Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I love that Nate is so curious, inquisitive, creative. He is always up to something. Sunday afternoon, he was etching some wood he was given to play with. I was very impressed with the perfect circles he had made in the wood. So, I asked him to show me how he did it.

Up close. Looks like he already has a handle on how compasses work. He must get that from his daddy. It was very cool to see that he had done this all by himself. It's amazing what children will learn if given the materials and opportunities to explore.

This afternoon, I had some paperwork to take care of at the university. Nate spotted this rock with writing on it and wanted to know why someone would write on a rock. So we stopped to check it out. These trees were planted in memory of Navy Submariners who had lost their lives in World War II.
Homeschooling has really given me more of an opportunity to see things through Nate's eyes. I have stopped more to check things out that I may not have even noticed before. This has been a great experience for both of us so far. We are both learning!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reading for Fun

Rough day today with Nate. He just wasn't feeling it I suppose. We did some work done, but it really wasn't a very productive school day. On days like today, I can see how frustrated his teacher must have been with him at times. AND she doesn't love him like I do.

So, what do we do on days like this? Well we go to Starbooks (Barnes and Noble + Starbucks = Starbooks, per one of my favorite little guys, whose not my own). I've begun to realize that Nate does not like the same books that Jacob did at his age. We have a lot of hand me down books. So, this afternoon, Nate got to pick out some new books. I picked a few for him too. Then we sat at Starbucks and he read to me. Amazing how well he reads when it's something he's interested in.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Working on Writing

Nate's least favorite subject is writing. He has a wonderful vocabulary and can carry on conversations very well. He can tell you all about something. But, trying to get him to do the same on paper is like pulling teeth. I even let him use the computer so that he doesn't have to physically write.
Today's assignment was to write about his kitty. I told him I wanted two paragraphs. In the first one, I wanted him to tell me what she looks like. In the second one, I wanted him to tell me what she does. To make the assignment clearer, I suggested that he pretend that he was talking on the phone and telling someone about his kitty. They are trying to draw a picture of the kitty. What would you tell them so they know what to draw?
By: Nate Taylor
My kitty is gray and white. Her eyes are green. She has white paws. Her stomach is white. The fur on her back is gray.
She runs 90 miles an hour. She jumps up on to the counter. She runs everywhere. She is funny. She once in a while plays with her tail.

Kitty also likes to hang out on top of the fridge.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Today, our family went back to our normal routine. Well, our new normal. Shawn and Jacob went back to school. I think they were both ready. Three weeks was kind of a long break.

Nate and I did school work in the morning. We don't really have a schedule yet, but we are working on it. We did some language stuff (out of the packet from the charter school). Then we did some math (from the books I bought back in Dec. because the math in the packet is way to easy). We played Legos during breaks and made lunch together. I love that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese had pictures with their directions. This made it easier for Nate to follow along and make it with minimal help. He really likes to cook.
Nate wanted me to take another picture, lol.
After lunch, it was time for writing. This is Nate's least favorite subject. So, I let him work on my laptop. We are getting a new desktop computer. Then he will do his work there. But, today he got to sit on the couch and work. He was writing a paragraph about his favorite birthday party. we will be working on this paragraph this week, editing and rewriting. Maybe, on Friday we will share it here.
We also decided today that we are going to do a community service project. I'd like to do one every couple of weeks. We have been doing a lot of loom knitting around here. There were a lot of scarves made for Christmas. So, we decided that were going to make knit hats and give them to the children at Children's hospital that are getting chemo. Since I know some people over there, I am hope that Nate will be able to deliver them himself. But, they are quite strict on outside children coming in during cold/flu season. Anyway, here is Nate working on the first hat.
Here is the first finished hat. It is too small for Nate's head. But, sadly there are children small enough to wear it. We started another today, a little bigger. He seems to enjoy this and be excited about the project. I hope to instill in him the desire to do things for other people.
PS: This hat is in honor of Melissa Kahn. I bought yarn to make scarves for a couple of friends, that didn't get made. That yarn is now being used to make hats. I hope this is worth more than a $5 gift. Love you Mel!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 1 (again)

Today, I got Nate registered with the charter school. Well, almost. I have to drop off his birth certificate tomorrow. For some reason, I could not find it last night and had to get a new copy today. So, I'll drop it off tomorrow and he'll be officially registered.

Nate did take the test today to find his academic levels. They gave him the standard 2nd grade test and it was so easy for him. I sat with him while he took it and he only missed one question. I hope they give him materials that will challenge him. They gave him a 2 week packet for 2nd and 3rd graders to work on while they put his individual materials together. This packet is too easy for him. I'm going to have to tweak it for him from the start. We'll see how they like that and go from there.

Then we met the local homeschooling group for Lego Club. This is definitely going to be on our regular activity schedule. Too bad they only meet once per month. I didn't know how much to bring, so I gave him one of my craft boxes and let him choose the Legos he wanted to bring. Here's Nate with his chosen few.
Then came kids with boxes...and buckets...and a wagon. Here's Nate checking out someone else's stash. There were piles of Legos all over the room and all kinds of Legos. Nate had a blast and made some new friends.
Afterward, we had lunch and since it was a beautiful day, we hung out by the fountain and did some exploring (and some schoolwork). Here, Nate is showing me where the water starts from in the cascade.
I let him throw a few pennies in the fountain. He wouldn't tell me what he wished for, because if you tell, your wish won't come true. I love his innocence and faith.
Hey Nate, look at me. The sun was bright. We've missed seeing it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Getting back to routine...almost. Brian went back to work today. The boys go back next week, except Nate. Today, I went to the orientation for the charter school that we will be using to homeschool Nate. It was ok. I had to listen to the person read the power point slides to me and another mom. I have to admit, she could have emailed them and I could have read them myself.

I was impressed with the way the school is run. First they will test Nate (tomorrow) to see what his level is in each academic category. They will provide the materials needed to teach him at home. We'll meet with the teacher once per month, although we will have weekly contact. They also offer some weekly classes, including English, Math and art, for elementary age students. These are optional. I think a weekly art class might be fun for Nate. We'll see.

Then we went to get Nate a haircut. Nate has not been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. But, I think he has some. I think it may even be relate to his ADHD. One of his biggest sensory issues is: it drives him up the wall to have his hair touch his face. Even for the two minutes the stylist needed to pull the front down to trim it. He kept growling at her. But, he survived and now he is happy with his hair out of his face. So he got a treat. A Happy Meal.