Tag Archives: gifted

Ninja’s and diorama drama

Before Christmas, Mr. D. attended a free Ninja class to see if he would be interested.  Take a guess?  Yup – loved it.  Combination of martial arts lite and gymnastics – absolutely non-stop action.  Wonderful for my ADHD boy!  This afternoon is his first formal lesson – follows the same format so it won’t be shockingly different.  To say he is excited is somewhat of an understatement.

Today so far we have tackled some more Life of FredApples” mathematics – Mr. D. is still loving this and I appreciate the bits and bobs of information he is learning along the way that have (apparently) nothing to do with math.  Yesterday it was a toss-up but I think Life of Fred lost out once Mr. D. discovered the wonderful YouTube videos of Vi Hart, the mathemagician/mathemusician.  He loves her (seriously crushing) and loves that she is as whacky as him.  He is also really happy to see that adults can do more than one thing and be good at them all and turn them into a living.  Yay!

This morning has had a lot of heavy muscle work first thing; one of the best things to do for kids with FASD, the heavy muscle work early allows their minds and bodies to still enough to learn after.  He has carried planks, moved tree branches, toted recycling, swept floors – hard work but with very little complaint.  I think he was proud I thought him old enough to carry out these tasks with no (apparent) supervision.  No bubble wrapping our kids.

As Mr. D. is still a beginner reader and not very confident with his writing – even though it has improved tremendously – we are using a “Grand Slam” book, which asks a question each double page.  We are doing one per day with Mr. D. making his own answer (with his own idiosyncratic spelling where vowels don’t exist for the most part) and then doing a drawing or art piece on the facing page as illustration to his answer.  Today he answered “what animal would you morph into” with …… no surprises …. A PENGUIN!  The penguin love continues.  Did a really neat drawing, too.  His illustrations are improving quite dramatically and he seems to enjoy this side of art as long as there are few restrictions placed on how he wants his art to look.  Reasonable, really.

Whilst I was doing whatever I was doing (I seriously don’t remember), Mr. D. amused himself by setting up the dinosaurs in his  Christmas dinosaur book and creating a new diorama.  There are some photos below, complete with caveat from Mr. D. that I had to show both sides of the dinosaurs so you could see that one side is skin/hide and the other is a skeletal view.  Hard being a mother to such a tough task master!

Okay – after all that – it is time for lunch!  Have to call him in from the yard – he is enjoying our first sunshine in what feels like months even though the yard is a bog and the mud is still squelchy.  I think he is still busy being Merlin!

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Introducing …… 2012! Ta Da!

Yup.  Back to home school.  Lucky first day fell on a Tuesday so it was e-class day at NIDES (now called Navigate at NIDES).  Two children both at a brick and mortar school.  Bliss.  Slept on the couch for an extra hour (or two).

Today first day for Mr. D. at home.  Woe.  Parts went well, parts not so well.

We did another chapter of Life of Fred math; we mostly finished a poster of the Greek gods with Mr. D. doing all his own writing; we recorded a version of Mr. D.’s Greek God songs he has created (didn’t get to Jesus, the Christmas Goddess yet but I know he’ll repeat this personal favourite).

After lunch, we visited Fabricland and picked out some wool and needles for Mr. D. to start knitting a scarf – he is very excited about this project.

When Ms. E. gets home from French Immersion then all hope of schooling goes out the window so today they are watching “Back to the Future” whilst I try and update this blog and all my other media.  Snort.

Of our list of projects and topics for today, we did not get to finish the pirate puppet, we did not do his short daily writing assignment, and we did no RAZ online reading.  But hey – he found leaky batteries in his old snap circuits; took apart this Christmas’ snap circuit remote control car which isn’t holding charge so he figures he should start from the beginning again; he crafted a pirate anchor and another pirate map (placed in a bottle, even) and a few other things so I can’t really say his day was wasted.  Just unconventional.  Just how I like it.

Life of Fred was all about ships leaking and large boats so Mr. D. was introduced to the Titanic.  At lunch, Dad got out some ice cubes and put them in a glass bowl with water so it became obvious how much was above or below the water line.  Then he threw in some milk to see what an iceberg would look like with bad visibility.  Thus, Mr. D. no longer thinks that someone just fell asleep but he is big into blaming this on human error without much thought at all.

On a side note, he continues to delight by using his good manners.  This is especially thoughtful on the days when we don’t think it will happen.  Recently, both kids have been to the cinema to see Chipwrecked (chipmunks, d’oh) and with Dad to Mt. Washington to go tubing in the snow.  Both activities organised by Waichay Fellowship Centre – home to the keyworker for FASD in this area.  Quite (sadly) a large group of kids get together for these activities.  Mr. D. has been winning hearts left, right, and centre by being well mannered.  YAY!

Less positive is our lack of playdates lately – combination of holidays, parental illness, kid illness, and just feeling out of touch with people.  We have to rectify that.

