Gaining Ground With Integrated Listening Systems In Our Homeschool

You are reading Gaining Ground With Integrated Listening Systems In Our Homeschool, posted by Heather Mac, originally posted at Joyful Socks Mom blog.

Living and interacting with a child that has multiple learning and behavioral differences can be a challenge for any parent, to say the least.  When you begin to educate at home, these learning differences and behaviors can begin to appear magnified.  What changed?  Your proximity to the child and their learning struggles.  You observe all the time, up-close and personal.  At some point most home educators can feel alone or isolated, this can certainly be said of those of us that have children with learning struggles.  

One vital key to success in home educating a struggling learner is to gain as many tools and resources for both you and your child's support.  This is one of many reasons we decided to try Integrated Listening Systems.

** This post is a sponsored post for Integrated Listening Systems, as part of my affiliation with iHomeschool Network. In order to review this product, I received this product complimentary, and am compensated for my time.  All opinions in this post are mine, and I was not required to post a positive review. Thank you for your support. You can read my full disclosure policy here.**

How We Use Integrated Listening System to Help With Sensory Issues
From the beginning, my child was impressed by the iLS system.  He enjoyed the idea of utilizing technology and kinesthetics to help improve his areas of learning and behavior challenges.  This made it an easy "sell" on using everyday, which let's face it, is important when motivating a teenager (especially one with Asperger's) to try something new and different.

We currently use the Integrated Listening System four days per week, for about 30 to 40 minutes per day, lately it has been 30 minutes as the summer schedule piles up.  For my child, we have broken our sessions up during the day.  He uses the system in the morning before the school day has begun by using his iLS system and Playbook to do his program exercises.
The exercises are varied in skill and ability, making this system a good option for many differing levels of age and development.  It was interesting to note that these exercises can be done with eyes open, however; my child found it easier, early on, to complete exercises with his eyes closed.  As he has progressed, he has found it easier to listen and concentrate even with his eyes open.

Later in the afternoon, he continues his sessions by doing other activities while using his iLS: putting together a puzzle, building with his legos, doing oragami, sketching.  These are all interests of his, so his afternoon sessions are well received.

Early in completing our program, we realized that my child's affinity to motion sickness needed to be addressed.  This was immediately addressed by Sharon, our iLS coach, who adapted the system's mini-amplifier to provide the minimum air and bone conduction during his sessions.

Our personal goals for using this system long-term would be to help address my child's issues with sensory processing, but specifically: 
  • Sensory Overload
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Improved Attention Span
  • Better Mental Acuity
Keeping in mind that we have really only scratched the surface on utilizing this system, I have already observed some changes with my child's attention, self-awareness, and motor skills.  He appears to be more cognizant of his posture, and is trying to correct himself when walking, without prompting. Additionally, he is doing better maintaining his focus in public, even crowded settings like a Boy Scout meeting.

What I Enjoyed About Using Integrated Listening System At Home
  • A tool that helps my child with being more self-aware and taking ownership for his learning and behavioral differences.  We are all learning, growing and changing.  This specific system has helped my teen feel more confident in addressing and improving his own challenges.  If the iLS system had no other benefit, that one reason would be worth using the system entirely!
  • Personalized home therapy programing to address my child's specific needs and challenges.  iLS is not meant to be used in a "one-size-fits-all" fashion.  Each home therapy system is accompanied by an iLS coach, which we work with over the phone, to help you build a program that fits mine and my child's specific needs.  Our iLS coach Sharon is amazing!
  • Home therapy that everyone can use.  One of the first benefits of the Integrated Listening System that both shocked and thrilled this mom was the fact that each member of my family can utilize it for different needs.  My iLS coach and I will soon be incorporating the Integrated Listening System for both of my daughters to improve attention span and memorization ability. 
  • Kinesthetic learning.  iLS exercises are easy and fun, and we are glad to be using a system that doesn't include sitting at length in a chair, or using a ton of boring flashcards. (Been there, done that)
  • Adaptability and flexibility. Being a home educator and using a home therapy means that we spend less time running around, and more time learning.  Also, as a mother of teenagers, we can easily get bogged down with our schedule.  Integrated Listening System is easy for us to schedule daily and rearrange as needed.
  • Potential.  The broad spectrum of behavioral functions that this home therapy can help to correct seems far reaching.  After completing a few weeks of home therapy to specifically address sensory and motor issues, I have seen enough positive response to know that iLS has the ability to benefit my child in other areas that we have not yet begun to address.  Integrated Listening System is built to provide help in many areas of behavior: listening, sensory and audio processing, memorization, better attention span, emotional response and control.
  • iLS can be used alongside, and in conjunction with other occupational therapy systems.  We still use a couple of other therapy tools to help address different areas of learning differences for my child.  The iLS system can safely be utilized alongside these other useful tools.

