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Saturday, September 11, 2010

The football scrimmage

Today was the Tar Heel scrimmage in Fayetteville. (Or as JD called it “the skirmish.”) I think they did pretty good. Jeff asked if I was not nervous for JD when he went in. My answer, “No.” I watched him hold his own and do what he was suppose to do. (Stay low and block) I was okay until he became the bottom of the dog pile. There I was a trapped mother bear standing at the fence yelling “Get off!” When I asked JD about what it was like to be at the bottom of a dog pile he said, “I was telling myself ‘there’s the grass.’” He said his feet were free and it was like doing a really hard push-up. I managed to get a few pictures of him, but it’s hard to see him. His number is 53.
(Picture above - JD after getting knocked down - running to help out)

One of the other little guys on the team called Coach Jeff over to let him know one of the boys on the other team had a mustache. Another coach heard this and said, “Oh you mean the kid who drove himself here?” (LOL) There were some boys on the other teams that were as big if not bigger than some of the coaches. One lined up with JD. (Okay now I’m nervous!) JD told me later that the other BIG kid was growling at him. (What?!) Jeff thought it was JD, but later learned it was the BIG guy. (Picture below - JD in his position right in front of the big kid in the orange jersey.) The big guy pushed JD down right off the start but JD got up like he had a spring in his butt and ran for the moving ball. (Don’t make me climb this fence.)

JD is the first person in the line. The only girl on our team is #51 (three people behind JD if you can't see the picture well.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

A short day

Today was a small class load but a long day nonetheless. We did our devotion like normal and I showed JD an email I received. It was about a poor cashier that couldn’t count the correct change for her customer. The total was $1.58 and the man gave her $2.08. You do the math…The email showed how math has been taught through the years. The math word problem starts out in 1950 with “A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit ?” (I had JD figure that one out.) By 1990 it’s “A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20.. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it's ok. ) And my favorite was 2010 , “Who cares, just steal the lumber from your rich neighbor's property. He won't have a gun to stop you, and the President says it's OK anyway cuz it’s redistributing the wealth.” (LOL) So that was math today.

Then we moved onto a much needed Life Skill of problem solving. I jotted down some notes while I was reading a wonderful book called The Gift of ADHD Activity Book, 101 Ways to Turn Your Child’s Problems into Strengths, by Lara Honos-Webb. I LOVE the name of the book. I tell JD all the time how God making him ADHD was a gift to God and the world. Anyways some of the things I jotted down were: problem solving, making goals, becoming self sufficient, and creating positive social situations. I started teaching him problem solving today. You’d think he’d have some idea by now how to solve a problem, but he really doesn’t. I love how the author of the process teaches it while playing checkers with a child. Step 1) Identify a problem. Step 2) Think up three possible solutions. Step 3) Look at each option for a minute. Ask yourself, “Is this a good move or a bad move?” Step 4) Pick what you think would be the best solution or option and ask yourself, “If I do this what will happen next?” Step 5) Try it out and see if it works. JD and I covered many different types of situations that he will need to use this process in. They were things like: keeping a friend who cusses, steals, or talks bad about parents and the dreaded curfew and beer parties. He did really well coming up with solutions and choosing the one that would not make him look like a goody too shoes nor a geek. I told him to use humor or make up an excuse to leave in order to get out of a potentially bad situation that just comes up. He also knew that telling the truth was the smartest option as opposed to lying and getting caught. I gave him a few examples of his brothers and my brother lying and getting caught. That’s when I established with him how I have eyes in the back of my head and I network with the secret underworld of mothers. No I didn’t tell him that but I bet he thinks that. (Smile)

That lesson took longer to teach that I expected but it was well worth the time to see his feelings about looking “cool” in front of friends. We then moved onto an interactive lesson in social studies. (I totally forgot about note taking the rest of the Political Party lesson. Oops) We did a pretty long but FUN study on the continent of South America. We learned about the 12 countries and the three territories. We also identified on the map water sources, any major landforms, landmarks, and finally each country’s capital. Then, I found an interactive map on the web without country labels. We had to look at the question of where a certain country was and find it. We worked together on this entire lesson. I can’t imagine not learning all that with him.

In science today we learned about Genes and traits? We overloaded our brains with too many vocabulary words. But we also learned a lot about DeoxyriboNucleic Acid (DNA), Genes, chromosomes, proteins, about heredity, and traits. We know all humans have 46 chromosomes and mosquitoes have six. Each parent contributes 23 each. We also learned traits come from parents too. However, the environment can alter these traits. Women color their hair and people eat healthy and exercise to avoid having a heart problem. The most amazing thing for us was the fact that all the people in the world have 99.9% identical DNA. (Did you see that math sneak in there?)

We did not do any “real” math or an English lesson today. (Yeah, short day!)

