Wednesday, August 26, 2009

had actual text books

Today we finally had Drew's textbooks. What a difference that made. Less meds made it more difficult but I will take more difficult over what I have been dealing with any day. We did English (listening, speaking, writing skills review) Math (basic review of time, money, add, shapes, estimation) We have been doing a unit on maps. I had found a book at a school store that was by Weekly Reader. It is a great book for beginning map skills. Today was in intro to NSEW.

I couldn't imagine being a teacher in a regular classroom that had several kids with ADHD. Keeping Drew on task was a monumental effort. We did make it thru the day with out tears or fights. Candy Corn works wonders for bribes.

Looking at his Math book I can see he has done much of it in Kindergarten so maybe parts of this wll be easy and he will feel some success. He can do time and shapes already. He has a real problem with money.

Tomorrow we tackle what a sentence is. And what a Family is as well as the beginning math (need to go look at that one still) Friday we will tackle some science as well.

Monday, August 24, 2009

play day

This morning Drew and I went to park day with a bunch of home schoolers. Drew was in heaven because out of the 25-30 kids there 6 of them were 7 year old boys!!!!! What a gift for him. For 2 hours he played romped, got dirty, never once fought or cried just played and played and played. He had a great time. It is a Monday morning thing from now on.

For me it was great because I got to meet other HS moms from all walks of life - some very artsy and folksy, and some just like me. I got the inside scoop on activites for us, upcoming South Sutter sponsered things, things that I missed the dead line for like Montrey Aquarium HS days. I learned about ART BEAST.

It kind of reminds me of the ARt Center back in Lawrence. Miriam would be very much at home there. Maybe she needs to ask Linda about travel money to check it out. HINT HINT!!!!!

I think we are going to Reno Balloon Festival in a couple weeks.

We will be headed to Levi'sGRANFONDO This one is for Scott. He will ride in his first "non race" event in years. It will be exactly 51 weeks to the day of his colon perforating and getting sepsis. What a way to celebrate life again.

I have contacted the ES to get us signed up for a day at Sutter Fort. Not sure how I will do but we will spend the day living like they did when this area was founded making butter, blacksmithing etc. It is a family activity so we ALL will be dressing in period costumes and having roles for the day. Haven't mentioned it to SCott yet because we don't have a day set.

We will be going to the railroad museum and going on the Polar Express

I am beginning to understand the whole unschool thing and learning as a process but still part of me believes in tradtional subjects as a basis for life. I used to think unschooling was being lazy and just not wanting to teach your kids. I was wrong. It is about embracing life and learning as you go. I will still stick to a tradtional basis but will be throwing in lots of unschooling so we can experience life as we go.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I am trying really hard to be good. Scott says my craft looks like it is about to pop at the seams but..... There is one more(at least) craft I want to try my hand at. Needle felting.

Phat Fiber as an amazing give away that I am hoping to win. if I dont I am going to have to break down and get some roving to try my hand at this.

So if you are a crafty check out the give away - she ususally has one a day on some great yarn, roving etc. Do me a favor and DON'T enter this one I really want to win.

after much discussion

As you know we put Drew on Ritalin this past week for ADHD. The side effects have been horrenduous. I WANT MY LITTLE BOY BACK!!!!!

Last night was the worst. He was having massive anxeity attacks and there was no calming him down. My heart was breaking. His doctor was out of town and the on call doc was no help. I had been thinking for a couple weeks that Drew's personality had been changing and I was questioning the "wisdom" of all the doctors. After yesterday and Scott and I talking long into the night we have decided there has to be a better well to help Andrew. I am calling both his peditriican and his Neurologist tomorrow and telling them we are weaning him off all meds. In a couple months AFTER all meds are out of his system we will re assess what we feel is the right course of treatment - if any for Drew. We think the Ritalin was the culprit for the anxeity attacks but we think it was in conjunction with other meds.

We are taking control of this and not the docs. Some of the drugs have not been tested on kids - they are what is called off label. So we have no idea what they are doing to him. I am wondering if the twitching is a side effect of one or a combo of the drugs.

