Many Hats Mommy

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Top 10 Places to Practice Social Skills


Top 10 Places to Practice Social Skills

Autism parents who choose to homeschool their children often get extra questions. After all, why would we choose to homeschool a child who has social delays? Don’t they need to be in school to practice their social skills?

Last week I wrote my answer to that question on HEDUA’s blog. Continue reading


Fabulous Field Trips & Well Planned Day Giveaway

UPDATE: Congratulations to Christina, the winner of the Well Planned Day planner!

Today is the last installment of Home Educating Family’s review team’s Not-Back-to-School blog hop! The team has enjoyed it, and we hope you have, too. Remember to read all the way to the end to discover how to enter our final giveaway. One of my readers will win a Well Planned Day planner!

Three years ago I read one of the best tips ever for a family with a child on the autism spectrum–since spectrum kids can be so unpredictable when it comes to presents, ask for money towards a membership to a museum/zoo/attraction instead of presents. This is fabulous advice! Continue reading


Homeschooling Outside the Box & Giveaway

UPDATE: This giveaway is closed. Congratulations to Shelly!


Today’s theme for Home Educating Family’s Review Team blog hop is Homeschooling Outside the [Curriculum] Box. At the end, I get to give away my favorite planner to one lucky reader, so make sure you read all the way down!

How do WE homeschool outside the box? Well, quite a bit. We, ahem, still don’t keep a tight schedule. Dr. J is so strong in his strengths, that we’re still pretty laid back. I figure if I get Bible, math, and reading or spelling in each day, I’m doing well with a six year old. Of course we have days when we get more than that in. It is also very important for Dr. J to have time outside if I can manage it.

Here are some ways we homeschool outside the curriculum box:

~One of my favorite outside-the-box activities is Marshmallow Math.

~I enjoy occasionally taking the boys outside for lessons. We pack up a blanket, materials, and snacks and enjoy a change of scenery.

~Social skills are a big part of our homeschool. That means real life interaction–making friends with maintenance workers at our complex and practicing handshakes; walking to the post office and waiting in line; time at the library, building relationships with the librarians.

~When Dr. J was younger, we did a lot of math using toy cars.

~We practice math facts while playing catch. I say a fact and throw the ball. Dr. J catches it and says the answer. I’ve done other exercises with him while reciting various facts.

~I often have Dr. J take movement breaks, especially during more challenging subjects like Spelling.

~I use lots of board games to teach a multitude of skills.

~We adapt. Handwriting can be difficult, so sometimes he may spell with tiles or tell me how to spell something. Dr. J may sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair or on the floor.

Now for the giveaway! Sometimes planning makes me break into hives or a cold sweat. However, I adore the On the Go Planner! It’s a general planner, not homeschool specific. It’s purse sized, and has lots of places for extra planning–holidays, budget, meals, grocery shopping, etc. If you’d like to enter to win, simply leave a comment like “I want to win!”. If you’d like extra entries, you can like Home Educating Family and/or Many Hats Mommyon Facebook. Finally, you can earn one entry per day for each share (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Each entry MUST be a separate comment to count. Have fun!

Do you enjoy sharing about products you love? Do you consider yourself a good writer? Can you give both pros AND cons in a review? Maybe you should apply to join Home Educating Family’s review team!

Speaking of review team, make sure you head here to find the list of the other ladies participating in this week’s blog hop. You’re sure to find lots of great ideas!

Legal stuff: This giveaway is for US entrants only, and not tied to any social media site. Prizes must be claimed within eight weeks. Winner will be notified via email.


My Homeschool Story

UPDATE: Congratulations to Lisa, the winner of the magazine subscription!

If you don’t know me, you may not know that I’m a former elementary classroom teacher. I started out teaching sixth grade in a local Christian school, then moved to third when that teacher got pregnant, and then over to fifth when another colleague became expecting. (In case you’re curious, fifth grade was my favorite!)

