Friday, March 22, 2013

We love Legos.

We (well, I) recently bought some materials to use with Sammy during homeschool.  

One of my concerns with Sam is that he doesn't have much opportunity for creative writing and storytelling because he hates to write.  So, I totally splurged on this AWESOME storytelling set and software from LegoEducation.  

Here is our first comic.  He did all of the building and photograpy while I was with clients this morning with the only cues being that his story had to have a beginning, a middle and an end.  

And here was the result.  SO FUN!!!!!

He's very excited to plan another adventure for those brave knights....

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Breaking my heart.

Sammy is doing SO WELL homeschooling.  He's thrilled to be writing his story about Rolo, the monster who wants to be a dog so he can eat dog food.  (giggle giggle).  He chose as part of his schooling today to watch a 15 minute lecture on elements and atoms.  (love Khan academy).  We're building a volcano, which he planned yesterday and is waiting anxiously for Dad to come home so we can blow it up.  He's doing his drill work (math, handwriting without tears, spelling, taekwondo form practice) without complaint, even though I know he doesn't love it.

But here's the shocker, the thing I was so worried about homeschooling.  He's staying on task.  Let me say it again.  He's staying on task!!!!!!!  Seriously, with minimal reminders and support and a little bit of task tweaking, he's excited to learn, he's completing tasks quickly and he's happy.  Really.  Like writing a sentence in less than 3 minutes.  Genuinely happy.

Not only that, he shocked me not once but twice today by doing what I asked him to the first time.  Seriously.  I went to ask him for the second time to get dressed like I ALWAYS have to do, and he was almost done.

The super-disorganized kid who usually has absolutely no awareness of anything other than what's going on in his little head just brought me a lone sock in from the playground that needed to be washed.  Then, even after stopping to talk to me about the volcano, he made his way into the laundry room (aka my bathroom) and put the sock in the washing machine.  

If you don't know Sam, you may not be as amazed as somebody who has worked with him.  AMAZED.  He is a changed kid.

What breaks my heart is how unsuccessful and dumb he must have felt in that classroom.  Failing day after day, being too slow, never getting anything done... it affected ALL areas of his life... and now he's progressing.   Tears of joy in my eyes.  I maybe should have done something sooner, but thank goodness I'm doing something now.

Actually, thank my Heavenly Father for giving me the courage and insight and strength to make this decision.  I think He loves and knows me and Sam and wants so badly for us to be happy.   And we are.  I love this kid.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Oh, Sam.

I feel like I've been riding a roller coaster the last few months.  

First... we started looking at buying a house in January.  Totally not as fun as I thought it was going to be.  And super time consuming.  And it makes me eat.  I just can't think about it.

Then Ruby started therapy and all that entailed... playgroup once a week, in home PT twice a month, and homework every day.  She's improving, but I still have lots to do.  

Then, we get the notice for an SST meeting for Sam.  His teacher isn't the best communicator, so until I got the notice I had no idea that things were that bad at school.  So, work work work, change his diet, add a listening program, start handwriting without tears after school.  At that meeting, they basically said he's not getting work done, and I requested that a positive reinforcement system be put into place.  And, once again, we started looking at Montessori options for him.   

Three weeks later, we had his parent teacher conference.   Abysmal.  Apparently, he lays on his desk all day long, doing nothing.  He's expected to take his workbook out and follow along with a lesson on the overhead all day long.  He just doesn't do it.  When I asked him, he told me sorrowfully that when he tries he's just too slow.  So, he'd given up.  Which was frustrating, because he needs to practice those writing skills.  Part of the problem is that he entered first grade with all of the academics mastered already, so it's a case of boredom/it's too hard/not his learning style.  So sad.  

So, after thought and prayer, I pulled him out of school two days later, to homeschool him.  Immediately after I sent the e-mail to the principal and the teacher I got confirmation (and continue to get every time I think about it, like, I'm tearing up AGAIN right now) that this was the right thing for him.  So, I put aside my selfish desires and set about designing a program for him at home.  I also started the process of an assessment for the possibility of ADD.  

We had our first day of school.  And, I have to say, I kind of loved it.  We worked together for about 2 hours solid in the morning, then he had free reading and a trip to the park and we had to finish up about 15 minutes after Pearl got home from school.  Thanks to my education, I know how to break a task down and to teach different aspects of educational skills while bypassing weakness.  Basically, my super smarty-pants (reads at a 5th grade level) needs his own special education teacher.  Me.  

We'll see how the rest of the week goes.  I have him applied to a few Montessori programs for the fall (he got accepted to one in Folsom today), that may be the way to go.  Or, I might be chained to this kid for a while.  

But that's ok.  Because if I modify things just a tiny bit, he loves to learn.  And I kind of love him.  I don't mind hanging out with him a little extra.  

Though we did join the local gym today so I can run while the kids are in daycare.  See?  Preserving me time:)  And my sanity.  I hope.