Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Starting the List

I have yet to organize my list yet (#21) but this right here is the first attempt at blogging the list (#79.) I picked up Clutter Last Stand at the library yesterday and am going to practice #73...feel free to change the list. I am going to change that to read organizing books.

I did flip through the book...yep... i know..I collect... and I'm not as bad as some people and worse than others. I didn't think the book was organized well for someone who needs help organizing. I apparently hold a much higher record in the number of cookbooks collected and perhaps that will change when I attack item number #56; Consider getting rid of a few cookbooks. I meant that as a joke actually. My sister once said that with all the money I have spent on cookbooks I could have gone to Hawaii and back....probably. But I've been everywhere with those cookbooks and the trip has lasted much longer. I have given away some but I probably won't budge much there.

Today I did #92 and #93; Investigate SCD and use kitchen appliances. These are ongoing goals. I made some sweet potato muffins an I'll blog that on my 'food and organizing blog' aka: Settings of Silver. The muffins did not turn out completely as planned but Andrew did enjoy them and I just ordered four 16 oz bags of almond flour on amazon. MUCH cheaper.

I also, of course, completed #2...make a 101 things in 1001 days list!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

101 Things in 1001 days

I first found this idea over at Our Crazy Adventures in Autismland. I thought it sounded great! Here are my 101 Things I want to complete in 1001 days. As another blogger said, as a Christian, God can and probably will change some or all of these goals as He see's fit. It has been fun putting it together and one of the 'things' is to organize the list. It contains a variety of items from vacations, to ministry, to many organizing desires. It also includes some 'stupid' stuff such as buying disposable coffee cups that folks can take from the house because I am always saying "I need to get those." But I don't go get them! (#84) I may group the organizing into another mini 'thing' and add some other items at a later date but this is a good start. I plan to put this on my sidebar as well. I should have put that as one of the 'things.' LOL! (There are X's on some that are a tad more personal.) There are also probably some repeats...let me know if you see them! (For some reason when I publish the '#'s" turn to bullets. any idea why?? anyone???)

