Monthly Archives: August 2014

First Day of Home School and a Boden Update

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Well we survived the first day of home school!  Everyone was in a good mood for the most part.  Now Andi is finishing up her English assignment while the little ones nap.

It went well today, but we have a few wrinkles to iron out.  I am still not sure what Andi should be doing while the little ones are doing things with me, and vice versa.  But everyone loved the work, which included, worksheets, morning meeting, memory verse, catechism, Bible study, English, spelling, math–with towers, numbered jumping jacks, numbered spins in the spinny chair, and numbered laps around the house!, reading, coloring and more.  It was good. I think they think I overhyped it a smidge.  Andi is currently alternating being super excited about home school, and super bummed about missing friends at public school. So all you local home school readers…..Wanna have play dates sometime?Andi 3Lilly KSawyer K

I have had a few people ask what we are doing for Boden’s education.  The truth is, we didn’t know what to for a long time.  Today he did some activities on his level–putting blocks into his giraffe toy, playing with his turtle mirror, and he listened to our Bible story.  I was going to start teaching him his colors today with bandanas, but apparently those have scattered to the four winds, never to be seen again.  I will have to buy some more soon.  They have them at Hobby Lobby for about .89 each.  My thought is that I should be able to ask him to find a color, and he will be able to pick the color out of the laid out bandanas.  As far as education goes….He will be going to school. GASP! It sounds harsh to send him and keep the others at home, but I am trying to approach the kids’ education on a child-by-child basis.  Boden was an orphan for 12 1/2 years.  I am so scared to send him to school.  However, our school district has a wonderful special needs/life skills educational co-op with the next town, and I think this solution will work for us.  We should be able to get him in school for only half a day each day. That way he is home the majority of the time to still work on attachment (which is going great!), learn how to be in a family, and learn things that pertain to our family life.  I can’t have him gone eight hours a day.  It wouldn’t work for teaching him and attaching with him, and he just doesn’t have the stamina to put up with a 40 hour week. At least 8 of the 12 years he wasn’t with us was spent with absolutely no stimulation or education or playing or toys or walking at all….that does something to a person.  He is very fast and easily overwhelmed.  Also, he will be receiving PT, OT, and Speech therapy while is at school.  I am so relieved!  We were doing therapy multiple times a week, but the closest place to us was an hour away.  It ran our lives for us. SO this program seems like a great solution.  We are waiting for evaluations =)

BodenBoden2OK this is a combo-post.  So the other thing I wanted to mention was Boden.  He has been home for 9 months and 5 days.  He is growing a lot (Has went up 1.5 shoe sizes, has gained 16 pounds, and grown 3 or 4 inches), he is doing great, and is making tons of progress.  In the mornings, he opens the pantry, brings me the PB for his oatmeal, brings me a banana, throws the peel away, opens and closes the microwave, pushes the start button, opens and closes the microwave when it’s ready, gets me a spoon, and puts the PB up and closes the pantry door and turns the light off. AMAZING! We put him on the potty several times a day, and when he uses it, he likes to flush and close the lid ( that’s better than my bio kids!).  He also hates to chew, but will.  He knows what we are saying for the most part, and follows directions (or chooses not to, thank you very much!).  Boden walks all over the place now.  He paces and practices a lot.  When we first got him home, he had newborn soft and wrinkly feet. Now they have calluses–proof of all that hard work!  He walks with his left leg locked because that knee is out of place, and the orthopedic dr. doesn’t think we can fix it because his patella is misshapen.  Eyes and ears appoinments are coming up.  We have already done a lot of medical work, that I won’t delve into.  After 8 months, he finally decided that he could do patty cake on his own, and he can do signs for “more”, “eat”, “please”, and sometimes “mama”.  He does the motions on his own, but he likes for me to hold his wrists while we do them.  Boden fits into our family so well, it’s like he has always been here.  He loves having a family.  He loves having an Andi as much as he likes having a mama and daddy.  He is starting to follow Lilly and Sawyer around, and he is interested in what they’re doing, but after never playing for 12 years, he still doesn’t know how.  His favorite things are music, vibrations, chocolate, piggy back rides, and currently, Andi’s Skip-it

I guess that’s it. 

