Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Candy Curriculum

............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
Empty out the skittle/MMs and use them as 10s and 1s to practice regrouping.
Demonstrate the barter system (1kit kat = 2 snicker...)

Friday, October 29, 2010

And the pendulum swings...

I need to find a rhythm. I am a schedule person. I want nothing more than to make a schedule, teach, have Andrew learn... and move on with the day. (I used to 'play school' and librarian when I was a kid.) I honestly believe he has to have some things he doesn't want to do..just to learn that he can trust me as his guide and that he can learn to believe he can be a good apprentice.

I have purchased parts of YET another math program. It has simple things like 8+3=X. He balks at that but if the page says, "this number has two more tens than 40 and the same amount of ones as 17" he can get it faster than I can. So what should I be concerned about? Should I just drop everything basic? In the picture above, he was making sure we had enough candy for today's Trunk and Treat. He added up the bags of Milky Way and Butter Fingers. Then he had to figure out how many more to get to 100. He does not subtract- at least in his mind. "Subtraction is too hard." But he can tell me how many more he needs. He does this with great exuberance. It is effortless.

Do I care that he NEVER writes a lower case L? He just writes a capital L smaller. He draws his letters. Apparently this is a no-no. Do I care that he already hen pecks the keys because he gave so much resistance in typing that I just cried Uncle? He can make his own Power Point presentations already. He learned that several years ago actually. With a day of instruction I am sure he'd customize Excel spreadsheets to figure out his math.

When doing our science he resisted and said learning about mixtures was 'toooo hard.' But watching Alton brown mix sucralose and fructose he draws a great analogy between mixture combinations and super heros and their arch enemies. He 'got' it when Alton broke out the tinker toys to explain it.

But in his free time he fills it with screen. He draws, reads and does something with a screen. We are starting Art Therapy on Monday. We need to find more 'interests.' He is much like a two year old in that he needs constant direction. But Mama tired!!!!!

I want to embrace Unschooling but not even sure where to begin. Will he learn? Will it be way less structure than he needs. I think this will be on the hot topics with our RDI consultant next week.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's a contest!!! and a cool blog

My friend "6 kids" is having a contest over at her blog "Ohio Homeschool." Click HERE to view the post with the contest. What can you win you might ask?? A set of Magic School Bus books and a list of activities that accompany the books! What do you have to do to win?? Just leave her a comment.

It is a very nice blog that they are doing. They provide assessments as I understand it to the Ohio Homeschool community as they are needed sometimes in the 'system' but the blog is chock full of other useful information, quips and information. They also write about their challenges and the beautiful joys they see in homeschooling. Stop on by! Become a follower and see all they have to offer in the way of encouragement.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trick or treat

I watched the first 15 minutes of the Halloween episode of Parenthood... and I cringed... for so many reasons. I don't know how the episode will wrap up (probably all happy and lovely with a few bumps in the road) but I was thinking how the whole 'trick or treat' has played out over the years and how RDI differs from other therapies. I wrote this up maybe 3 years ago... here it is again. I thought about it immediately when I started watching mom walk Max through a practice run of trick or treat. We have started RDI formally with a consultant about a year ago but I still think this is pretty valid. The bottom line is that you can TEACH and play out and social story the situation to infinity and beyond...but there will always be something unexpected. (I will say I laughed like crazy when Max wanted to be a cockroach. Andrew always wants to be something dramatic... where it is impossible to find s costume. He is of course happy to wear a paper bag over his body with his own drawings on it of that said item.)


People ask...'what's the difference between RDI, Floortime (PLAY) and ABA. Is RDI something you do to follow up ABA? can start RDI at any age but it can also be used after you have done ABA successfully or unsuccessfully. Isn't it just like Floortime? no... it isn't about playing with your child or teaching them to play. Tonight I saw a real life example of what RDI is and what it can do.
(This post is not to 'bash' ABA or floortime! Only to show you a glimpse of what RDI is all about.)

Going off to trick or treat we 'practiced.' Looking back that was very 'ABAish.' We talked about 'trick or treat' and 'thank you' and only take one candy at each place. Oh he's great at following the rules. But what happens when the 'rules' are broken by someone else at the first house. If we had practiced with a Floortime model we might have used some of our 'characters' to play 'trick or treat' but we would never have been able to come up with all the possibilities that might be out there on 'how' you trick or treat.