101 things in 1001 days
  2. Work on the 101 in 1001 days list
  3. Increase Andrew’s independence. (Working on specific sub goals here..)
  4. Outline better meals for Breakfast, Lunch and dinner that can feed us all and are more balanced.
  5. Plan weekly for menus and shop accordingly
  6. Weigh myself (done...12/27/08)
  7. Plan a weight loss program / eating program
  8. Start a woman’s Bible study
  9. Read The Organized Homeschooler and implement. (It is NOT a deals with heart issues.)
  10. Go to Disney or Disney cruise
  11. Begin Scrapbooking again
  12. Meet a Cyberfriend in person
  13. Have friends for dinner 2X per month. Nothin’ fancy…
  14. Play ‘people’ with Andrew daily.
  15. Prayerfully consider options for external activities before committing. (just because everyone is jumping off the bridge doesn’t mean you have to.)
  16. Go to the dentist- soon- and yearly
  17. Get to the girly doctor - soon and yearly
  18. Have a mamoghram soon- and yearly
  19. Do monthly breast exams
  20. Start a Thankful jar and keep it up.. Daily. Review monthly.
  21. Make a plan for the list…. ABC and when / categorize / time frame etc..
  22. Find a way to minister to others at church.
  23. Pray about the list- what is on it and how to accomplish it within God’s will / plan
  24. Go thru school stuff weekly and file.
  25. Take a break from school stuff- plan this out.
  26. Marvel at all that God has done- journal
  27. Clean out my email box and consider switching providers
  28. Go to Plummer’s cottage
  29. Go to Tawas
  30. Begin OT with Andrew and follow thru with plan
  31. Visit sister in St. Louis
  32. Visit with EJ’s family more often
  33. Research special needs adoptions
  34. Read Clutter’s Last Stand from library
  35. Daily do a to-do list- do the to do list
  36. Start ongoing shopping lists for Costco, TJ, Plum and WF..keep on the fridge
  37. Prayerfully consider bilaterals for Andrew. Proceed as directed.
  38. Learn how to make my own gluten free bread that is eatable.
  39. Attend ehub support monthly
  40. Plan monthly family nights with another family using the Heritage builder books.
  41. Read Brennan Manning book
  42. Basement
  43. Furniture for Andrew’s room
  44. Clear kitchen table nightly before dinner
  45. Make and do a ‘control journal.’
  46. Reconnect with an old friend
  47. Go out with a girlfriend for dinner one time a month
  48. Go out with hubby at least once a month
  49. Buy holder for Bible memorizing cards
  50. Keep track of seasonal stuff like wrapping paper stock so as to not overbuy
  51. Find quite place to pray several times during the day- if only for a few minutes
  52. Clean out poolroom so that we can play pool.
  53. Go thru past journals and note thanksgiving.
  54. Start writing my book
  55. Participate in NaNoWriMo 1009
  56. Consider getting rid of a few cookbooks;) LOL!!
  57. Convince Mark we need an RV so I can achieve goals 10 and 12 and more! (This actually is somewhat of a mini-miracle that I told him this and he was NOT Yea God moment.)
  58. Learn to drive an RV
  59. Try new recipe 1X month (or more!)
  60. Make a long range goal plan for Andrew
  61. Make a short range goal plan for Andrew (Iep type.)
  62. Write a will
  63. Find a new breakfast
  64. Clean the fridge…and keep it clean once and for all
  65. Clean out car weekly
  66. Review Andrew’s supplements monthly and make changes as needed.
  67. Track supplements and progress in a journal
  68. Watch a Netflix movie just for me 1X a month.
  69. Establish a good playgroup for Andrew. Try and meet weekly or bi-weekly
  70. Buy a part of a side of organic beef
  71. Rent a cottage and vacation for a week during the summer
  72. Have an RDI cyber friend reunion
  73. Revisit the list on a monthly basis. Don’t be afraid to change it!
  74. Get away with Mark once a year for a night
  75. Take Andrew to a Tiger’s game.
  76. Go camping
  77. Meet Leslie and Mike in Chicago
  78. Clean up address book and make a list of emergency and important numbers
  79. Blog the list
  80. Organize an emergency kit including flashlight and candles
  81. Get important papers in order
  82. Go through the 3 feet of papers I have accumulated, sort, scrap and find a system that really works for me.
  83. Investigate online buying for foods we use on a regular basis
  84. Find to go cups for coffee…with lids.
  85. Make a first aid kit for home
  86. Make a first aid kit for car
  87. Make a car ‘storage’ area
  88. Introduce Andrew to a new food weekly
  89. Give away and throw away 20 things a month (or more)
  90. Get downstairs house in ‘visitable’ order..with 10 minutes.
  91. Make bedroom a haven
  92. Use one of my kitchen appliances at least bi-weekly
  93. Investigate SCD for Andrew (and me)
  94. Research chelation
  95. Juice ‘more.’ (I’ll blog on this one for sure.)
  96. Learn to make homemade chicken stock
  97. Figure out some really good vegetable sides that I can serve many times a week
  98. Memorize longer passages of scripture monthly
  99. Buy flowers
  100. Get yearly pedicure
  101. Try my hand at knitting
  102. Participate in Shoebox Christmas giving program- put on Calendar for October!
  103. XXXX

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Ramblings

I read a poem that was an adaptation of The Night Before seen from the perspective of a parent with autism. I saw so many parts of the poem are some Christmas ramblings...

We got a Wii. Andrew had four items on his gift list and one was DeBlob Wii video game. He did not understand that we had to get the Wii game FIRST. He was a tad disappointed but later said to himself something along the effect that "that's OK. God will take care of me." He did get DeBlob later from Aunt Cheryl. He also showed GREAT JOY in the shirt that went along with the video game. He went upstairs after saying, "excuse me for a few minutes" and changed his shirt. So the jig is up.... he CAN dress himself.

I found a Sock Monkey for him. I didn't KNOW there were different types and therefore the one he wanted didn't have hair on the top of it's head. We are hoping that cousin Morgan may like it.

He was so sweet before we went downstairs in the morning. He was savoring the anticipation. WOW!!! Isn't that cool!!!

Andrew tried a carrot on his own. I know some of you will not consider this a highlight...and some of you will;)

Andrew just adores the interaction with his cousins . He loves them...they love him. It is a great gift.

Mark got a good nights sleep last night. (Those of you that know what has been happening see the blessing in this.)

Mike liked his cookbook! Anyone ever cooked blood soup. It was a Swedish cookbook. Apparently in Sweden reindeer meat is considered a staple as it was not listed under 'game' but in the regular meat recipes!

Amy kicked Andrew's butt at video games!! Not kidding...but it won't last.

