Friday, June 29, 2012

Sensory integration question friends and experts in bloggy world......I need your help.

Caty has sensory issues.  None of which were addressed at her preschool, which annoyed me.  They said they never saw things that I saw.  But I know she does them.  Here is some proof...just a bit.  

She loves to color on herself with markers.  At first I thought it was boredom but she does it even if we are busy with an activity.  So we now hide markers and only get them out as needed.  

This week we made finger paint with cornstarch and food coloring.  At first she only wanted to use a brush, I wasn't concerned.  I know she has a touch issue with certain messy things.  No big deal there.  But then she realized she liked the soft feel and began painting herself with the paint...

And she has also started playing with the glue.  I have to hide the glue now.  She will purposely either squeeze her hands full so she can rub her hands together as the glue dries.  This causes the dried glue to ball and roll between her fingers.  Or she just puts enough on to "pick" at her fingers forever, just staring at her fingers.  Last week I actually caught her with the glue bottle and she was putting the glue between her felt soft and squishy she told me.  

Help!!!!  Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated and researched!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Homeschool Mothers Journal Week 5

In my life this week....

A lot more quiet this week.  Of course we finally found out about the van.....yuck!  About $8,500 in damages and 3 weeks to fix it.  We are out of a van until July 16th-17th.  I am sooooo missing my van right now.  The little car is just not as comfortable, and we all can't go places together.  Our red car needs about $600.00 worth of work, but I cannot pay for that because I have almost $700.00 I need for our deductible and my ticket for the accident.  Yeah....they gave me a $180.00 fine for failure to control my vehicle.  Go figure!  When it rains it pours!

So really just a lot of looking at our budget and seeing where to rob Peter to pay Paul type

I was also honored to be in the Circle of Moms - Top 25 Homeschool blogs contest.  We finished #52 this year.  Looking at all the competition I was up!!  I was honored to be where I was!  Thanks for all who voted for us.  It made me think though, that I could be telling more 'behind the scenes' that happens while homeschooling and living with multiple kids with special needs.  So I am going to make more of an effort to share what we are struggling with.  But try and keep it with a positive least after I am retelling it I will be able to hopefully find the humor in some of our

We also said goodbye to a wonderful neighbor this week.  We now live in the house that I grew up in.  So I always remember having these neighbors.  Bob passed away early Monday morning from an illness that he has been fighting for the past year.  He will be missed by all of us.  The kids were upset because they won't be seeing Bob outside anymore to wave at or ask to help water the flowers.  His wife, Nancy is a sweetie too, and Lydia adores her.  I am glad that our kids love to help out the neighbors with little things like carrying in their groceries from their cars or watering their flowers.  You don't see that hardly anymore.  But I am grateful that we have such wonderful neighbors to allow such energetic kids to help them

In our homeschool.....

We finished everything except behind in that subject.  I am going to rethink next week because of this.  I think our "day off" will probably consist of just history that morning.  I just feel that we really have been too relaxed in our history coverage and geography.

Lydia did a bit of a freak out this week and wouldn't go to her art camp.  She just kept saying she wanted to wait for the art class that I will be starting this fall in a local town.  We did do a cool art project this week though.

Joey is working on his Space lapbook, but I figured out he was doing as little as possible to make himself look busy and like he was getting something done.  So we had a sit down today about  Still struggling horribly with multiplication facts.

Brayden also tried to do the bare minimum to make me think like he was doing they not learn!?!?!

Caty and I got most of her work done this week.  She didn't do much "writing"....but we worked on her pencil grasp.  And WOW!!!  There is a massive sensory issue with glue, liquid and stick.  She purposely is putting it on her fingers to rub it off as it dries.  I caught her trying to glue her toes!  She laughed at me and said 'It felt squishy and funny!".....Ugh!!!

Tomorrow the girls and I are going to the zoo with their Elementary Co-op.  Going to be a hot one!  They are going to focus on Primates and encourage sketching the animals also.  We will be using our newest stroller purchase for the first time.  I purchased an oversize stroller from a special needs preschool auction. Caty was too big for ours, but I need one because she wanders.  But even Brayden can ride in this one.

My favorite thing this week....

My new shelves in the front storage closet that my hubby installed on Sunday.  I have been able to walk into the closet and get what supplies we have needed all week.  No issues other than moving around the easel I have stored in there right now.  I plan on installing a hook to hang that on the wall opposite the shelves so it won't be in my way at all.  Whooooohoooo!!! I so love that closet now!

Question I have....ok Questions.....

