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Friday, March 5, 2010

50th Post

In honor of the 50th post to the Hyder Herald I thought I would do a “giveaway.” (I know 50 posts…I so need to get a life.) JD and I pulled a name from the bowl containing nine followers. And the winner is...drum roll please…Dollie! Congratulations and thanks for being a dedicated “Hyder Herald” follower!

It was terribly difficult to wake JD up this morning. He did stay up late though. So we got started a bit late. But overall it was a good day. The devotion today was about perfection. It listed a few people who had perfect scores or records. BUT it said perfection was terribly difficult to obtain. Then, it transitioned over to us Christians; we are to strive to imitate Jesus (the best we can anyway.)

We did not do the Purpose Driven Life today. He will read his new book called “Hero's Don't Run” as homework. This is the third book in the series. The first book was about the start of the Pearl Harbor bombing where Adam’s dads ship the Arizona was bombed and sank. So it kept his attention well. The second one, that he just finished, was not nearly as exciting for him. There was no shooting, bombing, or pictures. It was about Adam and his family moving to California. This next book should hold his attention. Apparently Adam will being joining the Army soon.

When we went to do the math lesson next and the internet was down. (Ugh!) So I moved him onto a non-internet lesson. It fell underneath the edit/rewrite time frame. On Monday, JD started a superhero comic book about a guy named “Bomb Hard.” (Imagine that.) The guy gets his superpowers from a toxic waste plant. From there he turns into a WWII fighter pilot. He kept bumping ideas off of me for the plot. We already “webbed” the plot. I think he was just actively looking for ways to delay the task. It was hard to keep him focused on this task. He kept getting up to sharpen a colored pencil, play with Tater, go to the bathroom, or anything else. He managed to complete the cover and the next page. I suggested he move away from drawing stick figures and he did. It’s really kind of cool.

The math lessons were so short today that we moved quickly from metric capacity to metric temperatures. We have now completed both customary and metric measurements. Next we will tackle two lessons on time. Seems easy enough…but it’s more than just telling time. (To tell you the truth I have to draw a little clock on my paper if I want to find out how many hours and minutes have passed. I count the little tick marks and go around in circles if its more than 12 hours.)

We did not do keyboarding today. I had errands to run today before we left for Tennessee to see our newest grand baby Isabella.

Today in health we did a lesson called “Who are you?” I loved this lesson. I was able to learn what JD values and has interests in. He learned what a value is and how it influences the choices he makes. He also learned what capabilities he has. There were three sheets to print out and circle age appropriate choices for values, interests, and capabilities. I knew most of them, but it was nice to hear from the horses mouth what he values most. Apparently, what he values most is privacy. His exact words were, “I don’t just want people just jumping in my room. (Really? I thought I’d have a couple more years before this happened.) At church and other places I’ve heard of 11 and 12 year olds referred as “tweens” because they’re in between kids and teenagers. (Lord help me when he becomes an teenager.

The dreaded spelling test went…PERFECTLY! He scored a 100% on 12 out of 12 words. Go JD! (We even have the certificate to prove it.) Evidently, those little certificates mean a lot to JD. He would complain in public school when he only got one or two during the awards ceremonies. That’s when we would have to talk him down from the roof and say, “Buddy, some kids don’t get any awards.”

Yesterday JD was getting extremely creative with the digital camera. I love how his mind thinks. Together we produced a movie (without music) Enjoy!

video

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It was a pleasant day

Because we are having so many good days (thank goodness) I feel like I need to come up with more descriptive words for the each day other than “Good Day.” The thesaurus and I agree…today was a “pleasant” day.

The devotion today was about being a courageous followers. Where would great leaders be without followers? Look at Christopher Columbus and General George Washington for instance. Then we have the greatest leader of all…Jesus. Would you have readily given up your life and income as a fisherman to follow Jesus? All he said was, “Come, be my disciples.” (I would have probably said, “And you are? Where are we going? What are we doing?”