Andrew kicked his teenage cousin's butts at bowling. And it was fair play. Everyone was surprised but Andrew was only mildly interested.

Amy could actually eat some of the Costco items she bought! I'll update that in another 'food' post.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...Who needs store bought toys??!!

OK i can't make this completely wordless. Andrew made a hockey stick from a wrapping tube and a sock. He then proceeded to grab a bowl for the puck... who needs Wii?? (OK- maybe I really wanted that for Christmas!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Christmast Story

As presented by Andrew. Some of the words are hard to understand but I think he's got it pretty much right! I just love the way that I have a 'Fisher Price Manger" but he'd rather use Jumba, Lilo and George Sanderson (from Monster's Inc.) He did manage to get the wise men involved.

Merry Christmas to all!

So we went to see Santa at Henry Ford Museum. I was a tad 'concerned' for several reasons. First, I did not want Andrew to blow it for other kids. I could not continue the Santa charade fully when he started putting Santa above Jesus. We have read the REAL stories about St. Nicholas. Andrew wanted to know if St. Nicholas was still alive and I told him no. He wanted to be a St. Nicholas to other kids...such as Dr. Susan's patients... Which is of course the way you want a child to think.

The second reason I was concerned is that Andrew told me he wanted to tell Santa several things such as he wanted a 'butt kicker' for Christmas. (Don't ask..I don't know where it came from.) He also wanted to tell him that he 'he was just an old man.' I didn't know WHAT Andrew might say.

So I grilled him, drilled him...and prayed. And here is what happened.

Before we were in line I was praying for just God's protection and blessing and will over the whole situation. And then while standing in line Psalm 19:14 came to mind and I prayed that the "words of his mouth and the meditations of his heart would be pleasing to God." And they were....

First Andrew says in the sweetest voice you have ever heard, "Christmas is not about getting, it is about giving." Santa did not quite understand Andrew and said something along the lines that he heard Andrew say giving and so he gave Andrew a little plush that they have there for all the kids. Then Andrew says again, "noooo... Christmas is about GIVING; not getting." He also told Santa that he is very special and I think at one point must have said "God loves you." As we were leaving Santa says..."Remember, Jesus is number one and Santa is number two." Can it GET any better than that????!!!!!! There was more but I was too busy listening to video tape it. While walking away Andrew continues to shout...."you are a nice man Santa!!" What I think Andrew meant to emphasize was....MAN. But thankfully it just came across as a 'nice man' so as to not blow it for the other children.

So Thank you Jesus....for coming to this earth to save us. And for answering the words of my prayer as it could not have been any more sweet than that. It was an encouragement during what is currently a pretty difficult time for us and yet another "whisper from God."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

DIA....the highlight

We went to the Detroit Institute of Arts last week. The HIGHLIGHT....riding in the CAR (vs. a van) and sitting without a car seat. Andrew is fine to be out of one now but the car seat keeps him confined and 'secure' in the van. But he said this was like a roller coaster...WHEEEE!!!!!! (That's Aunt Nancy next to him.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Jesse Tree

A few days ago I posted that we were doing a Jesse Tree. In that post I put a beautiful picture of a Jesse Tree I found online. Here is ours. is about the PROCESS not about the PRODUCT. This was one that Andrew and I are doing TOGETHER. And....we will probably not finish by Christmas...because hitting it EVERY DAY is sometimes NOT possible. I am also skipping stories I do not care to cover in detail with Andrew at this time. I am using the rNIV and listening online at Faith Comes by Hearing. I have a link to that always on my sidebar and you can get FREE downloads of the Bible online.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Butterfly Award


Kris at At Home Science awarded me with the Butterfly Award. Thanks!!!! The blog is an incredible resource for ...well...At Home Science.

Here are the rules for this pass-it-along award:

1. Link to the person who gave you the award.
2. Post the graphic.
3. Pass the award on up to ten other bloggers whose blogs you consider cool

Aut-2B-Home will be my forever favorite for her ongoing efforts to pass along all her God given wisdom. I first became aware of her several years ago through her listserve. She is an incredible example of "do not be weary in doing good for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up." (Galatians 6:9)

Cochlear Kids is another favorite. Val's tireless effort to educate the world on what a Cochlear Implant can do is incredible. Her stories are heartwarming (and funny sometimes) and her blog educational.