Enter D...our 'older' neighbor. She is so sweet. And gives Andrew 'one of each.' So at the next house Andrew thought...gee...I get one of each because the rule changed. I told him no, that was just D's house. I told him to take ONE 'unless' they do something different. This actually becomes quite complicated when one is hearing impaired, they have a fireman helmet on and the wind is a-blowin'. At one house he even said in a very loud voice, "Give me one!" He meant...Give me ONE...but of course it came out as GIVE me one. Also some houses GIVE you candy, and some want you to TAKE candy, and some just leave a bucket on their door!

Well- our neighborhood stinks for kids and trick or treating. So we decided to go to another neighborhood...lots of kid...even darker outside. After a few houses Andrew would take a candy or be given a candy, THEN LOOK TO ME for what to do next. Should he just say 'thank you?' Should he take another? Wait for them to give him one? And...more importantly, WHICH candy should he take? (He wanted to know which one he might be able to eat.) This referencing. Looking to someone else for information. People--BABIES-- do this all the time. Those with autism, well, not so much. sometimes you don't really know how to define something until you see it in action. This was just a mint day for us.

Friday, October 15, 2010

TOS review-Soli Deo Gloria Resources

I was given the opportunity to review Young Hearts Longing for God from Soli Deo Gloria Resources. It is a 'pre-inductive' study of some of the Psalms. Intended for 4th-8th grade, I think it can be used as a framework for discussing Psalms with younger children or even into adulthood. You can see a sample of the Psalm 8 study here.

Each lesson includes both word and text studies as well as more 'life application' lessons. Some of the questions are direct answer and some require more thought. I think this might be an interesting self study for many ages. In addition, you could use it for a small group or maybe a home school co-op. The study sells for $16.

Although we are eclectic in our homeschooling methodology, we lean toward Charlotte Mason. When we read, I often just move to the 'grand conversation' ** with Andrew. Each Psalm study however would give you questions to 'start from' if you were stuck. They could serve as a teacher scaffold for your discussion.

This company has a wide variety of resources from Bible to geography to various resource materials. In addition they carry e-book and hard copy depending on the product.

** If you would like to read more on the 'grand conversation' you can go to page 15 of this PDF which is an edition of The Charlotte Mason Education Review. The whole narration process is also found in this online periodical.

As part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew of reviewers, I was given a complimentary copy of this Psalm study. I am not compensated for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Today's haiku by Andrew Lapain

-The Bone Robber-
Sad Little Doggy.
His bone was stolen by a rat.
Bye-Bye Little bone.

-Broken Toys-
Great. My Toy-Gone.
My Fisherman helmet-Gone.
Don't trust a baby.

-Alive Paintings-
Come alive, paintings.
Mona Lisa- Out. All-Out.
Thanks, magic, blue, wand.

Flash! a blue hulk.
Pop! a yellow Behemoth
My real fear is poop.

(copywrite 2010 Amy Lapain)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

MEME!'re it!

Our Homeschool Reviews has tagged me in this fun game. How did she know I love these things? I really really do! She has asked 8 people 8 questions. I get to answer her questions here and then tag 8 people and ask them my own questions. If I didn't tag you feel free to play anyway!! Just go ahead and leave a comment with your blog. I'll add it to the original post.

Here are the questions I am suppose to answer:

Where were you born and do you live there now?
I was born in Michigan...and live in Michigan.... a bit south from where I grew up.

What is the best vacation that you have ever taken?
I am with the tagger.. I loved Hawaii. We went to Australia and then Hawaii on the way back. The whole thing was incredible but I would love to go back to Hawaii and spend several weeks there (if not months!) I also loved Jamaica - which is where we were headed 18 years ago on our honeymoon!

What is your favorite season or time of year?

What is your favorite holiday?
I guess I am traditional. I love Christmas. I love celebrating the birth of Jesus. I love presents too. :) But I also love Easter and all it represents. The spring..the rebirth. I might have to rethink my favorite season. We have a magnolia tree in the front yard and when it blooms, even for a few days, it evokes strong emotion in me.

