Sunday, August 29, 2010

Switching educational style

Homeschooling two children with special needs is a real challenge. Both our sons are diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Our oldest also as been diagnosed with severe ADHD and he has massive impulse control issues. I'm just trying to say that each boys can be extremely different in how they want to do lessons that day. So I have been experimenting with learning methods. One boy prefers set work and is textbook oriented, while the other definitely craves the unschooling style. So I have been working hard at meeting in between.

So I already have tons of textbooks in various levels and now they are just collecting dust on the shelves. We have started incorporating more learning games to bring subjects to life and give Joey a hands-on ability to learn. I am using some Charlotte Mason style to give Brayden some of the "book work" that he craves. We will be using one textbook in our learning and that will be for Math. We are starting Teaching Textbooks. It allows Brayden to work independently and I can still help Joey and encourage his independence. I will admit to one other textbook for sure, it's in Science. Most of our science will be online research/living books from the library and lots of hands-on experiments. But I will use the Science book as a guide to keep myself on tract. They are getting older and I want them to definitely have a basic grasp on science skills. Neither seems interested in this as a career choice, but I just feel that they need to know.

This will be a different school year. It will be an adjustment for all of us. But I am so looking forward to the coming year.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why do kids do that?!?!

So Lydia has had two years of preschool. I have been working with her all summer to make sure she doesn't forget anything before she starts school. So what does she do today when she went in for her Kindergarten test.....she tells them the only letters she knows are in her name. Oh and Z! I was like...WHAT!!! She didn't do very well at all! I was so upset!

But on a brighter note, I guess we just keep working. Which when we got home, we played a upper/lower case match game. She matched them fine at home. She told me almost all the letters. Go figure!

I officially ordered some new math curriculum for the boys. They took the placement test and we are going to be using Teaching Textbooks for Math. Seems like such an awesome program, and I am sooo excited to get to use it. For History/social Studies we are going to be working on the early United States history and Explorers. Except we are going to start a small unit on a time period around castles. The Indianapolis Children Museum have units available online to enjoy. We are going to use the one on castles/knights. It's a Lego unit. It'll take us up to the point of Christopher Columbus. So we are excited. I will be able to include language arts lessons along with this unit. The only CORE subject not covered is Math, at least at the boys level. I checked out a bunch of books from the library to help us out. We're going to start in two weeks.

I folded laundry all evening. Made sure clothes were put away. Now I am making the weekend list of chores. Why does laundry seem to pile up so bad? I never seem to be able to get ahead. Between that and the dishes I feel as if I will never get ahead.

Hope everyone has a wonderful evening:)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Spending time with the girls...

I am trying hard to think about the kids individual needs. Yes, they are all the Kuehners', but each one of us has an individual personality. I am going to try and make an effort to take one child on any errands that I can, so they can have some more one on one time.

Lydia starts begindergarten on Monday and she won't be home everyday all day like she was before. So I decided we needed to do something together today. The girls and I returned to the Toledo Zoo today (yes that's 2 times this week). It was exhausting, but worth it to watch the girls play in the different areas. We packed our lunch and ate at the Little People tables in the Fisher Price area. They drove me crazy...and that was nothing new. But we had a good time!!!

The goal was to see the baby polar bear that we missed seeing on Sunday due to the crowds. We were successful!! I couldn't get a good picture of him, because the fence was in the way, but we got to watch him play with a ball and swim. We stopped in his area twice to watch him. The zoo has a wonderful informational interactive exhibit for the North. You can learn about Eskimo tribes and what life in like in the Arctic Circle. This is one of the exhibits. Caty was not happy to be posing with this bear....she thought he was going to get her. But part of this building is glass and you can see the seals and polar bears while they are swimming. She did think it was sooo cool when the harbor and grey seals were swimming right in front of her!

When we got home, they wanted to swim. I was able to hold them off a bit since I was sooo tired. But eventually they wanted in, so swimming Joey, Lydia and Caty went. Of course that is when they decided to come and fix my dishwasher. And in the end, we had happy and tired children and I still do not have a dishwasher. Go figure.

I am trying to keep positive. But feel drained...I think I have developed a sinus infection. Uggghh, go figure.

Tomorrow I have some PTO responsiblities, and Lydia has a reading test at the school. We are going to do some recycling also. I also am going to order the boys new Math curriculum. At the annual Not Back to school Picnic with our homeschool group, I heard about a math software/workbook combination that sounded perfect for Brayden. He is such a math hound!! I tried the Teaching Textbook website and really love the software. Can't wait till we can start it!!

Sweet Dreams to's time for sleep:)

Busy Day

We were very busy today. Our friends Suzy and Abby who have been coming over every Tuesday all summer were spending their last Tuesday with us. So we made big plans. First we made homemade Strawberry Jam. I love the blog from and this was an activity that she had posted. The girls had so much fun making this.

We also made snowglobes with favorite objects.....Lydia got a little carried away with glitter, but it still looks very cool.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Feeding the giraffes at Toledo Zoo

Giraffes are Lydia's favorite animal. The Toledo Zoo has a new baby that was born in December. Enzie wouldn't come over for a cracker that day. But she did get to feed the male and two females. We learned new things about giraffes, including the fact that they are not very friendly animals. So her dream of riding a giraffe was not fulfilled that day.

Visiting the Toledo Zoo

Wow has it been a busy few days. Sunday we went to the Toledo Zoo to allow Lydia to feed the giraffes.
Brayden didn't want to come at first. He had it in his head that his Homeschool Zoo Class was that day. But he still had fun.
Caty was so cute trying to see all the animals. She's 2.5 now, and had a ball that day.
Giraffes are Lydia's favorite animal, and we couldn't pass up the opportunity for her to feed one. Unfortunately the Baby Enzie wouldn't come over to us, but the two females and the male were more than willing to eat the crackers.