Homeschool with a Twist…UNO Math, Cereal Box Reading and Go Fish Spelling


You probably guessed it already that we tend to teach in an unconventional way. As I read on a homeschool blog called “The Encouraging Homeschool Mom” the other day by Jamerill Stewart and she called it “homeschool in a box”. Yes we had tried that route and it did not work for us with our youngest son. Now after years of homeschooling, research, chats with other moms and great blogs like the one I will link below…..we found some good tips and tricks that I hope will help you on your Homeschool journey.

I will let you know that we homeschooled our oldest (he is now 27 and excelling in his career, which we contribute a lot of his skills to things he learned in his homeschool days), with some of the more traditional lessons but always adding a bit of a homeschool twist. This worked for him…he needed more structure with how things would be done in a regular school setting. After a few years of this style of teaching….we did find that he needed some more creative outlets for learning his lessons. Now that we are schooling our youngest that has very distinct special needs, we see at least for him, that not only “one on one” teaching is needed… but very creative techniques and a constant change of styles is needed too.

Gavin is 14 and technically in 9th grade. He does fall a bit short on keeping up academically with the other kids and at his grade level. Putting all that aside….we as parents need to make sure he is taught the best he can be and with or without special needs. Each child is different whether they have trouble learning or not. We have been gifted with these children in our lives and they in turn have been gifted to have us as their teachers and mentors!!!! As a family we can minister to each other and we can share learning, teaching, gifts, skills, abilities, life lessons etc… we guide these young hearts to grow in the Lord and in their maturity. As parent we need to equip them in every way so when they leave the safe haven of home….they can be ready for what comes their way. Homeschooling does not just know what 1+1 is or how to spell…..yes that is a major part of learning but so is teaching them how to live life is too. Especially if you are a special needs parent then you would really get this point.

Here are just a few tips and tricks that I can share with you today that we have used and have worked well for us.

UNO Math


We take UNO cards in a pile with only the numbers and wild cards. You then pick from the pile…the first 2 cards on top. Next you add these two cards (you can use addition, subtraction, division or even multiplication). If you draw a number and a wild card…your child can pick any number he/she wants to replace the wild card (which can make the math game even more fun). Now of course I said we do everything with a twist. Our son does not like using pen and paper. So we use a whiteboard, chalk board…..writing in sand in a box etc… Today, I had a bunch of leftover cd’s from a VBS project this year that we will not use again. So we took the cd’s and allowed him to write on them for each pair of numbers he picked. He could draw counting sticks, counting dots on the cd to help him do the math problem etc…to a help him add the UNO card 7 + 9 etc….IT WORKED GREAT!!!

Cereal Box Reading


This is one of many ideas. Our son would not read a book. As a matter of fact when we pulled him from public school in 4th grade he would not read at all. I saw him trying to read a fortune cookie one day, at a Chinese restaurant and then it got me thinking….what else would he read? He loves Nerf guns and power rangers….ok then….what could we use to make reading fun and to incorporate the things he loves and likes. So, off we go with this idea now and when he buys a Nerf gun he reads the box, as he gets his favorite cereal he reads the box, you get the picture. He is now reading more and more (including books) and he is surprising us all the time with his reading skills. He also loves to use the “closed caption” on the TV and read the lines as they speak it out loud on the shows he watches. Who would have thought that watching TV can be a great reading lesson!!!

Go Fish Spelling


Spelling is a something that was never fun!!! Ok what could be done…..well again schooling with a twist. I found an old set of playing cards, and put white labels on them with our spelling words. Then use them just like you would for a regular game of “Go Fish”. Do you have a “dog”….no go fish. Then when you get the matching pair….you lay those words down. Of course as the mom/teacher in me we needed to repeat the word, sound it out and spell it out loud before moving to the next word. We then found a set of cards with words and used it the same way.

These are only a few of my tips and tricks I use to teach our son. They are not new to some of you and to some of you just starting out and or needing a new idea… I trust this will increase your creative juices today to come up with some of your own fun ways of teaching some very basis things.

Write below in the comments and tell me what ideas you have. I would love to hear from you and what worked for you and also what did not. These tips….are great for special needs but all in all they are great for anyone who needs a little fun and creativity in their homeschooling.

