We are still very hurt from it. We are hurt there was no justice. I prayed hard not understanding why God allowed this to happen to every one of my children and why He gave us no justice. I cried. I cried in a complete meltdown in the bathroom and immediately called my psychologist and set up an appointment. I had not had a meltdown in very many years. All of this in a few short months.

But, guess what?

In just a few short months we navigated it. Every Homeschool parent will tell you , “Take 6 months to DESCHOOL yourself”. Do not bring home what public school gives you. Teach them what you want and when you want. If your kid is crying, do not push that program, site, Curriculum, whatever. To learn, a child MUST be engaged. To engage them you must find what Sparks a twinkle in their eye. Every child can learn to divide but some learn with Legos, some by cooking and dividing ingredients , some with websites, some standing in the store and working out how many M & M’s each person gets if you buy this many bags, and then probability of color if you remove a color. The list goes on. Scope and sequence are even your choice. You do NOT have to teach about the Holocaust if you think it will shred their tender heart and maybe wait til next year.

Fact: your child can learn EVERYTHING a child learns between kindergarten and 5th grade in 3 months at the age of twelve. But they cannot do it at all under stress.

Fact: some people pass kindergarten through 12th grade and drop out and take a G.E.D test.

Fact: Your child does not have to be a mathematical Ace in the hole if all they want to do is be an artist and your mathematical genius does not have to paint with you if he only wants to be an engineer- as long as he knows where to learn it in case he ever decides to!

What is your job as a parent? To help your child discover their strengths, expose them to the world and all its charms, develop their passions and encourage them through it all.

Sitting there forcing the public school Curriculum because it is how the school needs to run diagnostics, benchmark and measure your child for performance ratings while your child cries or you cry is not your job.

You will cry. In case I have never told anyone that before I DID CRY. The weight I carried was much more, I could not just try it and stick mine back in public school if I failed – I was their last chance – the school already failed them all. But just know that all homeschool mom’s need support. We all communicate and support each other in finding the resources the parent wants for their child. No judgement. We meet each other where we are at and help life each other up. You have a gift right now, the whole world can identify with you right now. Everyone is going through it.

When life is throwing something at us we cannot schedule I shave down the heavy conceptual learning-and do unit studies or move to something more Calming, Creative, Cathartic and Connective to immediate circumstances which can even become a Coping mechanism. Teachers could refer to this as moving from the 5 E’s to the 5 C’s…my 5 C’s. Life learning is a big part of this. But I will actually wrought curriculum to speak to our life moments. Life is chaos and unstable right now. This is a brilliant time for keyboarding/typing because it is kind of mindless muscle memory and does not require too much mental processing (even my 7 year old asked and is doing it and I did not plan for that). Also a brilliant time to enjoy music and talk about Mozart or let them pick music and find out what they love while baking. Let them pick recipes. I created an Allrecipes  account for my son so he can send me what he wants me to get. We are reading literature together on Amazon Kindles and making connotations in notes for vocabulary words under electric blankets with snacks. I am trying to create an environment which will foster a love for literature with a story which meets them where they are at in themes of maturity and an epic economy windfall. It could very well be another Great Depression and I want them to comprehend that. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls is an excellent story to share right now for reading aloud together. I have the study.com assignments to accompany the story. I will not make it too heavy; just expose and introduce, no pressure. Baking, math, English, grammar, vocabulary, coming of age and rites of passage, economics, escape through nature, together and learning to type for the next season when I begin incorporating research papers, composition and the reward of ability to code better for one. Also, because of Quarantine we can do walks, proper weight-lifting, running, biking and calisthenics. Typing also teaches spelling. We are painting, gardening, typing, baking exercise and reading. We have so much more to do but I will not push it right now.

Life moves in seasons and phases. No one expects your child to be ready to graduate. You do not have to prove your ability or your child’s ability to anyone. Do not care about that. This is about your child making a way through life and find his or her place in the world and you actually have time for that – a month ago millions of kids finished high school with no idea of those things because the school does not help them do that.

I cried too. In less than a year we have already moved ABOVE AND BEYOND public school. This took more than a month. You cannot fail your child – and even if you could fail them you cannot fail them in a month.