Do you have a favorite place you like to visit with your family?
I developed a new one this brother's family's camper. Seriously fun and developed some strong kin bonds. Love my family. Who knew? I love to camp! (Ok there is electricity including air conditioning... but they still call it camping!)

Do you have a room set aside for homeschooling?
I do not but wish I did. I was laying on the futon in the office/bedroom the other day contemplating what I might be able to do in there to set up school. I keep my Christmas decorations in there so perhaps when I put them away, I will be able to de-junk and de-clutter and make something from that room.

How many children do you have compared to how many you thought you would have?
I have one. He is a blessing! Lets just leave it at that.

What is your favorite room in your house?
Probably the kitchen. I love to cook, bake and create. It is 'me' time. I also discovered the 'backyard' this summer. I know that sounds strange but I set it up as a little room for me to spend some time with Jesus. I love early mornings with dew on the ground, coffee in one had and Bible and journal in the other...I go out to my chair and have coffee with Jesus.

Now for the questions I will ask 8 others to answer..and I will answer them myself.

What do you think of hot dogs?
I don't buy the icky ones...But I love a good natural hot dog w/ kraut! Used to love the bun but don't eat them anymore.

Are you waiting for something?
I am trying not to wait anymore but live in the moment. I try and look back only when I need healing and look forward in eager expectation!

If you would go back in time, how far would you go?
Little house on the prarie :) I know it wasn't REALLY like that but that is still when I'd go.

What pulls you out of a bad mood?
Contemplative prayer with Jesus. I also do have a few favorite sit-coms and love clean stand up comedy!

What book is nearest you right now? If you have more than one list them all..unless of course it is a bookshelf. In that case just limit it at 10.
The Lazarus Life by Stephen W. Smith. Blessing the Spirit by Sylvia Gunter and Arthur Burk. Woman's devotional Bible.

Exercise or diet?
Exercise and healthy eating. I hate the word diet.

Has God spoken to you lately? If so, do you wish to share?
He has... some days are easier to hear Him then others. Mostly I think God just wants me to BE with Him and sit with Him.

When showering, do you start the water and then get in, or get in then start the water? and part b...Do you sing in the shower?

Why yes I DO sing in the shower. Is there anyone who doesn't? And I found this meme and had to ask it because I was wondering..why would someone get in and THEN start the water? Does ANYONE do that?'re it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Whispers from God

Today my son demonstrated way more flexibility than I did. Last week we were sick for e-hub (our homeschool classes) and we were so excited to go this week. We were driving INTO the parking lot and I got a call that the teacher was going to be unable to come. Andrew was mad and sad but he remained in control! (I know some of you get how GIGANTIC this is...)

We decided to go in and walk around. The coordinator suggested we check out the cross-fit class. We were peeking in and the instructor invited us in even though Andrew didn't have tennis shoes. He said Andrew could go barefoot. They were crawling back and forth when we were peeking in and I thought that would burn off some energy. Of course the second we got in there, they changed course and decided to TALK about nutrition. Andrew can't hear in there. I am so thankful that the teacher did invite us but I kind of half laughed and half cried at the irony of it. I am hoping to write him an email this week because I think he could be a good instructor for us as a family. Maybe I can even get some other special kids together for a class!

While we were there friends did want to chit chat and I wanted to also. We were waiting for friends that Andrew desperately wanted to have lunch with so I didn't want to leave. But I can't just sit and chit chat unless I bring Andrew's DSi. I wish I could. That would be mostly why I felt sorry for myself and I think it is a hot button topic for me. For years I have gone to the park and watched moms on the sidelines talking while I am playing with Andrew. It is an issue I am working through. I know God is good...all the time. I am feeling this truth more and more. So I went out to the parking lot and called a friend who I knew would 'get it.' That was all she needed to say..."I feel your pain." Whisper #1

