Special Ed – Homeschool

A while back, we posted a story about Kgakgamatso “KG” Spicer (see the story Two More Milestones Reached). A few years on, and KG has passed more milestones, including starting at school. Read on for an excerpt from a homeschool day …


For the past several years, KG attended the one private school in Gaborone that has a program for special needs kids.  Although she may return to this school in the future, I am now teaching her at home in an effort to give her the one-on-one instruction that she requires.  Her teacher was far more capable and qualified than I am, but with eight other special needs kids in his classroom, he didn’t have time to give her the one-on-one teaching that she needs.

This morning I was trying to teach KG the sight words “and” and “to.” I thought she had “to” nailed last Friday, but this week she is seeing only the “o” and saying “Zero.” And “and”? She can’t seem to get that one at all. She reads it as “dad” nine times out of ten, and her tenth try is liable to be completely off base. So this morning I decided to write a sentence on the white board and emphasize the words “to” and “and.” “Mom AND Dad went TO the store,” I wrote. “Mom AND Dad went TO the store,” I said. “Was it crowded?” asked KG. “KG,” I said, “read with me, Mom AND Dad went TO the store.” “Was the store crowded?” she asked. “KG, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE WHETHER THE STORE WAS CROWDED??!!”

I decided that we needed to take a break from reading, so I got out some colored pegs to model patterning for her. I alternated the pegs by color: orange, green, orange, green, orange, green. “KG,” I said, “Look at this row of pegs. Look at the colors and say them out loud with me. Orange, green, orange, green, orange, green . . . what color should come next?” “Red?” guessed KG.

Fortunately KG has a way of balancing things out. She frustrates me one minute and gives me a good laugh the next. When we ended school today she said, “We saw Amazing Grace.” Thinking that she was referring to the concert we went to Sunday night, I corrected her.  “We HEARD Amazing Grace,” I said.  “We SAW Amazing Grace,” she persisted. “Chuck’s daughter, Grace.” She was right! Our new friend Chuck was here with his family on Monday night. His oldest daughter, who is KG’s age, is named Grace – and she is amazing! 🙂