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!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Weekly Update: October 10, 2008

Today (10/10/08) was our 16 year anniversary. We celebrated by both forgetting it was our anniversary!! For dinner...we put on sweats, ate leftovers and watched CNN. OK- we also watched some shows we had TIVOd over the week while Andrew played computer. I asked Mark if we should watch another show and he said, "Oh why not? It's our anniversary." We were livin' large!!!!

Oh yea...this is the weekly update. This week we had parent teacher conference. The teacher said said my son is doing great! All A's. A bit of an attitude however especially when it comes to practicing math.

Speaking of math: Andrew has been measuring everything. Total unschooling here but he has it down. Same for money. He finally reached his financial goal to get his new Planet Hero. We mostly practiced our addition facts for 'regular math.' While sitting at the table, he has trouble with 8+3; however, if jumping on the trampoline, he can focus and will answer 8+3, 8-3, 4+what =8 and more. He listens/focuses well. Mark said he can picture Andrew on a trampoline in his office out in the working world. Out of the box thinking in office decor is not uncommon especially at high tech companies. I couldn't find any pictures of trampolines in offices but these looked pretty interesting!

photo removed

We continued with Bible Verses for copywork. In addition we worked on numbers. Andrew typically writes many numbers backward and I work on this during copywork rather than during math.

We finished Henry Huggins!!! Andrew did a 'picture book report' of his favorite part of the book- when the can of green paint fell on Ribsy. Andrew thinks the biography of Beverly Cleary is indeed boring (and it is)..but we are plodding through it because there is quite a bit of geography in it.

We have continued with more impromptu grammar work using the Scholastic books. We used Brainpop this week for many areas of interest including levers, gears, elections, viruses, internet viruses, electricity, tornadoes, conservation of mass... and that was while I was listening in on what he was doing. Mostly I was doing other activities when he 'played' on this.

For typing, we are having 'contests' to see who can type faster. It is getting to be a real drag but he needs to practice. So I play a typing game and then give him a handicap that he has to get to in order to beat me.

We started speech therapy this week and we are working on the 'v' sound. I won't blog much on this here because my mode of 'therapy' is different than the way the therapist does it. However I need actual direction in WHAT to work on with Andrew and I think the speech therapist is great for that.

We also started back at the Friendship Circle. You can read about that a few blogs ago. We re-joined drama at Enrichment hub and continue to do storytime and music and movement there.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm All Ears!!

My cyberfriend Val has just published a book I'm All Ears. It is a wonderful story about the journey of her two children Brook and Gage in finding the world of hearing. Their adventures of silence...then sound. It has not been an 'easy' journey and certainly not typical- even for the hearing impaired. I read it and there are points of inspiration and some tears as well. You can read Val's personal blog HERE. On her personal blog she has an overview of the book HERE. And the book blog can be found HERE.

Although written as inspiration for those who have children with hearing impairments, I think it is a wonderful encouragement for those with children of any differing needs- or as a perspective 'grabber' for those that are that with 'NT' (neuro typical) kids. (Suddenly all your 'regular worries' may just blend away as you read Val's story.) It would be a great book for a grandparent, relative or friend to gain some understanding of what life is really like when you find out your child is hearing impaired.

I found myself, as I was reading the book being draw in to the anxiety at first, then the promise of a different option....then disappointment... and then finally success. Yet- it is still ongoing!!! Every day is a new adventure! The second half of the book is chock full of therapy tools, IEP ideas and wonderful everyday tips. Their journey continues as I write this...always an adventure.

I'm going to write a PS on this--- as Val JUST wrote another entry in her blog today. It is 'official' as her son Gage also has 'other issues' going on. So put her blog on your sidebar / bookmarks to read often. Like I said above.....always an adventure.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Living Books.....

We have been reading Henry and Ribsy over the past few weeks. It is the first fiction written by Beverly Cleary. We have really enjoyed it and are on the last chapter where Ribsy's previous owner appears. When Andrew realized what was happening there was a large 'gasp.' OH NO!!! What would happen??? I had to read ahead or he said he wouldn't finish the book!

