Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Carschooling and What???

We've been enjoying our little break.  It's been a couple weeks of lazy days and planning for us all.  In an attempt to keep their minds from completely zoning out, we've stepped up the carschooling as we take Oliver back and forth to therapy.

Here's what we've been using:

Song School Latin: This CD continues to be a favorite.  It's gotten to the point that even Peter kind of sings along with the first song, bouncing his head back and forth like the others.

The Classical Baby Collection: We've had this DVD set forever and it still gets a lot of play.  Art, music, and dance are well represented and completely unannoying, which is always a plus.

Young Minds: Numbers and Counting: This is a new one.  It's pretty basic and reminds me of the Baby Einstein videos.  I don't know how long this one will hold up for the older kids, but it's soothing at least.  Peter likes this one a lot.

They Might Be Giants: These are three new ones and they are awesome.  The CDs come with DVD discs with cute videos and the music is also unannoying.  We've got Here Come the ABCs, Here Come the 123s, and Here Comes Science.

We've been touching on Getting Started with Latin here and there and going chapter by chapter in The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island, but for the most part we've just been relaxing.  And getting over being sick, of course, because what would a summer break be without all the kids getting horrid colds and half the kids also getting a random stomach bug?

Which is probably why I was so surprised to look at the calendar this morning and see that it's Wednesday, June 26th, and we only have a few more days until First Grade.  Completely insane.  At least all of my lesson planning is done (thank you, OneNote) and all of our materials have been procured.  My last task will be to pull everything we need for week one off the shelves and print out anything that needs to be printed.  Henry is really excited to be a first grader!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Kindergarten is Complete!

And as much as I love what The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading has done for us, I am so glad to put that book on the shelf and not open it again for at least another year.  Relief.

Yes, Henry read the last page today, with the final lesson being the reading of "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."  It took him a while, but he got through all fourteen syllables and we both made it out alive.

So, we are done with kindergarten!  Henry completed the kindergarten CAT this week and I've already mailed his test booklet back to Seton Testing to be graded.  We should get the results emailed to us within a couple of weeks.  The CAT wasn't required since this wasn't even a reportable year, but I wanted Henry to get a little practice with the standardized test format and I also wanted that little piece of paper that says, "no, you're not ruining your child's academic life."  Because I'm paranoid like that.

Sooooo, we're still going to start first grade on July 1st.  Until then, we're just going to be doing a lot of read-alouds, some Latin, and plenty of rounds of Uno and Sum Swamp and Math Dice.  "That's not school, Mommy.  That's fun!"  Mm hmm.

And Mommy gets to play with my OneNote, which I've fallen in love with after not even knowing it was on our PC for the last I-don't-know-how-many years.  The program is everything I've been looking for in lesson planning.  I'd given up on all the different free and inexpensive software I've tried and resigned myself to creating week-by-week tables in Word, resource lists in Excel, and a big file folder of PDFs and so forth.

OneNote allows me to do all of that in one spot.  It's pretty much the best of every program in MS Office all in one.  Awesome.

Oliver is showing definite progress with his communication skills.  Really.  We're coming to the end of week three on L-carnosine and there is absolutely something going on.  This week he said, "thank you."  Really.  Matt was eating some chips and Oliver indicated that he wanted one.  He ate the one Matt gave him and signed "more" which in itself is awesome because he picked that sign up after only one demo and is using it.  Anyway, Matt gave him another chip and Oliver immediately said, "thank you."  It wasn't perfect, but it was enough that both Matt and I automatically responded with, "you're welcome."  And then we looked at each other and said, "Did he just say 'thank you?'"

He's been babbling constantly, giving out hugs like they're going out of style, and displaying an increased level of interest in people and things around him.  We're still seeing some tantrum behavior, but I think a lot of it is linked to his potty training.  He's been having mini-shouting fits when he needs to go to the potty.  We're trying some different things to get him to let us know he has to go without resorting to yelling.  I'm hoping he'll get it down soon.

All in all, we're really excited about the progress he's made so far and we're, of course, continuing with the supplement.

Jane is bopping along, singing her Song School Latin, starting to really count with one-to-one correspondence, and exploring every nook and cranny of two-year old behavior.  It's the Two Faces of Jane around here.

Peter turns one next week!