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  • The “Class”

    Avery, Naim, Aaron

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June 11, 2012

Hey, after months of fucking around with fujitsu, they are sending me a refund for my defunct ScanSnap. And now I’m replacing it with a Canon Scantini. That should come within the next week or so, and then all kinds of scanning school work goodness will once again come forth on this blog.

For now, Avery’s Goddard notes says it was all about Lego and art today, where it looks as if it was drizzle painting. He is getting more and more comfy there now. All seems well. He was cute with the gigantic (very cheap) bear that I finally let Aaron get at Costco yesterday after he’s been working on it for a month. It has been all bear all day long today.

Leopoldt Action Bear Robinson XL joined us for breakfast and school, then brought 5 bear family members to lunch.

Avery didn’t care about the bear yesterday at Costco, but today before school he was all over it.

Big kids school:

  • Read “Wild School” and did back of book activities. Aaron aces these. Naim does terrible. I wanted to find some reading that had an emphasis on content that they could do together. It worked well at first, but now it is too advanced for Naim. Probably will let it fold into Aaron’s individual reading and Naim can listen. Naim can go back and finish up Discoveries in Early Reading. After we are done with the Usborne Box, I may go to the Calvert Discoveries in Reading program for both of them. Or maybe just Aaron and Naim will continue with stuff like Bob Books and the Calvert phonics books. Keep it at his level and he chugs along nicely. Get ahead of him and it is an exercise in frustration.
  • We started “Sentence School” today, which is the HWT sequel to “Word Time.” It is essentially copy work a la Well-Trained Minds Classical Education style. It focuses on writing simple sentences, capitalization, punctuation, noun/verb agreement and the like. We will do this book and then switch to the National Writing Institute’s Writing Strands Series for journaling and composition writing.
  • HWT was -i- and listened to Vowel song on CD
  • Naim-Sylvan worked on rhyming words that for some reason he just wasn’t getting today. But  got in the end. He has trouble switching gears from initial sounds, vowels, rhyming, etc. HOP did the DVD and main lesson for Lesson 13 -in words, read book “In the Bin.”
  • Aaron-Sylvan was more sight words like an, say, will, etc. He did four pages there. No problems. HOP was also his lesson 13, tr and dr words.
  • Math: played on Geoboards for awhile and then did Calvert Math Lesson 5.7, congruent shapes. Made congruent and differing attribute shapes on geoboards.
  • Science, started on Magic School Bus unit bacteria and fungi. I have to prep the pitri dishes with an agar mixture, did not get that done today so we skipped to start a 12 day experiment with bread mold. (Oh, yeah, there will be pics of bread mold!)

Naim using a sippy cup to put warm water on his bread.

Day 1 Observations: White, fresh smelling, soft. No mold.

  • All of us (Avery included) went out and played parachute games in the alley. Avery mostly rode his trike, though. big kids got carried away with the neighbor girls who were imprisoned playing in their yard. I have tried numerous times with the mom to invite them over to play, but she is having none of it. She is scared of The BIG FAT BLIND NEIGHBORS!!!!11!! So, those girls are in their yard from almost 7 am to 9 pm off and on all day and the kids talk through the wooden slats in the fence. We are always doing fun stuff and they are bored and want to join. Naim feels bad for them so we do stuff like move the parachute over close to them so they can see or bring the big bear out to them to keep them company. It would be more fun to play WITH them during our “PE” time, and I have said I would be happy to come get them or take them to the park with us. But she says she is not comfortable and she won’t come out with them. So they kind of become a distraction. Soon I will cut a “doggy door” in the fence and slide them through.

Bonus pic! Avery decompressing after a stressful costco trip. (We had to leave the goldfish crackers with Nik! While we took the train home! It was a travesty! (Nik took a cab with the stuff.))

All the big and little dudes I love in a pile. With a very orange shirt.

Showers, School, Miley Cyrus, Chaz Bono

Avery and I worked on communication around food this morning. I get some yeah’s. He got in the shower with me with his clothes on, I was going to give him a bath anyway, but I just took off his clothes and washed him right there. He thought it was great except for the hair washing part. In Sweden, at least where Nik grew up, all they had was showers, so he says he never remembers taking a bath. Avery is such a Swede-head.

Avery went to WIC today. Iron levels are up to normal. Weight was 31.5, Height was 36.5, same as ped. They are giving us vouchers for lactose-free milk now.

Big kids and I walked Avery down to the Max to meet Nik, and then went to Starbucks to use my last Scripps cards before they expired.

Also got a reply from BrainPop, based on an email Aaron sent totally without my knowledge:

Hi there!

If you have a question for Tim and Moby, go to
http://www.brainpop.com/qanda to ask them!


Rachael Siegel * Subscriber Relations Associate * BrainPOP
rachaels@brainpop.com * @brainpop * www.brainpop.com
t. 866.542.7246 x6044 * f. 866.867.6629
71 West 23-rd Street, 17th Floor * New York, NY 10010

—–Original Message—–
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 12:15 PM
To: info

Der tim ad mob.
Wut iz mile ciris.
Fum aaron

Translation: Dear Tim and Moby (characters from BrainPop) What is Miley Cyrus? From Aaron.

His first real email and it is about Miley Cyrus…heh.


