Saturday, January 12, 2013

It's NOT Real!!

This is a fake black eye! Zoe learned how to do it with her make-up kits. It looked so real that I couldn't help telling her to wash her face. I kept feeling alarmed while looking at her and I was worried that we might have to rush out to do an errand and forget to get her to wash her face. I think that she has such talent with her make-up.

Friday, January 11, 2013

He is READING! Woo Whooo!!!

All of the Unschoolish type parents out there who have a child who just doesn't want to read will likely understand how I feel when I say, "WOO WHOO!!!" This is a situation where pushing anything to do with reading meant set-backs. Austyn just never wanted to read. He despised most phonics programs or early readers and had no interest in knowing what the books were about or had any desire to be able to read them on his own. I took him to a specialist last year and she seemed impressed that during her assessment of him he knew what he needed to read. He just simply... didn't read. I see him pick up books now, read signs, read websites, and anything else that catches his interest. He even helped his sister read something to us and seemed so confident and happy to help her to read! I am so relieved. It's not easy to be a parent who took on the responsibility for a child to learn at home and watch a child who just won't do it. There is so much concern and worry. So, when it finally happens there is a huge amount of relief!! 

Now, a couple of things I do have to share here that may have helped a little is that Austyn realized the past year or so that he needed to learn to read. Before that, I think he really didn't see that there was any need. He finally realized that there are just a few things in his life that he really can't do with out and one of those things is to be able to read well. This must have been the one aspect that was missing before. He just wasn't ready because he didn't truly understand how much he needed to. Being interested in the content helps as well. Once he had some strong interests that pushed him enough that he just couldn't wait for me to read something to him, he decided that he would just do it on his own. It started with hockey cards, then hockey card websites, then it was Pokemon cards, then it was books on hockey, then D. Gray-Man books, and I'm sure this will continue to be a domino effect. He has excelled in his reading this past little while due to these interests driving him.

The other thing is that the specialist that assessed him suggested a different reading program to me. It is called Ball-Stick-Bird. It was way too easy for the first books, but we went through them anyway. I know that I've shared these on this site already, but we have been using them for a little while now and I have to say that they are so easy to use. The child just reads and doesn't have to master the words right away. It seems to be a fail-proof, forgiving way to learn how to read. The story line is interesting and progresses from one book to the next like a regular book series. The difficulty of words is mixed up right from the beginning so the child is reading long words right off the start, which seemed to give my son more confidence. There is a great deal of repetition so that the words are remembered more as sight words, yet there are phonic reminders/preparations thrown in before each section.

The story does seem to be more directed to boys, not that girls wouldn't like aliens or space adventures, but my son is much more interested in reading these than my daughter is. The books are not cheap and need to be ordered through snail mail instead of online. This makes it a bit of an inconvenience, but it was well worth it in our house.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Work Stations

During the month of December we made some changes in our home. We purged areas of the house and sold items online. The kids went through their toys and sold many of them. They sold so many that I could re-organize their toy room to be, what we now call, "the Project Room". 

This idea was inspired a couple of months ago by a book I read called Project-Based Homeschooling by Lori Pickert. It took me some time to really figure out how I could apply what I read in this book into our home. When I told the kids my plan for the room and drew a few sketches of what I envisioned, they became very excited and even more motivated to get more toys out of our house to make room for personal project space. 

The kids were so excited about my ideas that when Daddy and I were busy, they went ahead and moved furniture around to make the room the layout that they wanted. We even went out and got another coffee table because Zoe decided to use ours for her project table. The room is working out great! The kids can access supplies without ever having to ask for them. They are making wonderful things! I wasn't even done setting the room up and they were already in there working away. It's not always clean and tidy in that room, but as long as it is still functional enough for the kids, I don't think there is any reason to make sure it's spotless all of the time.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hair Styles

Zoe does her own hair most of the time. This is a style she came up with and she kept it like this when we went out. I encourage her to be herself. The glasses are not for her to see. She just likes to wear them.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Every Class has it's Clown!


No words needed here, I think. LOL!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Sharing Monday - Jeremiah Learns to Read

 I've decided to do Book Sharing Monday again. Here is my first post in a long time. This book is a wonderful read, especially for a child who is sluggish at reading or who is learning to read at an older age.

Jeremiah is a senior who decides that he can do many things but he wants to learn to read. He goes to school and learns with the children. One day he is able to read to his wife. Age doesn't matter. People can learn new things at any age if they really want to.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Doll Food?

 The kids were inspired by a YouTube video on doll food. They love homemade Lunchables anyway and this idea just took it to another level. They became more creative, but made the foods for themselves.

They had a nice lunch in Zoe's room that day and tried many different ways to serve the mini toasts. 

HERE is the video that inspired them.


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