Friday, September 14, 2007

spelling and bagels

Today's spelling test was taken at the local cafe. We ordered lunch and then they took their spelling test. Then we went to watch the Juggler at the Greene (open outdoor area at he mall)

had connor move to his own table. He and Gavin had 1 minute at the end to compare their tests.

they write out all their words from memory. I don't say them. Just give them a sheet of paper and say :write your words:

LOL- I had a lot of typos in this one! figures.. on a post about homeschool and spelling!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Spelling went well

finally, a school day post-

With Brian off work and all the running Ihave been doing- we aren't on our list and schedule fully. But working toeards it.

I am getting a cold and feel miserable. Ki is, too , and had me up a good part of the night. So I slepy in till 9:30.

The boys did their morning list- gavin didn't do his all the way. No TV for him today. Well, unles Brian get home from his errand and outranks my decision.

I did spelling with Ki. We went through his list and spelled his words in sign language and I taught him the word signs. This combined both the body and the mind- for more complete learning. So when I do the word sign he can spell the word. If I sign spell he makes the sign and tells me the word.He has to say the letters as he signs the letters. It seemed to go very well!

Then Connor and I had a dentist appointment. Brian had the boys making lunch when I got home at noon. Though they just had breakfast at 10. But when I ask him to make sure they get breakfast or lunch while I amout- he doesn't-- yet he makes them when it's not needed. Lunch 2 hours later is a waste of time. I think Gavin was happy for a reason to piddy and not do work. He is not in my good graces today. I don't know why I even bother ding school when Brian is home. He messes up my plans, takes the kids away from their classes, lets them do whatever........

I sat down with Ki and showed him how to compare fractions... to see which is larger... is 5/7 larger or smaller than 8/12?.. that type of stuff. So he is checking the work he did yesterday. His dad just siad "do this page" and didn;t sit down with im or explain or anyhitng. He volunteered to do the math and asked what they were doing. I told him. You need to sit down with him and go over how to do it. He didn't. Gavin had to copy terms witht heir deffinitions and all Brain had him do was read. So we are doing the same math today as they did yesterday!

The boys did their reading. Connor did some simple Leap Pad stuff. Gavin spent some time with Ben's Guide to US History. Online.

I took a long nap, my cold is getting worse.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Lesson #3 Pre-Writing Skills

this is the third lesson:

Horizontal Lines

Time to add horizontal lines so we can cross t’s and make f’s and E’s and H’s

Start each day by doing large Lazy 8s with your arm. After a few add of these, your other arm.

Do Alphabet 8s with your arms each time you do a writing activity on this sheet, too. This should have Ethan crossing midline easier (necessary for writing and reading)

Using alternatives methods (not paper and pencil) makes some vertical letter lines. Make them large- finger on a full sheet of vertical paper, imaginary on a wall, dry erase markers on a big window, finger paint, playdough. Now cross have Ethan cross them. (show him how to do the first one) Make sure it is one continual motion. Guide his hand if he needs it.

Next, have him draw the vertical line for you to cross. (actually, do this one first)

Take turns drawing the vertical and crossing.

Get out letter tiles. Choose t, T, f, E

Have Ethan draw a large alphabet 8. Show him how he can make these four letters by adding horizontal lines to the letter line part of the Alphabet 8.

Have him finger trace E & t on the alphabet 8. Practice making the E & t with playdough, fingerpaint, dry erase marker, etc. (you might need to spend a few days on this).

Review the Clock Circles, Letter lines and the letters he can now trace and recognize on the Alphabet 8 at either the start or end of each lesson. Each time he does letters (E,t,h,a,n)on the Alphabet 8 show him how they are letters from his name. Also do activities from previous lessons periodical to keep them fresh in his mind and for repetitive practice.

Do the call out activity from the Line Sheet adding new letters and shapes from this sheet.
When he gets stuck on a letter, pull out the Alphabet 8 and letter tiles, find the tile you want and have him finger trace the letter on the alphabet 8.

Lesson #2 - prewriting skills


Practice making lines from top to bottom. I don’t have many ideas for lines. Start all activities with Lazy 8s.
Week 1 do numbers 1-4
Week 2 do numbers 5 &6 multiple times along with other extra practice avtivities

Draw a few large letters with vertical lines (l,i,d,f,t,b,p,q). Have child trace the lines with their finger starting at the top and going down. ~You can ask the child if they see and clock circles in the letters and have them finger trace those.
On a piece of paper (Placed vertically) put a dot at the top/center and a dot directly below at bottom/center. Have the child draw a line with his finger from the top dot to the bottom dot. Use a crayon/marker/finger paint to do the same thing.
Make palydough snakes. Lay them down so they form a straight line (vertically). Feel the straight line with fingers. Trace the line from top to bottom with fingers. Use colored playdough on white paper, so there is a line on the paper when the playdough is removed.
Teach alphabet 8s. Show how Alphabet 8s combine lines with clock circles. (do 5-10 with your child until they can do it on their own upon request)
(Do 5-10 alphabet 8s) Lay out some letters (b,a,c,d,p,o). Find each of these letters on the alphabet 8.
With your child using his finger (in the air, on salt tray, in fingerpaint), call out different things for your child to make.
Ex: ( Have your own tray to do these along with your child)
You- “Let’s make a clock circle”
Child makes clock circle in finger paint-possible with you holding their hand and guiding them the first few times.

You- “Now, let’s try a letter line”
Child (with your assistance if needed) draws a line from top to bottom.

