Unexpected Big Changes

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Each of our kids is unique. They always have been. Denver was the “on point” kid every time. Every milestone, every clothing size, every single step was right on target. Right on projected ideals. He was always calm, always smart (though unwilling to put in the effort…got bored with school). He had dreams, and often got a single-minded view of them until he achieved them…i.e. He’s in Florida, working at Disney now. Molly is unique in her own way. She was delayed in many aspects, speech, occupational, physical…but we knew she was brilliant in there. We could tell at two, with the way she could take the pieces from 10 different board puzzles laid out on the floor and put them away in 2 minutes flat. She would literally read the words in books at the age of three…silent, but sure. She’s grown up to continue the trend of intelligence, doing even better now that she’s had appropriate therapies for her SPD issues. Loves school and craves the structure of her every day. Kennedy…she has always been a free spirit. Her imagination, though sometimes morbid, is brilliant and vivid. She sees life in such brilliant color, she is so sensitive, and caring, and crazy-talented in art. She loves to read, draw, color, and watch movies…but struggles in math. School, especially the cruel world of middle school, is rough on her sensitive heart. She hates sitting in a seat ALL Day long. When the school year started this year, Molly went back with eager abandon. Kennedy trudged there begrudgingly. Then, a few weeks ago Erik came to me with a thought.  He said, “I’ve been thinking that maybe Kennedy would do better home schooled.” Honestly, I sat and stared at him in shock.  I had approached the idea of home schooling when the girls were younger, and Denver was entering middle school. He’d bald-faced refused with such vehemence that I have never broached the subject again. Even more – several times over the summer I’d looked into one of the online public schools thinking it would be good for Kennedy. As one of her old friends had been withdrawn from school to attend one a couple of years ago, I’d been more and more curious. Her friend was doing so well under the different way of learning, and the conversations I’d had with his mom had made me intrigued. Still, knowing Erik’s aversion I’d always closed the tab in my browser saying, “Erik will never go for it.” Yet, here he was approaching me with the idea. The past month we have researched, gone over the possibility with Kennedy herself.  Kennedy was fully on board. Erik still had some reservations. We asked Molly if she would feel bad if her sister did school at home and she didn’t, to which she said, “Don’t you DARE take ME out of school! I don’t want to leave!” After we reassured her this was for Kennedy, and that she’d remain in regular school, she was good with it. We did some more research. Talked to my friend about her experience. Talked to the online school. Talked to each other at length. The fact that it is still a state-certified public school, with local teachers is a huge bonus. She’ll have some work each day to do at the computer.  She’ll be able to get credit for doing activities outside of the virtual classroom.  Her hours of PE are up to us & her how they are done. Different home activities will count. She’ll be able to take sign language for her foreign language. She’ll be able to do a full year of art without “special accomodations”. There are many clubs to join that are up her alley, and there is a local group of students that meet regularly for socializing and learning activities. It’s a much more creative way to learn. It’s a much more Kennedy way to learn. And the decision was made. Monday we start this new adventure. It was unexpected, but is exciting. So, off we goooooo!!!!!   Read more »

Travels with Gannon & Wyatt, Review & Giveaway!

We LOVE reading in this house. I mean really, REALLY love it. The day I told the girls I had brand new books for them to read was a party and a half. They were so excited, and when we cracked open the books from the “Travels with Gannon & Wyatt” series it was all over. I mean, it’s ANIMALS! The girls immediately dove in and scanned for pictures first, because the pictures of the live animals (the alligator was a big hit for our little alligator), and they couldn’t wait to see every one of them. Once they’d settled down we sat down to read. The stories are told in journal form, with separate entries by both Gannon & Wyatt, which make for short “chapters” perfect for my ADD readers. I also love that each of the entries start with a great learning opportunity (or 2).  They list the location – with a longitude and latitude. Temperatures and weather listings are there too.  These gave me and the girls some great chances to talk about what these things are, and find a map (~cough~ or a computer ~cough~) to look them all up. Of course, there’s all the animals, which my kids LOVE.  Oh, and at the end, there’s a few pages with spots for journal entries.  The girls are dying to take a trip to the zoo to use them! Kennedy got to read first and eagerly dove in, and by the time she was home, she was dragging Molly over to join her. Hearing Kennedy say words like “Botswana” and “Kalahari Dessert” at her young age, is so much fun. She’s having fun, she’s reading, and she’s learning. Kennedy has taken a shining to the Botswana book.  It has all the animals she loves. Elephants, alligators, rhinos and cheetah’s. We love sitting down and devouring chapters as fast as she can. I have a feeling these books are going to be long lasting around here, so much to read and learn, and the older they get, the more they’ll understand! As you can see below, the girls HIGHLY recommend the books and want you to win a set of your own. (Look below the picture for how to win) Gannon & Wyatt have a Facebook Page and a Twitter account you should really follow to keep up on their latest adventures!! Giveaway Time!! Entry is easy… 1. Leave a comment telling me what you love about these books and why you want them for your kid!! (required entry) 2. For an extra entry, tweet the following exactly (copy & paste should do it). ~optional extra entry Travels with @GannonandWyatt, a review & a #Giveaway. Great books w/ learning opportunities! #GannonWyatt http://bit.ly/1ej1dZG @sadiecass 3. Pin this post using the giveaway picture & leave a comment with the link to the pin! ~optional extra entry That’s it!  The giveaway ends on 11/25 at 9AM. The winner will only have 24 hours to get back to me, as I must turn in your info by the 26th!  There will be no second chances, as I have a deadline! There is another giveaway over at my dear friend, Emily’s place if you want more chances to win, head on over there! You should also know that Gannon & Wyatt are having a Kindle Fire Giveaway on their Facebook Page the month of November!! There’s still time to enter, so head on over!!   I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Read more »

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

The Reading List – and Whiny Kids

We all remember those reading lists from school. I always enjoyed getting it – except the year The Iliad was on it. This year the teen has a list. I wasn’t given the list, he just comes home and asks if we can pick up a book for him…because the school issues the books on their iPads. Denver doesn’t like reading on electronic devices. He wants paper and pages. The last book was To Kill a Mockingbird. A great classic novel I read in school myself. I was happy to run up to Half Price books and pick him up a copy. Then last night he came to me again and asked if I could pick him up another book at Half Price. He said it was from his reading list…and that it had replaced another. I said, of course I would and what book did he need. “A Painted House.” I wracked my brain attempting to remember this great, classic novel. Nothing. I asked him to repeat himself. “A Painted House by John Graham or something like that.” Erik and I both said, “John Grisham?” At Denver’s agreement I stared at him flabbergasted. “The school is having you read a Grisham novel? Seriously?” It was at this point that he informed me that the original story was Huckleberry Finn…”But a bunch of kids complained so they changed it.” I’m sorry, but WHAT? What has this world come to that a school will change a reading list because kids are complaining? What happened to the set reading list and you either read or you failed (You should see my grade for the test on The Iliad…eesh)? I’m beyond disgusted by this turn of events. I can’t imagine replacing a long-standing, time-tested classic novel like Huckleberry Finn. Certainly not because KIDS were complaining. I have a feeling my kid will be reading Huckleberry Finn too…because I don’t want him robbed of that opportunity because a school backed down to children. Why do we give our kids this much power? Aren’t we the ones that are supposed to be in charge? Read more »