I use CurrClick occasionally to purchase things for homeschooling. I follow them on facebook and I just noticed they have an Autism Awareness Month Charity Bundle. It’s basically a bundle of curriculum that can be used with any student. It normal retails for $48.84 and they are selling this bundle for $10.00 and 100% of the proceeds go to Autism Speaks. So that’s an 80% savings for you and a donation to an autism charity so check that out.
I’m getting very close to 40 pounds lost on my weight loss journey. I love how I have this exciting journey going on in my life right now. I love trying on clothes that didn’t fit and they are fitting or starting to fit. I have dumped some excess baggage in my life that was fueling only negativity and I feel so hopeful for the future.
Homeschooling is going well. I had a little burn out last week. My children’s education is so very important to me and sometimes I get overwhelmed trying to make sure we’re doing everything we need to do.
Things with Adrian have been good but also hard in some ways. He loves sitting with me and loving on me, which includes pinching me, twirling my hair, rubbing my arms…I have to say as much as I don’t want it to…it gets annoying. Sometimes I just want everyone to get away from me. Sounds horrible right? It’s just hard sometimes. He loves on Lincoln by pulling on his ears and Lincoln hates it. I’m not sure what to do about that (besides telling him to stop), he used to play with Nevaeh’s toes constantly and he outgrew it so hopefully the same thing happens with Lincoln’s ears.
And not the kids, it was me. I was doing a little lesson about Helen Keller with the girls this afternoon.
I like doing little units that we can do together. I save the worksheets and more details for Sanura and just let Nevaeh listen to the lecture and explain to her what braille is or what it means to be deaf or blind.
Helen’s story is absolutely amazing. To rise above being deaf and blind to accomplish all she did is tear worthy and I couldn’t help the tears from spilling over even though I tried. It was kind of funny to be reading that and explaining and Sanura stopped me and said “Mom, are you ok?” I guess it’s good for kids to see that side of things but I don’t know how teachers do it at school without crying.
I just wanted to share this quote from Helen:
The public must learn that the blind man is neither genius, nor a freak, nor an idiot. He has a mind that can be educated, a hand which can be trained, ambitions which it is right for him to strive to realize, and it is the duty of the public to help him make the best of himself so he can win light through work. ~Helen Keller
I forgot to post our favorite books of the week last week but I had two that really stuck out to me this week so I didn’t forget.
My two favorites were awesome books, they were kind of tearjerkers but the stories were awesome and the pictures were very well done and fun for Nevaeh to look at. Our two favorites were The Quiltmaker’s Gift and The Orange Shoes.
We also read from a chapter book each day for 15 minutes and this week we’ve been going through Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. It’s a good one so far and perfect for kids to read independently in grades 6-9 but since we’re reading it together I think it works for Sanura who is in 5th grade.
I found a doctor for the kids around our new place and I liked her so far. This site explains the different kinds of hearing tests and towards the bottom there is a section labeled “Tympanometry” and that is the test they did with Lincoln in the doctor’s office earlier this week. Normal ears will show a peak on the device they use to measure and ears with a blockage or problem will the device will show a flat line. The nurse said Lincoln’s test was completely flat. The way the nurse explained it to me is that there is some kind of blockage. We got a referral to a hearing and speech center and our appointment is in mid-December. I feel anxious and wish it could be sooner but I feel better then how I was feeling about the whole thing yesterday. I’m hoping the solution is tubes in his ears and I’m hoping the tubes in his ears will significantly help his speech delay so if you want to pray for us those would be great things to pray for.
Do you ever go to make tacos and realize you forgot to get seasoning? Maybe I’m among a minority of people who use store bought taco seasoning but every combination of seasons I’ve tried in the past I have not been impressed with. Not too long ago I went to make tacos and didn’t have seasoning and I came across this recipe and I’ve been really happy with it. I didn’t have the red pepper flakes so I just omitted them but this is really good taco seasoning in my opinion so just passing that along!