Follow me on my blog for more fun tips and tricks, other ideas for special needs kids and just some all in all…..wonderful encouragement for moms.

Feel free to email me….I would love to hear from you all. Also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram for other tips, tricks, ideas and pictures @resumeofamother

Lynn A.C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

I found my NEW Normal and it is a moving target…….


Normal…..this is one thing that many people strive to be….then some of us like to say that we like to be a little different. I am sure you heard the term growing up….”that is not normal”. So who defines “normal”? Somewhere along the way “normal” was defined as we were growing up and this is probably the pattern of life that you thought you would be following. I never knew what it would mean to have to find a new normal for my life. I grew up in a family of five and the most challenging thing growing up with 2 sisters was waiting in line for the bathroom. Life growing up seemed very normal for me.

We had families who lived down the street that we would say as kids…..” that is the family that is not normal”. I have no idea really why we said that other than for some reason they did not fit into what we did.

attachment-1-1I dreamed of a career, not staying at home….I loved the thought of working, not having a husband and children….traveling and always learning new things was on the top of my list, not having a life filled with special needs, daily challenges, trying to follow a constant moving target and not having an ordinarily life.

Then life took over and little did I know that I would be a mom, a wife, a career woman, a wife of a husband with epilepsy and on full-time disability, a mom of a special needs son, a mom of a “average” son (as most people classify it), a mom who would homeschool her two boys, and that my life would take a turn in a way that I could never have imagined. I would have a life of major change… to the point that I would feel like a single working parent and a single woman many times in my “normal” life.

After being a mom to my first son where it seemed to be a very normal life and raising him was very natural, I thought had it all figured out. Then to have 2 miscarriages, and then many years later I would find out that our second child would come through adoption and have a life long list of 4 major disabilities. We would then to be told he would never walk or talk and to accept what his life would be. Wow….what happened to my ordinary life?

The normal life that I knew growing up just came to a screeching halt. Where is my normal? How do I now function? Where to go from here…..

So what is normal?? This is a question that has taken me years to realize that there is no such thing. When you live your life and ask the Lord to guide and direct you …..the target and life that you keep striving for….keeps moving and changing.

So what is my new normal and where am I now in this thing we call life? A woman who works out of the home full-time, a mom of an adult son who is now married, a mother-in-law, a home-school mom of a teenager with special needs, a wife of a husband on full time disability due to epilepsy, a woman who runs a ministry out of my home, a woman who is in leadership in my local church, a woman who has now entered the age of helping older parents adjust to their new norm as they age, and along with all of this…..a woman that still needs to be just a woman who enjoys life for herself in just being simply Lynn.

I am on a journey in life that is exciting, ever changing, and full of challenges, stress, fun, and new adventures all the time. The young woman who dreamed of a life of a career and travel was short lived. My new normal changed me and allowed me to become the wife, mother and woman I am now. My norm is not the norm I dreamed of….and my norm is not normal…. it is a constant moving target and this was not the life that I would have chosen.

attachment-1-2This is my story and we all have one, the chapters are being written and the book has not been completed. I have come to realize that my fears, desires, challenges, and my everyday life and my everyday normal……are unique and different. Yet there are so many similarities that we can share together as we walk our journey as moms and women .

I would love to share with you my heart and the daily delights that God shares and sends to me. I would love to share with you what I have learned from being a wife of an epileptic and a mom of an autistic son. I would love to share with you what I have learned from the challenges and uniquenesses of my life. There are so many layers to a life that is not normal and your normal is a moving target. Come and join me on my journey of finding our NEW daily norm and also adding to our “Resumes of being a mother”.

Come with me as we see how full our resume is with all that we do….look forward to stories, challenges through devotions, recipes, special needs tips and tricks, women’s ministry ideas, tips on adapting to a change in your life, how to move forward in a new norm, crafts, DIY’s, basic budgeting ideas for broke people and so much more.

I am so looking forward to connecting with you and getting to reach out and touch your life even if it is in a small way to encourage you a mom and a woman.

Written by Lynn A. C. Wilson, Resume of a Mother