Honey: Can I watch the rest of that TV show?
Honey: Can I have the rest of the last cookie?
Honey: Can you buy me a pony?
Can’t blame a girl for trying!
Honey: Can I watch the rest of that TV show?
Honey: Can I have the rest of the last cookie?
Honey: Can you buy me a pony?
Can’t blame a girl for trying!
We have a new blogger in the family. Check out Kiddo’s new blog about guinea pigs (and other stuff, I’m sure) here: http://modernenglish2.wordpress.com/. Be sure to leave her a comment!
Some years, I really look forward to starting school. I love the planning part, and I just can’t wait to get started. Some years. Not this year. This year, while I had everything in place to start school, I was not mentally ready. I knew that it was going to be a rough start, and rough it was. Everyone was just sure that they didn’t have to do their school work. That if they put it off, it would just go away. They found out that they were wrong.
Some of the girls have learned that if they just do the work, then they can play. Some of them are still learning. I hope that it doesn’t take 35 more weeks for them all to figure out how to have a good day (at the same time).
No, I’m not talking about the house, though the word does fit it, LOL. I’m talking about Kiddo’s speech. I finally have a word for what she does! It is called Cluttering.
Let me back up a minute. Kiddo had a speech evaluation on Friday. I had mentioned some issues with articulation, and possibly a language disorder. It seems that Kiddo has a hard time coming up with the right word, or the right way to say a phrase. I didn’t know what the problem was, but I did know that eating dinner with her can be almost painful. It can take forever for her to figure out how to say something, and to actually get it out (talking all the while).
The speech therapist gave her some tests, including a language test. The first test showed some problems with a few sounds. We have therapy set up to deal with that. Then, the therapist gave Kiddo a language test. I don’t have the results of the test yet, but let’s just say that there were no language problems. At one point the therapist looked at me and said, “I’ve never gotten this far in this test before.” It was the kind of test that you keep giving questions until the child misses a certain number.
The therapist talked a bit about stuttering, maybe whole word stuttering (although sometimes she repeats parts of words), but Kiddo shows no stress in getting the words out. She doesn’t even realize that she is repeating, /starting over / whatever you want to call it. The therapist mentioned something called “cluttering,” but she didn’t know much about it (she said that she was going to look into it).
After the appointment, I came home and looked up cluttering (that’s what the internet is for, right?) and was blown away. The symptom lists that I came up with fit Kiddo perfectly. Well… no, that is not right. All of Kiddo’s symptoms can be explained by cluttering, but she does not have them all.
Cluttering is often described as “mild stuttering,” but there are some very real differences. A stutterer is very aware of the problem and often tenses their muscles when trying to get a word out. A clutterer has no idea that there is anything wrong with the way that they talk. A stutterer will speak better when relaxed, but a clutterer will get worse when they are relaxed. (The first few sentences out of Kiddo’s mouth at the therapist’s office were fine!)
I should get the therapist’s report sometime this week, it will be interesting to see if she came to the same conclusion that I did. Either way, it will be interesting to see if there is any therapy that can help Kiddo (there is supposed to be).
Today was interesting, to say the least. It has been a really long time since I have called poison control. I had to today, but let me back up a bit first…
I was sitting at the computer when kiddo came up to me and said that one of the fish had died. Okay, dead fish, where did I leave the fish net? Can I get away with flushing it? I didn’t have much time to ponder these thoughts because Honey was right behind her… with her hand held out… yep you guessed it, she was carrying the dead fish. Sigh. She was crying and very upset, and the first words out of her mouth were that she didn’t want to flush it. Sigh again. I sent Kiddo to get a trowel and sent the two girls out to bury the dumb fish. She had owned it less than two weeks. It only cost 14 cents. But alas, she loved that dumb fish. She has been almost hysterical at times today. What can I say, it was a dumb 14 cent fish named Jam.
I finally got her calmed down enough to start story time. The first words of the chapter were a scream, so being the good story reading mom that I am, I scream. I make it about two more sentences before Kiddo starts screaming. I stop reading and look up and she has a hand over one eye and a glow stick in the other. She says that it cracked and got in her eye. Great! I don’t even know what is in those sticks. As I am dragging Kiddo to the sink to start washing out her eye, I yell at Dearie to look up the poison control number. She yells the number to me and I dial it. Did you know that Poison Control will put you on hold? Yep! Not for long, but imagine me with the phone on one shoulder and splashing water into Kiddo’s eye with the other hand. I even had Honey helping to hold Kiddo’s hands out of the way. I was really worried that these chemicals were going to do permanent damage.
