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Seeking Squirrels

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About Seeking Squirrels

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  1. I use excel because I love excel. I have a sheet for each child and I list subjects and then under subjects what I want to use for each. I use three columns so I can put in where to buy it and how much. I highlight the cells as I acquire them. I have a separate sheet for each kid with books needed for read-alouds, readers, history...... This sheet uses several columns because I usually check if each is available at our library and for the ones that aren't and spines I compare costs from amazon, thriftbooks, ebay...... to find the best deals. Next I take each curriculum and split it into 36 by lessons/units/pages/whatever it uses. I make an excel sheet for each child that has each curriculum across the top and 36 rows. Each cell has a very abbreviated notation of what we should be on that week to finish in the year. In the end I have one big grid for each kid. Throughout the year I highlight cells as they are completed. I don't follow the grid strictly, it just helps me see at a glance if we're maintaining a pace to finish in a year. If not I either adjust what we do or my expectations. It's really nice to see those columns turn yellow through the year. I use a teacher planner from the target dollar spot to plan weekly. I have one for each kid and I fill it in sometime over the weekend for the week ahead. (Or Monday morning when I've put it off!) This is when I flesh out what specifically we're doing that week. I also print out a year-at-a-glance calendar for July - June. I make a simple highlighter mark on each day we do school. This is mostly for me to be able to know for myself if we're keeping on track or taking too many days off. My state does require that we school 180 days but does nothing to check up on that. But I guess I'll have it if ever it comes up. I have a second print-out of the same calendar that I use to roughly mark out big breaks and add in an off week here and there to absorb our one-off days. I number the remaining weeks 1-36. I also don't follow this closely, but I use it to compare with our "attendance" calendar. Dividing our highlighted days by 5 I can tell what 'week' we are in and compare to my planned calendar and what week I thought we would be in at that point. Most of my planning is really just to help my brain organize what we have to do and so I can look at what we've done. I don't really use it to tell us what we need to do.
  2. She'll be going Mon/Wed. We'll definitely watch for issues like those. She did PS for nearly a year when she was 8/3rd. She seemed to do really well til about Christmas. After Christmas break she struggled a lot more. She had meltdowns in the evening when she got home and she fought going in the morning. When she started coming home with brusies on her upper arm from chewing them, we pulled her out. But that was all day M-F in a standard classroom setting with 30 kids and the teacher was not giving her the sensory outlets I requested. So we do have some amount of data on how she does in that sort of situation, but that's not how this other one works, so it will probably look different. I am completely willing to scrap it if she gets too overwhelmed or if we're losing entire days to recover from the day out. We can pay monthly and there are no repercussions for pulling out mid-year. We get state funding through an umbrella program and we can use those funds to pay for the school. So it's a wash for us financially. Once she's evaluated for ABA we can also work with that therapist to evaluate how she acts on school days vs non, days after vs before..... That makes sense about her narrative issues only being recovered up to the point she needed to be *then* which was almost three years ago. This week I have had a lot on my plate and I'm preparing a birthday party for her. I will sit down and give the SGM site a more thorough read-through and figure it out after her party next week. I do want to make sure that I give her the best language foundation I can.
  3. She was evaluated by an SLP about 3 years ago and they identified a narration issue. She did 3/4 months of therapy and they dismissed her as having the issue recovered. Over the years I've realized that they did help her be *able* to narrate, especially within the formula they were using in therapy. But on her own, it's pretty hit or miss with more misses. The neuropsych is going to consult with an SLP anyway due to speech patterns (she uses baby talk a lot. Especially when anxious, she presents as about 3) so hopefully we will already be getting a referral in to see them. I can go from there if they don't specialize in what we need. We go through Primary Children's Rehab, though, and they are really good with a lot of resources. I looked up Story Grammar Marker and that price tag is intimidating. Would this be something we would be doing in place of traditional language arts curriculum for her? Or in addition to? Or is it not worth moving forward with traditional subjects until we have worked through something like this? I'm also fully prepared for if the hybrid school doesn't work out. I only mention how they work through issues to say that it's not going to be punitive if she has troubles while there. I am not counting on them for making progress with her. She is very excited about it and she loved the facility when we visited. If it doesn't end up working out, that's okay, too. We will also see where the aba eval takes us and if they have anything to add. As of right now though, with her therapist and evaluator both thinking this will be good for her, we are going to plan on doing it.
  4. It's not a co-op, it's a private school. We'll be paying tuition and dropping her off. Both the neuropsychologist who tested her (who is pro-homeschool and homeschooled her 7 kids) and her therapist who sees her every two weeks thinks this will be a great thing for her. It will get her around other kids regularly, the same kids for several hours twice a week. They focus a lot on teamwork, cooperation, collaboration, and exploring ideas. They deal with discipline issues by helping the kids work through whatever is causing the issue. They have teachers on staff who act as guides to help the kids achieve their goals and teach them any skills they need to get there. The school sets a theme each quarter and they explore within that. It's guided, not just glorified daycare where the kids just play all day. They do a lot of making. Art, structures, building things.... This is right up DD's ally. I'm actually really looking forward to it for her. My younger will also attend but only one day a week. This will end up giving me one day a week child-free which is a nice bonus, but not the reason. Her syntax is actually just fine, especially in speech. In writing she just seems to follow the same structure for each sentence if that makes sense. So she's not doing anything wrong, it just doesn't vary. Maybe I'm not explaining well. I will look into all of these resources you've listed and also talk to her therapist to see where she thinks we need to focus. At least to get us through until we have the aba eval and then we can go from there.
