Monday, September 26, 2016

Officially, it's official. It's Dyslexia officially.

As a homeschool mom who has NEVER sent her kids to public school, when your kids can't read properly (along a traditional time schedule) and you say "they have dyslexia." You get smirky looks that say "SURE they are....OR you are just evidence of why homeschool is a bad institution....I'm thinking the later...."

Or at least, that's what insecure little me reads into those looks. And there are little inquiries that go with those looks that seem to suggest that I might be right to suppose this. That's one of the reasons I went through the trouble to become a bonafide certified real tutor of dyslexia. And I knew becoming a dyslexic consultant would be good for my pride as well, but I really was going for knowledge on that one.

But to go to the PUBLIC SCHOOL system and have them evaluate my kids....THAT would be something. But my pride didn't care that much, to be honest. In this instance honestly and truly I wanted to secure the future of my children. I wanted to make sure that everything was documented well enough that they would get extra reading time on the SATs and ACTs and get accommodations in college.

By the time the psychologist had fit my kids into his busy schedule (years people, we waited years) I didn't need anyone to confirm to ME that they had dyslexia. There wasn't a shred of doubt in me. I just knew I could not risk college counselors or ACT administrators to give me that smirk. They needed to be on my side. They needed to KNOW.

And now they do. Our school psychologist did NOT give me that smirk. He sat with us, and from the get-go explained how everything they tested pointed straight to dyslexia and the good bad and ugly about it. He was incredibly competent and nice and it was so relieving to have someone who understood and someone to talk to that I started bawling a few times throughout the conversation.

And yes, he documented it all for everyone to see.

Well, it's getting late, (and I've been up WAY too late lately because Dustin's in Africa) so...lets get down to business...

Last week (as in not this last week but the week before) I had hoped for a simple week, it ended up to be a busy week. A friend of mine had a baby, so we babysat for a couple of days, and we went to the zoo ALL day one of the school days.

When Dustin had asked if I wanted to go, I thought about all the math and writing we should be doing and then I snapped out of it. The ZOO! of COURSE! That's why I homeschool!!! to do cool things like this at the drop of a hat.

So go to the zoo we did! When we went through the dinosaur part, William was convinced that if he went too close to the dinosaurs, they would gobble him up, but he did relax towards the end.

I think our whole family loved the penguin exhibit the best.

But the baby gorilla was amazing as well. He looked incredibly human.

But William was NOT impressed with the Komodo Dragons. They did NOT look like Dragons at all. Oh well.

We also made our own little Zoo at ant zoo.

We still got quite a bit in that week. We learned about Napoleon. I wish I had gotten Usborne's book about War and Peace. Next time around. We made Napoleon Hats:

We also studied Jane Austen. I read to them a young reader's version of Pride and Prejudice, and I told them that this was the most Romantic. Book. Ever. Made. This actually caught their attention, and they insisted on being read the REAL book, and I told them I would get the audio book, and we also watched the Kiera Knightly version of the movie.

Hyrum burst out "I can't wait until the violence!!" Hu? I thought, and then I realized that it hadn't been too long ago that we had learned about Marie Antoinette, "You want her head cut off?" "Yep." "No honey, that was the other girl we learned about earlier." "oh, shucks."

Maybe I should have gotten the zombie version!

BTW.....I splurged and watched the 6 hour BBC version at my leisure....hehehe

As far as science goes, we did it in the evening because the zoo changed our schedule. We learned about cells. We made a cell model out of an actual model. We made cells out of pizza with the toppings being organelle parts, and then for dessert we made candy cells with oreo nuclei, frosting cytoplasm,  nerds as vesicles etc. Needless to say, the candy cells were the hit of the day.

This week we studied the cell some more. Specifically that it has a semipermeable membrane. We made naked eggs (the scandal.)

And we put corn starch into water with iodine, but this didn't work like it has for me in the past. I guess my plastic was too high quality. The iodine was supposed to be able to go through the plastic and into the cornstarch, changing it to dark blue, but it didn't.

Oh well,

In history we studied Florence Nightingale. I thought "oh why am I spending time on her when she's not even very important." WRONG

SO INSPIRING. and a WOMAN! I do not regret our spending time on her one bit. We got bandades and masks as our activity.

And Daniel got so into the spirit of things, he decided to fall on some steps so he could get a tour of the hospital and get stiches....