Anyway, it turns out that the stuff in glow sticks isn’t that bad. After getting instructions from Poison Control, I took her upstairs and laid her down in the bathtub (with a towel for a pillow) and poured a lot of water over (and into) that eye. Then she came back and “rested” her eye while I finally was able to finish the chapter.
What a day!
Honey and Kiddo share a room. They have not been sharing much good will lately though. It got so bad that I sat them down on the couch and made them hold hands. After about 20 min. of holding hands I told them to go clean the living room (after Dearie and I had already half done the job) while still holding hands. For the last ten minutes the conversation has been going like this:
Honey: Let’s clean over here!
Kiddo: No, let’s clean over here!
Honey: I’m older, I get to decide!
Kiddo: I’m younger, I get to decide!
Honey: Let’s clean my area!
Kiddo: Let’s clean my area!
Honey: OK, let’s clean your area!
Kiddo: OK, let’s clean your area!
Honey: Your area!
Kiddo: No, Your area!
Honey: Its cleaner over there!
Kiddo: No, its cleaner over there!
and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on….
I’m hoping that by making them work together that they will work out their differences. Maybe…
I’ll let you know how it goes.
We took a fun field trip last week.
We are a bit behind in school, so we finished up a couple of classes and then left for the aquarium. I managed to get lost, but eventually we got there and the timing worked out that we got free parking. How cool is that? We went through the aquarium and the girls really enjoyed all the fish. Kiddo kept saying, “Take a picture of that one, Mom!” I took a lot of pictures. It was a great trip, but we were done by 3:00pm. It seemed so early, and we were already in town, so we decided to go on over to the Creation Museum. We know that one pretty well, so the kids decided to do the petting zoo and then walk through the museum. When we got done we decided to see a show in the planetarium. We made it home by dinner time, but dinner was late because dinner had to be made. It was a big day, but a good one.
I am on the mailing list for a publishing company. Every now and then they send me books to review. I only get a couple of books a year, but it is fun to get them. I haven’t figured out how they decide which books to send me. This one really doesn’t make much sense. Its about educating children, but educating children with a special need that none of my children have. I do have a friend with a child with this special need, and several of the blogs that I follow have children with this special need, but the publishers wouldn’t know that. It does look very interesting though and I will read it and review it. I have already started it and am enjoying it. So look for another review in the next couple of weeks.
I was at the library yesterday. As the kids browsed through the books looking for what they wanted, I wandered over to the math section. (Yes, I know right where it is.) Dearie was talking last week about how much she liked some of the fun math books she has read. I was looking for something similar, but it was hard. Most of the books were either for little kids or for adults. Not much in the way of books for middle school kids. (She CAN read books written for adults, but many of them are VERY boring. I know. I’ve read many of them.) I found a few that I thought might work and went and found the kids and went home.
That night Dearie read the first five chapters of a statistics comic book. She said that the math was too hard and that she wanted to read it with me so that I could explain it to her. No problem, I can do that. We sat down and started with chapter two. It didn’t seems so hard, so I skimmed through the next few chapters. Wow! Wait a minute. This is comic book, not a college statistics book. Well, I guess it was written as a supplement for college statistics. The math in chapter five is calculus. Yep, calculus. (Maybe pre-calculus, but I don’t think so. However it has been a long time since I took calculus and I don’t think that I ever took a class called pre-calculus.) No wonder dearie was a bit lost, LOL. Guess I need to screen those books a bit closer.
To be honest, I am impressed that she got that far in the book. It has a story, but it is not that interesting. (She said that she gave up on the math and just read the story.) So anyway, that is how I keep my mathy kids thinking. We skip “real” math and just read books from the library, LOL. (Disclaimer: We did skip her math book today to read this book, and it has happened before, but it is not an everyday thing. I do teach her “real” math too.)
It seems like we just got home from camp, but it has been almost a week. What a long week it has been! No one really wanted to get back into the swing of things, but somehow we managed to…almost.
I took the girls roller skating today. They are getting pretty good at it. No one was hugging the wall today (a first). We try to get to the skating rink a couple of times a month, and they really enjoy it. They see a lot of their friends there, so that helps. It is usually not very crowded, so that helps too.
