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  • The “Class”

    Avery, Naim, Aaron

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Sept-Oct Catch-Up, 2013

It’s the middle of October already! I have had a really hard time getting started and keeping up with homeschool stuff. I have been doing the necessities, actual homeschooling, but organizing and blogging has been difficult. From about September 4 -October 1, I was sick and just barely hanging on to the very basics of what I was supposed to do. And also any extra energy I had I had to spend on my job. So, the year did not get off to the start that I wanted, but we have come a ways into the year ok.

Classes:

They are on the fourth week of Explorers in VH. This is the class after Discoverers for third to fifth graders. There are less kids in it, and it is taught by Hillary. They are reading “Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing.” They are in an upstairs classroom now. That seems almost surreal that they could be old enough to be upstairs. Their classroom has “Bill” the skeleton in it.

Naim has been in soccer and is more than halfway through the season. He has had trouble running fast and “getting in there.” It is not because he can’t do it, he gets distracted. We have worked on it (with me practicing with him) which doesn’t work well on one level because I suck. But on another level, I suck so bad I give him confidence. On his last game, he did a lot better.

He has also concluded his time with Erica, the child psychologist. This was a mutual decision to end this, but she is starting some other kind of job at a different health care office anyway. I think she served her purpose and Naim’s anxiety has gotten a lot better.

They started back at our local church. Due to the kid census, we have split A and N up into separate classes. N is in the 3-5 grade class and A is in the K-2 grade class, but they talk about the same topics. A is less mature than N anyway, so it works out better this way. I have held Avery back from preschool and kept him in the nursery for one more year. So, three separate rooms.

Avery’s ECSE is going well. He seems to enjoy going way more than last year. This teacher at least gives us monthly newsletters. His IEP meeting is coming up in a couple of weeks. I dread this big time.

September Newsletter
October Newsletter

At Goddard, he is in “The Ranch” which is the junior preschool level room. He seems to be doing OK in there and had his first conference last week. Here are his conference notes. And here is the DAR dump for the last six weeks.

Curriculum:

We have been starting out with workboxes and a morning meeting. The workboxes work good, but I have not been good about filling them up. This is mostly due to illness so hope to get better and have the kids fill them up with me. We also go over the calendar and work on things like memorizing addresses, months, dates, etc. at this time.

We are chugging along at a good pace in math. We are on Chapter 17 of 19 in our current math book, so soon I will have to order the next set.

We have been doing a unit study with the novel “James and the Giant Peach.” I really like doing these and want to do more, and see how I can incorporate them better into what other things we do.

Aaron has done the first 10 Lessons of HOP Master Reader and is now reading the first chapter book. He really, really likes this curriculum and the book.

Naim has mostly been working on the Reading Horizons online curriculum. I think we need to combine the computer with mom lessons because it is still not sticking very well, and since he is back at the beginning, it is old material. We are still working out the kinks of this curriculum and seeing how to best use it. We have paused working with HOP for now. I am not sure if we will go back to it or stay with RH exclusively yet.

They continue to work on Sylvan, Handwriting, and now grammar mostly on their own. I do think Naim’s handwriting is improving.

We have also done one lesson in Atelier and have completed three lessons in Discoveries in Music.

I am not doing any formal curriculum with Avery this year. He gets enough four days a week. On Wednesdays, we hang out at the library and park. We also do a lot of talking and naming things. I have thought about putting him in Little Villagers while the big kids are in Explorers, but I like hanging out with him on our own. He is talking up a storm.

Fieldtrips:

Since I have been sick and I always have a ton of phone calls for my job in the afternoon, we have not done a lot of field trips. But we just did three in a row last weekend. All of us went to the children’s museum, then Aaron and I went to Lego KidFest, and we all went to Lakeview Farms with the UU families for pumpkin picking. I took only Aaron to Lego Fest because he missed the OMSI lego exhibit when I went with Naim alone, and then a few months ago Naim went to the Washington County museum and Aaron was supposed to go to a lego convention with me, but he was puking sick so again did not get to go. And this was a little pricey so it saved money. Next year I will consider taking both of them, on a Friday so there would be less people. I don’t think I could handle Avery there, yet.

Picture Dump:

July 24, 2013

We went to the OutPost today. Aaron played mostly on the playground. Naim  did Superhero training. Avery walked around being obsessed about trains. They all had lunch there and Avery had a Buh-Guh. (Chicken Burger.) On the way home, we stopped by McDonalds and they used their summer reading coupons for ice cream cones.

Avery wanted to go home, but the next best thing was to go into the house, which was a picnic shelter.

Avery wanted to go home, but the next best thing was to go into the house, which was a picnic shelter.

Then there was sitting by the train tracks to see if a train would come. It didn't.

Then there was sitting by the train tracks to see if a train would come. It didn’t.

July 18-22, 2013: Oral Hull Camp

Soooo, we did Oral Hull Family Camp again. As parents who “work” the camp, we have a different parallel experience than the kids almost. I’ll keep this post about the kids’ activities.

