Saturday, July 23, 2011

Free books anyone?

I believe the correct term for someone who loves to read and loves books is a Bibliophile. When I was a little girl my Grandmother would come visit and bring boxes of books. She introduced me to my first mystery books- Nancy Drew. She would frequently bring old books and I learned to LOVE the smell of an old book. The is the biggest complaint I have about digital books. They don't smell! (Though the fact that they are available at the click of a button makes up for it on some levels.)
Check out Recently I joined and it is a wonderful thing! You take any books that you no longer want, be it paperback, hardback, or audio, and you list them as available to swap. Once you list 10 books you get 2 credits. With each credit you get 1 book (audio books take 2 credits). You also get credits as you people request your books. Once they are requested you send and pay for it to be shipped media mail. Once a book you have requested is available they pay to send you your book. I think it's an awesome idea. I've already had 2 books requested and gotten 3, just in the week or two that I've been a member. So join and get free books with me! Oh, and mention my name when you join so I get extra credits for books! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Famous People who were Homeschooled

Famous People Who Were Homeschooled
Claude Monet
Grandma Moses
Leonardo da Vinci
Rembrandt Peale
Michelle Kwan
Jason Taylor
Tim Tebow
Serena Williams
Venus Williams
Agatha Christie
Alex Haley
Beatrix Potter
C.S. Lewis
Charles Dickens
George Bernard Shaw
Hans Christian Anderson
Louisa May Alcott
Margaret Atwood
Mark Twain
Phillis Wheatley
Pearl S. Buck
Robert Frost
Virginia Woolf
Andrew Carnegie
Colonel Harland Sanders
Dave Thomas
Joseph Pulitzer
Ray Kroc
Felix Mendelssohn
Irving Berlin
John Philip Sousa
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Alan Alda
Charlie Chaplin
Christina Aguilera
Dakota Fanning
Hillary Duff
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Justin Timberlake
LeAnne Rimes
Louis Armstrong
Whoopi Goldberg
Davy Crockett
George Rogers Clark
Alexander Graham Bell
Benjamin Franklin
Cyrus McCormick
Eli Whitney
Thomas Edison
Orville Wright
Wilbur Wright
Military Leaders
Douglas MacArthur
George Patton
John Paul Jones
Robert E. Lee
Stonewall Jackson
Matthew Perry

Ansel Adams
Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Jackson
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
George Washington
Grover Cleveland
James Garfield
James Madison
John Adams
John Quincy Adams
John Tyler
Theodore Roosevelt
Thomas Jefferson
William Henry Harrison
Woodrow Wilson
Religious Leaders
Brigham Young
Dwight L. Moody
Joan of Arc
John & Charles Wesley
William Carey
Albert Einstein
Blaise Pascal
Booker T. Washington
George Washington Carver
Pierre Curie
Alexander Hamilton
Daniel Webster
Patrick Henry
William Jennings Bryan
William Penn
Winston Churchill

United States Supreme Court Judges
John Jay
John Marshall
John Rutledge
Sandra Day O'Connor
Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams
Clara Barton, started the red cross
Florence Nightingale, nurse
Martha Washington, wife of George Washington
Susan B. Anthony, women's rights leader

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

School Schedule

Daniel does much better knowing what to expect and having things come in order. It helps him keep things on an even keel emotionally. So as we have decided to home school him I have spent some time working out a schedule or routine for him to follow. There will be disruptions from time to time and that's something that he has to learn to adapt to but to help him here is a sample of his (proposed!) schedule for one day of the week. It has far more scheduling than I would like. I hate routines so this is going to be something I really have to work on. I have spent a lot of time with it as Daniel has a hard time sitting still, (His Occupational Therapist says that his attention span is literally 2 mins. We are working on stretching that.) So I am trying to mix things up so that there is not a lot of sitting at one time and so that the sitting is (for now) 5-10 mins. max. One of his therapy goals is that by the end of the year he will be able to sit for 10 mins without any problems.

Breakfast: Practice Folk Song (Alternating between folk songs and listening to music by specific composers)
Scriptures, Primary Song & Prayer
Reading lesson
Fairy Tales/ Tea Party Time/ Manners (Great way to teach manners at the table and elsewhere!)
Math - Frequently much of this will be hands on learning so he doesn't have to sit still. We will also be trying to work it into our daily lives more.
Violin Practice
Outdoors or Active Activity- A lot of time outside observing nature (another hard one for me!) and learning. They are also both in Swimming lessons twice a week.
Lunch: Article of Faith Memorization and Art Study-We will study a different artist each term.
Occupational Therapy 12-1:30- He has currently 3 different therapies during the week.
Literature Reading- He needs down time after therapy as it wears him out.
Explode the Code- Excellent work book for handwriting and phonics. He loves it as it plays games.
Handicraft/ life skills- Pounding nails into wood. Working on riding a bike/scooter. Learning how to fish etc.
Building Thinking Skills- This is another workbook that teaches critical thinking- very important I think & fun!
Free Outside Time
Practice Reading- With newly emerging skills at reading its important to practice!
A walk after dinner- Other nights its a game night or German movie night
Dad Read A Loud @ Bed Time with German books- We are learning German. Why not with a built in tutor with Daddy! We will also watch on other days familiar movies in German and work on learning various body parts, colors etc.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mr. Daniel