We also did the girls’ science experiment today. They had a lot of fun with it. Turns out that everyone liked the lemonade made with honey best (no surprise since it is the sweetest) and the lemonade made with white sugar came in second. No one liked the one made with powdered sugar. I thought it tasted a bit weird. I don’t know why.
While there doesn’t seem to be much science in lemonade, they learned a lot about the scientific method and a bit about taste. I think that it was a good week for science. I can’t wait to see what experiment they choose next!
Today we there was a couple of cool moments in school.
The first was in Honey’s math. She didn’t want to do her math (like always), so I decided to change it up. The page that she was supposed to do was about the different names of 6. (Things like 24 divided by 4 and 12 divided by 2.) I took all the facts and wrote them out on note cards and then added a few more (whose answer was not 6) and laid them out around the room. I pulled out the bug stickers and she decided to put a bug on any answer that was not 6 and a butterfly on any answer that was a 6. She was running all over the room trying to get back before I could find the next sticker. She was laughing and having fun! She also seemed to understand the math! It was a good math lesson. Hmmm… I wonder what tomorrow will hold for her math.
The other cool moment came in Honey and Kiddo’s science. They do science together and it works well. They are doing a science program that I designed for Dearie a few years back. It is all about the scientific method. We read from the book “How to Make Your Science Project Scientific” and then work through the process of doing a project. I made up worksheets for Dearie, and we are using those. On Monday the girls picked an experiment to do. (They are going to try to figure out which sweetener works best in lemonade.) On Tuesday they stated their hypothesis’ and stated the procedure for the experiment. Today was cool. We researched some aspects of the experiment. (I know, what can you learn about lemonade! That’s what I thought.) The girls had to come up with three things that they wanted to know more about. (This was in the worksheet. They know that I created it but they have forgotten. It holds more weight to have to fill out a paper than to just answer Mom’s questions.) They wanted to know which sweetener was the sweetest, more about the sense of taste, and something about the history of lemonade. They learned a lot today. They tasted all of the sweeteners that we are using (honey, raw sugar, white sugar, and powdered sugar) and agreed with what I found on the internet. Honey is sweeter than the others, but the others are about the same. They learned that taste buds are not just on the tongue. They learned two different stories about how pink lemonade came about (not much about the history of plain lemonade out there). It was cool seeing them come up with their own questions to answer and then finding the answers. Of course, they just want to get to the making of lemonade! They still have a couple of days to wait. Tomorrow we will learn about how to record results and then finally on Friday they can do the experiment. That will be a fun day!
While we were doing science, Dearie barged in. She was practically yelling as she told me all about what she had just learned. It wasn’t all that exciting to me, but it was something new to her. (Yay! new info is what she lives for.) She was excited about science too!
I enjoy the lessons where the kids are excited about learning. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen everyday. Maybe we can see more of the good stuff in the coming weeks.
We spent last week at Life Action Family Camp. It was a great week! This is the fifth year that we have gone and it is still just as good as the first year. We had a great week. We went canoeing, hiking, played a survivor like game, ate all our meals in a cafeteria (of course I had to supplement some, but with fresh fruit and an entire salad bar at every meal it was easy), rode bikes, shot paintball guns, went geocaching, painted pictures, painted fingernails, and a lot more. The kids have classes everyday (think VBS), and there was worship time and preaching. It was a good week.
Then came Monday. The Monday after vacation, ugh! No one likes to go back to work after vacation, and none of the girls wanted to do school today. Some more so than others. It was a long day, but I’m hoping that tomorrow will be better…
One of our rabbits, “Day,” has been sick for a couple of weeks. In the last few days, I knew that she wasn’t going to make it. I tried to prepare Dearie, but I didn’t tell her that Day only had a few days left to live. Dearie was pretty upset as she was the one to discover the dead rabbit, but she bounced back pretty quickly. So now we are down to only one rabbit. Will we get more? I haven’t decided yet.