As a home educator with a teen who has learning differences it is important to use every available resource to help in our educating journey.  This coming school year, he will be a senior, which means that we are working to give him the best edge possible.  iLS is more than a mere tool that we use.  Integrated Listening System is now part of our support system.  We know we are not alone on our journey, and we are thankful that iLS is working alongside us.
Take a look at the amazing science behind Integrated Listening Systems
You can contact iLS directly to get more information on this amazing system.

Follow Integrated Listening Systems on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google + 

For more great articles and ideas, be certain to follow our "Be Different" Pinterest Board:

Follow Living Books Nook's board BE DIFFERENT Learning on Pinterest.

Joyfully Learning with You,

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter, & Instagram, Etsy Shop and our IG SHOP


Integrated Listening Systems to Curb Sensory Processing with Teens

You are reading Integrated Listening Systems to Curb Sensory Issues with Teens, posted by Heather Mac, originally posted at Joyful Socks Mom blog.
Anyone who has followed this blog for any amount of time would certainly know that we are not your typical family.  We even broke the mold as far as "home educating" families are concerned ... and that is saying quite a bit.  What you may not have know is that two of our children have, in the past, struggled with learning.  You can read more about my journey out of the struggling learner wilderness here.

Although most of our major learning struggles are now in our past, we continue to seek out and search to give our kids the best "edge" possible.  Especially since both of our struggling learners are soon-to-be graduated and off to college, finding the best available resources for them and helping them to add tools to their belt is of great importance.

This is exactly the reason that I was thrilled to discover iLS, (Integrated Listening Systems) a new home therapy option to naturally assist with both sensory processing, memory and attention issues.

** This post is a sponsored post for Integrated Listening Systems, as part of my affiliation with iHomeshool Network. In order to review this product, I received this product complimentary, and am compensated for my time.  All opinions in this post are mine, and I was not required to post a positive review. Thank you for your support. You can read my full disclosure policy here.**

What is Integrated Listening Systems (iLS)?

iLS is a unique, natural system that incorporates both movement and sound via listening therapy and music therapy, to assist individuals with various learning differences in-home.  Being that we have a teen with Asperger's/OCD, and another teen with Dyslexia, I knew that this system would be an excellent idea to assist with our current needs and possible future goals.  Integrated Listening Systems is customized to the individual using the system, and more than one individual can utilize this system in your home!  As a matter of fact, my iLS staff member helped instruct me, the long-suffering-exhausted-homeschool-mommy, on using the system to help calm myself. Score!

What is included with iLS system?

The Integrated Listening Systems is a well-organized, fully equipped system that you can rent, ready-to-use and customized to individual learning needs.

Here is a closer look at this unique listening system that has been utilized already by clinics and individuals around the globe to assist individuals with various learning differences:

The kit is available for in-home use and you are assisted by an iLS staff member that helps to individualize the system for use for each person.  We are excited about the potential learning and fun that we will be experiencing using this performance optimizing system.

Why are we using the iLS system? 
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Sensory Overload
  • Better Mental Acuity
  • Improved Attention
Look, our resident Doctor Who approves!
I am thrilled to be able to report soon on our progress with this new and innovative system, as I will be utilizing this Integrated Listening Systems with my kids over the next 10 weeks, and possibly longer.

Take a look at the amazing science behind Integrated Listening Systems. You can contact iLS directly to get more information on this amazing system.

Follow Integrated Listening Systems on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google + 

You can now read my FULL REVIEW of Integrated Learning Systems Here
For more great articles and ideas, be certain to follow our "Be Different" Pinterest Board:

Follow Living Books Nook's board BE DIFFERENT Learning on Pinterest.

