Our week looked at lot like this… with soft play, lots of maths, Literacy planet, snake feeding and spotting pheasants thrown in.
First up, carrying on with a project on Japan and getting everything cut out and stuck in a project book.
Next was a lapbook on classifying animals as part of a zoology course from All in One Homeschool
Some of a section on Egypt for ancient history, also from All in One Homeschool. I added in a few extra bits from Twinkl as well.
And finally Mayan pots for ancient art, can you guess? also from All in One Homeschool. I really like the site and Jack is enjoying working through it and being able to see what is coming up. There are so many great resources and it is all really flexible. I skip over the heavier religious stuff and add in or leave bits out here and there but finding most of it to be great, either to work straight from or get ideas. The site is split into two levels and covers up to American grade 8, which is for 13-14 year olds and Jack has been completing most of the work for both levels! It is set up so both are listed together which makes it easy to look at what is there rather than having to switch to another age. But anyway… Mayan pots made from salt dough.
Jack has been looking at various artists as part of his Discover Arts Award. He particularly likes Van Gogh and Pop Art and made this Kirby pop art colouring page as his final project.
Well… project giant Kirby didn’t work out as planned at all. Jack freaked out at the paper mache getting his hands all messy and didn’t want to touch it any more. Emily and myself finished off the body, which is now hanging from the kitchen ceiling… home ed home – giant paper mache ball hanging from the celling is perfectly normal, right? lol If I can think of a way to make the hands and feet we can finish it off but I think any further paper mache is a no-go.
Jack hasn’t wanted to go out much, he’s even gone off playing with water and balloons. So we have been doing bits and pieces at home mostly other than taking a trip into Godalming last week and having lunch by the river Wey. We bought a Techni Lego excavator but it had two pieces missing so had to wait for Lego to send out replacements. Though now it is finished, I’ve found I must have got something wrong somewhere as the cog mechanism to make it move doesn’t work 😦
We have finished up Backyard Farmer and Gardener DIY patches (using different projects for each). I am thinking of completing all six challenges to master a sill before ordering the patches in the future rather than just the three that are required.In a lot of cases it is easy to do several a day so they are completed in no time. Puts a bit more work and challenge into each I think.
Bought the Lego movie when it was released on DVD and jack has watched it before bed every night since! He bought himself the game in Argos and is having fun with that and constantly quoting the film, I’m sure he knows it word for word!
Last month I finally have managed to finally get around to publishing some tutorials to the Kindle store. They are mostly macramé but there are also a couple of chain maille ones with more to come soon. I am planning to get all my tutorials formatted and published for Kindle so that they are available in a different format and hopefully a whole new audience in the next couple of weeks. After that point I can create two versions at the time of writing, one PDF and one Kindle.
Over the weekend I connected Jack’s 2DS to the wireless internet so that he could battle and trade with other players on his Pokemon X game and his is loving it. He has had fun trading, playing other people and seeing their Pokemon but it has also sparked an interest in geography. Although there is no chat feature or anything similar each player has a small profile that has basic details such as name and country and Jack has been asking about the countries, where they are and how away they are from us. We have a stuffed globe so we have been looking for the countries although I don’t think the concept of how far away they are is something he can fully understand yet. I have explained that it takes us 5 hours to get to Grimsby and related other places to that which does appear to be helping. Jack was excited to find someone who lives in Tokyo and I have suggested that he has a look for some of the places on Google Earth next time he is on the laptop. Google Earth has always been a hit since I showed him our new house/street/town etc. before moving here. Proving again that motivation and interest are key.
Jack’s new glasses came from the hospital and they gave me two pairs. Finally! The optician always said it wasn’t allowed even though I told them the hospital had said he should have two pairs due to him having other special needs and the increased risk of breaking. These new ones have a plastic and silicone frame and they are brilliant, so much harder wearing than any he has ever had. Only one day in they survived a meltdown and being bent till both lenses popped out! I had to bend them back into shape a little and the lenses can be pushed back into the frame without too much trouble. Definitely sticking with these and Jack has been wearing them much more willingly, I haven’t had to remind him to put them on once so perhaps they are more comfortable too.
Today was a trip to the bank so Jack could use the coin counter and pay the money into his account and we bought some more stickers for his animal sticker album which has been giving him loads of new information on animals.
Pokemon gets in everywhere 😀 he he I.T lesson of Google searching and how to save images and Publisher to make a collage of favourite Pokemon… with a little help from big brother 😀
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.
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.
