Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Another thing he got was this set of blocks with velcro wrapped around them. This will work on his bilateral cordination and I was also thinking I could draw out some simple patterns using just two or three blocks and see if we can work on imitating them.
The next thing he got were these lacing cards. Note that they say indestructible and I am holding them to that. He eats the cardboard ones so I am hoping these are a better choice. He likes to unlace more than he likes to lace (he just wants the string) but we are working on it.
Then of course what will definately be his favorite. His playdough obsession is still well intact. I am hoping the scents will add extra sensory stimulation.
He got a couple more things but that is all I have time to share right now. And of course...
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tyler has been learning to play chess in correlation with our medieval study. We have been using the Usborne book Starting Chess.
I personally love all Usborne books and this one is no exception. It breaks it down into easy to understand sections. It introduces the board and each piece and its moves individually. It has great illustrations (as do all Usborne books) and it has internet links on each page to help learn more about the history of chess, see pictures of different chess sets, and play games. He has been reading a couple of pages each day and then practicing setting up the board. There are neat little puzzles which are basically different situations you might encounter in a game and then the book asks you which pieces you could capture. I have him set up the puzzles on his chess board and then figure out the answers. He has been really enjoying it. I think it will be a popular pastime for him when he learns to play. He has a very logical mind and I think he will do very well.
Here are a couple more pages from the book:
Tomorrow he will play his first game with me using only the king, queen, and pawns for now.This is his chess board. It is very special because his dad bought it for him last year when he was deployed to Afghanistan. It weighs a ton! I think he is happy to finally use it and not just admire its beauty.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I have noticed that Sue's idea in her book about using a label maker to make things for our workboxes has been somewhat ignored. I have found this to be a great tool. I have two children who struggle with fine motor issues so writing a lot can be frustrating for them. My older son has been able to through years of hard work, master cursive but it is still very strenous for him. We have used a lot of typing with him but he definately prefers hands-on materials. We already had a label maker in our house when I was introduced to the Workbox system because my husband uses it for work. However, they are not very expensive and can be used for many other things. We have a P-Touch and it sells for around $40 on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Brother-PT-1880-Advanced-Deluxe-Labeler/dp/B000JVHH9W/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&s=office-products&qid=1243435250&sr=1-18
You can get a cheaper model though. Here is a picture of ours.
What I like to do is take a picture of what we are working on (usually from the internet) and then use Microsoft Word to make it into a worksheet. I then run it through the laminator and print out the labels for the words that go with the sheet. I store the labels in a ziploc and paper clip it to the worksheet. This way they can be easily put into workboxes. Labels can be purchased in cartridges and you can get sticky back or magnetic or I believe some other forms. I get the sticky back ones but we leave the backing on so they can be used over and over.
Here are a couple examples of what we have used in the past. The first is one for reviewing the bones in the body.
This next one is the meanings protrayed in the presidential seal.
Right now we are learning about chess. I am going to make one with pictures of the different chess pieces and then make labels for their names and what direction they can move in. I encourage you to try some. They make for fast review and are a nice break from regular worksheets.
I made this chicken pot pie for the second time tonight and I am just in love with it. It is very hearty and has a great taste. I thought I would share the recipe.
2 carrots peeled and thinly sliced
1 celery stalk cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup thawed frozen corn
1 cup thawed frozen peas
2 cups cooked cubed chicken breast
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 tablespoon salt
ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 refrigerated pie crust
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook carrots, celery, and onion in 1/2 cup of the broth, covered until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain vegetables, reserving broth.
2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Place vegetable mixture, corn, peas, and chicken in 10-inch pie plate, 2 inches deep.
3. In the saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour, salt, and pepper and stir until bubbly. Add remaining broth and milk and return to boil, stirring constantly, until thickened, about two minutes. Add parsley, pour over vegetables and mix well.
4. Place pie crust over vegetables, fold edges under, and flute. Make two slits in crust. Bake about 35 minutes until golden on top.
I hope you enjoy making it as much as I do.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Interview with Tyler who is 12 about his workboxes. Tyler is high functioning autistic and his workboxes have made a complete difference in how he sees school. He has been doing workboxes since Jan. 2009 and has been homeschooled since 2004.
1. What is your favorite thing about the workboxes? I like putting them in the done box when I am finished.
2. What is your LEAST favorite thing about them? My least favorite thing is waiting for mom when I have a work with mom box and she is busy with my brother.
