Happy Wednesday to you. We are nearing the end of this July and with a bang as the temperatures are hot and dangerous, as we have been issued a severe heat warning until the end of this week. Not sure how much more we can take, LOL! We are keeping cool inside and just taking it one day at a time. I have some great content for you to share and hope that you can use it for whatever you need it for and also learn from it as well. Raising a special needs son or daughter is not easy but someone has to do it, right? I hope you feel encouraged, inspired and learn something new in my newsletter today.
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Creating a Schedule in Homeschooling
Today, we’ll see how planning can help turn a
seemingly impossible job into a series of manageable
First of all, forget keeping up with the Joneses.
A schedule that works with one family might not
work at all for yours. You’ll have to come up with
your own schedule – one that’s tailored for your
family and their own needs.
Now that you’re homeschooling, you’re probably wondering how to schedule your day.
Should it look like a traditional school day? When should you begin – and when will you be finished? How much should you try to work on for one day?
One thing to keep in mind is that you won’t be sitting at a desk for six solid hours. School
typically runs from 9:00 to 3:00 – but that includes meals, calling roll, bathroom breaks, recess, standing in line, and many other things you don’t need to worry about (Thank Goodness). You can probably accomplish everything you need in around half the time your child would be in at traditional classroom.
So, first thing you need to decide is when to begin. You need to take your own work schedule into account as well. If you have chores or teleconferences in the mornings, you’ll want to start school a little later.
If your spouse works second shift, you might consider having an evening school. If there are therapy sessions or music lessons to consider, you’ll have to work around those. There’s no rule that says you must begin at 9:00.
Figure out a time that works with your particular family. Perhaps your kids are slow starters and aren’t at their sharpest first thing in the morning. You may need to delay start until noon.
Find something fun to do that lets everyone know the school day has begun. Many families begin with a prayer or other devotional. Some recite the Pledge of Allegiance. You may wish to read off today’s objectives, too. The point is to have some activity that tells the kids “School is in session.”
A good rule of thumb is to start with the hardest subject. That way, their brains are most alert, and they’ll be most likely to focus on whatever that may be.
With most kids, it’ll either be Language Arts or Math. Then, schedule in some of the other subjects.Anxiety Management
These don’t have to be done every single day. You might have science on Mondays and Wednesdays and history on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for example. Some families will work on science all one week and history the next. You’ll also want to leave time for additional subjects like health, art, music, or anything else your kids may be interested in.
Remember to schedule time for fun, too. We talked about field trips and other outdoor
activities. Those count as schooling as well, so schedule them into the weekly calendar.
Also try to be a bit flexible. You don’t even have to begin school at the same time every
day of the week.
Therapy Corner: 14 Ways to Combat Stress
A stress- free lifestyle could very well do wonders in eliminating depression.
Here are some practical methods to combat stress:
- Express Amusement and Be Happy. Laugh hard and loud. If you don’t have a sense of humor, find someone else who has. Laughter releases endorphins (happy chemicals) from the body, and it helps boost your immune system.
- Take Control Over Your Time and Schedule. You’ll be much more able to deal with stress if you have a good handle on your job, relationships, and other activities. When you are in control, you are more inclined to stay focused and calm. Plan your time wisely.
Remember to leave room for unexpected events – both negative and positive. Be adaptable in rearranging your agenda. Get up 15 minutes early in the morning. Allow an extra 15 minutes to get to all appointments. Avoid procrastinating on important or urgent tasks. Whatever needs doing, do it immediately. Do the unpleasant tasks early, so that you won’t have to worry about them for the rest of the day. Keep an appointment or record book. Don’t just rely on your memory.
Do your tasks one thing at a time at a time. Focus your attention on the present moment, whether it’s the person talking to you or the job at hand. This helps you to avoid making errors – which lead to more tension and anxiety. Be patient in waiting. Anxiety caused by impatience can rise up your blood pressure. Say “no” to requests that you cannot accomplish. Delegate trivial tasks. You must remember that you don’t have to do it all yourself. Crack a job into separate tasks and assign them to people with the suitable skills.
- Work Out Strive and get some habitual exercise such as brisk walking, swimming or whatever appeals to you. Play a sport you’re interested in. Aerobic exercises can considerably reduce the stress factor. Work out also improves sleep and gives you time to think and focus on other things. It also promotes the release of natural soothing chemicals in your body. Do not result to excessive exercise, however, as this may have an adverse effect and might cause more depression.
