St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Monday, review of home school and ponderings….

…I hear an old Mommas & Poppas song coming on!

Monday….can’t trust that day……

Well, Monday has gotten a bad rap (no song pun intended :)…but in some cases it is a welcome day for productivity!

Today, I embrace Monday as it is going to bring many closures to our school year, this early in the game of home school.

Mark has excelled academically this year beyond what I imagined.  How I wish his autism would take a break with his sensory difficulties, social dysfunctions and irritability…*sigh…..poor kid.  He does SO well in some areas, and so terribly in others.  I can’t expect people to appreciate him the way his family does, and I look for some hard times down the road for him in the way of religious education; not all the teachers will be understanding or able to work with an autistic disorder student.  Thing is, he appears very normal….but then, he has these quirks, and his voice modulation and demeanor can give off that something is different and/or wrong.  I highlight this because it is so disheartening and such a feature of autistic disorders.  It is the most challenging thing to work with.  When he feels stress or anxiety over something, or he is overwhelmed with sensory processing….he can be a very misunderstood little boy, appearing to be badly behaved.

In the meantime……

Still, he will finish an extensively done science course and history course today, and we have done everything with full throttle, all the bells and whistles, activity pages, tests, quizzes, comprehension pages…done to the fullest.  He still has memorization of Greek & Latin Root cards, Poetry, spelling could go on forever with WRTR so I can end it whenever we see appropriate and pick up with his spelling level next year…..He loves his Art, but we are nearing the end with that also.  His math is meaty and challenging and he moves a little slower through it, but without difficulty getting nearly all As on most tests, and he has about a month left – so he will likely complete it in April.  He has about two weeks or less of language arts and religion left.  Then I will continue his Model Me Kids social skills curriculum as he really needs over and over what it has to offer.

Then my 8th grade son…wow, such a great year for him, like none before.  I mean, he has done well enough battling through OCD/anxiety disorder, but this year, he has really progressed in many areas.  His literature abilities have taken a leap!  He is suddenly gifted in reading elevated language.  He read and understood all the Father Brown Mysteries, G.K Chesterton, who isn’t easily understood by a 7th grader…after having read EVERY VISION SAINT book published!  Lol…….which opened the way to further literature, including his phobia of “’what would be on the next page that he couldn’t control”….because I never imagined he would read Lord of Rings….kind of scary in some parts….but he did this year!  And now he’s reading The Hobbit.  I am so very pleased and blessed.  

He likely has another month of his math course left.  We are keeping him in Abeka math because of the workbook format which four years back helped reduce his anxiety in transcribing, but made him still use a pencil which is a therapeutic fine motor skill measure and helps them make important cognitive connections.  Abeka is no easy course of math and the Pre-Algebra book is very thorough, reviewing past maths, introducing Algebra in a very Algebra I way, and a unit of solid and plane Geometry, which they get in the Abeka maths each year, but in this book, much more deeply.  This son is the best math student so far for upper grade math.  So, I leave well enough alone.  His standardized testing and assessments say it all. 

He is nearing the end of science…which will be today.  He is nearing the end of Grammar, which is the complex course of Basic Language Principles, and his Latin course,  Our Roman Roots (which I highly recommend!!)…he is the first of my students to use this resource that is originally recommended by Mother of Divine Grace, and it is SO well done and between BLP and Roman Roots, his Latin study has come together perfectly.  He has much more understanding and has learned SO much more this year with Latin, then with Latina Christiana programs over the last four years.  I think using the two resources together of BLP and Roman Roots has made such a difference.  He will be ready to start Cambridge Latin next year.

His Religion course will lead him well in April, which is an eclectic course of several sources, including Faith & Life, Baltimore Catechism 2, and C.S. Lewis A Case for Christianity, I’m amazed at how many summaries he’s written regarding everything for Laws (natural, church), to doctrines and apologetics.  It’s quite the mini-theologian course!

Our Modg assessments are already uploaded for our family site for access, but I don’t plan on doing those until the end of April, into May perhaps.  Freshly out of their subjects with some review helps them do well on their assessments.  This year we will do standardized testing also. 

It is nice to see us closing out some subjects and making progress.  After home schooling for 17 years and being very involved in their subjects, the methodology and application and outcome…..I must say, it doesn’t get easier, but it does get MORE rewarding. 

This year is especially rewarding and a blessing to me personally as I have put in the hard work for the last four years with my boys with more special needs.  They are both highly intelligent, but accessing that intelligence and growing it and taming their disorders has been the challenge of my life!  I pray for the wisdom and support (the support is the hardest to find as many are intimidated by this challenge, or think we are flat our crazy; why not just send them to a special school..??)….

God willing, we will see this through to the graduation of another student from our home school in the next four years. 


Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful week with us. Your children are so blessed to have you! My children have some special needs, as well, so I understand how difficult (and rewarding!) it can be sometimes. Keeping you in my prayers! God bless, Lisa

Home School Mom: Denise said...

Thank you Lisa :) Special needs for whatever reason can be so challenging, and God in his wisdom knew I would do best with this after having home schooled two older neurotypical children first!! oh keeps me popping that's for sure! LOL
Many blessings,