3. Do you think the workboxes are helping you become a better student? Yes, I focus a lot better on my school work now.
4. If you could change one thing about the workboxes, what would it be? I can't think of anything.
5. What is your favorite activity that you didn’t really get to do much before you started the workboxes? I do a lot more lapbooking now.
Anything else you want to add? I like to try and peek before school to see what is in my boxes.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Yesterday we made this cute little flag from craft sticks. I found this craft at: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/july4/craftstickflag/ It was easy to make and is a cute decoration for Memorial Day.
First you paint the craft sticks red and white. Then you glue them together adding a couple in the opposite direction to the back to make it sturdy. Then you glue a rectangle of blue construction paper to the upper left hand corner.
Next you add little star stickers (the kind you use on reward charts).
Then you are done and you have a simple but cute Memorial Day craft.
I bought some posters the other day hoping to make some centers with them. I have only been able to do one so far but I thought I would share. I took this poster that I bought from Amazon for $1.99 and glued it to a larger poster board. Here is the link for the poster. http://www.amazon.com/Parts-Speech-Cheap-Chart-Charts/dp/0768233879/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1243013179&sr=8-4 I then took some cardstock and made pockets for each part of speech and made some labels for each pocket on the computer. I glued the pockets down the sides of the original poster close to their definitions. I am going to have my sone write out sentences for his spelling and vocabulary words on index cards and have him underline the word in the sentence. He can then sort what part of speech the word used was into the pockets. Here is a picture.
It only took about a half hour to make and I know we can use it a bunch.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I homeschool our two boys ages 11&12. Both are autistic.
How many boxes do you fill? 12 for son age 12 (he does 6 before lunch and 6 after), 6 for son age 11
Do you expect your children to go in order? Yes, I feel this is very important. It motivates both of them to work through harder boxes when they see favorable boxes ahead.
Do you use the schedule strips? Only for my 12 year old.
How long does it take you to fill the boxes? This depends on how tired I am at night. Usually about a half hour.
Do you fill your work boxes EACH night with all new items? Certain boxes stay the same I would say about half. The rest I try to be as creative as possible.
Do you have some boxes repeat each day so there is less filling/refilling? Yes, about half.
What do your kids do with the empty boxes? Son age 12 has a done box on the other side of his table. Son age 11 has two shelves so they go from one shelf to another when they are done.
Do you put away the ‘supplies’ each night? or do your kids? I do.
Anything else you want to add? I think more than even dividing things into boxes I learned so much from reading Sue's book and learning how to adapt our activities so my kids learn more and enjoy it a whole lot more. I also keep a record of what goes in the boxes as I fill them which is pretty good for me because I am not a great record keeper.
We have been studying a lot about knights and castles lately. Today in one of our workboxes was the Klutz book How to Build Castles. I love Klutz books and I think they are a perfect fit with workboxes. This one I think is one of my favorites.
It is a lot like building a house of cards but much stronger. The book is laid out very nice. It shows how to build the basic structures and then how to put them together to make castles. You can also purchase extra card sets to make really big castles. I just had Tyler build a three story tower with a roof for today.
It was great for his fine motor coordination!
They also have a similar book for building pirate ships. We are going to have to check that one out sometime too.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
We made three more nutrition action hero cards today. I hope somebody is enjoying them as much as we are. Meet the Big Fish (aka vitamin B12)Mr. Awesome A. Peel (Potassium)My personal fave for today The Germinator (vitamin C)
I am going to be kind of sad when we are done with these. It has been fun to watch these evolve into characters.
Christians sleep schedule is all messed up again so I am once again the over caffinated, exhausted, rambling mom. It is currently 2am here and he doesn't even show any signs of falling asleep. I really don't know how he does it.
Today was one of those days when you can just feel that everyone is a little off. We did make it through though. Tyler has been super distracted the last couple of days. I am not completely sure what is bugging him because he doesn't always express his thoughts well. I do have a strong feeling I know though. Sometime last week a little girl a couple of houses down from ours decided to inform him of the things he wouldn't know because he doesn't go to public school. He doesn't know how to defend himself so he just sits there are takes it all in. It seems that she may have also decided to inform the children next door to us of her thoughts because they are also now acting strange towards him. Today the girl next door informed him that she thinks that he gets up too early in the morning because he is up before her so tonight he was very concerned at bedtime about what time he should wake up at. He gets up at 6am so that he can wake up a little before he comes out for breakfast. I wish he could be comfortable with his routine and his life and not worry so much about other peoples opinions. Christian was in a good mood today for the most part even though he hasn't been sleeping very well. He is obsessed with eating paper lately so we have to watch that he doesn't eat anything important. We had Bojangles chicken tonight for the first time and he just loved their french fries. He ate both my husbands and my fries also. Lucy the puppy went to the vet today for some more of her shots. My husband took her and said she wasn't very happy about it. She did well last time so I am not sure what that was about. As for me I am trying not to focus on moving even though I think it spends a lot of time lurking at the back of my mind. I am looking forward to a long weekend and hoping to get some sleep.
