Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Nate

Last night: Goodnight my sweet seven year old boy. Sleep peacefully wrapped in Thomas and Transformers. In the morning you will be eight. And for some reason, that seems like a big deal to me, like seven year olds are little kids and eight year olds are big kids. Maybe it's because you are my baby and each milestone is MY last time. Sweet dreams Nate.
Today: We went to see Tron. The kids all seemed to enjoy it. The grownups, not as much, but it was good enough. The best part was doing something all together. Then we had pizza. Here are my guys (for anyone who is not yet familiar with our family) and Joshua's girlfriend Brandi, who is one of the kids now, at the theater. I love this picture because it really shows their personalities.
Joshua: Always looks serious
Shawn: Always striking a pose, such a ham
Jacob: adjusting his glasses because he has to look just right
Nate: Always doing something silly or making a face
I love these guys so much!
A few weeks ago: We had a birthday party in early December because the week of Christmas doesn't seem to work for anyone. He was king for the day then too. I guess that is one perk of having a birthday so close to Christmas, he gets to celebrate twice, because we always make sure to do something on his real birthday.
It's all about the Legos right now. If I had a dime for every one I have stepped on since this picture was taken...And guess what's coming for Christmas? More Legos...andLego storage!

Overall, I think he had a great day! He was the "Birthday Boss." Self proclaimed. We had this conversation this morning. Just thought I would share.

Me: Happy Birthday Nate. How does it feel to be 8?

Nate: Good

Me: Does it feel any different than being 7?

Nate: Yes. Only 365 days until I'm 9!

Oy. Don't rush it baby.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Nate has been seeing a counselor, through our insurance, for several months now. It was recommended during his 504 meeting, and I was told that there was a waiting list to see the school's counselor. So, we went through our insurance. Well, I have kept the counselor up to date on what has been going on with Nate at school. We saw him last Thursday. And I mentioned that we had been talking about homeschooling. We talked about some of the options, charters, etc. But, it was just conversation at that time. I like his counselor a lot. He is very supportive, and open to homeschooling.

Today, Nate told him that we are homeschooling. I filled him in on everything that happened on Friday. He told me that today was the calmest he has ever seen Nate. He said he thinks things will work out for the best for Nate. I told him about the local homeschool group that I am connecting with and the Lego Club that we are going to look into. He is very supportive. I told him that I would like Nate to continue to see him through this transition. He's awesome. We also found out today that he and Nate share the same birthday, along with Nate's preschool teacher. There are some awesome people born on December 20!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 2

Don't worry, I'm not going to number every day of our homeschooling adventure...Day 12,627, lol). But, Day 2 is important. That means we survived the first day and came back for more. Today was a great day. Nate and I did school work, math, writing, spelling and even a cooking project. Here's a peek at how today went:

Yesterday, I had Nate complete a multiplication worksheet. He has been doing these in school (only 60 problems). He was one of only two students in his class doing multiplication. I'm not sure how high they had done yet, so this was in part to see where is is. Anyway, yesterday he finished 100 problems 0-4 (up to 4x9) in 20 minutes, 36 seconds. He got 93 right, missing only 3x9 and 4x9 (repeated). We practiced those verbally. Today, he did the same sheet and finished in 12 minutes, 33 seconds. He got 96 right, missing only 4x8 (repeated), which he got right yesterday, lol.
He also did a page in the math book I bought. It was sequencing and turning numbers from written words to symbols and reading them then the writing symbols. He doesn't know how to write out the numbers, so we will be working on that.

Today, he did two pages in the Daily Editing book that I bought (I'm really liking this book). One was ending sentences and starting the next correctly. He's really good at this. The other was on pronouns, matching he-has, we-have, etc. We'll be working some more on this, too.

Yesterday, Nate corrected two paragraphs in the Daily Editing book spelling section. This is a third grade book. Between the two, I pulled out 12 words that he did not spell correctly. He identified that they were spelled wrong in the paragraphs, but wasn't sure how to spell them. So today, he wrote the words 3 times each. I have a few word activities planned this week with these words too. Hopefully, it will be fun for him, especially since he hates writing.

Cooking. Today we made chocolate muffins. It was the only thing I had all the ingredients for, lol. Homeschooling could make me fat(er), lol. This was fun, and he even got to lick the bowl. You don't get to do that in the classroom.

I promise not to write about every day like this. I don't have that much time, and it's kind of boring. But, I needed to document what I'm doing to get started. It has been fun to work with Nate and see what he already knows, and what we need to focus on. He's a bright kid. I want to make sure to challenge him and review things he knows, without boring him. I want this to be fun and educational, for both of us.

We played Legos for "recess." Nate loves his Legos. I also found out today that a local homeschool groups has a monthly Lego Club. So, it looks like that might be an outing to add to our plans in the future.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A New Adventure

Today we started on a new adventure. We have decided to homeschool Nate. It was not a decision we made lightly. We have been talking about it for a while now. He has had a rough time in school this year. Nate has ADHD. He had a 504 plan at school, but it did not provide the accommodations necessary to make school a positive learning environment for him. His teacher would rather send him home, or to the office, or to a kindergarten class (he's in 2nd grade) than try to find a way to keep him in the classroom.

The last straw: when I had to pick him up last Friday. While I was in the office, another child was trying to get the attention of the the substitute principal who was talking to me. She turned to him and said, "You are invisible." Seriously. No one should ever speak to a child that way, let alone a school administrator. Now, not only does the this school fail to meet my child's educational needs; now I cannot trust them to protect my child's sense of self. That's it, I'm done.

So, now we begin a new adventure into homeschooling. This is not entirely new to us (the parents); we homeschooled Nate's oldest brother Joshua for 4th and 5th grade. He's in college now, so we must have done ok. This is new to Nate, but he is on board. Hopefully, it's not just because he "doesn't have to go to school."

Today, we were going to enroll him in Sierra Charter School. This was the school that we used (10 years ago) to homeschool his brother. Apparently, the school had grown a lot since then. Now they have a wait list and we can't get in until mid-January at the earliest. I checked into Crescent View Charter and will be attending their orientation in January. I guess for this week (the last week before winter break) Nate will be "sick." Nate and I also went to the school supply store to get some things to start out with. He picked a multiplication fact book, and I chose another math book and a writing book. Writing is one of his least favorite subjects, so we'll have to stay on top of that. Hopefully, this blog will help with that too.

So, this is where we are now. Check in often. I plan to share what homeschooling looks like in our house. I'd love to heard from other homeschoolers, please leave a message. Anyone else? Let me know you were here to. This is Nate's blog, so please keep it nice as he will be reading, and sharing sometimes too.