Friday, March 4, 2011

We planted our seeds today

We started by reading "Plants" by Melissa Stewart, an e-book we checked out from the Scottsdale Library online. The kids learned the word "photosynthesis" and how plants make their own food. Just like we do in the kitchen! haha.

We planted sweet corn, green peppers, carrots, cucumbers, pumpkin, peppers, squash, tomatoes, watermelon, forget-me-nots, a single apple seed from an apple my son ate, and a mystery seed my daughter found at the park yesterday.

We bought a green house with pellets for ease of planting. Just add water!

We made signs for the seeds out of toothpicks and masking tape.

Here is our little garden :o) We can't wait to see some sprouts!!
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

March 2, 2011 - Dr. Seuss's birthday celebration

We had a great time celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday yesterday! We had some friends over to help us celebrate. We watched "The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That" on PBS in the morning. We baked a cake in the afternoon, and we also read Dr. Seuss books.

After everyone took turns stirring the ingredients, Julian carefully put the bundt pan in the oven.

Julian was so proud of his work!
We added some orange glaze and orange zest to the top.

The kids all sang Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss and blew out the candles for him :o)

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Friday, February 25, 2011

End of expensive Tutoring

After lots of encouragement from other Moms, I have decided that I will order the Barton System myself and teach it to my son. On the message board for Dyslexic Homeschooling, there are several Moms that use the Barton System themselves with fantastic results. After watching Susan Barton's 3 hour video on dyslexia, I know she is a great teacher, thorough, and explains everything extremely well to where you can understand it. This gave me the encouragement I needed to stop paying $520 a month for tutoring, and take it on myself. My son completely level 1 in his first week. I will be ordering level 2 today. My husband decided he wanted to help as well, so we will watch the DVD's together and learn how to teach my son. I can't wait!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 5

Well, today we got our program, Speaking Naturally, from my friend Rachel, along with the headset from her father. I can't wait to load it onto my son's computer and start using it! I think it is going to open up a world of creativity since he won't be bound by using only simple words he can spell. Nor will either of us be bound by the frustration of  him trying to spell words correctly. I hope creative writing can be something he can enjoy now. Thank you so much to Rachel and Papa for these wonderful tools!

Now, onto more side effects of the Vyvanse I am taking note of:  First, my son has become a very organized person. From voluntarily putting all the shoes away neatly on our shoe cart, to folding his napkin in even 1/4 folds. It's very interesting. We were at a neighbors house the other day, and she offered him some sugar free jell-o. He was excited for the "rare" treat, ate it slowly and indulged in every bite, then went to the sink and washed his jell-o cup along with all their other dishes in their kitchen sink. I couldn't help but laugh. Here we are in a strangers house, for the first time, and my son is washing their dishes! They were appreciative and a little weirded out at the same time I think. Hahaha. Then he decided to start cleaning up their grandson's play room. Well the 4 year old grandson did not appreciate this by any means and it started a bit of an argument between them. My son got a little upset and came and sat by me. The neighbors noticed my son's insistence to clean up and commented that he is quite the "neat and tidy" child. I couldn't help but laugh out loud at that one...if only they walked across the street and saw his room in its present "disaster" condition.

And the second thing I am noticing is his unhappiness with everything in every situation. He is just not happy. I wouldn't say he is sad, or angry. He is just not happy. Unless I engage him in conversation about what he wants to talk about. Now, don't get me wrong, I am in no way opposed to talking to him about what he wants to talk about, however, I simply can't talk about video games and how annoying his sister is ALL DAY! So, with that said, I do think we will need to supplement with a wellbutrin or something to that effect. We took him to Dave and Busters last night, which has lots of video games and he is usually ecstatic to go, but not last night. He was mopey and just not his usual excited self. My husband took him to get a video game with his gift card and he seemed happy for all of 5 minutes. So, we are trying to engage him more and find what makes him happy.

We think we may have come up with a way for him to get his tutoring at a discounted rate, so please pray that we are able to go through with it, as we check into the resources I have found.

Lastly, I have connected with some awesome homeschooling Moms through different blogs, groups, and just searching for hours and hours, hahaha. As I connect with individuals on a more personal level, I find that there are so many Moms out there dealing with much harder situations than I can even imagine. Moms with 3, 4, 5, and 6 children, all with an array of learning differences. Everything from Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, to Phonemic Awareness issues, OCD, ODD, and then things I had never even heard of. From daily therapy to fighting the school district for the rights their children deserve. As I went into Dave and Buster's last night, I saw a Mom walking with her physically and mentally challenged teenager. It was inspiring as well as heart breaking. These are the Moms that are going to get me through all this! These are the Moms that I will devote time to each day to be sure I encourage and give them praise for what they do day in and day out. I don't mean pity, because trust me, pity is the last thing they need. They need encouragement and a "job well done" for what they endure on a daily basis. So high five to you Moms!! You are my encouragement that I can and will make it through the day. And I hope in return I can encourage you to keep on keepin' on!

