Kim Cusimano is my guest on this episode. I think you're going to love listening to all of the wisdom she has to share! Kim is parenting her 4 adopted children--3 of whom are young adults now. Two of her children have special needs, including early onset schizophrenia and CHARGE syndrome. Kim's family homeschooled during their children's early days of education, and she has a lot of advice to share with homeschooling moms who are still in the trenches.
You'll want to hear what she wishes she had known when her kids were still school aged. She has great wisdom to share about advocacy, parenting and homeschooling kids with special needs with adulthood in mind!
Here is a list of several wonderful quotes about parenting, homeschooling and advocacy from Kim:
“I felt like it [homeschooling] set my son up for a level of success and took away the frustration factor.”
“As parents, if another schooling situation ends up better later, if you have helped them learn even some adaptability skills, it helps them be less frustrated in a different environment. And if they are less frustrated, you are less frustrated.”
“You have what it takes to advocate for your child.”
“I love the word flexibility. I don’t think we have to set out to say that we will do any one thing for 12 years…don’t spend a great deal of time worrying about tomorrow. The Bible speaks to that. We don’t need to worry about tomorrow. God will give us what we need for today. If you do choose to step into homeschooling, or you’re there now, and it seems like a difficult road, you’re just in that moment, and you don’t have to make claims about 5 years down the road…Don’t take on the next 5 years or 10 years in your mind.”
“There were a lot of tiny decisions that were just that…tiny and small. And I didn’t need to worry quite so much.”
“If you find you are fighting up against everyone for what you think your child needs, if that has become your pattern, then you may need to step back and reevaluate. We don’t need to fight for our kid on every little thing. Pick your battles.”
“Try to keep perspective and let minor things go.”
“You do not have to tackle the whole world on the first day of school.”
“Simple systems will often get you gigantic results, where bulky and overwhelming type curriculum will often lead to frustrating results.”
“Fix your eyes on hope because any diagnosis, anything anyone else tells you is not set. Only what God sets is set. Nothing man says is. No test score, no paper, no therapist, no doctor, not even us as a mom or dad knows what the potential of that child is. Turn your eyes toward hope and optimism.”
“The school years end and then it’s an adult that wants to live life like the rest of us do.”
“One of my greatest joys is to think of ‘how do I live adult life with them and help them enjoy life to the fullest?’ Thank goodness it doesn’t include one math book, one science book. It’s things like plane tickets, car rides, special purchases that they have saved up their money, calling grandma and grandpa, doing things with them….spend some time dreaming about the wonderful things that the future will hold.”
Resources Mentioned in This Episode
A Frayed Knot Podcast: This is where I originally heard Kim's story of their adoptions. You'll love to hear it, too! After all, you obviously love podcasts, right?!
She Writes For Him: Stories of Resilient Faith: This book was mentioned in the episode. Kim is one of the contributing authors to this book.
My Top 5 Favorite Learning To Read Curriculums: This podcast episode was mentioned in the episode