The glue thing....any suggestions for this sensory issue.  Joey still has it, but not to the same extent.  He just picks at the dried glue on the bottles obsessively.  So I use bottled glue very sparingly with him.  But not sure about this new thing with Caty.

2nd question.....Could I hear some feedback on Easy Grammar Systems.  I am looking at purchasing Easy Grammar 3 - Easy Grammar 6.  The boys do not like the books we have, which provide very little explanation.  They are mainly workbooks, no instruction.

Things I am working on....

My personal Bible study and also my personal workout.  I am falling behind in both.  My fibro has been causing massive brain fog issues.  So reading and understanding has been extremely difficult for me.  Cartoons are even confusing me.  I have to ask Joe to repeat things constantly.  Driving me nuts!!!  But the pain is even worse than the brain fog.  My joints are stiff and I just plain ache constantly.  This sounds sad, but today it was over 100 degrees in our area, and I felt comfortable.  It felt better than being in the A/C!  So I am trying to keep a better workout schedule in hopes to clear up my brain fog issues and pain issues.

What I am reading......

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It was a very predictable, short story.  So trying another one of his books after I finish the two I have checked out.  I am starting:

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What I am cooking....

Lots of chicken this week.  We had baked chicken a couple times...very simple just salt and thyme.  It was super yummy, and made for great leftover sandwiches.  Our oven doesn't seem to heat up the house too much, so it is nice to be able to pop the chicken in and walk away for about an hour.  A salad with sauteed shrimp this week with a vinegarette that Joe loves and I even made lasagna tonight.  Also on Sunday I made Joe a big zuchini cake (which is like zuchini bread...but in much larger amounts).  Tonight I attempted a version of GF/DF smores bars.  I forgot the salt in the "cookie dough" part of the layers, so not super yummy.  But not horrible either.  The topping was good.   I also made Watermelon was yummy and I think I may have killed our ice cream machine :(  Hoping for the best for it and going to try it again in a bit to make sure I didn't kill it.

A photo to share.....

Our pug, Rocky, taking a nap on Hello Kitty.  How funny!!!

Linking up with other Homeschool families at the Homeschool Mother's Journal.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cleaning up a room

So I admit I am cheap about things.  I am trying to save on what we buy, but we were in desperate need of book shelves.  The one in the living room was too small and breaking down.  But limited funds were staring at us again.  I went to an auction yesterday though and found some shelves really cheap!  The delivery fee is what killed me since I don't have my van right now.

Anyway, here's the school room clean up I did this morning.  I haven't felt well this past week. Awful fibro issues, so I got way behind and was just restacking all the stuff.  Still recovering from yesterday's migrane, so tried to take it a bit easy today.

Here is the room when I got started....

Joe brought the bigger shelf into the room for me.  I went through what was on the shelf and put things away.

We can use either table easily now.  The desk under the calendar is clean again, and can be used for drawing since the laptop on it is dying and Joe hasn't been able to fix it yet.

And then it was on to my front storage closet.  The shelf I had in there was too big and breaking.  The weight was killing it.  It was actually cracked in a couple spots and leining.  We wanted to mount shelves on the wall, but again funds were low.  And I have not taken the time to run to the Sauder Outlet in Archbold.  But then last week I saw a shelf sitting at a yard sale that was not worth actually using.  If it didn't sell, to the garbage pile it would go.  Those cheap particle board shelves fall part so easily, so I thought, why not pull it apart and use it's shelves in the front closet.  So I collected  a couple shelves, the one from the sale (for $5.00) and the one that was breaking in the living room.  I broke down and bought $18.00 worth of shelf brackets from Walmart.  So this project was around $25.00 plus time.

Here is what we started with: 
 No organization, just piled in because I didn't have any shelves to put it all on.

 Joe installed the shelves between support calls today.
 And then I went through and re-arranged all the supplies.  This closet has science supplies and models.  Art supplies, little project kits, etc.  Stuff we use on a regular basis.  Now it's not perfect, But I know where everything is.  And I will be collecting some more tubs and bins to put stuff in so it looks neater.

But at least I can get in the door, and though the pictures do not do it is really A LOT cleaner!!!

What a day...But got workboxes packed and Joey's Space lapbook ready for him to start.  Long day, and I cannot thank my hubby enough for installing all the shelves for me!!  It means so much to be able to open the door and get what we need quickly for those last minute project ideas!

Monday, June 25, 2012

What we're up to this week....