A New Adventure

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Tomorrow we finally start a new adventure that I have been tirelessly working on for months now….HOME SCHOOL! 

So here’s the back story: I used to be one of the people who swore they were not equipped with the knowledge or patience enough to educate their children at home.  That home school was never done right…that public school was the only way to go. Hahaha! I think my former self is rolling in my proverbial grave!  Then I thought, “Well, maybe I could do this…but what if I screw my kids up?! What if I don’t know what to do?” So I heard of this amazing home school co-op in our area, and I was instantly convinced that is was the answer I was looking for. Only one little word held us up–policy. The policy at co-op is that a family needs to home school alone for a year if their kids are coming from public school. Oh the humanity! Oh the tears! I think for a couple of days I went through all the stages of grief (how many are there? Like 47?).  What was I to do? Put them in public school and give up because I didn’t have the accountability and support that I thought I needed? Uh no.  Not this mama.  I got over it, realized it wasn’t personal, respected their policy (and hope to try co-op in a few years!).  I also realized that I was looking for a safety net, and was relying on outside help to get me through this new endeavor, when I should have been seeking out God’s plan for us. I am thankful that He shut that door for the time being so that we could move forward. And then realized that there was a lot of Godly home school moms who were veterans at this, and I set to gleaning wisdom from them. One mom that lives across the country from me, that I’ve never actually met, has been invaluable to my experience.( I love my Taylor Tots!!)

Getting so much advice, looking through curriculum, deciding what my home school philosophy (fancy, huh?) should be….was OVER. WHELM. ING.  I fretted, and lost sleep, and cried….But months and several hundred dollars later  I figured out how I want to operate, how my kids learn and function best, and found curriculum. 

Tomorrow is the big day. I am giddy. And a little sick to my stomach! I want to remember all of this, and honestly share with you our victories, hard times, and everything in between.  I don’t know if any of you are interested, but I will be glad to go back and read.  I would love some encouraging comments and nice words.  Criticism, not so much.  I am tired of answering the “Why?” question and trying to defend our decision. We’re home schooling because. That’s the answer I’m giving now =)

So for anyone interested, here’s our curriculum: 
Andi is in third grade, operating at an advanced level.  She will be doing the following:  Saxon Math 4/5, Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1, Phonetic Zoo, Shurley English 2 (but she swears she knows it all already =/), Veritas Genesis through Joshua. For Literature, we are doing a comprehensive study of all the Chronicles of Narnia Books.  For History, we are studying biographies, and are reading through the stack of “Who Was…” biography books.  ( I wanted to survive this year, and felt like adding in a legit history curriculum might have done me in for year one! Andi is third grade and the babies are in K, so I thought this would be an OK thing to do…and it is…because we home school!). We will also be sprinkling in some home making skills and journaling.

Lilly and Sawyer will be in Kindergarten. (Side note: Sawyer is 4.  He is already pretty good at letter recognition/sounds,  CVC words, and number concepts, so I am making it easier on myself and starting him with Lilly, who is 5.  I have found ways to teach him out of the seat, in a hands-on way, and will make allowances for his age and gender.  If there are two math work sheets, he may just do one. I do also understand that he may progress a little slower than Lilly). This is what they’re up to this year:  Saxon K Math,  Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1, The Big Picture Bible Timeline, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons(I hope this goes by quickly, then I would like to use Saxon K Phonics…you got Saxon K Phonics I can buy? Let me know!) They have supplemental worksheets and activities, and their curriculum includes learning great things like calendars, patterns, tangrams, and memory verses and catechism questions and lots more.

 

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So that’s it.  I will try to keep you all updated, as I know you are all waiting with bated breath. Pray for us and wish us luck. I hope we survive!!!