Mr. Daniel. How I love you! I have had a horrible headache that has lasted a couple of days. You know the kind that make you sick to your stomach and you have an after the headache, headache? My sweet boy who is VERY excited about his violin decided to take it out and play me a song to make my head feel better. He has yet to have a lesson so you can imagine what that sounded like! I had hoped to take him to Music in the Park as we have been SO busy that we haven't had a chance to go all summer and they so enjoy it. He was all excited to go and wanted to take his violin so that he could play for the people to sing and dance to! It is so fun to watch the shear joy he has for the violin. He has loved it ever since he was about a year old and we moved in with my parents while Paul was in Iraq. My sister Hannah was learning to play the violin then and he would beg her to play for him. (Eliza was learning the Viola at the time as well and Reagan would scream when she was a baby anytime she hear Eliza play!) He is so excited to start his lessons this Friday with his little 1/8th size violin. I really think it will be good for him as he learns so well with music.

As I have mentioned in other posts we have been very busy getting Daniel in to see therapists and doctors. We decided that even though the school district had decided that he no longer needed speech services that we needed to have him evaluated by a private speech pathologist as we still had concerns. She finished evaluating him last week and while she hadn't scored the results yet felt that there was still definately a need to continue speech with him. As soon as he doesn't have speech therapy he starts loosing all he has gained and we really don't want that and there are a few other issues there as well that she saw. So once a week he gets to go play with toys and work on his speech with her.

We also had him evaluated by an Occupational Therapist. This was a bit of an eye opener when I read the report. There were all the things that we had known about the ADHD and mood disorder and plans on how to work with him on increasing his abilites in these areas but they had also noticed some other things. Like low muscle tone, the muscles on his left side are significantly weaker than his right side. He doesn't have a lot of strength and tires easily. When going up stairs instead of changing feet he puts the right foot on the stairs and then brings the left foot up to it. He has never been able to catch a ball, he doesn't have the strength to push the pedal of a bike down when it gets stuck at the top. For him to sit and write something (which he hates to do.) It literally takes all of his body to do it. Not just his arm muscles. I have been telling the doctors for a few years that he shouldn't fall as often as he does or run into things, (He can't plan quick enough where to put or stop his body.) and they would never listen to me. So we are now in the process of getting a Physical Therapist evaluation to see how far behind his gross and fine motor skills really are. Because we are at the end of medications that we could currently try for his ADHD and none of them work or he has really bad reactions to them, with this new information about his muscles and etc. we may have to look at seeing if it is just a symptom of something else that is going on. The good news is that he LOVES OT and cries to go there. They are really making a difference for me too in helping me find other ways of working with him.

He will be doing a sleep study the first part of next month as he has had these sleeping days where he would sleep for 20 hours in a day about once every 2 weeks to week and a half. Then between that he would sleep during the day for several days about 6 hours or so and still go to bed on time. Part of this was medication but he still continued to do it off and on. So we are exploring what is going on with that. The sleep doctor supected sleep apnea which runs prolifically through Paul's Dad's family. I've never seen him quit breathing  but the doctor said that ADHD misdiagnosed frequently and it is sleep apnea, as kids will be so tired that they will just keep going and not stop. We'll see what the results are, but it was interesting to hear.

And today we recieved the results from the Neuro Psychiatric evaluation that we had done. It confirmed basically everything that we had said but helped us understand that there are reasons for his behavior and now we have the tests done to back up what we are saying and what we need the therapists and doctors to do. She said she would diagnose him with Aspberger's but he has language problems and you can't have language problems with asperbgers. He would be on the autism spectrum due to his developmental delays but he has none of the odd behavior that autistic children have. He doesn't get social cues by reading faces at all. He is just starting to figure out that what he is thinking isn't necessarily what you think. Ex. Lying is usually learned around 3 years of age. They figure out that you don't kmow what they are thinking. Daniel at 5 is just now starting to figure this out and probably at least partly because of Reagan figuring it out. He scores average on his fine motor skills but only because he works SO VERY hard to make things work. The doctor felt that as we worked with OT and Speech that a lot of his emotional outbursts will end because he won't have to work SO hard at everything, and he will begin to understand things a little better. He definitely has ADHD but hopefully as some of these other things get taken care of he will be able to control it a little better.