I know we may be in for a rough couple weeks but for Drew we have to do what we were meant to do as his parents. We have to do what we feel is best and right now it is to get him off all the poisons and let his body figure out what it needs.

Friday, August 14, 2009

the ADHD adventure

This week we started the ADHD adventure with Drew. Been there done that with Phil many years ago. I can honestly say in some ways Drew is worse than Phil. I think it is mainly due to personality in general. Phil is/was pretty laid back. Drew can be pretty intense and gets frustrated more easily than Phil ever did.

The MIND center wanted me to take Drew off his meds for a few days so Drew's reg doc could see the Tourette's in full glory. Boy, did I get a talking to by his Doc. I was informed if the MIND center wanted me to do such as that again I was to call Dr. Hacker and HE would make the decision as to what he wanted me to do. 3 days without Respirdol and Prozac makes for a very long YEAR.

Dr. Hacker has started Drew on Ritalin. We are on Day 2. I am to call Monday with a report. I am going to report we need a higher dose in the AM and a Dose Midday as well. Right now it seems to be holding for about 2 hours then I can almost tell the minute it wears off. Scott and I are also talking about adding a DIET MT. Dew to Drew's morning routine. NOW NOW before I get all the comments about this. Let me explain.

Caffine is a stimulant like Ritalin. It has been proven to help ADHD kids. In fact there are studies out there about how college kids who were never DX'd with ADHD until later in life learned on their own to "self medicate" with Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper. I know it works. Phil after medical problems brought on by ADHD drugs switched to Mt Dew and had very good success. My dad, who never was offically DX'd with ADHD (it wasn't around when he was a kid) took my advice and started drinking a Dr. Pepper before a bridge game and he and his wife can see a marked difference.

I will post updates as this journey progresses as well. Man lots of new journies this year. Thinking maybe I need a blog dedicated to Drew/Homeschool/ADHD.

AS always
Faith Trust and Pixie Dust.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Time to live

Most people who have read this blog understand why we chose to home school. As I have started to work with Drew I have come to see more and more the constraints of a traditional school. There is no place for REAL self expression. No place to be yourself. A kid is expected to conform and learn exactly what is taught to them and not question how or what. This has begun to bother me more and more. I remember my favorite teacher in elementary school created places in the class room where we could escape and read or just veg.

Drew is already asking more questions about the why of things. Sometimes they can be difficult to answer but we go into my "annex" - Scott's office - and search on line to find out why. Somethings are easier to find than others but we are making it.

While I believe in a traditional approach to teaching Drew at home, I am beginning to see where the unschooling approach has a place as well.

Auntie Mame had the best philosophy "LIVE!!!!!!LIFE IS A BANQUET AND MOST POOR SUCKERS ARE STARVING TO DEATH" While I am Drew's mom I can also be his Auntie Mame as well. I want to show him all that education can be. I will give him a notebook and tell him to write all the words he doesn't know and we will discuss them together. I want to show him the injustice in the world and help him find a way to fight it. Going on this HS journey with Drew I have realized there is so much potential to show him how to live. The world is for living. I haven't done enough living so today I start.

So dear reader how are you going to LIVE today? Or are you slowly going to starve to death?

Faith Trust and Pixie Dust

Monday, August 10, 2009

got off track

So last week was an iffy week in the HS world. We started off on a great note. Then things went South. Way South. Drew's Tourette's was in full swing. Even with the meds. Waiting to hear from the docs. We did finish our unit on sharks. YEA!!!! We did spend Friday at Discovery Kingdom. That was a great day. Still had some major twitching and Drew is showing some new tics. He is becoming aware of them and is becoming frustrated he can't control what is going on.

I haven't worried too much about not being in school full swing since it technically doesn't start until Monday. Still doing daily reviews. Only thing I don't like about South Sutter is that they don't order books until school officially starts. So that means we don't get curriculum for a couple weeks and I am having to supplement until then. Lately been working on vowels. He can recite them and sorta gets the difference but we shall see what this week brings.