Two other favorite autism / homeschool / RDI bloggers are Our Crazy Adventures in Autism Land and The Black Pearl Academy. There is always something there to think about and I feel closer to these folks than I do many skin friends. Our Crazy Adventures also has a GFCF blog called Loving Gluten and Casein Free. "ChefPenny" is a pampered chef consultant too and just reading about her creations makes my mouth water. (hint hint on the PC. If you are going to give your money to anyone for PC.....order from her! She spends it on therapy for her kid;)

New to Homeschooling (but not new to autism) is another homeschooler/RDI/autism blogger. She is involved in a review program of homeschooling materials which she 'trials' on her daughter. A great blog to peek at especially if you are new to homeschooling.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My December Plan

Here's the December Plan...

A Jesse Tree! This involves daily scripture and you can google Jesse tree to see what I am talking about or click here for one example. I will post our own pictures which will involved nothing fancy...but here is one I found online. I can't tell you how much simpler you can make it... all we did was put up a vertical trunk and horizontal branches with butcher paper and I found some printed color 'ornaments.' The key is to tie in the scripture. And with the simplicity of ours, you can focus on the 'process' vs. the 'product.' I will upload a new picture of ours in a few days.

I am going to continue to work on MathUSee. Most of the upcoming lessons are review but we never did subtraction so need to do plenty of practice there.

We have a boatload of library books that are not really Christmas related but would like to read them so every day I'm just going to grab one and read. Today we read How to Make an Apple Pie and see the USA. And of course we mapped it.

I am going to 'try' and do a Christmas Lapbook but I am not sure on that one. We have done three already this year and I'm a bit lapbooked out. I will upload our Thanksgiving lapbook. Maybe next year I will be able to post some pictures BEFORE the actual holiday so folks can get an idea of what I'm talking about.

I am planning many outings including:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday Thanksgiving Meme..

I saw this meme over at Aut-2B-Home. It's why not...

1. Which do you like better: Cooking at your house, or going elsewhere?
I thought it was cook at home...but I've decided...not! The dishes..oh the dishes.... (This is not my kitchen by the way. Mine was worse..)

2. Do you buy a fresh or frozen bird? I made chicken...which is still a bird. It was just us three so I made chicken thighs. Thanksgiving is all about the sides anyway! I had the opportunity to get a VERY fresh turkey...'processed' on Wednesday. hmmm.... I mean i KNOW where they come from but it just made me think a wee bit more... good thing I'm not a farmer!
3. What kind of stuffing? I made the stuff from a bag for DH and some cornbread stuffing for DS and myself. It was quite good!

4. Sweet potato or pumpkin pie? I found a great recipe for a pumpkin bar cookie! I haven't made it yet however, but I plan to this week!

5. Do you believe that turkey leftovers are a curse, or the point of the whole thing? Like I said, we ate chicken! LOL!!!

6. Which side dish would provoke a riot if you left it off the menu? Taters!!! We must have mashed taters. DS was a bit peeved that I hadn't cooked the hash browns we had bought earlier at "Meijers with J."

7. Do you save the carcass to make soup or stock? I never have gotten the hang of that. Can you say....Costco ...they sell a great boxed chicken broth.

8. What do you wish you had that would make preparing Thanksgiving dinner easier? Alice from the Brady Bunch comes to mind.

9. Do you get up at the crack of dawn to have dinner ready in the early afternoon, or do you eat at your normal dinner hour? Lets see...I was at Meijers grocery shopping for dinner at 11 am. We keep our regular homeschooling hours around here.

10. If you go to somebody else's house, what's your favorite dish to bring? This one is easy. I make a wonderful triple cranberry dish with cranberries, cranberry juice and dried cranberries! I didn't make it today because I am the only one who will eat it but my sissy is coming tomorrow and I think I will fix it up! Will blog a recipe!

11. Does your usual mix of guests result in drama, or is it a group you're happy to see? One of the reasons we stay home is that it is difficult for Andrew with tons of people. I was with some ladies last night who all have children on the spectrum....each one has a story or two about holiday gatherings and it seems to be the norm to keep it small.

12. What's your absolute favorite thing on the menu? Taters!!!!

13. What are you thankful for this year? Oh there is so much
  • My wonderful family! I know that is predictable but it is true.
  • Andrew's progress....all the whispers from God that I have seen this year concerning his development.
  • My new skin friends!!! I've prayed for a long time for some friends that I would 'click' with..that would accept me and Andrew...and it happened...praise God
  • For my incredible cyber friends too! I was thinking about all my mom and dad went through when I was young. They had to do it in a vacuum. I am able to turn on the internet and find a dozen friends immediately that know what I am going thru and can support and encourage.
So Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!!! Now it is time for bed so I can hit those sales..(NOT!!!)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Giving all you have....The Best Birthday present ever

Today is my birthday.... and I just received the best present I have ever gotten in my whole life. $4.02- and a whisper from God.