But, do not miss that your school has been pushing much much more on your children on a daily basis and has completely failed the nation’s last 15 years of graduates with common core, removing the arts, and 64% of the nation’s 8th graders cannot read beyond a 3rd grade level. So, they already failed them, not you. If you are going to cry over anything – cry for that. Cry for what your child has been forced to do on a daily basis. Cry for that. You can do this. By the fall I already started having a feel for what I wanted to do. In six months time, you can LOVE life and your child love calling you their teacher. You will feel a whole new sense of what parenting can be and you will be awakened to how you were deprived of this.

Chin up – you got this. It may sound cliche but sincerely, if we can, you can.

Inspired by Article below:

https://pagesix.com/2020/04/14/drew-barrymore-has-cried-every-day-trying-to-homeschool-her-children/

Frankly, You Are the Expert: Homeschool for Parents

By Amy Lynette Simmans

I was truly delighted to hear the twist in the article shared below in regards to Jennifer Lopez and homeschool.

So many parents LOVE homeschooling their children. So many families are absolutely successful and so many families have found that public school is shoving and forcing children through the system like cattle and not giving them any room to explore and discover themselves , their own passions , gifts and talents. So many children are NOT ADJUSTED in public school, depressed and suicidal as early as 4th grade here in Clarksville. That is extremely alarming and points to a broken system – not broken children.

And so many families have learned that despite what the public school has lead you to believe – no, school is not the most important thing in your child’s life. A child who is maladjusted, depressed, forced through a system which does not work for them or has different family lives CANNOT LEARN under such dire circumstances.

So many parents are subjected to OTHERS thinking public school is best, traditional school is the only way. I am sorry but clearly you are not listening to your child . Our children never want to set foot in a public school again. Our children are much more ahead.

You CANNOT LEARN TO HOMESCHOOL the way the public school is pushing it. Once again they think these one size fits all schedules and Curriculum and learning approaches will work. So they try to force every kid to conform to THEIR SHORT CUTS.

Just in my house alone every kid is using different methods, programs, websites, methods of learning, for every single thing they need to learn. Not two of them doing the same thing. It’s called teaching. You have to reach the child to teach the child. You have to understand what turns their light bulb on.

All this narrative you are hearing about it being impossible is HOGWASH. It most definitely is not. What they need to do is send out what the child is expected to learn and YOU find a way which your child can learn it. They are force feeding short cuts. They did the same crap to my kids in public school. You know why they FORCE IXL and then tell you at IEP meetings something is wrong with your child’s brain- because IXL was designed for THEM to run diagnostics and make their job easier. They flip it on and say here, do this. It is a shortcut.

I soooo wanted my kids to use things like Mobymax, IXL AND T4L because it runs all the reports FOR YOU.

That is not teaching. I literally pay for all this stuff just to follow each standard to know what the public school is doing and guess what- nope. We are doing it better.

Nothing is wrong with your child because the child is not getting through IXL …IXL is terrible! It is loaded with abstract images and questions which are not very clear. Every freaking time my kid was stuck so was I. Seriously, HOMESCHOOL your child before you listen to the school say something is wrong with your kid or your kid needs meds etc. Your kid will be fine when you pull them.

Learn to sacrifice an income and make tons of cutbacks and prioritize your child. They cannot learn in those conditions. They are not the experts anymore- they are taking shortcuts and when your kid is struggling with that method they are using which is clearly designed to weed out any kid/person who does not think that way- they would rather fail the child then even begin to try another method of learning. Trust me…I know. We have three boys who are leaps and bounds ahead if public school. Everything they do now is taking shortcuts.

I am growing increasingly upset with this narrative in the media that this is IMPOSSIBLE. No it is not. It takes longer than a few weeks to deschool and navigate the world of learning and your child’s preferences and what engages them. I find new things everyday. What they are doing is the first mistake EVERY HOMESCHOOL PARENT MAKES AND WILL TESTIFY- THE FIRST THING THEY DO IS BRING PUBLIC SCHOOL HOME. DO NOT DO THAT.

