Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Lychee Update

We talk so much about her big brother on here and Lychee tends to largely get ignored. This is for the most part because I feel like a lot of the posts would be very repetitive if I told you what we did with One child and then repeated it when the next one came along!

However, with regards to reading the children have learnt VERY differently. We tried the flashcard and YBCR system that worked so well with Cosmo, but had very little results with Lychee. She just wasn't interested. However she loves Starfall.com and we noticed that unlike her brother, who learnt using the whole word system, she was able to name individual letters by their sound. 

With this in mind we started using the hooked on phonics videos with her a little while back. Today she started sounding out words that she had never seen before by herself for the first time. She still pronounces each letter separately ('T-H-I-S' instead of 'Th-Is) and annunciates VERY clearly (it takes a long time to read when you pronounce each letter as a syllable) but it is a great leap forward developmentally and a step in the right direction decoding sounds ready for reading. 

I'm absolutely thrilled. If you want to see the video she was working on, it's here. 

Termly report

Part of belonging to the PLACE scheme that we are a part of involves writing up a termly 'monitoring' form. It's one of the complaints I've heard from other home educators about the scheme. They don't want anyone else to keep a record of their child's progress.

I don't actually mind doing it, in fact, today was the first one I've written and I rather enjoyed it. It was amazing looking back over the last term and seeing how far we've come.

This was the term we started the GAPS diet to see if it would improve Cosmo's ASD, and the results have been astounding. When I think back to the differences between Christmas and now I'm filled with joy about how far we've come.

Termly reports are going to be a great way for me to sit down and review; on days when I feel like we haven't done anything, I realise we really have. It may not feel like we've done a lot today, or even this week, but when I look back over a term, it really is a shock to see just what we've managed to cover.

Even if you aren't part of a scheme like PLACE, if you home educate, I'd recommend writing a termly report. Not only does it provide a record for future admissions etc... If your child chooses to go on to college etc... But it's good for your soul to see just how much you really have achieved. A state education just cannot come close.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Does this count as home ed?

Today my daughter learned how to go forwards on a push along car. Previous experimentation had only resulted in backward motion.

Does this count as home ed?

Saturday, 17 March 2012

The value of old school...

Sometimes I love showing my kids stuff that I enjoyed when I was little. In part, sometimes this is because the content just seems more appropriate than what's on tv for them today.

I'll take 'Hoppity Goes To Town' Over 'Waybalou' any day.

Then there's the whole Charlotte Mason crew, who'll tell you that books and show designed for children today are dumbed down to much and don't excite our children's interest. I was amazed to see how fascinated Cosmo was with the 'How My Body Works' 80's series vs something like 'Nina and the Neurones'.

Not that there's anything wrong with Nina, but he get's bored and leaves the room, whereas he asks me to keep rewinding bits of 'How My Body Works' because he wants to see the blood clotting again...etc...
But the most valuable thing I've noticed for my son is the fact that old school cartoons are in 2D, and the graphics aren't very good.

Does that sound like a bad thing?

When my son was first diagnosed with ASD, the paediatrician told me that he had trouble separating truth and fiction. That he thought everything he read was true, and everything he saw on tv was really happening.

This was certainly true with the pixar movies he loved. We watched 'Cars' over and over again and he would shout at lightning McQueen 'you have to change your tyres or they'll go bang' and I'd say 'sweetheart, he can't hear you, it's just a movie'.

The tyres would go bang and he say 'aw man! Not again!'

No amount of explaining could convince him that the TV wasn't Skype. That these things weren't actually happening somewhere in the world.

Until we watched 'Muppet Babies'.

I wanted to show him an episode I'd watched when I was a kid about good things happening in the dark (we were going through a stage of wanting the lights on all night). I'm not sure quite when it happened, but he seemed to understand that it wasn't real. I introduced some more nostalgic cartoons, like 'wacky races' and the next thing I know he is telling me that 'despicable me' (another Pixar favourite) isn't really real. It's just pretend.

This is such a relief. Even bedtime stories, we were having to be so careful with the content, and explain over and over that it hadn't really happened. Now we are free to explore a world of fiction, without traumatising him everytime there is a negative storyline.

This post is linked up at no ordinary blog hop