Andrew is on 'detox' from his yeast issues and it has been a rough few days. As a bit of background, we have begun allowance and have instituted a 'save, spend, give program.' (Here is the program we are using.) It took quite some time for Andrew to want to put something in the 'give' envelope and we finally made it a requirement but he does it now himself. After Andrew said Happy Birthday he went to his give envelope to take some money out for me. I told him, "no honey, that money is for the church but thank you for the thought." Then...he went to his SAVE envelope and took out $3. Upon second thought he took out another dollar plus two pennies..(I'm 42 today.) I about cried because that is almost all he has in there. He didn't give just a little...he gave all he had. You can read another story about a woman who gave all she had here.

I told Mark that I wanted to give it back but of course I could not. I was going to 'dock' his allowance this week because he has not been great but of course I will not. I might even throw in an extra dollar because he has been wonderful on taking his medicine for this yeast healing. Mark drew a great corollary. When we give to money, time, prayer, or helping His people, you can just imagine him showering gifts upon us. We give of ourselves and He is pleased. He loves us always...just as we always love our children, but when we give to Him, His pleasure with us increases and he longs to rain blessings upon us.

So Thank you Jesus this birthday, and this thanksgiving week..For ALL you have done for us and may we give of ourselves each and ever day, not so that you will rain blessings on us, but just because we love You and because You love us. In Jesus name, Amen!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Our Unschooling days...

I didn't even PLAN this week. We did plenty. I made sure we did math and speech every day. Part of the reason we are 'unschooling' is that we started Andrew on a new 'anti-fungal' parade. We are only on the first 'band' at the moment; nystatin. Andrew has many gut issues with candida being one of them. The nystatin is a relatively safe medication that can help get at that. We will also be starting on some enzymes. The 'problem' is that when you push yeast out of your system you don't necessarily feel all that great. Andrew is 'extra' out of sorts. It effects his mind and his body. My hope and prayer is that healing the gut will help his attention and also increase our ability to eat additional foods that are currently restricted. Although he is not currently himself, I have noticed some really positive things such as his willingness to eat a variety of foods including fresh spinach leaves!!!!!

We have continued with Friendship Circle this week- both at home and at the center. Here is his friend that we meet up with at the center. His name is Josh. We have a new friend Evan that comes to the house and I will do my best to remember to take pictures the next time he is here. We have been skipping Enrichment Hub because it is just too much for a Friday. I am spent at the end of the week.

We managed to play in the snow this week!!! And today had several unschooling moments. First, at breakfast, Andrew noticed that his 'miralax' medicine was not all gloopy in his cereal. I had mixed it by shaking it with his rice milk first. So...we actually did the solution science experiment that I've been wanting to do for ages. Andrew is also writing his Christmas lists which involves copywork. We are working on a Thanksgiving Lapbook and have read several wonderful books on the subject including Squanto. I had no idea the 'real' story of Squanto. I bought some new 'schooling' software at Costco. I was suckered in by the coupon but I think it will help me figure out where Andrew is grade wise for some subjects. Not that it matters really... "it is what it is." But it is also a way for him to do a bit more 'school' before computer games.

So there you have it.... this is what we have been doing.... some days lots...some days not so much. Works for us! I homeschooling and so thankful that it is not only legal but easy to do in our state. I can adjust Andrew's education day by day depending on his needs.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Just a quick one today. I just tossed Andrew a Disney 'workbook' on money and time and told him to pick a page and do it. I was walking back him when I saw him discover the answer key in the back. I said...'ah ah ah' ...and he just grinned and peeked out of the corner of his eye at me. I just thought that was so cute. He KNEW what he was doing LOL! and he was busted... so that's my thankful Thursday.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Weekly UpdateS for 10/31 and 11/7

I have some disturbing news to report...I am suffering from HSPD... Homeschool Split Personality Disorder and you can read more about this hideous condition HERE. We have been doing our math and trying to keep up with Christopher Columbus so that we can finish by Thanksgiving. We've been doing our new Money Management Books and tools from Dave Ramsey. And we've been practicing our 'social skills' at Friendship Circle, E-hub and playgroups. And much much more...i just didn't track it... and you know is freeing. The pendulum is swinging however with my HSPD.... and I am beginning to have a need to plan.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We have been working on our lapbook for well over a month and wanted to share with you now on Election Day...assuming I get this post up tonight..I'll add some resouce links at a later date..
Our cover was red and blue... under the Elephant and Donkey tabs are the names of the Presidental candidates. Andrew also listed his platform which included many things such as "peace (from mom) during video games and work on computer every day."

