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  • The “Class”

    Avery, Naim, Aaron

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February-March, 2014

Dude, if I get this in today, it counts for March!

We are doing pretty well. My main challenge is just that I am ridiculously overworked with too many projects and I cannot let any of them go. We are digging ourselves slowly but surely out of the last few months challenges.

But! Here we go!

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We were organizing school stuff. This is pretty much this years’ curriculum.

Curriculum highlights:

  • Math…They finished the 1B book in Math in Focus. We are in Chapter 3 of the 2A book which is subtraction of 3 digit numbers with regrouping. We are chugging along.
  • Reading…Naim is on the last lesson of Ch.1 in Reading Horizons. We need to wrap up the test stuff before we go on to the next book. He is doing fairly well with his “Most Common Words.” He can read a lot of stuff and I notice him reading other stuff out in the world on the fly. We are sloooowly coming along.
  • Reading for Aaron…he finished all of Master Reader and thus the whole 5 year Hooked on Phonics Curriculum. I tried to have him read on his own, but he doesn’t really do it well. So now I bought him a curriculum from the Teacher’s Mailbox which is just 36 cards with some non-fiction reading, questions, and then a writing assignment. And then somedays he will read a National Geographic or something.
  • We have started to read “Little House in the Big Woods.” After finishing Mr. Popper’s Penguins and Ramona, Age 8. There are two more Ramona books but I think they needed a break. So far, the LH book is doing OK for them.
  • They are both moving along in Sylvan and Sylvan Spelling.
  • Aaron is midway through the first Cursive HWT book. He is doing ok with it.
  • Naim and I have just bought some practice handwriting books from Learning Palace and are just working through them. I do think his handwriting has improved in legibility, although it still has a way to go.
  • We have done two Atelier Art projects. One was on Van Gogh, the other was a chalk and glue mixed media tactile thing.
  • We are on Lesson 13 in Music.
  • We have started Real Science for Kids Chemistry (the primary book.) There are ten lessons. We read a chapter from the book, do an experiment and write up a lab report, do a sort of lap book study guide and then take a test. We have just finished the first lesson on the basics of atoms.
  • We have started reading the UNICEF book  “A Life Like Mine.” It is based on the UNICEF charter of rights for children. It talks about the right, then shows how different children around the world live in regards to that right. So far we have read the first unit on Survival, which had chapters on water, food, shelter and health.
  • We have done a bit of Angel Bear Yoga.
  • Oh, we did a Little Passport or two. I think I only have one left. They want to do the states one, but I don’t think I can afford it right now.
  • This isn’t really curriculum per se, but we continue to work on what I will call ADLs (holdover from special ed) Activities of Daily Living, AKA chores! We are working on having upstairs and downstairs partners to get work done. It goes incrementally slow and tedious. But that is pretty much how housework goes.
Aaron finished HOP Master Reader! The poster behind him shows his progress.

Aaron finished HOP Master Reader! The poster behind him shows his progress.

Classes:

  • Aaron did a good job in Art at PCAS. I heard no major grumbles from the teacher. Naim actually tried a trial day and liked it, so we are thinking of switching them next term.
  • Naim was the Emperial General in the Emporer’s New Clothes at NWCT. He did ok in the play. But I am kind of thinking that he needs to take learning lines more seriously if he wants to continue in theater. I really wish I could find him a good improv class, because I think he would enjoy it.
  • At Village, Aaron had Explorers, American History, Pirates, and Legos. Explorers was fine. AM we had trouble getting him to read the assignments. Pirates seemed ok except I am suspicious over what happened when they had a treasure hunt and Aaron “won” a giHUGic lego pirate ship. This mystery has never quite been resolved. Legos was OK but he had some incidences getting picked up because he often lost something he brought and put everyone through hell until he found it. Because of this and some other meltdown problems, I am pulling him out of VH for a term.
  • Naim had Explorers, Schoolhouse mash-up, World History, and Fun Sports. He did well in all of them.
  • They took 2 days of Spring Break Zoo Camp while I dealt with a medical issue. One day was Zoo Clues and the other was Animals of the Northwest. There was another meltdown on one day concerning aftercare and pickup with Aaron. So….
  • Our Homeschool PE class got canceled, so now we are starting swimming (for Naim and Avery only for now.)
  • Avery has continued to attend Goddard two days a week and is doing well.