I am not sure I can catagorize Henry as Ribsy as a 'living book' but I contrast it with a biography of Beverly Cleary that we picked up at the library a few weeks ago. It was on the end cap at the library and thought - gee.... what a great find. Well... we were reading that today and Andrew says, "This is boring!" And it is! It is your typical 'textbook format' that tells where she is born...bla bla bla... where she grew up.. bla bla bla... when she became a writer... bla bla bla.... I contrast that with Leif the Lucky that was RICH with language and adventure. Both biographies but quite different in their execution. (We are suppose to read Marie Curie's biography this week as well. I purchased it but am not looking forward to reading it.)

Back to Henry and Ribsy; It may not be a living book but it is fun and Andrew loves to 'play act' the parts in the book. We have been taking Ribsy on walks in the afternoon. And today we saw this statue on someone's front porch. Andrew pointed out it looked just like Henry and Ribsy! Even if it isn't a 'living book' it achieved the objective of increasing our interacting and sharing---which is what the purpose of any book really 'should' be.

Friendship Circle

Some folks were recently asking about Friendship Circle so I thought I'd re-post two entries I had written on my old blog. They show two different aspects of Friendship Circle


Sorry it has been a week since i have blogged. I just have been trying to keep up with the daily activities! And I've been convicted that I've been doing too much computer.

This is a picture of Andrew at the Friendship Circle. It is part of the Jewish Community Center and it is an incredible program with a variety of activities. We do "Friends at Lifetown" where Andrew has a buddy, Matt, that he meets with weekly and they have the choice to go to a variety of rooms including: sensory, gross motor, art, dance and games and Andrew's favorite....the computer room. Occasionally they show movies in a small theater. The whole lower level of the building is a small city complete with a library, pet shop, dentist office, bank etc.... we have not participated in this however it a fantastic program to teach life skills to children with all sorts of disabilities. It truly is a small running city where you can actually open up a bank account and use it at the stores.


Last Monday we had our weekly Friends at Lifetown at the Friendship Circle where we meet up with our buddy. Andrew's buddy was not able to make it this time, however we wanted to go because we were going to experience the town "in action." Usually we play in a couple of the sensory room upstairs. This time they actually had the bank, store, movie theater and even hair salon open and running. (As a side note, the hair salon Fringe is a 'mini' version of the real Fringe located in Bloomfield Hills. I highly recommend Ted there. It is a great place. I could not convince Andrew to spend his cold hard cash on a haircut however.)

Back to Friends... Andrew was given $12 (real money) and a wallet to carry it in. He had to take a withdraw slip to the bank to get the money. (He has since told me all we need to do to buy things is go get money at the bank. That "work" lesson will come later I suppose.) All the stores and businesses were very real. He headed to the store. We spent much time in there and Andrew usually has such a hard time choosing things. We finally settled on two cards to give to his cousins. Isn't that sweet?? There were toys galore but he bought cards for his cousins. Then as a last minute thought, we picked up some Lays chips to take to the movies. They do have popcorn however Andrew can't eat that- but he can eat Lays. So it was very fun to pay the lady and then head over to the movies. The movies are quick 20 minute programs which are 100% perfect for Andrew. This turn at lifetown was doing whatever you want in the city. In typical sessions, they will map out a lesson for the child which is different each time. So for example, they may be in the movies and the movie will stop. They will have to figure out a solution with their volunteer; should they leave and ask for money back or stay and wait for the movie to keep playing? Although these things don't 'quite' fit with RDI and guided participation, it is very valuable and also fun. I will sign Andrew up for 'lessons at lifetown' next year.

One more quick note about our journey there. As I mentioned we spent quite a bit of time in the store as I wanted Andrew to be able to pick out something special. When all was said and done, his favorite thing was the movies and sharing the laughs with me. He also wanted to make sure he still had his ticket stub when we got home. Now that is special.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Weekly Update October 3, 1008

Praise and Worship: We are reading the book of Matthew from The Illustrated Bible. It has all the verses but it is written in 'comic book' form which makes it very visually appealing. (As I was looking for links I noticed that you can see the entire Gospel of John from the above link..for free.)