Always a full

Science-He is starting a new unit on Space using both Magic School Bus Space Explorers and Hewitt Homeschooling Space (watch for the upcoming review).
Grammar- Contractions
Math - Professor B (watch for the upcoming review)
Handwriting - Getty Dubay writing and I am having him do some tracing work to help with steadying his pencil.
Reading - Still working on his Madagascar 3 novel, will be done and start either an Arthur Chapter book or a Choose your own Adventure
Keyboarding - Christian Keyboarding (Watch for the upcoming review)
Reading Comprehension book - 3 lessons this week
Top Secret Adventures - Australia

Science - He will also be working on learning more about the Solar System
Grammar - Contractions
Math - Professor B
Handwriting - Getty Dubay
Reading - Whatever he chooses
Fine Motor Skill and puzzle books

Science - Learning more about what trees need to grow
Grammar - Language Lessons...more on proper nouns and learning a new poem
Math - MUS, she'll continue to work on the 100s board
Reading - Headsprout for Phonics and playing sight word games
Horse project for the Girl Scouts
Manners for American Girls, and we will finish reading Lanie Book 1 this week.  She wants to skip Book 2 and start reading Wizard of Oz then.  But we'll still finish our nature book.  I want to start Julie in July.
Handwriting - Getty Dubay

Science - Trees
Phonics - Explore the Code Review section
Math - UmiZoomi
Reading - Whatever she
I am going to have her play on Nick Jr. Boost when I am working with Lydia.

History - We will finish reading about Jamestown and Pocahontas.  I  am going to have them build Jamestown out of blocks while we read about John Smith and I have some coloring sheets for when we read Pocahontas.

Lydia has an Art Camp on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  She and Lydia have a zoo field trip on Friday.  It's for the Co-op that we are going to attend in the fall.  Lydia also has violin, and Joey has guitar lesson.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Bucket List Challenge continues....

So our Summer Bucket List Challenge continues....

We played in the rain

We went on a nature/family walk....even Rocky came!

We made homemade gluten free/dairy free choco chip cookies and turned them into ice cream sandwiches.

 We made homemade finger paint.

We had a dance party and rocked out to Veggie Tales Bob and Larry Sings the 80s.  It was so much fun!!

 And the girls and I picked blueberries for about a half hour.  Ok I picked blueberries.....they ate them!

We keep working on our list.  So many new things to try and make sure we do!

Have you done any cool new things???

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Our weekly triumphs and accomplishments

So we have had a an interesting week.  We tried to keep the 3 days of planned schoolwork and then 2 days off or unstructured activities.  Lydia and I started adding this book into her boxes this week.  We are working on practicing our manners more.  She is liking this book so far.  Now we'll see if she listens.
 We played in the rain.

 And then we had to stop because of hail.
 20 minutes later they were swimming in the pool....crazy weather day!
 Lydia and I are trying to play our Reading Game more to help her with her sight words.  She actually is doing really well and almost ready to move to the next book!!!

 We went on a nature walk and realized we don't have much of a neighborhood for collecting nature stuff.  Too many of the same trees.
 We woke up to discover large trucks and construction equipment in front of the house.  They finally closed the little bridge for repairs.  So the kids are watching this process and hearing all kinds of new equipment being used.
Our oven was fixed, so we made homemade gluten free/dairy free choco chip cookies, which we then made into ice cream sandwiches.

 We made homemade finger paint.
 We continued reading our American Girl Lanie book, and worked on some nature crafts.
 We made picture frames out of twigs we picked up on our nature walk.  This project worked for both our American Girl reading and the fact that the girls were learning about trees in Science Class.  In fact, all of tree projects were cross-over science/literature projects.

 And then tried to paint with them.

 We also learned how to press leaves using the Cutest Nature Book ever.
 The Cutest Nature Book Ever! (American Girl)
 And then she used one of the Maple leaves that was shaped like a star to make a card for her friend Zachary.
 We ended our week with a Rainbow...

The boys did really well on their work.  I discovered that Joey finally knows his phone number!!! I wanted to do a little dance when I discovered that last night!  He worked really well on his Science by himself.  Brayden done really well on his workboxes on his own!

We also read about Jamestown this week in history.  We ordered the Jamestown Toob and Powhatan Toob so they could rebuild their own Jamestown Settlement.
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The boys haven't had a chance to play with these yet.  They came while Joey was gone, and then I hid them as a surprise for Monday for school.  Next week we will read more about John Smith and the true life of Pochontas (not the one from Disney).

All in all, considering we didn't do everything that I wanted.....we had a fairly good week.  Guess we'll play catch up next