About a year ago, The Old Schoolhouse created a "crew" of 100 homeschooling families who were interested in using and reviewing products in order to blog about the products and spread the word about the products. Crew members were paired with vendors who signed on to participate in the program.
Last fall, on the Crew's maiden voyage, I was included as an alternate to the 100. Being an alternate meant I might not get to use or review anything. I did get quite a few items (see the sidebar of my blog for my reviews) and found that many of them are quite friendly to our remediation approach to the core deficits of autism, with "guided participation" as our priority.
Some of us were asked to stay on another year, and I am blessed to be included and on board again, this year as a "First Mate". This season's voyage begins TODAY and our first product is in the process of being delivered to Crew members. I received mine yesterday. (I'm more than a little bit excited!)
As a First Mate, I have the privilege of working closely with four new Crew members this year. Please meet
We haven't come up with a name for our "unit" or "group" or "team" yet.
Wendy and Tim and I have something else in common, besides the fact that we are Christians and we are homeschoolers. Wendy and Tim are also parents of a child who is diagnosed on the autism spectrum. (There are others on the Crew who happen to have children on the autism spectrum, too, and if you're one of "us" and are interested in what products work with the uniquenesses we tend to see in autism, stay tuned, because families like ours are represented again this year.)
Our first vendor is ready to begin, and so are we! Who is it? Allow me to introduce Grapevine Studies!
My daughter and I sat down last night in front our our big magnetic white board and began an introductory timeline for Esther. The materials are fun and they are a natural fit for guided participation. Stay tuned for a review after we've had a chance to use them for a while. This particular product is one I'll be using with all three children, and each child was interested in a different topic, so we have Esther, Birth of Jesus and Biblical Feasts and Holy Days.
We're off to an exciting beginning. The list of vendors is incredible. I look forward to serving you again this year, describing the ins and outs, positives and challenges of all the products that land on my front porch (or in my inbox).