Ready to Wind Down

May 8, 2012

Busy.  Busy.  Busy.

It’s been a month since Adrian moved into his new residence and things are going very well for him.  I thought it’d mean I’d have so much extra time… yeah, not so much.

Of course, part of that is that I was free to make eye appointments, dental appointments, orthodontic appointments, doctor appointments and haircut appointments – so I did.  By the end of the month we’ll be caught up on everything. 🙂

Part of the time we’ve also spent trying out our new-found freedom.  We went with Dad to CT for business.  We took a weekend trip to PA to see my grandfather, something I haven’t been able to do in about 10 years.  I even got to go to the Marvel Movie Marathon!  Over twelve hours of movies!  What?! I haven’t been able to get out to see a movie in the evening for about 2 years so I was catching up 😛

Then we’ve also had homeschool co-op just about every week and play practice on top of that….  Then there were trips back and forth to Adrian for meetings, visits and dropping off furniture…  We had a couple of birthdays in there too…

Now it’s time to prepare for and take the end of the year tests that will count as our annual assessments.   I’ll be glad to get that over with and get into wind-down mode in our schooling.

June is our science project month.  With most of our other school work finished for the year, the kids are free to concentrate on a science project of their choice.   They’ll find library and internet resources on their topics, design experiments, write a presentation complete with visual aids and deliver it to the family.

And I hope we’ll find the time to travel and do other fun stuff somewhere in there too!

 

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Fake Travel Agents

March 28, 2012

So remember that I said we were going to go easy on the academics while we finish the task of getting Adrian settled in his new home?  Yeah, it never fails that when you back off all that educational stuff, something fun (and educational) crops up to fill it’s place.  😛

A couple of weeks ago we bought a few bottles of honey which happened to have some of those little instant win code thingies on them.  Zee took note that the prize was a trip to London and bugged me to log into the website to see if we’d won.  In his mind, he was already on his way to the airport.  (FYI: we didn’t win lol)

I asked what he’d do and see if we did go to London.  He said he didn’t know.  It reminded me that when the girls were in second grade, one of their favorite things to do was study other countries.  Sometimes they’d plan fictitious trips as part of the process.  Bingo!

So as explained he could plan a trip, the girls started to chime in.  They still love the trip planning – but I was afraid their enthusiasm would take the whole project right out of Zee’s hands!  To prevent this I let them pick their own locations to plan trips to.

Our fake travel agency was born.  Our agents are specializing in trips to London, Jamaica and the Florida Keys.  They’ll research what there is to do and see, plan a trip within the allotted time and budget, poll vacationers (our family) on their priorities and post summaries of tours, attractions and hotels on our fake travel agency website (while learning about blogs, picture copyrights, etc).

And since they all love a little friendly competition and the chance to do oral presentations, they’re going to make a video ‘ad’ for the trip they plan in an effort to gain the most vacationer votes and win the title of ‘Best Fake Travel Agent’.

Let the battle (and learning) begin! 🙂

School of Life

March 25, 2012

A lot of the usual focus on scholarly pursuits have been on hold these past couple of months.  We were fastened tightly in our car, riding the rollercoaster of red tape that accompanies most services for the disabled.  Our destination?  A residential school placement for Adrian.

We’re very close to the end of this ride and so our thoughts turn to where we’ll go next, when we get off this wild ride.

I know for myself, I’m going to need some time.  I’ll need time to decompress, relax and come to grips with what’s happened – the good, the bad, the guilt…

Then, it’s time to reimagine our life here.  So much of what we do day to day, minute to minute, is done because Adrian is here.  All that changes.

While we obviously wouldn’t be sending Adrian to a residential school if we didn’t think it was in his best interest, we also recognize that his moving will mean a lot of positive changes for the other kids as well.  I plan to seek their input in deciding on what life should look like when he’s gone.

This is huge.  Once again, the benefit of homeschooling is that we can balance our academic pursuits with the schooling real life is giving us.

