Thursday, April 7, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal - Week 4

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal

In my life this week…
Just been moving along.  Trying to keep the house clean (not perfect, just hygenic and tidy)...which is really like trying to keep mud off of a white carpet....nearly impossible.  We celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary this week.  Pretty low key, maybe get to celebrate by next year.  We had all 4 kids in for dental cleanings.  Lydia and Caty had cavities and poor Lydia has an abcess under a tooth and it need to be fixed.  Not sure how it happened, it's a tooth that he repaired 3 years ago. 
Thought about picking up a "regular" book a couple times this week....HAHAHA!! That never happened.  I did start reading Soccer for Dummies and Idiots Guide to Soccer.  The boys start soccer in about a month (Spring season for the COUGARS!!) and the girls are taking soccer lessons with a local skills group starting this next week.  This will be the first time for the girls, this is our 3rd year in soccer for the boys.  I still get confused, so am working very hard at understanding the game. 
Been working on myself spiritually.  I have been trying to keep a daily Bible reading schedule to get me through each day.  I'm not getting out walking as much as I was, because I have been tooo cold.  I know that I need a spiritual workout it warms up, I already have my Ipod set to give me a spiritual dose while I am getting a physical one (HAHA!!).
Never heard back from my doctor.  Apparently he's really confused, but hoping to get a call in tomorrow.  I really like our doctor, he's a great guy.  My issue is that I am not feeling better, and even though he's busy....I still have to pay him so give me so answers!!!
In our homeschool this week…

We started a unit study from Amanda Bennett this week on Soccer.  I bought this a couple years ago.  Joey and I used some of it last year, and we are hitting it harder this year.  I found some great fiction soccer books at the library and we are reading those on top of watching skill videos everyday.  I know this is a week long unit, but we are going to stretch it to a couple weeks.  In Science we started the Habitat series from Hands of a Child.  This week we are focusing on Rainforests.  Got a day behind, so our week will be just a little longer.  We are studying Poland for Geography.  I will have a post for Geography and Science later this week.  After asking for some recommendations from our homeschool group and then going rounds with Lydia's K12 "teacher" (seriously....who is teaching her?!?!?) we will most likely be pulling her from there.  After letting her play with some phonics programs, she found something she liked and she is actually learning some words!!!  YEAH!!!....bad news is it's another $200 I have to find from somewhere in our budget:(  But she is reading a few words (I just keep telling myself that!!)
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

We went on a tour of a local water treatment plant.  It was very informative.  We did a trip to the library.  Of course the dentist.  Been letting the boys veg a bit at home this week (as much as possible), they are adjusting to new meds adjustments....and to anyone that knows about med roller coasters....meltdown/tantrums can happen at anytime or anything.  But the boys did go to their Agility Therapy class Tuesday evening and did an awesome job.

My favorite thing this week was…
I did enjoy sitting down with my hubby tonight and playing his Mario game on the Wii.  I got my butt totally kicked...I'm not good at playing video games.  I did really like seeing Lydia advance more in her phonics this week than she has all year. 
What’s working/not working for us…
The PhonicsWorks program from K12 was not working for Lydia.  So we have been struggling in this area.  We found HeadSprout after a recommendation from another homeschool mom.  The price is a bit scary for me right now...but Lydia is doing well with it.  I would recommend it.  They do offer a payment plant to help a non-flexible budget absorb the cost.  We also (through blog hopping) discovered ABCmouse.  It's a great online preschool/kindergarten program.  The price is also working well for us.
Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…
I don't really have a "homeschool" question.  I am struggling with responsiblity and autism.  I feel that I need to be pushing them toward some sort of self-reliance.  I am struggling with getting them to perform daily "family contributions".  We have a chart on the wall, does anyone have a suggestions or have any experience with this.  I don't expect them to do their own laundry...yet.  (That's several years away.)  But just looking at sweeping the kitchen or hallway.  How do you know when I may be asking too much?  I do try to keep the directions as clear as possible in as few steps as possible.  Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
Children with Special Needs do not have an illness. They are not contagious and there is no cure. They want what we all want, to be accepted.
If you get a chance....visit this blog.....
You will not regret it.  It is awesome.  She is autistic and communicates only through her writing.  It's unbelieveable!!!!!!


  1. Hi there! stopping by from the HSM journal linky! First, happy anniversary! There is a great FREE phonics online program at you should give it a try. If your kids are older there is that is the sequel. starfall is 100% free while the more starfall is about $30 for the YEAR (and well worth it if you ask me). Let me know if you end up trying them out; my kids love them and their reading as improved since their computer time became all educational and not games. Hope you feel better soon! Blessings to you and your family!

  2. For phonics/reading have you ever looked at The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading? I love it!

    I hope you are feeling better soon :)

  3. First of all, Happy 13th wedding anniversary. That's huge! I'm envious. We're on our 5th. I feel so blessed to have such an awesome family. Thank you for following. I look forward to reading more about you and your experiences.

  4. Happy anniversary!! That's amazing!

    New follower from the hop - stop by when you can to say 'hi'!

  5. Hello! What a week you had! I completely understand about the phonics with your daughter. I had started K12 with my daughter two years ago, and I did not like the phonics program at all. We ditched all of K12 after 3 weeks. I just took reading at her own pace, and focused more on reading aloud together, and practicing letter sounds and handwriting. Then this year, I was able to find a phonics program that worked and she's soared with it. I'm very pleased.
    As far as household responsibilities go, I've learned that kids can handled one thing at a time. After that one thing is mastered, say after a month or two, then I would add on a second thing. Not overwhelming them is key to keeping them from shutting down. I don't have any experience with autism, but I think most kids would react the same way- too much too soon would be overwhelming.
    I found you through the Homeschool Mother's Journal and am now following!

  6. Hi there,

    Nice to meet you - love the frog!!!

    We use Jolly Phonics. It's a great program. I really only use the order of the letters and then supplement with lots of fun activities beginning with each sound. But there are videos and activities that they also provide which are great - might be useful to you.

    Reading A-Z is also a great online reading program that is not too expensive. It has worked well with my kids.

    Have a great day - hope you are feeling better and get the answers about your health sooner rather than later!!!


  7. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Can I offer a FREE Phonics program that we used? My daughter is 5 1/2 and could read very few words when we started it. Now she is fluent. It's from The Tanglewood School called Really Reading 2. You can download it for free and you basically just have to read one sheet a day, mostly letter sounds and blends. Here is the site:

    To supplement that, we do a letter of the week and just started with A. We are now on U. We read every phonics book from the library based on that letter.

    My son is in the 1st grade, going to public school. He has Asperger's. They are doing Saxon Phonics and I HATE IT! He can read, but not near as well as her. I feel like all the coding, rules are a waste of time. I'm going to take him through the Really Reading 2 program this summer and see how he does.

    It just takes a few minutes a day and it worked for one of my kids. Can't wait to see if that was just a fluke.

    Good luck!