Spelling and writing

Today was a good day for Copeland. We looked at Thanksgiving related pictures and stories with mild interest on his part. He wanted to play the games! He did a good job sequencing numbers starting on digits other than 1(2-10, 4-12, etc) but I could tell that it blew his mind…

We worked on spelling too. He would write dictated sounds on a plate of salt. The salt so far has been his best writing surface. It was funny though, after a few dictations he started spelling out the whole example word instead of just the target sound. So, I think spelling will go pretty quickly.

Copeland’s reading

Copeland has had quite a breakthrough in his reading. He has always loved reading, but most of the time his oration was monotonic and the cadence was just a little off. He got most of the words right and he sounded out unfamiliar words accurately.

But now, he is actually reading the stories with inflection and proper pauses at a reasonable pace. Also, he wants me to read to him, and I see him following along, observing where to put emphasis and piecing together what the sentences are supposed to sound like, not just the individual words.

As a result, I can see him getting even more enjoyment and excitement out of reading,

Handwriting change

The occupational therapist told me Copeland would do better with his handwriting using finger paint. She said it would be easier to go from pointer finger to writing than from reverse grip to writing.

I did notice when we did handwriting in a plate of salt that he had an easier time and his letters looked a lot better. Mainly we need to work on hand strength and not worry so much about writing on paper. That will come when his hands are strong enough and it will be a lot less frustrating and stressful for both of us.

The power of dishes

After thinking about the prospect of doing the dishes, we ended up doing school anyway….

We worked on the th sound. He pronounces it as /f/ in familiar words, but when he sounds out unfamiliar words, he pronounces it right.

He’s doing very well with spelling. He segments words very well and can type the letters proficiently, but writing the letters is still hard.

Home school woes

Once again I’m having trouble getting started. My son said he didn’t want to do school and instead of using the timer, I got frustrated and angry. My pressures and procrastination are wearing on me so I wasn’t thinking clearly. The kids were/are very understanding.

I decided to use today to write down what I need to do, to clean the house up a little and to do some dishes.

Tomorrow and from now on we will start at 9:00, and tonight I will organize and make a lesson plan

official validation

 I’m having a hard time getting started with schooling. He does fine when I get the ball rolling, but my organization, or lack thereof, is causing us to lose time and sometimes not to start at all. I’m quite capable of organizing, but something is holding me back.

I think I needed validation from an official source. His new OT was the first official school person to say that she was glad we were home schooling him. I feel better about what we are doing. Even though he has done so well already, I still think I needed that encouragement

On Narration

We have not really been strict on narration with Cope.  I will prompt him while we are reading a story, but I don’t expect much after the story is finished.  Well, last night I overheard him telling Paul about this morning’s episode of Super Why.  Turns out that the episode bothered him, but still…he was narrating!  Now I just have to figure out a way to counter the blank stares that I get when I ask him about the story we just read.

Just Starting Out

 While this is technically week three with our foray into homeschooling, Paul and I decided to change the curriculum.  We had started out using the Well Trained Mind, but I got hooked into Charlotte Mason and Ambleside Online.  We started easing into the different method last week and so far we like it a lot.  Since Cope is only six combined with his communication issues associated with autism we were just having too hard a time keeping up with WTM’s guidelines.  Since we found Ambleside Online, things have gone much more smoothly.  Now I am not stressing to keep up with Ancient history and worrying if any of it is sticking.  Not to mention interest.  I know that Cope loved the Greek Myths, but his eyes seemed to glaze over with anything else. 

I wondered where to start Copeland out with the Ambleside curriculum and we finally settled on year 0.  We figured it would be a good transition into our first year of homeschool and it will still provide the challenge that Cope needs.  The reading list is good and we can always tweak it where we need to.

We were also having issues with Saxon Math.  I know that it is a great program and we know that Cope is capable of performing the exercises required but both he and Paul were getting frustrated.  We found this old book called First Lessons in Arithmetic published by the Jones Bros.  and have been using it since.  Wow!  What a difference it has made.  The lessons are worded simply and they use pictures to assist with arithmetic. 

The slate boards that I purchased have made a difference in Cope’s writing.  We don’t know if it is the size or weight or if it is just something different from paper but Cope actually enjoys writing on them!  And we have seen vast improvement in his letter and number formation.  This is enormous since writing has been Cope’s biggest source of frustration his entire school career.  Well, that’s it for now.  Time to plan for tomorrow!

What is this blog for?

This blog is for Paul and I to share our experiences with homeschooling our son, Copeland.  We decided to remove him from school this past year so that our family could spend more time together.  We are also informally doing pre-k with our daughter, Delia.

We officially started on September 1st, but we decided to change our curriculum during our monthly break last week to the Ambleside Online Year 0 curriculum because we felt that it was more accomodating to our busy schedules and we thought it would be more flexible in relation to Copeland’s autism.  We are certainly looking forward to this adventure.