 

Made for Each Other

December 31, 2011

How do I know my husband and I were made for each other?

Because before I even mentioned that I needed a Boba Fett bobble head for my desk he’d already bought me one.

He Won’t Stop Reading

November 11, 2011

Zee is nearly 8.  He and I are constantly in a tug of war over his school work and chores.  The kid can debate you to death. 

So it’s really nothing new that it’s Friday night and his work for this week isn’t finished.  But this week, it’s not because he’s spent all his time arguing about whether measurement belongs in a math book or when in his life he’ll find a use for poetry. 

This week he’s addicted to reading.

Reading has always been one of the first things he finishes on his to-do list each week.  These past 2 months, he’d been hooked by the Harry Potter books. He took them in the car, read them on the couch and begged to stay up to get a few more pages in.  I can’t seem to get the next book in the series ordered from the library before he finishes the one he’s on.

But this past week, it’s gone over the top.  He’s devouring whole bookshelves.  Every hour I seem to find him somewhere else, reading book after book.  Everywhere I go I see him walking around with arms full of books.  Every time I pass the main hall, there he is, on the floor in front of the bookshelf  reading one after another. 

Each time I see him I can’t help but inquire if he means to finish his school work this week. 

“But I like reading, Mom.”

It’s hard to argue with that.

Soft Start

August 25, 2011

Amidst the chaos of starting a difficult diet with Adrian, we’ve also begun our homeschool year.  I learned the hard way in years past that a ‘soft start’ is best.  Even the short vacation we take during the summer is enough to put everyone’s brains into hibernation. 

I’ve started the kids out with about 1/2 of what will be their normal work load. I’ll slowly bring that up over the next couple of weeks.  By September we’ll be fully up to speed.

So what have we been doing?  Well, we’re looking at US history between the years 1776 and 1800 this month.  Zee’s read biographies about George Washington, they’ve all watched several episodes of Liberty’s Kids and the girls have seen several of the lessons on this site.

The kids have undertaken several other projects that relate to this time period including building a suspension bridge (the first modern day suspension bridge was built during this time), eating cupcakes (the first mention of this treat was in a cookbook written around this time)  and learning to play Yankee Doodle on their instruments.

 The girls have started the Integrated Algebra course.  Already that Algebra Unplugged book has come in handy in explaining things in a different way. 

The girls are back to working on essays.  We’re reviewing good outlining practices together.  The girls are writing persuasive essays from either a federalist or anti-federalist viewpoint on a topic that would have been pertinent at the Philadelphia convention.

Everyone did some vocabulary/grammar workbook stuff, looked at the art of John Trumbull, made some things with clay and had several hours of PE time.

Beyond that we’re just trying to keep Adrian busy and calm till school starts back up for him.  That’s a job all by itself.

Covered In Nut Flour

August 16, 2011

I would love to write about the soft start to our new school year but I simply haven’t the time.  See, I’m spending all my days in the kitchen now cooking and baking to try Adrian on the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD).  Oh, and praying that it will have some impact on his behavior to save someone from being institutionalized.  Cause, yeah, if things continue on they way they have been either Adrian or I will land there.

It’s insane. 

I’m not a baker.  I suck at baking.  I hate baking.

But when you’re doing a diet that removes all sugar, grains, starches and artificial stuff… you have to make 110% of the food by hand.  I’ve baked more in the last 3 days than in the last 3 years put together.  Mixing and measuring while Adrian tries to turn my head and get my attention to ask to go for a drive for the 300,000th time today.  Cause, yeah, of course I’m gonna try this while he’s off of school, going stir crazy at home for 3 weeks straight. 

Did I mention this is insane?

And wouldn’t ya know, my kitchen sink is broken.  As in unusable.  Cause really, starting a difficult, work-intensive diet with a super-picky autistic, cabin-fever, giant man-child isn’t hard enough.  No, if you’re going to do something difficult then you should do it the hard way. Ya know… without running water.

Yeah, let’s do this the hard way. 

Did I mention that my husband is gone this week?  :O