Friday, September 2, 2011

When Life Gives Us Lemons...We Make Lemonade!

I have been listening to Destiny's Musical practice CD too much lately, thus this post's title. Last November, she was a clown in a local Children's Musical, "Circus Circus". This past spring, she was going to be in a musical about fish but I ended up pulling her because her health was so completely unstable :-(. Alas! Now she is back for a round of Lemonade!  

When I see her in practice, enjoying it, really picking up what she can, my heart feels like it may implode! What a total difference not having absence seizures makes, while in that type of group setting!
She LOVES it, I love that she loves it, and it can be counted for K Language, Social Studies and P.E.! As I've heard several times now, a musical has three components: 1) Singing 2) Acting and 3) Dancing. It truly is magnificent, and it's her very own. 

There's a part in Lemonade! when someone shouts, "Someone call a doctor, someone get a nurse!" Every time she hears it, my daughter bursts out laughing and repeats it over and over! Unfortunately for Desty, she relates on a deep level...The magic in this is that the teacher is giving her that line, and for once Destiny will have the control; she won't be the one that needs medical attention in the musical. HeeHeeHee!

Destiny also is in Biking, and has already gone to one of many Homeschool Days, we have memberships to the zoo

a few museums, gardens and Discovery Days. Benny's kindergarten teacher whom I absolutely ADORE is a natural creative genius and she's doing three hours a week of pure creativity/crafts with Desty - which I'm so so thrilled about!   

So, once in awhile, when I tell people I'm homeschooling her, I sense their concern that Destiny is missing out on socialization, or that she is being segregated in some odd way. Well, let me set the record straight, right here, right now - Destiny, and many other children who are homeschooled, get much more socialization than they would sitting with the same thirty children day in and day out, in the same environment, PLUS these kids avoid some of the pressure a class situation can produce. Lonely, it most certainly is not!
I digress...(saving my sharp opinions about stigmas for another post. I want you all to see how totally and completely blessed we are here!)

I don't teach by any one curriculum. I have gracefully by-passed the stringent constraints of the school district by enrolling Destiny into a private school that allows for homeschool with whatever curriculum I choose. I refused the state's "online school" because if I'm going to teach my child, I want all of the responsibility, and I certainly don't want to be micro-managed in this.  

It's so funny...Before making my decision to homeschool Desty, I heard how easy, fun and natural it is from half the folks that knew I was considering it, and the other half warned how grueling and how much work it would be (I'm betting those friends had to deal with the district a lot...)  

Homeschooling Desty is, without a doubt, the most fun and fulfilling think I believe I've ever done! My driving principle in teaching Destiny is that life is a natural school, and living to the fullest promotes learning. Yes, I have to prepare, especially when I include Benny in our school, but honestly it is not a lot. And I'm so much more 'in-tune' with both kids now; that makes it even easier. And they love it! They want school into the evening!
Benny is still at his school, but last weekend he begged for homeschool...I think I've been 'teaching' every day for two weeks! And then, he caught a cold, missing Tuesday through Friday of this week. His teacher sent home some of his work, which he quickly finished, and I created some lessons for him. He misses his compadre, Sam, but it's been a fun sick-at-home four days. He really misses Sam! LOLOL!

When we are not sick, we are out in the world learning through experience and we are home creating. My friend called Desty's school a World School - it really is. Take a good look at the pictures throughout this entry. This is our school!  Everywhere!  My Destiny knows when to use a "Mama A" and a "Baby a". I was wondering how I'd ever explain that! To me, it seems so silly, at first impression, why there would be two of the same letter that are different. She thinks nothing of it! VWALA! - and the rest is a game! I'm beginning to think in Dr. Seuss verse ;-)
I just have to share one of the things I'm totally stoked about, for those of you who aren't Facebook addicts, and then I'll have to leave you on a sad note (after all, this IS part of my therapy! HA HA HA! ;-) 

Pen Pals! Destiny has three - all Dravet Angels! - one in CA, one in IL and one all the way in New Zealand! And, as of tonight, Benny has a Pen Pal in Australia, whose cousin has Dravet! (of course, he wanted in on the FUN, too!  

Now, comes my sigh...Destiny has her first cold in a long time - a simple cold, yet brutal. Seizures galore, choking, labored breathing, cognitive and coordination issues again. It's okay...I know that as long as we keep her from status epileptus, she'll probably bounce back as soon as the cold leaves. But it's painful to watch and relive. On her Diet, there aren't many decongestant options that are safe. She lacks the power to clear her nose. Today as she napped, we manually held her mouth open so she could breathe easier, guarding off another seizure.  I keep reminding myself, "This too shall pass..."

Wait! I can't/I won't end on that note! Watch this clip...  
This nice garden caretaker took my eager little girl in to feed the ducks! 

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Donna Wilson said...

Hey Tammy,
Love hearing about your experiences homeshooling Desty. Can Aurora or Teran and I get in on some of the action? We'd love to hang out on a Wednesday sometime!

Ariell Larson said...

This is what Home Schooling was like for us. Which is why I loved it so much! Good job Tammy! Keep having fun! Learning can truly be an adventure. As well it should be!