Saturday, October 20, 2007

Blah blah blah

I've finally ordered all our curriculum that we need right now! I got the Math U See books in a few weeks ago and was waiting on a few more bucks to be able to order the blocks that we need. Thanks to Sweet Hubby's company messing up his paycheck, they decided to compensate him by paying for the hours he actually worked. He worked nearly 30 hours in overtime, too, so we got a little unexpected bonus. So I ordered the blocks and this morning I won an auction for Stephen's reading curriculum which is different from the one I originally wanted to get, but it's much more affordable and I think he'll like it just as well (honestly, he won't know the difference because I never showed him the other one). I'd also like to use KONOS, but we can't afford that right now, so I'm going to spend the next few weeks putting together my own simple unit studies. Zachary and Marc-Adam's birthday party is coming up in a few weeks, though, and I'm going to be busy getting ready for that. And then of course comes the holidays, so I'm trying to decide when I really want to start "for real". He's so excited and I hate to keep putting him off and I wonder how busy we'll really be during the holidays. I might just try to make it through the birthday party and then start. Our first couple of units could be Thanksgiving and Christmas, I guess. Maybe that would help him understand better what we're celebrating. But now I'm rambling...

The past few days, Stephen's really been struggling with his reading. He comes to a word he should know or one that should be really easy to sound out and for some reason he just shuts down. I encourage him, but I refuse to give him the answer when I know he can get it on his own. Then I start to get impatient (which I know is the kiss of death when it comes to his reading) and he starts crying and it takes 20 minutes to read a word like "gill" or "set". I don't know why he's started it, but it was getting a little discouraging because he's done so well up to this point and I really don't want him to start dreading our reading time together. And there are times when he starts to sound a word out, but for some reason he just can't put all the sounds together. But yesterday, I found something that seems to help both problems and he thinks it's just the greatest thing ever.

I'm finding he leans toward being an auditory learner so when he can hear the sounds put together it clicks for him. Yesterday he was having the hardest time with the word "still" (which on any other day wouldn't have given him much difficulty). He kept sounding it right saying 'st' and 'ill' but he just couldn't put the two sounds together in his head. So I did a little cheer and I said kinda loud, "I say 'ST' and you say 'ILL! ST!" and he yelled "ILL!" We did that twice, he jumped up and yelled "STILL!!" This morning we did that again with the words he stumbled on and it worked within 2 times of us doing that and he got the word every time! What's more is that he LOVES doing it. And I don't feel like I'm giving him the answer because he breaks the word down in to two sounds and he tells me what sound he wants me to say and what sound he'll say. I nearly cried this morning when he was sounding out hard words this morning and reading them after we did that little cheer. I'm just so stinkin' proud of him!

Oh and one more thing about Stephen...I need some ideas and/or opinions...I'm working really hard on trying to get him to hold a pencil correctly. I've never held one correctly so I'm not sure how to help him. I tell him to hold it in a way that's comfortable for him, but it looks totally wrong. And when I place his fingers where they "should" be, it looks totally uncomfortable (because of the way he holds his hand and he's so stiff). Anyway, is this important? Is it something I should keep working on until he gets it right, or is it something that will eventually click so I should just let him hold it whatever way he wants to? Any thoughts/tips/tricks??

Moving on to other Sweet Boy fun, I've been meaning to post some pics of the kids because I haven't in a while, but I kept forgetting to upload the pictures from my camera. NowI finally did. So here are some tacky, white-trash pictures:

And a sweet picture that I think I'm going to use for their birthday invitation:


Kelli in the Mirror said...

One thing that I've heard works, but I haven't actually tried it yet, is to get a piece of kleenex and tell him to hold it in his pinky and ring finger, up against his palm. Then once those fingers are busy, the other three should be able to grip the pencil pretty close to the proper way.

Even if we can't actually come, I'd love a gate-crashing invite to the kids' party. Can I invite myself? :)

k said...

There's also a little molded plastic thing that slides onto a pencil that is exactly the shape where your thumb and two fingers fit to hold the pencil properly. You could probably find it at a teacher store or someplace like Lakeshore. I'm on the lookout for one, too. One of the kids in my class needs it. I'll let you know when I find them.

Alli said...

Kelli, I e-mailed you.