Field Trips:

  • Let’s See…Naim and I went to OMSI and saw the Tony Hawk exhibit, the usual OMSI stuff and toured the submarine.
  • We went to VH’s Bloom fund raiser and talent show.
  • We saw Goodnight Moon at NWCT (with Avery! His first play and he did very well.)
  • Kids and I went to see the Lego Movie.
  • Naim went to a youth symphony with his friend R. They also made several trips in the snow to sled.
  • We’ve done some of the usual 53rd Street Park and Outdoors In, also Bagley Park. We also went and checked out the new library.
  • Avery went to a birthday party for one of his Goddard classmates at Oregon Gymnastics Academy. He did really well after the first few minutes. It really helped that his former teacher, Tracie was there because her son is also in his class.

Other stuff:

  • As I mentioned, A has been having meltdown problems again, after I thought it was getting better. The final straw was taking him to get his haircut. He just had a screaming fit. When we talked later about it and about how he had other options (one being sitting and enduring a few minutes of discomfort respectfully) he said that he did not know that was an option. (!?!?!) So I have been reading up on self-regulation and executive functioning skills and trying to come up with some strategies. But for now, (and because there are consequences for his actions) he has been pulled out of every class except drama (which he is at right now!) My thought process is that maybe he might learn some self regulation in drama (it is just intro to acting, all games and no play). And he needs something to work with so he can earn back the privilege of more classes.
  • Naim got braces! Finally! It is the first step and he has them on the bottom only until May when they will finish the top ones. He has done really well and is very compliant. This is another reason we thought he might like to chill out in art and not have to worry about a play. Talking hurts right now, he says.
  • We had some fun snow days in February. (this is really out of order, no?)
  • Aaaand…Naim learned to ride his bike in like, one afternoon.

We are getting there, we are making it…slowly!

Pictures:

June 19-20, 2013

Avery and I did not go anywhere on Wednesday. On Thursday we went to “Big Park” within walking distance. He pushed his stroller around a lot and played a bit on the playground equipment. We had ice cream sandwiches from the concessions and we played in the fountain a bit.

South Beach with the Newport bridge over the bay in the background.

South Beach with the Newport bridge over the bay in the background.

Aaron and Naim went to South Beach State Park for their OMSI camp on Wednesday and Thursday. They stayed overnight. This was their practice overnight before they would maybe go on to weeklong overnight camps. South Beach is near Newport. It sounds like they stopped somewhere along the way and had lunch and played at a playground. Then they dropped their stuff off at camp and went whale watching. This appeared to cause a lot of sea sickness and Aaron threw up, but they did see a whale, a dolphin and some sea lions and some crabs. They went to the beach and had pizza and roasted marshmallows. Then sleep. The next day it sounds like they went to the aquarium, then back to the same playground for lunch, then came home. Nik had to sign an incident report for Naim who got hit in the eye, but there was no evidence of it and he didn’t act like it was any big deal. Naim was offended by the bathrooms and said when he complained to the camp counselors about them, they said it was a camping surprise. Heh. It sounds like they got to sleep in tents.

June 18, 2013

Avery and I went to the OutPost. He briefly looked at some police cars. Then played in the sand and a lot of time pulling wagons. He looked at a Wall-E Look and Find book . He at his entire lunch (except broccoli) and basically drug me around everywhere.

Aaron and Naim went to Mt. Saint Helens today. It sounds like they went up to Johnston Observatory and saw the movie, then went on a hike and had lunch. Naim said he found a friend who he sat with on the bus.

Mount St. Helen's grabbed from the net.

Mount St. Helen’s grabbed from the net.

June 17, 2013

Avery went to Goddard. Apparently they had the Children’s Museum come and do some activities with the kids. They had them all in matching blue Goddard shirts, so they looked like a bunch of corporate minion billboards. Bet it was so they could take a bunch of PR pictures with the Children’s Museum people. But free shirt! Here is his report in summer “camp” format.

Wildwood Recreation Area ripped from the 'net.

Wildwood Recreation Area ripped from the ‘net.

Aaron and Naim started OMSI’s Hit the Road camp. This camp takes them to all the places we can never get to. They have to leave early with Nik and do before/aftercare. Today they went to Wildwood Recreation Area, which I think is near Mt. Hood. They said that they went on a hike and went somewhere where they could see under water. They had a map and seemed to know where they were going. They also played games like one called “shark, shark minnow” which sounded a lot like duck duck goose.  They are in before and aftercare, which sounds just like they are in a big room with some toys. The pick-up and drop off went well, but everyone is tired tonight.

