Monday, March 5, 2012

No camera, no photos!

Yeah, I lost my camera. That's ok, I found one on clearance today, I just haven't had a chance to use it yet! But there will definitely be pics in the near future! Charlie's hair is getting so long that I want to have some good photos of her before I go cut it all off again. I've been picking it out of her mouth again. :-/ It absolutely has to be cut before her trach surgery. I don't want her slobber plastering her hair to her trach or new stoma. Ew.

Speaking of which, we're still on for the trach surgery. Which means I haven't lost my nerve. She's actually been breathing a little better lately. Needing less oxygen, having a lower HR, and definitely having less autonomic issues...but I know it's probably temporary and I'm trying not to let this convince me that the trach won't do much. I think it will. I have to at least give it a shot.

She's been such a happy kid lately that I feel bad sticking her in the hospital, knocking her out, and letting them poke holes in her. This is the hardest part of the decision I think...knowing it's NOT life-saving or 100% necessary. It's optional. And I'm going to cause her pain and discomfort and make her lay in a hospital bed for at least a week. :-( I'm sure if it helps, I'll forget these feelings instantly, but they do weigh on my mind.

Overall, things are going great. It took a while after I quit my job to settle into a routine. For a while there I was kind of floundering, not knowing what to do with myself. LOL I was relaxing WAY too much, taking too many days "off" simply because I could. You know how homeschoolers say kids need time to "deschool" before jumping into a new homeschooling routine after leaving public school? Well I think I needed to dework. But I'm getting my motivation back and I'm been settling into a more predicable routine. Adrian is doing SO much better now that he knows what to expect out of each and every day. He doesn't fight schoolwork as much, because he knows it's just something we do now. Every day!

It's amazing how much he can accomplish when we are all functioning at our best. He's getting enough sleep, I'm getting enough sleep. Neither of us are exhausted from a 5 or 6 hour day at the daycare. We are eating regular meals. LOL He's jumped about 2 grade levels in reading. He was reading late second/early third grade books, and last week he picked up a fifth grade book. I don't know if he's reading AT a fifth grade level (probably not, since he's still stumbling through it a bit), but he's reading it as fluently as he was reading the easier chapter books. So he's advanced quite a bit.

He's advanced a LOT in math. I ordered some unit blocks so he could better understand place value and once he did (it was a looong road!) he took off like a rocket. He can add or subtract any two numbers you give him, even ones where you have to carry or borrow multiple times in a problem. So we started multiplication. Now we've gone over the basics before...briefly. We went over them again and I got out the single unit blocks again so he could use them for each problem. I was showing how to group them and he said, "Mom, can I just do these and get on with it?" and he proceeded to do 15 problems (without the unit blocks), only getting 2 wrong (he simply tried to do them too quickly and was off by 1 number).

Writing is still a struggle, but he's coming along. He's not "behind" by any means, he just gets frustrated easily and tests my patience. I'm sure once all the processes come together and fall into place, he'll be an excellent writer. I bought a new spelling handbook to help with that, and I've been letting him dictate some stories to me, so he can see how I get them onto paper. I'm also going to try cursive with him and see if that helps with his actual handwriting. He has difficulty with spacing, so it might. If nothing else, I want him to be able to read cursive. Just today he was frustrated that he couldn't read a sign that was written in cursive, so I explained that's why we were starting cursive this week, and now he's excited to learn.

A friend gave me a few history books that she didn't feel were a good fit for her family, but they are working out just fine for Adrian. I'm learning a great deal as well. I absolutely *hated* history as a kid. Mostly I felt it was boring and 90% of it was totally useless. Looking back, I think I was right. Really we were just memorizing a bunch of names and dates, without really learning the history and why it happened. So I'm not focusing on dates. I'm focusing more on order of events, culture and customs, and why things happened the way they happened. And when he seems bored with something, I might cut the lesson a little short. Quite often he gets very interested in a topic and wants to explore it more in depth, so we do that a lot. I fly by the seat of my pants a lot, coming up with little games or activities to go along with our lesson. Sometimes it's all his idea and I just have to marvel. Last night he wanted to write messages to each other in hieroglyphics (of our own design), and then he proceeded to tear his in half. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was going to hide the parts of the messages around the house to I could pretend to be an archaeologist and "dig" them up, piece them together, and decode them. Genius! That's not a history lesson either of us will forget for a long time. We had a lot of fun!

For science I'm just either picking a random topic a few times a week, or letting him come to me with questions and using the opportunity to delve deeper into the subject, but I always try to put some kind of hands on experiment or activity with it so it will be more fun and memorable. We've done a little on density, acids and bases, and the solar system. We've talked about the human body a lot as well.

We just kind of randomly fit in music, art, and languages. Even though it's not a regular thing, I feel he's probably getting more than he'd be getting in public school. We're also getting out of the house a lot more, taking more field trips, and visiting other homeschool families more often. I spent several hours the other night planning field trips for the next 3 months. I'm so excited because I was able to fill up the calendar with all sorts of low to no-cost trips. I even scheduled one for the week that Charlie is in the PICU, for the Franklin Park Conservatory, which is not too far from the hospital.

I think I'm finally rocking this homeschooling thing!

1 comment:

sarah said...

check with the library and see if they have any VHS/DVDs of The Magic Schoolbus. My kids went through a phase where they watched it regularly. The show does go into details of scientific stuff in a way that kids can get into.

there are also some cartoons that deal with history in a similar way. Maybe that would make it fun for Adrian to learn the important things in history...