The inside flap has a small book on political animals which includes of course the donkey and elephant but also words such as lame duck and dark horse! We read parts of the book "See How they Run." The vocab book is in lift the flap style and has democracy, campaign...etc.. In the upper left we had a flip panel of "fact vs. opinion."

Our middle section included a brief overview of the democrat and republican platforms and a few more vocab words. We did a fun math exercise where we figured out what year Andrew could vote and when the first Presidential election he could vote in would be. We played with those numbers quite a bit and it was a great exercise in skip counting by fours.

We did some number puzzles and Andrew did quite a bit of clip art cutting and pasting which was fun. We also practiced alphabetizing political terms.

How is it that the above picture is correctly oriented in my computer and it flips here?? just turn your head.... The final activity of interest is the calendar where we mapped out the year of when the primaries are in various states and when the conventions are held.

And here we are voting!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

101 Things to do with your Halloween Candy

............Besides eating it that it. Andrew is on an allergen free diet. And even if you aren't, all that candy is BAD for you! OK this list isn't 101 ways. Feel free to add some ideas in the comments. I'll gladly add them to the list.

Estimate how many pieces of candy
Estimate how many types of candy
Estimate how many 'm&ms' or 'nerds' are in a box
Read the wrappers
Tell jokes from the Laffy Taffy wrappers
Build a Candy City
Pretend Jumba and Lilo (or whoever) are eating them.
Talk about what they 'look like': ie: a tootsie roll looks like an eraser, or it could be used as playdough....
Practice fine motor unwrapping the candy
Smush the tootsie rolls before you practice your handwriting (then throw them away.)
Play 'nerd' (or M&M) tic-tac-toe
skip count using candy

graph who got what and figure out percentages
graph candy type and figure out percentages
weigh all the candy (again - could do percentages)
weigh each type (and percentages)
compare the heaviest amount of candy to the actual 'amount' of candy

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wacky Wednesday

We Played Wii!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OH BOY!!! Big Boy!!!!!!!!

These two pictures crack me up because of the way the boys are sitting. I don't think Andrew really needs backs to chairs..... They did have fun!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekly Review October 24, 2008

Speech: We did final V and I can see where the phonological approach really works! Please get a speech therapist's direction on this but in a nutshell because not all kids need this approach; you (meaning the therapist) pick a sound to work on for '2 hours total.' There are three stages to each session: 1) auditory bombardment, 2) minimal pairs and 3) production. During step one I let Andrew color and just listen. Step two allows us to work on the listening and refine that so that he can better do step three. After the '2 hours' which we do in 15 minute increments over a period of 2 weeks, you let the sound go and move on whether or not it has been mastered. i said, we are doing final 'v' (as in wave.) While working on that I noticed Andrew very specifically put a final 'ts' sound on which is one we have worked on in the past. The moving on to a new sound allows the brain to process the old sound. And gee- i think it really works!

Math: I bought Math U See and we started it this week. We also continue to review addition and easy subtraction. Finally the facts are taking root. We review them daily times 4. That seems like a lot until you realize that our practice sessions are five to seven minutes long. Hey- it works for us. We do games, worksheets and even trampoline math!

Copywork: We did a variety of things including proverbs and vocabulary work.

History and Politics: I love love love our Christopher Columbus book. We only read a page per day but we learn so much. I am all about debth. We are also working on our Election Lapbook and I can't wait to get it put together and share it with you. I am doing our 'weekly lesson' on Learn2Hear Yahoo group on politics -a non partisan view. I will post it here as well.

We haven't really been keeping tabs on art and science.... Andrew gets tons of science in an unschooling mode. And he is very curious. So I'm not to stressed about this. But I did buy a program so i want to get back to it. The funny thing is, the next science book we are suppose to read is Marie Currie...Andrew says, she discovered radium. (We haven't read the book yet.) And art is more for me. I want to purposefully do more poetry however as Andrew does very much enjoy that. Winter will be here soon enough and we will have days on end to school.....