Lastly I had a couple links I wanted to share:
First, if you are catholic, someone sent me an email about this kit to prepare your child with autism or other special need for their first communion. So I thought I should pass along that info for my catholic friends.
I came across this article and shared it on facebook the other day but figured I’d share it here too. This article has tips for preparing your child with autism for Halloween.
And now I guess I should clean my house.
My kids are all geared up for Halloween. I think it might be Adrian’s favorite holiday and the girls have been talking about costumes for a couple of weeks.
I try to keep our homeschooling fun especially for Nevaeh who is only five years old and has a shorter attention span. With the kids looking forward to Halloween I have done a few Halloween themed activities lately.
First I printed out 2 inch pictures of pumpkins from LessonPix and on the pumpkins I wrote Nevaeh’s sight words that she’s been working on and then I laminated the pumpkins so they will last longer. I hid them around the living room and when it was time for her reading class I told her that she was going to do a pumpkin hunt. I usually just hide five pumpkins each day so it doesn’t take her forever and she will get bored with it. Once she finds all the pumpkins she reads me the sight words. she really enjoyed that activity. Here are some examples of Nevaeh’s pumpkins:
Another activity we have been doing is I will name off Halloween words and Nevaeh marks off the letter that the word starts with on a laminated alphabet list. I decided to do Halloween words one day and she’s asked for Halloween words every time we’ve done it since then.
This is our calendar and we’ve been marking it off with Halloween pictures printed from LessonPix and the girls love choosing what picture to do next and hanging it.
You could also use these to teach kids how to make a pattern, we had a pattern on our calendar last month. (example: pumpkin, bat, candy corn, pumpkin, bat, candy corn which is an important early skill for kids to learn)
Nevaeh and I also decided that for the month of October she was going to learn to spell orange and black and she is using these videos for that:
We’ve also been doing this cute Skeleton Dance:
And I can’t leave out one of my very favorite sites ChildCareLand.com so here are a couple activities but she has a lot more on her site:
Pumpkin Seed Sorting and Counting:
Sanura is going to be 11 years old in 6 days. It’s crazy how fast they grow up isn’t it?
I think I share more activities that my little ones do because there is so much out there to do with little ones. Crafts, toys, and learning games are limitless. Sometimes it can be hard to come up with fun activities that will still be educational for Sanura. She enjoys art, cooking, and science experiments and those are all fun activities that I think many preteens would enjoy.
Firstly, have you seen the game show Minute to Win It? We don’t have any tv channels anymore but when we did the kids and I loved watching this show. There are lots of fun activities on there that your kids could try and you could definitely incorporate some lessons in with those activities. We played some Minute to Win It games at Sanura’s last birthday party and the kids did enjoy playing.
Science Activities for Preteens:
Sanura is learning about the circulatory system in science right now and this experiment called Plasma soup would give a great visual to her lesson so I think we’ll be giving this one a try.
Play Cards! Sanura and I love playing card games and you can incorporate some great math lessons with cards. One of our favorites is the game war but possibilities are endless. Teach them your favorite game or learn a new game together.
Bingo is also fun for the kids. Just calling out the numbers would be too easy but you could make the call cards math problems and the cards they’re marking off would have the answers on them. Whatever you are needing to work on whether that is multiplication, division, fractions…again endless possibilities.
Cooking! Let your child hop on the internet and help them pick out a recipe to make. It’s a great way to work on fractions, following directions, and an important life skill all at once.
This create a graph web site looks really fun, we haven’t had a chance to play with it yet but I think it’s something Sanura will enjoy.
Sanura does not like writing to my dismay because it was always my very favorite subject in school and as an adult. I love to write and I’m hoping to cultivate a joy for writing in Sanura. There are a couple of times I have seen her light up about writing.
The first time was when I encouraged her to write her very own children’s book complete with illustrations. I told her the final draft needed to mistake free and illustrated. She was excited! She wrote a rough draft, I helped her proofread and it ended up being written a few times before the final draft. Finally after working hard on her story she got to sit down and draw the pictures. She absolutely loved it and was very proud of the finished product!