Daniel continues to see a Play therapist which he loves. She has been working with him the longest. She is a treasure that we never want to give up! He does much better about moderating his emotions during that day after seeing her. He also sees his Pyschiatrist now about once a month. Which is so much better than once a week or every 2 weeks!

Recently at his 5 year old check up Daniel was not able to pass the eye test with his glasses on... We just got them in February. So we are waiting to go see the eye doctor again to see what's going on. Unfortunately since we have government health insurance the soonest they can get us in is September 8th. But don't get me started on that! I could go on forever!!!

So Daniel's life very busy with all of this but you know every single teacher, therapist and doctor has said of him that he is really a sweet boy and that he really works very hard to do what he can. For that I am grateful that he has the spirit to work so hard and keep trying to do his best even though for him some of the stuff is like moving mountains.

Miss Reagan

I know, I know I have been sadly neglecting our blog. We had such gorgeous weather for a couple weeks, we were busy playing outside, and then we were overwhelmed by all Daniel's therapies, evaluations and doctors appointments, and I left for a week for girls camp that I am just now getting back to "normal"...
 Because Daniel had SO much going on and to Reagan it looked like a lot of fun in his Play and Occupational Therapies (more about him in a later post), so I felt that it was really important that she have something for her. She received a scholarship to a music and dance class called Music Machine. She was in the mini Music Machine and she LOVED it! They do a lot of movement and dancing. Last month the whole session was on Alaska Animals. At the end of each class they got a little gift and they received 2 CD's with the music they were singing to play over and over again. (And we did....) At the end of an intense 2 weeks (class was Monday - Thursday) they had an "informance". Where they "informed" us of what they had been learning. For the life of me I can't figure out why the picture won't turn the right way. I have it saved the right way but when I upload it it does this... Oh well. She's right there on the end. 
She had a little bit of stage fright. She hardly moved on the stage. She was a bit overwhelmed with all the people watching. Daddy made it the performance (YAY!), Reagan invited her favorite friend Cyrus and she also had one of her babysitters there to watch her. We are continuing on with this session and her next "informance" is this Friday. Hopefully she will be a little more prepared this time for the audience. This session has been all about bugs and its gotten Daniel singing the songs too.

Miss Reagan is also as precocious as ever! She has been really bad about picking up her room as has Daniel. We were doing really well but then we got so busy that we got out of the habit. So last week after trying to get them to do it all day, at the end of the day I went in there with a trash bag. I told them we were going to throw the toys away. It made a HUGE impression on Daniel and afterwards we talked about how its his responsibility to pick up the toys etc. Just like I have a responsibility to make sure he has meals and clean clothes. We agreed that he could earn back the toys if he kept his room clean. Problem solved for him. Reagan however... Her response to the toys being thrown in the trash bag was, "Let's give them to kids who don't have any toys." While that was a great and generous idea, it wasn't quite what I was going for. Today again she wouldn't pick up her toys. So again I went in with the trash bag. Her response this time? "Let me help you!"

We have been having a lot of problems with Reagan coloring all over herself with markers. Usually it is in place of nail polish or makeup. Last week she got hold of a brown furniture marker. She colored all over her forehead. I was scolding her and wiping it off when she said, "Don't Mommy, that's my birthmark!" She wanted to be just like Daniel.

I was trying to erase a message on the phone the other night. Reagan heard it and asked who it was, I explained that he was a boy (10?) who sings in the choir with me and his Mom  leads it. Her reply- "he's really good, and he's REALLY handsome!" What am I going to do with this boy crazy girl!

Reagan in yet another effort to not go to bed comes upstairs one night and says, "Mommy, my head fell off and it hurt!" What do you say to that?

Oh, and another favorite story to tell on my darling daughter. I had told her babysitter (I was out at Physical Therapy) that there was no T.V. until the kids rooms were clean. The babysitter said that Reagan came and told her that the room was clean. She went to look and she had stuffed everything under the bed and in the closet. How a 3 year old figures that out so early surprises me. Elyse pulled everything back out and told her she had to put it away. Reagan replies, "My Mom doesn't know I do that! How did you know?" I had to laugh as of course it was obvious, I asked Elyse if she had checked under the trampoline which is also another favorite place of hers.

We are in so much trouble. Reagan when we were reading scripture stories one night said, "Mom, don't turn the page! I want to see the bad guys!"

"Don't you mean the good guys?"

"No I want to see the bad guys!

And a final story to tell on myself that should have been posted clear back in May...Someone called me on Mother's Day and said "Happy Mother's Day to one of the best Mother's I know." I had to laugh because at that minute I had myself barricaded in my room with screaming children on the other side just so I could get ready for church and not completely loose it on them.

Ah... Being a mother is such fun!