Joyfully Learning with You,

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter, & Instagram, Etsy Shop and our IG SHOP



8 Must Haves For A Creative Planning & Jounaling

There are so many new, fun, exciting and interesting methods of planning and journaling. I personally employee an eclectic variety of both planning and journaling methods.  Who needs to be married to the same old boring planning methods.  Not this mum!

The art of planning and journaling appears to be enjoying a new revival via the various social media networks. As a wife, mother and home educator I have been planning for years.  At times rather successfully ... Other times, not so successfully.

Over those years my style and methods have changed. A few constants throughout every stage of my planning in journaling have remained the same:

• I must is be inspired visually by the planning and journaling method I use.  I am not a naturally organized individual.  I am, however, an creative artist with lots of ideas floating around in my noggin!
• I must be able to mark my accomplishments off of my checklist. This just makes me happy.
• I must enjoy the process of documenting all of my planning and journaling. To me it is better when it feels enjoyable and fun, rather than cumbersome and a chore.

In light of the current planning revival and having the experience to share, I thought you might enjoy knowing the planner and journaling supplies I cannot do without.

1. Sticky Notes - Without shame I must say that I am a great fan of whomever invented the fabulous "sticky note". In my daily planning it is the convenience & versatility of sticky notes, that make my planning & journaling a much less daunting task.

2. Gel Pens - My Insta-friend, Nicole, is responsible for creating the gel pen monster I have become. I enjoy the smooth and ease of the Gelly Roll brand pen. In fact, I am getting a bit snobby about using anything else. 

3. Washi Tape - I need a sign that says, "Will work for washi tape!" If Washi tape grew on trees, my pocketbook would suffer much less affliction. I enjoy the versatility that washi tape lends to my planning in journaling. Plus it's really pretty.

4. Mod Podge - Pass me the Modge Podge please! This adhesive is easy to use and can be used in many different ways.

5. Ephemera - I love all the pretty things made of paper. Embellishments, magazine clippings, project life cards, doilies, old stamps ... And the list goes on and on and on.

6. Planner Clips and Bookmarks - Clips, of all shapes & sizes cater to my Type-A personality. They help everything stay in its proper place, thank you very much.

7. Junk Journals - I started recently making in using Junk Journals. I'm a little addicted to making and using them now. The idea is to use bits and pieces of paper, scraps, bits and baubles to create a versatile junk journal that can be used for many different purposes.

8. Planner Bands - Yet another accessory that appeals to my anal-retentive personality. These simple to make and decorate bands help keep journals closed to the outside world.

Get some great planning and journaling ideas from my Choose Joy Planner feed on Instagram. I also have an amazing Pinterest board chalk full of planning and journaling inspiration. 

Follow Living Books Nook's board Planner and Journaling JOY on Pinterest.  

What planning and journaling items must you have at the ready?

Joyfully Learning with You,

Living Books Nook

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter, & Instagram, Etsy Shop and our IG SHOP

Heather's Highly Recommended Helps: 


Savoring The Wilderness Journey

You are reading Savoring The Wilderness Journey, posted by Heather Mac, originally posted at Joyful Socks Mom blog.

*This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see our full statement of disclosure here.  Thank you for your support. 

PHOTO CREDIT, CC via Compfight.com

I have joked for many years that the LORD must really trust me for giving me kids that each have completely different learning styles. One auditory learner. One kinesthetic learner. One visual learner. 

Now, let's mix in some more fun ... Dyslexia. OCD. Asperger's.

Educating all three of our children has proved to be the single best "sanctifying" factor in my life. Humbling. Merciful. Painful. Illuminating. Exhausting. Worth-Every-Second.

Each one of my children learns differently than the others, and that's okay.

The learning differences present in our home appear to be one of the daily factors in my life that keeps me humbly on my knees asking for help & direction.  If you had asked me at the beginning of this learning differences journey, weather I wanted to walk down this road or not, of course, I would have respectfully declined. None of us in our right minds typically seek out life's struggles and difficult lessons. Now that I am at the verging ends of the learning differences journey I can now say that I would not trade this life experience for anything in the world.

Why All The Struggling?

You see, God throughout the history of His people allowed struggle to refine them. To change them, for His glory, into the likeness He intends for them to individually become.  Refined by fires of struggle and the chipping away of those things that we all desperately hold on to, but do not need.  What appears from the outside to be too great a burden in our lives is actually Christ's merciful hand, bringing us to a place of surrender.

