Monday, September 19, 2011

countdown to fall

I found this really great craft on V & Co.

We used to make stained glass as kid but I had never thought of doing fall leaves.  So here is our attempt at welcoming fall with finesse.

After the melting part this is what it looked like
These are after the leaves are cut out.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sensory Integration/Processing Disorder

I've been doing some research on this.  At first I thought Bubba #1 was/is an Aspergers Child.  He fits many of the criteria but does pretty well socially.

I had read one homeschool mom's blog that talked about her struggle with her son and his SID.  

Here is a rundown of what a child who has Sensory Integration Disorder...I think Bubba #1 fits it to a tee!

Young children are, by nature, active. We expect the toddler to be "into things" and the preschooler to be curious, to explore and to play vigorously. We don't expect the young child to have a very long attention span. Characteristics which indicate problems in one child may be perfectly normal in a younger child. Here are some warning signals related to activity levels:

1. The child is disorganized and lacks purpose in his or her activity. This is the child who goes through the room like a tornado. Even though the child may appear to be interested in a toy or object initially, once he gets it he may throw it aside, dump it out of the container, or immediately be distracted by something else. Another characteristic is that the child lacks exploration or manipulation; he may dump objects out of a container or off a shelf without stopping to manipulate, visually examine, or play creatively with them. On the playground the child may run around a lot but does not organize his activity to climb, swing, or explore equipment.

2. The child does not move around or explore the environment. This is the "good" baby or toddler who is content to stay in one place and does not make many demands on his or her caretakers. This child may be content to watch things in his environment although he is physically able to move around and interact. The older child may use good verbal skills to engage the adult in conversation as a way of avoiding manipulating with his hands or actively engaging in activity.

3. The child lacks variety in play activities. Some children become very repetitive or stereotypic in playing with toys. Everything may be flung aside, tapped on a surface, or brought to the mouth. Another child may prefer only visual activities (TV, videos, looking at books) while avoiding visual-motor or manipulative toys (coloring, drawing, clay, construction toys.) Other children may learn one way to interact with a toy or playground equipment without adding variations, creative play, or generalizing to other similar objects. For example, the child may line up toy cars but does not pretend they are going places or experiment with rolling them down an incline.

4. The child appears clumsy, trips easily, has poor balance. The child may experience an excessive number of bumps, bruises, stitches, or broken bones. Sometimes this child seems always to be in a hurry and impulsive, does not "look where he is going." Other children may always be bumping their heads because they lack protective responses and do not "catch themselves" when they begin to fall.

5. The child has difficulty calming himself after exciting physical activity or after becoming upset. 
After this child "loses it" he cannot be consoled. Tantrums may last for hours, or the child may become so excited after vigorous play that he continues high activity levels long after the event. Some children regularly escalate their activity levels during the day without experiencing "down time" or being able to engage in quiet activity. Dinner time becomes chaotic and the child has extreme difficulty falling asleep at bedtime.

6. The child seeks excessive amounts of vigorous sensory input. Many children like to jump, swing, and spin; but when this is excessive, it may be problematic. The child may spin himself on playground equipment or twirl around a room for prolonged periods without experiencing dizziness. Another child may continually throw himself on the floor, deliberately hurl himself against people and things, or jump excessively.

Anyway, I am still researching.  There is a clinic close by that I might be able to get some services for him.  I need to talk to their billing department, and the insurance company to find out what is covered.

Here is a webpage if you are interested in finding out more about SID :-)

Week 4 Can you believe it??

Right now I think even our best "learning" time is not during school time.  Yesterday afternoon...Bubba #1 grabbed a sheet of paper and a pencil and started writing out his numbers 1-21.   I found a great book to help him practice his writing.  Little boys just don't dig writing the same thing over and over...unless you find something that integrates something they love with writing...enter Dinosaur Fun

Today I had to almost wrestle the book away from him after the letter P!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Week 3!!!

Monday again!!
We worked on the letter 2 today, colors and shapes in Math. Bubba #1 does NOT like doing worksheets!!

We talked about how things grow.  Specifically how people grow.  We read the book "Now That I'm Big".  It's a great way to introduce adjectives...big, small...old,, boy.  It's fun to observe how Bubba #1 can do things that Bubba #2 can't do yet.  Good to note Bubba #1 says that he won't ever drive and will let Mama do it.  Part of me would be happy to do that. Less insurance claims I'm thinking.  Sometimes he reminds me of the dog in the movie "Up".  "SQUIRREL"  He'd be driving and see something shiny and drive off the road.  We have a while before we have to worry about driving though.

We did a lot of rhyming words today.  Nate loves playing a memory style rhyming game. Instead of finding the same, he has to find the word  that rhymes with it. Like cat, hat; or fox, box.

I've noticed that now we are in week 3 that the lessons are more involved.  There seems to be more prep time.  I'm not complaining.  I find though that Bubba #1 has a hard time sticking to the "plan".  I'm having to prioritize the important things and not do as many of the enrichment things.
All in all, we are doing well.  I expect to have challenges with him.

Oh and here are the rest of the letters we've finished so far.

I for Ice Cream
J for Jet
K for Kite

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pop Goes the Weasel

I waited too long before writing a post.  Can't remember what we did today!

It was The Tortoise and the Hare for a story.  Complete with the props I created last night.  Bubba 1 is going to be so disappointed when mama tells him a story with just words and NO props!!

We worked on letters. Bubba 1 knows his alphabet, getting him to write them is another thing.  Today was G g.

The highlight of the day was music!  With our curriculum they gave us a music break cd to play songs for a kind of down time.  By far the boys love this time!!  Seeing them dance to Pop Goes the Weasel still makes me smile hours later.

Tomorrow...another day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Props for Tomorrow

Tomorrow the letter G for Giraffe....and the tortoise and the hare!
Yes I know it's a sea turtle but it'll work in a pinch!

Technology Rocks

This is a test of my new feed burner.  I have to say again how awesome Calvert is.  They actually have a section in the curriculum to teach basic technology to Kindergartners.  My son LOVES it!!  It is great to teach him how to use a mouse, click and drag and to double click. He has the rest of his life to practice!! I am very  much a hands on learner.  I like trial and error.

So that is the end of my test.  Come back soon to read more of my homeschool journey.

Monday, Monday

Friday was pretty much a review day.  It was hard to focus.  We were supposed to be going on vacation but then Irene decided that she wanted to blow stuff around and douse us.  Everything felt off balance.  We did finish all the reading activities that needed to be done and read some books together.

Today is Monday and it's a new day!!

We did our book work and read some books together...including The Little Engine That Could.   The library has a TON of great books. We read a learn to read book that talked about manners and saying please.  For a little bubba, that is VERY important and needs LOTS of work!  Bubba #1 LOVES dinosaurs and I found this great book called Tyrannosaurus Math.  There's another one based on a character called Sebastian Pig.  He goes on little adventures and they intertwine math in it. The one we read today was a camping trip and things kept disappearing.  It totally had Bubba #1 doing math and not knowing he was doing it!

This afternoon I am combining a craft and alphabet review.  We're reviewing A-F.  I found a great site called No Time For Flashcards. They had a really fun idea for making or decorating the letters to coincide with the letter.  So the A looks like an alligator...the B is a bee....C a caterpillar.....D a dinosaur....E an Elephant....and F a Flower.

Once the glue dries...we are going to use paint to decorate the C with fingerprints for the caterpillar...and finish the elephant, dinosaur, bee and alligator.  It is super fun!!

The finished product

Check out the website tomorrow for more adventures!!! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thursday Blahs

Thursday was a blah day.  Everyone was tired and cranky.  We finished all the "required" parts of schoolwork but didn't put much effort into the enrichments.  I'm sure that won't be the only or last day that happens.  The key was to try and be excited about the basics!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 3 - Wednesday Hump Day

We had a light curriculum today...just reading and practicing the letter C and a game about FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS...a must have for the mama of any little boy!  We read the three little pigs and talked about how important it was to use the right materials for the right job and that doing a job right is more important than doing it quickly.