Even though I had a degree in education and acquired a graduate degree in children’s literature, I did not plan to homeschool my children. I expected they’d probably go to the Christian school where I formerly taught.

Enter Asperger’s syndrome. Continue reading

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Home Educating Family’s Blog Has a New Look!

If you’ve been around Many Hats Mommy for a few months, you know I’ve been working for Home Educating Family. Well, one of my duties is the newly updated blog that is launching today. Here’s an invitation to you to take a few moments and see what I’ve been up to.
Now, if you know me, you know I’m not artistically inclined or tech savvy. All of the beautiful images on the pages are the result of the creative genius of Rebecca Keliher (co-founder of Home Educating Family) and her daughters! I’ve been editing, writing some of my own posts, and gathering future posts. If you are a special needs parent, you’ll be happy to know I will have articles just for you on Saturdays. Everyone is welcome. Whether or not you homeschool, you still educate your children at home!
OK, enough of that. Let’s just get to the inviation:
Home Educating Family is proud to announce the launch of its updated blog! Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of water before you click over. You’ll want to spend some time browsing articles from past issues of Home Educating Family Magazine and peek at new features. Our blog is also another place for you to chat with others in the homeschool community. We invite you to leave comments with your own opinions–tips, tricks, questions, insight, etc. The more that people interact, the more we can learn from each other’s experiences!
On Thursdays you’ll find a new feature called Beyond the Planner where we discuss real life: the good, the bad, and the funny. Saturdays you can stop by for special needs articles and Saturday Select, a short list of interesting reading around the internet. Make sure you visit on Wednesdays to find out what the new Weekly Giveaway is! Of course you’ll find great guests and information on other days, too.
So, do you have your beverage of choice in hand? Get comfy and visit us now at Be sure you let us know you were there!


Teaching ASD Kids Organization

This article comes to us thanks to the July/August 2007 edition of Autism/Asperger’s Digest magazine. It is reprinted here with their permission. You may want to get pencil and paper ready (there is a copious amount of information here for all parents and teachers), and I’m sure you’ll find helpful tips for helping your child. The discussion is specifically about homework, but her guidance can be applied to many life skills all children have to learn.

Our daily lives are made up of an endless stream of thoughts,
decisions, actions and reactions to the people and environment
in which we live. The internal and external actions fit together, sometimes seamlessly sometimes not,largely dependent upon a set of invisible yet highly important skills we call Executive Functioning (EF). These skills, which involve planning, organizing, sequencing, prioritizing, shifting attention, and time management can be well-developed in some people(think traffic controllers, wedding planners, business CEOs, etc.) and less developed in others. They are vital in all parts of life, from making coffee to running a profitable business. The skills develop naturally, without specific, formal training, and we all have them to some degree – or at least, we all assume we all have them. Continue reading


Tips on Getting your Kids Organized and Self Dependent this School Year

Today I have a guest post for you from Katherine of Part Select. She is in charge of community relations and reached out to me, offering to share some ideas with my readers. Whether you have three children to get ready for a yellow bus in the morning, five children to get to the homeschool table every day, or one child going either place, you will benefit from Katherine’s tips! Most schools have already started, but there is still great information here.

Tips on Getting Your Kids Organized and
Self-Dependent This School Year

All parents struggle with this, so please do not feel as if you are alone! Getting your kids organized and self-dependent not only helps them mature, but also helps you get through your morning routine smoothly and stress free. Continue reading

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Guest Post: Making Fitness Fun for Both You and Your Child

Today we have a guest post by Emily from Primrose Schools. Get ready for some encouragement about fun fitness for kids!

Teaching your children at a young age that being active is an important part of their everyday lives is an invaluable lesson. Maintaining a fit body means balancing exercise and a healthy diet, and while some preschool centers are offering healthy food options and encourage more physical activity, this trend needs to continue at home as well. This may seem a bit complicated to teach to your young one, but it doesn’t have to be; simply by offering healthy snacks and getting active with your child is the first step to getting them used to a fit lifestyle. Continue reading