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Friday, January 22, 2010

Our 2nd grandchild is here!

Sarah and Isabella Marley Hyder are doing great (dad is too.) She showed up into the world today (22 Jan) at around 5pm. I will have more specifics tomorrow.

I do know she is 19 1/2 inches long, and weighs 6 lb 14 ozs and has dark hair.

Tough spelling day

Today was suppose to be a half day. (Um, no.) It was a ½ day for public school so we followed suit. We did not do keyboarding, edit/rewrite, or health. But it was still pretty long.

We started our day with a devotion about John Sutter who was an 18th century farmer. One of his workers spotted gold and from there it was the “Gold Rush.” Many people came, but few got rich. Many people today store up their treasures on earth instead of focusing on their heavenly treasures.

The 40 day reading was about becoming best friends with God through constant conversation and continual meditation.
We moved to the language arts lesson. Today it was finding the topic sentence in a paragraph and identifying the supporting sentences. JD did this but not confidently.

We then moved to math. The first lesson was decimals. He was confident about this topic so we moved straight to the quiz. He did well on the quiz. After a long break we moved to decimals on a line. I ask JD everyday about whether or not he liked certain lessons or not. Today math was a “maybe.” During the second lesson I listened to him singing. But I didn’t tell him I saw him “enjoying” himself while doing math.

The spelling portion of the day was the most frustrating for him. He didn’t study much this week so his score proved it. The first time he got a 60%, the second a 50%. I made him write the word and make funny pictures to remember each letter. After a couple of verbal tests he finally earned a 80%.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

We had a good day today

Do you like the new background? I'm still experimenting with all the gadgets on my blog. More changes may be coming.

The devotion today was about “Stonewall” Jackson standing in the gap. Then it transitioned to doing what was right and standing up for good.

The 40 Days reading was “The Heart of Worship.” It talked about surrendering to God to be used by God. Sometimes things block us from fully surrendering to God. These are fear, pride, and confusion. I need to remember that surrendering once wasn’t enough. If it means surrendering 50 times a day that’s what I need to do. I especially liked today’s reading. Many things I need to apply to my life.

A couple of days ago JD asked if we could do language arts first because it puts him in a good mood. In language arts we read many short stories and had to summarize what was being said in specific paragraphs and then the complete story. JD seems to have a solid understanding regarding summarizing.

We were really on a roll today until the email/snail mail lesson. I tried to have JD place his fingers on the keyboard like he's suppose to but he was comfortable chicken pecking the keyboard and when I suggested he do it correctly that brought the frustration wall up. So from there he went down hill. I tried to tell him to write more than just one or two word sentences, but he got even more frustrated. Then I said, “our other option is to snail mail.” That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I told him, “The goal of this lesson was to practice keyboarding” so he can get familiarized with all the keys and get faster. Unfortunately, I had to send emails to Daddy and Grammy to say we were signing off.

Plan “B” went into effect today. (What’s plan “B”?) Plan “B” is when the distance learning website we use pops up with “website busy, under construction.” (What!? Nooo…this can’t be!) Ok, so plan “B” was breaking out the books. (My generation says, “Books? No, Internet. Right Lyndell?) We did science out of a book today. How Science Works is a book we purchase a couple of years ago from a used book store for only $3.00. It is valued at $40.00.
We studied about gases and did an experiment out of the book that included baking soda and vinegar in a bottle with a balloon over the top. This scared me a bit at first. And I’m nominating both of us for a Bronze Star for selfless sacrifice (and protecting the counters, cabinets, ceiling, and floor.) We both surrounded the experiment with our hands and bodies while simultaneously moving it to the sink it preparation for an explosion. Fortunately, this did not happen. (Whew!) So you can see we had a lot of fun and even repeated the experiment with different vinegar. We also studied: matter, atoms, molecules, and compounds. Matter is in three forms: solid, liquid, and gas. So I tied the experiment in with the distance learning lesson when it FINALLY came back up.

The civics lesson today taught JD about the economic system we use in the U.S. He learned terms like: capitalism, service, market, profit, network, and wholesaler. It continued from last weeks lesson about the lemonade stand. So we had fun with civics.

Math was the final lesson today. JD learned prime factorization and understanding story problems. We did two lessons with one big break between the two. This seemed to help with the daily “I hate math” complaint.

JD’s spelling words this week are all Greek in some form or another. So Jeff printed out all the “ology” words to expand JD‘s vocabulary. This whole home school thing is really expanding my mind too. (One day I might just be a contestant on “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?”) Turns out these past three weeks (while attending Faith Christian Academy) I have been “unknowingly” obtaining my unofficial Associates degree in etymology (a word), graphology (handwriting), ideology (ideas), pedology (children), phraseology (use of words or phrases), and psychology (mind and behavior.)

Tomorrow is a ½ day for public school students so it will (hopefully) be a short day here too. Until tomorrow…

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It was a “talkative” day

I have a sheet designed to keep track daily subjects and whether or not he was attentive, cooperative, and getting it. Today, I put talkative in four out of 7 subjects. There were many times I had to stop reading, or refocus him. It was like teaching a talking parrot. I also have a sheet designed for him to keep track of daily subjects and whether or not he liked them or not. Today he liked all but the math. So today was a good day. (Thank goodness. I don’t think I could take another day like yesterday two days in one week.)

Devotion was about showing respect to your elders. The Purpose Driven Life was “What makes God smile?” Yesterday we learned we were “Made for God’s Pleasure” and Jonathan said, “I bet when God laughs he sounds like Santa…Ho, Ho, Ho!” (Well, He’s getting a stomach workout watching Jonathan then.) So God smiles when we love Him, trust Him, obey Him, and use our abilities.

I cut the math lesson in half today. I made a deal with JD. If he was both cooperative and attentive during our lesson then I would only have him do one lesson and then he could go to the websites playground and play for 15 minutes. This worked! Yippee. Today in math we learned about prime and composite numbers. He was really getting it.

For our “Word Bank” lesson we looked up three adjectives from his list and made sentences. Today’s words were: boundless, chivalrous, and capricious.

The journal entry went well too. The topic was “If there was only one hot dog left and both my friend and I wanted it I would…” (Oh the suspense…he took it.) We recorded the entry, dictated, and finally copied what was dictated. My purpose for this lesson is to have him develop sentences, paragraphs, and thought processes.

Music time came late because we took long breaks. We ate and watched the Animusic DVD that Meme let us borrow. (Thanks Meme!) It was of course entertaining and had us bouncing all over the place. Check it out online if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Go to: http://www.animusic.com/previews/animusic1.php and click on “video clip.” You’ll simply be mesmerized by the music, lights, and action.

After lunch we took a long break and went outside and spray painted some old tables that will be used in the spare bedroom (school room.) Then we went into the history lesson. It was about the Manifest Destiny.
So a good day! (Whew...)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

One word…“Meltdown”

Rather than go topic by topic today let me just summarize what JD liked and what he did not like.

He liked devotion, the 40 Days reading, social studies, and language arts. He did NOT like math. We did not do email/snail mail or science. We did not do these because social studies and a math time meltdown consumed our time like a wild fire.

Math was fairly simple today. We did “interpreting remainders” and “math order of operations.” But when he kept trying to do the math in his head he kept getting the wrong answer. This contributed to his poor self esteem issue and the beginning of a complete meltdown. I tried once again to get him to write out the division, but there was head lowering, sighing, and “oh man’s.” I was also trying to understand how he solved this math in his head. I kept trying to make him assume the role of our "group leader" and teach me. But words cannot express the confusion between his explanation and my lack of understanding. I said, “You're way is not getting us the right answer." (Like how I didn't say "Your answer is wrong.") I asked him to try it the way I was doing it (and the school taught him, and the computer taught him) so I can see where he’s getting the information mixed up. But we couldn’t get past these two revolving topics: I hate learning and I’m always wrong!