I also found this site which looks like it could be really good for our body project : http://www.anatomyarcade.com which looks really good for some fun resources and some learning without realising 🙂 Another idea I had was to draw a life-sized body (draw around the child) and then draw and colour or print out organs and any other parts you’d like to include and stick them on.
On Wednesday we went to Aldershot to met up with friends. We went to a soft play centre and then to the military museum there. I wasn’t sure how Jack would be with the museum as he has never shown an interest in anything remotely military and although he likes museums, it is only when something has his attention. The museum gave the children a list of items to spot and he really loved doing that. We couldn’t stay as long as we would of liked to but it was still a good day out.
Friday we went ice skating and it was Jack’s birthday. We were thinking of going bowling again as he enjoyed that but as the day went on he was getting more and more stressed and later had a huge meltdown. Birthdays are always he same and he’s not really settled yet since. In that way I am glad that we don’t have big family birthday days because he simply couldn’t handle it. The birthday thing overall is too much with all the waiting and anticipation, waiting to see what presents are etc. Decided to try telling him what his present was this year and that helped a little as that anxiety over what it might be was gone but then I think the excitement of finally having it was too much! He loved his cake too, which came out pretty well considering it is only the second time I have used that type of icing.
Even before we started home educating I liked the idea of unschooling but unfortunately found it didn’t work too well for us. Although Jack doesn’t need routine as much as a lot of children who have autism he does need to have some idea of what is happening and when. I plan our week with topics/subjects but not necessarily set tasks or work and see what he chooses at the time mostly but at the same time am flexible and some days change quite a bit. This week has been quite different and we have hardly stuck to the week plan at all and yet still got lots done. Jack got back into Reading Eggs in a big way and completed four spots on a map on Monday and then several more throughout the rest of the week. He has wanted to use the BBC Bitesize site quite a bit and really likes a particular game on Cool Maths games where you have to run a hot dog stand. The days have gone fine and we have just followed wherever each went so I may try and have some more free times in future.
We watched another episode of Planet Earth and read ocean themed books and explored a new park and woods in Shalford, which I have figured out a new short circular walk round for next week. We are hopefully going to Alice Holt as well next week if the weather stays nice. Friday we are going to Cleethorpes for the weekend to see family and friends.
Very good day yesterday, good start to the week really. Jack is really into his ocean project and pleased that he has achieved 200 points on EdPlace and now has enough for his reward of a new Skylander.
We started out this morning with a popcorn science experiment on what happens to how or if popcorn pops in certain conditions. We used a saucepan with a glass lid so jack could see the kernels popping which delighted him. After some Reading Eggs and lunch we set off for swimming for the first time. Jack has never been swimming at a pool before. When he was younger I used to take him the sea to paddle and I’d piggy back him out in the water which he loved. I had planned to teach him to swim there but as he got older he became really afraid of the water splashing him and especially getting on his face. Even in the bath he would worry and at one point was even very anxious of rain falling on him so swimming wasn’t something he wanted to try. I never pushed it with him, kept his baths really shallow as he liked and hunted down one of those guards for washing hair that stop the water getting near your face.
When showing friends where the Spectrum was in Guildford Jack spotted the leisure pool there as from the entrance you can look down through a glass walled area. As well as the swimming areas it has Jacuzzi pools, bubbles, fountains, several slides, waves and a small pirate ship. Straight away he asked if we could go. We had a little chat about the water and how it will splash etc. but he seemed sure and on two subsequent visits for skating asked if we could go. So I found out times, bought swimming shorts and put it onto our timetable for this week. After a little hesitation and anxiety about some sprays of water he loved it! Tried out all the slides several times and it turns out that on one you ride down it in an inflatable tyre which Jack thought was great fun. I had taken a towel to the pool with us and quite a few times he went to wipe his face and ears dry but always calmly and came straight back happy to carry on. In fact I pretty much had to carry him out at the end of the session 😀 I think we will be regular visitors from now on.
Once again it is proven that letting children do things at their own pace and in their own way works and is so much kinder and positive than forcing them because that is seen as the way they ‘should be’ or what they ‘should be doing’. He got to it in his own time and worked out his worries his own way knowing he was supported and it was ok to feel that way. Small steps will make it all the way.
On the way home we walked into Guildford town across Stoke Park and collected some conkers and also found half a birds egg. Went into the sewing machine shop but unfortunately they didn’t have the part I needed, went to Game for the Skylander and into Primark to exchange a jumper and bough Jack a knitted snowman jumper he liked. All good 🙂