Every homescooler only finds success when they DESCHOOL and turn off what the public school does and finds their own way. Let that pressure go. Enjoy being with your children. It is okay to know and tell the world exactly what Jennifer Lopez said, the most important thing is that they are with you and do not feel abandoned. Being surrounded by people who love you, socialized with people in your community of all ages and backgrounds instead of homogenized by neighborhoods with exactly same income brackets and psychographics and demographics and even down to exact age. That is not diversity -it it is homogeneity. Your child is not awesome because they got Perfect Attendance though we are forced to like and say YAY, WAY TO GO for every kid who got it. I have news for you- as a Public Relations major let me inform you that when ANY AWARD in any world of school or business is created it does not mean you should embrace it. No one is impressed with perfect attendance. Awards are deliberately CREATED for the PURPOSE of stroking ego to get a desired behavior from you. Here, in CMCSS if you do not produce your child they will send investigators from child protective services. In Clarksville dcs works closely with the public school to ENFORCE compulsory attendance laws. So they exercise very real fears and threaten and weaponize it. But the first ploy is that compulsory attendance- I mean “perfect” attendance ego stroke award. And some of the more disillusioned parents eat that up because hey…my kid got an award. But that award was created ONLY to make you feel like this is something which should be applauded. Because why, the school loses money every day your child is not there. Yep. But hey, way to go Timmy, you either get an award because not one person came near you to give you the flu or your parents are the jerks who sent you no matter how sick you were. No achievement there . That is luck-

Look, you can do this. It is not impossible. The school system knows that and have been losing children every single day. HOMESCHOOL numbers have shot up and mother and fathers around the world are giving their children better lives. The government knows this. The public has been catching on and homeschooling has reach record numbers in a very long time.

And the narrative driven by media that you cannot do this is to terrify you so you will send them back. Exactly what they need and want . They want your kids back so they can tell them what to think and when to pee. They do not want a society full of people who can think for themselves. That schedule you got, HOMESCHOOL packet they sent, notice they even write what time your child should wake, dress, eat, when they can move around and what they should read and which math app they have to learn to divide on. It is a riot. In no world should your child have every second of their day micromanaged. This is what the public school does to your child every single day. And now that you are supposed to follow suit you are having breakdowns while all the while you have dismissed your child’s. You have no idea how much school has changed since you went. Your kids are have been living a nightmare being shoved through the chute like cattle but now that you are supposed to March to that same drum you finally see what all the fuss is about; kids maladjusted, depressed, vomiting, breaking down, spirits broken, Behaviors of acting out, aggression, told to medicate them, suicidal elementary and up kids and school shootings.

The next time you ask what is wrong with the world – go look at a prison. Prisoners think YOUR CHILDS LIFE IS HELL. Inmates have been interviewed and they have said school is ran more restrictive than prisons. Prisoners get more time in the yard, more access to free reading and books, and lighting, and are allowed to talk, can pee freely. The list goes on. Your school is ran a tighter ship than prison.

Hello, let me introduce you to your child. I am a HOMESCHOOL mom who began with the pressures the public school gave me. It takes about six months to DESCHOOL and research Curriculum and learn your child’s specific learning style. You will then over the next year try different methods and approaches. You will see light bulbs . You will bond with your children more than you ever thought possible. They will be socialized with people YOU want them to. They will discover themselves. And I. A years mark you will find out you got them way ahead of their PEERS at public school. And like the rest of us you will say- what the hell were they doing with my kid all those hours anyway.

It is worth every material thing we ever cut back. ACTUAL INSTRUCTION TIME equals about two hours a day of learning- anything! Not what they say- what you say. You can teach everything through your child’s interests. You can travel instead of looking at pictures online. The best thing you will ever do is withdraw your kids.

Some states are so scared you will love it so much and pull them they are trying to BAN IT. So they are intentionally creating a narrative in media of highly intelligent moms who do not want to do it. Within hours of a space archeologist telling school she was not doing this she was hunted down, given a prestigious award and pumped it through the presses. In PR we call this framing, agenda setting, and creating a narrative. Oh, well if this brilliant woman cannot do this then neither can I. No! What she said was they are crazy and that load is crazy and it is all crazy. Only she did not know this is what her kid has been living with. She is right, her child’s emotional stability comes first.