We didn’t do school yesterday as we had a family obligation, but Kiddo got her math lesson in anyway. We were sitting at the breakfast table and Kiddo asked me what was half of 12 and 1/2. I asked her what was half of a half and she said a fourth. Then before I could ask her what was half of 12 and 1/2 (she knew that and so was on to the next thing), she asked me what was half of 1/3 and what was half of 1/6. I grabbed a bowl and drew imaginary lines on it to divide it into thirds. Then we used our imaginations to divide the thirds in half. She could easily see that half of 1/3 was 1/6. I asked her what half of 1/6 was and she thought about it and said 1/12. But she still wasn’t done with math for the day. She wanted to know what was half of 3/4. Yikes, she is only 8yo. For this one I grabbed a paper and pencil. I drew a pie and divided it into fourths. Then we divided each piece in half. Then we could see that half of 3/4 was 3/8. She was done asking questions for the day, but she was not done thinking about it. She told me a bit later that half of 6/4 was 3/4 and half of 3/4 was 3/8. Oh, and we are not doing anything with fractions in math right now. I don’t know why she was thinking about it.
(I just asked her why she wanted to know. She said that it was because she likes to do halves. Half of 100 is 50, and half of 50 is 25, and half of 25 is 12 and 1/2… But she didn’t know what half of that was….)
We had our first round robin last weekend! Our older kids (the Bible Bowl team) were the only ones to attend. Next month the younger kids (the Beginner Bible Bowl team) will get to play too. Our Bible Bowl team took first place, and one of our players tied for first on the test. Dearie scored 11 points too low (out of 150 points) to make the top ten on the test. Considering that this was her first Bible Bowl test (it is a bit different than the Beginner tests) and that she didn’t even come close to finishing, I was thrilled (Dearie, not so much).
I am happy with how the Beginner team is doing. I am coaching them again this year, so I know pretty well how all of the players are doing. The thing that I am most happy with is that when we practice, all of the kids buzz in. They compete to beat each other. I am not an expert at this game, but it seems that if your kids are competing against each other, they will get faster. (When one child does all of the buzzing, the others often give up and don’t even try to buzz in.) It is fun to coach a team where all them members are participating! The only thing that I don’t know is how well they will do in competition. When it comes to buzzing in, a half a second can make a huge difference. While our kids are buzzing in earlier than in years past, I can’t tell if it will be early enough to win. I guess that I will have to wait until next month to find out.
I managed to hold on for five weeks. That is probably a record. But now, due to being sick, our schedule no longer lines up with the schedule book. (Today we did the last day of week four, that would/could/should be a Friday?) Its not a big deal. I know that. I have never, ever managed to stick to a schedule, so I’m not sure why I thought this year would be different.
But ever since I realized that we were off, I have tried to figure out how to finish week five by the end of next week. Why do I bother you might ask? Well, lots of reasons. The main one is that we get more done in a week if we do one scheduled week in one calendar week. When we are way far off from the schedule, I don’t worry about it as much as if we are “on” schedule. This means that I am more likely to take extra days off because we are already way off schedule anyway so what difference will it make? But those days add up and by the end of the year we have more school left than time and we don’t finish. I have never finished a Sonlight Core in a year. I know that it doesn’t matter, but this year I WANT to finish before summer. I don’t know why, but I really WANT to stay on schedule.
Its not like it is a terribly rigorous schedule. We only do Sonlight four days a week. This is totally doable. So with all of that in mind, we probably will get back on schedule next week. I did a (very) little extra today, and should be able to complete tomorrow’s assignment, and maybe do a bit extra the next day. Then with doing a little extra each day that we do school next week, I should finish week six by the end of next week even though we will only get in three days of school next week. Maybe….maybe….
Being sick is no fun. Everyone here had it. Honey is just now getting over it, being the last one to get it. We did get school in Mon. and Tue of last week, but the rest of the week was lost. Yesterday I tried, but I was still pretty worn out and Honey was sick and we didn’t get much done.
Today was a good school day. As far as scheduling goes, I am counting last week as a week off, and we have a head start on this week. I haven’t figured out how long we will go into the spring, and so an extra week doesn’t stress me out right now. (When we get closer to spring, it will probably be another story.)
The good news is that Kiddo started her new math book yesterday. The first pages are just review and I thought about letting her skip them, but then I realized that they quickly move into teaching bar diagrams. They use easy math (review) to teach them, but they are very important for the next three years of math so I decided to not skip any of the exercises.
Dearie’s math is also going well. We are taking it very slow, but I am more worried about understanding than speed. Those bar diagrams that Kiddo is learning are coming back to haunt Dearie. Dearie is doing easy algebra equations. The idea is to use easy word problems to learn how to put the problem into algebraic notation. But, because she learned the bar diagram method, Dearie can do a lot of these easy problems in her head. It is so frustrating to her to hear that I don’t care about the answer, but I want to see the equation! Poor kid.