You- “Time for a Lazy 8. Let’s make Lazy 8s on our fingerpaint”
Child (with your assistance if needed) draws lazy 8s (starting @ 2 o’clock on the left circle.)

You- “Let’s try an alphabet 8”
Child (with your assistance if needed) draws alphabet 8s (starting @ 2 o’clock on the left circle.)

Call out these four things in random order for your child to make. Help guide his hand as needed or draw alongside him. When he gets better, have him draw his first, then you draw yours.

From now on, start writing activities with 5-10 each of Lazy 8s and Alphabet 8s.
*Show the letter “n” on the alphabet 8. Have Ethan trace the letter ‘n’ on the alphabet 8. Show him his name and how he can now do the ‘n’
*While doing alphabet 8s, show Ethan where to find the ‘a’ on the alpha8. Have him trace it with finger and then have him do just the ‘a’ part of the lazy 8. Show him his written name and that he has just written another letter from his name!
*Do the same with the ‘h’ on the alphabet 8.
*Continue all activities on this sheet until they are comfortable and easy, helping and guiding as long as it is needed.
**remember to start activities with Lazy 8s and alphabet 8s.

Pre-Writing Skills -

These next few post are from 18 months ago on my old homeschool journal. I just thought I'd share them:

My best friend was telling me how she is concerned about her son. He is almost 5 and she says there is NO WAY he will be ready for Kindergarten this fall. (Idon't think he's as far behind as she thinks) She doesn’t homeschool and, honestly, she is one of those people that shouldn’t homeschool. She said she had him sitting at the table with paper and pen working on writing his name and he was crying. I told her I’d help her out. I know Ethan and ‘normal’ schooling of ‘sit and fill in this workbook’ are NOT going to work with him at all. So I have typed out 4 different lessons (each will take 2-4 weeks I bet) for her to use with Ethan. I’ll share them at the end here. I am having her use a few things I learned from my Brain Gym book. Ethan is one of those boys. Young, immature, ACTIVE, ‘his own person’, not super socially interested in things….. I have 3 kids on the autism spectrum and Ethan reminds me a bit of my kids, but I really don’t see anything abnormal in him. I would say his actions, behaviors are low on the ‘normal’ spectrum, but he’s not quite on the autism spectrum side. (of course, I'm just a mom, not a professional..) BUT I am afraid the school system will be very quick to label him with lots of things.

So here is the first sheet of lessons I made up for her to do with Ethan. I am having her start at the very beginning of writing basics. You have to learn to balance on your skates and to just skate forward without falling long before you learn to do those fancy flips on the oice.

Lets start with the basics. For the first week, we’ll practice “o”s. They seem overly simple, but proper ‘o’ formation is very important to proper writing skills. A proper ‘o’ is formed by starting at the 2 o’clock position and making a circle around to the left (counter clockwise) and ending back at 2 o’clock. Set a timer for 15 minutes for each day of practice. (remember, when I say ‘you’ I mean you and Ethan usually)

Ideas for O Practice. Do # 1-3 on the first day. On the second day do a short review (make sure to do Lazy 8s) and move to #4-5. Day #3 start with Lazy 8s and then move to #6.
Stay with each task until they seem to get it. Continue #6 a couple days, always start with Lazy 8s. Then do #7 for a few days, always start with Lazy 8s. (always do all circles and Lazy 8s in the counter clockwise direction)

use a 12” measuring stick and attach 2-3 feet of ribbon. Use your ribbon stick to draw LARGE ‘o’s in the sky. Make them BIG and always make them in starting at 2 o’clock and going counter clockwise. You don’t have to stop between each “o”, you can make continuous loops. Also make figure 8s that are laying down. (Lazy 8s- like an infinity sign). Go in the same direction with the 8s as you did with the Os.
make “o”s on each other backs. (always from 2 o’clock and around to the left)
Finger paint ‘o’s, use a salt tray or a shaving cream tray. (always from 2 o’clock and around to the left)
NOW get out a clock or a picture of a clock face. Find 2 and start there. Trace around the edge of the clock, counter clockwise, ending at the 2. Do this until the child can start and finish without help. (always start with Lazy 8s.)
Have the child trace a large circle on a piece of paper or chalk board. Have the clock picture there to use for reference. Have them find what would be 2 o’clock on their circle and make their Clock Os. (always start with Lazy 8s.)
on blank paper, make continuous loops (in our Clock O direction). (always start with Lazy 8s.)Finish with clock Os.
Use wide lines (about 8 inches apart) for the loops. Each day decrease an inch in the distance between lines until you can get to 3 inches apart. Stick with that for a couple days. always start with Lazy 8s.

*other ideas.. use cooked spaghetti to properly form the O. Use playdough snakes, use a shoe string. At mealtime, have the child make a ‘clock O’ on their plates. Put a thin, long (3-6 feet) rope on the ground and have child walk the LARGE O, starting at 2 O’Clock. Use that long rope to make a Large Lazy 8 for your child to walk. Ask your child to think up other ways to play Clock Os or Lazy 8s. Lay on the floor and make big clock Os and Lazy 8s with your feet. Use dry erase markers on the window, use your finger on the bathroom mirror after a shower. Have him point out Os in a book (when you are reading to him or without being read to).

*Make sure you sit with your child and do the activities with him. (ie- make your own twirly stick, have a clock face for both of you and do together…..). AND if you gather the needed materials and sit where he can see you and just start doing things yourself, he’ll probably come over and ask to do them, too. I use this trick to get my kids to do lots of things. They can’t stand it when it looks like Mom might be having fun without them.

Use these activities to count out loud with your child for added scholastics if you want.



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