Coming to the edge of myself, means coming to surrender.

This is the place where we can begin to fully trust.  Abiding. This is the place where faith becomes active.

Think about it this way:
"The person who has no trials and no difficulties is the person whom God does not dare allow Satan to touch because this person could not stand temptation."
~ Smith Wigglesworth

I Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)
"There have no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it."

Count it all joy.

Count it all joy that God has a plan for you and your children, and He trusts you with the weight of it.

Count it all joy that He is strengthening your faith and your family through whatever refining fire He so chooses.

Count it all joy that you are now, and always, in the hands of the faithful, mighty and merciful God.

Count it all joy that He has provided you a means to rest in Him and trust Him in the plan He has set before you.

James 1:2 (KJV)
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience."

In God's good time, struggling learners too, will blossom to fulfill His purpose.

Count it all joy that the Lord has brought us to a place where we do not limit Him in unbelief because of our struggling circumstances, but in believing now know He can do exceedingly and abundantly more.  He is beyond our fathoming. He is that amazing. He is that good.

Luke 1:38a
"And Mary said, behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."

Let this be our faith. Faith that reaches heaven. Faith given by Christ, that moves us to total and complete alignment with God's word and his perfect plan ... even if His plan includes a learning differences journey. 

Let us Abide

The final stop on our journey in Getting Out of the Struggling Learners Wilderness is the not-so-simple task of abiding.  Abiding requires every stop we've already made on this journey plus on additional amount of active faith.

Abiding on this journey is a process of daily trust, not any one single act of bravery or courage.  Abiding means trusting God daily with the good and the not-so-good days.  It means that we daily choose to walk in faith whatever path Christ has laid before us. 

As we choose to trust Him in all things, even in the struggle to learn with our children there begins to emerge blessed moments to see His loving hands, His tender mercies and we can begin to give Him glory.  I really believe abiding means that we truly believe and trust in God's divine purpose and plan, regardless of the surrounding circumstances.  We must purpose in our own hearts and minds to trust where He has us walking right now, and choose to forthrightly walk wherever that path may lead with joy.  Yep ... JOY!

There it is ... the choice.
Joy, or sorrow.
Trust, or doubt.
Hope, or discouragement. 

We do have a choice in how we walk this life.  I hope you will choose to trust the One who has set your path.  I hope you will abide in the peace & comfort He stands so able and willing to give.

Joyfully Learning with You, 

The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter, & Instagram and our IG SHOP

Great selection of bulk herbs, books, and remedies. Articles, Research Aids and much more.

Heather's Highly Recommended Helps:  
  • Homeschool Mom Winter Summit - No other homeschooling event is quite like this refreshing, encouraging, vision-restoring weekend for homeschool moms!  See you at Summit!
 Linking Up At:
 Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years



10 Tips For Using Your 3-D Drawing Pen

You are reading 10 Tips For Using Your 3-D Drawing Pen posted by Heather Mac, published originally at Joyful Socks Mom blog.

** This post is a sponsored post for AtmosFlare 3-D Drawing Pen, as part of my affiliation with iHomeshool Network. In order to review this product, I received this product complimentary, and am compensated for my time.  All opinions in this post are mine, and I was not required to post a positive review. Thank you for your support. You can read my full disclosure policy here.**

What if I said there is a new quality tool that is economical yet fascinating for art loving kids & adults in your home. The same tool would also double as a unique toy for the techie in your family, as well.  I venture to say, for myself at least, my interest is totally piqued.

The first creations from the kids using their new 3-D Drawing Pen.
Let's be honest… There's not a single homeschool mom out there that probably wouldn't pass down the opportunity to add little more hands-on, unique fun during learning time...including this one! The AtmoseFlare 3-D Drawing Pen has certainly been an exciting addition to our home education resources, for both the kids and myself.

Getting some good practice with the new 3-D Drawing Pen.

Why Is The AtmosFlare 3-D Drawing Pen Great For Your Homeschool?

Getting a Little Techie - Our homeschool is not typically on the "cutting edge" of technology (being Charlotte Mason learners), so finding this affordable and unique tool is an exciting exciting opportunity to up the technology game.  

