Sunday, July 31, 2016

Kindergarten Bound!

This fall is going to be a different one for our family. All of our kids will be starting school.
We will see how it goes for the year and decide if that is the right step for our kids or not at the end of the year.
On a wonderful note, Veronika will be fully included in a general education kindergarten class. She will be just another little girl in the class with no aid or para.
Rowan will also be going to kindergarten. I am hoping it will give him the outlet he needs and other kids to play and interact with.
Gavyn doesn't make the cut off in time to go kindergarten this year so he will end up going next year. He will spend another year doing preschool. The difference? He is TALKING now!!!! Not perfectly, but he is certainly trying. One of his favorite things is saying he wants ice cream, lol.
Willow turns 4 this fall, so she will certainly be doing preschool. She needs to learn social skills and play skills which she did not learn in the orphanage. For those who are new to the blog, Rowan and Willow have only been home since late March of 2016.
Ellie and Alina will be going to HIGH SCHOOL!!! Oh my word!!!! We will see how that goes!
In the mean time we have been working super hard getting Rowan and Veronika ready for kindergarten.
I have been working hard lately trying to fill in gaps and holes in our kids education.
I had not thought too much of reading comprehension in a 4 year old. Honestly, I thought, if they sat down for circle and listened to the stories, that was enough for a while.
However it was brought to my attention that at 4 a child should be able to "retell" a story and answer questions about the story. So we are working on that now.
Every night I read to the kids, I point things out along the way. I ask questions after every page, I ask questions afterwards. I am hoping that by doing this, our children will learn how to retell, how to answer questions, learn to focus more during stories. Just two weeks in and we are starting to see some results.
We are also playing a following directions game, I found some following direction cards with fun little things for the kids to do. The kids take turns and will do things like saying their ABCs to clapping their hands, counting to 5, touching their noses, etc.
Tonight we also enjoyed a game of sight word bingo. The kids are working hard on not just learning the sight words,but following the rules of the game. We play Bingo Blackout, which means more sight words, but we also play it until everyone has had a Bingo. They love shouting Bingo afterwards.

We are also working on independence. That one is harder for me than the kids I think. With them being my youngest, I have been holding on more than I should instead of pushing them towards that independence.
We are working on things like learning to work independently. Up until now, I have always just sat there next to the little kids while they did their work. Now, I need to work on teaching them to color a picture without me sitting there, or to do a worksheet without me there every second, or to be able to complete a puzzle without me. I am having them sit at their little table, working on something that maybe a little easier than normal, but something they are confident with, and then having them show me when they are finished. By doing this, their confidence in building in being able to work independently.

This summer has been mostly focusing on helping Veronika become potty trained so not as much "learning" has been done as I would have liked, but progress is being made.
Veronika is also getting use to having an expander, so that is something she is having to adjust to. Just taking it one day at a time and trying to get use to having two new kids at home. It is certainly an adjustment for all of us, but seeing goals being met and work in the right direction certainly make things easier!

 Veronika works on her cutting skills with regular scissors

 Fine motor work can be fun with something like DocMcStuffins Operation

Working on Spelling her name

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Our two newest Homeschoolers!

We just recently adopted two wonderful children, Willow and Rowan. I look forward to posting all that they are learning along side our other homeschoolers!

Here are some of our newest videos of our soon to be kindergartner Veronika! 

Veronika working on her monthly worksheets *the reading section* from So Happy to Learn at Home by Mrs. Brown!

Veronika is saying Mrs. Brown at the end because the worksheet she is doing is from So Happy To Learn at Home by Mrs. Brown!!


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Speech and Reading

Gavyn is very smart but struggles with speech. Sadly people tend to think speech means intelligence. Gavyn has speech apraxia. We work with a speech therapist every week, and he has speech therapy at his preschool.
We finally discovered that Gavyn is very very motivated to at least try sounds by pressing the "easy" button.

You can see in this first video he is working on putting his hands on his mouth to help cue him to make his sounds.

 In this video Gavyn shows off his reading skills.

When Gavyn does not feel pressured to say a word he is more willing to try to say them. We still have a long way to go with his speech but it is videos like this that let us know that while he can not say all the things he is learning, he is certainly learning!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Just another day homeschooling!

Here are a few of our homeschooling tools. We have:
 Bob Books
Teach your child to read in 100 Easy Lessons
Tons of flash cards
Alphabet Cards
Pattern blocks
Puzzles for everything from math, opposites, sequencing, silly sentence building, etc
We have many manipulitives
Art supplies
Books on History
Reading comprehension books
Therapy Puddy for building hand strength
And much more!!

Gavyn works on putting the puzzle together and then putting it away when he is finished. While he did not put all the pieces in correctly, he was careful handling his work, taking it out, and putting it away while he was finished.

Veronika works on sorting by color

Veronika sorts by which animals fly and which ones walk

Veronika works on Sorting by color While Alina works on her handwriting

Ellie works on putting the blocks in from 1-12 by counting the dots on the blocks

Veronika works on putting the bears in the bag after she is finished using them

Gavyn works on fine motor skills by putting all the ribbons and bead necklaces in the bottle

Everyone  busy working
Veronika works on pouring

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fun School

Sometimes school is sitting down and just working on things like

Ellie working on her Handwriting Without Tears book

or the computer
Alina working on math and language arts in a program called IXL

or coloring
Veronika works on her fine motor skills with coloring
Sometimes school looks like this....
sorting apples by color, checking which has more/less, adding green+red

Tasting different apples to see which kind was our favorite: Fuji was Alina's, Ellie liked the Granny Smith the best

Peeling an apple - We did hand over hand

Trying to peel the apples, We did hand over hand

Ellie was able to peel two apples on her own!

Alina peeled two apples on her own!

Veronika and Gavyn helped put the apple slices in the crock pot

Apples with some cinnamon added ready for cooking!

Turning into applesauce
Ellie also helped cook dinner by peeling the carrots! 

So, sometimes we just have to sit and get things done, but we also get to have Fun at school too!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Falling into Homeschooling

So we gave public schools a good try. We fought for things in their IEP, we called extra meetings, we emailed teachers on a regular basis, but honestly, they are not use to the situation our older girls present.
They enrolled one of our girls into a remedial math program, but remedial math assumes that you have had those subjects before, and now you are just working on making those skills stronger.
Unfortunately for our daughter that is NOT the case. She has not worked on most of those skills before, so spending a few days on this or that and then moving on to the next thing does not give her enough time to have the information sink in.
With reading, we explained that while she can read at a 2-3 grade level in English, she by no means has that level of reading comprehension. When they said that the kids needed to do a book report I KNEW there would be trouble.
For one of our other girls we explained to the school that she needed a preschool-kindergarten curriculum since she had never attended school in her life. Instead, they just worked on life skills. I get that life skills are great, but she has never had anyone try to teach her reading and writing before and that is what she needs. She needs to know how to count and add and subtract. She needs all the basics, not just life skills.
So, we have started to work on homeschooling with the girls, and they are really getting it!! I am so proud of them!!
Our little ones are learning so much too!! They are working on fine motor, gross motor, and following directions.
Working on shapes
 Working on putting numbers in order
Working on grouping by colors
Matching word and picture for the correct letter

 Quiet Reading time
 Addition and subtraction
 Journal work

Writing down her math problems after she solves them


Working on matching shapes
 Cutting skills
Putting numbers in order
finding blends/rhyming words

Copying visual directions
USA puzzle with states in correct shape
 More Math work