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This will be short and sweet since it’s already March. I don’t want to get too behind!
Since realizing my son has sensory processing issues, we’ve been able to pinpoint specific areas he needs more help in. I decided to focus mainly on these physical areas rather than the more academic ones, although we are still doing some of that. He is very proprioceptive-seeking, so I took one of the rugs out of our learning space and got a few more things from a yard sales page that I thought might help him, including tumbling mats, a little sit scooter, a tunnel, some ankle weights and a Bilibo spin chair. He is definitely more responsive to these things. I find that when he does this type of physical activity, he is more focused when I try to do a sit down activity or read to him. In fact, it’s worked so well that we moved his speech appointment right after his OT appointment, and he is doing very well with it. I thought it would be too much, but he responds better and seems more focused when we do it this way.
So first, these mats are awesome. I didn’t realize how much you could do with mats! My friend is moving and was selling these mats and I grabbed them quickly (you can find similar ones HERE). He tumbles on them, but we also play “break out of the house” where I stand it up and confine him (he LOVES it) and then he has to ‘break out’ of the house by knocking it down. I usually stand in front of it and offer some resistance. It’s one of his favorite things to do with the mats. I would say his absolute favorite things to do with the mats, though, is to roll up inside and while I am putting pressure on it, try to squeeze out. He is always wanting to do this!
I was really excited to start The Giver with my oldest. It’s totally different from any book he’s read. We first talked about dystopian vs. utopian societies first. Let me tell you, this book has brought up a lot of great discussions. It’s the first time he is analyzing his own society to something different. But I will say – this is funny – I totally forgot about the ‘stirrings’ in the book. So the main character, Jonas, is twelve, and at one point he has a dream about a girl where he wants to bathe her. He’s embarrassed and talks to his parents about it. They mention that he had his first ‘stirring’ and he needed to begin taking pills to keep them from happening. So we got into a very scientific discussion about the human life cycle and how certain things work. Not too specific yet, but the basic gist. It was actually a great discussion! But it totally took me by surprise because it has been a looong time since I have read this book and completely forgot about it.
I really liked the chapter response packet I used for The Hobbit, and the same seller, Joy Sexton, has one for The Giver as well, so I snatched it up and put it into a binder. You can find it here. The packet includes so much more than the response pages, but I am mainly using it for those.
I also wanted something a little more in-depth than just response pages. So I found this awesome Depth and Complexity Companion by Got To Teach that has been wonderful for starting discussions and introducing ethical issues to my 9 year old. They are more open-ended, critical thinking questions and a slight step up from our last novel study. I just put each sheet for each chapter behind the response page. I don’t have him write the answers to these since we are pressed for time, but I use it more as topics to discuss and jot down the things he tells me. Maybe later I’ll have him write some on his own, but I like how it is going right now. If you aren’t familiar with the the Depth and Complexity icons/model, check this out.
On his own he’s been reading Lord of the Rings and is now almost halfway through the first book. He’s really enjoying it!
My son finished the 5th chapter in chemistry and aced his test, so we will be moving onto the final chapter in March. I asked him if he is still loving chemistry and he emphatically said yes, so now I’m trying to figure out what we will go to after this. I’m thinking we will do some branching out in other sciences and then come back to chemistry later on if he is still interested. Sadly, I only took pics of some of his work, not any of the experiments we did. I’ll be sure to take more in March since it’s all about chemical reactions.
This month my son finished another region study, the Northeast! I love this because he can do it on the days when my youngest is not in preschool and at home all day or when we’re at his appointments. You can find the link to where I got these lapbooks here. He has two more left and then we’ll begin American History!
He is still working in Algebra 1 on Khan Academy (I SWEAR my next post will be about Khan. I’ve already got it started!). He’s doing ridiculous things. I am just so amazed with him. And to think the gifted teacher at his old school didn’t think he could handle THIRD GRADE MATH. That’s another story for another day. But here is an example of what he is doing right now. Blows my mind, seriously.
We’re still working on finishing up Greek/Latin roots and when he gets through the last two sections we’ll move on to specific middle school grammar.