• Attendance

    November 2012
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  • The “Class”

    Avery, Naim, Aaron

  • Subjects

  • Portfolio

November 30, 2012

Avery went to Goddard and did not have any accidents. He is getting more, what? The space between his accidents and the toilet are getting less, if that makes sense, but still no pee success. Have had poop success, though. Have not had a poop accident in a week and had one overnight diaper poop. Here is his Freely Report.

Big kids:

  • Finished Ch. 9 with all of this ten frame business. It is essentially more place value, but it is done in a sort of awkward way. Naim is struggling with it, so we had a big place value reteach using the Math U See “Decimal Street” method and base-ten blocks. I don’t know if he is any closer, I may put Nik on it. 
  • Did two pages each of Sylvan.
  • Naim did Bonus workbook of HOP Lesson 5 and reread “The Fog.”
  • Aaron reread his story in HOP Lesson 12.
  • Aaron did magic C capitals in HWT
  • Naim and I did more OT excersises with a ball and scissors work for Zaner-Bloser.
  • Naim and I did DER Lesson 35 in the evening as I forgot to get him started on it this morning.
  • We watched BrainPop about Mark Twain

November 28, 2012

We went to Outdoors In in the morning. Naim had a whole stuffed animal and toy instrument band. We had lunch at Taco Del Mar with the free meal coupons the kids got for the summer reading program.  Then, I hauled the kids all the way back to D’s house and went all the way back to go to Avery’s IEP meeting.

Avery’s IEP meeting was fairly predictable and uneventful. It was mostly the whole procedure of building a case for the feds that he is eligible for ECSE services. Then going through the placement procedure. So, now he has been placed in the ECSE classroom on Tues/Thurs at 10:45-12:45. He can start next week, but we are going to Great Wolf Lodge for the kids birthdays and bus transport and Goddard is not set up yet, so it will probably be the week after.  I did meet the teacher, she was the other member of the IEP team (Jean was the transition person, and now we are officially done with Jean. She grew on me after a while.) The new teacher is ok. I didn’t get much of a read on her. She seemed very quiet. I will probably go with him the first day or two so I will see how she strikes me then.

The building is…okaaay. It is clean and nice and there is nothing wrong with it. I think I am just spoilt. I have worked in two ECSE programs. One in Nebraska when I was the para for Tom P. It was just a classroom in a regular elementary school, but was sunny and spacious and was about 4 hours, 5 days a week. In Kansas, I worked at the one at Dole on the KU campus It was a beautiful room comparatively speaking. Huge, large windows, great outdoor space, it’s own kid sized bathrooms, lots of space for different centers and open space for play. There were two 3:30 hour sessions (morning and afternoon) 5 days a week. In both programs, PTs, OTs, SLPs, etc came in weekly to work directly with the kids and consult.

So this program is 2 hours 2x a week. The SLP comes on a consultative basis 3 times a year, and the rooms are about the size of a decent sized bedroom with no or very few windows. The outdoor space is bark mulch and little tyke toys.  It’s fine but kind of meh. But, whatever. It’s free, I think he will get more opportunities to communicate and make choices. Aaaand…we will see how it goes.

The “rules” made this homeschooling mom a bit hive-y. Learning how to stand in line. Please. If it gets too stupid and he is showing no gains from it, I will pull him out. But we will give it a shot.

November 26, 2012

So, trying to get back into the swing of things…

We had a quiet Thanksgiving Holiday. They did do some kiwi crate activities with kaleidoscopes and shadow puppets. We had Dwight over for Thanksgiving. I don’t think he has been here for forever. Kids went to We Village so Nik and I could have our monthly date. And most exciting, Naim saved up his $40 to get Nik’s old iPod Touch that we sold to him with a family discount. He still have $10 to go but that is on the layaway plan. It has taken him about six or eight months to save the money. He was very excited, and seems to so far be using it responsibly. Oh, Naim also went over to R’s house and they made sugar skulls and caramel apples for her “Autumn Party.”

Avery started potty training. So far, no success but not a lot of failures either. He holds it until he sleeps. He gets the whole potty thing mentally, I think. He just doesn’t know how to release his muscles voluntarily I don’t think. But the kid can hold his pee. (ETA: As I was writing this, we had our first successful #2 in the toilet!) Woo Hoo!