In the Calvert Program, one of the HUGE benefits is the enrichment activities that the kids can do online.  It's a program called Brain Pop.  Yesterday we talked about seasons and what they were so today he watched a video about seasons.  The videos showed him what happens with the weather, temperature and how the activities are different each season.  After yesterdays earthquake event, we talked about Earthquakes and watched a couple of videos about what happens in an earthquake. Tomorrow we're going to talk about what to do in an earthquake.

Onward and upward.

day 2...getting in a groove

Today was a day of huge excitement!  We had an earthquake!! Oh and it was our second day of school. AND now we have a hurricane bearing down on the area.  What a great teaching talk about geology and weather all in the same week!

We are getting into a schooling groove.  I love the curriculum.  It gets me going in the right direction and I can test different methods of teaching to see what helps Bubba #1 be at his best.

In Math, we had a game where I flipped over a card with a number 1-10 and Bubba had to count out game pieces that matched the number.  He LOVED it and asked if we could play it again tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a light curriculum day so I think we'll go out walking with a notebook so Bubba #1 can make some observations and practice drawing!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 1...In the beginning...

Yesterday was our first day of school.

 I was pleasantly surprised that it went well.  I didn't feel as prepared as I should be but Bubba #1 didn't mind and enjoyed listening to stories, doing a little math, and practicing letters. The little Bubba sat in his chair and ate cheerios and read books while Bubba #1 and I worked on school work.

I finished a bible lesson "Made by God".  It's a cross between creation and all about me lesson.

days of creation

God saw it was good.

I am God's creation.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Getting Ready

I finally got Bubba #1's math books in the mail.  I am still waiting for the sign language dvds and we'll be all set.

I bought 3 plastic boxes yesterday that I can put the academic stuff in for each day. Each subject will be in a file folder inside the box for that day.  We are going to try 3 full days for we'll be on a M,W, F and then a T, TH, F  for a rotating weekly schedule.

So here's where we are at.

We are using the Calvert curriculum for all subjects but Math.  Nate will be using it for writing, reading, spelling, science.  They have a Teaching Service you can add to the program but we decided not to do that for Kindergarten.  We will purchase it for the elementary grades though.

For Math, I am using the Horizons K program.  I wanted to introduce him to the basics and it really isn't introduced until 1st grade.

For Bible, I am using the AWANA Sparks program for bible verse memory and adding my own lesson plans for going through the bible.

I am teaching him basic sign language, which he LOVES.  He calls it the "hand alphabet".  I'd like to teach him some Greek, Latin and basic Spanish too.

For Teacher Mom, I am part  of a homeschooling group.  I've joined a couple of yahoo groups that deal with different parts of homeschooling like lap-booking, note-booking, unit studies, curriculum garage sales, home-school buyers co-op and the like.

My awesome husband let me buy a subscription for ABC Teach which has all kinds of teaching resources-workbook pages, lesson plans, it is HEAVEN!!

For now that's it!  It's getting to be real and I am still excited!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fun, Fear and Follies

We got our school in a box on Friday!!

I am super excited AND a little anxious.  

My kindergartner loves to learn.  He asks lots of questions and most of them are pretty insightful!  The anxious part comes from trying to give my oldest the attention he needs, and one of the main reasons we homeschooled, and keeping the littlest one busy.

I've started getting the lesson plans together for the first week of school.  I wanted to start this week but we are going on a camping trip the last week of August.  I think it would be hard to get started, take a week off, and then get started again, especially in the first year.  

While on vacation, we'll be visiting the VA Aquarium and Marine Science Center. I am working on putting together a lapbook based on the animals we'll see in the aquarium for Nate to work on.