Add a Pinch of the Creative - This one little tool instantly boosted creativity levels in each of my kids.  Each of my children are different in the way they think and learn, therefore; finding one tool that piques interest for all is a total score!

Let's Get Working With Our Hands - Using this pen was especially helpful for adding a hands-on element to our learning, which can be difficult at the Junior High/ High School stage that we are at. 

I was excited to find the AtmosFlare 3-D Drawing Pen most reasonably priced at $29.99 for the start-up set which includes:
1 - AtmosFlare 3-D Drawing Pen
1 - Red Ink Refill Cartridge
1 - Blue Ink Refill Cartridge
1 - AA Battery

You can also purchase additional ink refill cartridges for your 3-D Drawing Pen in a variety of colors (red, light pink, pink, orange yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, gray and white) for $5.99 per cartridge.  They are available online at AtmosFlare and also at your local Best Buy and Toys-R-Us retailers.

Now that we are a bit more practiced at using our new tool, here are a few things we learned ...

Tips For Using Your 3-D Drawing Pen

1. Take the time to learn about using your 3-D drawing pen in advance.  Especially with children, or adults (hint, hint, wink, wink) ... who may have perfectionist tendencies. The more you know about how to best utilize your newest our art tool, the more fun you will have with it later.  There are great tips online at the AtmosFlare Getting Started page.

Practice, Practice, Practice with our 3-D Pen. The Geek Bug loved doing swirls.

2. Give yourself time to get a handle on using this tool.  Have fun and don't expect to be the "Degas" of the 3-D Drawing Pen sculpture scene overnight.

3. Be certain that you have thought your projects out in advance. Going through ink cartridges on these nifty 3-D Drawing Pens can sneak up on you, so you may want to order extra. Planning ahead is key in life, so utilize some time to help your kids learn to plan ahead.  You can also snag ink cartridge refills at Toys-R-Us or Best Buy retailers, and of course, on the AtmosFlare website.

Using the AtmosFlare 3-D Drawing Pen is serious business for the Who Scout.

4. Apply enough pressure to the ink cartridge to obtain proper ink flow seemed to be a common problem while we practiced with our AtmosFlare 3-D Drawing Pen.  Keep good, even and slightly heavy pressure on your ink cartridge while using your pen. This step took the longest for my youngest child to master...but she kept at it and really enjoyed herself.

5. Keep your AtmosFlare 3-D Drawing Pen in a straight upright position while in use. My kids and I, both, automatically used our normal "pencil hold", this caused problems with our pen drying the ink too quickly.

The Squeaker, as a left handed person, had to practice a bit

6. When you begin using your 3-D Drawing Pen it is typically better to start drawing and then turn on your light. Otherwise your ink may dry too quickly and clog your applicator tip.

7. Remember that the techie little lights on your Pen are doing the drying and "curing" of the ink as you draw.  Simply using the ink and waiting for it to dry will not work. Fact.

8. Be sure to use the cap provided when you are not using your AtmosFlare 3-D Drawing Pen. The ink can easily drip from the container. Experience speaking here!

9. Experiment with your 3-D Drawing Pen by using your new tool to make different kinds of art, not just sculpture (although that is what the pen is intended for) ... which can be a little tricky at first. Hey, we are homeschoolers, live a little.  I personally found using the pen to enhance my mixed media art was super fun.

Here is mommy's mixed media creation, a few bookish roses from Gallifrey!  Do we have any Whovians in the house?

10. Use your 3-D Drawing Pen to enrich your homeschool lessons, while adding a flare of technology and creativity! Here are some awesome ideas for using your 3-D Drawing Pen from other moms: 

  • Susan and her kids have a couple of quick tutorials on sculpting a tree and also a princess crown. Drawing With A 3-D Pen.
Keep up with the innovative folks at AtmosFlare!

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

  • Here is your chance to get your hands on a New AtmosFlare 3-D Drawing Pen
    AtmosFlare is giving away their 3-D Drawing Pen to 30 winners!!

    Be sure to join in all the artsy fun on Instagram by joining in the AtmosFlare Instagram Challenge. Simply use the #ihsnet hashtag to see all the fun creations using this new & innovative tool!

    AtmosFlare Instagram Challenge 
    The Joyful Socks Mom 

    Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter, & Instagram ,IG SHOP and on Etsy!

     Linking Up At:
     Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years