Here is the schedule for my own reference (whale watching! so jealous!):

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They did their nighttime reading tonight. Naim read one of the Calvert books “Dot” and one of the Bob books, “Fun in the Sun.” Aaron read Click magazine.

September 21, 2012

Oh, what a weird day.

So, I have everything all organized to get Avery to school for all day (he needed extra stuff for his nap), A and N and I and everyone’s lunches and stuff to get to OMSI by 10:00. I leave at 8:20 to drop Avery off. He is pissed because he knows something is up and the kids are going somewhere he doesn’t get to go. Drop him off, I’m good on time, get downtown to transfer to a bus, and….I don’t have my buspass, wallet, ID, OMSI card, money, nothing. (It fell out of my backpack at home.) I can’t even get on the bus. We were going to be a half hour early and then I thought we couldn’t even make the class at all. I thought about walking across the Hawthorne bridge, which would solve the bus problem but still was unsure about getting into OMSI. So, I texted Nik and he said he could meet me downtown and give me his bus pass and debit card. So, I jump back on the max to get closer to where he can meet me, he gets on a bus and comes downtown from work, we meet for 30 seconds, he jumps on another bus to go back to work, and I have to walk six blocks and jump on a bus to go across the river. By that time, my half hour grace period was eaten up. We were 15 minutes late and I was for sure we were going to miss the class, but one of the (VERY NICE!) VH parents waited for us and we made it, and it hadn’t really even started yet.

The content of the class was stuff my kids already knew, which Naim was being an elitist snob about. But Aaron just answered all the questions. It was about the solar system. I told Naim that even if he already knew it, it was neat to see everyone pretend to be planets and rotate/revolve around each other, see the relative size of the planets with clay models (and a cardboard sun because that would be a LOT of clay.) take a tape measure and see the relative distance of the planets down a hallway, and see all the planets on the big globe. Aaron enjoyed it and Naim was ok with it.

Then, about 20 minutes after the class ended, alarms went off and we were evacuated from OMSI. As per usual, I could not hear, see nor understand what was going on at first, but I saw the teacher who taught their class and attached myself to her. We went down a back fire escape and into the parking lot. Aaron and Naim were in a tizzy, and I had to explain to them that we needed to follow directions and get out of the building first and THEN we could figure out what is going on. I’m glad I didn’t have Avery, though. Because getting him down like, 4 flights of rickety fire escape stairs would have been a bitch. They let us back in after about a half an hour or so. I guess they had construction people doing work for the streetcar and some wiring got cut and tripped the alarm, but no real danger. A cook let us back in through a back door past dumpsters and the kitchen and OMSI sort of storage areas, which the kids thought was super cool because it was employees only. The cook was really nice and helped chill them out about the whole thing.

Afterwards, kids did the usual looking around OMSI. I got addicted to playing with these tanks of water with different sized iron bits in them and magnets. We also watched the movie called LIFE: A Cosmic Journey, that was in the planetarium and narrated by Jodie Foster. It was about how life began in the stars after the big bang and how it all came together on earth. Very evolutionary minded, and also talked about the possibility of microbial life migrating from Mars to Earth.  And we made it through the day.

So did Avery. I checked in with Goddard at around 2:00 and he was napping and they said he was doing fine. I picked him up around 5:00 and he was very happy. Here is his report.

Wed/Thurs/Friday/Saturday a-no-go (w/Fieldtrip 4: OMSI and 2012: 11)

So, lets see.  A bit of catch-up.

Wednesday, we were supposed to go to OMSI, but it didn’t materialize. We went downtown Hillsboro, instead. To subway and to collect auction items for VH. Then to outdoors in.

Thursday I felt really crappy and we did not go to VH. It is my fault and I got in trouble from the kids, especially Aaron for it. Nik is working and I’m trying to get a schedule down and catch up, but I got sick and it didn’t so much happen.

Friday, the kids went to OMSI with D. I wanted to go, but I was still sick. It seems they had a good time and I did not hear too much about it except that N did not want to stay in the biology/life science place for too long.

OK, I think there was school somewhere in those three days and for the life of me, I can’t remember what we did. Very bad!

OK…Saturday? I think we did school. I know we read A Cat on a Mat, did the last bit of Chapter 2 in math and did the test, did sylvan and did handwriting Z. I know we didn’t do all of individual reading.