We have now journeyed past purpose three in the Purpose Driven Life book. We started purpose four today. We are all shaped for serving God. The day’s reading was titled “Accepting Your Assignment.” It started out saying, “We need to find our ministry.” We were CREATED to serve God, SAVED to serve God, CALLED to serve God, and COMMANDED to serve God. Seems like most Christians have taken a sufficient number of courses on discipleship. However, approximately 20% of the church body actually puts that knowledge into practice. Again, this study says we will all stand before God and He will evaluate “how well we served others with our lives.” I hope I don’t ever answer “I was too busy or I was preoccupied with work.” Because He’ll say, “Sorry wrong answer. I created, saved, called, and commanded you to live a life of service. WHAT part didn’t you understand? Rick Warren listed many people in the bible who had potential problems or excuses like: Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Moses stuttered, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Thomas had doubts, Timothy was timid. That’s quite a variety of misfits, but God used each of them for his service.” Will he use you too?

Math was a fairly easy lesson today. It was dealing with metric weights. (Too bad we don’t use metric weights for only our body weights. All the women would be happy all the time. I would weigh 58.96 kilograms. Yippie!)

The civics lesson reviewed “competition in the market place.” This time instead of using lemonade examples it moved to burgers and fries. They reviewed the following vocabulary words: competition, incentives, monopoly, diversity, and consumers. There was a crossword puzzle in the lesson that he really enjoyed doing. He took the chapter quiz and scored a 90%.

Today for the email/snail mail lesson JD wrote a birthday letter of thanks to his my grandmother. We call her Nana. She lives in Massachusetts with my Aunt. She in her 80’s and just loves getting JD’s mail.

The language arts lesson was a quick lesson on writing the perfect paragraph. It discussed the need for a solid topic sentence and the three types of supporting sentences. You can use EXAMPLES (to clarify or explain), ANECDOTES (a story to explain), or DETAILS (like colors, shapes, feelings, etc). I had him pick a topic to write about. I could see the anxiety building. I had to extinguish any fear he had about writing the physical words. I just wanted him to think creatively. Once he knew I would dictate the anxiety was gone. (Again, what’s important here? Writing the sentences or knowing how to write the perfect paragraph? ) We wrote three sentences under the topic “Snow days can be fun.” I had him create sentences using all three types of supporting sentences. (Whew, averted another disaster.)

In science today he learned about “collecting, organizing, and analyzing data” from any research efforts he might do. This would help him support his experiments if someone else performed the same experiment and wrote about it. It also helps him with his hypothesis and conclusion. It was an easy lesson so he moved onto the chapter quiz and scored a 100%.

JD did so well with his spelling cards that I asked him if he wanted to take his test today. He said, “Sure. That way I won’t forget them by tomorrow.” So he took a spelling test today and spelled 10 out of 12 correctly. He was upset because just five minutes before he had said his sentences to me. He misspelled cheerful. His sentence was “Cheerful Hippos Enter East Right For Usual Lunch.” He spelled it CHIERFUL. I asked why he thought it was “IE.” He “heard enter and thought of “in”-ter. So I told him we’ll just consider that test as a pretest and he’ll retake the test tomorrow as planned. No harm done.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A "so-so" snow day

The devotion today was about the Star Spangled Banner. Francis Scott Key wrote it back in 1812 saying, “Does not such a country, and such defenders of their country, deserve a song?” ( Here is a picture of the original flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner song. It is at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. )Then it transitioned into The Psalm writers were also inspired by the acts of God. We know all that God does for us daily. “Does not such a God deserve a song?” You bet he does!

JD finished his book called “The Boy No More” today. Now he will create a book report that looks like the front page of a newspaper from California around the start of WWII. To include real articles from that time frame. (Kind of cool I think.) OR the other option would be to write the entire book report in paragraph form like public school. (Which would you choose?)