Praise be to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3

I also called a friend on the way home. She pointed me to all the progress I have seen in Andrew including his ability to control his anger just today. Last year I wrote a 'preview' of what I wanted to see in two years. Our RDI consultant recently sent that back to me. The preview was about e-hub. That is how important it is to me. It includes Andrew being able to sit in class with a teen helper so that I can relax with friends. This goes back to the 'hot button' park topic. Basically anywhere we go I either have to focus on Andrew or give him his DSi. But while my friend never glosses over the bad stuff and doesn't try to fix it (because she lives it too and knows that she can't), she does encourage me by pointing out the good that even I have seen but am sometimes blinded from. We are not there yet but we are dramatically closer than we were a year ago. Thank you friend. Whisper #2.
I am greatly encouraged; in all our trouble my joy knows no bounds. 2 Corinthians 7:4b

Being sick really brings you down. And the devil likes to get you when you are down so this week has been a struggle. When I called another friend about lack of hope...will things ever change...she pointed me to Paul. Do you think anyone ever thought he'd end up where he did? Not even the disciples thought he would. Whisper #3.

By all this we are encouraged. In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit had been refreshed by all of you. 2 Corinthians 7:13

Thank you friends...for being Jesus with skin on for me this week. For encouraging me and refreshing my spirit.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Yesterday we went to a play date at a friends house. There was so much ...progress! Andrew did plan and it reminded me of a recent episode of Parenthood where 'Gaby' the autistic instructor helped max make a 'things you do at a sleepover party' list. It was so...rigid. Andrew made a list of things he wanted to do with J&J. It too was rigid and long...and one sided! The difference is I was able to talk to him regarding the list. We are avid Captain Underpants readers but some most of my friends are not. So I mentioned to him that we should change the "read C.U." bullet on his list and maybe put in a new book. In the past, that would have been a real loosing battle and he was visibly upset however, he did brighten up and pick a different book!

Ah...Silly bands. Apparently, according to public schoolers, they are 'out' now however I think that is because teachers have probably banned them because the are a distraction! But they are still 'in' in the homeschool crowd and I have been handing them out to Andrew over the past weeks. First, I love my kid because I had given him duplicates and at first those were the ones he was going to share/trade but he said that wouldn't really be sharing/trading because he'd still have one. I love his heart. I also was not quite sure he'd part with ANY of them at all! But he had great fun trading with his two buddies. I had to hold back a tear while I was snapping pictures.

We still struggle with hearing in many environments. As Andrew's joint attention and referencing have increased we have seen improvements in his asking for clarification versus getting upset. I have seen that at Praise and Worship class at enrichment hub as well. But he did 'better' and his friends were great with Andrew. They would tap him on the shoulder to get his attention and wait for him.

We spent a bit of time on the Wii. Computer and video games are just not a great 'together' activity with Andrew. He has 'his' way of doing it.. which is, of course the 'right way.' He has to get every coin and go in every secret tunnel. We did play for a bit and probably will again but just not the 'best' thing for him. He was even flexible here though. They wanted Andrew to bring over a Wii game and Andrew was very nervous that his data would be erased if he put it in another system. I posed the question on facebook and a friend called me to tell me that her son (Andrew's teenage buddy) said it would not erase. Andrew took it! He had a trust level there that was not there before. It probably had something to do with the fact that his buddy Tony had supplied the info.

We left on a high note after a 2 hour play date. Andrew had forgotten to bring a lego creation he wanted to show them but did not melt down with that either! Another sign of progress. Today has been wonderful as well... a happy kid. He desires so much to connect and I think that it is, itself, a reward for him. We may begin to approach RDI on a more cognitive level and explain to him that we do this SO that he can learn how to better form relationships with others.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Week ?? Update..

Last week we went to Ohio for an RDI appointment. It ate up two days and it was hard to get the momentum going when we got back. We started Enrichment Hub classes on Friday last week. So we had two 'full' days at home. This week started out well but by Tuesday night I felt like doo doo. I still do feel like doo doo. So what do YOU do when you feel like doo doo? There are no substitutes. Here are a few things that have gotten me through the week.

  • My husband has let me take extra naps and taken over. Thanks hubby.
  • Plenty of netflix.
  • Plenty of Wii and DSi.
  • The book stash has gone down. He did lots of handwriting...I don't care that it was in a Captain Underpants Book-O-Fun.

So what about you... as a homeschooling mom, how do you get through YOUR sick weeks especially if you have a child that needs constant direction?

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