He returned to Goddard today, he did not have any accidents there, either. Here is his report. We are doing naked from waist down at home, and underpants (and extra packed for accidents) for Goddard. So far, naked or underpants doesn’t seem to make a difference.

I have Avery’s IEP meeting on Wednesday and I am going to check out the ECSE preschool. I got a little more logistical info from Jean today. I am kind of shocked at how little services he gets compared to the kids I had in ECSE in Nebraska and Kansas. Is it like this on a federal level now or does HPS/NWRESD just suck? I’ve been out of the loop. But I think I want him to go there and that is going to cause a big schedule shake up for all of us. Here is what I am tentatively thinking now:

  1. He stays at Goddard Mondays and Fridays. This will lower his tuition somewhat, and then whenever they think he is ready to move to preschool (has to be potty trained) it will lower it a bit more.
  2. He goes to ECSE preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He can go up to 4 days a week, but right now, it sounds like they are only going to give him 2 days. He will be bussed there.
  3. On Wednesday, we all go to Village Home. This means I am recking up the kids schedule big time. I will have to drop all of their Tuesday classes, and I will add a couple on Wednesday for one long day. Avery and I will either stick around or go home and come back (or in my dreams I can get them a ride one way or another…)
  4. For VH for Naim, I am looking at Discoverers, Film Making, Measure for Treasure, and maybe procession of the species, which is a parade prep class.
  5. For Aaron, it would be Discoverers, Science Olympiad, Messy Garage, and maybe mystery solvers club.
  6. I will be pulling Naim out of all drama that way. So, to replace it (because he needs to be kept busy) I will put him in a NWCT drama class, probably on Monday late afternoons. There is a concurrent art class in the same building that I may look into for Aaron. Not sure yet.
  7. I am also thinking about finding some kind of park and rec afternoon activity a couple of days a week (swimming, gymnastics, etc.) so that we have places to go and aren’t all stuck inside 4 days a week. Tues./Thurs. afternoons most likely.
  8. This whole plan (if it all works as planned) will meet a number of goals. I wanted to eliminate Goddard because of the expense, but at least I am reducing it. Avery will get the most services this way (if he stayed exclusively at Goddard, they would only come in like once a month.) The big kids will have more time without Avery around for their school projects. (It will go from 12 hours to 14. Not a huge increase, but enough to divide to 4 days, which has its advantages.) And I will not have to go to VH two days in a row, which was kind of killing me in a wimpy, annoying way last quarter.

It will all go down Wednesday. Let’s hope I can get all the parts to the puzzle together.

Big kids today:

  • Naim did DER 34 DVD and discussion questions and workbook.
  • They did the textbook part of Ch. 9 in Calvert Math, grouping factors into tens to assist in adding.
  • They did 2 pp. of Sylvan. Aaron did Vocab today. (He does reading, spelling, vocabulary in a rotation.)
  • Aaron worked on capitals in his HWT book.
  • Naim worked on some of the OT exersises from Zaner Bloser, and did a couple more mazes.
  • In the afternoon we did Ch. 2 in MGG geography books.
  • Aaron did Lesson 12 DVD and book. I realized today that he only has Lesson 12, 13 and then the review lesson in the 1st grade HOP left. I hustled and ordered second grade today.
  • Naim did Lesson 5 DVD and book in his HOP.

I have also assigned “projects” to them. I don’t know exactly how these are going to go yet, but we will figure it out as we go along. My hope is that in a few years when reading and writing are solidified, everything they do will be in project form. Naim’s is to research and make a presentation as to how we could be more environmentally sustainable at home. Aaron’s is to research a wind turbine and build a model of one, and then give a presentation about it. I am sure that these will have to be a trial and error thing and won’t amount to much this first time around, but it was a start and they are very excited about them.

October 23-November 19, 2012 (Catch Up!)

Oh, Craptastic! As I am prone to do, I got off course on this blog. I got sick, sick, sick. I had double grandparent visits, I don’t know, there was an election and it rained. I cannot recreate so this will be one of my whopping catch-up posts. Highlights…from looking back on the calendar.