Math was easier for us today than yesterday. Yesterday was learning the concept of the metric system. Today we put the metric system into action and did well. It was about metric lengths. So JD had to convert centimeters into meters and such. Then, it started asking reasonability questions. They gave examples of millimeter as the width of a paperclip, a centimeter as the length of a pink rectangle eraser, a meter as just above a standard doorknob, and a kilometer as 13-16 city blocks. He was really rolling on the test until the question, “What is a reasonable length for a pool?” 500 mm, 50 cm, 50 m, or 50 km. Well, 500 mm and 50 cm is the same answer (.5 meters or 19 inches). And he knew 50 km was way too big. He thought 50 meters was also too big, but it turned out to be correct. Yeah!

We took a LONG break from math to go out and play in the snow we received last night. The roads in the neighborhood are clear but the grass was saturated with snow. There was more than enough snow, time, and hot cocoa for a snowman, two snowball fights, and good old fashioned snow angels. I tried to take a video but it’s really shaky because I was dodging oncoming snowballs. JD got in some good licks. (But so did I.) The Harnett County schools were closed again today but we still did our school day because JD’s friend stayed at home with his mom today.

The words for the Word Bank lesson were: zeal, zesty, and zany. As usual I had him look them up in a dictionary and write the definition and a corresponding sentence. He did this independently. (I’m loving this independent thing.)

We went out of order again today and did the history lesson next. It was another lesson about mountain men, fur traders, and Kit Carson. He fully understood the lesson and moved onto the chapter quiz. There were two questions that stumped us both so he managed an 80%. That’s still pretty good.

The journal lesson was going to be the continuation of the superhero comic book he was creating from Monday. But since he finished his book I thought I would give him some school time to do his creative book report. I thought this would cut out some of his homework time. Boy was I wrong! Picture this…“Hey guess what JD? We’re going to Disney Land next week!” (Are you picturing a happy little boy? That's my visual to you to show what a fun and good day it's been thus far with lots of laughs and miles of smiles.) THEN, I hand him the creative newspaper he was to design with my assistance of course. I tell him, “Here’s where you’ll write the newspaper heading and to use these blocks to write the plot, the characters, the setting and such.” (He behaved as if we had to cancel the Disney trip because of a stomach ache that suddenly set in.) There was moaning, face stretching, and a complete attitude change. (Are those aliens back again?) This went on for about fifteen minutes and nothing was written except the words “A Boy No More.” I was furious! I had already kindly mentioned starting the character block because it was easy to do. Then do setting block because it too was easy. Nothing was written except “Adam.” (Smoke is now coming out of my ears like a dryer vent from a house.) I spun around from doing dishes and gave him a “WHAT FOR!” This brought on a fast running stream of hugemungous crocodile tears. I let them stream for about two minutes while he diligently wrote on the minefield of tear drops and I cooled down. (Okay don’t worry, I fixed this situation…for now…) I calmly walked over to him and asked why he was crying. He said, “I’m mad!” I said, “Maybe I shouldn’t have yelled so loudly and for so long but you have to understand this is frustrating for me too. We touched on my being a teacher with no experience, his job being school, every job after school will require him to write, that we’re doing what God wants us to be doing, that writing causes him no physical pain, and finally concluded that the strange and absolutely uncalled for behavior was a cover-up for writing being sooo “BORING.” (Okay now what?) I said, “There are some things in a real job that are fun, but some things (excuse me) suck! So some times when you will just have to suck it up.” A project that would typically take 3 hours to write with constant yelling in the past took approximately one hour at FCA. I love the picture of him reading the finished project. All the tears have dried up and I found my voice again. (smile)...until choir Cantata practice.

The music lesson was dropped again because of the whole writing dilemma. We finally ended school at about 3:00 pm. (But you have to remember we played outside for a long time today.)

