Saturday, October 29, 2005

Bye-bye Spammers!

After a daily average of 7 spam comments this last month, I've decided to turn off the comments feature. Somehow there should be a way to email me if you have a comment. I hate to have to end up doing this, but I am tired of getting nothing but spam on this blog. So it was either turn off the comments or delete the blog entirely, and I really like having a place to put our school information out there!

Hope you understand!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Today's school news

Today was a very successful day! I wasn't expecting it, really, so that made it even more pleasant!

Bubba had his Calvert tests today! He scored a 74 on his reading test (20/27), an 80 on his history test (8/10), an 83 on his science test (10/12), and a 100 on his geography test (11/11). I thought that was pretty good, considering we just got back onto the Calvert schedule 2 weeks ago! I think the next set of tests will really give me a better picture of his abilities! Also, it's very important to note that he didn't cry once! He doesn't have much experience with testing, so I tried to keep everything laid back and reassured him that all I cared about was for him to do his best! For me, the most important part was that he did the testing without crying! That means more to me than any number or letter grade!

Princess was not in the mood for school today! She reluctantly did her work, with a frown on her face! She got in trouble today for yelling at me when she was frustrated with her history project. @@ Is 6.5 supposed to be a really difficult age? I'm wondering, too, if she's just very tired. She's had 2 late ball games and AWANA this week! I hope next week is better!

Peanut cuddled in for some storytime today! I am setting a goal to read to her every day! So often the only reading she listens to is for the big kids! So I'm going to start making sure I get some of the 'classic' books and read them to her for her own special storytime!

Monday we're going on a field trip to the Pumpkin Patch, with friends! I'm very excited!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Deep Thoughts

If a blogger blogs, and nobody stops by to read it...

oh well, my brain is too crowded for deep thoughts these days!

We've had a decent week! Bubba is preparing for his first round of Calvert tests. It's really test 40 which is the 2nd group of tests, but I decided not to give him test 20 because we were going on vacation. I'll post tomorrow with the results!

Princess took a Pathway Readers placement test on Monday and placed into the 2.2 book. She started it on Wednesday and really enjoys it so far! I'm not sure if I'll get the workbook to go with it. If I could find it locally for cheap, I probably would!

Peanut is doing well in her therapies, though she's back to being a little naughty with the Speech Therapist. For awhile the ST was having her do some OT exersizes at the beginning, but now Miss Honey-Roasted-Peanut is refusing to do it. And she's not focusing well, and she's pouting and pretending to cry. Wonder where she gets that flair for drama?! ::insert innocent expression here::

I promise to post more tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Can we rewind please?

Last week, Bubba managed the entire week to get through his lessons without the first tear!

This week, Bubba has not managed to get through one lesson without tears!

My head hurts.

This does no good for the whole "Can I do this?" theme! lol

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Homeschooling and Autism Spectrum, revisited

OK, so there is apparently a good Google and a bad Google. Because I have been Googling more, and have gotten more happy looking information! Whew!

But for now, I'm a human yo-yo! If you were to talk to me, it's about 50/50 whether you'd get the "I can do this, I can do anything, I know my kids and what to do" mom, or whether you'd get the "Oh my gosh, this is horrible, I can't do this, Will my kids have a future at all?" mom. I've been sort of quiet and not really talking much IRL to folks because I'm also having a tendency to break into tears at the drop of a hat. IMs work well. Emails do too. Phone calls? Let's put it this way... yesterday was my dear friend Kristi's little boy's 4th birthday and I couldn't even manage to call back (he was asleep when I called the first time) to sing Happy Birthday because I kept crying when I dialed.

Yesterday was a hard day for Peanut, and her AWANA teacher called me to come pick her up because she wouldn't stop crying. :(

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Reflections on September

This was a really busy month, with fall ball season for two kids, and then our week-long vacation at the beach in Florida! And it ended with a big bang with Peanut's evaluation.

Princess finished her Calvert 1st readers, and this coming week will take Test 60 in math. The next few math units are about telling time, geometry, fractions. I think she will sail through those with speed and great ease! She has also been flying through the Sonlight 2 Regular readers, and yesterday when one of the Intermediate readers that I'd ordered arrived, she also read it. It seems like she can just read whatever she picks up! It's amazing! She is still enjoying the Calvert Science and History. I got her an Explode the Code book (#5) to work through since she's not doing the Reading Work Pages, and she really likes doing the ETC! She is anxious to start cursive and we will do that at some point this year! She really does not struggle with anything at this time.

