Kindergarten Curriculum Choices

AJ is 5 1/2.  He is the youngest and has been doing his own school work for 2 years already.  This year he will be officially a Kindergartner.  He thinks school is no big deal.  While for his sister, I kept trying to find a kindergarten program that would work for her, none ever did.  I have embraced my out of the box kids by now and I follow his lead for what skills he is ready for. (more…)

A week of Connections, Changes, and Casting

Check out a few of the highlights of this week’s adventures.  We did school and started our first fall activity, made a BIG change to our school plans and made a new connection at the park.  I’m always sharing our adventures on Instagram so come follow me.

Building community one Instagram Story at at time!

It’s my goal that this small space on the internet offers hope to others, from someone who has been there and is walking with you through raising kids that don’t fit “normal” as defined by others.

This week, the highlight was getting to meet up with another mom and out of the box kid. We connected over Instagram and a love for the same local park.  It’s refreshing to trade stories with those who truly get it. Those that know what it’s like to have a schedule dictated by therapy appointments and specialists.  Those who know that a busy playground doesn’t look like a lot of friends but sometimes a meltdown trigger instead.

Time for the Stage

This week we are starting to find our groove for the school year as our first fall activity begins.  Lynn had auditions for her next youth theater play.  She has worked all summer on her audition music and researched the character she is hoping for.  It’s her third show with this program and this time, for the first time, she knocked her audition out of the park because she was well-prepared and her anxiety couldn’t creep in.  She is super excited to have a minor speaking role.

A Week of Connections, Change, Casting

Change is in the Wind

This week we made a tough decision: Cub will be attending the local school this year.  First and foremost, we made this decision because he wants to give it a try.  His confidence and understanding of his own needs has grown this summer.   He is able to ask for what he needs, and we feel that his independence has grown tremendously this summer.

We’re not certain how well Cub will adapt to a school environment or how well the school will be a good fit for him, but his willingness to try it will make a big difference. Another major impetus for this decision was that certain dynamics at home and during school have suffered recently and we feel like a change will be positive for all the kids.  The other kids have begun to feel more anxiety in response to Cub’s meltdowns, so a break from each other will hopefully allow everyone to do well and continue to learn in a positive environment.

This decision is something we have been thinking about for a long time, but Cub was never on board and always wanted to stay at home to learn. It’s a tough thing to choose between the needs of one child and needs of another.  I did not want it to feel like a negative experience or a punishment to be sent away to school. We know there are challenges ahead as we work out what accommodations he will need in the classroom and as we all adjust to the new schedule. We will see how things develop over time.

Are you Equipped?

Have you checked out Equipped! Your Guide to Special Needs Homeschooling?  I shared this week about our sensory toolkit we take with us when we do our adventuring.  Yesterday’s post was about finding your tribe.   The party is going on for another week so go check it out and while you are there don’t forget to enter the giveaways from all our great sponsors!

Raising Out-of-the-Box kids means we often do things differently.  From the outside that may look crazy some days but from the inside we all get it!  So welcome friends you are in good company here! How was your week?

Linking Up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap-Up


A Week of Connections, Change, Casting



Sensory Toolkit – Free Download

Welcome to everyone visiting from the Equipped Blog Party!  Its great to have you join us in our corner of the internet.  Stick around and learn a little about who we are and why homeschooling is the best fit for our out of the box family.

Tools for Success

Recently Cub attended a week long day-camp Improv Comedy social skills camp.  It started out as a tough week because he isn’t used to being in a social setting for long periods of time.  He took several breaks in their calm down room to regroup.  The first day he gave it 2 thumbs down, but he was willing to go back the second day.  On day 2 we talked with the staff about the backpack he was carrying and that he had his Sensory tools with him inside.  The rest of the week was a great success and on days 3-5 Cub gave camp 2 thumbs up!  They were able to help Cub utilize his toolbox so he could calm down and rejoin the activities.  His backpack was key to his successful week at camp!

His #1 tool

The number one thing in his toolkit is his noise canceling headphones.  These have been vital for him to participate in many events with us.  We used to live in central Florida and would frequent Legoland.  Wearing his headphones made noisy rides and shows bearable.  He would also wear them for Children’s Church and for annual fireworks.  Thankfully, as he gets older I find him pulling these out less as he is not as overwhelmed by changing noise levels.

Today I’m over at the Equipped Blog Party hosted by Autism Homeschool Mama sharing more Cub’s Sensory toolkit and everything he has in it as part of the Equipped Blog Party.  It’s an easy way for him to carry his sensory toolkit with him.  He is more comfortable knowing his familiar things are never far away. It also lets him learn to advocate for himself in a new place.    As a bonus it also means Mom’s purse is a little lighter since he is carrying what he needs instead of mom!

Go visit Autism Homeschool Mama find out what other tools are in his sensory toolkit.  Sign up below to visit my VIP library and download a checklist so you can make your own Sensory Toolkit for adventuring!

Access Your Sensory Toolkit Checklist!

Download Your Sensory Toolkit InsideOurNormal

3rd Grade Curriculum Picks

Cub will turn 8 as we start the year, and he will be in 3rd Grade this year.   He is our middle child and has the most challenges.  One of the big reasons we homeschool is to effectively accommodate his Autism and sensory challenges.  We customize and adapt all of his curriculum choices to fit his abilities.

You can review what we did for the 2017-2018 year.

We do many of our subjects as a family and use Sonlight.  He will be doing History, Science, Art, and Literature with the family.  Check out the family curriculum plan for the 2018-2019 year. (more…)

Archaeology: An Easy Unit Study

We are kicking off our year of Ancient History with an archaeology unit study.

ARCHAEOLOGY An Easy Unity Study by Inside Our Normal

It started with reading a book scheduled in our Sonlight Instructor Guide, and evolved to include other activities.  I guess you could say we dug in!  We found more books at the library, earned a Junior Ranger badge, interviewed an Archaeologist, dug up our own excavation site and reassembled our broken artifacts.


Book List: