Friday, October 29, 2010

October Highlights!!!

Where do I begin???  It has been a busy month.  We have been all over South America. 
We learned a lot about Brazil and a little about Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, and Chile.  It just so happened the week we were working on these countries was the same week they were rescuing the miners in Chile.  It was neat to watch and see the real live people we were talking about and praying for.  

We also added to our study the Children of the World book.  It is a great book that has pictures and information of actual children living in different countries.  It tells about their families, houses, religions, and their culture.  Alec loves this!!

We also spent a couple of days on rain forests. 

 We made a lapbook!  We learned about the layers of the rain forest, the animals, plants, and how many products come from the rain forest.  There are boo coo!!!

The boys also read Brucho and loved it. A true story about a missionary in South America.   It is supposed to be a read aloud, but they prefer to read it on their own.  Now they are reading Nate Saint.  He was one of the missionaries with Jim Elliot who were killed by the Waoranis - a tribe in the Amazon.

Some of their favorite things in MFW - Hero Tales, Window on the World, the geography game, and the John 3:16 language color sheet.

Their least favorite subject is Science (MFW).  We are going to add Apologia General Science next year since it was either for 7th or 8th grade.  I am not a huge fan of science either - lol!!!!

At the end of last week, we headed on to Europe!!
We spent 4 days in Norway and who knew there was so much info about Norway?  I started making them packets for each countries - flag sheets, fact sheets, word searches, research sheets, and reading comprehension sheets that relate to the people and activities of that country....

SIDE NOTE: I joined edhelper this week - great resources for countries and supplemental activities!!!!

At the end of each unit/continent study, they will choose their favorite country to make a lapbook.  It was too much trying to do one for each country, and I figure this will be a good review and wrap up activity.

We went to France today , and we will head to Germany and then Italy- can't wait - a lunch of some kind will be involved!!! I love Italian food.  And my hope is to end up in Spain and Great Britain/England the week before thanksgiving - the pilgrims, Plymouth, etc.  (stole this from Kellye at One Mom's Walk)!!!

 I will also be implementing a book from the Notgrass Company (got this idea from Randie) called Celebrate Thanksgiving.  It is a study of the traditions of Thanksgiving.  It looks great.  There is also one for Christmas - Celebrate the Savior.

I am still loving Teaching Textbooks and Abeka Language & Spelling just can't be beat!!!  

I can't believe it is almost November and I am still so excited about homeschooling.  I feel like the longer the year goes on, the better tweaked things become.  It is always encouraging when things get easier rather than harder!!!

Amongst all this going on, Monday we went on a field trip to a pumpkin patch.  And wouldn't you know it was the hottest day in October!!  But the kids didn't care.  They had a great time, and I loved watching them run and play together.  Even my Bailey -  My 9th grader who is such a good sport.  She loves the little kids so much and THEY LOVE HER!!  (My next post is going to be about her so I'll just say that the Lord has done mighty things this year where she is concerned and I am so proud of her...I'll leave it at that for now.)

Anyway, here are some pictures from Pumpkin Patch field trip.
Our precious crew!!!

Our fearless leader!!!..and principal!

Please process our single file line!!

Happy homeschooling,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In assessing Alec's Autism...

 I am very excited about what I am seeing!!!  We went camping this weekend and two observations were made that got me to thinking... and remembering...  

The first observation - He wasn't brutal!!!  This is exciting  because for many many years, everything we did was brutal!!  Autism is a very selfish world - you have to pretty much do everything they want.. or they make you miserable.               Tunnel vision... 

they only see themselves and how things effect them!!  But I have to say, the older Alec gets, the more we are able to reason with him - this is huge in the world of autism!!! 
Could they be any cuter???
Still not so sure about the whole fire thing!
Lake Bruin Wi-Fi!!  A beautiful thing!!!
Swinging in their PJ's...nothing better!
Getting his Facebook fix!

She is just the kind of woman he is looking for!!!!


Wore slap out!!!!!!  I love it!!!!

Reverse psychology really works on him...a lot of the time anyway!!! It is not fool-proof, but I know he really cares about me, and he doesn't like it when I am upset...i.e. mad!!  Most of the time when I say that I am going to give in to what he wants, he changes his mind.  It can be very tiring at times but also has been very effective. It does however, blow up in my face at times - just trying to keep it real!! :)

He loves baseball!!!!
Second observation- The older he gets the more his sweet spirit stands out.  He is very tender hearted and affectionate.  And the older he gets, the more he seems to care about other people...and sadly what other people think.  

And can I tell you that is also huge for an autistic person!!!!!

Kellye noticed it and made mention of it this weekend as we were camping, and it was such a blessing to me. There are so many times when I wonder what people really think of him.  I want so much for people to see Alec like I see Christ sees him.  For some reason, it always seems like the brutal stands out more than anything else.  I want so much for others to hear our heart - to - heart see how we work through the stuff he doesn't hear him as he talks about his autism, his future, his friends, his fears...his take on the "cool" people (or what he considers cool) and questioning why he's not..."cool". 

He loves his friends!!!...

and his favorite cousin Kylie!!

And he loves him some Micah!!!!!!!

and he loves his mama!!!!!

He has so many good qualities in spite of his autism and is some ways because of his autism!!  He is polite, and has good manners.  He picks up after himself, and he is even helping more around the house-now don't start thinking crazy-he may empty the garbage cans and put his clothes in a drawer, but I'll take it!!!! - still trying to keep it real!!! 

He loves God and wants everyone else around him to too...and he has no problem telling you about Him.  One of his favorite questions to ask people, total strangers, family members...who don't go to, "Do you love God?"  

He is so honest...he can't be anything else.  He tells you what he thinks about divorce, how you talk, how you treat people, your choice of hair color and/or style...brutal!!!, his take on if you are fair or not, if you go to church enough, etc., etc.!!!! And he has no problem throwing you right under the bus!!!

I love watching him as we homeschool.  He LOVES reading about the countries we are studying - the missionaries, the facts, the maps, etc.  And he gets so excited with when he understands math...and soooo frustrated when he doesn't.  Language is tough for him.  We started writing summaries this week.  Can you say brutal!!??  He really struggles with putting things in his own words. He is a very matter of fact fellow!!!

I know without a shadow of a doubt that one of the reasons he has come so far is because he has so many people in his life....but more than many people in his life that love and live for Christ.  He has always been around people because we have been blessed with a church full of people who love him, are patient with him, and are willing to give a little extra for his benefit.  What a blessing!

I love him so much and am so thankful for the opportunity to be his mom. But I'm even more thankful for who I am because I am his mom.  To God be the glory for what he has done in and through Alec's little life.  
                                I am sooooooooooo