But we did spend enough time on Ms Nightingale that I didn't quite get to the into to the Industrial Revolution that I would have liked. We did read an amazing story about Robert Fulton by Discovery books from the 1970s. I LOVE those books! I don't care if they're out of date!

It was good to talk to my boys about how some of the most important inventors weren't the ones who originated the idea, but the ones who actually made those ideas useful for the public.

We started our own steam powered boat, but we did not finish it...tomorrow I'm sure we will.

We also made time for a library party for Curious George!! The man in the yellow hat even came!

And we had a graduation party for.......DUSTIN!!!! He graduated from his Master's Program in Management and Leadership!!!! I am so so so proud of him! YOU ROCK HUBBY!!!

(this picture is from his bachelors, but I like photos to go along with my comments.)

We ALSO did reading writing and math....of course....but for the sake of Westwind School, I've decided to be more faithful on my documentation on this even though it's rather boring.

Math first (because I like math best....and so do my kids)

Daniel has been keeping a log chart about the temperature each day. He gets excited about this part of school:

He's also gotten quite good at Roman Numerals:

He can also put things in Venn diagrams

Hyrum has been doing well, although it's funny when they ask him to explain his work. This is what happens:

You need a Master's in "Hyrum" to understand what's going on here, but thankfully, I do.

He's also doing perimeters where he is converting large amounts of inches into feet and inches.

Maxwell is learning more about geometry. Rightstart is very strict on their definitions, and so Maxwell has been practicing those:

Now Reading and writing: Well, we do the usual Barton stuff. Maxwell was working on "ture" suffixes. And he can now spell words as tough as acupuncturist:

And for Daniel, this week and last he's been working on "tch." He now knows when to use it. We first use tiles in our spelling:

And then on real paper:

Noticed he knew that "punch" does NOT have a "tch."

Hyrum...we're just reviewing for him. Including sight words:

Notice the eraser pushed SO hard that it went through the paper and the word made into people and just how HARD it is to CONCENTRATE! This is his good work....yep.

And Maxwell is very excited about his cursive. He's begun signing his name everywhere.

Also, Maxwell has made it a goal to write many stories and have me print them in a real hard cover book for him at the end of the school year.

Here's the beginning of his first story:

Maxwell was looking at a flower with petals as bright as a cherry. Then all of the sudden, he looked up and noticed that his family was no longer there. There were bushes, and trees, and the hiking path, but his parents were no where to be found.

Maxwell quickly ran up the mountain path looking for his parents. Maxwell’s heart was pounding fast, and he was panting very hard. He didn’t realize that he was running off the path. He kept on running until he realized that he was lost.

Then he took out his pocket knife. His pocket knife was a bright red, almost the same colour as the flower that had distracted him. It had a compass on the side and flint hanging off the other side, and a cord to go around his neck. It had four blades. One blade was so sharp it could cut a thin sheet of steel like it was cardboard. Two of the blades were saws, and another blade was actually a pair of scissors. It also had a flashlight.

Time passed. Maxwell tried backtracking the way he had come, but it was no use. At times he would shake with fear that he wouldn’t find his family. 

He wondered the mountain until night, and then he saw the north star. It gave him hope that he would find his family. He could remember being in his own warm safe room at home looking at the same north star. At that moment, he calmed down.

He looked at the star with his blue eyes, his chocolate brown hair looking much darker in the moonlight. He had on a warm jacket and a good pair of jeans. They were brand new jeans because as a twelve year old, he was growing so fast.

All of the sudden, he had an idea.He started gathering saplings for a mattress. He thought “I can’t have a place to sleep without a fire.” So then he started collecting firewood as well. 

He was trying to pull out a stick from a rocky hill.It was stuck fast. He was about to take out his pocket knife, when the moonlight touched something green that looked like a rock, but wasn’t one at the same time. 

He left the stick and started toward the green object up the rocky hill. When he got to the top, he realized there were three other objects. The one that he had seen first was not only green, but dark blue as well. They were gigantic eggs! One was dark grey with black markings all over it. Another was red and yellow like the sun on fire. The last one was light blue and light purple. 

Maxwell’s nose was red in the cold and he shivered. He thought “These eggs must be cold.” He took off his jacket and put the eggs inside like a bag. He walked over the nest and saw a light in a house.

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