That leaves one person which is my husband Tim whom I have been fortunate to spend over 13 years of my life with thus far.
He has been so wonderful to me lately despite my overtired out of sorts self. On Friday he ran to Walmart for me to get some things I need for school which might not seem like a big deal but the fact that he goes when he doesn't have to and he always gets whatever we need and never even asks why we need it. Also this weekend he went and suprised me with two Willow Tree figures which I just love. They are both boys and one has a boy and a puppy which looks a lot like Tyler and Lucy. I put them both on my kitchen window sill so I can enjoy them during the day.They also look cute with our red, white, and blue stars for Memorial Day. We have been trying to focus a little on Memorial Day this week. Not too hard when you live on a Marine base! Tyler has been copying the poem In Flanders Field for his copywork and then today we made red poppies like the VFW people give out. I got the idea from the free download this week at www.currclick.com . The direct link to the download is http://www.currclick.com/product_info.php?products_id=29219&it=1 . Also on Monday he made a windsock that I got the directions from www.enchantedlearning.comI am not sure what we will be doing for our long weekend. The weather has been rather crazy here lately but it would be nice to be able to spend some time outdoors. I am also hoping we can grill out. I found a fun recipe for stuffed burgers in Taste of Home magazine I think it would be fun to try. I think that is about all for now. Sorry if my ramblings made no sense. It is well past a sensible time for bed. Take care!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Last week I mentioned an activity I had found to learn more about vitamins and minerals. The link is http://www.texasheart.org/HIC/ProjH/upload/Activity_5_C.pdf Basically you make up action hero cards for each vitamin and mineral. We have been having so much fun with this. Tyler fills out the information with me and then comes up with a name for each action hero and then we hand it over to our computer whiz (AKA Dad) and he makes them into flash cards for us wich I am laminating so that they will stay nice. We have done six so far and I thought I would share our progress because they are turning out super cute.
Here are all our cards so far:First we did Milk Man (aka calcium) and he is my personal favorite.Next came the Eye Doctor (aka vitamin A)The Brain Surgeon (vitamin B1)Rythm Man (magnesium)Toxic Free (vitamin B3)And last for now The Strong Man (phosphorus). We are going to try to do all the main vitamins and minerals. I am hoping to come up with a game with them when we are done. It has been so fun and I know he will definately remember them. I will share some more when we get them done.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
"The most beautiful discovery that true friends can make is that they can grow separately without growing apart." - anonymous
We had a wonderful time today visiting with my friend Renata and her daughter Avery. The weather cooperated long enough to be able to enjoy some nice time at the park together. Have you ever noticed that when you are with a good friend time goes by way too quickly? That's how I felt today. It is nice to see they are both doing so well though and I know they are excited about reuniting with their husband/father tomorrow morning. Tyler and Avery had a lot of fun going down the slides at the park together and Christian enjoyed just standing on the top of the playground equipment and feeling the breeze. I forgot to take my camera with to the park and I am very sad I did. I did snap a picture of each of them here. Avery is not very fond of getting her picture taken right now so she looks unhappy but I think she had fun overall.
This is Renata and she is as sweet as her smile!
This Avery with her mom. She is not very happy but still adorable. She is excited to see her daddy tomorrow.
We did have one big surprise today. We found out that we will be moving sometime between June and August. Yuck! I really do not enjoy moving. We weren't supposed to have to move until the beginning of next year so this news came as quite a shock. They are renovating military housing and apperently things are going faster than they thought they would. We will only be moving a couple of minutes away but it will still be a big deal. Christan in particular has a very hard time adjusting to a new house. We have also been very fortunate to be in a very quiet area of housing where we are and I am concerned that our new house may be in a higher traffic area. Tyler has a hard time concentrating on anything if there is a lot of noise and Christian just goes to tears. God knows my children better than I though so I am put my trust in him on this one.
Tomorrow we will be doing school. It feels a little odd after taking off today. I am not quite sure what we are planning to do this weekend. I think it supposed to rain but maybe we can find somewhere to go. I am going to go do my menu planning now so that I can go grocery shopping tomorrow. Have a good night!