Honey is also moving slowly in math right now. When we hit this “hard spot” I worried a lot. Should I change math programs again? Should I add something else in? I did end up adding in a math drill computer program that she love, but for the main math book, we are just taking it slow. Like 3-4 days per page slow. It is killing me, but I see the light bulb going on for her. This stuff that she didn’t get last week she is getting now. Maybe the next topic will be easier for her, but maybe not.
Stuffy / runny nose
So far, I am getting over it. Kiddo is mostly over it, but is dealing with asthma stuff because of it, Dearie has it, and Dh is just starting to get it. So far, Honey has shown no symptoms (maybe it will stay that way).
First, let me say that I have bought all of the All About Spelling products that I use. No one has given me anything, or paid me anything for reviewing this product. I just really love this program and thought that I would share how I use it.
We used All About Spelling two years ago. Then last year, I had an “expert” tell me not to use it anymore. Turns out that this expert believes more in whole language than in phonics. She says that if phonics doesn’t work the first time you try it, it won’t work so you should try something else. She also told me that she didn’t know how Honey had learned to read so well with her vision being so bad. (She couldn’t keep her place while reading, but she could read a lot of words.)
Later, I put all the pieces together and realized that All About Spelling is what had taught Honey to read. With this in mind, after a year off, we are going back to All About Spelling this year. In fact, it is almost all we are doing for English. (I do have a writing program that we do every other week or so.) I use All About Spelling as a Spelling, Reading, Grammar, Speech, and Handwriting program. Here is how I do it:
When you start All About Spelling, you start with the first book. When we started this year, I started both Honey and Kiddo in the first book. I had no idea how much Honey had forgotten, and I knew that we could go very quickly through the first book so that is where we started. Even though Kiddo could spell all the words in the first lessons of the first book, there was a lot more that I wanted her to learn, so I started her at the beginning of the first book too.
The first book starts with the child learning all the sounds that each letter makes. This was an easy first lesson that only took one day for both girls. Even Kiddo, who I asked to not only make the sound, but to make it correctly! There were a few sounds that she couldn’t make due to her retainer, but she know HOW to make them all. Now, neither girl had mastered all the sounds that day, but they knew most of them so we went on. We start each day with review, so there was lots of time to learn these sounds. I consider a sound mastered when the child can say the sound on the first try after a break (like the first time they see it or on a Monday after not working on it all weekend).
We start handwriting with lesson 4. (Now remember that I am doing this with older children. If I was doing this with a 4yo or 5yo I might do things very differently.) In this lesson the child is to write the sound when the teacher dictates it to them. My only change is giving the child a handwriting chart (showing the correct formation of letters) and asking that they not only write the correct letter, but that they write it correctly! Honey flew through this lesson (she had some things to practice, but only a few), but Kiddo stayed on this lesson for a week! I was very picky as to how the letters were formed. This is the only handwriting lessons that she is getting right now, so I make it count!
Later in the book, the author adds in phrases for the parent to dictate to the child. I write these out on cards and have my children read them (one child reads them to practice her reading, the other reads them to practice her speech). They also write the phrases as dictation. Grammar comes into play here as any word that should be capitalized that is not, is counted wrong. The phrases eventually give way to sentences and we have a chance to practice punctuation, and I plan to throw in a few questions about parts of speech. There is so much that can be learned from each lesson.
One question I had before I started was how do I know when to go to the next lesson. I don’t have any hard and fast rules, I just know. The beginning of each lesson is review. You review phoneme cards, you review sound cards (and handwriting as the child writes the sound), you review key cards (phonics rules), you review the word cards (reading, speaking, and/or spelling) and then you begin the lesson. When the review starts to take too long, I camp out on that lesson for a few days. When the lesson doesn’t seem to click with the child, I do the lesson again the next day. There are only 24 lessons in the first book, so it is fine to take a while on each lesson. (There are 36 weeks in a school year.) On the other hand, if the child clearly knows the material presented, there is no reason not to go on. I believe that Honey will finish her review of book 1 in less than 2 months. Kiddo will take longer, but she is younger and has never done the book before. I don’t know where the girls will be at the end of the year and I don’t care. I care that they are learning at a pace that is comfortable for them. (Going too slow is just as stressful as going too fast.)