- Search Out for A Support Group. You’ll be able to manage stress much better if you have other people helping and supporting you. Did you know that married people and people who are outgoing (always meeting with friends), have considerably low levels of stress in their lives?
Choose positive friends who are not worriers. Friends who continually put you
down or talk gloomily about life will increase your anxiety. Invite a good friend to help you talk out a problem and get it off your chest. A long-distance call to an old pal can be great therapy.
Pardon others instead of holding grudges. Slow down your standards – for yourself and others. Don’t expect too much. Perfectionism is not the means to happiness. Become more flexible and adaptable to your environment.
Communicate clearly with your co-workers and boss. Ask questions. Repeat instructions that you are given. Clarifying directions at the start of a project can save lots of time later rectifying out misunderstandings. Be honest in your dealings with others. Lying and cheating leads to stress.
- Take Breaths Deeply and Slowly. Calm down your muscles, escalating your stomach and chest. Exhale slowly. Do it again several times. Follow your breath as it flows in and out. Do not try to have power over it. This is a good way to relax in the midst of any activity. This practice allows you to find a breathing pattern that is natural and relaxing to you. Make use of this yoga technique: Inhale slowly, counting to eight. Exhale through your mouth, even more slowly, counting to sixteen. Make a sighing sound as you exhale and feel tension dissolve. Do it again 10 times.
- Consume Healthy Foods at the Appropriate Time.
Never skip meals, especially breakfast. Get time out to eat heartily no matter how busy you are. Take nutritious snacks to the office, or even the shopping mall. A nutritionally balanced diet is essential to your health and lifestyle. For example, researchers have found that even small deficiencies of thiamin, a B-complex vitamin, can cause anxiety symptoms. Pantothenic acid, another B-complex vitamin, is critical during times of stress. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sweets, which can worsen symptoms of stress.
- Live Optimistically. Count your blessings, particularly when everything seems to go wrong. Believe that many other people are living in worse conditions than you are. Don’t exaggerate the complexity of your problems. Every problem has a solution. All you need to do is find that solution. Learn to be happy and to enjoy life’s blessings. Live one day at a time.
- Put Off Problems Earlier Than They Occur.
This takes some preparation. If you are going to another city for an valuable meeting, carry your presentation materials and dress suit on board the plane. Acquire gas for the car before the tank is unfilled. Get usual oil changes and checkups. Keep food ready anytime at your house so you can fix a fast meal without going to the store. Keep food, medicine, and toiletries on hand so you
never have to feel tensed when they run out.
- Enjoy The Good Things That Life Has to Offer.
Grant yourself some physical pleasure and enjoyment to help your stress slip
away. Indulge yourself to a professional massage, or trade massages with a loved one. Give yourself consent to enjoy a movie, watch a concert or sports event, listen to music, or read a book. Take pleasure in a soothing cup of chamomile herb tea with a little bit of honey. Chamomile has long been used to relieve nervous tension.
Arrange a day of beauty with a friend. Do each other’s hair or paint your nails and chat.
Make a simple steam facial at home by boiling water. Remove the pan from the stove. Cover your head with a large towel so that it creates a tent over the pot. Steam your face for five or 10 minutes. Add aromatic herbs to the water for a sensual touch. Center your attention on any of the senses – hearing, seeing, eating or body movements – for a few minutes. Even washing your hands can become a sensual experience.
- Possess a Definite Goal or Purpose in Life and Strive for it.
Plan ahead to meet your most desired goals in life. You should always wake up with a sense of purpose.
Time management experts highlight the importance of writing down your important goals. Break big projects down into a series of small steps that you can work on every day. Want to change jobs? Contact one prospective employer today. Is writing a book your dream? Commit to writing one page a day. Inch by inch, slowly but surely, you will get to your ultimate destination. Knowing that you are striving toward your dreams relieves frustrations that mount when you feel stuck in a situation that seem to have no direction.
- Move Away to Recharge Your Spirit. Make a schedule for a private time alone every day. You deserve it. Unplug the telephone and enjoy a quiet evening alone or with your family, or even 15 continuous minutes in the shower or bathtub. You may want to spend a few minutes writing your feelings out in a journal. It can help you find a new viewpoint in life and relieve internal conflicts.
