Sunday, September 11, 2011

All about Adrian!

I have no new pics of Charlie to share and so much to say about Adrian right now I figured I'd do a post just for him!

First of all, we got his new booster. He loves his print cover! We've had to tinker with the fit a little bit, but it's starting to grow on me. The little guy just has SUCH narrow shoulders we were having issues keeping the belt where it should be. I'm hoping he'll broaden out soon. His dad is really broad-shouldered so I'd expect him to be...maybe.

I hope this is the last seat EVER I will have to buy for him. It adjusts super tall, higher than any other booster on the market. *I* fit in it! Well, I would, if I lost 10 lbs (weight limit is 120!). But height-wise I fit. So Adrian will definitely fit until he's totally ready for a seat belt. We'll probably never need to use it as a backless unless he's 10 and still needs the booster and is horribly embarrassed to be seen in it. Then I will let him switch to the backless since it's less noticeable. Remember, the law may say 8 years or 80 lbs, but most kids aren't ready to ditch the booster until closer to 10-12 years.

Homeschooling is going quite well. Our biggest issue is Adrian is expected to write so much more now. He balked at first but he's adjusting I think. He's struggling a lot with his handwriting. I don't really know what is age appropriate. I don't know if it's normal for him to still struggle this much. But I'm making him work on it at his dad's on the weekends. I'm hoping to get past this hurdle very soon, because it's the only thing holding him back from just flying through his lessons. He takes in everything so quickly and easily. Like, with Language Arts, all this new stuff hasn't even phased him. 2 weeks into school and he's already breaking sentences down into nouns, pronouns and verbs. We're due to start adjectives this week. But ask him to WRITE a sentence and on come the tears. He really likes the pages that he only has to circle and underline things. LOL I'm starting to wish I'd made him work on it more last year but who knows if that would have even helped, you know? They say kids do things with they are ready!

I finally have his homeschool area set up just how I want it...I think. I'll probably change my mind again in a month. Anyway, here it is:

Here he is doing his first art lesson (thanks to the tabletop easel from my mom!):

And the finished product:

He says it is a cat, but he didn't know how to paint the body so he drew a line instead and now it's a cat balloon! And those are his initials at the top!

Time-wise things are a little difficult. I send a little work for him to do while he's in the K room at the daycare, but...he's 6. He doesn't have a whole lot of self-discipline. So while he sometimes works on stuff, most of the time he just gets wrapped up in being a kid. I think it will get easier next month when the K kids begin "formal" schooling (right now they are calling it an adjustment period and just doing whatever). He'll be bored to death when they are working on memorizing sight words and he'll be forced to get his own books out. So when we get home he gets free time while I eat lunch (he eats with the daycare kids). Then we get to work and honestly it just depends on his mood how long we take getting everything done. Sometimes we have to put it away, take a 30 minute nap, and get it back out in the evening after he's had more free time.

But it's doable! That's the important thing. And he's not miserable or overworked. I try to make sure he gets his fair share of "just being a kid" time. And I'm making it a point to get in 30 minutes of reading before bedtime because I realize now just how important that time with me is. I guess I never noticed before. Reading before bed was always so hit or miss. Sometimes we'd do it and sometimes not. He needs it though. I can tell that now. We are 2/3 of the way through the 4th Harry Potter book. I hope to be through the whole series by the end of the school year, including the Tales of Beetle the Bard. What series to read next...hmmm...

According to the district we should be logging 900 hours this school year. That's 5 hours a day if we do the typical school year of 180 days! At first I thought..."There's no way we can do that much!" and then I thought, "It's not fair, public schooled kids aren't learning 5 hours a day!" Then I realized we ARE doing 5 or more hours a day. It just depends on what you consider "learning". Is it sitting down doing "formal" lessons out of a workbook? Well sure. But not always. I count our read-aloud time, crafts, physical activity, educational videos, etc. It adds up. I plan to get a learn Spanish audio thing to listen to in the car on the 20 minute drive to the daycare so we can tack another 20 minutes onto our day. So we may only sit down for lessons 2-2 1/2 hours a day, but he's learning for at least 5. And really it's what progress he's making that counts. I know he's getting more than he would be getting in public school. For one, I'm able to challenge him where he needs it, like in math! And spend extra time working with him on things like handwriting!

And let me tell you one thing...I'm almost positive he'd be having difficulty in school. I swear this kid has ADHD. Or it could be completely and totally normal behavior for a 6 year old. He's bouncing off the walls and has to be reminded constantly what he's supposed to be focused on. If I'm not sitting right beside him the whole time, he'll start doodling, or picking a scab, or staring off into space, or making up his own version of how his worksheet is supposed to be done, or giving all his numbers monster faces, get the picture. Oy. The last thing I need is someone telling me there's something "wrong" with him. I think he may need more help focusing than some other kids but I can help him with that.

So I DO have little bit about Charlie. I've worked up a little preschool curriculum for her. I just have to put it in motion now. I'm still gathering supplies and making sensory bottles. Her IEP meeting is later this month, where I will officially withdraw her. Then I have to get her nurses on board with everything (it shouldn't be too hard!) because goodness knows I can't homeschool 2 vastly different children all by myself AND work 30 hours a week! It should be fun for her though. I have all sorts of cool stuff planned, from arts and crafts to sensory stuff. And we will be working a lot on eye gaze communication! I just DARE them to tell me at the IEP meeting that I can't do for her what they can. Last year was such a joke. But I've already gotten the vibe from them that they think homeschooling is a joke, so we'll see.

Then I'd like to get her back in therapy, but there's no huge rush. She's doing great and therapy for her is more just about keeping her limber and comfortable rather than having goals about reaching milestones.

I'll have to get on the ball about taking more pics. Charlie is looking just darling in her fall outfits with her short hair! She's getting more cute outfits for her birthday too. She's going to be FOUR!!! Can you believe it!?


sarah said...

I think the writing thing is normal. Clay (almost 6) can write all the letters, but they are not always perfectly formed, or the correct size.according to his teacher the focus right now is "forming letters and words legibly and with correct spacing"

it does sound like he may have a little extra energy. One thing I have heard from my friends with ADHD kids is that meds are not always the answer. One thing you could try is giving him a few ounces of coffee (with equal amounts of milk) or some soda with caffeine in it. If he does have ADHD tendencies,it might speed him up enough to allow him to focus.

Shauna said...

Oh yes, I'm definitely not looking at "treatments" just yet. I want to give him time to mature and see what happens. It is very frustrating, but I just keep telling myself to "breathe!". It is amazing that I didn't notice before. I guess I never cared that he couldn't sit through a whole video, or randomly jumped from toy to toy. Or would ramble from topic to topic. Suddenly, with schoolwork it matters. LOL But it's always been there, it's just not a nuisance until you try to sit down and teach them.

sarah said...

I hear ya. Clay has some interesting sensory needs. It is hard sometimes to not correct him for doing something, like using the back of the couch as a balance beam.

in the end, it is up to you if and when you decide to give him traditional medication for symptoms he may be showing. I know plenty of people who wait until the child is showing issues at school before they medicate. Years ago when we were first beginning the diagnosis process for my 15 year old autistic son, we noticed ADHD symptoms in him. Wanting to learn more, we read this book I about wore it out! it is written by a doctor who self diagnosed his own ADD in medical school when they first were starting to "discover" it. I thought it was interesting to see it from that side of the table ( a doctor who has experienced it)