Show & Tell
My oldest son, Owen, eats books. And crayons. And anything else he can get his hands on. Born with Angel-man Syndrome, he also developed Pica
back in 2012. Since that time, his mouth has
gotten bigger and his reflexes faster.
Pica took our homeschooling routines
and tossed them out the window. My
dreams of a perfectly decorated homeschool space with coordinated bulletin
boards and baskets of books were, quite literally, ripped to shreds.
Thankfully, so was my school at home
mentality. A certified teacher, I originally
had many typical classroom expectations as
the foundation of our homeschool.
When Pica entered the equation, things
had to change. I learned to truly appreciate the flexibility and individuality of
My husband, Bryan, and I began making
changes to our homeschool. We began integrating more media-based resources. Videos, apps, and computer curricula now play
a significant role in my family’s learning. In
addition to not being edible, these multi-sensory resources allow for integration at a
variety of abilities. Since we’re homeschooling eight children, ranging from baby to
teen, I appreciate this!
We’ve also implemented safe places for
Owen. This way the other kids can do
some bookwork and reading without worrying that Owen will destroy them. Currently, his safe places are a bedroom off the
living room with a Dutch-door, and in his
No matter where he is, we try to en-
sure he is close enough to hear our in-
struction. We also give him a couple of
engaging activities. Some of his favorites
are Mega Bloks, his iPad, and toys he can
safely chew on.
Once Owen settles in with his activity,
the rest of the kids get out their school supplies and books. We sit together and enjoy
reading, coloring, and playing games with
small pieces. I’m a huge fan of game-based
Integrating Games in the
I love taking board or card games and using
the pieces as educational tools. We’ll name
nouns in a stack of picture cards or make
patterns with a handful of tokens. Games
with colored money offer opportunities for
sorting by color, skip counting, and counting back change.
Index cards also make the perfect base
for a learning game. With a stack of blank
I learned to truly appreciate the flexibility
and individuality of homeschooling.
How Homeschooling Changes
When Your Books Get Eaten