Another question I had was how do I know that the child has mastered the card. You can sometimes tell, but I use this rule. Any card the child can do easily on Mon. (after the weekend break) the child has mastered and no longer reviews that card daily. (The mastered cards do come up for review on a regular basis.) This seems to work well for us.
Can you tell that I really like All About Spelling? I like that it tells you what to do, but that I am in control of how long the lesson takes and how fast we go. (I had a math program once that I thought would be like this, but there was so much to get done each day that we couldn’t keep up.) In All About Spelling the lessons are short enough that it doesn’t feel like the lesson will drag on forever, but there is enough material in each lesson to feel like we are making progress.
Its funny, I haven’t talked much about All About Spelling as a spelling program. Neither Honey or Kiddo has any trouble spelling any of the words that the program asks them to spell, but then they have learned the rules before they are asked to spell the words. I really like the rules. They help me in my spelling. With spell check I am not so bad, but there are a lot of words that I can’t remember how to spell. I have learned a lot of rules in this program that I use when I am writing. If book 1 and 2 (we got part way through book 2 the first year before we quit using the program) have helped me this much, I know that my kids are getting a better spelling education than I did.
We have these cool shirts from church that say “Just add salt.” They are the shirts that everyone wears while they work at our town’s local festival.
Did you know that if you are eight years old and you see your sister wearing the shirt, you might take it literally?
Did you know that if you are ten years old you might not think to tell your mom that your sister put salt in your hair?
Did you know that if you leave salt in your hair for 24 hours, it will start to itch and hurt?
Did you know that you can get a break from a spelling lesson, if you choose to tell your mom about the salt and how it itches and hurts during a spelling lesson?
Did you know that you can wash salt out of your hair in the kitchen sink with the sprayer?
Did you know that it is pretty easy to wash salt out of hair?
Well, now you know!
My day went something like this:
Wake up late because I forgot to set my brand new alarm clock (who plugs in a brand new alarm clock and then forgets to set it?).
Breakfast is late because I got up late.
School starts late because breakfast is late.
Dh is not ready when the guy who is cutting up our tree gets here, (yes, the tree that fell last winter) because the kids slept late (because I slept late) and their noise didn’t wake him up.
School is not done (for the morning) when the piano teacher gets here because school started late.
School is not done (for the day) when our friends are supposed to show up because school for the morning was done late (but they canceled at the last min, so that worked out).
Snack is late because school finished late.
Chores are rushed because snack was late (and no one wanted to do them).
But… dinner was on time and the kids went to bed early. So maybe tomorrow will be a better day!
I HATE days like this!
Many people have asked, “Do you remember where you were on 9/11/01?”
I do. My sister called and told me to turn on the TV. I remember standing in the living room (of our old house), holding a 3 week old baby, cradling the phone on my shoulder and watching the towers fall. I remember that when the first tower fell, the commentators did not realize what was happening, but my sister and I (we were on the phone together for a long time) talked about not being able to see both towers through the smoke. Its funny, but I don’t really remember watching the second tower fall, (but I know that I did.) Very scarey.
Dh came home early from work that day, and worked from home for days. That was scarey, not knowing when he would be able to go back. He set up his computer in the garage and worked out there (remember we had a tiny baby and a not quite 2yo) until he could go back.
The news coverage was 24 hours a day for the first full week. (Remember I had a tiny baby, I was nursing and watching TV around the clock.) It was a full week later before they dropped coverage in the middle of the night. I don’t remember how long it was before they dropped coverage during the day.
I remember the planes in the following weeks. Lots and lots of planes. If you listen to the media, they will tell you that there were no planes in the skies in the weeks that followed, but around here there were lots of MILITARY planes. We even heard a sonic boom a day or two after 9/11. (The only one I have ever heard.) Someone was in a big hurry to get from here to DC.
The girls don’t remember it at all. Kiddo wasn’t even born yet. We have a book about it, but I haven’t even shown them footage of it. Maybe I will today. They know all about it. Well, maybe not all, I don’t think that I have told them about the jumpers.
Its funny that to the kids it is history, but to me it is a very real thing that I remember happening.
This has been a hard week. Maybe because it was the first week that we did school every single day. (Guess I should get used to that, huh?) A couple of days it was only part of the day, but we did something every day. Maybe it was because Kiddo was a total bear all week. It got to where I hated to hear her laugh. Sounds awful, I know, but its true. When she is on the verge of getting out of control, when she is on edge, she will often start laughing uncontrollably. This is your chance to help her to calm down. If you don’t, within just a few minutes she will be screaming at someone for something. I think that the laughing (it is a certain kind of laugh, not every laugh) and the screaming are two sides of the same coin. I wonder why it took me this long to figure it out.