Village Home

  • I was called three weeks ago by Lori to ask for someone to come to Engineering with Aaron. I was kind of disappointed by this because he was liking it so much and doing so well. But also she said that it was changing form and was not going to be offered at that time slot after the term ended. Apparently, the instructor, who seems pretty cool, kind of overestimated what the kids could do independently and was having trouble with a lot of kids. The new class is going to have more prerequisites and a higher age range. So, I think we are out of it for now, but I hope this guy sticks around and maybe Aaron can try it next year. He missed the 8th week due to my illness. He went with Susan the 9th week and that seemed to go OK. And the last week, I put him with Krister, Nik’s mom’s partner, but Nik finally stepped in and helped. I have replaced that class next term with another one of Hillary’s classes called History Expeditions. I think he will do well there.
  • They took Fred and Susan to the dress rehearsal for the play, in which Hillary had my dad speak about working for the railroad (hee!) The rehearsal looked a little chaotic, but ok. The last week they did the actual play and I thought it was so much better than the dress rehearsal. They did really well and Naim did well remembering his lines and to his solo song, which was about Daniel Boone. Aaron was a little goofy about it, but looked like he was having fun. They had a little reception after. Hillary did a really good job making it all professional with programs and stuff. Anne-Maj and Krister went with Nik and I.
  • Apparently there was a play in Drama, but Naim never told me and I was dealing with the Swedes at the time, so missed that one. I think it was more improv.
  • Legos, Math Playground and discoverers all went fine. In Discoverers, they both did a lapbook based on “Frog and Toad are Friends.”
  • In semi-related news, Naim is working on a book he got from the library on how to draw dragons. Avery is working on the library’s potty training pack. I have read “Everybody Poops” 400 times.

Soccer

  • Soccer wrapped up for the season with several practices and two final games. I think they ended up winning 5 and losing 3. Fred and Susan came to the last game.
  • They had an all HSC party at Out of this World Pizza. I was lucky Fred and Susan were there, they took them with Nik and Naim got a trophy.

Church

  • Giving Aaron a perfect record of having phone calls made to me about his behavior, I got called again and was asked to take a pager (usually used for the babies in the nursery) in order to come if he melts down.
  • Naim got to light the chalice in the big sanctuary, but I didn’t see it because I did not know about it.
  • We didn’t attend church for about three weeks, due to my illness and our grandparent visitors.
  • We returned last week, I decided to go to Aaron’s class and see what’s what. He was a bit whiny, and I don’t want to excuse that behavior. BUT! The teacher sort of left a lot to be desired and I started to really understand the problem. She was a snore bore who, although well prepared, was way too uptight with the kids, no fun, and not a good listener. She was more interested in getting through the curriculum (and using it like a script instead of a guideline) to listen and actually engage much with the kids. Aaron is not even her biggest problem, I don’t think. There are two or three other boys that pretty much act as rowdy as Aaron. There is a girl that I think may be on the autism spectrum that they didn’t really seem comfortable with or know what to do with. Maybe she is new and will improve and just needs to relax, but god that was overstructured and teacher-directed and BORING. Naim’s class seems better and more gentle and fun. But I am not going to switch them because that is not fair to Naim who already sacrificed the Interactive Theater class to have Aaron in it. So, he is going to have to deal with her and improve his behavior. I am going to have to get a pager.
  • Avery is doing fine in his class (I don’t even get a pager for him anymore.)

Fieldtrips/Special Visitors

  • I had been trying to get the kids to a Halloween Party or pumkin patch or something, but then I got sick on Halloween week. I was very fortunate that Susannah agreed to take them to a UUCCWC dance. They wore their costumes and did crafts and danced and it sounded like a lot of fun.
  • Nik took them out for Halloween. I went for about three houses with Avery and them and then quit and took Avery back home. Avery did so well last year but this year he just didn’t get it and crapped out. I was too sick to deal with it and could barely hear or talk, so I had to come home. I didn’t even pass out candy. The kids did paint pumpkins with Nik and they had fun trick or treating and got a lot of candy. Aaron was General Grevous from Star Wars and Naim created his own costume out of his spy gear toys and was a spy.
  • They went to OOTW as mentioned above.
  • They also went shopping with Grampa Fred, and with Farmor Anne-Maj.
  • They had their OMSI lab about hot/cold and it was way cool. They did stuff with Liquid Nitrogen, dry ice, and fire-burned magnesium. They froze balloon animals in the liquid nitrogen and then they shattered. Afterward, we went through the environment exhibit and we saw an imax movie called Born to be Wild which was about two women who saved baby elephants and orangutans in Kenya and Borneo, respectively.
  • Besides having Fred and Susan visit, it was probably more of a learning experience to have Anne-Maj and Krister visit. They got to experience a solid week of a different language, different foods, and a different culture. I wished for more interaction between them and the kids as they were not very engaged, but I still think it was a valuable experience for them and hopefully will improve with time. They played lots of UNO with their grandparents.
  • We also had a small party for Dwight’s birthday. They got to visit with Bob.
  • Aaron caught strep from me. We went to pediatric urgent care and got antibiotics.