I am looking to start writing articles on homeschooling. I have found that while there is lots of info out there not much pertains to those starting out. All the articles assume the reader has knowledge of how it all works. Guess what most don't. Everything I have learned has been by trial and error or by lots of research or time on the phone. I want to start sharing what I have learned and help those just starting out not fall in to the same pitfalls I have or just share the home schooling adventure with others. The budget issues in CA are forcing more and more families to HS and I would like to be a source they can turn to for easy reading and to know there are people out there who understand their journey as well. Our journey has been difficult but I have tried to deal with it in a humerous way that I would like to share.

Phil starts school in a week. He is back in the fraternity house. Not sure if I mentioned the alum board bougt a new house. The old KAT house. I guess the guys love it. I like the fact he is not living in a fire trap anymore. He is not happy about having a roommate. First time in 20 years he has had to share a room with someone. This could get interesting. He is glad to be out of Mike's house. Away from Hunter. I am glad they had the summer to build some sort of a relationship. I think now that Phil is out of there it will continue to grow. But Phil did see why I left Mike all those years ago.

I realized over the past few months I havne't been ending my posts like days of old so....
Faith Trust and Pixie Dust to all my readers


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Six Flags

While I don't ever think Drew will be totally finished studying sharks I am. We still have shows to watch on the DVR so I am sure we will return time and time again. It is Shark Week at Six Flags so where to go to celebrate our unit on sharks? A day at Six Flags seems in order. It also helps that I won tickets to feed the seals. That helped to convince Scott we needed to take this day trip. We have season passes so technically we can go when we want but this is only the second visit of the season. Drew is excited to feed the seals. I will post pics after we get back.

On the other hand I forgot that we were to be at a family cookout with church tomorrow night - we may stop in when we get back to town.

I have almost finished my Clapotis. Look at the pictures lower in teh post to get the full effect. I am just sick tho. I had been saving this really incredible yarn to make the Clapotis with. it was 50.00 for the skein. I am almost finished maybe 40 decrease rows and I ran out of yarn. so I have to buy a whole new skein to finish it. Oh well have an idea for another project to use the remaining second skein. I will be teaching this class in September. Hopefully it will get a good response.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Week 2 of Homeschool

Well we made it thru week one of our home school excurision with only a few butt heads and foot stomping - more so on my part than Drews.

We have entered week 2 and Drew is discovering the benefits of this more and more. Yesterday he had gotten up ungodly early and was exhausted when the timer went off to start school at 9. We attempted to work on some stuff and he finally looked at me and said " I just can't do it. I need more sleep." At first I thought it was a ploy to watch more TV so I told him he could go lay on the couch BUT he had to turn off the TV. To my surprise he did and was asleep within 5 minutes. He woke up about 90 minutes later and said OK ready for school. He did all is work no problems and was in a much better mood. HE actually told me it was an advantage to HS because he couldn't do that at WildHawk. Because you know you have to do what the teacher says and they don't have nap time at school. But sometimes mom, ya just gotta get some sleep.

Drew has a facsination with SHARKS anything shark. So Sunday Scott programed the DVR to record a bunch of shows from Shark Week on Discovery. Drew was very surprised when I told him his science yesterday was watching TV. We went up stairs and watched a shark show together. He didn't believe TV counted as school and wanted me to double check wiht his Educational Specialist because he thought he was breaking the rules.

Today we are going to the Post office to pick up a box of books I ordered from a dicount book place. THere are some more workbooks to get us thru until his textbooks get here as well as lots of hard cover reading books. To me it will be like Christmas opening this box.

I am learning lots about Drew as we go thru this journey together. He is a hands on learner. I tried for 10 minutes to get him to draw on the face of a clock different times to no avail but when i handed him a clock wiht moveable hands he got every time I gave him correct. He hates to write things down. Holding a pencil is hard for him so I am already learning to be inventive.

Today we are making slime, and watching a shark show, and who knows where the wind might take us....