Monday, January 24, 2011


Friday last week was an amazing time-schoolwise! Turbo, although begged and pleaded to play computer games first before school, "caved in" and did some table work with me. At first, he was reluctant, but really got into the groove.

We have completed the entire alphabet for capital letters, and are progressing on to the lower case letters. Today's letter was "v". After finishing "v", he decided to continue on to the letter "w". One completed, and practice work was completed, we took to the window with window crayons. We worked on reviewing of letters and numbers and I even through in some number words (two, ten, etc.), each met with no fit or defiance!

Back to the table and it was review of our vocab words. Although his up to like 50 now, we don't review them all, I choose some he knows and then some he struggles with. After that, we read, "Where's Spot?". I am completely aware that he is probably "reading" from rote memory and definitely using picture clues, but he believes that he is "reading" a book. When he asked to read, "Spot Sleeps Over", I was hesitant, but he wanted to so badly. We introduced more words, and he sounded each word out. A lot of sight words were there, so I will probably begin using the 100 word sight list shortly. He did great!

Because he was self-regulated, he didn't bat an eye when I asked him to do some math. Giving him 10 problems of simple addition facts (all under 5 - 4+4, 5+1, 5+4) and using his fingers and nose to count he completed 10 facts in under 2 minutes! Not bad for a young 5-year-old! He completed the math session with practicing writing numbers, then it was off to the computer for some JumpStart games.

I took a long, hot shower while Tank slept.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stupid written on forehead

These last few weeks have been nothing but battles. We battle with meals, we battle with school, we battle with toys, we battle with baths, we battle with toy pick up, we battle...we battle...we battle.

It seems that when I ask something to be done, like don't SIT on your brother, please do not lick your brother's hair, I feel like I have to put on full amor just to meet the opponent!

Here is my biggest dilema: TOYS!

When buying toys, I make sure to buy open-ended toys. Meaning, it is not just a toy that will SIT there, but that he has to build something, use it, move it...yada. But unfortunately, TECHNOLOGY has taken hold of my precious baby and I can't seem to break him from it! I'm okay with SOME technology, he plays computer games everyday...from educational to "just for fun". But when he can't do that, he wants to watch T.V. or movies. When he can't do that, he plays his Leapster...all the while, I see dust being collected on the shelves filled with toys, blocks, cars, tracks, puzzles, books, playdough, basketball hoops...

When he does play his Leapster, he plays it for 5 minutes because he has either defeated the game, or becomes board...WHAT AM I TO DO????

Do I gather up his toys and resell them to make money to buy him a Wii or new Leapster games? Have I lost my baby to technology???

That is just one area of "growth" or "frustration"! The list is endless!!!


Monday, January 17, 2011

TOT School: Tank eats with a fork

For the past few weeks, Tank has been infatuated with silverware. Although he is given the utensil to play with and use, it wasn't until this morning, that he actually used it for its intended purpose. A fork is usually used as a comb/brush, which is super fun to get crusty cheesey eggs out of baby hair, mind you. A spoon is usually used for a slingshot of baby goo food. But this morning; however, he used it to eat his 3 pumpkin pancakes! YEAH!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Last week, I was able to go to a parent meeting about a program called, H.O.P.E., which is a Home Option Program for Education. As my husband and I sat down and looked at all, and I mean, ALL, the options for Kindergarten in our area, we were overwhelmed by all of the choices we had for Turbo. There were schools that were a good fit, and other that were not. There were schools that would cost money, and other that did not. We were bombarded with different "schools of thought", and it just seemed that we kept ending up back where we started: Homeschool. The only problem that we ran into was getting Turbo into an environment where there was a classroom setting. He is in AWANA, and that offered a good start, but what I was looking for was another adult, aka teacher, who was saying the same things I was saying in his academic life. That was, I wasn't the bad guy anymore, I had someone on my side :)

We had joined a few "co-ops" here and there, but none of them were giving us what my husband and I were looking for. Until H.O.P.E.

Beginning in August, Turbo will go to H.O.P.E. every Friday from 8 to 3 and will be in a Kindergarten class. It is as if he goes to Kindergarten only on Fridays. For "payment", I sign up to offer my time as there are many positions available. Hall monitor, lunch monitor, classroom helper, field trip coordinator...the list is pretty much endless. By paying a book deposit, which I will get back whenever I choose to leave the program, I can check out any of their curriculum that is available and use it for my own purpose at home to teach Turbo. My curriculum cost has been diminished significantly!