Getting there was much easier this year. We took the train to Gresham and then were picked up at the train station by someone who knew how to drive. They bought two car seats last year, one was a booster and one was a five-point forward facing. I had heard that they took back the booster. By law, Avery still needs the five-point harness, but they bought the booster. I decided to let it slide. He could go up to the booster when he is 4 years old and 40 pounds, and now he is 3 1/2 years old and about 37 pounds, so as a safety thing, it isn’t that far off, but it is just funny because I specifically asked for the five-point harness. Technically, Aaron and Naim are not 60 pounds and 4’9″ yet, either…and they had no car seats at all. but we got there in one piece. (It was a bigger deal last year because our driver was completely incompetent and I WORRIED about an accident much more. I heard that she has lost her license and got fired.)

So, activities, (most of these refer to A and N only.) :

  • They did a building thing out of marshmallows and pasta.
  • They joined in a campfire sing-a-long
  • They went fishing and Naim caught a fish.
  • They went tandem bike riding. (Aaron rode a tricycle.)
  • They did a craft project out of clay, and did some kind of peanut butter activity (Naim was covered in it).
  • They went swimming.
  • They rode a hayride.
  • They played in the game room (air hockey, foosball, etc.)
  • They watched a video description movie outside and had popcorn and floats.
  • They finished their clay projects and I think played beep ball or frisbee.
  • They participated in a “challenge course” under sleepshades.
  • Aaron and Avery stayed behind while Naim went with the grown-ups and did a sleepshade O and M course. Nik, Jim and I were the leaders of this and he was in my group. He did very well as did my whole group, but another woman in Jim’s group had a complete meltdown. So we had a M and M session afterwards that Naim participated in. I am not going to write about it here, but lets just say there was a lot of whining and bitching, and Naim held his own well and really put some of those parents to shame.
  • They danced at a PJ Sock Hop where Aaron wore his pajamas over his clothes.
  • They went on a short hike to a waterfall.
  • They played at a playground.
  • They rode on little ponies.
  • They did archery.
  • They participated in a presentation about planets and the solar system using scale models.
  • They made their own pizzas and sundaes.

They also swang a lot and hung out with our friend, Jim, a lot and basically ran around the camp and had a lot of freedom. Naim likes the freedom best. Although Nik and I still have some (a lot) of issues with Oral Hull, when you look at it from a kids perspective, they really do a wonderful job with programming. The kids did a ton and had a lot of fun. The staff really treats them well and is very nice. It is a safe, comfortable place for them to hang out. I am always ready to go home but they are very sad to leave.

Avery did some of the activities above but he fought fatigue and maybe anxiety. He walked around A LOT. But did not participate in a lot of the activities much. He always wanted to go home or go back to his room and rest. We spent a lot of time babysitting him while he slept. He did participate in the pony rides. At first he did not want to, but then he said, “I want to ride the cart.” (one pony had a little cart behind it.) When we were riding the cart, he asked the lady who was with the pony to drive him home, it was pretty funny.

 

July 9, 2013

Oh, my GOODNESS!! Satanic School may not be Satanic School anymore. At least for the summer. I had asked for more communication, a newsletter, a schedule , an email, anything from them. And I got all three! This is a different teacher, so it begs the question…is this what she always does or are they going off my suggestion? (Which would be good, yet sad. I certainly hope it isn’t a “Oh! I never thought of that before!” moment.) Anyway, who cares! Communication!

So I got these things in Avery’s backpack.

And I got this email from the teacher:

It is a pleasure to work with Avery in the classroom setting. He did a nice job with: transition to a new classroom. The bus was rather hot and the first thing I gave him was some water to drink  for cool down his body. He then noticed the toys and other children playing. We have similar routines as Patty’s class with arrival ( backpack/jacket and signing in). I showed him our schedule so he would have a place to go for reference.  He followed the routines using his peers as resource. He seemed to enjoy the circle time activities today. He did sit a short time for art ( glue and tissue paper starfish). He came over when I called him for a turn to make painted fish.  He played outside- chase with another peer), ate a short snack,and seemed very happy to go home on the bus.

He is a delightful little boy.
Feel free to email me!

It is kind of like, Oh! You aren’t seeing my kid as a Very Serious Problem! You see him as a real kid…who is delightful! Gee, what a concept. So, I am hopeful there and also want to know if I can have her for the school year, too.

Big kids:

  • We did some of the enrichment stuff for MIF Ch. 13. We did not have time to do it all, but I am going to close the book on this chapter finally.
  • Aaron did 2pp. Sylvan
  • Aaron did worksheets for HOP
  • Aaron did 2pp. HWT.
  • Naim saw Erika. He would have done more schoolwork after, but I had to take off and go to a meeting with OCB and the Avita people, and I had to drag them with me, so it kind of wasted the afternoon.

I think they played with computers at OCB and then we went to “Smelly, Scary Park” which I like but that is what it was called on FourSquare so that is what we call it. And then we used a chinook book coupon to go out and eat at Old Wives Tales.

