Reading Rockets

I don’t get much sleep between midnight and 5 AM, so the whole “getting up at 5 AM to hustle” thing isn’t working out so great for me right now, hence the late morning posts.  Oh well, we’ll get there again some day.

We are however making a little progress on the homeschooling front.  I was thinking about how to get Michael more interested in his reading lesson, and this is what I came up with.

I put all his vocabulary words for the week into a little story on our lap-sized white board.

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Then I put all the same vocabulary words onto little pieces of paper shaped like rockets with tape on the backs.

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We read the story on the board, and then I started showing Michael the words on the rockets.  When he correctly read the word, he got to fly the rocket over to the board and stick it on its matching counterpart.  He loved it!  I didn’t have to force him to look at the words at all, he was totally into it.

Here’s the finished product.

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I will definitely be using this method again with different stories.  He also loves being read to, and he’s able to pick out his vocab words in the books as well.

Prayers are still appreciated as all three children are still sick, and now Nate’s sporting a lovely raspy voice too.  Well, at least it’s Friday and Daddy will be bringing us pizza tonight as Gabriel keeps reminding me every 3 and a half minutes.  It’s gonna be a long day, and I feel a Veggie Tales movie marathon coming on.

Stay warm and enjoy your weekends.  We made it!

Of Space Helmets and Cookies and Other Things

Our awesome hero Nate came to the rescue again and shoveled our driveway about three times during the storm yesterday so we could make it out around 4PM and head over to our chiropractor.  All three children were treated since they seem to be sharing a bug, and the doctor worked on unplugging William all over again.  Unfortunately, it always seems to take a day or two to kick in, so last night was still pretty bad, but I’m hopeful tonight will be better.

Michael’s still enjoying his outer space schooling.  Yesterday he decided of all the kinds of astronauts there are, he wants to be an engineer.  He loves dismantling things, and I was impressed he seemed to make the connection.  I struggle so much with him over school.  Most times he refuses to even look at his paper while we’re working, so the reading portion of things is going REALLY slowly.  He does love the arts and crafts part though (maybe I have to figure out a way to mix those two together).

Since Daddy got a snow day from work, he helped Michael make a space helmet.

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P.S. I had a wicked sweet tooth craving yesterday, and this recipe did the trick.  If you like to bake chocolate chip cookies, I would recommend you try these.  They are definitely the best I have come across yet.

http://backforsecondsblog.com/2013/09/how-to-make-soft-thick-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies/

 

Snowed In

Last Night

Pros: William is totally learning how to go to sleep on his own at a decent baby hour time (not 11PM anymore!).

Cons: He REALLY needs to see the chiropractor.  He was in a lot of pain last night.  Unfortunately, there’s about 5 inches on the ground here, and we’re getting about a new inch every hour.  I’m praying by some miracle this storm ends early and we can make it to the chiropractor tonight.  Otherwise, he’s closed again till Friday.

Hmm, with all this snow, I think homeschooling should have a cookie baking project today!  We’ll see…

Ups and Downs

It seems like every time we make progress in one area, we fall back in others.  It’s a little frustrating, but I’m trying to remember to focus on and be grateful for the good stuff.

A little update on everyone:

William is definitely learning to sleep SO much better.  He is relaxing when he is tired instead of struggling and crying so much to nurse.  He is taking short naps in his crib now.  The downside is it’s time for him to see the chiropractor again, and the weather here is so poor, I don’t think I’ll be able to take him for several more days.  He was definitely more uncomfortable last night, and it will only go downhill from here.

Gabriel is very sick.  The poor little guy needs prayer.  His immune system’s never been great, and colds just kick his butt.  Michael just tried to help him feel better at 5AM by flipping on all the lights in their room and handing him lots of toys, making Gabriel really scream because all he wanted to do was go back to sleep.

Michael and I just started our first homeschooling unit study yesterday.  I’m pretty excited about it.  Since one of the autism qualities can be fixations on various objects or topics, several helpful folks suggested that I take advantage of that and try unit studies or themed materials.  Over the weekend, Michael suddenly got into astronauts, so we’re doing an outer space theme.  He seems to be really enjoying it, and getting him to do his school isn’t quite as much like pulling teeth as usual.  He loves the astronaut books we got him from the library, and he’s already learning some new words and concepts, so I’m really happy about that.  A lot of his sensory needs and OCD tendencies seem to be back in full force however.  I’m seriously considering getting him a punching bag.  He’s back to hitting us all a lot, not to be malicious, but because his body is seeking massive amounts of energy release and it’s the only way he can regulate himself.  I figure if I can get him to box a bag several times a day, maybe I can wear out his upper body a little and keep it calmer, the way the trampoline has been working for his lower half.

So lots of up and down for everybody.  It’s gonna be a fun week.  Nate’s outside clearing off the driveway extra early.  I’m going to do my shopping today since Winter Storm Maximus is supposed to be here by tomorrow.  Michael’s been up since 5, I think I’ll take him with me so he can let everyone else go back to sleep.

Stay warm!

A Step Forward

It’s working!!!  I’m so excited!  I’m actually seeing a little bit of progress in the whole helping William sleep scenario.  I’ve been employing some of the techniques laid out in the The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.  She warns that her methods take time, weeks, even months of time, and she’s right, but it was incredibly encouraging to see some forward motion over the weekend.  On Saturday evening, William actually lay quietly in my lap, sleepily jabbered for a few minutes, and then closed his eyes and went to sleep.  That has never, NEVER, happened before.

We still have a long way to go.  He still nurses 2-3 times at night, and he’s still cranky and crotchety for mommy in the evenings (there’s been a lot of clawing and hair tearing going on), but he’s slowly learning that he doesn’t have to nurse himself into a coma every single time.  That, and when he fusses in the middle of the night, sometimes he can roll over and go back to sleep by himself.  Wheeeee!

God is good and granting some prayers here!  I will definitely keep at this and keep praying too.

Of course in other news, Michael and Gabriel got colds yesterday, but you can’t win ’em all.

Here’s wishing you an awesome start to your week!