Homeschool Work:

  • Nik did work with them a bit the week I was sick. They worked on Sylvan, HOP and HWT. The only thing I didn’t have him do was math because it was too hard for him visually. I was happy they got done what they did, considering.
  • I put Aaron back in first grade Sylvan after trying second grade for a bit. It was just a bit too hard for him to do independently, which is kind of the point of Sylvan. First grade now seems right on track for him for extra Language Arts independent practice.
  • They finished HWT Letters and Numbers for Me. I started Naim in saner-bloser kindergarten. Aaron has moved up to the next HWT book My Printing Book. I am having him do that one on his own. I told him when he finished it, I will teach him cursive, which he very much wants to learn.
  • I continued them both in Calvert as now I have looked at both books and am seeing some repeat chapters and some chapters not covered. So, we are doing 3 more chapters (skipping around in Calvert). And then we will move on to Singapore and will skip I think one chapter there. We could skip more, but the other repetative one was place value and I think they could both use more work with that.
  • We did a Little Passports London.

Early Intervention/Goddard

  • Goddard is all well and good, but Avery has decided to not want to go in the mornings. Once he gets there, he is ok. I am wondering if it is because most of the other kids he started with have left. He is with a lot of younger kids now. Is he bored?
  • We are starting potty training this week. We have already done a lot of talking, reading books, watching videos. This relates to Goddard because when he gets potty trained, he can move up to the preschool room.
  • Avery had his 3 year EI assessment today. I thought he did really well as far as being engaged and doing what they asked, although I did see where he was not pulling scores and I also saw where he could have pulled scores but was culturally or linguistically at a disadvantage. That kind of goes with the territory, but I got a quick and dirty raw score email from Jean this afternoon and the cognitive and adaptive behavior were lower than I expected. It qualifies him for DD services. Here is her email:

Our 2nd evaluation canceled so I was able to score the tests we did this morning.  Here are the scores ( I will be adding interpretations and other information into the report).

Preschool Language Scale- 5     Auditory Comprehension: Standard Score  73  Percentile Rank  4  Age Equivalent 1-10
Expressive Communication:  Standard Score 80  %tile Rank  9  Age Equivalent 1-9
Total Language Score:  Standard Score  75  %tile rank  5  Age Equivalent  1-9
These scores qualify him in the area of communication.

On the Battelle Developmental Inventory- 2nd Edition  there are 13 subtests which are then put together to come up with developmental quotients in 5 areas plus a total.  I will go over the results in detail at our meeting but he had qualifying scores in the areas of personal/social, communication, cognitive.  His scores in adaptive were also low, but a little higher.  His motor skills were within typical limits.

Because he had scores that meet qualifications for an eligibility of developmental delay we will be talking about that as his official eligibility. That would cover all areas in which he is showing delays.  That eligibility would not follow him to school if he still needed services.  He would need to be re-evaluated before he went to kindergarten.  I will explain that more next Wednesday.

  • So, basically the choices are going to be all services at Goddard, going to ECSE preschool, or some combination of both. It is a scheduling issue at heart. ECSE is probably the better environment for him, but I don’t know how to get him there (there is school bus, but I have to be in the right place at the right time, and it does not give me the flexibility of Goddard as far as last minute changes, etc.)  I will be going to the school next wed. to check it out and to finsih up the IFSP and get it signed before his birthday.

What pictures and stuff do I have? Let’s see!