Just a couple of pictures to follow, mostly from Mr. D’s choir at the NIDES Christmas Concert organised by the senior kids leadership group – absolutely amazing hard work from all.

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Slack Mummy

Boy, have I neglected this blog!

Mr. D has been learning up a storm and mummy has had trouble keeping up with the documentation for the first time.  It doesn’t help that quite a few of the photographs I would normally used are actually stored on hubby’s camera and/or computer system and I haven’t had time to ask him to ship them out via thumb drive.

Therefore, for now, there will be no shots of the wonderful cooking Mr. D has undertaken.  We stick with recipes we adults know or we go with Jamie Oliver; his recipes are generally easy to follow and he is just “easy peasey, wibbly wobbly, chubbly bubbly” enough to appeal to kids.  Looking forward to having a chance to check out Alton Brown on YouTube – his kid’s recipes are apparently a real treat.  So far, Mr. D. has helped with lamb roast – including sliding the large knife between shin bone and flesh to add seasoning; cooked roast chicken, again creating cavities along the spine and over the breast and pushing in butter and herbs; he has cooked Spanakopita and salad from scratch and there are more but I can’t think of them without the photographic prod.  All cooking has included the use of a new utensil or knife of some sort, reminders about hygiene and raw foods like chicken, safety instruction, independent measuring, and new cooking techniques.  If Mr. D. can easily handle pastry at 7, I am confident he will be able to take care of himself when he is older.  The biggest bonus?  He LOVES it.  He loves being in the kitchen, he loves cooking itself, and he loves having a product he can not only show off but that can “do what mummy and daddy do”.  To feed us gives him great pleasure.  Yay.

During this time, Mr. D. has made great bounds in reading.  Using the RAZ reading system (online and paper) he finally conquered Level AA, which has taken 2 years.  Then he completed Level A in one day!  Now he is powering through Level B.  His increased confidence is wonderful to watch and he delights in reading between 2 – 4 books to us and his little sister at bedtime each night.  Now he is not only tackling the graded books but last night took over reading “Aliens Love Underpants” – one of the underacknowledged classics of kid giggles.

At the Courtenay Museum and Paleontology Centre, his class has completed a 4 week study of Octopus, including a lot of classification work and are now nearing the end of their study of Light and Luminescence.  Now that he is in the Advanced Science class, he is feeling a lot better and more confident at answering and participating rather than just trying to dominate.  Improved social skills – yay, Mr. D!

At home, we have been continuing our study of the human body by using the Magic School Bus Germ kit and doing an experiment with growing mold.  We’ve also had great fun with the Glow Germs kit and using the black light to see how effective our hand washing is.  Mr. D. was surprised to see my hands were a lot cleaning after washing – this led to me demonstrating a full surgical scrub.  A lot of hygiene videos from BrainPop and Discovery Streaming followed and the upside?  Mr. D. now washes his hands when asked and has taken a full interest in actually brushing his teeth (flossing and gargling) every night now instead of once per fortnight!

Gymnastics is wonderful, although we are missing today because mummy isn’t well.  He has the right size and shape for gym and has developed amazing muscle control; at 6 he was using the rings apparatus and is able to fleetingly do that nasty-looking cross thing they do that looks as if it will rip your arms out of your arm pits.  Balance beam is a doodle, swinging on the uneven bars is progressing to using both bars, and straddling is becoming easier and easier.  Mr. D’s favourite activity is the rope swing – grab the long, long, rope with arms and legs, hold on for dear life, and swing across a 30-40 ft gap, landing safely on the other side (eventually, Mr. D. likes the swinging).  Not all the kids, especially the smaller ones, have the arm and leg strength to do this, but Mr. D. is at it repeatedly!

Guitar is progressing.  He is learning slide technique still, at his teacher’s request, because his hands are still quite small.  To keep it interesting, the teacher brings in percussion instruments and concentrates on guitar classics like the theme from Spiderman and Marsupial Sue.  I don’t think his playing is improving much – he isn’t there developmentally – but the exposure to music in a non-judgmental environment (teacher is also a music therapist) and the chance to listen to instruction are both priceless.  Like most things, Mr. D. will amble along, not seeming to be paying attention or learning, then, out of nowhere, BAM!  He’ll master it in what seems like nanoseconds.  Just the way he is.

Latin is leaping along.  On the day that Mr. D. completed his A level in reading, he also translated a who page of Latin for me and read it!  Never ceases to amaze me.  Ms. E is having fun showing off her French and Mr. D. is showing off his Latin so they are both learning a lot.  Minimus the Mouse continues to amuse with Latin and both kids have enjoyed learning “mus, exit” when the mouse runs away from the cat!  Random times during the day you can hear one or t’other saying “mus, exit” out loud.  Three cheers for Minimus the Mouse.

OK – have to get lunch happening for hungry lad so I will post more of the photos this afternoon, if given a chance!

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