Monday, June 24, 2019

OSDA Conference, Poison Ivy, Yard Work, Galaxy Flower Art, and 4H Cooking

 We are getting down to the final wire about getting our 4H projects done.  We are a bit behind this year due to all the adjustments in our schedules with new work times and added responsibilities.  This is Joey's last year taking projects though.  I'm a little relieved and heart broken all at the same time.  Our week started out with us saying goodbye to Robby.  He spent the week with us and had to go home.  So we went out and did a little yard work for my sister-in-law while we were there and then got dinner out.  Culvers is now Joey's favorite restaurant.

We were at least able to enjoy eating outside before more rain came.

I didn't realize I got into poison ivy though...or at least that's what I still believe it was.

The rash just kept getting worse.  I'm 44 years old and never had poison ivy like this.  It just kept getting redder, itcher and my skin hurt.  But life doesn't stop.  All the kids had places they needed to be.  So I kept going on Monday. 

Brayden made a quick & easy homemade chicken noodle soup.  He didn't love the noodles, but said his broth turned out good. 

I took the girls to the Galaxy painting class at the local library.  They painted flower pots and painted them.

Caty is obsessed with audiobooks right now.  She was listening to one while painting.

Monday night Brayden and Lydia worked at our other library branch we visit.  Lydia helped at the Clifford party for the little kids.  And Brayden worked at the reading minutes table for the Summer Reading program.

It was a busy day...and my poison ivy just kept getting worse.  But Joey and I were leaving for a Special Needs conference on Wednesday am.  No time to go to the dr.  I was using what I could find around the house.

On Tuesday, Lydia made some homemade fruit salsa.  She had been dying to make this for her and her father.

For our state study meal - Alaska - we made salmon chowder.  Lydia and her great-aunt Jane learned how to skin a couple pieces of salmon with a Youtube video.

Caty really LOVED this and wants to make it again.

She played a little with her cake tips.

The rash was painful...and spreading.  So I gave in and called the online dr service our insurance offers.  He prescribed prednisone.  Which I couldn't get before Joey and I needed to leave.  The pharmacy had closed.  A friend of mine gave me some special steroid lotion to help get me through.

Joey and I got up super early and headed out on our 3 hour drive to his conference.  I was going as his ally or person to help him Speak Up with.

Had lunch on this beautiful deck when we arrived.  Joey was ready to go and now has a new favorite burger cheese, swiss.

This conference was meant to help learn how to become your own self-advocate to make sure that you are getting what you want and need.

We had a view of the lake off our balcony.  We also had lots of wildlife visit by our balcony.

He got to participate in several skits and group activities.

It stopped raining for a little bit and we got to take a brief hike, but it was so wet we couldn't go out far.

The sun really emerged on our last day.  It was beautiful. 

His graduation from the Speak Up program.

While Joey and I were gone, Joe held down the fort at home.  Brayden started his 3 week long employment camp.  He has a job coach taking him around to various places of employment and helping him to learn more about jobs and applying for them.  He is really enjoying it.  Lydia had a shift at the zoo.  And Brayden had an extra library shift.  He is really enjoying working at the library.  Caty and Lydia also had cheerleading practice.  They were all arrived when Joey and I got home on Friday.

I was so miserable though when we got home....I stayed in a sweater or sweatshirt the whole time we were gone.  My skin was so painful.  I tried a couple different creams on top of the steroid cream.  

By the time we got home, I was begging for my script.  No matter how loopy I felt downing that Prednisone.  I was miserable.  I haven't take steroids in years.  It seemed to help a bit for one day, but the next day we were set to return and help her clean up her yard.  The sun seemed to sort of help the rash, but it started getting worse again.  

This is a small sample of how the weeds were overrun. 

This was the front when I got done.

I mulched around her pool so that she doesn't worry about weeds there.

We planted some flowers in the backyard and tried to help her set up her patio too.  Make it a nice place to relax while the kids play outside.

I didn't get the yard all done.  Eight hours and I was exhausted!!!  I'm glad we got as much as we did done.  Unfortunately I got into more poison ivy.  So even on Prednisone I am still miserable.  I have an appointment with our family dr since my script is almost done and the rash just keeps spreading, itching, and hurting.  My sister-in-law got it bad also.  Her face even swoll up.  I officially know that I am allergic, and bad.  So I have to be careful now.  We'll go back in a couple weeks and help her spray more vinegar mixture around the property.  I bleached the areas that I know were poison ivy.  I can't have her getting into it again.  She could end up in the hospital.

