Home schooling with Large Print

In 2000 I gave birth to my sweet little girl… Abby.

Parenting one baby was blissful!

and nearly 2 years later in 2002 I gave birth to my sweet little man!

Now, I knew parenting would change my world…

and it did of course…

parenting requires you giving of yourself 24/7…

but…

Parenting with unexpected challenges…

I had no idea!!

Special needs rocked my world more than I could have ever imagined…

We look at life a little differently than most families….

I have dropped little clues that I home school only 1 of my 2 sweet children.

true, true.

There is a reason behind my madness…

Sammy sees the world differently than the rest of us…

20/200 differently.

Rather than 20/20 of course!

Low Vision is only one small piece in the mystery behind my precious Sammy’s unique medical history…

it started with flicking eyes… called nystagmus… then we realized he was not seeing us from across the room… He has seen 4-5 ophthalmologists (referred to ‘the best’ in two different countries… Canada and here)
They “think” Maybe he has Ocular Albinism… low pigment, small optic nerves… and unexplainable low vision… corrective lenses don’t help… it is one of the “mysteries” we just manage… we live with it the best we can… without knowing exactly what causes it…

Many many tests… nothing conclusive…

We face many undiagnosed medical concerns… which are mysteries to the medical world… we live with each issue individually… as there is not a “disorder” in which to place him…

one day at a time…

we enjoy life…

hoping for a Normal day…

As I find the words…

I will share our story…

but today …

I will give you a small peek into our world…

from the 20/200 perspective…

He needs to be a little closer to things than most kids…

just to see it…

Sammy “gets in your face”… so he can see…

He doesn’t see the stars…
or the birds in the sky…
he doesn’t see rainbows…
or mountains in the skyline…
he misses many of the things we enjoy looking at…
he doesn’t see very well more than 4 feet away…
he might catch shapes, colors, voices… from a distance…
he relies on his hearing…
it is amazing!
he does very very well…
most folks don’t even notice…
but the mommy does…
every minute…
I see him…
not see…
it breaks the mommy’s heart…
but the mommy is glad…
that he can see…
the mommy is glad he adapts so well…
the mommy is happy to slow down and help him see the world …
by pointing out things very clearly…
and giving him more time to find things..
the mommy is glad he can get in my face and see my eyes…
and my smile…
he is happy…
and doesn’t notice the difference too much…
yet…
he is ok with how God made him…
I am sure there will be many heart aches…
and many disappointments…
there already has been…
we choose to look at the bright side …
and see the world as God granted it…
our daily life is as normal as normal can be…
mostly! =)

You’ll never hear me tell him he is sitting “too close” to the TV…

=)

Anyway… low vision makes school a little harder… things need to be larger print…

and

It is curriculum planning time…
for next year…

you see…

While big sister attends public school down the road…

Sammy and I attend classes at a pretty cool public school program for home schooled kids….

He gets to take cool classes…
with smaller class sizes…
just one hour at at time…
we attend for 3 or 4 hours a week…
other mom’s stay and help…
I always stay in class…
Sammy needs a little extra one on one…
and the teachers love the help!

He has taken story telling, winter wonders, creative continents, units on sea life, famous people, history of flight, tumbling,art… the choices are endless and fun!

For 3-4 hours a week he is in a classroom full of kids… enjoying school… with other home schooled kids…

the rest of the week… we work on basic education… and fun projects here at home…

the program is designed to help purchase curriculum for our kids…
huge blessing!
at the end of the year it goes back into their library…
win. win.

