This week we’ve slowed down and been more relaxed, been to soft play and bowling and skating tomorrow for the HE session. Jack completed another three challenges on DIY and has achieved the Lego Master patch. Only one more to do to get his Chemist patch now too. Working on the lego challenges has got him interested in lego generally and today we bought some mini figures as there where none in the box of lego and a motorbike. Very tempted to buy a huge lot on eBay that is only a few train stops away from us too, also need some sectioned containers or something to sort it out as at the moment we just a under bed storage box and it’s hard to find bits you want a lot of the time.
Jack has done loads of reading this week, mainly from the Reading Express library and twice he has written something with no prompting from me which is a big difference from him pretty much meltdown at the sight of pen and paper only a few months ago. He’s also got using the Argos touch screen computers sorted lol Today we started on a maths puzzle pack I downloaded from The School Run. You have to help a trainee wizard solve puzzles so he become a wizard. Each maths puzzle then has a question after it and a code breaker chart to fill out which then can be deciphered into a message. I only printed the first section as I knew it was something that Jack could easily find frustrating and hate but he really enjoyed it. He was confused by the idea of the code and then using the numbers to find corresponding letters and make a message but put in the context of a Scooby Doo mystery to figure out which letters he needed he got it and did fine. He also wrote fairly well with a normal biro rather than the chunky pens he normally goes for which is another good step. Still seems to be struggling with using enough pressure but small steps are fine with me and I know he’ll get there in his own time.
This week has been full of lots of practical activities. The home made goo is still around, though only about half is left (where the rest is I have no idea! :s) and I think it is something we will do again in future. Jack chose to grow black sugar crystals and we have set up the experiment and will leave it until Monday before seeing how well the crystals have grown. Jack posted a photo on DIY of some of his rock collection as part of the geologist challenge and the sugar crystals will be his second. One of the challenges is to break open a rock to see the inside which would be good to try but think we need some safety goggles or similar first.
Yesterday we were going to go bowling but Jack was in such a bad mood it didn’t work out but today we have been to the Special Sports group at the Surrey Sports Park which was really good and great value at £4 per family. Jack had a go on their big trampolines and at climbing. He was nervous at first but once he started climbing did great and got all the way to the top! In the hall they had soft play stuff, various balls, hockey sets, badminton and table tennis to play. Jack especially liked the giant yoga type balls and had a go at using one like a basketball and then as a football. Everyone was really friendly and Jack spend a while building a house from the soft play blocks with another boy. We ended up getting home later than I expected so glad I had put my veggie Mexican spag bol in the slow cooker before leaving.
Tomorrow we are going to an autism friendly screening of frozen at the cinema in Guildford and maybe a walk round town after.
Busy, busy so far this week. Yesterday we went to soft play in the morning and had some lunch there before getting the bus to go see Santa in town. It is inly the second time Jack has been as previous he showed no interest or much in Christmas in general. He hardly spoke but sat with Santa and was able to tell him he what he would like for Christmas (two things!) and have his photo taken which was great. He chose to have the photo made into a magnet and said next year he’d like to get the photo bauble. Being able to tell Santa himself made him feel better as well as he had been fretting that Santa would not know what his letter meant.
Today we went out to get a few Christmas presents, which should of been a quick trip but it turned out there was some road works and the traffic was really bad. So getting the bus to save time really didn’t work out!Because of where we live there are often quite large stretches with no bus stops or that are not that safe for walking with an unpredictable child so we couldn’t even get off and walk the rest. But we got the things needed and Jack was lovely and bought a new Skylander for his game in Argos. He was able to search for what he wanted by name, fill out the little slip and then order for himself too. In our store you can see the items coming down a big conveyer belt and he loves watching for his.
After lunch I put veg stew in the slow cooker and tidied up while Jack did some maths on Sumdog. I bought a subscription so he has some new activities to try out which pleased him. Then he played Wii music for a while, photographed part of his rock collection for a DIY challenge and made the sugar solution for growing sugar crystals for another. The instructions said to leave it too cool for at least six hours so we will start the crystals growing tomorrow. Lastly we made some home made silly putty (another DIY challenge – Chemically manufacture a product). I had to guess a bit with the glue and it didn’t come out quite right, it wasn’t stretchy and just broke. However it was still fun and Jack wondered what would happen if it got wet and that seemed to sort it out and it became proper stretchy squishy goo! Emily was just as happy with it I think and they played with it for quite a while. Andrew on the other hand hates it and always has. It’s his big sensory thing and he doesn’t even like it near him. I don’t know if it will last or for how long but it’s now it a tub in the fridge.
Over the weekend the site DIY was posted on a home ed Facebook group so I thought I’d take a look and what a fab idea it is!The site is full of activities and challenges for children to try out to learn and practice skills they ave or learn new ones. The site is divided into sections such as Baker, Chemist, Minecrafter, Photographer and Skater. Each section has a selection of challenges to complete. On completing three challenges from one section children are awarded with a patch and if they complete six they Master that skill. The challenges vary and some are harder than others or require specific materials or knowledge but most use items that are easily found or that most likely already have at home. Over the last few days we have completed three challenges for three skills, Baker, Chemist and Lego Master. For Lego Master Jack made some lego pixel art of Pokemon gym badges, for Baker the gluten free pizza cake and yesterday we experimented with bicarb, washing up liquid and vinegar for Chemist which Jack really enjoyed. I suspect that Jack will want to work on a lot of the science based challenges as it really interests him. I have a few experiments in mind at the moment from Paging Fun Mums, just waiting for some things to arrive in the post.It’s a great site for children whether they are home educated or not to get the trying out and learning new things. Embroidered versions of the patches can be bought from the site to keep at home.
