Tuesday, August 30, 2011

She Really is Reading

I have a foster child that is 7 years old. She has been in Early On and other early intervention programs since she was about 18 months old. Last year she was in a special ed kindergarten that was an extremely small classroom with lots of professional support.

As a homeschooling mom I think there is always that wondering if you are doing enough, giving your kid the right tools or desire to "keep up". Having another kindergarten child in the home really helped me to see how our curriculum compared to the public school. It was also very helpful for both kids because it gave Jackson an opportunity to practice what he learned by teaching her and gave her exposure to more challenging concepts with him.

She ended the school year with the need to learn to read in order to be more successful in the next level of program. This summer, I used the same phonics/dolch reading program that I have used for all of my children with her.

We started school about 2 weeks before PS started and she had joined in with my first grader. Imagine her surprise when she was able to read! It was such a neat look on her face when she was reading in the same book as Jackson. I think her teacher will be surprised too.

We had an extra student today (CCK) who really enjoyed this "classroom" setting. He did very well and will return tomorrow.

Friday, August 26, 2011

First and Second Week Done

Jordan surprised the kids with green eggs (no ham) for breakfast this week. Not a pretty sight, but tasty.

4th grade has finished his 2nd whole week and his grades are right on track. He is very much "set-up" for success in that he cannot move onto the next lesson until he masters the one he is working on.  He is also working more at his own schedule this year. While he has a chart that tells when to do math, language arts, history, etc... he can do them as needed and does not have to change classes when the bell rings.

1st grade finished their first week and they were excited. I used this same curriculum 3 years ago and had forgotten all of the extra prep work that is needed. I will spend this weekend making all of the copies I will need so that next week can be a bit more smooth. In History & Geography we learned about Betsy Ross and colored flags.

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Grade's First Day

We started the first graders today and it was a pretty good day. I have changed our schedule and the way we do things and both did very well. I may have to start our day about 5 minutes earlier to allow for set up and devotions. We have moved our classroom back into the dining room so there is a bit more set up needed. I am not liking the change of rooms, but it is hopefully temporary. We are redoing the playroom (which stopped being a playroom years ago when the toys took over, needing it to be a storage room) and planning to make it our permanent classroom. I am excited that the 2nd bathroom remodel is complete and I LOVE the room so much that I found myself just sitting in there enjoying. All these years with only having 1 bathroom has trained everyone to hold it...we forget that it is down there. LOL! Field trip to the city market tomorrow.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Out of the Yard

My kids are outdoor kids to the extreme. Usually in the summer they are outside from sun-up to sun-down, but this summer has been so different. First we had the major heat waves that kept them in for weeks. Now we have  a mosquito problem that is the worst I have ever experienced. They go out and 5 minutes later they are all back in with welting bites wherever there was exposed skin. Oh well... I did save on sunblock this year. ~Smile~

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Community Service & Manipulatives in the Home

It was a good week of community service. The kids filled 13 food orders today. Lots of people showed up without proper i.d. so many graceful decisions were made by the staff today, but it turned out well.

In reading other home school blogs I glean great ideas for different manipulatives that I have right in my home. Kim at His Hands His Feet Today mentioned using UNO cards for sorting. I love that kind of thing.

4 days until 1st grade start.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Entertaining Angels Update

We had so much fun with the Personal Needs Closet today. We serviced 9 families, 2 who were homeless. One lady was driving by, saw the kids standing out with their signs, turned around and came back. She told of her daughter down in Arkansas that had ran into financial troubles and became homeless. She had moved them up here with her and it has been a struggle. She said she was just talking to one of her grandsons that they were out of toilet paper in the house when she saw the kids with the signs. It was interesting because she got out of her car and said, "God sent you angels to me today because we really needed these personal needs." We do not have our name on any of our signs.

We will need to restock for next month.

Tomorrow the kids work the Food Bank. Looking forward to Thursday.

Monday, August 15, 2011

1 Day Down

We made it and James says that he had a good day. He kinda had a rough start. James is not a confident reader...capable, just not confident, so when he started his dolch readings, he had to have lots of restarts. But yippee!!! he finished all of his assignments for today! My first graders are chomping at the bit to get started. I had to keep shooing them away. 8th grade did a great job of getting the younger kids breakfast and dressed so that I could focus completely on James. I am happy he had a good start.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fourth Grade Start Your Engines...Maybe

We are scheduled for James to start school tomorrow (8/15) and he is very excited. Today kinda got away from us time wise and a late bedtime might cost us a smooth start. I did finally make it to get school supplies and still need to get to St*ples to get their 1 cents folders.

Well...Praying for a peaceful and successful year for all.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"That'll Be 3 Cents Please"

Off*ce M*x has their lined paper on sale for 1 cents a pack (limit 3 per person). So each kid got three pennies and in they tromped to get our 15 packs of paper. We will go back again tomorrow and we should be set for the year.  I am in a slight software crises. I totally did not shop early to get our curriculum and am now in a race to get 8th grade's software. I was able to get 1st grade's stuff early for a really great price, but I keep getting outbid for 8th grade.

