This week, we worked on life skills related to grocery shopping, learning how electoral votes work for the presidental election, celebrated Gabriel’s nameday, I took some time to re-work our school day, and the boys learned about the Super Moon with dad.
Life Skills: Grocery Shopping
So, this was a complete and total bust today. I exceeded the number of objectives in one lesson and the boys’ behavior more than told me so. My goodness…I haven’t had this type of behavior from them in months. I so rarely let my kids put up an assignment and not complete it correctly (because I’m a strong believer in fixing your mistakes and finish what you’ve started) but I made an exception for this one. It was quite obvious that they were having a hard time with it (two worksheets: comparing prices in the weekly ads, calculating prices based on 2 for $7 or $1.99 per pound, and also estimating their total before they go to the checkout).
In the past, I saw their anger and tantrums as an attempt to try and get out of something they didn’t want to do. Today, the book on Fetal Alcohol Effects kept popping into my mind. I saw the pictures from the book of the “normal” brain as only a small part of it lit up while doing a task and a fetal alcohol brain as their entire brains lit up in the brain scan doing the same task. I saw the bombardment of information that was overwhelming my boys and realized that this was a teaching fail on my part, not a child manipulation tactic. I took a deep breath, said a prayer (instead of turning to chocolate), and told them to put their papers in their binders. I’ll return to this later and it will only be one concept next time.
Patience is hard. Endurance is the name of the game. Love is the goal.
Election Day & Gabriel’s Nameday
Les and I voted early this morning. Can I tell you how excited I was when we realized we missed the morning rush for voting?! We were in and out of there in no time. It was great!
After voting, Les headed off to work and I went to church with the boys for Gabriel’s nameday.
Gabriel’s nouna (godmother) sent him some gifts for his nameday. One of them was a “make your own” superhero costume. Gabriel is enthralled with superheroes right now, which is kinda an understatement. The two of us decorated his cape and mask, let it dry, and the next day he was Super Gabriel! He has warp speed and laser beam eyes. Watch out bad guys!
After church, I let the boys explore Scholastic’s election info for kids website. I thought the best part was the electoral vote game. Two people got to choose the name of their political party and then they tried to see who could win the election by clicking on states. Whoever got 270 electoral votes first won the election. I smoked the boys but I think that made it so they were more excited to understand how the voting works.
I printed out maps of the United States, wrote a list of the Swing States and tapped it above the tv, had the boys get a red and blue colored pencil and had them follow along as the newscasters called the states. At 9pm, when we realized this was not going to end any time soon, we sent them to bed and told them they could finish it the next day. I had them watch the last hour of the news the next day to have them finish the maps and see who won.
Les and I ended up staying up until after 2:30am to see how it was going to turn out. As soon as Trump made his speech, we went to bed.
Teacher Professional Day
I need to re-work some things. As a mom and a teacher, it’s always about tweaking something since children do not stay static. They grow, develop, have new interests…therefore our home is ever changing also.
Gabriel needs some more structure during the day. He’s past the point of playing in the background while the boys do their school work. Now it’s time for him to have “school work”. Lately, one of three scenarios plays out with him each day – he gets upset when the boys won’t play with him because they are still doing their school work, he tries to push buttons while they are on the computer because he wants to play too, or he spends almost the entire day on the iPad playing apps. (He LOVED ABCMouse and played for about an hour a day…until he found and figured out the app store. Then he was constantly begging to buy a new app as he shopped for the next thing that caught his eye.) All three of these scenarios need tweaking for him. The reality is, I need to plan activities for him to do while the boys are doing school work. It’s time to bring out the preschool puzzles, paint, crayons – but this requires me to sit next to him, at least initially, and I need to re-work our day a bit for this.
Justin also needs some tweaking for his school day. I need to think through how I’m going to try to get some basic concepts mastered with him. It’s so hard when some days his brain seems to be able to process it and then on other days, even the most basic tasks seem to be beyond him. I never know what kind of day I’m going to get with him either. I don’t know. I need to think on this one.
Living in God’s Creation: The Super Moon
Les took the boys outside to view the moon the other night with his telescope. It’s amazing how clearly you could see the surface of the moon – the craters, mountain ranges. Quite beautiful.
Les was able to take a few pictures of the moon with his phone using the telescope.
Gabriel kept telling me, “It was awesome.” The love of the sky is in the genes with that one. He comes from a line of men who love to fly and look to the stars.