Here are reviews of products that I was given in order to use and review them:
Parent Success Cards Parent Success Cards are a boxed set of 50 double-sided high quality cards that contain 100 affirmations and reflections for parents, produced by Horizons Developmental Remediation Center, a center that provides RDI (r) or Relationship Development Intervention consultation to many parents of children on the autism spectrum. The cost of $24.95 is similar to the cost of a book about autism, parenting, or one you might find in the self-help section of the bookstore. The cards are the size of an oversized playing card, and can be displayed (one at a time) in a refrigerator magnet picture frame. When my cards arrived, I immediately sat down with the cards and read every one, and found that several spoke to me in a big way. (I suspect that several were written with me in mind! *grin*) The reflections are beautifully written and the cards just as beautifully presented and are designed to prompt thinking and growth. The thoughts on them provide a nice balance between the "big picture" and "what can I do right now?". Since my set of cards arrived, I have held several of the reflections in my mind, reflecting on where my attitude and actions need adjustment, a prompting ideas for new journal entries (when I have time to write). The same quotes would be attractive printed in a parent journal or a week-at-a-glance calendar form. I plan to post one card a week on the refrigerator door for encouragement and reflection or an occasional kick in the pants. If you're looking for encouragement, reflections, affirmations, and an opportunity for growth in your journey on the remediation pathway, I recommend the Parent Success Cards! The only negatives involve the actual printing on a few of the cards. A card or two has copy printed too close to the edges of the card and a smaller font might have been used. I have to work a little harder to read the one striped card (there is something visually distracting about those stripes!). And some of the font/color combinations make a three or four of the cards more difficult to read than the others, and I suggest that a simple and bold font be used on any dark blue or burgandy background when the 2nd edition is printed.
The Schoolhouse Planner ($39, 247 page e-book, from The Old Schoolhouse) An easy two-word summary would be "customizable" and "comprehensive". The Schoolhouse Planner is more than a school planner; it is a comprehensive tool for planning a year of anything and everything related to your household and home school. Users can download and type into the document and print only the pages needed. There are calendars (year at a glance, monthly) ready to print, and with each monthly section, TSP includes information and resources for academics, teaching helps and ideas and recipes. TSP includes any form you might need for planning or recording data for home or school, including annual plans and yearly goals, progress reports, nature reports, financial planning, Bible study, important date planning, book and audio/video logs, grade reports, gardening planning, gift planning, and chore charts and housekeeping schedules, grocery lists, pet schedules, you name it and it’s there—the list goes on and on. (When I said the book is comprehensive, I meant it!) There are chore pages that use symbols instead of words for pre-readers or children who use visual schedules.If you need a framework on paper as a way to organize your days and plan your school year, this product has all the tools. The digital copy allows purchasers to print only what they will use. The $39 price tag seems expensive to me in light of printing costs, particularly for those who will choose to print most of the 247 page book (toner and printer paper are not cheap!), however, I believe this one is so comprehensive, this will be the only planner you’ll buy. Allergy alert: For those of us with a child on a special diet, know that many of the the recipes included contain milk, eggs and wheat.
The Old Schoolhouse Digital Magazine ($16.95/one year subscription)I have to admit to being resistant to technology when it comes to reading material on a computer screen or new devices (like the Kindle). I subscribed to the print version of this magazine for the first time this year, and dove into my first issue with enthusiasm when it arrived a couple of weeks ago. This particular issue has a special emphasis on home schooling a child with special needs and the content has been very helpful for me as I begin to implement a Charlotte Mason philosophy more at home. If you’re home schooling (and/or supplementing public school specialized education services) a child with special learning needs, this issue is packed with information and ideas from families who walk in our shoes. The digital version looks exactly like the print version I received via US Mail, and is surprisingly (to me, the techie skeptic) easy to navigate. There is a guide to getting started opposite the cover page, and the navigation tools are user friendly. Open the table of contents and you are able to jump to an article with one click of the mouse, which is much faster than flipping through a print magazine. Product information is important to me as I learn about new materials that would work well with my child’s learning style, and I’m happy to report that the links to the advertisers are quick, too, requiring just one click of the mouse to learn more about any product in the magazine. The cost of the digital version is cheaper than the print version, and the idea of storing the electronic version on a flash drive as opposed to storing a year’s worth of print copies is appealing to me as I work to get organized at home. I sense that I may enjoy and soon prefer the digital version of the magazine.
free issue containing information about homeschooling a child w/ special learning needs here:
Here are two examples of products that I stumbled across that are marketed to homeschoolers that would be excellent for those of us teaching individuals on the autism spectrum (I don't own them, yet, and since we pay for most therapies and interventions out of pocket, I have to pick and choose what I buy, and these are serious considerations for me right now):