Being TV Free


Well, we did it….We SOLD our TV! We have experimented with being Screen free over time and one thing I found was that as soon as the TV came back our children’s behavior turned for the worst!  It was like that little box was scrambling their thoughts or something.  It was too exciting, or too emotional, or too I don’t know stimulating.

It wasn’t just the stimulation my children would pick up words and phrases things in cartoons that were supposed to be funny and say them at random inappropriate times, the tv was creating their culture more than their family was.  I was concerned that these shows may be effecting the hard sought morals I was trying to impart, not to mention all the subliminal messaging that commercials were sending, but was getting rid of our tv really the right move?  Here are some things I had to think about.

1.Family Impact (more often than not the TV was our entertainment not playing outside or playing with toys, not talking to each other)

2.Health Impact(there is reason to suspect television for harming young minds I will post some videos below)

3.Moral Compass (were the shows teaching what I wanted my kids to learn?)

Yes there are Bible shows, but lets be honest most of them are sadly not appealing to kids.  My children are bored of “God Shows” as my son put it pretty quick.  And should I really be using the tv to teach religion anyway?  What about nature shows…well what about actual nature?  In the end we have made the choice to be screen free.  We still have a computer so if we really need to watch something we can, but really do we need to?  I would much rather take the kids to a movie every once in a while and make it a fun event.  Will we never have a TV?  I don’t know but not for a while certainly.


Here are some videos that might help you in making your decision…I will update with a new post once we are further into out TV free lives and let you know how it is going 🙂


DIY Montessori Sandpaper Letters

Guess What?  You can make your own Sandpaper letters from poster board and sandpaper.  It is very simple and cost saving.  Sandpaper letters for both upper and lower case and the double letters can cost you upwards of $100.  Making your own can really save money especially when you only have a few children who will be using them.



What you need:

Sandpaper (fine)

Posterboard (we are using black and red to coordinate with the Dwyer Reading Folders, you can use pink, blue, green, system as well)

craft glue

old scissors (the sandpaper will destroy your scissors so don’t use good ones)

Directions: either print a template and lay it facedown on back of sandpaper and cut it out, or free hand the letters on rough side of sandpaper and cut out.  Cut your poster board in rectangles to fit letters, glue down done!



Here are some links on using the Dwyer System for language integration:

Introducing Sounds with Sandpaper Letters

Links to buy Sandpaper letters:

Sensory Overload: Yes that is My Kid Laying on the Floor at Chuckee Cheese

Sensory Overload is probably one of the most visible signs of Sensory Processing Disorder.  There you are just enjoying your day when the meltdown begins.  For my son it usually starts with complaining that his legs don’t work.  Then he is hungry, then he gets stuck on something like that we said like we would go to get an ice cream, but his sister had to go potty first, now the whole schedule is destroyed.  Next his shirt will be too orange etc etc.  Since starting therapy and diet change these days are few but before I would have done anything to just melt into the floor when an overload started happening.


It wasn’t that I was not sympathetic to my son, it was that the whole world was looking at him like he either was the biggest brat on earth or completely nuts.  I just wanted to get out of there are retreat to a safe place.  But of course his legs didn’t work which required me to carry a limping 4 year old with “bwoken” legs all the way to the parking lot.  I am actually kind of giggling as I write this now.  Looking back it was such a hard time, but now I can deal with it and see it for the humor that “some” of it was.

So back to sensory overload.  Sensory overload occurs when a series of sensory simulations become overwhelming.  Think about how many things you hear and see in a day, now multiply all those by 1000, that is a sensory overload.

My son is very sensitive to light, a bright ray shining in his eyes, a quick light change can cause a seizure.  So we always keep sunglasses in the car.  Things that are fun and exciting for some children are a nightmare for others.  Have you ever been car sick?  Well imagine if you had that feeling every time you walked down a hallway, and then when you got to the end someone shined a bright light in your face, then blew a siren in your ear.  After a few hours of that you will snap and have a meltdown.  Someone will tell you to get it together or yell or punish you.  But you have been trying to keep it together all day!

Yes, you absolutely should discipline your sensory sensitive child, and as a parent you start to figure out when your kid is just being your kid, and when they are getting over stimulated.  Here is a video about how it can be for someone with sensory overload.

Sometimes we walk in a building and walk right back out.  But you can deal with the overload if you prepare your child for it.  We played basketball this fall, at the start of the first game the buzzer went off, I had not even thought about it.  So Little Bear played the whole game with his fingers in his ears.  The next game we told him he could plug his ears but only for 3 seconds.  He would watch that clock the whole game waiting for it to go off so he could plug his ears.  But the last game he played great didn’t pay attention to the clock and didn’t even plug his ears when the buzzer went off.  He had gotten used to it, and that was just fine.  I didn’t push and he figured out how to deal with it.

Attack of the tickles!  I cringe, literally cringe when a family member or friend starts rough housing with my son.  Why?  Well although it is good for his sensory input, the tickler will be done in ten minutes, but my son will be in sensory overload and will not stop for an hour.  He will continue to jump on the person and elicit sensory input.  When finally they are tired of it, but he is still in full throttle, he will look like the kid who doesn’t know how to listen and can’t respect boundaries.  Anything that is exciting turns into this.  He is so much better now.  But trust me this was a big time issue.  So if you are reading this please don’t rowel people’s kids up and then walk away for them to have to deal with it.  This goes for any kid even the ones with out SPD.  We walk a tight line in mommy land between complete chaos and control, don’t turn our lives into a circus…okay now that that PSA is out of the way, how can you help with Sensory Overload?