I can hear all of the Grandmother's asking, “Then what did you tell him?” It was a VERY long conversation/calm down period because FCA didn’t end until 3:20pm, so I can’t remember all the details of the conversations.
1. I hate learning! I said something like, "We're learning this stuff together. We're both students together. You are not alone in this."
2. I'm always answering wrong. I said something like, "You're LEARNING. People make mistakes. We LEARN from our mistakes. Just look at this problem from a different point of view and try it my way."
3. I hate learning! (Again..?)
4. I told him he's good at alot of things. I showed him his scores thus far. Then it was, "I'm a nerd. I don't want to be a nerd." I said, "You're not a nerd you are smart about alot of things. You LEARNED all of things in just two weeks."
5. Learning is hard for me. I said, "Yes it is. It's tough for all of us. But I need you to tell me how to make it better. Math isn't going to be as fun as language arts because you are learning processes and steps to solving problem. But before you know it, it too will be added to the list of stuff you have learned."

You get the point right?

I kept trying to get into his mind today during math. I wanted to know what the delay was when I asked him to write the problem on the screen to his paper. Some (former teachers, family, and friends) might think this is a discipline issue. Well I’m here to tell you I am seeing first hand and it is not a discipline issue. He was unable to communicate to me what the delay was. After over 20 hours of research at least (no kidding), it is noted that children with written expression problems, comprehension problems, and processing speed problems have difficulty moving words/problems from books to papers or from minds to paper. Ex: JD had the option to mark in his test book instead of coloring in the bubble sheet. I guess there were lots of mistakes from other ADHD kids too. So I understood a delay, but wow add a frustrated student and it tends to get a bit longer.

I also had to play the role of psychologist today. I said, "Why do you lock and get so frustrated when asked to write something?" He couldn't tell me. I said, "What are you FEELING? Sad, angry, lonely, frustrated?" He was too embarrassed to answer. I said, "Are you mad at me for making you write things out instead of keeping all those numbers in your head?" Yes he was. (FINALLY! A break through.) I said, "Well, once you show me you CAN do it, I will write the rest. But get used to writing because I can't do it for you during your annual test." (Again trying to figure out what is important here...solving the math problem, not the writing.)

The military taught me when you have bad news (EX: math meltdown) to deliver, follow it up with something positive. So here goes...social studies today was a blast! We hung our new 50 states wall map (that he found at the store and said we needed) and placed push pins on different states. Get ready...he created (WROTE!) a legend for us (without me telling him to) I know right? We sang the 50 Nifty United States song together at least three times, and finally did a USA puzzle. So while there was MAJOR bump in the road, we did have some great bonding time. He asked me to do the puzzle with him and I excused myself to go make us lunch. Before you know it I was down on the ground assembling the edges. He commented, "You know I pulled you into this right?" (Oh little Mr. Hyder...love ya.)

I love my gift from God and this job is GREAT. (I get paid in hugs, kisses, and "I love you's...even today!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Today was short and sweet

It was a short and sweet day.

I felt so bad for JD that his friends were out of school today and he needed to do some short lessons. All I had him do today was language arts, math, and I gave him the next ten spelling words. They are all words with Greek parts.

Language arts was a study of Greek and Latin words. The word “port” means to carry. Then we expanded that into more words like: transport, porter, portable, export, import, and support. The word “graph” means to write or print. It can be expanded into words like: graphology, biography, autobiography, telegraph, and geography.

(This picture was taken 12 Jan during email/snail mail lesson. He was real busy during this time. He was emailing Daddy, Grammy, checking the status of a game he purchase, and looking at funny emails in our box. Notice Tater? She's never far from her boy. JD tried to get dresses and go outside to play during one of our five minute breaks. I had to stop him at the getting dressed stage in order to keep on schedule.)

Math today was division. We learned what compatible numbers are when estimating division problems. This was a tough lesson for me too. But we got through the lesson and quiz a 100% (working together.) The second lesson today was learning easy division rules. Ex: Can 315 be divide by 9 without anything remaining? (I don’t know…lets use the nifty difty rule for “9’s”.) 3+1+5=9, so yes, 9 will go into 315 evenly, without any remainders. (Cool huh?) Jeff walked up behind us and said, “Hey, I never knew that.” I said, “We just learned it!”

So as you can see...school was short and sweet. The house keeping today was not. I managed my way into JD's room to clean it. He'd expressed an interest in keeping his room "orderly." (Hah ha...whoa...fell of my chair.) So I cleaned his room and I'll see how far that goes "orderly." I told him it's on a weekly cleaning schedule by him!...from now on.