So does yours. Pull ’em if this sounds like your child

A word:

Below is the link to the article about Jennifer Lopez on homeschool. I just love what she said. You can say it too!

https://www.insider.com/jennifer-lopez-struggles-with-her-kids-math-homework-while-homeschooling-2020-4

See-Salt

See-Salt Amy Lynette Simmans

           Existentialism at its finest;

What is intriguing is that it usually organizes priorities appropriately and joins hands

despite our idiosyncrasies.

We are salt crystals

-sea-salt-

             which link in precise symmetrical pairs

                     Then
                     Squares.

But, this is an entirely different beast.

Preservation

means

Reservations;

waves

from the windows.

            Water

must evaporate quicker than the

                  salt dissolves

                             to leave us here –

              we hear-

     waves from the windows;

                 The salt flats.

Why do people not

                          see – salt

                                                    flats

                           are evidence of

the global deluge?

              Crystalline

                        clear

                            evidentiary


                mirrors


the truth-

                   Rattle-back.

                              We have become

HYDROPHOBIC.

We need the living water.

We are the salt of the Earth.

While we give flavor

and preserve

each other –

we are also the salt

in each others

wounds

But, no one really wants to talk

about that.

Just waves.

Waves from the windows,

washed up by the sea.

He promised

it would not be by flood

or tears again

That, I believe;

For, we have become

HYDROPHOBIC.

We are the Salt

Rubbed in each other’s wounds

Evidentiary

mirrors

He left us too soon.

~ Amy Lynette Simmans

Some stare at the mirror not because they are narcissistic but because they cannot remember who or what they look like. We are made in His image.

Frankly, Do Not Jingle the Bells

By Amy Lynette Simmans

You know when you almost get in a crash you immediately turn off the car radio; sensory overload. We live with that feeling all day, everyday

Anyone dealing with Autism and/or SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER does ask me which headphones my kids use. These (link below to product “Muted” headphones) are the absolute best from baby, toddler, Adyn, Hunter and I, too, have put them on and approved. This one set works for every age and size. When you change color options you will see dinosaur oragami, hearts, robots, space and many more.

But the thing is many parents will start with a different brand and even the headphones offered at school HURT so the kids will not use them. Be careful when the school says at meeting, “child rejects them so child does not need them”; the second my kids were allowed to use “Muted” in particular they used them- and they still do.

PrynnRose is sensitive to certain pitches, instruments and keys – so observe for those sensitivities. I have had parents ask if that is possible because they thought their child was too-yes,it is. Also, she HATES when my phone plays a video at all (autoplay is a nightmare).

Jude is sensitive to and hates spontaneous noises so nature sounds are a hard no but Mozart with precise anticipatory timing and others of the likes- he likes.

These are just particular auditory sensitivities to observe for.

TVs can only be set on a volume which can be heard ONLY in that room. If I can walk through hall and still hear it- it is too loud. If I can hear it in any other room it is too loud-even the neighboring kitchen.

If my kids start pinging and acting funky usually it can all be stopped immediately by pausing or offing TV.

If we are all in kitchen dining room we can only have one voice at a time. And quiet. Some talk too loud (also SPD issue) so headphones are almost always necessary for one or another these times.

PrynnRose is having a heck of a time in public restrooms. They are loud, echo is bad (acoustics), running water hurts her ears (mine too), the toilets are way too loud and painful (also spontaneous some). The paper towel dispensers are awful for many reasons; either they squeak or they blow loud (also scratchy painful paper or the blowers leave hands still wet and some of us hate wet hands but we are just speaking of auditory here).

