Archive for October, 2013

Crafts Day

Today, with Little Miss having a cold, a decided to spend the day reading and doing crafts.  One activity we are doing is making Thanksgiving cards.  We signed up on a homeschool group to exchange handmade Thanksgiving cards with other homeschoolers.

We are also starting a Thanksgiving unit. We are using the Heart of Dakota materials, but I have added a Thanksgiving lapbook for Pookie and notebooking pages for Little Miss.

The lapbook Pookie is doing will include lots of hands on and sensory based activities. I was inspired by the Thanksgiving book activity shown on Musings of Me. 

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Orthodics Arrived

Today we had to make a trip to Tulsa. Pookie 2 appointments at the therapy center. First up was being fitted with his new Orthodics. These braces will support his ankles and the arch of his feet. The arches have been collapsing when he walks. When this happens, his ankles turn downward.  It kind of knocks everything out of alignment.  He has low endurance when walking and often he will simply lay down wherever he is.  Many times, I have caught him ribbing his knees as though they hurt.  I am hoping that the Orthodics will help alleviate that.

Next came an appointment with his IT, Miss Amanda.  I was so proud of Pookie.  Though he didn’t like a couple of the things she did, such as the Babinsky reflex integration, he did respond very well without any meltdowns.  After we left, he was happy.  Such a huge change from his “shutting down” for 2-3 hours after the ladies from Early Intervention visited our home each week.

I feel so encouraged and full of hope. Finally, Pookie is being helped by therapists who understand his needs and are working with him, not setting him up to fail by pushing him too far too fast beyond his developmental ability.

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Flat Travelers

This week, we signed up for a Flat Traveler swap on a homeschool group we take part in.  Ironically, I had also started plans to send one to a cousin in Alabama.  This is our first experience with the Flat Travelers.

Flat Travelers are another name for the Flat Stanley exchanges.  You make or print out a paper doll that is large enough to be seen in pictures when held or displayed by the host family.  The host family takes the traveler with them on outings and take pictures of them as though the paper doll were a real person.  After a month’s time passes (more or less depending on the arrangements made between the families) the traveler is returned to the family.

Our traveler is a paper doll that Little Miss is making using the free printable dolls available at Making Friends website.  They have a huge number of dolls to fit many cultures, careers, and more.  Little Miss chose to make a doll dressed in a Girl Scout Brownie uniform.

With our traveler, we are including a blank journal for the pictures and journaling to be added to.  An introduction letter is helpful as well.  It introduces the traveler to the host family and lets them know when to return him to his family.

Because I am going to be sending out and hosting travelers, I designed a swap record form.  It is pretty basic but allows me to record the information that I need for any homeschool related swap we decide to participate in.  I have the form available to download on Google Docs.

This is my first time using Google Docs.  Please let me know if you have any trouble accessing the swap form.

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Our lives have taken a very busy turn. On to of our already busy lives, Pookie has begun to receive speech and occupational therapies. If insurance allows, he will get both twice a week. In six months, the physical therapist will evaluate him again to determine if he is ready to start that therapy up. The only thing stopping him now is that he needs to be able to work with her better than he did at the first evaluation.

With the changes, I have altered how we homeschool each day.  We are doing a more relaxed method. I have a blank lesson planner where I record what we do each day. This gives me the ability to see that the kids are working in the subjects on schedule each week.  If I see they didn’t do any science for a couple of days, I can be sure to have them do a science activity the next day.

Using Heart of Dakota, along with numerous library books, we are able to do all of the curriculum without difficulty.  For Pookie, I am shifting gears a bit. The kindergarten level was a bit too much. I use out add a topic guide but find preschool level unit studies and lapbooks for him to do.

Little Miss gets a large portion of her lessons from reading books. A also do activities for science, math, and art.

I was unsure at first just how workboxes would fit into our new routine. Turned out that out goes very well.  Materials for lapbooks and unit studies are stored in the workboxes. I also add educational games, flashcards, file folder activities, and any other materials that I want easily assessable.

On therapy days, Little Miss takes a book to read, a portfolio with worksheets, or some other items along in her backpack.  As Pookie does his therapies, she is able to do her schoolwork.  Not a perfect solution but it is working so far. May start taking her tablet so she can play educational games as well.

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Bricktown Brewery

On a date with my husband at Bricktown Brewery in Shawnee, OK.
Whenever we have a chance to try a new restaurant, we take the opportunity.

Bricktown Brewery is fairly new in that it has been in Shawnee only about a year. It has a sports bar section. One of the assets is that they sell locally brewed beer.  Bring early in the day, we didn’t try the beers.

The menu is incomplete. Meals come with sides but no side dishes are listed on the menu.  We opted for the Trio appetizer, a basket of chips with guacamole, salsa, and questo for dipping. The chips were house made and unsalted. The flavor was good after we salted them. When dipping into the sauces, the chips broke easily. Would have been better to have made slightly thicker.

I ordered the steak and mushrooms with sweet potato fries and black eyed peas.  The server surprised me when the steaks were served by along us to check to see of they were prepared we properly before he left the table.  Mine was overcooked but edible.  The food temperature was barely warm.  I has to exchange the black eyed peas. The server didn’t mention they have bacon in them and I am allergic to pork. I tried the fries okra instead.

The food presentation was very good overall. Just minor changes would have made the meal better.  The server was attentive. Prices are reasonable.

Overall, I would say that I will come again if the kids are not with me. No kids menu choices for them.

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New Therapy Adventures Begin

On Friday, Pookie went to Therapy Works for his Phys. and Occupational therapies evaluations. I am so happy. The OT and speech therapist will be using FloorTime therapy with him. I began FloorTime with him back when he was 2 years old.  On his next appt. with the OT Pookie will be measured for a medical stroller.

The PT checked his legs and feet. He has a problem with his ankles turning downward when he walks and also the arches in his feet collapses. She fitted him for leg braces that will stabilize his ankles and prevent the arch from collapsing.  We should have them in a couple of weeks.

I so appreciate how quickly they are seeing to his needs. Previous therapists saw the needs but never ordered what was necessary. Lucky, he is getting the braces in time before the bones of his feet have fully developed.

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