Starting Home School!

Starting Home School!

If you’ve followed my blog: Powerful Parents, you’ll know that I am a teacher of the deaf and am passionate about teaching deaf children. I am also the parent of 4 amazing, beautiful, smart children. One can hear (is hearing) and the other 3 are deaf.

After a year and a half of struggling in school, I did it, I brought him home. Read about how that journey started here.

Here’s what happened. Christmas break ended and he went back to school. Everyday was a fight to get homework done. He started missing privileges, then started acting out more at home. Martin Luther King day – no school. Then Tuesday he came home a wreck. He was out of control and I knew something was wrong. I just looked at him and asked, “What happened?”  He actually let me hug him and replied, “It’s been an awful day.”

When I finally got the chance to sit down with him, after all the hustle and bustle of the afternoon, I simply asked him to tell me how he was feeling. He answered, “panicked.” We had recently discussed different emotions and the idea of “panic” and “paranoia.” It was an emotion we had recently identified and that he knew he had felt before. He was telling me, “I’m stressed out. I don’t feel safe.” Other emotions we identified as we talked: frustration, boredom, feeling restricted (creatively).

Future blog posts are going to explore some of these emotions and what in his school environment could have attributed to that. I’ve been asked what to look for in a good school/classroom for a deaf child. That will be a post later this week.

SO…. I finally said enough, is enough. Today started day 1 of home-school and it’s going to be an adjustment. However, he is excited and I guess that’s saying something. At the moment he is leading a language arts activity with my pre-schooler. The classic activity labeling items in the house. You might hear from other sources that this isn’t the best activity to do, however I have found it extremely useful in my house. It’s a fabulous literacy activity. He is spelling words and learning some root words, while my pre-schooler is doing letter recognition, as well as object identification and pre-literacy.

Make your labels with your child, instead of doing it and then just placing them around.

 Labels for items in your house.

Simple steps to maximize the benefit of Labels in your house!

1. Pick which objects to label.
2. Sign and fingerspell the objects with your child.
3. Type or print them on durable paper. My over achiever laminated them with clear contact paper.
4. Fingerspell the word again as you place your labels.
5. If your child is already in the word recognition phase, you could put out two words, fingerspell the correct word and have them choose the correct label.
6. Refer back to the labels during daily routines, fingerspelling and signing the name of the objects frequently.

What else do we have in store today?

A Science project that I found in my fridge this morning: we will be investigating mold. Since he’s never been involved with a Science Fair, we are going to do the whole big bang project and take it to other home-schooled students in our neighborhood.

Other great ideas I have: Lego fractions!

Our reading workshop and language arts theme will be all around Harry Potter and Heroes. We are reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets right now. So in light of this new adventure and the many ideas that I have been asked for, I’m starting a new blog featuring my 3 deaf children, homeschool, language and literacy activities as well as parenting tips and great support ideas for parents of deaf children & even health and wellness! Put your email in to follow and join our journey!


  1. Thanks Laura! What ages are your kids? We’ll remember to include tips for encouraging sign between parents and children!


  2. This is great! I’m excited to read your blog. I would’ve done the same if my boy was like that. But I’m always looking for ideas to do at home to help encourage ideas for my kids. Who knows maybe this will help my daughter sign more with me!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *