Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Summer School plans

Next Friday is our last 'official' day of school for this school year! We've really been winding down now for the last month or so, but next Friday will be official. The week after that everyone will be going to VBS. Then we will start our summer school schedule.

Summer School this year will consist of math, reading, and writing. For Austin, that means continuing on in his Math U See book, and making sure we get to all the fun math games. He will also read daily, and we'll start the IEW workshop. Also, we will do a journal back and forth to each other. For Riley, she will continue to work in the Challenging Word Problems 1 book that I bought her, which is not the least bit challenging yet. She will also read daily, and she will do a journal as well!

We'll do 3 days a week in June, 2 days a week the first 3 weeks of July, then we'll take a break before we start our new school year in early August!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

There's no place like Wicked!

Here is Riley before we left to go to Wicked:
Here I am! Riley took this one:
Close-up!
Someone offered to take this one of the two of us at the theater:
Riley was too nervous to ask for autographs at first! She let "Nessarose" and "Boq" pass before finally getting up the nerve to ask "Fiyero" for his autograph:
After that, she wasn't scared anymore! She asked for the "Wizard"s autograph, and carried on a little conversation with him:
Then "Elphaba" came out and Riley was ready!
She walked right over to her and ask for her autograph and even wanted to ask her a few questions about the "greenification" process:
(We missed Glinda unfortunately!)
We had an absolutely wonderful time! I really want to go again! I'm going to check ebay (not likely!) and also we may try the lottery once or twice this week! It was definitely worth waiting for!

We're off to see the...

Witches! ;)

Since this is my homeschooling blog, I haven't posted too much about where we're going today! But I just had to share! Riley and I are going to see Wicked the Musical today at the Fox Theater! We've had our tickets since November, so the excitement has been building for quite awhile! We both have new dresses, and even high heels! :) I'll post some more pictures when we get home later today! Until then, you can see a picture of our beautiful toes that we had done yesterday! lol


Friday, May 19, 2006

More on results

"The current results are considered an accurate estimate of Austin's ability to perform on standardized testing. Qualitatively, however, standardized testing does not seem to fully capture Austin's true cognitive functioning, which is likely higher than scores reflect."

So there.

P.S. I have read that 20 page report through to completion no fewer than 5 times, and I swear that wasn't there before last night around midnight!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

An Important Message

I would like to encourage those of you with the time (and perhaps a high-speed connection) to check out Autism Every Day . This is a 13 minute peek into the lives of several families who have children with autism. I watched last night and cried. I cried because I understand. I cried because one little girl reminds me so much of Reece. I cried because I've done the screaming child in the park/store/parking lot/playground/playgroup. I cried because I've done the chasing a child while praying that you make it to them before they make it to the street. I cried because I know the gripping fear of looking up and realizing that your child has wandered away - again.

I also cried because I see that things for my children are hard, but they could be worse.

If you can, check it out! 1 in 166 children are affected by an autism spectrum disorder. Chances are, if you don't already know one, you will one day. This video can help us all to be a little more understanding.

A decade!


Today is Austin's 10th birthday! It's been a really lovely day! We slept in, had lunch with friends, and now he's watching the Braves Game! He is enjoying being 10 so very much! I will put up a picture of him tonight after we get back from his birthday dinner! :)

Edited to add the picture from dinner! He really enjoyed his presents! Most of all, he enjoyed that he was no longer able to eat from the kids menu, because THAT was for "children under 10" and he IS 10! Gotta love it!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Last Day of Preschool



It seems like yesterday when Reece's first day of preschool was upon me, and I was praying for her to have understanding, loving teachers. Those prayers were answered in the forms of Ms. Angie and Ms. Donna. I couldn't have asked for more wonderful ladies! They were patient, and loving, and really let Reece move at her own pace. They allowed her to get used to the classroom and didn't force her into anything. They knew that if they made circletime interesting enough, she would join them! I am so thankful for these two ladies! Reece will miss them, and so will I! I pray that her teachers next year are as loving and kind!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

So touched


I have been meaning to blog about this since I got home from convention, but just haven't had the chance to sit down! The kids have been bad about going to sleep since I got home, but tonight they all went down quite nicely!

My friend Jan and I stayed in a hotel on Friday night for the convention! We had done this before a few years ago, and I forgot how much fun it was! :) By the way, this hotel was a Westin Hotel and it was by far the nicest hotel I've been to! Anyway, I was in the bathroom changing my clothes, and when I came out, this was waiting for me on the bed:

I was (and still am) so unbelievably touched by this sweet gesture! I wore the shirt proudly to convention the next day!

Thank you again, Jan! This shirt means so very much to me!

