Friday, May 25, 2012

Test time again!

We just wrapped up two days of intensive neuropsych testing for Austin and Reece. Last year, when they had their end-of-the-year testing, the evaluator had told me that she could see there were things going on with Austin that were beyond the scope of her ability to test for. Austin's neurologist wanted him to have neuropsych testing done in 2010 but our insurance company wouldn't pay, and it costs $3000 to have it done (per child). So I have been praying that if the testing is important and it needs to be done, that God would provide the money.

And He did. In a completely crazy way that only God can do! ;)

I have been so absolutely beaten down by medical/autism professionals in the past that I had determined that I wasn't going to let them get to me again. I was telling people left and right how I was going to go in there and tell them that if they couldn't be unbiased towards homeschooling then I would simply walk out. And yadda yadda yadda...

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, my eyes were opened and I realized that what I needed to do was to take a few steps back, and stop trying to be in control. That God provided the money for this testing and I needed to continue to let this stay in His hands and under His control. Because, honestly, when I try to take control of a situation, I typically screw it up royally.

So I've been praying and asking folks to pray that everything would just go smoothly. And I am so pleased with how smoothly it went. Reece was first yesterday and she charmed everyone in sight. She worked hard and didn't have any meltdowns (though she told me a few times she felt like crying because things were hard). Today was Austin's turn and despite having a baseball double-header last night and not getting home until after 10PM and having to get up at 6:15 this morning, he also did very well. I really like the doctor we saw (completely random doctor because you just get who you get if you want to get in quickly like I did). She is a mom and she was very attentive and not judgmental at all - at least not to my face! LOL She asked me about our homeschooling curriculum and I explained to her how Charlotte Mason's philosophy lined up perfectly with the Vygotsky (who I'm sure she's heard of LOL) principles which underlie RDI. I explained to her that she might see an area like writing and think my kids are behind, but if she can look at their 'story recall' scores from last year (which were off the charts) she would see that they have the skill of oral composition down. And we are working on the sequential steps necessary to take that to the written level. I explained that we do it very slowly and methodically and while it may not reflect the public school or standardized testing world, I believe it more accurately reflects developmental levels in my children. She said, "That makes perfect sense to me." She really listed to me and took copious notes both days.

I go back in 3 weeks to get the results, which is wonderful! When Austin has his initial neuropsych testing we had to wait 2 months! This will be perfect timing since I'll have several months until the start of our new school year to try to implement suggestions. The homeschool conference is at the end of July so I'll be able to get what I need at that point, having all of this information.

I am eagerly awaiting these results and hope that they will provide some answers and guidance for the last 3 years of Austin's homeschooling - and the next 8 years of Reece's!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Reece's words of wisdom about spelling

Today during dictation, Reece had to spell the word 'allowed'. I wasn't sure if she could spell this one on her own, but I decided to wait and see how she did before I offered my input. I'm getting better at that! LOL She spelled it with no trouble, and then she checked with me to see if it was right. When I told her it was she said, "I've seen that word many times in books." Then she thought for a moment and added,

"So you see, Mama, books not only help you with your reading, they also help you with your spelling!"

She's my little Charlotte Mason poster-child! LOL

Monday, May 14, 2012

Breaking News

My 13 year old daughter actually let me TEACH her something today. She had made some mistakes on her grammar test from last week and I wanted to make sure that she understood before we moved on to the next lesson. So I sat down with her at the table and talked her through it. She asked me a couple of questions and I answered and she actually said, "Wow, that makes so much sense!"

Did you hear the choir of angels?  I sure did! LOL

I then pressed my luck by saying, "You know, dear child of mine, this is how homeschooling is supposed to work with you and me. There is a lesson. And you let me teach it to you without rolling your eyes or arguing with me. Then you try some on your own. If you make mistakes, I help to clarify where you are confused.  I don't point out your mistakes to belittle you or try to make you feel badly about yourself. You listen without screaming at me that I hate you. I make sure that you understand what might be puzzling you, not because I think you are stupid (quite the contrary) or because I'm trying to ruin your life, but because I don't want it to puzzle you any longer. Then you attain a level of understanding and we move on. See how nice it is?"

She rolled her eyes and walked away.

But she didn't yell. More choir of angels.

I'll take what I can get! :)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

She is listening intently!

This term's literature read-aloud for Reece is The Hobbit, in preparation for the movies coming soon! Today, I was preparing us for the beginning of the next chapter, and as usual, I asked Reece to tell me what she remembers from the chapter we just finished.

She told me that Bilbo and the dwarves escaped from the trolls. I asked if she remembered what the trolls turned into. She sad, "I think it was dirt." I said, "Hmm, I thought I remembered that they turned to stone." Reece replied back, thoughtfully, "No, it said that they went back to the stuff the mountains are made of." The phrasing that she used piqued my attention, so I opened the book to the previous chapter and found the correct passage:

"William never spoke for he stood turned to stone as he stooped; and Bert and Tome were stuck like rocks as they looked at him. And there they stand to this day, all alone, unless the birds perch on them; for trolls, as you probably know, must be underground before dawn, or they go back to the stuff of the mountains they are made of, and never move again."

I was literally speechless.

I read the passage out loud to her and said, "It looks like we're both right." She was a little confused about how a mountain can be made of stone. I told her that I think it must be referring to mountains that you mine for jewels. She seemed to think that made sense. ;)

I am truly astonished that she remembered the phrasing of that sentence! I know that she comprehends well, and most of the time, more than she can get back out. But this time she completely exceeded my expectations! Have I mentioned lately how much I ::heart::: Charlotte Mason??? LOL