This time of year I start surfing curriculum…
looking for low vision friendly materials…

it is a daunting task folks…

looking for materials that my little man can see…
clear pages…
with contrast to help words pop …
clear font…
good spacing…
large print is helpful…
less time on the copy machine for this mommy is welcomed…

the copy machine and I are tight!!

let me show you…

In order for him to see those tiny little numbers on those clocks…
so he can learn to tell time…
I make them bigger…
from 8 1/2 by 11 to 11 by 17
150% usually does the trick…

the little guy had no chance of seeing which of those black and white copied coins where which…
until mommy made them bigger…

you know how cooking takes way longer than eating…

copying takes way longer than solving the problems…

I am just sayin…

=)

Reading materials are hard to find in large print …

so I search…
I seek…
I look…

lucky me …
I found these great workbooks…
filled with vowel sounds, word families, blends, etc…

but they are awfully small print…

no worries…
mommy makes it bigger…
with the help of my bud…
Mr. Copier…

if it helps my little man to learn a little easier…
I will do it…
I will surrender my time…
He is worth it…
watching Sammy learn to read a little easier…
I am ok with that…
hello again Mr. Copy Machine…

if my little man needs bigger numbers on his math pages…
I will make them bigger…
if it helps him not fall behind…
I am there!
Me again Mr. Copy Machine…
Hope you aren’t too tired…

bigger language arts worksheets…
I got ya covered kid!

=)

countless little large print books…
hours of my time…
minutes of his to read them…
I am ok with it..
ya know…
we are going to pass them on…
and another mommy might be blessed by the books I made…
but Sammy being blessed by them is enough!

I will keep making them if it helps him to become a good reader!

Sometimes I am lucky and I find materials that don’t exactly need to be enlarged…

the color on the pages…
the font…
the spacing….
is just enough…
to help little man navigate through the pages…

Thank you Critical Thinking…
Bless you!

and This note book…
with clean lines for handwriting…
helps little man stay on the line he is working on.. a little better… too many lines confuses him sometimes…
I love this paper!

Hand Writing without Tears…
Thank you!

Since curriculum ordering time is coming up…

and since those workbooks need to be turned into the library soon… I need to finish enlarging materials with Mr. Copier soon…

and I have some “paper work” to do…

just a few books to assemble…

and a little research to do…

Sometimes I get a little weary…

and then I look into this little face….

and I remember that there is nothing I would rather do with my time…

I see the world a little differently with Sammy in it… Thank you Lord!

(in case you were wondering… my little girl love loves being in public school… and is doing A+ work… she loves her friends and teachers.. other wise… I would totally home school her too… for now… she is content… and I am ok with that !)

19 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 dysfunctional mom yazmış:

    Wow. Just when I am feeling exhausted and whiny, I read something like this that makes me see that I have it easy!
    My oldest son is color blind, and just that makes my heart ache just imagining all that I see, that he doesn’t see.
    Your son is lucky to have you working so hard for him!

  • 2 Becky yazmış:

    What a dedicated mom you are, who is totally in love with their child 🙂 You really can tell. Good job mom!

    What a challange that must be! But it really sounds like God knew the perfect match for Sammy and that you were SO meant to be his mom!

    (We are going to the “behavorial” one for a possible tracking problem? They are not sure yet what he problem is. We have been through so many hoops through the years, so we will see where this leads us…)

  • 3 TooManyHats yazmış:

    You rock it mom! That is so awesome that you discovered homeschooling and it is working so well for you and Sammy. Do corrective lenses do nothing to improve his vision? None of his pics show glasses.

  • 4 Julie yazmış:

    Thanks so much for sharing a glimpse of your life with Sammy. I was wondering about glasses too? One of my sons has about 20/150 and glasses have helped immensely. Of course, I’m sure you have tried everything. I only homeschool one of my kids too. My oldest. It became very apparent that school was not going to be beneficial and made him more frustrated. He has ADHD. Homeschooling has made all the difference. We have an amazing homeschooling program here where he gets to go two days a week. So fun for him.
    Anyway, isn’t it amazing what God can teach us through our children. He gives us exactly what we need!!