Monday, May 08, 2006

New trailer for POTC 2

New POTC 2 trailer

I don't know if this is brand new or if I've just been so out of it lately I haven't kept on top of things like I should have, but this was something I needed so desperately today!

I can't wait until Captain Jack is back! :)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Convention Report

There isn't much that can compare to the state homeschool convention, at least not in my eyes! One of my favorite parts of the convention is just looking around and seeing all these other homeschoolers! We're all walking in from the parking lot... all of us homeschoolers! We're all looking around at curriculum, talking to old friends, sharing tips about a book with a stranger... all of us homeschoolers! It makes me realize that even when I feel very isolated, and like I'm on this very strange lonely journey... that I'm not alone!

I had taken my spreadsheets along with me, and was prepared to buy some things, look at other things, and maybe find a new thing or two! :) Here is a summary of what I came home with, it won't be complete, but it will give you an idea of what our year is shaping up to look like! I will work on getting links up later, if I have time!

Things I bought that were planned purchases:
  1. MUS Delta
  2. Singapore Primary Math 1B and 2A
  3. HWT Workbooks (Printing Power and Cursive Success)
  4. Writing Trails in American History
  5. Visual Perceptual Skill Building on CD-book, from the Critical Thinking Company
  6. One Small Square:Pond (a book for science)
  7. Jonathan Park Audio CDs from the VisionForum folks

Things I bought that I had planned to look at and make my decision at convention:

  1. Prima Latina - Everyone tells me it won't take longer than 5 minutes or so a day! ;)
  2. Rod and Staff English 4 - I couldn't find anything I liked better!
  3. Beautiful Girlhood/Boyhood and Beyond

Things I bought that were found/decided upon at convention:

  1. Institute for Excellence in Writing Student Intensive A - we're going to use this at half the suggested speed, and start over the summer. This program is the model for the "Writing Trails" program I bought, plus more. It was fairly expensive, but it is completely reusable and has a 100% money-back guarantee. I am hoping it will help me teach Austin to write better. That was his lowest sub-score on his testing.
  2. HWT magnetic board and pieces - too cute and reasonably priced to pass up
  3. Wordly Wise 3000 A&B - these will be to help Austin formally on his vocabulary, which was his 2nd lowest sub-score. These are the 1st and 2nd grade books, but that's about where his vocabulary falls (unless he is talking about baseball or engines! lol).
  4. The Iguana Factor - board game for multiplication!! I've been looking for one!
  5. First Steps to Building Thinking Skills - this is for Reece, and I chose this one instead of the Rod and Staff Preschool workbooks. She doesn't need so much help with letters and numbers and colors part of school readiness, as she does the thinking skills part of it!

Things I went to look at and decided against:

  1. Abeka Language Arts
  2. BJU Language Arts
  3. Junior Analytical Grammar

Things I wanted to buy at convention, but they didn't have:

  1. Typing Instructor Deluxe
  2. Lauri Perception Puzzles
  3. "Hands on Science" books
  4. Sequential Spelling 2
  5. Singapore Math Intensive Practice books
  6. Bible Study Guide for All Ages, Unit 1

I also bought some books for the kids to read, because there were just so many book discounters! I know I'm forgetting to mention some things, but that's ok! I didn't have to buy very much for Riley, since I'm using alot of what I used with Austin last year! She wasn't very happy about that, but she will be OK! I did bring her an Usborne First 100 Words in French book (since her vote was to skip Latin and start French! LOL!). She was tickled about that!

I brought Reece an Usborne Starting Ballet kid kit. It has little dress-up dolls and she loves it! She asked for it this morning, even before breakfast!

I need to go fix lunch for my crew! I'll try to write more about convention later! :)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ready or Not! Here I come!

My bags are packed (mostly!), the decisions are made (just about all!), and the spreadsheets are printed! :)

I am headed out in the morning to the GA homeschool convention! :) I'll report back in Saturday evening when I return home!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Results

I'm still really processing everything. It's very hard to see some things in print. He has an official diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome now, rather than the tentative PDD-NOS one.

There are no learning disabilities present. His academic performance and IQ testing all line up. That's good and bad.

That's about all I can really say right now. It's still pretty raw. Thank you for the prayers and good thoughts. We all need them for a bit longer, if you don't mind.

May

Autism Awareness month is over officially, but I have found a few links that I still think are wonderful!

This lady's website is amazing! I especially enjoyed the scrapbook layouts she has done of her son when he was 2 and now, and how it relates to autism. This is her What Not To Say page, and it really touched me today.

I'm leaving in less than 90 minutes to get Austin's Neuro-Psych eval results. Will blog when I get home!