On a side note...we got our vacation confirmation e-mails today and my mom suggested looking at all the passports to make sure they are all set. Oh My Goodness!!! Jordan's passport expires next month!!!!  So we rushed to the post office and applied for a renewal. I am so glad we noticed that. We would have been so much in trouble at the airport.

This week: completing paperwork, updating portfolio files and getting joint subjects all together.  We are taking music, art, foreign language  and PE all together.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Screeech....Changing Lanes Again

We made changes to the start dates to stagger each grade a bit more. Orientation is still on for tomorrow even though our new school shirts won't be here for 2 more weeks. I kinda went shirt shopping crazy because the Mart of Wals had such a great sale on school polos with free to home shipping and then I ordered the new shirts with our school emblem as the other shirts are over 3 years old.

Old school emblem

New school emblem on navy polos

Fourth Grade still starts Monday, August 15th. James is excited.

First Grade will now start Monday, August 22nd. Jackson says he is happy and is very excited to get to his new Lifepacs. My foster daughter will start with him on the same date as Public School does not start until September 6th. She does not state how she feels about going back to school, but if I were to let him start and not her, she would cry and say she wants to come to school too, so I take that as a sign that she likes to be a part of things.

Eighth Grade will start Wednesday, September 7th. Jordan has been offered an invitation to take part in a small class offering group piano lessons, but I am not sure if she will be able to take it as our November vacation would cause he to miss so many classes. She is not looking forward to school, but is kinda excited about her new math curriculum (we are changing to Life of Fred.)

Pre-School. I am back to having a pre-schooler. My foster son will be 3 yrs old next week and he is already learning so much that we have decided to let him join in slowly. When Jackson first came home, I thought it would be good to start him at a preschool level to give him a chance to bond and mature. Jordan basically taught him and has offered to teach this level again. We use the Brightly Beaming Letter of the Week and I think my 3 year old will enjoy many of the activities. Anyway, he will start September 15th.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fiber Optic Yuck!

Jordan came out after being in bed for an hour to tell me that her ear hurt and that she felt like she had a bug in there. I got out my optical scope and sure enough..there was some unidentifiable something in there. She tends to be kinda waxy in the ears anyway, but this did look different. I tried some warm water, but nothing came out and she said that it hurt very much, so my Mom came over and took her to E.R. We await to see what they find. I have always teased her about growing potatoes and corn in those ears. LOL! It seems she may actually have something to harvest.


Jordan's ear was impacted with wax. Her ear wax was a dark red/maroon colored wax that the doctor noted as being "normal in color".  I have looked in those ears for years and have never seen anything that color, but I guess I'll take the Dr's word on this one. She was given a solution to soften the wax and something for pain. When she came home her ear was bright red from all the digging. She was not happy, but will live. Nothing living or past living was found (even tho' she thinks she still feels something in there). It of course did not help that she came home, got ready for bed again and found a spider on her wall. It was a long night. ~Smile~

Monday, August 1, 2011

Not So Abnormal

We went to the Y last night with invited friends and had a blast. We stayed until almost 8pm and changed into pajamas like always so that we can come home, have a snack and go to bed. As we were coming out of the family locker room, there was a man coming around the corner that looked at us, crinkled his forehead and just stared. We stopped at the rock climbing wall, sat and waited for our friends. He cam back around the hall and asked me, "Are you babysitting?" I told him, "No, these are my children." He just stood, mouth opened and looked at each child. ~Sigh...here we go~

Man: Really?
Me: Yes, these are my children.
Man: How? Adoption?
Me: Yes! Isn't it wonderful. I saw the look on your face in the hall...you were wondering.
Man: Yeah, like what is that big black woman doing with all of those white kids
Me: (not sure whether to laugh at his honesty or to take my earrings off and kick his....well never mind) Yes, I have adopted my children.
Man: How many did you have before you adopted these?
Me: (I now know I am talking to someone who is just a couple sandwiches short of a picnic) I have 6 children altogether.
Man: Are they attached to you? You know you could've just had some kids even though there is no guarantee they will be attached you. I just think it's abnormal for you to have them.
Me: Are you saying we are abnormal?
Man: Yes! I think it's abnormal.
Me: We are not abnormal! That word sounds quite negative.
Man: You are abnormal. We could take a survey.
Me: (Major eye roll) Well, We are not abnormal!
Man: (Mumbles as he walks away) Yeah ya are....

Jordan is stunned and angry calling the man rude and racist. Yup... that about describes it. My friend came out of the locker room, we recounted the conversation and she was ready to find him to...ummm... well probably not to encourage him LOL!

I don't mind teachable moments, but man oh man...