Friday, November 13, 2009

Worksheets and Nosebleeds

While I wait for what feels like FOREVER for the doctor's office to call me back I figured I would give you an update on what's happening at the Purple Heart Academy and a little background about our family.

We are the Purple Heart Academy.  We homeschool on the fly in the car, doctor's offices, waiting rooms, and occasionally actually IN our home.  We hope very soon to have a family room/schoolroom in our home for us to all be together and enjoy each other's company.

We'll start from the beginning, J (husband) served in the Army for 12 years.  We were married in 2002 in Illinois (my hometown - Chicago!) and greatly enjoyed our military life. 

We quickly became pregnant with J3 and he came into our world in July of 2003.  Having suffered a severe head injury at only 6 weeks of age, J3 continued to learn and grow while struggling with his motor skills.  Shortly thereafter, J had to start training to deploy to Iraq.  He was deployed in February 2004 and was wounded in action on Jan. 25, 2005. 

DH suffered permanent shrapnel injuries to his right leg from mid-thigh to mid-calf.  He also retained shrapnel beginning at his left shoulder going down his left arm and then moving up his right hand to halfway to the elbow.

During the process of J's recovery, it became more and more clear that J3 had a motor skill learning disability. While he was three and already beginning to read, he struggled to play like normal children and do the things "they" expected him to do.

I can't tell you how many appointments we have had with physical therapists - nor do I wish to try to go back and count!! :)

In Dec 2006, J was medically discharged from the Army from his wounds.  It was a long and hard time for our family but he found a WONDERFUL job with a railroad which has brought us to far northern Montana where we currently reside.

J3 began preschool apprehensively at the age of 4 and while his teacher was kind, regular school wasn't working well for him.  His disabilities (by now diagnosed as dyspraxia and dysgraphia) made it difficult for him to make friends.

Against my better judgement, I allowed him to continue to Kindergarten thinking moving from the private school to the public school closer to our home would be better.  We live in the sticks so the classroom sizes are very small (only 10 kids) and I thought he may benefit from the special needs program.

Was I ever wrong.  His 1 year of public school has resulted in trauma that we are still dealing with 6 months after it ended.  I keep praying for it to be over and for him to recover and little by little, he is. :)

He is ridiculously bright.  He finished an entire year's curriculum in 3 weeks (computer based) and retained 90% of we're now doing unit studies until we can afford to purchase new curriculum which, I am excited to announce, will be taught in our new family room/schoolroom!

2 weeks ago, he would still cry at the sight of a pencil and then I got the following "letter" from him. He had been threatening to run away from home, so this was quite the surprise for Mom.

Translation: I think I won't go.  I think I will stay.

Warmed this Mommy's heart. His fear of writing was beginning to subside.

Starting yesterday, he became a worksheet addict.  However, he is having these horrid nosebleeds that are preventing worksheet work.  So he's getting very frustrated with the nose.

So that's where we sit now.  J getting tested for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), J3 struggling with being exceptionally bright, dyspraxic, dysgraphic, and having nosebleeds.....and Mom trying to hold it all together. :)

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