Peggy Ployhar

When I talk about transition planning for high schoolers, one of the first things I tell parents is that a good assessment can help you hone in on those skills your student needs most to work on, thus saving you both a lot of time and frustration as you plan for a smooth post-high school transition.

 

Here are the top 3 assessments I recommend for determining a student’s independent life skills:

#1 – Casey Independent Living Skills (CLS) Assessment

The Casey Independent Living Skills Assessment is a free online test anyone can use to gauge independent living skills for students between the ages of 14 to 21. This test covers “the following areas: Maintaining healthy relationships, work and study habits, planning and goal-setting, using community resources, daily living activities, budgeting and paying bills, and computer literacy.”

The site also states that the test “typically will require 30 – 40 minutes to complete the CLSA” and “answers are available instantly for you to review with the youth in a strength-based conversation that actively engages them in the process of developing their goals.”

To learn more and access the CLS assessment, visit the Casey website at http://lifeskills.casey.org. To access the assessment practice guide as well as a 60-page resource guide that’s filled with specific goals based on testing results as well as helpful resource links to use when working with your student to achieve specific goals visit this page on their website  https://caseylifeskills.secure.force.com/clsa_learn_provider

 

#2 – Transition Coalition Independent Living Checklist

The Transition Coalition Independent Living Checklist is a 2-page list of items to review when assessing our student’s post-secondary goals for independent living. To access the checklist, visit this link on the Transition Coalition’s website https://transitioncoalition.org/blog/tc-materials/independent-living-checklist/

 

#3 – Transition Coalition Inventory Independent Living Assessment Tool

The Transition Coalition Inventory Independent Living Assessment Tool is a free downloadable inventory tool to access independent living skills is not only an assessment tool but was also designed to help to create ”a transition plan according to the student’s capability.”

The inventory covers the following areas: “Money management and consumer awareness, food management, personal appearance and hygiene, health, housekeeping, housing, transportation, educational planning, job skills, emergency and safety skills, knowledge of community services, interpersonal skills, legal issues, and parenting and childcare.” To access this inventory and assessment tool, visit this link on the Transition Coalition’s website https://transitioncoalition.org/blog/assessment-review/life-skills-inventory-independent-living-skills-assessment-tool/ 

 

In general, the Transition Coalition is an amazing resource for families who have special education learners in high school. Their website includes training, resources, and tools for families to help students with various transition needs to plan for their post-high school goals.

 

Interested in learning more about homeschooling your special education learner through high school? Check out our High School Checklist for more information on how to homeschool special education high school.

 

 

 

 

 


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SPED Homeschool Team

 

Cammie Arn – Avoiding Burnout by Creating Space

Creating space in my life to avoid burnout happens in my life usually through one of these methods.

  • Taking a bubble bath. I’ve been known to use all the hot water in the house and reheat the bath multiple times during a particularly stressful season. I usually add to this space some dim lighting by having on hand some electric “flickering” candles. 
  • Listing & Reading. Music and books help me create a space to escape to when I can’t change my environment. In those times I listen to praise and worship music or read a good book. 
  • Swinging. Drinking a cup of coffee while sitting on my porch swing is an amazing escape from the chaos inside the house. I love watching the leaves wave at me in the breeze, hearing the birds chirping or taking in the starry sky in the evening.

 

Dawn Spence – Avoiding Burnout by Slowing Down

Slowing down is the opposite direction of where my life is usually taking me, so when I look for ways to avoid burnout I put myself in a mommy time out using one of these methods.

  • A relaxing bath with an iced coffee
  • A pedicure(when funds allow)
  • Grabbing a salad by myself
  • Scheduling some friend time

I love being a mom, and a homeschool mom at that, but my life is demanding and I need the therapy these timeouts provide for me so I can be my best when caring for my loved ones.

 

Jace Clark – Avoiding Burnout by Being Creative

Allowing my creative juices to flow fuels me when I am headed towards mommy burnout. All I need to do is schedule some crafting time or even time to go shopping to look for more crafting ideas. These outlets provide me with what I need to keep going.

 

These outlets provide me with what I need to keep going.

 

Peggy Ployhar – Avoiding Burnout by Getting Active

I have learned I need to be moving to “rest” and fight burnout. The hardest part of accepting activity as rest has been learning to not stress over the fact that my husband or extended family think I need to be sitting down to be rested instead of doing on the following activities:

  • Aerial silks: Exercise is my biggest form of rest. I exercise every day, and most days it is on the aerial silks I have tethered to the ceiling of my two-story foyer. I turn on some worship music, pull out my crash mat and workout until I lose myself in the activity.
  • Power napping: Napping may not sound active, but my family will attest to my ability to get all the rest I need in a 5 to 10-minute nap. I wake up refreshed and with all the energy I need to to finish my day strong.

 

Amy Vickrey – Avoiding Burnout by Reframing Moments

As a single mom, “me time” is hard to come by so instead of figuring out how I can do something else I have learned to reframe places in my life that lead to a more restful state. 

  • Coffee in an adjoining room: I have found a cup of coffee in the next room while my kids watch a movie or educational show that can help a lot to refresh the body, soul, and mind.
  • Reframing life. Reducing demands on myself and my children, usually set by my own priorities can greatly reduce my stress. 
  • Adding to our environment. A day at the park, a fun activity for the kids to engage in while I just put my feet up or turn on music while my boys ride bikes around the yard can make me feel more rested. 
  • Centering on faith. Bible study, prayers and singing bible songs at bedtime also helps us after a rough day to set our hearts and minds on a better day the next day.

 

No matter who you are or what type of rest works best for you or your family situation, we hope and pray that in sharing how we each uniquely work in our lives at avoiding burnout that you can glean some ideas and develop habits to help any possible burnout scenarios in your life.

 

 

 

 


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By Dyana Robbins

Our home is filled with boundless energy, lots of love and enough challenges to fill two lifetimes. God has wisely chosen to pack it all into my life and teach me how to walk with Him through it. And, because we homeschool, many of those lessons have centered around homeschooling special needs children.

 

Here are ten things I wish I had known before homeschooling children with special needs:

#1 – There are many days that are as hard as I feared they would be, but they are outweighed by the wonderful life we share.

It will always be a difficult choice to homeschool. On days when I wonder if going to school would be better for them or me, I remember all we would lose by not learning and growing together. So far, that has been more than enough to keep us on this path.

 

#2 – I don’t have to defend my decision to homeschool.

Doing it well, wholeheartedly and openly, eventually silences the critics. Responding with information and kindness to those with questions, fosters a positive response in most people. When that doesn’t work, nothing else will, so I can stop trying.

 

#3 – Most parents, doctors, and therapists in these trenches are amazing, inspirational people.

They will help you, listen to you, and inspire you with all that they do each day. The admission price to this club is steep, but the rewards are inestimable.

 

#4 – Nurturing my marriage first is critical to successful homeschooling.

The more unified, mutually supportive and loving that our marriage is, the more our children learn, feel secure and thrive. Time devoted to our marriage is not a detriment to homeschooling, but an investment in it.

 

#5 – Rest and recreation deserve subject credit.

Are my children battling me over schoolwork? Would I rather scrub the bathroom with a toothbrush than face one more day of school?  This is a sign that we need rest and recreation. Many discipline problems and poor attitudes have been vanquished by a nap, field trip day or a day off from school. It is amazing how much is accomplished by taking a quick break, rather than pushing through our misery.

 

#6 – I won’t have it all together for very long.

This is a bitter pill for a recovering perfectionist like me. Loving my family, putting relationship with Christ and others first, will always mean interruptions and distractions to my schedule. Maintaining a reasonable order to our life is better than appeasing my inner tyrant’s demands.

 

#7 – It’s vital to show love and accept my children even if they are never able to do _______.

This blank can be filled with whatever we are struggling with at the time. My children need me to be content and grateful for what they are able to do (or unable to do!) so they can learn to do the same. Their struggles and limitations will always tempt them to despair or give up. I add to their burden when I am discontent or frustrated. Seeking God’s design and purpose for my children, Allows me to help them grow and discover those things with joy.

 

#8 – Ask for help and humbly accept it.

Homeschooling moms can believe they should handle everything alone. This is a fast road to burnout. Utilize all available help to maintain a peaceful home, heart, and family. While others might praise us for being able to “do it all,” that praise is a fleeting satisfaction. A richer life is interconnected; giving and receiving, and helps us make it for the long haul.

 

#9 – I will always wonder if I am doing “enough.”

This might be the nemesis of every homeschooling parent. Having children with additional challenges and needs often compounds this worry. Rather than trying to answer this unknowable question, I have learned to accept that I am not ever doing “enough.” Moreover, it is not my job to be enough for my children. That job belongs to God alone. I am just one of His provisions in their lives. Others can and will shape my children. Opportunities will arise for them that I did not orchestrate. Relationships will be formed without my intervention. I can do my best for them and trust all else to their loving Father.

 

#10 – God is enough.

This is true when nothing is going right, I fail, my children aren’t progressing like they “should” and I am scared about the future. No matter our circumstances, He carries us and enables us to do what He calls us to do.  He has taught me this in many ways, but I experience it more deeply as we homeschool. This realization has enriched my life and relationships more than any other; it’s been this mom’s greatest lesson.

 

This article was previously published in abbreviated form for the

Texas Homeschool Coalition

Special Needs blog in January 2016

 


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