Also, the car. The car is a nightmare for auditory issues and headphones help here, as well. Turn radio off or down (to where you can just barely hear it!) . If radio is on then do not talk over it. It is too many sounds. Add to that traffic sounds- so keep windows UP – especially because of the spontaneous noises. When the windows are up voices will bounce and echo. The fact you are in the car means you are either going to or from somewhere which takes a toll on all the senses simultaneously, though I am just discussing auditory alone here. Which means you should probably learn to drive with radio off. If you are returning home I would suggest submitting to turning off the radio (it means your sanity too later-win/win) and not even whispering (silence is golden); this is based on Jude frankly saying, “no” to radio and talking on way home from anywhere once he became verbal enough to advocate such once I figured out and fine tuned his auditory and Autistic sensitivities. But keep in mind you do not want to burn the candle at both ends, so to speak, so just go ahead and get used to quiet rides. By this I do not mean for you to try to fill the silence with questions and talking in the car. It really is not appreciated, especially after school, we had to ride home silently and start diffusing from the second child was in car. We had to get a silent routine down starting with headphones in car or just being silent (he chose to also wear headphones). I will be frank though, this was learned only after years of breaking my daughter to tears when I kept asking about her day and she really really just wanted silence. Save the “catch up” talk for one on one quiet talk for even 5 to 20 minutes. Let them decide how much talking they want to do or NOT do. Too many questions to answer is exhausting so just lay off after the important ones. Auditory sensitivities are like an avalanche.

All of these and more exhaust our brains due to trying to sort the sounds and hear through the noise. It may not be noisy to you but for us it is like being at a concert all day long!

Running water DROWNS out voices. Do not even bother talking to me if water is running. Fans drive me insane (the sound, white noise AND air blowing on me). I was recently at a coffee shop and wanted to cry the whole time because of the fan. Now, imagine your sensitive child entering the room to dishes being scraped, water running, music or TV on, digging through pots and pans and then add talking or a crying baby! Please, put these headphones on your child while you bring all these noises to a minimum and help them escape until you are finished.

Do not require your child to be present while filling tub. Loud again.

Finally, I want to explain how crucial this is to be very diligent about headphones. This is largely a reason SPD kids require so much speech therapy.

WE CANNOT HEAR SOFT CONSONANTS! Especially when learning to communicate, enunciate, read, spell, and follow instructions. When giving instructions or commands be sure to lean away from contractions and be clear in expressing “DO” or “DO NOT”. When you are working on speech therapy and phonics use words they do say correctly to reinforce the sound of the word/sound you are trying to teach.

The headphones bring everything down a few notches but also just allow for complete silence. Sometimes mine will use it even when it seems quiet to others. Again, that may be seemingly quiet to another but not for the person who hates spontaneous sounds which is what you hear when all the intentional noise comes down: the coughs, sighs, yawns, paper shuffling, someone tapping, someone’s leg bouncing, zippers, erasing etc (that was just a moment in a classroom – imagine all day for the person who hates spontaneous sounds).

Many parents know headphones are needed in stores but even Jude realized in some stores he only needed them at entrance and exit because of cash registers, talking, chatter, carts slamming and pulling but mostly CHATTER. I, too, HATE chatter. After 15 minutes of the news on the TV even I am toast! So are my kids and God forbid the commercials. The news is OBNOXIOUSLY SENSORY OVERLOAD.

This list is not exhaustive. It is a GOOD start for those who do not understand auditory sensitivities. Our meltdowns can be largely regulated with this list. But keep in mind this is JUST ONE sense, there are six senses-not five as you thought. Proprioceptive is actually one of the reasons we may be talking too loud believe it or not.

And then there is more to consider for their minute to minute tolerance and thresholds which is exposure time. Just using headphones is NOT ENOUGH. You have to consider emotional and experiential tolls of the day, time of day, and breaks! Breaks are so important. But we have learned every additional minute can compound the meltdown. Extreme meltdowns are actually preventable once you learn to regulate the senses and emotional aspects of Autism. Even as adults we require a spouse who believes us when we say the radio is too loud and does not argue that we did not complain yesterday. This is the STRUGGLE. Our threshold and tolerance varies in direct correlation to all the other factors. We have found one hour at church burns us for the entirety of the day and 20 minutes may burn us for the next two hours. You will have to figure out the thresholds. I have a twenty year old still learning to self-regulate.

I just went to buy wrapping paper at Hobby Lobby for Christmas and I am extremely sensitive now, on verge of tears, migraine and wiped from the hustle and bustle. I was gone an hour in that mess. So now lights are off due to sensory overload. It is not just about noise-you have to turn off ALL SENSORY INPUT and regain one sense at a time.

