Ahh! Best laid plans.... I had lots of hopes for our first day/week of school, but we have struggled with weeks of illness, poison ivy rashes, and high fevers. We are just plain worn out and the house did not get as organized as I had wished. I thought about postponing school. However, we are not sick enough to be in bed anymore (just sick enough to be grouchy), and the kids are really looking forward to exploring our new supplies and books. So, we begin with Tom Sawyer and I coughing up a storm, plus he still has a mild fever. Today we will concentrate on getting our new chore routine completed, introduce our week long unit study, enjoy "Box Day", complete therapy time and do some language arts. I am saving math, typing, our spelling program, and other lessons that require lots of direct or one-on-one teaching from me for next week. I am recording in green some of the more memorable things that happened today in the day in the life of raising special needs kids. As you can see throughout the photos, Goldilocks put lots of Vaseline in her hair today so that is why her hair looks so greasy.
7 am ~ Time to get up. My DH baked banana sour cream cakes (one grain-free and one regular) last night so there is a special breakfast waiting for the kids. The kids are allowed to watch "Martha Speaks" on PBS and are required to do their "Just 5 Things" before 8:45 am. Other than doing their Just 5 Things, they are free to do whatever they want until 8:45 am. Today they made a cardboard TV.
[Just 5 Things ~ eat breakfast, clear dishes, brush hair and teeth, put clean clothes on, and do morning chore. Tom Sawyer (10) makes all the beds; Goldilocks (11) brings all dirty clothes and dishes to the laundry/kitchen; and Little Red Riding Hood (8) tidies the bathrooms.]
8:45 am ~ We started school with "Box Day"! There is still another box yet to arrive so Box Day will be extended this year. Everyone picked their favorite thing and worked with it for awhile. The girls sewed with felt and Tom Sawyer tried to solve the Perplexus puzzle.
(Goldilocks told me that she put a whole bunch of Vaseline in her hair while she was taking a shower. She thought it would protect her from the chlorine in the pool ~ never mind that we have finished swimming classes and won't be using the pool much for the rest of the summer. While I was trying to figure out what to do about that, she started drawing with a marker all over the brand new felt! This is just two examples on why I can never turn my back on that one.)
10:00 am ~ We looked at our morning board. Our morning board is the way we are doing circle time this year. The board has any reminders for kids or Mommy, a poem from our poet of the quarter (William Shakespeare), calendar, our quarterly character trait (Diligence), a logic or visual puzzle to solve and a piece of artwork for our quarterly artist (this is missing because I am waiting for the N. C. Wyeth postcards to arrive).
10:20 am ~ We looked at all of our new independent language arts work books and completed a few pages. Then the kids moved on to writing in their journals which they may write about whatever they want as long as they use complete sentences. (Language Arts)
11:00 am ~ We started our unit study on the Olympics. I am using Magic Tree House Hour of the Olympics and the companion research guide, Ancient Greece and the Olympics. Today we read two chapters in each book, looked up Greece, England and the U.S.A. on the globe, played chess and put together Ancient Greece Mythology puzzles. (History, Geography, Logic, and OT)
11:45 am ~ The kids did their therapy time while I made lunch. Goldilocks tossed the ball for Little Red while she balanced on a balance board. Little Red also picked up marbles with her toes to strengthen her arch. (PT) Tom Sawyer did a detox by resting his feet on a battery operated foot massage machine that hits all of the pressure points of the foot. This year Little Red Riding Hood is getting physical therapy to correct her pigeon feet. Her knees were starting to be damaged, which is really bad for a budding dancer. Also, both girls have completed vision therapy and will need lots of reviews of vision therapy games at home to finish the healing of that part of dyslexia. Goldilocks is still hard to understand even after repeated attempts of speech therapy. I am considering what to do for her next. Tom Sawyer continues to need lots of fine motor activities to help with the effects in his hands of having cerebral palsy, and he needs lots of detoxing for his food allergies. All of these things will be addressed during therapy time each day.
(Sigh -- I walked into the kitchen and found that, once again, the dishwasher had been run through its entire cycle by our oldest son without first turning the water on [it's a portable dishwasher that needs to be hooked up the sink faucet] ~ this is a weekly mistake.)
12:00 pm ~ Lunch time! After lunch Tom Sawyer had brother time with his big brother, Tim (22). The girls watched some of the Olympics Gymnastics that I taped for them last night.
12:50 pm ~ We took Tim (he cannot drive) to his special needs college program.
1:10 pm ~ Home again. On our way out to drop off Tim, I discovered that Goldilocks (11) had drawn on the front fence with a marker. She said she just felt like doodling! Everyone had free time when we got home except Goldilocks who had to scrub the fence clean while I repeated several times about what one is allowed to draw on. The other children played with Legos.
2:15 pm ~ Media Time ~ The kids started their one hour of media time. Tom Sawyer watched some of Cars 2 and the girls played on PBSKids.org. During media time, I looked over the new lesson plans that came from Rainbow Resource because even Mom loves Box Day (LOL). Then I ended up in a long phone call with a friend explaining the process of foster to adopt.
3:30 pm ~ Oops! They got a little bit more media time then expected. I set the kids up listening to Your Story Hour ~ The Man Who Killed Pain (the story of anesthesia), while I took a quick shower. (Science)
3:45 pm ~ We left home to pick up Tim and stop at the grocery store for a few items on the way back home.
4:30 pm ~ Once we were back home, we finished Your Story Hour ~ The Man Who Killed Pain while folding the laundry and emptying the dishwasher. Then everyone put away their belongings and picked many tomatoes from the garden.
5:30 pm ~ Daddy is home and we ate dinner. Unfortunately, Tom Sawyer's low grade fever is back up to 101.3! I am going to have to break down and take him to the doctor soon since it has been 4 or 5 days now.
6:15 pm ~ Daddy gives Tom Sawyer attention since he is feeling left out of all of the activity going on around here. They read the new Basher Periodic Table flashcards that came in the boxes of loot this morning. (Yes, Tom Sawyer LOVES these.)
We plan on getting everyone to bed by 8:30 pm and crashing ourselves. DH will read them Davey Crocket as part of the bedtime routine. (Literature) I think the day went pretty well, considering it was our first day back to school and was complicated by illness.