Bubba has been working hard with his Calvert lessons, too. I dumped Calvert Spelling (CD) and ordered Sequential Spelling instead. It doesn't stop the tears, but he seems to be doing a little better with it. I also like how it helps him to pay attention to the patterns in spelling and I would really like that to translate to his reading as well. I had taken the Calvert manual apart and tried to reorganize it, so that our days would be more balanced. But I've decided to just go back to using the manual as is, and that's including taking the stories at the slower pace they are scheduled. I'll use extra time to work on his reading multisyllabic words, and working on comprehension and vocabulary. I'm going to stick with the 4 day week, so if there is anything that we can't get to on those 4 days we can always add to our 5th day. Or we can skip it! ;) He is doing well with Calvert math right now. We start the chapter on addition with regrouping this week so we'll see how he manages with this again. He made it through the chapter on thousands and ten-thousands fairly well! And he got a 100% on his Test 20 in math. We skipped Test 20 in the other subjects. He is really enjoying the mythology, history, and science. He struggles to retain information, and I'm going to start really reviewing vocabulary with him every session in the different subject areas. And I need to call Calvert and ask them how much they are supposed to get on a first-time reading/hearing basis.

I realized during Peanut's evaluation that Bubba most certainly has an autism spectrum disorder too. My guess would be he would be labeled with Aspergers because he did not have the language delay. Anyway, some interesting information that was in Reece's packet is that there is commonly an auditory processing problem that comes along with autism spectrum. So I will keep Bubba's appt. in November for the auditory processing testing.

Peanut has done pretty well this month too. She is still fascinated by the playdoh and we've gone through 6 of the containers of it since the beginning of school! LOL I don't know what her future holds with school. I will just watch her for signs of readiness and be prepared to take things slowly as I have had to do with her brother. I wonder if I can do a classical, rigorous education like Calvert or WTM with her (or her brother) and be successful. But then if I say that, it makes it sound like I don't want to try to push them to their highest potential. I do know that I will homeschool her, as I've homeschooled her brother. That's about all I have been able to process just now! :)

October brings about the start of Book-It, and hopefully some cooler weather! We just got our caterpillars in the mail on Friday and they have already tripled in size! So we'll be growing some butterflies in a week or so! Princess has another 2 weeks of fall ball. Bubba's season ended this past Friday! I'm ready for things to start slowing back down!

And we're off to start the 3rd month of this homeschool year already! Hope yours is going well!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Homeschooling and Autistic Spectrum

I highly recommend that if you are within the first 24 hours of a diagnosis of "autistic spectrum disorder" that you refrain from Googling the words in the title of this post. Especially with the "and" in the middle.

Peanut yesterday was diagnosed with austistic spectrum disorder. In the process of the evaluation process, and with the doctor asking questions about siblings, it also became apparent that Bubba is on that spectrum as well. It wasn't a big surprise. After all, I initiated the whole evaluation process because I suspected this very thing.

I've been doing alot of reading, and trying to do some posting of questions about homeschooling and the autistic spectrum and I'm frustrated with what I'm getting. Right now, I am not interested in hearing about public school programs. I KNOW they are out there. I KNOW they are free. What I want to talk to folks about is HOMESCHOOLING and autism. Why oh WHY do I get the same answer when I ask on Special Needs Homeschooling boards? "The public school programs really aren't all that bad." Ok, that's not what I'm asking!! I am asking about Homeschooling and DUH, since I'm on a HOMESCHOOLING board I thought maybe there was someone out there who actually homeschools a child with these needs!?!?!

OK, the use of DUH up there is probably not going to win me any 'blogger of the month' awards. Not like I'm in the running anyway, so back to my rant....

I do not want to send my children to public school. Bubba has 'been there, done that'! It wasn't fun, for me anyway. I know a lady who is a parapro in the older grades for an autism class and while this lady is super and I know she enjoys what she does, the stories she tells me are just not what I have in mind for my children.

OK, here is the disclaimer: I'm sure public school and even autism classes within the public school are a wonderful option for many people out there, even devoted homeschoolers. Yadda yadda yadda.

I am a homeschooler. And apparently, today I'm cranky.