May 8, 2015

Progress Report (AO4 Term 1)

We have just finished AmblesideOnline Year 4 Week 7.  It was a lighter week of readings (on my modified 14 weeks per term schedule), which worked out great since I babysat a toddler a couple of days, had an afternoon of IQ testing (he finished this time!), and today is gymnastics day.  He got extra computer time to practice coding (he gave up on Code Kingdom and is back at Code Academy), as well as math facts games, while I chased the toddler about.  It was great fun for all of us, as a change of pace usually is.

The books this term are harder than what we have done in the past, but there are several he enjoys (Robinson Crusoe, The Storybook of Science, Minn of the Mississippi) and some that he groans about (Madame How and Lady Why, Age of Fable) but I have confidence that he will come to enjoy those in time.  Pictures and videos help ease the pain! :)  Carol has a great AO Pinterest board and I've been repinning her MHLW and Storybook of Science pins to my AO Year 4 board.

As it was the first week of a new month, we started the next folk song and hymn, which is always fun.  I chose to do Jesus Loves Me, both in English and Spanish, to help prepare the Boy for his mission trip to Nicaragua (coming up in August!).  The folk song is Pick a Bale of Cotton (see it towards the end of this playlist), and its incredibly catchy, and he was tapping and humming along with it after the first listen.  Our artist this term is Degas, and the first painting was The Cotton Exchange, and the one we did the past two weeks was Place de la Concorde.  He likes to fight me on art study, but does seem to have accepted that its this thing we do on Tuesdays.  He considers it and listening to music a waste of time and doesn't see how its "school", but I think that might be the rigid thinking talking, that is so typical of Asperger's. (Still no diagnosis, but the paperwork is turned in and we are waiting on a phone call for an actual evaluation appointment.)

We will be schooling year round again, taking a couple weeks off here and there, so no real wind-down coming for us.  I hope to find a good stopping point around Memorial Day so we can take our first break cleanly.  Will you be making a hard stop for summer?

As you are winding down your school year, consider ramping up your household organization.  Summer is a great time to reassess and make some changes for a fresh start before you start school again.  Mystie is offering $15 off her Simplified Organization course for Mother's Day, so check it out! (Coupon code happymothers is good through Monday.)

May 6, 2015

Wednesday with Words: Wisdom

Wisdom.  Perhaps the word is overused.  Or maybe I am in great need of it.... it sure keeps popping up in what I read and hear lately.  We read a chapter from Proverbs each week as part of school, and it is both full of wisdom and full of talking about wisdom.  It comes up in church.  It comes up in other books I'm reading (Consider This, and Formation of Character).  Then I got a free copy of Wisdom is a Woman to review (I haven't read it yet, though).  So, let me give you some words of wisdom about wisdom this fine Wednesday!  Here are some things I have learned.

  • Wisdom isn't knowledge.  Wisdom USES knowledge.
  • Wisdom does not necessarily come with age.  It must be searched for, and asked for.
  • Wisdom comes from God.  It is a virtue.

Okay, but so what?  That still doesn't tell you what wisdom IS, so let's go to a definition.  Google says:

1. the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.

Sure.  But the next definition seems closer:

2. the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. best encapsulates what I think of as wisdom:

3. the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight

Knowledge of what is true or right combined with justice and right actions.  That's it!  It isn't what you know, but having the right thoughts and actions to use that knowledge to improve yourself and the world around you.

How would you define wisdom?

May 4, 2015

Allergy Season and Essential Oils

The pollen in the Ohio Valley area of Kentucky is in the "extreme" range this week.  I didn't realize the Boy had environmental allergies until a few days ago.  I vaguely remember a few sniffles last spring, but nothing like the congestion, sneezing and coughing that's going on now!

We were outside much of Saturday with soccer games and a Derby party (its a KY thing!), so I got bug bites, but he got worse.  We skipped church yesterday and I reapplied essential oils and made an "allergy bomb" for the diffuser.  One of my Facebook friends taught me this bomb is a  mixture of lemon, lavender and peppermint, with a splash of frankincense.  So, its actually the same combination I have been using in a roll-on bottle for my husband's allergies, minus the carrier oil.  We are rolling it on, breathing it, plus staying inside with the fan on and a new air filter.  I've started giving him his liquid vitamin again.

We tried liquid Claritin (generic) for kids, but couldn't tell a difference.  He tried generic Zyrtec today, but it was a pill and he couldn't swallow it.  He won't do a nasal spray this is one of those times when sensory issues really stinks.  The anxiety doesn't help either as he is afraid he will choke, and with the sensitive gag reflex, he might.  Sigh.  I'll just stick with essential oils, thanks!  At least he handles the smell of those pretty well.

I know that improved nutrition can help suppress allergic reactions but that requires eating a wider variety of foods than what he can do right now.  His father had allergy shots for years, as did his grandma, so he gets it honestly!  I'm thinking about adding allergy testing to the medical list...we are almost at the deductible, so why not do it all?!  Get all the tests!!!  (Sorry, I have funny memes in my head when I yell that in my mind and its funny, LOL)

Are you or your family members suffering from allergies this spring?  What do you do about it?