Wacky Wednesday

This is our Wacky Wednesday this week. I call this 'social skills class.' LOL!! Andrew has a blast with his friend Noah. (We have also been doing a Wacky Wednesday theme on money and will update on that at a later date.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekly Update October 17, 2008

Math: We did mostly facts. Take a look at my previous post for a game that we tried. Since Math U See is moving to captions I am going to take a stab at teaching using that program. I may try and muddle through the rest of our current curriculum. We did money on Wacky Wednesday and I plan on doing that topic this week as well so will write that up as a separate blog.

Copywork: We continued with Proverbs and wrote a note to our pen pal. We are practicing numbers on Wacky Wednesday as Andrew often writes many of his numbers backwards.

Speech: We went to speech and Andrew has the initial 'Vs' down so we will move to final 'Vs.'

Reading/History: We fished the Beverly Clearly biography and Andrew did a book report on it. He did a story map review using the table of contents. He drew picture and I added captions. We also started D'Aulaire's Christopher Columbus and are taking it slowly. I copied various worksheets from Enchanted Learning to complete a lapbook. The worksheets are nice because Andrew does not mind them and he enjoys seeing all his work put together in a lap book. They are a good thing to have round when I just need Andrew to 'do something.' Not ideal- but not completely twaddle since putting the lapbooks together are a great guided participation exercise.

Politics/Economics: Can you teach this in elementary school? We are doing a double lapbook on the election and Andrew has learned quite a bit. I'm trying to keep it non-partisan but Andrew has his own mind made up;) I will save what we are doing for posting later when it is done and complete but if you are interested in doing an election project with your elementary student you can google 'election lapbook' and there are many free resources. Feel free to email me or leave a comment if you would like some links. We also read The Ballot Box Battle by Emily Arnold McCully which is part fiction, part non fiction about women gaining the right to vote. A great living book.

Poetry: We listened to and composed our own Hiaku which is suppose to be primarily about nature but we also wrote some on other subjects.

the Andrew Lapain
I am the Noodler
I like to make knots in things
but not all of them.

Fall by mom and AJL
God made leaves special
They are different colors
The trees are disguised

Puffle by AJL
I am a puffle
I am cute, funny, loving
I love all of you.

Field Trip: We went to the Cider Mill this week. Andrew and Noah wanted to do a 'play' and we promised to continue the production on a play date this week where I will take video and then post it for all the world to see.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Games with Dice and other Math Strategies

Penny on her blog was talking about Math Dice and various games you can play with them. We sorely need assistance with basic facts. Today we did two games with the dice. The first you can see here. We made our own game board. Andrew does NOT love games. He will play if he can do them by his terms. He had his 'characters' and we tore off a large sheet of butcher paper. (Hint on the paper: Buy a gigantic role from That way it gets delivered to your house and you don't have to haul it anywhere but in the door. )

I drew the board DURING play. You can obviously do this ANY way you want. I changed colors every 10 steps. That allowed for lots of different ways to get in math progress. I tried to stop at a multiple of ten as we made our way through the game board. Oh- Andrew loves stories so the entire 'game' was a story of his characters making there way from one place to the next. I could stretch out the journey by twisting the 'road.' First we would shake the dice and move that many spaces. I have 1-6 and 7-12 dice and I did addition only. We only added 2 numbers. I would then make the problem..i mean play...more complex by asking 'totals.' So if we were on space 16 and he had tossed a 24 we would add the two and then count to make sure we arrived at the appropriate square. We also would many more spaces until we get to X which is sneaking in subtraction. That is why I put in the 'tree' picture. Before I drew those last 4 spaces after the dot I asked him now many to make 10 green squares. Clear as mud I suppose....just make up your own rules and stories based on your goals. I also let Andrew draw whatever he wanted AFTER the game. We used the game board the next day in a different way. Make up your own rules people. This is just the scaffolding.

Then we took the dice outside. We rolled it and went that many spaces on the sidewalk. I tried to make it a 'competitive game' but that just didn't work because I was too far away from Andrew to talk. So we did it...together. (In guided participation one might call that coordination.) We also counted evens or odds. If we were to go an even number of spaces we only counted evens...if odd..then odd. And if Andrew made a mistake we had to go back to where we started..tee hee. I only made him do that once and then scaffolded on the next procession- especially when counting evens.

So thanks Penny- for sparking this in my brain!
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