Kite Flying, Thursday, March 22, 10 a.m, Dyess County Park, Cypress, TX
Egg Hunt & Potluck Picnic, Thursday, March 29, 10 a.m., Dyess County Park, Cypress, TX
Park Scavenger Hunt, Thursday, April 5, 10 a.m., Dyess County Park, Cypress, TX
Tie Dye a T-shirt, Friday, April 27, 11 a.m., Richard & Meg Weekley Community Center, Cypress, TX
Field Day, Friday, May 4, 10 a.m. Dyess County Park, Cypress, TX
Game Day, Thursday, May 10, 11 a.m. Richard & Meg Weekley Community Center, Cypress, TX
Anyone interested in joining the group is welcome. There is no charge for these events, although everyone is asked to bring a kite to kite-flying day, a potluck dish to share to the egg hunt, and a pre-shrunk white cotton t-shirt to the tie-dye event. Please contact Tammi Wright, group founder, at firstname.lastname@example.org or message her through the group’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/LDkids/, if you are interested in attending one of these events.
Learning Differences Homeschool Network of Southeast Texas is a social and support group for anyone homeschooling a student with any diagnosis that affects learning in the Cypress/northwest Houston metro area. Group activities are especially geared toward extremely high functioning kids but anyone who wants to be social is welcome.
up activities include weekly social activities for the kids, a video game club for the kids, and occasional evening support meetings for parents. The group includes children ranging in age from 3 to 18, and all group activities are planned to include all ages. The group currently includes 36 families with about 45 kids. About 2/3 of the kids are boys and about 1/3 are girls.
Weekly activities continue through the summer. Twice a month the group meets at the Richard & Meg Weekley Community center in Cypress. Activities there have included edible science day, reptile show, sand art, watercolor painting, Minecraft party, show ‘n’ tell day, ice cream party, sign language class, favorite book/movie sharing day, Halloween party, Thanksgiving feast, carnival, and valentine’s party. The other weeks of the month the group does an activity at a park or other venue. Outside activities have included archery lesson and target shooting, fishing, ice skating, splash pad, park day, swimming, movie, bowling, trampoline park, laser tag, rock climbing, video arcade, zoo trip, pool party, and volunteering at a homeless shelter. Field trips have included sea center hatchery tour, wolf sanctuary visit, Houston art museum, and tour of Waco mammoth dig.
The group also holds occasional parent support meetings, which have included curriculum swaps and speakers, including a lawyer specializing in special needs law and the director of the LifePATH program at Tomball Lone Star College, a 4-year college program for kids with learning differences.
“Our primary goal is to provide a place where kids can make friends who don’t care about their quirks, said Wright, group founder. “Our kids have normal intelligence but learning challenges. They tend to fall through the cracks because they’re often not visibly disabled and don’t fit with most special needs groups but they have quirks and often don’t fit with most neurotypical groups. Most people casually meeting them have no idea they have a learning disability or diagnosis of some kind. They may seem super active or to have a short attention span but in most ways they seem like any other kid. However, their learning issues often lead to social skills issues that make it difficult to make and keep friends. And sometimes they have more visible habits or quirks, or there are sensory issues, that get them ostracized by their peers. It can be difficult to find a group where activities are geared to them and where they feel accepted.”
The secondary goal of the group, Wright said, is to provide a support network for parents. “We have parents who homeschool for all kinds of reasons and from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences,” she said. “This is an all-inclusive group. We don’t have a statement of belief to sign. We don’t focus on a particular religious belief or an absence of belief or a particular style of homeschooling. We don’t care what your ethnic group is, your political or religious beliefs, your lifestyle, your social connections, your socioeconomic group, your style of homeschooling, whether you adhere to a strict curriculum or you’re an unschooler, whether you are the kind of special needs parent who believes in dietary cures, supplements, and alternative therapies or you follow more traditional approaches. As long as you’re looking for a place to make friends and are willing to treat everyone else with respect and compassion, this is the group for you.”
Diagnoses of kids in the group include a wide range of learning-related diagnoses, including, ADD, ADHD, autistic spectrum disorders, PDD-NOS, Asperger’s, dyslexia, Tourette’s, anxiety disorder, receptive and expressive language disorders, auditory processing disorders, working- and long-term memory disorders, speech delays or disorders, bipolar, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ODD, visual processing disorder, tremor, apraxia of speech, sensory issues, mood disorder, schizophrenia, allergies, FASS, and unspecified delays. Many of the kids are also diagnosed as gifted in some area.
Joining the group requires completing a membership form, which can be found here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdCCRbxXJIUAdjKiT9QrDDLUcrgx1ivbTNXeYFCZumD1BMQ0w/viewform?c=0&w=1. There is also an annual membership fee of $20, which is used entirely for activities, shows and field trips for the kids. None of it is used for administrative expenses, Wright said. “We use the fees to do things that each of us couldn’t afford individually,” she said, “such as the reptile show, which was a huge hit, and we’ll probably do again. We look for very hands-on activities where the kids can actually touch and feel and do rather than just sit and be lectured.”
Anyone who is interested in the group is welcome to attend an activity first to meet the group and see if it’s a good fit for them before joining.
For more information about the upcoming activities or about the homeschool group, contact Tammi Wright at email@example.com or visit the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/LDkids/, or website, https://www.ldkidshomeschool.com/.