Love to all :o)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

No Place Like Home: Homeschool is the life for us

No Place Like Home: Homeschool is the life for us: "Why do you homeschool, you may ask? Why wouldn't I? Proverbs 22:6 says, 'train up your child in the way he should go and when he is old he w..."

Day 4

We are enjoying the rare rainy day in the desert of Arizona today....all thanks to yours truly....I washed my car 2 days ago :o)

So the meds are definitely taking effect. Noticing changes. The first is that he is quite talkative. All day yesterday, until the time he went to bed. His tutor also commented that he was very chatty in their session. There were 2 times he got a bit emotional, but I was warned that would happen and it was normal. He also felt I was being rude quite a bit and would get frustrated and say "Whatever." I ignored that and he pretty much just moved on to what he was doing or talking about something else. I also noticed that when he was asked to do something that he didn't want to do, he didn't blow up and start a huge argumentative fight. He would ask, "Please can I do it in a minute?" or "Please Mom, I don't want to." But I persisted and it got done pretty much immediately after that. The the big change took place. For the first time I had a real conversation with him. We sat on the couch and talked alone for a good 30 minutes. He had clear, concise thoughts and feelings, backed by real reasoning. It was AMAZING. I found out something that has been bothering him for a while, because HE TOLD ME!

He conveyed to me:

His 3 year old sister is the typical 3 year old little girl. She's girly, into princesses, loves anything pink or purple, and talks A LOT! They get into disagreements like most siblings. She adores him as most little kids adore their older brother or sister. So basically speaking, he is annoyed by her. And much more than I knew. He also values quiet, relaxing time. He feels, with a little girl walking around filling every waking moment with chitter chatter, he can't ever relax or enjoy quiet. He also mentioned that he does not know how to tell her to be quiet without getting into trouble, but sometimes he just needs her to be quiet!

The solution:

We agreed we would try to talk to her and let her know that sometimes we need quiet time. We also agreed he could have 30 minutes of time to stay awake after she goes to bed. Normally they go to bed at the same time. This goes back to them sharing a room for 2 years, up until 5 months ago, they had to go to bed at the same time as to not wake the other. The last thing we agreed upon was that we would not skip our alone, quiet time each day. I added this to our daily schedule about 2 weeks ago, and as time goes on, and we run low on time, this is what we cut back on. Well, no more! It is imperative for the kids as well as myself. There are so many reasons this is important, but mostly, I want my kids to learn to appreciate being alone early on. They do not need to be constantly entertained and scheduled, free time alone is a good thing. I recently learned that. I want them to learn it and appreciate it early on.

I found a great group on yahoo today that was referred to me from another homeschool Mom. It is called Homeschooling Dyslexic Kids. This is exactly what I have been looking for! Even better, I have found a good number of Moms using the Barton System as we are too! I can't wait to learn and share with them!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 3

I am up at 5am to take my husband to work as we are a 1 car family. We begin tutoring today at 10am. I can't wait!! Kids are in good moods even at 5am, I am impressed.

We began our Norwegian Cod Fish Oil supplement again today. We are on day 2 of Vyvanse, however yesterday I don't know that he even got much because of difficulty swallowing the pill. The capsule ended up opening up while trying to swallow multiple times and we put it into water to drink. Today I will just open capsule into a tea cup and fill with water so he can drink down. Hope to see some kind of result today since tutoring begins today. Last time we used Vyvanse, the effect was nearly immediate.

I am so grateful that we are able to participate in this tutoring. I have read online in support groups, Moms that have had their children diagnosed with dyslexia, as well as a list of other difficulties, and have no where to turn. They just don't have the resources available to participate in tutoring or special programs that will help their children. It is heartbreaking. Our current circumstances wouldn't have allowed for this, but my Mom has given us the funds to pay for 2 months of tutoring to give us a head start. Thank you so much Mom!!! I am truly blessed!!

Our tutor recommended we get the computer program "Naturally Speaking." It uses a microphone that you speak into and types what you say into the computer. It helps the dyslexic child do work on the computer so that they do not need to type or spell. This will save me a lot of transcribing his dictation, since he isn't supposed to be doing any writing or spelling himself while going through the first stages of tutoring. Well, I am so happy to say, my dear friend Rachel has gotten us a copy of "Naturally Speaking." Her father, Papa, purchased us a headset microphone to be used with the program. We are going to be incredibly blessed by their thoughtful gifts! I am so appreciative and grateful for the people in our lives. God is good all the time!

Since I am going to be spending lots of time in the car, (taking husband to work, taking son to tutoring, picking husband up from work, on top of all other trips in the car) we decided to clean it inside and out yesterday. We washed the outside, cleaned inside of windows, dashboard, doors, and even shampooed the seats! The car is looking and smelling great! It's like a brand new car! It was well worth the hour we spent on it.