Friday, April 10, 2009

There's a contest going on......and everyone's a winner!



It's time for Homeschool Share's

annual
Blast contest!!



 Photobucket



Homeschool Share is accepting all kinds of entries for creations that will help grow the site.  Even if you don't win one of the FANTABULOUS prizes for submitting something...everyone's a winner at Homeschool Share because all of the wonderful resources on the Homeschool Share website are FREE!  Unit studies, lapbooks, notebooking pages......and soon, printables that can be used in Sue Patrick's Workboxes!  Woo hoo!!   There are strict guidelines, so be sure to read all the details! 

Homeschool Share is an amazing resource for the homeschooling community, and it's all because lots of wonderful moms have freely given of their talents.  Thank you, ladies.........you are a true blessing!


Click on the rocket above
to get more details about the contest!



Time4Learning and other ways of helping the ADD child

As I struggle to determine ways to improve our learning environment and how to best help dd8 with her ADD, I've decided to, for the rest of this year, to chuck the workbooks. 


We've signed up for a website called Time4Learning. 


homeschool curriculum


We've only been using it a week.  Overall, dd8 is enjoying it very much.  I've had to sit with her and help her much of the time, as there have been several topics that's she's either never done before or done and not remembered how.   Plus she tends to skim/skip over instructions.

It has parental controls like the length of time for each lesson.  It also has reports, so I can see how long she took on lessons and what she got on quizzes and tests. 

It has a "playground" area....if she is done with her lesson (.i.e, the amount of time I set for the lessons), she can go play.....but only for the amount of time that I set for play time.   There are a multitude of games to choose from, some educational, some just fun.  

As with all software, we have had some quirks to work out.  But the folks in the Parents Forum have been very quick to respond and help. 

One of the items that the developers boast about is that the lessons are varied.  They certainly are........a great mix of reading, listening, playing a game to learn the concept, etc.  This keeps the students alert and helps them from becoming bored with repetitive screens.   However, I do wish they would at least make the way to exit the lesson uniform.   We're constantly trying to figure out how to exit the lesson "properly" so that it will be marked off as completed.

I really like how the program doesn't make some rude noise when the answer the child selects/inputs is wrong.  Instead, a window usually pops up stating that the answers incorrect (the number's too high, etc.) and gives the student another chance.  (Of course, it doesn't do that on tests and quizzes.)

The T4L program is specifically for Math and Language Arts, but most grades have lots of lessons for science and social studies as well.  This is a great plus.  We can break up the LA and Math lessons with shorter lessons  in science and social studies.

Overall, it's going well and I feel it's worth the subscription price.  I don't know that I will continue it for next school year, but for now it's a welcome break as I determine the best route for her. 

I've looked into Sue Patrick's Workbox System.  I'll admit, if not for determining that dd8 has ADD, I would not have even thought about jumping on the workbox bandwagon like so many homeschoolers are doing right now.  However, the whole idea of the system makes me think this will work for dd8!     And, I can see where my dd10 may also benefit from the system.  (Like this morning, when she finished her workbooks and I was still helping dd8!  She could have independently moved on.)

Anyway, I hope to start implementing a version of the workbox system after I return from the Midwest Homeschool Convention.  Can't wait to go!

I'll also start implementing some of the ideas in Dianne Craft's Brain Integration Therapy Manual and looking into appropriate and effective nutritional supplements and diet changes.

So what have we been up to?

Well, in the past several months and in the last couple in particular, I have come to realize that dd8 has Attention Deficit Disorder, ADD.  No hyperactivity, she's just highly distractable, forgetful, disorganized, doesn't retain math facts  or grammar/spelling rules, etc.

No, that's not an official diagnosis, it's just a mom's diagnosis.  I really don't care to take her to the doctor to receive an "official" diagnosis, I want to know how I can help her.

I've read and read about ADD.....on the Internet and in books.   Some helpful folks have been Dianne Craft, Melinda Boring, Carol Barnier, Dr. Bob, and many more.  What I've read has really changed how I look at ADD.

In the past, I just thought....if ONLY she'd just try harder, or concentrate more, just buckle down and get 'er done.  Now, I'm understanding that it's truly a brain connection thing but diet, mental and physical exercises, and retraining can help.

Well, I'm up to the challenge......I hope.     God is my  strength and I may crawl before it's through, but we'll get there together. 

You know, when God leads you to homeschooling, it really isn't necessarily all about teaching the student.  I think God is teaching the parents just as much along the way.....if not teaching them even more. 

I've come a long way in patience since first starting to homeschool, but still have a long way to go.  This ADD thing is challenging me more.  And not only in the patience department, but it re-thinking how I can set up a learning environment that is helpful to her.  I'll talk more about some of the changes I'll be making another time. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Butterflies!

Back in September, we went to a Butterfly House,
and I never got the pictures posted...so here ya go!


We saw all kinds of interesting and beautiful critters!



blackThe caterpillar of a Question Mark butterfly.


blackA Hickory Horned Devil caterpillar, the caterpillar of a Regal Moth.


CecropoiaCecropia Moth caterillar


FritillaryFritillary


Monarch and SwallowtailSwallowtail and Monarch


Monarch CaterpillarMonarch caterpillar
(he's eaten all the leaves off the milkweed!)


MonarchMonrach


MonarchMonarch


Painted LadyPainted Lady -- see the proboscis?

Painted Lady
Red Admiral

Viceroy

Viceroy