Sunday, January 17, 2016

Half way through the Year and new hope

It was Christmas!!!

Well, Christmas break is now over. I LOVED having a break. I decided that I wasn't going to worry about teaching my kids AT ALL and instead focus on fixing up the house.

I painted, caulked, built, and cleaned, but I did NOT get out any school or craft supplies.

Well, that's not entirely true, we had a kid Christmas party, and I had to get a little crafty for that:

It was kinda hard to get back to the grind. In fact, this week went a little slow, but I will forgive myself ;)

We did do science. I thought I was going to get through way more material than I actually did. We learned about water. Its molecular composition, the water cycle, and all that fun stuff.

For some reason I thought we would be able to do this water filter device experiment that I had, but we ended up doing it just with my kids after everyone had gone home. It was way more peaceful that way. This is Hyrum pointing at the DIRTY water in the cup that we poured into our water cleaning tower to his right.

For some reason I thought we could also get to experiments on chemical reactions. Why? I have no idea. But I got the Mentos and Coke experiment ready and even though it had absolutely nothing to do with water, we did it as our finalee.

Way more impressive than our other attempts eh?  I finally used REAL diet coke, and made sure it was nice and warm. That was the key.

This week we did do a little math. Hyrum's techniques are pretty fun for his multiplication. To do his 5s times tables, he times by ten and divides it in half. Sometimes he has actions to go along with this:

Of course, throughout the break we were experiencing quality literature. Maxwell got Where the Red Fern Grows on audiobook for Christmas, and he has listened to it like three times now. He would be listening to an audio book at all times if we would let him. (We have a family rule that you can't wear headphones, and so hearing his books ALL THE TIME gets taxing.)

These are some of the new ones he's been listening to, although he likes to go to his old ones too. Specifically "Farmer Boy." That seems to be his favourite.

None of these were abridge, and the Huckleberry Finn one I got from this awesome site where you can download free audio books. They are read by volunteers, so you get some good ones, some bad ones, and some weird ones. Librivox.

And now for the "New Hope" portion of this post.

Hyrum has been "officially" diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, and language Processing disorder. The speech pathologist has been sweet and kind, but not that helpful. The psychiatrist just directed us to others and I'm still on the waiting list for an educational psychological analysis. So basically, I've been feeling like I'm just spinning my wheels.

But I was directed to Conrad Boehme, the school district's main child psychologist, by many people this last semester, and I don't know why I didn't get on that earlier. In fact, he's in my ward and was Hyrum's sunday school teacher for two years! His sister-in-law is a friend, of mine, and I see him all the time! WHY did I wait!?! In the end HE tracked down ME!!!

Hallelujah that he did. He was actually thinking I wanted to talk about Maxwell's dyslexia, but I then told him about Hyrum. It was an amazing visit. The kind of visit that makes me so happy to live in my tiny town.

One thing that came to a clarity is that Hyrum's ADHD and ODD are actually mostly the byproduct of the Language Processing disorder. Mostly, but not completely, but it means that focusing on helping the Language Processing, and there is actually HELP!

It's called Visualizing and Verbalizing by Lindamood Bell. It looks SO promising!!!! It seems like it was made just for Hyrum! I have so much hope, but it's expensive and I need to figure out a couple of things, but we are going in the right direction, and not going in the circles that I feel like we have been.

Well, another week has passed. This week was still a bit slow, but I have a scripture for that:

This needs to be my mantra. I do all things that lay in my power (with a little facebook break in the midst here and there) but I certainly don't always do it cheerfully, and I most definitely DON'T stand still and trust.

I need to be partners with Christ in teaching my kids. I have forgotten that. Church today was just for me.

It's the middle of the year, and I am more or less where I should be with math, and if I'm not going to get through the whole book by May 31, well, we'll for sure get through it before June 30, so I'm just going to chill about it.

And if we don't get all our reading in, well, we do it throughout the summer, so there. Be still.

And science while we're traveling? forget it.

History? I want to, but if not, I'll plug in "Story of the World" and my kids will survive.


Sorry....I just need to tell myself that.....a lot.

So this week was our last science for a while...snowbirds that we are. It was all about Chemical reactions. How light, heat, condensing, catalysts and such effect reactions. We also talked about exo and endothermic reactions.

One favourite thing was the exothermic reacting pens:

The kids created art that could be erased and brought back by heat and cold

Soooo fun. We also had fun using concentrated hydrogen peroxide to do some pretty cool experiments. Remember how lame that genie in a bottle experiment was for history? We did that again, and it was lame again, so I put it to the side, and then about 5 minutes later it WORKED! Surprise!

And we also tried the Elephant toothpaste experiment again, and It worked as well!

And one more tid bit. I have DREAMED of the day when Maxwell would pick up a novel of his own volition and start to read and I would take a photo, and post it on here, and it would be a glorious day. Who knew that "Novel" would be the Book of Mormon:

Yep! Dustin got our family an ultra deluxe Book of Mormon family edition. That coupled with his primary's encouragement has got him reading on his own!  Love that boy.

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