Tuesday, August 30, 2011

School Day 4

I added two new works for today.  Water pouring from a salad dressing jar with two small glasses and scooping rice with a formula scoop.

Link was excited to try the rice scooping.  However, after a few tries he says to me "How about we don't use the scoop, how about if we just pour it cause I'm tired of doing that."  So, he pours.  Which I'm okay with, apparently he's in a 'sensitive period for pouring' or something, because he wants to pour everything.

So, the pouring was definitely a hit.  As you can see he hasn't developed the skill for stopping when the glass is full.

He cleaned up the water very enthusiastically and tried again.  I'm pretty sure he stopped this time... though I may have prompted it.

I'm not sure how to instruct him to hold the glass.  I'm pretty sure he is left handed, and either way, I'm not sure of the easiest way.  Maybe next time I won't show him anything and see if he just grips it however is most comfortable.

After the two new activities he walked around looking at everything saying "I don't want to do that" until he had ruled out everything.  Then he asked to glue.  I suggested that he cut a few more strips so he'd have something to glue (since he used almost all of them last time) and he was glad to.  Then get did some serious gluing.  I'm sure I did not handle the glue puddles like a teacher would have.  I will admit it, I got a little irritated.  I was trying to explain to him that he didn't need puddles to glue large pieces of paper just because they were big, and it bothered me that he wasn't listening.  Thankfully, he asked to write, so he did that for about 10 minutes.  He asked to paint, but I can't remember if he did or not.  We had to leave after an hour since little brother woke up.

I should mention that the four days of school I have just posted about were Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I'm just a little slow getting my notes up on the blog.  I posted notes from every day since this was our first week, but I think I'll probably do weekly posts from now on... I don't know, we'll see.  There won't be much posting for the next two weeks as we have a lot planned away from home.  But be sure to check back because I have lots of new things planned to add to the room when we return!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

School Day 3

Our third day in the school room was very nice, but I could see that Link is already bored with the activities.  He wanted to do mostly art.  I thought today I'd post my notes in their raw format just to show what I do while he is working.  While he is working I don't want to be too tied-up at the computer, so I try to have just enough detail that I can refer back to them to see what he is interested in or having difficulty with.  Since I take pictures while he's working, I'll throw those in the notes as I go.  As I said, these are just my notes, and I'm not going to edit them, so please excuse how rough they sound!


took the land, air, and water pages out and will just talk about each piece to ensure he understands each one

10:15 - glue and tape pieces from cutting, asked for macaroni to glue

cleaning up some glue

10:50 - i showed the tong transfer - he used his hands, i showed him how his hand would not fit in the small container, so he said he could just dump it.  turned into a transfer, he did it very carefully! at first he dropped a few, then he figured out if he nested them they wouldn't fall out when he tipped them over

10:55 - chose the association cards, did a great job matching, didn’t do it the way i showed him, but he explained it well.  maybe need another presentation. he put them away very well, i got out some of the new ones and helped him put them on the mat in a line the way I demonstrated

spent a few minutes pulling tape off of his legs from earlier
11:05- we went through the land, air and water cards, he learned a few new names
11:20- tape again, with scissors tried cutting on lines, both held side with lines on the bottom
11:30 - i hang, he's not interested
11:40 - he tapes, i get out the tweezers and he offers to help
notice the tape in the back

11:47 - more tape and paper

12:00 - he helped me sweep for about 1 minute, starts looking for more tape since he is out.  i suggest the buckle box, which he does
a little crossed :)

12:05ish - i try the What Does Not Belong sheet, but it doesn’t go that well.  He sorta understands, he did the teeth cleaning line and the cat/dog line, but wasn’t sure about the other two.  i suggested that we put it away and try another day.
12:15 - markers
12:20 - thought we were all done but nope, found the googly-eyes!!
he has puddles of paint, so all he has to do is drop the eyes in
admiring his work

12:27 - lunch


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

School Day 2 & Movies

Today didn't go as well as I'd hoped.  We went in at 9:10.  Link asked to glue some things onto his painting from yesterday.  Then he did the buckle box.  At 9:36 he said he didn't want to do anymore activities, could he watch a movie?

