June 19, 2015

How We Do Summer School

How we do summer school....well, this summer, anyway!  In summers past, I've continued the math program and copywork, as those are his weakest areas, but they are also hardest and cause the most anxiety.  After all the diagnoses he has received in the past month, and the recommendations he was given, I decided to try something different.

This year, I've stopped the math program for a while, and dropped copywork completely.  Instead, I'm keeping up the parts he enjoys and has the potential to make big gains in.  He enjoys the "readings" - history, literature, science - most of all.  He doesn't like narrating as much, but he knows it goes with the territory and doesn't fight it.  His regular volume of reading in the school year is Bible plus 3 other readings, so I've backed it down to 2.  It seems a good amount at this time.  

You can see the books we are using by looking at weeks 9-12 of Year 4.  We are in week 10 right now.

We are keeping up with typing, which he has finally started making regular progress in.  We are using the free website, Ratatype. which is simple and effective.  He used it 2-3 times a week during the school year, but I'm aiming for 4 or 5 times a week during the summer.  Knowing what I do now about his attention, speed and vision issues, its not surprising that the children's typing programs were too overwhelming.

We are also doing math facts, to try and solidify the multiplication tables that he has done so far.  I have been doing them aloud, and actually seeing some progress and retention since dropping the regular program.  Seems like less is more for him.  Anyway, I'll continue doing some out loud with him, but I found Mathbreakers early Tuesday, and immediately bought it.  He spent several hours on it in 2 days and finished the Addition segment!  He really is enjoying it, and doesn't think its "school", which means he will naturally spend more time doing it. He can move on to multiplication, fractions, operators, and more!

In addition to  the above, we are still listening to our folk, hymn, and composer songs, although not as regularly.  I gave up reading Richard the II (Shakespeare) and we will watch it on YouTube.  I like this version because it has the words on the screen.

Recent homeschool group trip to Bernheim Forest

I'll try to work in some more Plutarch - we've stalled on  Timoleon, as its the first full Life we've attempted.  I regret that working in memory work, poetry and a few other riches isn't happening, but I am glad to have more time outside, with friends, and at the water park.  A few weeks of relaxing and living a slower pace before all the therapies begin is just what the doctor ordered.

Besides, we have a new kitten, Moxie, and she needs "lots of lovins", I'm told. 

June 17, 2015

WWW: Canterbury Tales

In AO year 7, the Canterbury Tales is one of the literature books scheduled.  But not the original!  Oh, no.  You can almost always count on Ambleside Online to schedule the full, unabridged versions of classics, but this is one of the *very* few exceptions.  Chaucer for Children or A Taste of Chaucer are the options in this case due to the bawdy nature of several of the original Tales.

Over at the AO Forum, we have been working our way through some year 7 books in the book discussion area, and today we finish Chaucer.  I found a good deal on Malcolmson's A Taste of Chaucer, so have been reading it.  It is written in verse, and is a fairly literal translation of the old English.  I enjoyed the introduction and prologue in particular, as I didn't learn much about Chaucer or the Tales in my own schooling.

I think my favorite story was Chanticleer and the Fox (The Nun's Priest's Tale), as its about the only one that doesn't have men and women being mean to each other!  A couple of the stories are incomplete  for brevity's sake, or to avoid unnecessary cruelty in this children's edition.  Chaucer's Tale: The Ballad of Sir Thopas was left incomplete in the original.

Here are the last two stanzas of Chanticleer's tale:
Lo, thus it is with those who are remiss
And negligent and trust in flattery.
But ye who think this tale a vanity
Told of a fox, or of a cock and hen,
Take to your hearts the moral, my good men.
For Saint Paul says that any written tale
Is for our guidance, is a parable.
Take you the wheat, and let the chaff lie still. 
Now, God above, if that it be Thy will,
As prayed my Lord, so make us all good men 
And bring us to His heavenly bliss. Amen! 

June 11, 2015

Kindness Clothing

I don't do promotions* often, but I have to share this!  One of my friends from high school and youth group (you know, eons ago) recently started this AMAZING business.  Kindness Clothing was started for charitable reasons, and so this mom would have her own business dreams come true.

Each time a piece of clothing is bought, a donation is given to the Purple Heart Foundation, to help support our nation's heroes.  From the About Me page, the mission is:  
To spread kindness in every aspect of our business. Kindness Clothing was started by a bargain-loving Mom who wanted a way to help other parents also find great deals.   We do this by buying gently pre-loved clothing and passing along great bargains to you with a charitable twist.  For every item of clothing you buy with us, we donate one item to a charity. Currently, we are supporting the Purple Heart Foundation which assists military families.  As we grow, we look forward to giving to more charities.  The idea is simple:  Help families dress their kids in stylish, high quality clothing while also spreading kindness to others.  We hope you will help us in our mission to SPREAD KINDNESS.

But what's in it for you?  Great deals!  Kindness Clothing carries children's clothing at a deep discount, up to 75% off retail.  In addition, if you buy before our nation's birthday, you get an ADDITIONAL 20% off!  She recently lowered the prices of hundreds of items, too, so take a look for anything your child may need for this summer or even next season.

Many items are NEW WITH TAG, more are new without tags, and most are gently used (or pre-loved).  Even the clothing that is literally BRAND NEW is always at least 50% off retail.  And another bonus - shipping is free on all orders over $50.  Woot!

Please take a moment to browse and support this new, unique business.  Oh, and follow them on Facebook here.  Thank you!

*Disclaimer - I am promoting this sale as a favor to my friend, and in exchange she may send me a gift card. :)  Yay!!

June 9, 2015

The Diagnoses Are In

The end of May was full of specialists appointments for the Boy, and today starts us back from vacation and into the swing of summer school!  Since we homeschool anyway, the new recommendations of continuing his learning throughout the year is easy enough to accommodate - we just continue on with our usual curriculum, lightening up on less important skills to allow time at the pool.  This is our first year getting a season pass to the local water park, and I'm excited to let him burn off energy and get lots of sensory needs met that way.

I won't list all the diagnoses here, but I will say that it was not "simply" Sensory Processing Disorder, which we have been dealing with for several years.   His sensory issues are now considered part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder, and we are told he is on the "very high-functioning" end, with corresponding attention difficulties and anxieties.  Also confirmed was dysgraphia, although it was given a more technical name.  We discovered his IQ and named the learning difficulties through a licensed psychologist, and the autism part of things through a specialty pediatrician.

Both of the evaluations were long, but worthwhile, and I'm glad we went through it.  We were given quite a few recommendations and official reports which should come in handy in the future.

In addition to the above, we also looked further into the vision issue, and will start vision therapy this summer.  I have hope that the vision therapy will make reading easier on him, and have heard that it may improve his ease of writing as well.  Crossing my fingers!!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a sensory guest post for The Jenny Evolution.  Check out Sensory Writing: Vertical Writing Builds Core Muscles for some summer sensory fun!

Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop -- a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it's like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!Want to join in on next month's Sensory Blog Hop? Click here!