School went pretty well this week (if you forget about Kiddo’s explosions, like I already have). I am rethinking using EHE (Eastern Hemisphere Explorer from Sonlight) for both Kiddo and Honey. It really is over their heads. I’m a bit slow I know, but the day that I realized that I had to explain the questions as well as help them find the answers (in the (computer based) encyclopedia) I knew that I had to do something to make this more do-able. It takes Dearie (working by herself), less than half the time it takes Honey and Kiddo to it (with my help). I knew at the beginning that I would have to adjust it for them, I even bought extra books to use with them, I was just kinda hoping that I wouldn’t have to.
Mom saved me from all of the insanity, and came and got the girls about half an hour ago. We had planned for them to go over there tonight, but mom gave me a couple of much needed hours to myself by picking them up. What a great mom!
I have a lot of other things I want to write about, but they will have to wait for another day. I am going to go watch a movie and work on re-doing the EHE for the younger girls. (I know, time to myself spent planning for the kids. But what’s a homeschooling mom to do, at least, somewhere along the line, I learned to work with the TV on. )
I’m not sure what happened over the summer. I KNOW that last fall I could read out loud for 2 hours before my voice started to go. Now, I start to feel it after only an hour. Who knew that even my voice is out of shape!
Wow! This week is flying by.
Monday we did half a day of school. I knew that I had to pick up a co-op order and a dentist appoint and that I would lose half a day on Tue. Monday afternoon we went hiking. We made it all the way to the Pine forest this time. It was not like I remembered it, but it was still pretty cool. It amazes me how well the kids do on these hikes. After we left the Pine forest, we decided to go back the same way as last time (skipping the detour that got us lost, of course). When we came to the first intersection, Honey said, “We have to go this way, that is the way we went when we got lost.” She was right. She showed us the rest of the way back.
Yesterday was a busy day. Over an hour in the dentist chair is not my idea of fun…
School is going okay, but not great. I have been debating on whether or not to have Kiddo continue doing EHE. It is designed for kids much older than her, and it is difficult for her. She has had a meltdown over it for the last several days, but she is learning. Yesterday she went to her room to calm down and then came back. She did not want to have to do it during recess or after school like she had done the day before. I know that it is hard for her, but I like that she is learning to work through hard things. Like I have learned with Dearie, it is not always easy to find a way to teach this lesson. I doubt that I will have Kiddo stick with this for the entire school year (I do already have some easier things on hand), but for now it is teaching far more than geography.
For the first time ever, not all of my children have somewhere to go during church. One of them has grown up enough to be too old for such things. Now she goes to church with me one hour and then has a worship time and then a small group time. She likes going to church with me. The stuff with kids her own age is a bit more nerve wracking (she is the only 6th grade girl, so all the other girls are a bit older), but she did fine.
After church today, I sent her up to her class (I was afraid that my nervousness would rub off on her). After about 10min. I sent a friend (who has reason to be there) up to check on her (such a silly mom thing, I know). He came back and said that she was still nervous (he has known her since she was born, he can tell), but doing fine. (The time between services is “hang out” time. I wondered how she would do with that.) I know she will do fine, but hey, I’m the mom and I worry about these things.
I guess that I don’t have three “little” girls any more.
Friday was catch up day for school. Due to dentist appointments and other after-school activities, we were a bit behind the schedule. I had thought that by using Sonlight’s 4 day a week schedule, we might get ahead. Now I see that I will be very happy if we can just stay on schedule.
The girls all had extra time to work on their projects, and they all turned them in. (But get this, when I got up this morning Honey was working on hers again. I am really glad for these projects, it allows everyone a chance to “shine.”)
We are not doing much this weekend, I think that we will even do at least half a day of school on Labor Day as there is another day this week that we have to take the morning off.
“Daddy, can I ask you a very random question.”
DH, trying not to laugh, “Yes.”
“What is your favorite letter?”
“Uh… I don’t have one.”
In an effort to help Kiddo maintain control of herself, I took her out on the deck today and told her a story.
We sat on the deck with our feet dangling over the edge.
Me: “Why are we safe here?”
Kiddo: “Because of the railing” (motioning to the rails that she was leaning on)
Me: “Would we be safe without them?”