There are so many other wonderful things that H.O.P.E. offers that my husband and I feel so fortunate to live in an area where there are so many other homeschooling families and that the need was so great, for this to be a choice.

HOPE, has been given to us as we feel that homeschooling Turbo is the best thing for him right now. After his therapy and all of the hard work that we put into that, I couldn't stand seeing it "wasted" in a public school as he would get lost in the class of 28-30 other Kindergartners. I didn't feel it was his teacher's job to work with him, but it was mine. I was the one who went through therapy with him, not the teacher. But I also knew that I needed a break, we both needed a break from each other if this was going to be successful.

I have also begun focusing differently on school for him. My parents have so graciously offered us a room in their basement for me to transform into a schoolroom. It is a great space, and we love it there! Unfortunately for us, it is not a usable space at this time. Tank's morning nap is causing a glitch in our system. To get all 4 of us up and ready to leave by 7:30 so that we can get to their house for his nap by 8 is proving to be a hazard! IN EVERY WAY! Turbo is too excited to do school as he just wants to play, and now that Tank has tasted the goodness of Nana and Papa's house, taking a nap is proving to not be an option. In talking with my dad, the schoolroom is not in our season of school as of now, but the "playroom" is! Our little apartment is not big enough for life and play. But to have a space dedicated to play! OH! the joys of it! Especially in the winter time when going to play lands at fast foods or the malls aren't my cup of tea. First, because we don't have it in our budget to eat at the fast food place, (I know, we don't have to eat there, but try telling that to a 5-year-old who only has a few cuisines to choose from...) and play lands in the malls are a breeding ground when it is cold, rainy or not suitable for play outside. I swear, I walk away with one more kid each time...

I've been mulling through it, but I think it would be great for Tank, and Turbo too, to begin a playgroup there. Sure, it isn't a huge place to have friends over, but there is a TV, DVD/VCR, books, tables, pillows, crafts, train table, computer, toys, slides, cars to ride it, etc. that having another mommy over for tea/coffee while the kids play for a bit, seems much more enjoyable than doing life/play in our 900ish sq ft. apartment.

I really believe that our prayers have been heard, and HOPE has been given to our family as we enter into this season of schooling for both Tank and Turbo.

Monday, January 3, 2011

"Mommy, can we do some school?"

All weekend, I reminded Turbo that school was going to start again on Monday. And all day Sunday he continually whined about starting school again! Monday morning came, and we sunk, ever so slowly, into our morning routine. When Tank went to sleep for his morning nap, only after he emptied the dishs, cups and plastic ware that the boys use out onto the kitchen floor, dumped all the blocks out of the school box on the shelf and proceeded to "stack" blocks on Turbo's beloved Hot Wheel Battle Force 5 Car, Turbo and I snuggled on the couch together. We talked about the day, his toys, and his friends, when he looked up at me, touched my face and asked, "Mommy, can we do some school now?" WHEW! Going back was a lot easier than I had expected!

We worked on the Letter G, and used our window crayons from Crayola to review some of our past letters. His lightbulb has gone on now that he realizes that the sounds of letters put together actually make a words, so he is hooked on writing and "reading" words. So instead of pencil and paper, we used window crayons and my sliding glass door. It really keeps his attention too! When I couple that with his Nerf Gun with suction cups, by asking him to shoot the specific letter/sound/number/word/color/or shape, I could keep him working for hours!

I have been compiling flashcards of all the words that are presented to him with HWOT, and quizzing him on them, and he is doing rather well. Although his impulsivity is still there by just blurting out words, he is beginning to look at the beginning and ending sounds and working through each word. P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S!!!! (can you hear me singing?)

We have challenged him to try 10 new foods. With each new food he gets a happy face. After 10 happy faces he gets a new Battle Force 5 Car. Today, he had 2 bites of cucumber! YEAHH!!! He didn't spit it out and go into covulsions either! He looked at me and said it was good but not great and that it wasn't his favorite! I wasn't going to push it, he ate a cucumber!!! YIPPEEE!!!!

In Tot School, Tank has been responding really well to multiple step commands, and as always is a joy! He recently found out that being pulled on a blanket is a rather exhilerating experience...thank you Nana... He also is doing great with the concept of block building.

I will begin more with Tank in the afternoons after nap, but for now, he just interested in remote controls, cell phones, mp3 players and my mouse...if it has a button, he wants it!!!!