September 2011

Well, Jack has reverted to ‘Bax’ and there’s no persuading him. He’s done his business on the potty several times, but still doesn’t quite have the hang of it. The other day after he pooped on the toilet he asked for ‘na nee’. It took a couple of times for me to realize he wanted candy! I’m hoping he only asked because he knew he should get it. He’s never asked for it w/o pooping/peeing. We’ll see.

I was running myself ragged about homeschool. I was trying to fit so much in. I don’t think I have too many subjects, but I was really stressed about the amount we were getting done. I kept comparing Max to the other 1st graders in public school, and I think that’s the wrong way to do things. He’s not in public school, and that’s the way I like it. I shouldn’t be doing the same thing as them. Late Wednesday I finally started to think something was wrong, and Thursday I realized what I was doing. I decided to talk to the homeschooling moms that night at karate to get their opinion. When I told a seasoned homeschooler what subjects we were doing she said I’m doing more with Max than she is with her several older children. Then they told me since he’s such a voracious reader to go to the library and find books on subjects I think he needs (history, science, whatever) and have him read them, then get him to tell me what they said. Another idea was for him to use his ‘invention notebook’ to chronicle the books he’s reading with either me or him doing the writing. I really felt like a load was lifted. I had been waking up around 5am, and not having any free time, and just generally making myself miserable! I’m glad it was only a week, and now I’m back on track. Now I think we’ll do concentrated work when J’s in therapy/WeeCare and we’ll call that all the school we need! Yipee! The crazy thing is I knew all this before we got started. I guess I just got caught up in comparing, and feeling inadequate; I’m so glad I have a homeschool co-op as a resource!

I walked into his room this morning and the first word he said to me was ‘downstairs’!!! I told him we could go downstairs but he had to have a clean diaper first. Then he talked about ‘Max’ instead of ‘Bax’!!! Nice! Think I’ll start correcting him on that more consistently. He said it correctly several times this morning instead of the once per 2 months he usually does. When I was ready to go downstairs I had my hands full of clothes and diapers so I told him he’d have to come down by himself and he fussed at me. I couldn’t figure out what he was saying so I went to put up the things I had in my hands. I wrapped up his dirty diaper while at the foot of the stairs and told him to come down again and he said something I finally understood to be ‘come here’!!! I finished up with the diaper and came back and asked if that was what he was saying and then he yelled it at me! I laughed all the way up the stairs and tickled him. My boy is finally talking!!!

His ‘come here’ sometimes sounds like ‘much’, or something along those lines. Tough to figure out sometimes, but we’ll work with what we’ve got.

We started 1st grade the day after Labor Day, so last Tuesday. Jack’s schedule really has us tied down, so I’ve tried to use the hours he’s gone to our best homeschool advantage. We have HS Co-op for 2.25 hrs Monday morning, and drive straight from there to J’s therapy of 2.25 hours (J eats lunch at 10:30am). Tuesday and Thursday he has Wee-care for 3 hours, lunch is an hour, then Jennifer comes for ABA therapy for an hour. Wednesday the HIPPY chick comes for 20 minutes, then he goes to therapy for 2.25 hrs while Max and I go to the library. Friday Jennifer comes for 3 hours before lunch. I drew this up last week and filled in all the subjects I want to teach Max (reading, writing, math, Spanish, geography, music, Bible and art). I then filled in such things as grocery shopping, laundry, which days should be crock pot meals, etc. And most importantly for me, I wrote down what time we should walk out the door each day! Breakthrough! LOL I also figured out what time Max needed to be up to dress and make his bed and then to be down for breakfast. I got him an alarm clock and taught him how to use it, and wrote those two chores down with the completion time, and stuck that list up in his room. So far so good on that front! Every day this week he’s completed his chores before we’ve left. Yipee! I have time built in every day for him to play outside with his friends, though today was the first day I told him he couldn’t go into anyone’s house, he had to play outside. The weather took a turn for the better this week…it’s fall here! (At least for this week.)

But Max butted heads with me so hard the first time we had actual sit-down school on Tuesday. I stewed/fretted about it the rest of that day/night…and then decided I just had to lay down the law to him. I stopped lecturing him and told him he had to do the work, and moreover he had to do it with a good attitude. The next day was better in the same subject (math), but handwriting was a real pill today. I’m really working hard to figure out how to make hw a less tortuous subject. Even while I’m doing that I’m still requiring him to do his work cheerfully (as much as I can require it). The really exciting thing was that even when Rosetta Stone crapped out on me (though I’ve used it on this computer before now it’s not working…waiting for Tj’s help on this), Max and I had a wonderful time working on Spanish today! We worked on colors and numbers, and we had fun! I’m so excited, it’ll be so much fun when we can really converse. I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s passing me and my pitiful Spanish by! The other wonderful thing about homeschooling Max is his love of reading. He reminds me so much of myself when I was younger…he reads while walking to/from Jack’s appointments. :-)

Today we had a milestone with Jack. He slipped off his chair and bit his lip and for the first time he told me where he was hurt! He sat on my lap holding his mouth and said over and over ‘mouf, mouf, mouf’! What a sweet sad little boy! A month or two ago I heard a big thump in the living room and ran in to find him crying, but I had no idea what had happened/where he’d hurt himself. The next day he had a lump on his head and that’s the only way I knew he’d hit his head the day before.

I’m trying to be somewhat consistent with him and the toilet. I put him on my toilet (as opposed to his portable one) tonight and poured water on his belly and he peed. I gave him two jelly beans, one for each time I saw him pee. I don’t think he gets it just yet.

Just a few minutes ago Jack ran into the bathroom, flushed the toilet (a no-no for him) and ran out. I guess he figured that even with Max at the neighbors (so it’s just Jack and me here) I wouldn’t ever figure out who it was! I did though :-)

I had Jack on the toilet in the kitchen and the people who mow our grass (other homeschoolers who are doing this as service since Tj’s deployed) needed me to come out for a ‘second’. After a bit I went back in to check on Jack and found him naked, in the living room, with a boxing glove on. Heh.