  • 5 Kristi yazmış:

    You are an awesome Mom. Thanks for the glimpse into your life with Sammy. It has to be pretty hard to watch your kid struggle like that. If anything, it makes you see life differently and appreciate everything that you have. When you said you are happy that he can get up in your face and see your eyes, and your smile, I almost lost it. It’s amazing what kids bring into our lives. All we want is for them to be happy. You truly are awesome, and to save everything that you have worked so hard on to give to another Mom who might be in the same situation is just so wonderful!!

    Oh yeah, and the teachers that he sees a few hours a week? They are priceless as well. Sounds like he has a ton of people that care about him and want him to succeed. And he will.

  • 6 Jen Gacek yazmış:

    What a beautiful post, so inspiring. What a dedicated mother you are and what a sweet, adorable boy you have there!

  • 7 naomig yazmış:

    So hard to watch our babies struggle, but am always so glad they have someone to love them as much as we do… this is one of my favorite hymns I thought of while reading your post. 🙂

    1.God hath not promised skies always blue,
    Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
    God hath not promised sun without rain,
    Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

    But God hath promised strength for the day,
    Rest for the labor, light for the way,
    Grace for the trials, help from above,
    Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

    2.God hath not promised we shall not know
    Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
    He hath not told us we shall not bear
    Many a burden, many a care.

    3.God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
    Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
    Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
    Never a river, turbid and deep.

  • 8 Lemonade Makin' Mama yazmış:

    Girl, I love you.

    And boy do I get it. The things we do for those babies with special needs! I’m going to a sensory workshop tonight, and it wasn’t until I read this post that I remembered why my stomach has been in knots (and other issues) all day long! Oh yeah! Because this is hard…

    But worth it.

  • 9 Pennie at Mom Thoughts yazmış:

    You are an amazing mom, Jenn! ANd, your little man is a determined boy. wow! Good for you. What a beautiful picture of what a mom will do for her child.

  • 10 arizonamamma yazmış:

    “I see him…not see…” That nearly breaks my heart! But he is obviously very well adjusted thanks in no small part to his Mama! I am touched when I am able to witness the lengths parents go to for their children. He is a beautiful boy, and I believe he sees very clearly…with his heart.

  • 11 Steph yazmış:

    wow. What a sweet little man. I am going to pray that you find books with bigger writing so that you don’t have to spend so much time copying. 😉 What a cool relationship you are developing with him as you spend so much time helping him.

  • 12 Molly yazmış:

    What an great kid…just for being who he is. And he’s blessed to have an equally great mom. What a family.

    Being married to an optometrist, I hear about low vision quite a bit, you explained the challenges so well.

    Keep smiling. Keep being you. And I do hope you keep sharing.

  • 13 debbie yazmış:

    What an incredible story. I caught my breath at the line about you hoping for a “normal day”. How wonderful the school sounds and how wonderful you definitely are!

  • 14 Tawny yazmış:

    Your story is amazing and what an amazing boy you have.
    What strength and faith you both have. You are such an inspiring mommy!
    Your words brought tears to my eyes. T Hanks for sharing.

  • 15 Jeanne yazmış:

    What a blessed boy he is to have a mother with your heart…..I love how in the midst of adversary you look for the good.

  • 16 Amanda @ Serenity Now yazmış:

    He’s so cute! 🙂 I’m glad you take things one day at a time. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog to enter my Giveaway. Hope you’ll stop by again sometime soon. 🙂

  • 17 tricia yazmış:

    I cried as I read your post and was reminded of why God brings Sammy to my heart so often to pray for him… and you. You are so dear and what a true gift you are to your family… really, they’ll never know – have a great day!
    xo

  • 18 tricia yazmış:

    on another note…. would Sammy be able to see the pictures in an “I Spy” book? – it’s a book that is just made to hold close and we love doing them… there are different levels and it might be fun.
    🙂

  • 19 Lily yazmış:

    Awww, that made me cry!… kind of an emotional day =)

    You are an amazing mama ~ with an amazing son- what an inspiration! Thank you for sharing!!

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