The second time was when I asked Sanura to try incorporate as many of her spelling and vocabulary words into a short story as she could. I think it helped sprout off some ideas for her and she had a page of words in no time even though it would normally take her an hour.
Spelling and vocabulary have been an important part of our writing time, Sanura really enjoys practicing her spelling words on Spelling City
This activity caught my eye but we haven’t tried it yet.
All of my children love art, I am a terrible artist but as I’ve said, my husband is amazing so they must get that love of art from his side of the family. Aside from checking out your local art center (Sanura took a comic book making class that was pretty sweet and Nevaeh went to a thing called Messy Mornings where the kids go and experiment with all the art mediums) most preteens will still enjoy drawing, painting, and sculpting with clay. Especially if mom or dad sits down with them to do it.
Beads and necklace making materials are always a hit around here too and can be a great fine motor builder for the little siblings.
If you know how to play an instrument teach your child. Glen is teaching Sanura how to play guitar and it is a really fun and bonding time for them.
I hope this may give you some ideas of activities to share with your children. I will have lots more coming since I am always looking for creative ideas to work with Sanura during our school time!
Since I’m homeschooling the girls this year the library has become a really important resource. I thought it might be fun for the girls and for myself to choose our favorite books from the week and share on Fridays. Friday is always library day in our house now.
I am not one to buy books for the most part. If it is a book I really want to read and don’t want to wait for availability at the library I might buy it or if it’s a favorite for one of the kids (Pinkalicious for Nevaeh) then I might buy it but other then that it’s to the library we go.
I read aloud to the girls each day for 15 minutes out of a chapter book. We just finished a book called Indigo Blue and Sanura especially liked it, it was a little grown up for Nevaeh but I let her color or practice cutting while I do the chapter book read aloud if she needs to. It’s a bit of a tear jerker but we really enjoyed the book.
Nevaeh picked Posey Plans a Party, this is the second Posey book she has read and these are the cutest books for little girls. The pictures are fun and girly and she loved the Posey books we read.
Nevaeh picked a nursery tale thick book that had lots of stories in it. I have been disappointed by many of these thick books claiming classic tales. Either they aren’t how I remember them or they don’t contain the classics that I consider the classics. We loved Mary Engelbreit’s Nursery Tales: A Treasury of Children’s Classics It has all the classic tales I remember and the drawings were sweet, stories weren’t too long, and the stories all went the way I remember them going as a kid.
Sanura is studying Christopher Columbus and the events up to and after the colonization of America and Spanish Colonies in America was a good edition to our study and brought about some good discussion.
Those were our favorites this week…on to our new stack of books!
Songs are an awesome teaching tool. It’s fun for kids and it makes whatever information they are trying to remember stick in their head a lot better. Sanura can sing all the United States in alphabetical order thanks to a song at school. Nevaeh is only on day 17 of kindergarten and she can spell almost all of her colors already. When I was researching free resources for teaching kindergarten to her I turned to some educational videos on youtube. You have to heavily monitor youtube because there is a lot of inappropriate things on there but these songs are awesome. They are easy for parents to remember because they’re to common tunes you probably learned as a child.
We started with red because I figured it would be the easiest for her to remember because it was so short plus we printed out Dolche flash cards and red, blue, and yellow were on her pre-primer list of Dolche cards< I even heard Lincoln singing the red song today!:
Then we started on blue:
Pink is always a favorite for Nevaeh:
This is what we started with and we’ve continued to move forward with the other colors. I’ve let her pick so it’s more fun for her.
You’ll also frequently hear this song in our house:
First I have to update about Lincoln and our school situation. I went in this past Wednesday to drop off his enrollment packet and the lady in the office said she’d call me to let me know about when I can come tour the school and meet the teacher before he starts school this Monday. Of course nobody called me. I have never dealt with a school that tells you time and time and time again that they will call you back and only one time out of the half dozen times they said they’d call me have they done so. I’m almost speechless about it because it’s so absurd. There is no way I would send my kid on a bus to a place that #1 has been terrible to deal with #2 that I’ve only seen the front office and none of the other areas in the school and #3 to people I’ve never met.
