Friday, September 14, 2012

September 9-15, 2012

One of these days, I'm going to feel caught up.  Proactive.  In control.  Probably not anytime soon, but a girl can dream.

What we did this week:

  • Saxon Math 1: Lessons 35-38 (writing the number 32, identifying morning, afternoon, evening, and night; writing the number 33, measuring length and width using nonstandard units; writing the number 34, adding one to a number; writing the number 35, sorting items and creating a graph)
  • The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading: Lessons 88-89 (review of the long-a vowel pairs; the vowel pair EE as /ē/)
  • Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Kindergarten: Pages 95-100 (Yy, Ww, V/Y/W review, uppercase alphabet)
  • Who Am I?: Lesson 4 (Actions and Attitudes - The Ten Commandments
In tadpole news, our experiment has come to an end.  The first tadpole we put in the tank seemed to be doing poorly and we never saw it eat.  We thought that maybe it was too little, so we put him back in the fountain.  There was a much bigger tadpole still in the fountain, so we caught that one and put it in the tank.  It seemed to be doing fine, but one morning we came down and saw it looking listless.  We decided to put him back and spare us any amphibian blood on our hands.  Maybe the house was too cold for them.  At last check, both tadpoles are happily swimming around in the fountain.  We'll just keep an eye on them out there.

On a happier note, in the midst of all the hoopla over the new Kindle Fires, we saw that there is now a large selection of free classic e-books with accompanying free narration tracks at  I downloaded all of the sets.  Amazingly, it's over $250 worth of professionally-narrated audiobooks!  They're read by actors like Elijah Wood, Anne Hathaway, Kenneth Branagh... nice stuff.  I also decided to try out the membership, which gave us two free credits.  I used one to get a narrated Bible.  I think that will be nice for daily readings.  The second one got us Branagh's narration of C.S. Lewis's The Magician's NephewHenry started listening to it yesterday, during his handwriting practice time.  He loves it.  He listened to more today during handwriting.  We stopped at the beginning of chapter 4, but we'll pick it up again tomorrow.

Is it too early to talk about Christmas?  If it is, oh well!  I'm planning on getting one of the new 4G Fires when they're released in November.    The plan for now is that Oliver will get my current Fire (loaded with lots of new games) and Henry will get a new (non-4G) Fire for Christmas.  The features are going to be great for both school and fun.  Henry will be able to read books, play educational games, listen to audiobooks, and watch kid-friendly shows.  Oliver will have lots of games to play, as well as greater control on Starfall, which requires a mouse on the PC, but works well with the touchscreen on the Fire.

I'd been looking at getting one or both boys a LeapPad 2 for Christmas, but they can have much greater functionality with the Fires for not much more cost.  Plus, the new FreeTime controls will allow me to manage how much time they can spend on any activity.  Also, Henry's barely kindergarten age and our bookshelves are already bursting at the seams.  If we're going to get this family through high school without the house collapsing, we're going to need to use more e-books. 


Ollie continues to progress in therapy.  During today's session, 89% of his mands were above full prompt.  33% were completely independent!  It's amazing to see him really communicating.  He's doing so well with manding that they're going to start moving him into his actual program goals soon.

Next month begins the new fiscal year for our insurance, so Oliver's schedule will change to 3 days a week.  I hope that the change doesn't slow down his pace.


Before the terror began...
Sweet Baby Jane turned two this week, although she's been working on those Terrible Twos for a few months now.  To celebrate, I decided to take her out for some one-on-one time while our sitter was home with the boys.

We started out at a local craft store where Jane picked a plaster triceratops to paint.  She had a lot of fun with it and it was great to see her enjoy herself without anyone (ahem, Henry) trying to take the project over.

After the painting, I planned on taking her to lunch and then to story time at the library.  Those plans were waylaid by Toddler Tantrum I and II.  Somewhere between the craft store and ordering our food, a switch was flipped and she went from all smiles to inconsolable sobbing (at the restaurant) to screaming and kicking on the floor (at the library).  Needless to say, our outing was cut short.  Of course, by the time we got home again, she was back to smiling.  And I thought girls were supposed to be easier than boys. Ha!


Charming us all, even his crazy sister.

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