The Muted designer headphones have been a God-send in our home.

Muted Designer Hearing Protection… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N2TAPJK?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

Frank Specialists

By Amy Lynette Simmans

The public education system is so broken I cannot even begin to break down the psychology behind taking something like “cursive” OUT of public education- just so people will demand it be placed back in- allowing government to legislate education/curriculum further than it already is (currently happening in various states i.e. New Jersey). This is a bizarre thing going on. This common core – people, common core is not what you think it is. But if you have a child in the public education system, for the next 15 years your kid will come out of it worse than if you had taught them at home.

Ivy League schools want homeschooled children who can think for themselves.

At 12 years old a child can learn everything your child is taught from preK to 6th grade in 3 months. Yep. Truth.

Kids can drop out of school and take a GED/high school equivalent diploma (after a month class) .

So WHAT ARE THEY REALLY DOING WITH OUR KIDS ALL DAY?

Pushing them through the chute. Like cattle. And prodding them.

Some states have shrunk to 4 day school week while other states are discussing keeping kids two hours more. Our nation is using the public education system to figure out how to best control the public and that is no secret. Education is the governments most paramount social construct. But it is going up in flames.

When most people start college they have already lost the math, especially if they took a year or more off after high school. They then require one to two semesters in college of high school/basic math again.

College students are losing tens of thousands of dollars of debt changing their study path several times over. Many graduate never to work in that field. College professors do not make money unless they keep writing text books and adopting each others books, oh, and each year they will make sure to make one change to UPDATE the book and release new book for next semester. The field keeps deciding to up the ante on what degree you need to start working at entry level in the field. By time you finish your education, your education is obsolete. My field did not even require a degree and yet, I spent the money on one! Imagine that. 😂

I tried to buy a textbook for my kids at Pearson’s and they would not allow me. It is all about that money.

I am still hard-core pro education (hard cover 21st edition) – just not public education. You cannot be an expert or specialist in something EVERYBODY IS TAUGHT AND KNOWS. Ever.

Every person has a “SOMETHING”, and we cannot let our children spend so much time on something they have zero interest in. Yes, expose them, light the match and look for the spark. Nothing? Blow out that match and light a new one before it burns your fingers. There is a whole box of matches!

But our public education system has gone up in flames. Even teachers are angry and it will not be long before the book burning parties that happen will be teachers and students burning text books only to opt for a truly free and public but PERSONAL education. A P.E.P. In lieu of an I.E.P in which they have no training to follow through.

The public education system has convinced the public they are the experts and your children need to be taught by the experts when there are no experts left because they have homogenized education. Now, I am literally laughing out loud.

Survey courses are great but high school is when they should have happened! Exposure to fields of study should have been done during the years of self-discovery and finding a child’s interests. Because one of the biggest problems with public education is kids are graduating with no sense of who they are or what they are interested in. This goes for the average neurotypical student as well as special education needs kids. They cannot feel like an individual when you have homogenized their brains. If they have a talent or passion in the arts they will not know it. They will not learn to prepare a canvas and paint in a formal education setting until they spend thousands in college and paint the same basket of pears as their peers. Public education is feeding them tests to start college to figure that out. Before college, they are told what to think about, which books to read and which ones are off limits. They have even given them summer reading lists instead of letting them read freely over summer. Every semester I had a running list of books I could not wait to read after finals even though I was thrilled to be smelling a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils! Interestingly enough, the first two years of college they are making you pay tens upon thousands of dollars to take more common core (what you just did the last 13 years) before you are even allowed to enroll in the survey courses to explore fields of study. So you are 15 years deep into education (16-17 if in preschool) before you are ever allowed to take prelaw, or mass communication, or journalism, or work with paint before drawing or pottery instead of drawing 1. It is truly a bizarre thing. You pay tens of thousands of dollars and you cannot even dabble your paint brush in various courses to try your mind at physics before the rug is ripped from under your feet when told by advisement you are not allowed because it is not in your “study path” . Our kids are 20 now and they still do not know if they are Quantum Physics or just want to grab a hammer and bang away at particle board.