Tomorrow, Saturday, JD has a scrimmage game. This will probably be the make it or break it time. Cross your fingers...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A good day

We did our devotion like normal and then moved to Langauge Arts. In Intro to Literature we watched videos of famous speeches like: “I have a dream” by Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, The D-Day “Last order of the day” by Dwight D. Eisenhower, and finally Patton’s speech. I thought this would be a lot more fun than reading them. We learned what each speech was about and additional facts about each speaker. Jeff, you’d be so proud of JD. He knew Patton died of car accident wounds. (He really is listening.)

Then, we moved onto science. For science today we watched videos of the Mars Rovers named Opportunity and Spirit. The videos we very gripping. JD felt sorry for them when they got stuck or covered in dust. They hibernated for the winter and traveled much farther than ever anticipated. Did you know they were only suppose to be on a 90 mission. They started out in 2003 and they are still roaming around Mars collecting samples. You can watch the drama filled videos at YouTube. Type in “Mars Rovers Part I (AggManUK)” (Or copy and paste) The last thing we did for science was review a few other facts about our solar system.

Today at lunch our massive school mascot came in. I got the idea when we visited the beach zoo. Our lion is 75 inches long from the tip of his front paws to the tip of his tail. He’s so life like that it scares Tater Tot. She slinks by him when she’s near him. I Googled “stuffed Lion” and found it for “$70.00 + the shipping fee.” (Um, I don’t think so.) So I kept searching and found it for $48.75 and FREE shipping. (Call me frugal, but I got the exact same thing for $30.00 cheaper.) Why a lion for our mascot? In Christian tradition, the Lion of Judah represents Jesus. (More lions might go good in the classroom.)

JD used the huge box to build a toll booth in my living room. Every time I went out to do yard work he charges me a quarter. So I used his idea to aide in the math lesson. I gave him three problems to work. One was “You make $7.50 and hour working in your toll booth. If you worked 14 hours one day how much would you earn?” Another was “125 cars came through on your shift. You charged them all one quarter. How much did you earn for your state?” The last question was “Your county earned $31.25 in quarters in one day. How much could 13 other counties earn if they set up a toll booth?”

The nutrition chart from yesterday turned out pretty good. I’m not sure I recorded everything he’s eating. But he was missing some vegetables and went way over on the fats, oils, and SWEETS group. Sweets is what got him. He’s supposed to be getting around 2,200 - (I’ve seen as high as) 2,500 a day for his age! Like I said I didn’t record accurately yesterday and came up with around 2,240. Today he is up to 2,954 at 9:00pm. He’s still missing the meat, vegs, and grains group. But, he’s way over in the sweets group. (I made brownies for Jeff yesterday night.

In social studies today we concentrated on the seven continents. We had three copies of the same atlas map. We then ranked the continents by population, largest to smallest square miles, and the most countries to the least in each continent. I had him put bright stickers on each continent. Orange represented the largest and yellow represented the smallest. That way he would at least remember those two colors on each map. Now I know Antarctica is desolate but did you know that they have zero countries and zero population. In the summer there might be 4,000 people there to perform research and in the winter that number drops down to 1,000. (The things that make you say hum…)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A much better day

After the all the frustrations that we went through yesterday, I’m so glad to report that today was a much better day. (It also extended JD’s lifespan.)

JD cooked his own oatmeal this morning for his healthy breakfast task. We’ve tried to get him to eat oatmeal before and he said he didn’t like it. Today is was “This stuff is really good and tastes like grits.“ (Don’t get me started on the whole “grits” conversation.) We looked up the food pyramid because JD is gaining weight every month and has been for a year now. We are charting what he eats according to the food pyramid and calorie intake since he didn’t understand consuming a whole large pizza in a day was not “moderation.” Have you noticed the food pyramid has disappeared off most food containers? (Maybe it's another government conspiracy.)

We did our devotion first, of course. After the disaster of teaching JD the wrong way to do multiplication yesterday we opened our Time4Learning website and watched the lesson on multiplication and division just to see if they taught “additional” ways that could be done. (There wasn’t.) I finally pulled out the colored pencils. I wrote the problem on a piece of paper six times and had him draw an oval around the first step and write the answer in the same color. Then, I had him switch colors and draw and oval around step two and write the answer on the second problem. (Well you get the point.) After we were done he had a six colored multiplication problems. I then moved all that to an excel sheet with six different shaded colors on six of the same problems. This seemed to help some. We’ll see tomorrow when I give him some problems to solve. (Ugh!)

We took a break and went outside. I saw all these containers of fluids and oils on our garage shelves. I popped open the hood and checked my radiator fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and oil. I had JD right beside of me the whole time. I told him about the dangers of Anti-freeze and pets and told him not to check it when its hot. Then, I showed him how to check the oil. (We might have a future grease monkey in our family.)