Math: What to do What to do.. Drudged our way through a few lessons in Righstart. We worked on the concept of Time on Wacky Wednesday. I am going to do some Miquon Math this next week and make a +/- chart with Andrew. I am looking at MEP based on a comment that Kris left for me. (Thanks Kris.) It looks like it may be very useful.

History: Since we had read Leif the Lucky (non-fiction) we read Hiccup the Seasick Viking (fiction) for fun. We also read several books on the history of time for Wacky Wednesday.,TopRight,21,-23_SH30_OU01_AA115_.jpg

Art/Listening: I have decided that the art we are doing is really to teach me to draw LOL! I treated his art as an exercise in listening. There are various 'elements' in drawing (dot, circle, line) and so we did an exercise where I said such things as "draw three straight lines anywhere on the paper," and "draw a circle that crosses two of the lines." And then we compared how are drawings were the same or different.

Reading: We continue to listen to Henry Huggins on CD.

Science: We finished How to Think Like a Scientist. We also made salad dressing;) and playdough. It isn't as complicated as some of my friend's experiments (you know who you are)...but it was fun. Andrew at this moment is reading the science experiment book no doubt picking out what he would like to do this week. (It is Sunday night and I haven't finished planning yet so perhaps I'll get his input.)

Music: I'm giving this a rest at least as far as Hymns go. Andrew is VERY resistant to certain songs. It could be that he has heard the theme song from Spongebob Squarepants too many times and is therefore warped. Or there could really be something in the songs that bothers him sensory wise with his implant. He does NOT like girl voices and high pitched sounds. So we are taking a break while I figure out what to do here.

Typing and Copywork: We are working on My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson. Andrew is also making his way through Type to Learn quite well. He finished level 5 according to the CD ROM so of course wants to move ahead but I think he needs a bit more time there to cement habits. We were a the library this week and I was showing him how to look up books. I was happy that he was doing proper finger placement on the keyboard! (Oh so I guess we also learned about the library this week; how it works, where certain books are etc..)

We went back to e-hub and it was a success. We are taking story time, music and movement and maybe drama. That is a whole blog entry in itself. Will work on that...

Dear Mr. Obama

While I was at church this morning, Andrew decided out of the blue that he wanted to write a letter to Obama. I felt it was blog worthy because awhile back we were discussing candidates and we asked Andrew who he would like to vote for. He paused, closed his eyes and said... "Barack Obama. God told me to vote for him." Andrew's mom and dad are decidedly undecided and although both candidates are discussed with vigor here, I don't think we have slanted him one way or the other. Here is what he wrote to their campaign this morning. It is short and sweet...and from the heart of a child;)

Dear Mr. Obama,
My name is Andrew and I am 8 years old. I would like to vote for you but I'm not old enough. God loves you. You are very special.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Wacky Wednesday - Time

I know it is Friday and lots to tell on the school front but thought I'd briefly write what we did on Wacky Wednesday. We did "time" all day. The skills involved in time are not extremely hard but the concepts are more difficult. Here are some of the things we did:

  • Worksheets from Enchanted Learning. This involved not just the mechanics but also presented words associated with time. We even did one worksheet to alphabetize those words.
  • We have on the wall a series of clocks that go through all 24 hours and we tracked our day telling time at period intervals.
  • We counted how long certain funny activities took or how much we could do in a certain amount of 'time." for example. How many times can I clap while you say your ABCs. It is funny and actually not to easy to have one person do an activity and the other 'keep track.' It is like patting your head and rubbing your tummy.

We read...and then we read some more. Below are some of the books we read. I am not going to link them because I just don't have the energy at this time but I will provide authors if you are interested in finding them. These are all at the our library. We read some and glanced at others.

The Story of clocks and Calendars by Betsy Maestro
On Time- From Seasons to Split Seconds by Gloria Skurzynski
How Do You Know what Time it is? by Robert Wells
Get Up and Go! by Stuart Murphy
Solmon Grundy, Born on Oneday by Malcolm E. Weiss
Clocks and More Clocks by Pat Hutchins

Next week I am going to continue this concept and also make a 'lap book' from our worksheets. I am not a great lap booking gal... but we actually did one on time a year or so ago so it will be fun to compare. I know we actually did some of the same worksheet but less help was needed.

Related Posts with Thumbnails