Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 9

Pics from the Week:

This was his first week of the writing 8 exercises. He didn't love doing them, but he was a good trooper. Supposedly, he should do these 4 - 5 days a week for many months. One blog I read mentioned the child needs to do these for at least 6 months & another mentioned you would start seeing results in 2 or 3 months. Either way, that's a lot of sideways 8's to make.

Here's the short explanation of what he is doing:
1. Starting in the middle, he begins the 8 going toward the left. He makes 3 of these 8's, always beginning his 8 toward the left of the paper.
2. He writes the letter a on the left side of the 8. While he writes the letter, he also says the letter name.
3. Next he makes 3 more 8's
4. Next he writes the letter b on the right hand side of the 8, saying "b" as he's writing it.
5. Then he makes the 8's, 3 more times. And this goes on all the way through the alphabet.
6. He used the same piece of paper all week. I just gave him a different colored crayon to use.

I don't fully understand the science behind this exercise. But, it has something to do with the way the right and left sides of the brain work together to write. His right & left sides seem to work a little differently than the norm, and maybe not as efficiently. It is actually a struggle for him to go through the process of writing. I guess, that's something I've always taken for granted, but then again - I suppose my right & left sides must work together more efficiently. The Writing 8's are supposed to help the two sides work together a little better & improve the writing of reversals. Capt. N scored 1% on the reversal's test he took at the eye doctor. I'm really hoping this exercise helps him in this area.

I've decided this exercise, vision therapy & either me reading to him or him reading are the most important tasks to accomplish in a day. Of course, there's so much more he does on a school day. But, right now he really needs to put the most of his energy into making reading & writing not such a struggle. I'm having a hard time finding a good balance of school work for him. When we started this journey 9 weeks ago, I had such big plans for what we would accomplish in a day. Ha! I'm just starting to get comfortable with realizing that's just not realistic for us. Hopefully, we get into a good rhythm pretty soon with the perfect amount of learning.

We discussed adjectives this week. This is a fold out page he added to his English Language notebook. I got some of the ideas from: Crayola, Lapbook Lessons & WellybootsMum. Next week we will be doing a quick run down on verbs. I have a whole stack of worksheets & fun ideas for our grammar lessons. Unfortunately, I am going to put them away for a while. I just can't accomplish all the things I think need to be taught in a day. Grammar is one of those things that is going to have to be put on the back burner until we don't need to spend the extra time on the basics of seeing correctly, learning to write more efficiently & his reading fluency improves. He will still be hearing good grammar in the books we read & we will discuss grammar in the paragraphs he writes.

For Cub Scouts, the boys made a diorama of "What Makes America Special" to them. Capt. N chose the military & that they fight to keep America free. I thought it was a fitting theme for Veterans Day. I also had him write a paragraph on why he thinks we should honor Veterans Day.

Capt. N is very good at math & he enjoys the math lessons. In the 9 weeks we've been doing this curriculum, I feel like he's learned nearly all the concepts I've been teaching. Out of everything, the only thing I feel like we still need to work on is when the clock is set to 9:30, what time was it 3 hours ago or what time will it be 5 hours from now. He can do the subtraction or addition easily, he just has a difficult time remembering which one means back in time or forward in time. But, we go over it a couple times a week & he is improving. But, the thing that drives me crazy with math is his carelessness. He knows the answers, he just doesn't read the question correctly. He would get 100% on nearly every math test at the end of the week if it wasn't for these mistakes. I try to remember that the actual part of reading the question, then writing his answer down is a struggle for him. It still drives me bonkers, though & I remind him that he needs to pay a bit more attention. And although it does bother me, I'm not terribly concerned. I feel he does really know the material & we are working on improving his reading & writing skills.
On the top question when I asked him to recount the $, he got it right. I'm guessing the reason he got it wrong was carelessness.  The middle question asked to put the prices in order from least to greatest. When I reread the question to him he realized right away what he did wrong. And, the bottom question he did right, except he didn't put a point on the number line. Again, he just didn't read the entire question correctly.

How much should I worry about these things? I don't know. I'm happy he really does know the correct answer. But in life situations, one little blip of carelessness could make a big mistake.
He was to write the temperature in Fahrenheit. When I first looked at his answer, I couldn't figure out why in the world he wrote 547. It took me a second, but I soon realized he actually wrote 54F, with the f reversed. My method, when he makes a mistake like this, is to simply show him the mistake, show him the right way to write it & move on. It takes all of about 5 or 10 seconds. I don't want to make a big deal about it, but I feel he needs to know he's doing it or else how is he going to know he needs to work on it.

We took a trip downtown this week to the science museum. The kids love it there.
One of Capt. N's favorite things is the ball room. It's a room with a variety of contraptions that have air running through them & balls, lots of soft, blue balls. This one has plugs you take in and out which manipulates the air flow. Capt. N loves figuring out a path for the balls.

One of my favorite things from this trip was the water dripping. It really is a steady stream of water. But it is in a box with a strobe light which makes it look like water droplets or sometimes that the water is running up. It's fantastic & had me mesmerized.

All in all, another successful week in school.

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