Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wow this has been a hard week

I'm usually pretty immune to the 'weekly grind', school is pretty laid back, we do our thing in the morning, then do something fun in the afternoon. (That may or may not involve Sponge Bob.) Things flow around here.

This week has been hard. I made a call to our home school to see what kinds of help we might be able to get from the district to help the Boy learn to read. I am feeling like I need some more tools to help him. That my bag of tricks is empty. Getting help from the district is going to be hard. So I'm looking at other sources of help and I'm going to see what I can dig up on my own. It looks like we will go in and have the Boy's reading level tested with the Woodcock-Johnson achievement test for reading. They will not offer a diagnosis, they will not offer any remediation unless we enroll him in school. I'm not sure I'm willing to do that yet. Definitely not at our home school since they have now moved the teacher I didn't like in K to 2nd grade where he would be at. So we'll do the testing. We'll see what the Psych says in the email she is going to send me. We'll see what the results of the testing are. I have a feeling that they are going to come back close to normal for an 8 year old boy. If we had the full WJ battery, including oral expression, and listening comprehension and compared that with what will come back for the reading portion we would see a huge discrepancy, by just doing the reading portion I'm gonna look like a crazy woman. Sigh.

I purchased about $50 in books on teaching reading from Amazon (this was the day before the interwebz blew up about the "How to be a Pedophile" e-book still not sure about boycotting but I haven't officially purchased after hearing about it, still thinking). I'm hoping there will be some other ideas that the boy will take to.

We did have a bit of a break through yesterday. Boy decided he wanted to study weather, our snowy weather, yesterday. Really he wanted an excuse to go play in the snow. So we went out he wrote notes on the date, time, and conditions we were observing. Then we observed that the snow was really wet and packed very well into snowballs, as the back of my head found out. ;) (really this is going someplace with reading I promise) When we came in we looked up what kind of clouds we were seeing at this site, and we start looking at all the different types of clouds and when we see them and we ran across

Cumulonimbus Capillatus

and I struggled a bit to sound out cah-pih-lah-tuhs, at which point he says "Mom it is Capillatus, see I can say things better than you do" (if I sounded that out wrong and you actually know how to pronounce this please let me know) At which point I tell him, of course he can say it better, I was sounding out a word I have never had to pronounce before. That I use the same techniques I'm trying to teach him to learn how to say new words. It was as if a light bulb was switched on in brain, "Mom has to sound out words! OMG!!!1!!!!!" Our reading session that happened a bit later went much easier, he still got frustrated but he slowed down and read. He just gets so distracted by anything and everything as we work on reading. Ugh!

The time change is playing havoc with all of us. I'm waking at 4:30 in the morning, when the alarm doesn't go off until 5:30. The boy is catching up on sleep after waking at 5:30 on Saturday morning so he could make me breakfast in bed. His allergies also started acting up this weekend and we started him on Claritin again. I don't know if it is the sleep change, the allergies, the claritin, the worry about reading or something else, but he has been having mood swings that give me whip lash. One minute fine the next crying. He spent all day Tuesday hitting a piece of matting with a bat on and off. I guess I should be happy he is getting his anger and frustration out on an unbreakable inanimate object and not me or the cats. Tuesday ended with him in tears about how frustrating reading is, how his allergies are bothering him and how his allergy med makes him feel frustrated. We took a break on Wednesday from school and just hung out, he stopped his allergy meds and things really do seem to be smoothing out.

We'll need to challenge the allergy med at some point, just not the same week as a time change again. ;)

He is now cutting a tooth and for some reason this one is hurting worse than any of the others he has cut. It could be that it is pushing too hard on his front teeth. Braces are not gonna be fun for him. He did agree to take Tylenol and that did eventually seem to help.

So very glad it is Friday. Somehow the week did pass, with lots of emotional stuff but it did pass. Whew!

1 comment:

Sweetpeas said...

My 2 cents on the reading (not that you asked LOL, and as I often tell another friend whose the recipient of my advice, "my advice is worth a little less than you're paying for it . . . take it or leave it"), we as a society push reading much too young. I have 2 different friends (both relaxed(ish) homeschoolers) whose kids haven't read until age 8 or 9, in both cases they went from not reading at all, to reading fluently in a matter of DAYS!!! The one boy (our pastor's son) is now in college, doing fine. The other kids (brother & sister, about a year apart in age, sister is younger) are in their early teens now, within a few months (give or take) of learning to read, they were complaining to their mom about their (schooled) classmates at church being such poor readers. With my own girls, they started "learning to read" at their request at age 5. They struggled with it when 5, I saw it coming much more easily when they were 6, and now, at 7, it has taken off. Ashlyn's more of an auditory learner, so I've had to adjust my expectations (as a strong visual learner I can't fathom CHOOSING to listen to someone else read instead of reading it myself) and realize that it's likely she will always prefer to hear things than read/see them, and that's ok too. Especially in today's world of mp3s and the plethora of audio books available.

Once the girls had the basics od reading down, we stopped doing formal "reading class" because it was becoming a chore to them and one of my main goals is to instill a LOVE of reading. Telling them they "had to" read seemed contradictory to that goal. Lexie loves to read now and reads herself to sleep every night. Ashlyn goes in spurts, if she finds a book she really likes she'll read it, but if it bogs down, she gets frustrated and stops reading. BUT when she wants to she'll read and she was sitting by me at the computer the other day & was reading the AIM messages I was typing to Rodney as fast I as could type them, so I know she CAN read, and will do so at her own speed and timing when she's ready or needs to. So, my memory's horrible but I'm thinking your ds is only a few months older than my girls? (they're 7 1/2), I'd say give it another year or 2 & provide him with plenty of opportunity to read things that interest him & see where you're at in a couple years. JMHO