1. Know Your Triggers (sunglasses check, earplugs check, snack check, etc etc)

2.Plan for Plan B (the escape hatch)

3.It is Okay to Walk Away…(we recently spent about $60 on tickets to a dinosaur exhibit after 30 minutes it was time to leave.  My son loves dinosaurs but it was just too packed and too loud.)  Honestly I was ready to go too.

4.Let the Kid Live! (at that same dino exhibit outside the building were huge boulders, my children happily climbed from rock to rock for about an hour, it got all the stress from the exhibit out and we had a peaceful ride home.  Take a walk, get some air, whatever, let their little body calm down, nature is powerful medicine)

5.Enjoy Them for Who They Are… (I have a blog post coming that will be entitled something like “the day I enjoyed my child and flipped off the world” but basically quit worrying about everyone else and just enjoy your child!)

Lost in Sensation: Sensory Processing Disorder

My pen slowly check the boxes of a form, “can tie shoes” “covers ears if loud sounds” “refuses to wear socks” “overfills mouth when eating” the list was very long but the picture it was painting was painfully obvious.  My son had sensory processing disorder.

Of course my first thoughts were how did I cause this?  Was it because his dad was deployed his first year of life?  Was I over protective and didn’t let him play with his food enough?  Did I use the swing too much?  Again the list was endless, I felt guilty. I felt afraid, I felt angry, and most of all I was confused.  I felt guilty remembering all the times my patience was lost.  I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be a good enough mother to deal with it, and if people would even understand.  I didn’t understand my self.  I was angry at all the people who told me “he just needs a good hard spanking” or “have you tried a behavior chart?”  All those people who gave me the “control your kid” look.  Or worse the sympathy “lets help your ‘special child’ look.  Didn’t they understand?  I had to be 10X the mother they were, 10X more patient, 10X more understanding, 10X more ready to pull every hair from my head.  I was confused, how on earth could I help this child?  I had read so many parenting books, mountains of articles, but Sensory Processing Disorder seemed to be on the bottom of most lists.

It was a difficult time, but armed with an amazon account and the internet I knew that I could do it!  I knew that I could prove everyone wrong.  I knew that my little orchid, this exotic child could grow into something beautiful.  All I had to do was give him the right environment and the right nutrients.  It is still difficult, but we are healing, every step of the way we are healing together.

So what is Sensory Processing Disorder, first off SPD is not Autism.  Yes many autistic children can have SPD, many children on the spectrum can have sensory issues, but you can also have Sensory Disorders without having autism, which is our case.

SPD can be caused from many things, a traumatic birth, autism, prematurity, low stimulation, chromosomal disorders, environmental toxins, being blind or deaf, and in our case seizures.  We did not know that our son was having seizures until he was 5 yrs old. I had told his previous pediatrician that he occasionally rolled his eyes strangely, she said it was likely allergies.  A few years later I took him to an eye doctor, I knew something was off, again they said it was probably allergies.  When we moved and got a new pediatrician I mentioned it to her, and she suggested getting an EEG, sure enough he was having seizures.  I highly recommend getting an EEG if your child has been diagnosed with SPD, it is a simple test that can change their life.  Since my son has been seizure free for the last 6 months I have noticed that many of his sensory issues have decreased.  We are hoping to have him off seizure medication once he is 2 yrs seizure free, but I am just happy to see his brain healing for now.

OK, back to SPD.  There are many types of sensory issues.  Most children with sensory issues will experience all of them at different times.  One day they could be sensory defensive about sounds, the next day sensory seeking.  So if someone says “well they were fine yesterday”  well that was yesterday.  Below I have linked some amazing youtube videos that I think every teacher, caregiver, and parent should watch.

The good news is that Sensory Processing Disorder can be 100% cured through therapy, diet change, and a vigilant parent.  There is hope!  I plan to write more posts about the this topic and give you ideas for diet change, sensory activities, and therapy videos.  So stay tuned, and remember that you are not the only one out there 🙂

Homeschooling is for Everyone!

Homeschooling is for Everyone!!

What does that mean?  Well it doesn’t matter if your kids go to public school, private school, unschool or homeschool, it is still your responsibility to homeschool your child.  Think about it…a teacher at any school does not have time in the day to give your child along with 15-30 others individual attention and education.  It just isn’t possible.  So teachers send home worksheets of homework (not helping) but these do nothing for a child’s education.  Why?  Because what they need most is guidance and love from the people they depend on most…their family.


My son has been blessed with excellent teachers at his school.  I couldn’t ask for better.  But a teacher can’t take your child on a field trip every week or set up gardening and sensory activities.  They can teach your child what they need to know, but they can’t teach your child what you know.  they can’t follow their interests and teach them what they want to know, but you can.

It is my belief that homeschooling is not exclusive to those who do not attend a traditional or nontraditional institution.  Homeschooling is for everyone, everywhere!

My son attends public school, my children will all likely attend public school, and I will teach at a public school once my youngest enters kindergarten.  But that does not negate the fact that we still homeschool.  Everyone in our family participates and it is a beautiful thing to watch your child learn something new and know that you played a part in it.

So turn off that TV and open a book, or do a science experiment.  Find some cool lesson plans, and give your child the education they want and deserve 🙂


We are a homeschooling family 🙂 We use Waldorf Essentials and Montessori and supplement with life!  You will find little tips and tricks and just how we do things day to day.