I’ve heard great things about the school from Adrian’s current teacher and the lady from Parents as Teachers so I’m hoping it will all work out but I have my doubts. I guess I’m going to show up with Lincoln at the usual time he’s supposed to go to school on Monday and see if I feel comfortable leaving him there or not. *INSERT HUGE EYE ROLL HERE* Can you tell I’m frustrated?
I went to the store today and picked up all of his supplies he needs. He’s not diggin’ the new shoes or the bike helmet I got him. I’m hoping he’ll adjust to them.
On to the number recognition activities that I wanted to share. Nevaeh can count to 100 with minimal help but I noticed if I pointed to a number and asked her what it was she didn’t know so I started to think about ways I could teach her how to recognize numbers without sitting in front of worksheets all day. Here is what I found:
Who doesn’t like a good ol’ game of BINGO? I made the board myself…made a few different ones and some squares with the call numbers. The circle discs I printed from Childcareland.com which has to be one of the most useful sites I’ve ever come across for homeschooling:
And this game has a little tooth fairy towards the bottom and teeth up above, the child counts the number of teeth and pins the clothes pin on the correct number (this activity is also from childcareland.com):
So along with our other math work we’re going to be adding in these this week for Neveah, hopefully it will be fun and she can learn number recognition at the same time.
My mom came to visit for a couple days this week. It was good to see her and the kids loved it. She got a little lost when she got here because she hasn’t been here before so I went to get her. When we got back to my house I hopped out of the van excited to see my mom and spend some time with her but I stopped short when I heard a hissing sound and looked down to see my rear drivers side tire going flat. I’m just thankful I made it home and didn’t break down on the side of the road. Glen put on the donut tire and we loaded up and went to the zoo. My mom was only staying for a day and a half so we wanted to spend the time with her. I did go and get it changed the next morning and it took forever but I’m just relieved that it’s done! Adrian was so so upset when he realized that his grandma had gone home. He cried for about an hour and not much I tried would comfort him at all. He seems ok now.
Adrian has been doing good in school. No issues. I’m so happy that his teacher seems so nice and that things are going well…huge relief for me.
The girls have been doing awesome with homeschool. It’s so much fun. It’s a lot of work to prepare everything but it’s a lot of fun too. Here are a couple things we’ve done:
This is our behavior tracker-green=good behavior, yellow=so so behavior, red= not good behavior:
There are clothes pins with their names written on them and you just clip it to the plate that corresponds with the behavior. It’s a little babyish for Sanura but she played along since I was going to be using it for Nevaeh. If they stay on green all week then we but something new for art class on Fridays, last week they picked out a bead set to make necklaces.
Yesterday we did a little science project. I took the girls outside and had them think about how birds make nests and how hard they must have to work to do that. Nevaeh has been studying habitats so this was more for her but I figured Sanura would have fun getting her hands dirty too. So the girls made their own bird nest and it is holding up really well:
And this is the inside of the nest:
As for Lincoln, I finally have an update. I dropped off his enrollment packet on Tuesday and he’s going to be starting school on Monday. I need to take a tour of the school and meet the teacher before I’ll let him start. The lady was supposed to call me back and I haven’t heard anything. The communication with parents by the office at this school is absolutely rotten. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. The good thing is I have only heard good things about the teachers at this school so we will see how it goes. I’m not going to hesitate pulling him out if I’m not comfortable with anything because the experience has not been good at all so far for our family.
There is a program here called parents as teachers and they come to your house monthly to give you ideas on how to work with your kids and hook you up with resources you may need and I had an appointment with the lady from there today. She gave me some names of doctors in the area which I was grateful for because I don’t know any and she gave me some handouts about how Lincoln is supposed to be developing at his age. She also played with him some and he was such a good boy while she was here.
So that’s my update, there’s been so much going on around here lately. I’m looking forward to another busy day tomorrow!