July 8, 2013

Avery went to Goddard today. Here is his report. He also had an “incident report” for me to sign for a bump on the forehead. Those things read like a deposition, but I guess it is better to over-report than to under-report. When I got there, he said, “I come back.” I am not sure if it was a question or a statement. But it was a sentence. then when we left he grabbed a monkey toy and started oo oo oo ee ee ee-ing like a monkey. Then when we left he said, “Play Ni Ni?” Which means he wants to go play with Naim.

But the funny thing was that Naim could not find his iTouch all day long and he swore to me that Avery took it to school. We tried calling it and locating it, but nothing. I thought it was in the house but with the battery dead. But Naim asked me 40 times to got to Avery’s school and get it. When I finally brought Avery back home, he immediately said, “Avery! Do you know where my iTouch is?” And Avery promptly took off his backpack, unzipped it, put his hand in and pulled it out and handed it to Naim. So…I don’t know if there was a conspiracy going on there or what between them. It was funny, though. We called it a couple of times and they probably heard it. I wonder if they thought it was weird that we sent Avery to school with that.

Big kids:

  • Aaron read “Fishing Bear” for DER and we answered the questions.
  • We finished the cumulative review for Ch. 10-13 in Math. They did well except for still having trouble with subtraction with regrouping. And we still need more work on remembering facts.
  • Both did 2 pp. of Sylvan and 5 Sylvan Spelling words.
  • Aaron did the DVD and book for Lesson 5 in HOP
  • Naim did the worksheets for Lesson 1 in HOP
  • Aaron did 2 pp. of HWT.
  • Naim did the review pages in ZB for U, S, B, and P.
  • They watched BrainPop on soccer.
  • They did the first chapter of MGG

April 20-May 4, 2013

Yee, catch-up post.

Except I am super-duper tired and my mind is blank.

Here are Avery’s Goddard Reports.

I went to visit ECSE and I have a whole ‘nother post about that, but no time now. The gist of it is that they were uptight, he seems to be more communicative at Goddard and home than he was there, I wrote her a complaint in which I tried to be polite but was so fed up by their standoffishness and lack of communication that I probably wasn’t, and now she wants to visit him at Goddard (an apeasement mechanism, I am sure) and meet with me. Which is fine. Naim went with me, which was very entertaining to hear his observations, and Aaron went to WeVillage.

In contrast, I have spent the last two Wednesday’s at VH with the kids for different things. I went to Discoverers and Naim’s film making class and was interviewed about homeschooling, but I doubt they will use it because Avery was climbing all over me. And then I went to Aaron’s Science Olympiad class where they launched their bottle rockets. VH is fun. During other times there, Avery and I hung out in the library, the playroom and at the park.

They also did drama and art as per usual.

We have gone to the gym a few times. Naim and Avery participated in Gym Jamboree one week. The other, we took Aaron to the gym with us for about a 1/2 hour and played some made-up games.

We had a couple of days break from School. One was for a colossal meeting about housework, school and family management. Another, we blew off school to just have a nice day outside and went exploring. We started a housecleaning system with a rotating set of checklists and cards that seems to be going well so far. Other schoolwork progressed. We got a little stuck on subtraction with regrouping and are still making our way through that Chapter. We finished Maps, Globes and Graphs Book A. They are both really close to the end of their respective HOP books and Naim is a day away from finishing his current Sylvan book. We watched a lot of brainpop as well.

We went to M.C.’s birthday party at Shute Park and checked out the new playground equipment and water/sand feature. We also went to the duck pond when our haircut errand didn’t work out. We also took Sully to the dog park.

April 3, 2013

Kids were excited to go back to VH today for third term. It will be their last term for Discoverers after three years. Which seems like Wow! We had teacher Terri for Little Villagers for so long it seemed like, but we have had teacher Bobbi for longer. Naim is excited about moving on to the next level, but Aaron is not. But he did not want to leave Little Villagers, either and then he was fine. Aaron said they made Bottle Rockets in science Olympiad and he made a bunch of ??? in Messy Garage. Naim said his teacher in film-making had a shit fit because something on the computer wasn’t working. Since I just recently had the same shit fit over his hamster movie, I can’t really judge. Measure for Treasure was met with similar enthusiasm. He says he thinks it is boring, but is always excited to go to VH.

Avery and I stopped by HFAC and signed up again since I HATE 24 hour fitness with a vengeance and the kids can’t do anything at all there and the whole thing is about getting everyone in the family more active. Again, I hate how all of that is segregated and I have to sit around while the kids are active or they have to sit around while I am. At HFAC, at least, there are several things we can do together. At age 9, the kids can take a safety class and then do everything except weights and hot-tubs/saunas. Until then, there is some co-adult/kid classes like yoga and zumba, which we will try. Avery can stay in childcare, which is now open full-time again.

Avery and I then came home and worked on some Buttercups stuff. We are working through his Spring Bulletin board, but many more things to go.

IMG_1429

The current theme is on food, moving into easter eggs and Spring, which I guess we are late for, but whatever.