  • Word Time (PUSH PULL) They are reading more and more of these themselves.
  • HWT: M
  • Calvert Math: 149-150 Ordinals
  • Aaron finished Lesson 7, I think it was, on animal words in Sylvan
  • Naim watched lesson 30 of zigzag again, tried to do workbook (did first page) but was too nuts to work. Switched to Sylvan because I thought that would be better, no go. He was having hyper spasms about it. I made him stop because it was pointless. He needs to finish tomorrow before Willy Wonka.

At some point today, they saw a story on the computer about Chaz Bono which included pics of him when he was a little girl and on the Sonny/Cher show and an interview where he answered questions that people wrote in about. They also showed him on Dancing with the Stars, which is what originally made them watch the story. So we had a big discussion about transgender issues. I told them I did not understand everything about transgender issues, but that people have all different ways of expressing gender and it is not a binary (and explained that). Talked a bit about how someone becomes transgendered, either by identity and dress, hormone therapy, surgery, etc. They got really fascinated with it. Then they decided they both want to become girls. I said fine, but they can’t get surgery or take hormones until they turn 18, but they can dress or wear their hair however they want. (As long as they are clean and they take care of themselves.) Then Naim wanted a ponytail. But 5 minutes later it was gone and that was that for their transgendered experiment today.

Head Start, More Head Start, and Zoo Lights

Nik took Avery to his second Head Start on-site day on the bus. Nik observed the same thing as I did. It is exactly where Avery needs to be, it is a good level for him and he seems to get the hang of it. They did rice and beans, the dental hygienist came and did fluoride treatments and said Avery’s teeth look really good. Avery supposedly signed “more crackers” according to Danielle. I’ve never seen him put those two words together (put have seen them separately) so that might have been a bit of a reach considering he does them both similarly, but we shall see. He came over and sat in Nik’s lap for circle time. He wanted “more” outside. He likes that whole teeth brushing bit. He signed “more” for peaches to Danielle. (I find it amusing he does way more for her than he does for Jean from EI. Its all about building relationships instead of looking at him as a specimen.) He fell asleep on the way home.

Today, he had head start home visit. Nik said he was less willing to sit and do anything, but her notes say he played with some pop beads, manipulated a book, and played “where’s avery?” Said he said “Here go!” and “uh-oh.”

Danielle’s Notes from Head Start

Took all three kids to McDonalds and Zoo Lights, and have absolutely no pictures to show for it as I forgot my camera. Avery drank a juice box for the first time at McDonalds, finally getting how a straw works.

Zoo Lights went so much better than last time (three years ago when I got scarily lost and disoriented and had to dramatically find help.) This year we did it differently, though. First, I went 2 hours early since it was a nice day and I have a zoo membership now from when the kids went to camp last summer. So, we just went around and looked at animals in the almost empty zoo. The animals were actually quite active and a few came down to visit us. It was almost as if they missed their public. I was closer to a polar bear than I have ever been in my life. It was no more than 6 or 8 inches away on the other side of a floor to ceiling glass window, asleep right up next to the wall. Really cute, I wanted to reach down and scratch its ears. They seem so much happier in the winter time, as did the penguins and several other cold climate animals. I never have been to the zoo in the winter, cold but interesting.

The zoo was so empty that I pretty much let Avery out to have relatively free reign. There was some herding involved, but he loved running free. He did not really get too into the animals that were still (such as the polar bear) but he would get excited to see animals when they moved around. It was cold, but we were able to occasionally take breaks in relatively warm places like the Aviary and gift shop.

There were a lot of lights on anyway even though it wasn’t dark yet, so that helped orient me. Another HUGE, MASSIVE help was Aaron, my navigator, who KNOWS that zoo. Since his two weeks at zoo camp, he walks around like he owns the place. He really acted as our guide. Naim was my micro-guide and helper and stayed close with me, and Aaron was our macro guide who helped us orient to where we wanted to go.  They also helped by taking the stroller and pushing Avery and by holding my hand and being sighted guides. I don’t want them to stress too much about having to take care of their blind parents, and in most situations I think they don’t have to, but when they do, they seem to get a kick out of it and feel grown up.

Three years ago we went on the train and waited in a HUGE line about over an hour to get on. (I was with someone else or I wouldn’t have done it.) This time, we were there before the first train took off, so we just lined up about ten minutes before, and got on the first train. VERY SMART. Because when we returned, the line was huge and the park was getting crowded. The train is the way to see zoo lights when you are blind. Avery fell asleep on my lap, but Naim got in a discussion with the person behind us and Aaron also enjoyed. Afterwards, we got hot chocolate and then headed home. Zoo Lights in the first hour is so much better than later in the evening.

Trip to Wetlands

Today, Aaron and Naim went to Jackson Bottom Wetland Preserve for a two hour “Bucket Biology” class and short hike through the wetlands. Misty rain and didn’t get any pictures on the hike. They classified and identified insects, and saw an Eagle’s nest and did a few hands-on activities in the encounter lab.

At home they completed Lesson 119 in Calvert Math. It was a bit of drudgery but we were all tired. Later, they put together a flip book (the kind where you can see animation when you flip it fast) that was in a Click Magazine insert. They had to cut and order the pictures to 40.

I did not see much of Avery today as he went with Nik to work at Dwight’s and then he went to the doctor to get his Head Start paperwork in and start catch-up on vaccines. He is now four behind, but should be good by his two-year if we make a vaccine appointment in November and December. He was sick and crabby from vaccines, so he went to bed early with a low fever.