Then, we moved onto “Intro to Literature.” (Literature is a tough word to spell…I spell things by sounding them out in weird ways. After the 10th time of spell check catching my misspelled word I finally learned.) Today we made a pentagon shaped poster for our literature genres to go into. There are five major genres and they are: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, and fairy tale/fable. So the pentagon shape helped JD remember the 5 major genres. We put examples of each type in the correct “wing” in the pentagon. After that I went to a library website that had “Genre Game Show” on it. There were 15 total questions and a chance to earn $1,000,000 imaginary dollars. JD did really well on it and after a couple of attempts he finally reached $1,000,000.

A nurse from Pope clinic called me today to schedule an endocrinologist appointment for JD. I asked, “What is an endocrinologist and why is he being scheduled for an appointment. Nothing negative came up from last weeks blood panel.” Apparently, his pediatrician saw something after she talked to me on the phone dealing with his thyroid. (That would explain the steady weight gain.) The appointment is scheduled for 14 Sep.

We did not do a Science lesson today. During our lunch break JD was watching the History Channel and they kept talking about bones being “millions of years old.” JD kept saying, “6,000 years old.” I asked JD why he thinks that. He said, “Because you guys have told me that before. (Yeah, well I tell you to brush your teeth daily and you look at me like I’m speaking French.) So I pulled up a timeline from the internet that showed: creation (6 literal days), from Adam to Jesus (4,000 years), and counted to today (2010 years.) I “showed” him it really is only around 6,000 years. We also referenced the bible genealogies.

The last lesson of the day was in Social Studies. It was a lesson called “What is a political party?” I had JD take notes again. (I think I would rather shove bamboo shoots up my finger nails than to teach notes taking to JD and suffer through the lengthy process.) It took almost 30 minutes to do three slides of information about the history of the three political parties: Republican, Democratic, and Third party. This lesson will be completed tomorrow. (Ugh again.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It was a tough day

Confucius says, “He who goes to bed late for three days straight, will wake up tired!” (Ok, Confucius didn’t say that, I did.) I had a hard time getting JD up this morning. When I finally did he was tired and mouthy. That only perpetuated throughout the entire day. The devotion went good. The 30 minute reading was pushed into the homework stack. We attempted to do multiplication next. I bought some sidewalk chalk so we could do math on the garage floor instead of on paper. I thought this would make it fun. It was until JD got mouthy with me. I reached over very quickly, but somewhat gentle, and popped his mouth. (Easy grandparents…he never even said ouch. Instead he wiped the chalk from his lips.) But my point was made! We left the garage floor and moved back to graph paper. Jeff told me how to teach JD an easier method to multiplication. So I taught that to JD. He only had five problems to solve and he found every distraction he could before tackling only two in ½ hour. This too turned into homework.

Next, we did additional research on the major deserts of the world. This took a long time to accomplish. The first instruction on the worksheet was to “draw a dark line around the Arabian Peninsula.” The question I had to myself and out loud was, “Is a peninsula a border or a perimeter?” (I’m a home school mom, with so-so grades in High School, not a genius.) After about 45 minutes of research we finally found the answer we were looking for. (No thanks to Google!) I read the second instruction on the page and it said, “Label each of the following countries of the Arabian Peninsula” and it listed all of them. (Frustrating!) But now he can tell you about all the major deserts of the world.

Next, we did some more solar system research and trivia. Apparently, Jupiter has 66 moons (not 16), Saturn has 61 moons (not 18), Uranus has 27 moons (not 15), Neptune has 13 moons (not 8), and Pluto has 3 moons (not just one.) That’s what happens with the internet. You may or may not get accurate information. After thorough research the number of moons has been confirmed. Additionally, today we wrote down all five dwarf planets. What we found interesting was one of them is named “MakeMake.” (I can’t make this stuff up.) We also wrote down the number of days, months, or years all the planets took to revolve around the sun.

I had to make another run to the Pope AFB pharmacy for Jeff. Our day was already EXTREMELY long but we ran our errand and got back in time to accomplish the English lesson. During our errand JD read for thirty minutes. Now I’ve learned to pick my battles with JD and I certainly did not want to suffer through a writing assignment before football practice. So today we did a study on “Intro to Literature.” Tomorrow we will make a poster of a tree and label each branch with the different kinds on Genre as well as what type of literature might fit into that category.
Football practice went well this evening. JD still seems timid to hit or be hit but he is trying and still remains focused. Funny thing (not really but) happened at practice. I was using my calculator to grade JD’s math homework he did in the car on the way. Turns out Jeff’s method of teaching multiplication was wrong. I dreaded telling JD I messed up. He wasn’t too mad. He just said, “I’m so confused.” (Oh drat!)

P.S. Please continue to pray for Faith Christian Academy and all of it’s endeavors.