Tag Archives: reading

Monday Moaning

Well.  Not all of it has been moaning.

Started the day with a trip to NIDES for some tutoring – as reading progresses (quickly, but slow chronologically) Mr. D. is exploring more about sentences and structure.  Both his tutor and I have him writing a sentence a day (minimum) to keep the momentum going.

Then we thought homeschool gymnastics would be on but turns out the Monday session is full so we will need to stick to our Wednesday session; all fine except it means that every day in the week has something on and my husband definitely needs to take the car for work and, well, the cost of taxis isn’t getting cheaper!

As a result, nothing much planned for Mr. D. today; that really is always a recipe for disaster.  He went with Dad to check out a new (old, but new to us) dinner table and that was extremely exciting because he got to help load the truck, unload the truck, and talk to the previous owners, one of whom is of Chinese heritage.  Mr. D. still madly in love with everything Chinese.  Strange, hubby wanted to be a Sinologist for a while – until he realised that languages weren’t his strongest suit and that Mandarin was not one of the easier languages to learn.

Consequently, Mr. D. has not had enough movement today and is not settling down to much other than running amok.  I am hoping same hubby will fit in a hike with him but there is only 30 minutes until he picks up little sister so probably not.

We did look at our schedule for the day at NIDES (North Island Distance Education School) e-class tomorrow.  Major theme will be Electricity.  Mr. D. has been playing with snap circuits for a while but has been resistant (yes, a pun) to remembering what is happening in the circuit.  As a heads up we looked at one of the websites they will explore in the computer lab tomorrow and it turns out he knew more than he realised! (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/scienceclips/ages/10_11/changing_circuits_fs.shtml)  He’s still bored.  Woe.

OK – gotta go and organise washing up and dinner.

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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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Huzzah! Reading

Just getting through the day, the hours dragging their feet, then something happens to surprise you.

Our son – FASD, ADHD, SPD, dyslexic, etc. etc. who, at age 6.5 can describe the scientific method in detail but who cannot read, did.

Yes.  Did he ever.

Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for “In a People House”.  We’ve had the book for a while and Ms.E. loved it because she thought it was “In a Pooh House” and she is a big Winnie fan.

Dad decided to give it an outing at bedtime – where for once Ms.E. went to bed without a story because she was so tired – and whammy!  Mr.D. takes hold of the book and reads it from cover to back cover.  Every word.  Some were wobbly, some needed to be rethunk, but he did it!

Let the tumultuous cheering begin.  And it did.  I love my son and I love his perseverance.  I love his whole-heartedness.  I love his passion.  And I wouldn’t swap it for “normal” any day.

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Word Jumbles

To strengthen Mr.D.’s reading skills, I’ve chosen an assortment of words (one of the lists of Dulche words), printed them up, stuck them on cereal box board, cut them up and we’ve started playing Concentration.

Now, FASD kids do not have good memory skills.  If they can tolerate rote learning, it helps cement things, but Mr.D.’s style of learning doesn’t really accommodate that.

We have quite a lot of repetition on Explode the Code, the learning programme for reading that we have purchased to use at home – this supplements all the help Mr.D. is getting at NIDES.  Luckily, The Explode the Code people understand how boring rote can get and the repetition is disguised for the most part.

Concentration ended up being a winner.  For this number of words, Mr.D. can use his memory (spurred on by his strong competitive instinct) and he walloped me in this game.  I wasn’t going easy, either.  I had meant to, but then in all the excitement, I forgot where things were.  This is sad in that I had a photographic memory at one stage of my life – especially for visuals – and this game proved to me how much that is a thing of the past.  Here’s hoping we can get our children educated before we lose all our skills to old age!

or Memory

Concentration!

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