Bicarb and vinegar volcano
Today we went to the first session of a group near us for children and adults who have PDA (Pathalogical Demand Avoidance). The group was great and really friendly and relaxed. Jack had fun having a go at snooker, table football and table tennis as well as watching some of the other children play Minecraft. It was really nice to meet other parents who really understand PDA and share suggestions and experiences. looking forward to going again next month.
For anyone nearby interested in coming to the group the details are:
PDA monthly coffee morning for adults, parents and kids (and those who have children with some similar traits). All welcome.
Monday 6th Jan. Coffee and chat.
40 Degreez Centre
Nr back of Farnham Leisure Centre
10.30- 12.30 £2 per family & free coffee, juice and biscuits Computer room and comfy leather sofas.
Jack’s gluten and dairy free cake decorated to look like a pizza.
On Wednesday I showed Jack how to gut and prepare the herring we bought at the farmers market (the videos on Youtube made it look much easier than it is!) and we had a look at the insides and gills which Jack enjoyed. He wanted to touch the eyes and said the mouth looked scary when I opened it up. Never had to prepare a fish like that before so it was my first try as I didn’t eat much fish even before I was vegetarian. I cooked some of the meat but Jack didn’t like it.
Yesterday we seemed to get loads done and time went really fast. First was the BBC Science clips website, which has loads of great interactive science activities for various ages. I left Jack to chose which he looked at and he ended up doing a bit of everything including and spend over an hour working through the activities. After that he had a look at an anatomy site I found called Inner Body but lost interest quickly. I think it is intended for older children and didn’t catch his attention enough. Then he went back onto Sumdog to do some maths and came 1st in a couple of challenges with other children playing as well as some 2nd and 3rd places. Then a couple of EdPlace sheets, reading a Spot book (Ladybird) and after lunch Jack wanted to listen to some of the books from the Reading Eggspress library and do the quizzes to earn some eggs for his character.
Later on we went bowling and Jack won the first game.
This morning was more reading and Reading Eggspress and then deciding what cake to bake. First it was going to be a chocolate ladybird but then after looking through some books Jack decided he wanted to decorate it to look like a pizza. So we went to Tesco for ‘toppings’ and decided to make half the top dairy free and half normal as Emily isn’t keen on the dairy free chocolate. Must remember to take a picture before it gets cut.
After a mix up with moving the domain name my new site is now working properly which is good news. Pretty pleased with it too 😀 One hub and two new macramé tutorials written this week as well as a social policy assignment. I am working on learning a couple of new techniques and with using half hitch and double half hitch knots and have a few designs in mind. My big order of rattail cord came yesterday and although it is a little harder to knot with than waxed cord I think the smaller diameter cord look neater than 1mm waxed cord when knotted, it comes in lots of colours and doesn’t set off my dyshidrotic eczema like waxed cotton cord seems to when I work with it a lot. Really need a new knotting board though as mine is getting really tatty after years of use.
One of my newest tutorials.
Second new project in Rasta colours.
Three days in and everything is going good 🙂 Jack has a lot less anxiety this year about Christmas and what will be happening. He hasn’t even been fretting over what is in his presents as he has done in previous years. He asked me once to tell him what was inside a few he saw but when I said that he had to wait he was fine about it. This is the first year he has really wanted a particular thing as well, a Nintendo 2DS. He said he would like the 2DS because ‘the 3DS costs way to many money!’ ❤ At home we do not make a big thing of Christmas and this year even less so which has got me wondering if at least some of his previous upset has been caused by the build up at school with all the talk of Christmas and changes for plays, parties, themed activities etc. or if it is just a case of him feeling more settled with how Christmas is now. Last year was the first time he really ‘got’ his birthday or Christmas and took more of a part in both such as asking for certain presents, giving out Christmas cards at school and choosing how to celebrate his birthday. Perhaps this is the next step along the road?
Yesterday we did various activities at home including maths games and science on EdPlace and then a healthy eating quiz and sorting and sticking activity. I had also printed some worksheets from Food A Fact of Life that had instructions for making a fruit salad and a tripe decker sandwich. jack’s ended up as a quadruple decker sandwich! and he also tried some cheese spread with garlic and herbs for the first time and thought it was ok.
Today Jack tried out Sumdog which has loads of maths activities and also reading if you subscribe. Jack enjoyed it so I am going to see how much it is to subscribe as he has now completed all of the Reading Eggs maps. After that we made a poster of some of the leaves Jack collected at Alice Holt and Shalford Park and identified them using a tree book. Then it was time for lunch and then to leave for swimming.
Today the farmers market was in Guildford and Jack wanted to see the crabs and lobster on a stall which he decided where ‘freaky’ and had menacing eyes. The stall holder let him touch and hold a crab and I bought a herring. The fish has its head and guts so I was planning that I could gut and prepare it (which I’ve never done before) and have a bit of a dissection lesson at the same time. It also means that Jack can have a good look at an actual fish rather than just pictures to go with his ocean project. He then told anyone who would listen that he had a fish and wanted to look at all its inside parts and then eat it! Maybe I should of saved that information until we got home lol