A beloved comment received via email…Your "mundane" school work is one of the most important things you do all day..... Don't underestimate the value, eternal value. Jesus probably smiles as He watches and thinks... 'She’s doing good, the mother I chose for Jonathan'. (As I swipe the tear from my eye.) I find myself feeling like any other Old Testament woman who was waiting for their “special gift from God” and were in God’s time chosen to be “that” child’s mother. I can’t help but come back to Hannah. She was a godly woman who, much like me pleaded to God for a child. While I wasn’t a follower of God when I conceived JD and am now and that’s all that counts. Samuel was eventually turned over to God at a very young age and went on to become a great priest, prophet, and leader. The Hyder’s have stepped out in faith that with God’s daily guidance, JD will also become a passionate follower of God and yes earn many rewards during his transition into eternity. And I have come to terms that one day I will have to release my grip on JD (hopefully to find him at the temple). But every day until that day I will treasure all these “mundane” moments in my heart. (Thanks for the email.)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another good day

Today Jeff opened up our school day with a prayer. It was a nice change of pace. Usually I open the school day and JD says the lunchtime blessing. I think this is the third time Jeff has been at home during a normal school day. (But I didn’t hear him volunteer to tag out with me to teach anything. Bummer...just joking Jeff.)

Today is “Old Stuff Day” according to JD’s devotional book. It talked about old valuables and treasured old things they’ve toted around since they were little. Then it transitioned into carrying around old habits, attitudes, and sins. Jesus offers us a chance to get rid if the old and become totally new.

I did not do the Purpose Driven Life reading today. I was expecting JD to finish “A Boy No More” in February so he could do another book “report.” But he hasn’t finished the book yet. So I had him read independently again today. He’s about 5 pages from being done with that book.

The math lesson today was an introduction into the metric system. Seems complicated but once you do enough problems you would get the hang of it. It’s just trying to remember which one is bigger than the next. They had a chart for us to follow so that made it easier. Apparently to convert from kilogram to milligrams you have to make the number smaller. So what math process would you think you would do this with? If you said multiply you are correct. (What? Multiply? Yep. It’s all in where the decimal is.) When JD and I first started the lesson we looked like two monkeys trying to put a 100 piece puzzle together. But we finally found an “easier” way and tackled, no mastered the decimal system. Like I said it all in where the decimal place goes. (Funny picture huh?)

Today for social studies I had JD paste the capitals to each corresponding state. The states did not have their names labeled. He mentioned that in public school they were also doing this task, but he said, “It was too hard.” Today was not hard. We worked together and pasted about half of them. (How many do you think you could name? It’s tough believe me.) He did fairly well on this task but was upset when I stopped assisting him. I opened the atlas for him and asked him to complete the rest using an atlas. He said, “Aw, you’re not going to help me?” The frown on that adorable little face said all the nonverbals for him. I felt awful. I think sometimes he looks at me like a classmate or class partner. I said, “I’ll be back but in the meantime do what you can.” After he finished the pasting job I had him do flash cards. Looks like both of us still need better memorization skills on about ¼ of the states.

Today in language arts he did two lessons because they were for review and they were short enough to get through them both with time to spare. The first lesson he did was “Think Aloud level 1, part 4 (nonfiction).” That teaches him the concept of thinking aloud while he’s reading. He should be thinking of cause and possible effects or asking questions like who, what, when, where, and how. I had him do this independently while I busied myself in the house. He did well. Then he also did a “Think Aloud, level 2, part 2 (nonfiction)” independently. He scored a perfect 100% on that.

Science today was also a small review lesson before moving on to conducting research on an experiment. When he saw the lesson called “Design another experiment” he said, “No we already know how to do that. Can’t we do something else?” So we flipped through the lesson and took a chapter quiz. He scored a 90%. Then we moved onto “Experimental research.” This teaches future scientist to explore if anyone else had done that experiment already. If they have then the student should compare his data and conclusions to see if they are different. Today we looked up information about Daniel Bernoulli and “Bernoulli’s principle.” He was a line of bright family members. His dad eventually banished him and stole some of Daniel’s ideas and plagiarized them. (That whole blood is thinker than water does NOT fit here. We tried to understand his “principle” but it was WAY above our heads. He was a mathematician after all. I guess he did experiments with fluid and air pressure mechanics. (I’m not real sure.)

The last thing JD did today was email/snail mail. I had him write two letters of birthday thanks and one “thinking of you card” for my grandmother. I guess the last time she received a piece of mail from JD just made her month. She won’t stop talking about it. So why not add a smile for this month too. JD took way to long to hand write the dictated letters. He finally got them done when his daddy came home with the proper Wii cable so we don’t have to play in black and white anymore. Reuben got JD a Wii for his birthday present. Thanks Reuben.