No, thank you! Do not feel bad the next time someone tells you your child does not belong in the public education system-take it as a compliment! And for all those who say teach it at home on your own time; if your kid is in public school the government owns your kids time. They are on work release prisons and about to get more jail time. They are “institutionalized”. They are exhausted children and we cannot all afford to pay for it twice. The only option to teach your kids other delightful things actually is homeschool.

Anywho, there is my rant.

Go back to learning cursive! Not because you should to read documents and sign your name but because it is the law! 😂

It has been awhile since I last blogged. I was on a personal journey for a bit but I am back. Merry Christmas. Photos: we are making homemade shortbread ornaments for Christmas Tree.

FrankAutism-Emotional Therapy in Autism Parenting Magazine

By Amy Lynette Simmans

Below is my piece in Autism Parenting Magazine. Thanks to Emotional Therapy we have managed to all sit at the table and complete a holiday project without any meltdowns.

It has taken me much of the year to adjust to major life changes which all happened simultaneously. I spend so much time talking with parents about children with Autism that I rarely discuss my own experiences. That is about to change. I am working on my next piece in which I intend to discuss personal aspects of Autism. It has been quite a journey and I will spare you the suspense…I have not grown out of it.

Frank Homeschooling

By Amy Lynette Simmans

Homeschool vs Public School Rules

1. You ARE here to socialize.
2. You may speak freely and learn to have a conversation.
3. You WILL get a chance to speak.
4. I will not run out of time to have any conversation with you.
5. You may ponder wonderfully with what you just read all week or month until you understand what you need to to move forward.
6. You may introduce topics, pick books, and decide what you want to learn about today.
7. You may create your own goals and figure out strategies and tactics to accomplish this.
8. You may disagree.
9. You may go to the restroom and have privacy and take as long as you need.
10. You may sit anywhere you like-yes, even the floor.
11. Yes, your favorite YouTube videos count as learning – even watching people in other cultures playing didgeridoos, or building pools out of mudbricks they made themselves with kilns they made themselves and then irrigated water themselves and the space technology and animal videos where coyote Pete let’s scary animals bite him.
12. Yes, watching TV can count as learning too- especially Survivor which allows you to hear how people socialize, set agendas, manipulate others and see how people respond to this and what may or may not get you voted off the island and see how waving some money in their face changes everything . But mostly natgeo stuff which I actually do jot down in your learning log. I cannot tell you how many times a teacher rolled in a cart (every Friday an entire school year) to watch labyrinth.
13. You may choose your physical exercise – yes swimming in pool counts, so does going to park, riding scooters and bikes and walking your dog, oh and you are welcome to the Smith machine, dumbells/barbells/free weights.
13. Everyone you meet is NOT your friend when I take you out. They are part of the community you live in and you do NOT have to call bullies who are mean to you “your friend”. Your friends are people who are good to you, care about your feelings and treat you kindly. The people you see often and recognize are associates – people you know but have not formed a friendship/relationship with but you are to be kind to them too.
13. You may explore and reject interests/noninterests.
14. You will be 100% successful in life because you will find yourself sooner and be allowed to pursue your passions and as long as you are doing what you love or working towards that goal you cannot fail.
15. Your life belongs to you. Your feelings are real. You will not be taught to dismiss them but to cope and foster them. You will be taught boundaries beginning with owning your feelings and knowing where you stop and others start.
16. You MAY leave your seat. Please, yes, by all means get out of your seat, move around and live and engage the world. If I wanted you to sit in a chair 7 hours straight I would send you back to public school.

17. Feel free to share; but frankly, you do not have to. I do not share my house, car, or things with every person who wants a turn.

18. I am your mother and teacher. Some days the best thing you will learn and know is that I love you. I am not measuring you. Some days I will just want to be with you and hear you laugh. I want to teach you life is short and to never take living and being around those you love for granted. I have feelings too and it is important you learn this and get to know me too. Learning to rest is just as important as learning to rise.

19. We have not hired a janitor, you will learn to maintain your areas.

20. Frankly, class is always in session. Always be actively learning. The second you believe you know enough, is the moment you stop learning and become a fool.