Thursday, September 29, 2011

Homeschool Update

Randomly throughout the year I thought I'd touch on what we do in homeschool.  As you all may remember, I homeschool the 3 youngest.  This is my first year with them.  It is our first month into homeschooling and are done getting our feet wet.  We are learning what works and what doesn't.  They like workbooks.  They are not much into lectures unless right after lunch.   Yeh, haven't figured that one out yet but that's when we do it.

This is Alex doing some very basic review.  I had to see really where he was and where we could start.  He seems steady on a 3rd grade level for some things and second for others.  He's in 4th grade.  So for now, we're reviewing a few 3rd grade concepts and moving on.  We are studying science as a group and got behind on planets so we're still on that subject.  We finished up Native Americans recently and now are into New World Explorers.  Just did a map today and had them label the oceans.  Nik is really into geography & where we are in the world.  See, with kids w/ FASD, you can not pile a whole lot of details or they will not remember it.  Just the way it is.  We cover many general facts and try to relate it to something visual if we can.  Today for example, we talked of the Wright Brothers. Had them make a rotor to see how the basic concept works on a plane.  They had a lot of fun dropping that from the top of the stairs.  We plan on going to Kill Devil Hills some time in October w/ the homeschoolers.  Nice to be able to talk about something and then actually see it.  Another field trip coming up is to the pumpkin patch. 

Alyona is way further behind than I ever thought.  I say that to be honest, not mean.  I will say she is motivated by the workbooks.  She likes to see just how much she's done.  Right now, she is working out of a kindergarten workbook and struggling very much with that.  She can seem to do first grade math though.  Alyona is in 5th grade and is 12 years old.   Her FASD is more severe than many of the rest and her brain is effected quite a bit.  There are gaps in her learning and we are trying best to compensate for that.  She was crying the other day on the soccer field.  She was sitting there and wanted to do her workbook which is fine.  Told you, she likes these workbooks.  Well, another kid walked by and said that's so easy.  I think this is the first time she realized she's different and can't think like the rest of the kids.  It hit her hard.  It always does the first time.  I remember when it happened to Irina.  All my FASD kids at some point will realize they are different and you can't shy away from it.  You have to explain why.  You have to give them a bit of confidence back but not sugar coat it at the same time.  It's a balancing act for sure.  So, for now, getting Alyona's confidence back and showing her she CAN think for herself is priority. 

Nik just needs ton of vocab and phonics.  So, that is what we do.  I read everyday to him.  Do phonics everyday and he has speech 3X a week.  He is really enjoying science and geography though.  He is taking a science club right now & they're making rockets.  Yes, somehow I too have a feeling the next set of drawings will incorporate a rocket. 

All in all, we're going slowly but we are learning.  We're learnign at their pace though, not the pace the school sets that they could never achieve.  All my kids have potential and lots of it.  I used to think Alex was lazy.  Umm, no.  It's that he could not do the level of work they were giving him.  Now, he is comfortable with where he is and eager to learn more.  Next semester, I'm having them take classes at a local academy.  It's a great homeschooling program and classes are about $10 to $15 a class.  I want them to take 2 classes each. 

Just wanted to update a little of where we are.  I'll try to do this once a month.  I'll also take pictures of our lap books so you can see how we are learning.  Well, need to get going here.  Many more posts to come this evening.  I have a very special post on a little boy that MUST find a home in 3 weeks or he is doomed to an institution where he can never ever be adopted.  This kid deserves a family.  Wait till you hear.  I"ll need  your help spreading the word because this little boy truly is amazing.  More to come this evening.

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