Today is the First Day….
….that I have felt settled in the homeschool arena with my two little boys. My kids, normally, work independently beginning in about 4th grade and becoming solely independent (with help, of course) by the time they are in middle school. I do not stand over them and dictate…they have their schedules, they have their curriculum and they work at their own pace. They do so with the understanding that there is a beginning, middle and end. They know what I want done by the end of the year. We begin state testing about Mid-May and then we are done….till August
With my little boys, well, they are a different set of kiddoes. Catfish has MMD (mild mental deficiency), severe dyslexia, FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) and a lot of other stuff. Little Man has some memory lags due to malnutrition and he is completely deaf in one ear. We have mainly been focusing on math, reading, and spelling. Catfish has therapy 2 hours per week in a town that is a half hour away. They work on his speech, reading, handwriting, comprehension, etc. It truly throws a ginormous kink in my day, but it has gotten him an official diagnosis and his therapists have been wonderful.
I spent this past week mourning the results of the testing. I know that sounds dramatic, but it is what it is and no one wants their children to be delayed, have any type of dx, or have any issues, whatsoever. We want our children to be okay, normal, and be able to function in this world…a parent wants their children to leave the nest and fly. Catfish will probably not leave the nest and that is okay…well, it is okay now. It wasn’t for about a week and a half.
In our efforts to help him, we have found audio books that are recorded by people and not machine. He has been listening to 4th grade (his grade level) audio books (free books) that are classic novels. He listens to them because his reading is so bad because of the dyslexia. He is listening to books, on his grade level, to help improve his severely delayed vocabulary. This will all help him and he loves listening to books. He is reading, however, books on the 2nd grade level. He is doing well and reads one or two stories a day that include comprehension questions. His memory is affected so we are trying to build those memory muscles the best that we can.
In therapy, Catfish uses an FM system. It is a headphone that is attached to a system with a microphone. The therapist speaks clearly and the microphone magnifies the sound in his ears to help him HEAR the words being said properly. He has a type of phonetical processing problem where he can not hear the words said properly therefore he says them incorrectly and has a speech impediment. Well, there is no financial assistance or program that can assist in us purchasing an FM system, so we did a knock off called the Pocketalker. It is similar to the FM system and it drowns out the outside sound and simply magnifies my voice. We are currently working on our “r” sounds…those are a booger!
So, this weekend, I sat down and realized that Catfish, though he should be in 4th grade…is probably more like 1-2nd grade. Okay. So I deal with that. LM is supposed to be in 1st grade but can pull some 2nd grade out of his hat, but only when his brain is working (sometimes we have to run around the house to get our brain warmed up). I came up with a doable schedule, will be adding in math worksheets and possibly science, and lots of memorization of facts. I will be working with both boys, in tandem on the same set of books. Today went really really well. It will not be easy and Catfish will eventually catch onto what I’m doing, but I feel like if I can bump Catfish up in math (he is excellent in math) and keep LM on his grade level in math, that will be a huge boost of confidence even though the other books are 2 grades below what he is working on. We really don’t do grade levels anyway and there is no GRADE 2 marked on any curriculum that I use, so the visual is not there for him to be discouraged on.
This is working…it keeps me accountable and not flying by the seat of my pants. The boys are learning. I’m not frazzled. The big kids can help when I am at therapy with Catfish and they know exactly where we stopped and where to pick up. It really is a win win for me.
Here is a copy of our November schedule, to give you an example. I started with November 10th (the schedule is new), so there are 12 teaching days left in this month.
November 10-14; 17-21; 24-25 (12 days)
COME BACK HERE, CROCODILE
- Name Continents
- Name Oceans
- Name Seas
- Match states to map
- Draw flag and identify how many stars/stripes and why
- Begin Timeline
LIVING IN COMMUNITIES
Vocabulary: share Senses city
Spell – alphabetize – define – sentences – test
~some, her, would, make, duck, luck, suck, stuck, like, him, into, time, pet, get, wet, let, has, look, two, more, red, bed, fed, sled~
~write, go, see, number, men, hen, pen, ten, no, way, could, people, tell, fell, sell, well, my, than, first, water, bad, hat, glad, mad~
~been, called, who, oil, win, lip, kid, ship, sit, now, find, long, mom, fox, chop, shop, down, day, did, get, bus, truck, must, cut~
- I can sit with the man.
- I have a big pig.
- His thin skin had a pin in it.
- He can kick the stick but not the brick.
- We all have a lot of hot pots.
- You can hop when you drop your mop.
- There is a job for each man.
- Which rock do you have?
- Their hut is shut, but I will do in.
- He will hug many bugs on the rug.
- It is so fun to run in the sun!
- With some luck the duck will not get stuck.
Worksheets (6 per day) on different areas of 2nd grade
Online Reading: (only for Catfish)
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
10 min. starfall
10 min. 2nd grade math