Hi, I’m Catherine. Here’s some personal stuff about me:
- I live in a NYC suburb with my husband, Andrew, our identical twin boys, and our two crazy cats.
- I’m a stay at home mom now, but before we had children, I worked as an RN in Pediatrics and Labor and Delivery.
- I was raised in the Greater NY area, but moved to California to escape the East Coast winters. That’s where I met my husband. We moved to this area a few months before the boys turned two.
- I love books, music, and NHL hockey. My husband is an office guy by day and plays bass guitar in rock bands on weekends.
- I never thought I would have a blog. I’m not a great writer, but I enjoy it quite a bit – especially my cyber circle of friends.
And here’s our homeschool story:
It was always in my heart to homeschool my children. I remember the day of the Colombine shooting – it was before our boys were even conceived. My husband came in from work, and I was watching news through tears. We only said one thing to each other. ”Homeschooling.” And we sat and watched in silent horror. Then our sons were diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. I thought that meant they had to go to public school. It was where all the Physical, Occupational and Speech therapists were! As it turned out, that is not exactly true. It is possible to homeschool special needs children. For us, it was the best solution to our educational needs, and I had been doing most of the things the therapists had suggested for years.
Like many other Aspies, our guys are academically several years ahead of the public school curriculum in quite a few subjects, while their emotional and social skills lag a bit. This created a problem in the classroom where they were bored by the material being covered, and a target any time the other students realized their naiveté. Teaching them at home allows me to accommodate their best learning styles, and to move at the proper pace to keep their attention. I also have the advantage of picking up on cues that tell me I need to spend more time on certain subjects, and that I can move more quickly through others. I love that I can custom design an education that spotlights their strengths, and also helps improve their creativity and critical thinking.
Where do you live? Is it easy or difficult to homeschool there? Please explain.
Living in New York, we have some definite regulations placed upon us as homeschoolers, but once I learned the language, and worked out letters of intent, IHIPs, quarterly reporting schedules and an assessment plan, it has ben fairly easy to comply. We do traditional textbook learning, and I also incorporate a lot of life learning. Looking at our bookshelf, I think most curriculum would fall under classical schooling and many of texts are Catholic – but all of that is what I call our “school at home”. Once the lesson plan for the day has been checked off, we spend the rest of our day “homeschooling.”
What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
I think because of the way I look at life, my favorite subject to teach is history. It reveals so much about human nature! I find it rather remarkable to look back to even the most ancient civilizations and see that their triumphs and their pitfalls were so similar, generation after generation. I try hard to bring these lessons to life, and to make the historical figures real, and human.
What is your favorite thing about homeschooling?
One of my Hallmark traits is that I am always pointing out life’s built in lessons. Opportunities to enrich ourselves academically, spiritually and socially surround us every day. Each day, as a family, we pray that our minds are open to learning, that our ears open to listening, that our mouths will be portals of kind and honest words and that our hearts will be kind and loving. Before anyone is allowed to go to sleep, we relate one thing we learned that day that we didn’t know before, or share something that we are proud to have accomplished. We may not be diagramming sentences or calculating the area of polygons in ten years, but I hope with all my heart that we are all still looking for the lessons all around us, and taking time to reflect on our lives at the end of each day.