Kiddo: “No, we could fall.”
Me: “Do you remember hearing about the lady who fell?”
Me: “She was sitting on the edge of a tall cliff. It didn’t have any railings. She was drinking something when her cup slipped. She reached out to try to catch it and lost her balance. She fell over the cliff.” (This really happened not to far from here.)
Me:”Do you think that her cup was expensive?”
Kiddo:”I don’t know.”
Me: “I don’t know either. Do you think that she should have tried to catch it or should she have let it fall?”
Kiddo:”She should have let it fall.”
Me: “Sometimes our attitudes are like that. Go stand by the door.” (Kiddo walks over to the door.) ” When you are happy and having a good time it is like you are way far away from the edge, but there are lots of things that can make you move toward the edge. When your brain is tired, it is like taking a step toward the edge. Math was hard yesterday, so it was like taking a step toward the edge. ” (Kiddo took a step toward the edge of the deck.) “Spelling was hard. It made your brain tired.” (another step) “If your body is tired, that can be another step toward the edge. Last night you went swimming. Step forward as many steps as that made you tired.” (She takes several large steps.)
Then I have her sit down, and I go on: “When Honey stepped on your foot last night, that was like the cup slipping out of your hand. You could have let it fall and forgiven her, but you chose to reach for it and you slipped over the edge. It wasn’t a big cliff last night, though.” (I give her a big hug.) “You could have let it go and forgiven her.”
Next I get out a gift bag that I have on the deck. I let Kiddo look inside. She pulls out a very badly tarnished silver cup.
Me:”Would this cup break if you dropped it over the edge?”
Kiddo:”Yes.” (Not the answer I’m looking for, LOL. This is real life folks.)
Me: (dropping the cup a few inches onto the deck) “I don’t think so, what is it made of?” (handing her the cup)
Kiddo: “It’s made of metal, but it would break if you dropped it over the edge of the deck.”
Me: “We are not going to really drop it, but it is not like a china cup. It wouldn’t break.” (I didn’t say that it would probably get dented pretty badly. That didn’t fit my story.) “This cup is kinda like your attitude. It is pretty dirty now but, with some work it could be very pretty.” (I take out the silver polish and a rag and put some polish on the rag and hand it to Kiddo.) “If you rub hard, you can take away the dirt. It will be hard work, like changing your attitude can be hard work.” (Kiddo starts rubbing.)
Me: “When you need some time to back away from the edge of the cliff, why don’t you take out this cup and polish it for a while. ” (Kiddo grins.)
I don’t know if my little story will help, but I hope so. One of the things that I have read is that it is good to have a common vocabulary. I tend to say that Kiddo is “On edge,” but I never really defined what that means.
Early this afternoon, a couple of hours after this conversation, Kiddo started to get worked up again. I pulled her aside and told her that she was getting close to the edge. Her reaction was much different than normal. She grinned and ran upstairs. About 15 minutes later she came down stairs very calm. Later I asked her if she was working on her cup, and she said that she was.
This could be a good thing.
Another day done!
Kiddo managed to get into her whiny, fussy mood by our second subject. We really did have a few weeks of almost no whinyness (spell check doesn’t think that is a word, but I do, LOL), but it is back full force now. By writing about it, it helps me to see how often it is really happening.
During EHE (Easter Hemisphere Explorer, our History/Geography workbook), Kiddo totally lost it. She was frustrated because I had started helping Honey and Kiddo didn’t even have her computer turned on yet. My thought was to find the right place in the World Book Encyclopedia article and then I would be able to tell Kiddo where to look. But it just wasn’t happening. Kiddo ended up in her room and had to do EHE during “recess.”
On the bright side, math went VERY well today! It was still a bit confusing for her, but she allowed me to repeat/vary my explanations until she understood. I guess that we are making progress.
On a side note, Honey scraped her food on a nail(?) last night. I was at the grocery store, so I didn’t hear about it until this morning. I was relieved when I heard that it bled a lot. Weird, I know, but if it bleeds well then it will wash out any infection causing bacteria. We already had one badly infected foot, don’t need another one. Honey’s foot is looking a lot better, but I do plan to keep an eye on it.
For Honey’s math game today, we didn’t do much. She laid out her new flower covered blanket and jumped on flowers as she did the flash cards. Maybe I will come up with something better tomorrow.
PS Did you know that 4 cup measuring cups can run as much as $15? Yikes!