It was an extremely exhausting week.  I'm looking forward to the couple days in the next couple weeks where we can hopefully relax some.  I am giddy at seeing the days blank of scheduled activities.  It'll be 4H poster days, but at least we can relax and watch movies while we do them.

Hope everyone had a great week!!  See you next week.

Linking up with other homeschool moms at Homeschool Coffee Break.

Homeschool Coffee Break

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Writing With Sharon Watson - Jump In, 2nd Edition Review

We recently had the opportunity to review the middle school composition curriculum, Jump In, 2nd Edition written by Sharon Watson and published by Writing With Sharon Watson.  Lydia is feeling more at ease with writing suddenly!

Jump In, 2nd Edition was written for students working at a Middle school or roughly 5-8th grade levels.  The author created this program for students to work as independently as possible.  There are 98 daily lessons gauged at students to use over a period of a year, or you can stretch the material out longer depending on your student.  

Students will practice skills such as topic sentences, main ideas, and in-text citations.  They will cover the nine main types of essays, how to write a research report, story writing, and poetry. 

Writing is a subject that I really struggle teaching with our kids.  They are concrete thinkers on so many levels.  So journaling and creative writing is hard for them at times.  I really liked that when Lydia and I started Jump In, 2nd Edition, it started with persuasive writing.  Lydia is super opinionated and always trying to convince us she is right, so what better form of writing for her to start with.

Jump In, 2nd Edition is available in both printed version and also a digital download.  We reviewed the digital edition.  It was an easy to download PDF file.  The Student Workbook and Teacher's Guide are two individual files, so you can choose the open windows easier.  

I like the flexibility with this course.  Daily writing is a bit of a struggle for Lydia, with her work schedule at the zoo the last couple months.  I opted to move more slowly through the summer months, but getting accomplishing all we could.  My first step was to start printing the workbook pages.  The Student workbook is 292 pages.  But the nice thing is that you can print what you work.   And I choose to print a section of work at a time.  Makes it more manageable, since we will spend a little over a year in this book.  We keep her pages in a 3-ring binder.

Each "daily" lesson is roughly 5 - 15 minutes worth of work for your student.  The first part of the book allows students to start exploring their writing style.  Where do they like to write, and is there a certain topic they are more comfortable with.  The author also covers brainstorming with them and includes several graphs that give students examples of how brainstorming your topic does not need to be organized, as long as you are thinking about the topic.

The persuasive writing section allows students to start writing without even realize they are writing.  Each lesson starts out with a brief explanation, and then many of the pages are simple fill-in.  In the case above, she is working on establishing and realizing that she has opinions.  A light bulb went off when she realized that she had opinions on even the smallest thing, such as flavor if ice cream or type of clothes that she wears each day.

As you can see, each Skill topic is laid out in an easy to read and well-explained format.  This program was specifically written so that students can grow more comfortable with working independently.

The Teacher's Guide is available to go along with the Student Workbook.  The book we received was also in digital format.  I chose to not print this book though.  I keep the file open in my Adobe and I just bring up the pages we are working on while Lydia and I are working.  I really loved the Dos and Don'ts section of the persuasive essays.  It's a great checklist and reminders for ALL of us.  Just because we have an opinion about something does not mean that we have to express our opinions with hatred.   

The Teacher's Guide is basically the student workbook with all the answers in it.  There are also tips though to help your student and their "I CAN'T WRITE" attitudes.  The Teacher's Guide will help those reluctant and nervous parents on how they can help their student's learn writing skills.  The set really builds confidence in both parents (to teach) and kids (to learn) writing.

Since Lydia is delayed in writing due to her reading/learning disabilities, I plan on continuing at a 2-3 lesson a week schedule for her.  In fact, I am probably going to start Caty on this program in the fall, since she is starting middle school.  The light bulbs that have already gone off for Lydia are amazing, and her attitude about "writing class" have completely changed.  I'm very grateful for that.  

Even with using the worksheets in the Student Workbook, there are still ways to type up answers if your student even struggles in the handwriting area (which she struggles with long paragraphs).  Writing with Sharon Watson programs allow for so much flexibility when you are working with students who have special needs and disabilities.  I highly recommend if you have a student with learning delays or struggles in writing to check out Jump In, 2nd Edition.  

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review Jump In, 2nd Edition from Writing With Sharon Watson.  Click on the ad below to see how they used this product in their home, and how they felt about it.

Jump In, 2nd Edition {Writing with Sharon Watson Reviews}

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