I would also like to take a minute more of your time to say "Thank You" followers. I know some of you aren't allowed to respond to blogs at work but you do manage to follow this one. I know I'm taking you away from your work for our mundane school life but your telephone messages, email messages, and followers comments give me strength and encouragement just when I need it. So...

Monday, March 1, 2010

A good day

This morning I woke up to my alarm but I hit snooze. I jumped back in bed and let the sunlight from the kitchen window warm me up. It was so nice. The second time I woke up JD was already awake. I made my coffee (imagine that) and emailed Jeff stating, “Today was shaping up to be a great day.” I was correct except for the journal lesson. Oh well. Still a good day!

The devotion today was about Captain America the superhero. His famous introduction was back in 1941. His power didn’t come at birth. He drank a liquid and gained his power. We Christians are like Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America. We are powerless, until we receive the gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit. Then we are strengthened to do all that God has for us to do.


The Purpose Driven Life reading today ended purpose three for our lives. Today’s reading was called “It Takes time.” In this instant world that we live in we want things now. But just like babies need time to grow and mature, so do Christians. After all God is preparing us for eternity. We’re really no different from Old Testament people. We’re slow learners and we have a lot of “world” to unlearn taking off the old self and putting on the new. I know I’ve felt Christian growing pains have you? Sometimes I want to stay in my comfort zone but God pulls me out and allows me to experience uncomfortable and unfamiliar things and people to help me grow. (Um, thank you) Habits take time to develop. I can’t be a caring Christian if I don’t practice it and make it a habit. I was just saying to Jeff, I care when someone gets hurt, but I’m not a real compassionate person. (I don’t thinks that’s my “calling” to be the card sender or telephone call maker when someone is absent from church.) Again the book mentions “Don’t get in a hurry.” That’s my life. Hurry here, hurry there. There are spiritual seasons in our lives and it take the fruit time to develop. I really dislike that God’s timetable is not lined up with mine but a real fact I must come to terms with. I love how Rick Warren puts it…God is never in a hurry, but he’s always on time. I don’t get easily discouraged with God when my prayers are not answered in time because I know he’s working in my life all the time. Just like I tell JD no sometimes (for good reasons) God also tells me no.

The math lesson today was about customary temperatures. They only discussed Fahrenheit today. It was an easy lesson and he mastered it.

Today JD earned a certificate in his keyboarding lesson. Today he learned the letter “C” and comma “,” He’s not really helping himself by looking at the keyboard but I have to let him try it his way. I figure any kind of practice it better than none. I think he just has four more stages to go and he’ll have completed the whole lesson. I think repeating it would be good for him. That was this time could be for familiarization and the next can be for proficiency.

The journal lesson took much too long and JD make it way more complicated than it needed to be. It was to simply create a superhero character. I wanted him to name the character and write only details (not complete sentences) about what he looked like, his strengths and weaknesses and what he was famous for.) This took over an hour! (Ugh) Then I found a blank printable comic strip book that he could create. We’ll work more on that tomorrow.

The art lesson today was about value. I didn’t sit with so I’m trying to understand what the lesson taught him. The best explanation I can get is the lesson helped him understand shades of colors. It was very interactive and he likes it. I can hardly get him off.

I have increased the number of spelling words from 10 to 12. I was nosing around the web and found a list of 5th grade spelling words. They seem shorter than the ones I have been doing lately. I have also had him write acrostic sentences and a picture to accompany each word. We’ll have to wait until Friday to see if my theory is correct. After all he managed a couple of 100%s in the past with this method. But he ventured out on his own the last couple of weeks trying to find shortcuts to doing his work by deleting the need for viable sentences and pictures.

We also did a small science lesson today. I had red cabbage juice left over from his birthday party so we did tests to see what was a base and what was acid. If you put vinegar in with red cabbage juice (which is really purple) the juice will turn red. That means vinegar is an acid. If you put cascade in the purple juice the juice will turn light blue. That means the Cascade is a base.