More Tips to Recharge Your Spirit
· Have on earplugs for instant peace anytime, anyplace.
· Be taught of a meditation technique. Two methods: Observe your thoughts as they pass through your mind. Or, repeat a word or phrase with an uplifting
· Put into practice progressive relaxation for 20 minutes twice a day to relive high blood pressure and other physiological responses to stress. Make tighter and release each muscle group in turn, starting with the soles of the feet and slowly working up to the scalp.
· Schedule a weekend activity that is a change of your usual routine. If your week is a lot scheduled, relax and enjoy noncompetitive activities. If you are never able
to finish anything during the week, choose a project that you can complete in a few hours on weekends.
· Take time out for a little entertainment in the middle of your workday. When the pressures of completing a project are too great, your productivity can drop. Take a walk or eat lunch outside the office.
- Use Visualization and Affirmation Techniques. You can conquer a circumstance you fear by going over the event in your mind. Imagine the scene in clear detail and visualize the best possible result that may happen.
You can also reduce an imagined fear down to size by picturing the worst possible outcome. Visualize describing this worst case to your best friend the next day and the sympathy you receive. Imagine telling a group of friends the next month, who contribute to their similar experiences. Finally, imagine joking about your unpleasant experience with a complete stranger a month later. If you carry this exercise through to the end, your stress will become something to laugh about. Replace negative self- talk with affirmations. Don’t let your mind be filled with gloom: You’re too ugly. . . you’re too old. . .you’ll never achieve anything. And things like: What if I fail the exam? What if she doesn’t like my gift? What if we get lost? These things haven’t even occurred yet. Nourish your mind with a constant stream of “I can; therefore, I will.”
- Get Sufficient Sleep.
Settle on how much sleep you require for best possible performance. Lack of
sleep worsens the body’s responses to stress and lowers the immune system.
- Don’t Be Self-Centered.
Always remember that you don’t have to attain all the money, fame, and success in the world. Today’s society forces us to build up as much accomplishments as we can, while trying to balance our own personal and family life. There’s just not enough time to do all these things. Start from the most important task and focus on one thing at a time.
Autism Journey & Books I Own
I have owned many books, in regard to raising our autistic teen and here are 2 of them that have been very helpful along the way, especially at different stages.
Cooking-Life Skill Recipe Book-Visual Recipes
“This unique cookbook, written for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disorders, will foster independence and confidence for anyone in the kitchen. The clear photographs, which include all of the small details that a person with autism or a nonreader needs to be successful, are easy to understand. The book features 35 recipes grouped into the following categories: breakfast, lunch, side dishes, snacks, desserts, and drinks. The recipes consist of picture-based directions, and each step is framed for visual clarity. Simple text directions also accompany each step, and the importance of safety is highlighted.”~Tabitha Orth-Author
Presently, we are working on our son’s cooking skills, so that he can make more than microwaveable or processed meals. This book gives you options and step by step visual recipes, so that you are able to see what meals look like after they are prepared. It is definitely a lifesaver of what is possible given the right tools to get your autistic son or daughter on the right track.
Helping Your Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
“Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are characterized by severe developmental impairments, including lowered social function and communication skills. Having a child with an ASD greatly stresses the emotional, financial, and social resources of the family. With this workbook, parents learn the latest and most effective ASD management techniques for their children, including the use of the family enhancement treatment model designed by the authors—a program that provides step-by-step guidelines for fostering children’s abilities and enhancing the health of the whole family.”~Stephanie B. Lockshin PhD BCBA
We purchased this book the same year our son was diagnosed with ASD and have not looked back since. It is an excellent resource for parents who have just found out about their loved one’s ASD diagnosis and what to expect through the years of this lifelong disability. ~MomAdvocate
A Day in the Life Recent Blog Post:
HomeSchool Resources and TidBits (SpecNeeds): Summer Vibes…..It is Like Hades in the PNW!! (homeschoolspecneedstidbits.blogspot.com)
Seasonal Recipe: Sunshine Snack Mix
2 cups California raisins
2 cups low-fat granola cereal
1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
In large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well.
Yields: 5 1/2 cups
Preparation time: 5 minutes
The Taste of Health
Of course, nutrition facts probably don’t matter much to your children. Kids tend to focus on taste, and raisins hold up well there, too. They make sweet, plump treats, which means they can be an easy way to help your children maintain a healthful diet-and to keep their energy levels up throughout the day.
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