Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Home School/New Special Ed School/Gratefulness

Last night was the first local LEAH meeting (Loving Education At Home), and it was nice to see everyone and get encouraged for the upcoming year.  I've been going through our curriculum, working to get the first few weeks planned out.  We use Math U See , All About Reading, All About Spelling, which are all multi-sensory programs that use concrete methods to teach abstract concepts. We also use My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures, and Explode the Code. Explode the Code follows the same sequence as All About Reading, but doesn't teach each step explicitly; so we use it to reinforce the concepts we've covered.   It also includes all the books we need.   I love My Father's World because it plans out everything for me and schedules when everything should be done. It gives spaces for Math, Spelling, and Reading, which are the subjects that need to be supplemented.  I tried in first grade working without a curriculum and just doing unit studies, but it really was a disaster.  So, now as we approach 4th grade, we're just sticking with what works.  We started out with a strict schedule, a uniform, a room decorated like a classroom, and a very structured environment.  I wanted to give DD a private education experience because I couldn't afford to give it to her, but I could give it to her myself.  It was a complete fiasco.  My daughter craves freedom, and over the years I've tailored our home school to suit her.  That's the beauty of home school.  When math comes easy, we speed through the mastery program.  When reading and writing are slow, we are pokey through those subjects and approach the other academic areas using oral methods so that the intellect is the same but the process is different.  We start a little later in the morning, or not until the afternoon, sometimes wear pajamas, sometimes get dressed, sometimes do school at home on the couch, in the dining room, in the kitchen, on the porch, or away from home in a park or someplace like Panera.  She can get up and walk around while she does her work.  She can attach her work to the fridge with magnets and work upside down.  Sometimes I put on music and sometimes it's quiet.  Whatever works is what we do.  We also belong to a co-op that offers art, music, and gym, which is great because those are my weak spots.  So, now that we're starting year 5, I'm confident with what will work, what not to worry about, and that I'm doing what I'm supposed to do.

DS is also starting a new school in September.  Last year was horrible, so I'm truly hoping that this year will be much better.  It's a tiny school with very small classes.  There is a regular gym and a sensory gym full fo swings and other stuff to stimulate the senses.  There's a brand new playground.  There are toys in the classrooms.  There is a dining area with  a stoves and sinks and a washer and dryer for activities of daily living.  The people there seem to be very nice.  It's a not for profit organization for kids with lots of needs.  DS will also be getting physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, feeding therapy, and behavioral therapy.  I'm just praying that he is where he is meant to be.  We all had a good feeling when we went to visit the school.  It's in God's hands.

So, today DS is feeling better, so we went out to the park to get some sunshine and fresh air.  I feel better, and the kids are happier.

Today's gratefulness challenge is to think of three things I'm grateful for that are hole, whole, and half.  Hmmmm.  I have to think about this one.  A hole...we have groundhog holes in the yard, wasp nest holes, and we have holes in the walls of our home from DS banging his head...I'm not really grateful for any of those...I have no idea.  I'm going to have to really think about this one...I'll get back.

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