I should mention that there is an ongoing debate in our house about watching TV shows.  We don't have a TV, but we have tons of movies and shows on our computers.  Link goes through phases where he wants to do nothing but watch movies.  If he doesn't have it for a while, he stops asking.  Daddy sees nothing wrong with it, but he's not here all day listening to "I want to watch a movie", "I don't want to go outside and play, I want to watch a movie", "I don't want to play in my room, I want to watch a movie", "I'm not hungry, I want to watch a movie" - you get the idea.  I don't see a problem with him watching 30 minutes to an hour a day.  The problem is, when that time is up, I get nagged all day.  I have to redirect him and find things for him to do.  Before this movie marathon started, he played independently - no nagging.  I guess we will see where it goes.

I'm not sure why Link didn't want to do work today.  It could have been because he was tired (he didn't get enough sleep last night), it could have been because he had already done the activities and wasn't interested in doing them again, or it could have been that he just wanted to watch a movie.  In any case, I feel compelled to add a new work every day to peak his interest.  Ideally I'd do this once a week and he'd be set for the week.  But, since we're new at this, he may need some incentive until he gets into a routine.

No school tomorrow, Bumblebee has an appointment.  Maybe that will give me time to put something together for Thursday.  I feel like I'm in a race with Link - I have to find and make new works before he gets tired of the old ones and regardless I need to add something new each week!  Luckily, I have Karen Tyler's manuals to draw from!

First School Day Continued

In my first post I described what our school room looked like and in this post I'll go into detail about my observations.  Since this blog is mainly for me to record our progress, there will probably be more detail than anyone else wants to read about.

As I said before, our plan is to use the two hours while Bumblebee is taking his nap in the morning.  However, on the morning of our first day, he slept late and Link was really wanting to get to work.  I was taking the circle stencil downstairs and he wanted to come, so I let him.  He traced a couple of circles, then just drew with his colored pencils.  Then he chose the activity I knew he'd been wanting to do, the cutting.

Notice he used his right hand.  I keep thinking he is going to be left handed, but I'm still not sure.  He did not cut on the lines, he just cut however he wanted to.  He also folded the paper up to cut it.

Then Bumblebee woke up so we left.  I should mention that I probably didn't start this out the best way.  I told him before we went in that he could choose anything he wanted and, after I demonstrated it for him, he could do it by himself.

When we returned at 12:30, he chose the Land, Air and Water sorting cards.  He seemed to understand.  He got most of the way through the Air cards, but when he got to the bird flying over the water, he didn't know what to do with it.  He chose land, he said because some things don't fly very high. (the other things did I guess).  When he got to the grass, he was all done and put it away.

Then he asks for the cards that had the firetruck :)  He saw me printing them out and knew that somewhere was a picture of a firetruck.  So I directed him to the Association of Objects cards.  I demonstrated one and he picked it up quickly.  Each time he started with "I like ____ so I'll choose that".  He didn't quite understand the control card and wanted to know where the rest of them were. (I didn't put them all out.)  I think I'll add a few new ones soon.

Next he chose sweeping.  He liked this one, but after sweeping up about half of the pom-poms he decided that using the broom was too hard and brought it to me.  I encouraged him to keep practicing and he did a little.  Then decided it was time to put them all back.

I was pleased that he seemed to like the pattern cards.  I put one block out and he did the rest very carefully.  I have an entire video of it.  Then he decided to make his own thing.  He hasn't been interested in making anything with these blocks in over a year.

Then it was time to paint.  Link loves painting and has asked for it several times since we've moved.  Notice the switch from left hand to right .

He painted, colored with his crayons, and used his stamps.  At this point we'd been in the school room for about an hour.

After that he didn't know what to do, so I suggested the tweezer activity.  He picked up a few pom-poms with the tweezers, then tried putting one into the tweezers with his hands.  Then he resorted to using his hands to put the pom-pom on the hole and pushed them down with the tweezers.

I also had to suggest the clothes pins.  He liked it though and it was not too easy or too hard for him.  He used both his left and right hands individually, and both hands sometimes.  He was very proud as you can see.

After that he said he wanted to use the big rug.  So he got it out and after a few tries, unrolled it.  Then he asked me what he could do on it.  So I chose hanging clothes.   I put some things out that were too hard, I should have stuck to t-shirts.

Rolling up the rug was a little hard and messy, but he got it.

I was surprised he didn't choose the belt buckles sooner.  He saw me making it and wanted to try it before I was even finished.  He unbuckled them very easily and worked very hard at buckling them.

When he finished he noticed how loose one of them was, so he unbuckled it and I showed him how he could get it a little tighter.  Then he found a different empty shelf and put it away.

At 1:50 Bumblebee woke up.  So once Link put the buckles away we left the school room.  This seemed like a good time as he had completed most of the works on the shelves and would have probably been about finished anyways.