  5. I'm all for focusing more on these things than solid academics right now. They want her to do ABA therapy, which I've heard both good and bad things about. I have a lot of research to do before I decide on that.
  6. My nearly-11-yo was just diagnosed with ASD. It's been a long time coming, a long time suspected. (I even posted here when she was evaluated before and received a dx of SPD, ADHD, GAD, a language issue, and social communication issue and yet not ASD.) The last couple of months I have been greatly wavering in my goals of homeschooling. I started strongly leaning to an unschool approach for a while, but I do think she needs more structure than that. Next year she will be attending a hybrid private school for homeschoolers. It is 2 days a week from 9-3. They do project based learning. I've been following the school for a while on social media and talked to parents who go there. I'm really excited for it and both her therapist and neuropsych think it will be great for her. But now I'm not sure what I should cover at home. We'll only have three days at home and one of those days will have a morning swim lesson about half of the year and an afternoon class most of the year. I plan on having a picnic and library time between the classes. So really we're down to two days. I obviously cannot smash a full week of full load into two days. And I shouldn't need to if we consider what she's getting at the hybrid school. So what DO I do? Just reading, writing, and math? She does fine with understanding math concepts though it is a struggle to get through the actual work. She loves to read but only if it's what she wants to read, not if it's something I give her. Writing is positively evil as far as she is concerned. She loves science and is meh about history. She is obsessed with greek mythology and even medaled this year on the NME. Though she'll be 11 going into next year, I think we are going to be considering it 5th grade due to maturity and ability to handle work-load. So what do I do with our two home days?
  7. I got to *comic* conventions! But not homeschool ones. Near me they are very religious which is not a good fit for me.
  8. This is similar to some of what they told us. She makes eye contact and initiates interaction. DD doesn't get tone, either. She perceives anger if she doesn't like what someone says, she does not sense frustration or "this isn't funny" from us. She will also speak to others in inappropriate tones and does not seem to understand what was wrong. I've seen DD struggle with this. I remember clearly a time she was on the phone telling a friend about our dog. It was on speaker so I heard the friend respond about our dog, DD said something else about our dog. Friend said something about what pets she has. DD said something about our dog. Friend said something about what she'd done that day. DD said something about our dog. This continued until I intervened and got her attention and told her quietly to ask friend about her new house (they had just moved a state away). DD shows extreme empathy toward animals. People not so much, but I know it's there. We just usually have to explain how or why someone is feeling/acting/reacting a certain way. I talked to DD's therapist about possible ASD and she is as unsure as us about it. She agrees with getting her re-evaluated.
  9. Math: SPM 5a/b Writing: Winning with Writing 5 Spelling: AAS 5 Grammar: Sentence Diagramming: Beginning and Editor in Chief History: BYL 5 Science: BYL 5 / RSO Bio 2 Extra-curriculars: Swimming, Ninja/Parkour, Theater Other: Typing, Tinker crate, piano at home. Art and PE at co-op.
  10. Okay, I think I have an idea of where we're going to be next year. Math: SPM 2a/2b and I would like to start her on Beast Academy. We will probably be starting Singapore 2a by June, so I may do BA2a right after and see from there which program we want to focus on. Phonics/reading: She flew through AAR1 and is halfway through AAR2 set to finish by May. If she keeps up this pace I'll need 3 *and* 4 next year. That's expensive so I'd rather switch her to OPGTR because I don't think she needs the intensity of AAR, but she really loves it. So I'm still torn on which way to go after 2. Free (I already have it) and simple, or expensive and tedius but the kid loves it. 😕 Spelling: SYS C Writing: Copywork and narration in BYL History: BYL 1 Science: Finish RSO Life (will be halfway through it by fall) and the science in BYL 1. Extra curriculars: Swimming lessons, Ninja/parkour, maybe theater. She hasn't decided for sure on theater, she's waiting until after the big performance this year. Other: I really do intend to start teaching her piano. For real this time 😳 Kiwi crate. Typing. Art and PE at co-op.
  11. DH and I talked it over and we are in agreement. So from our end, we are now considering her 4th grade this year. I have an email in to our charter to find out what needs to be done to adjust it on paper. But they don't require specific work based on the child's stated grade, so it really doesn't matter much until 9th when their benefits and requirements change. If we change now as far as DD knows, then if I need to wait and change later with the charter she'll never know the difference. And yes, she is often very oblivious to things like this. She struggles with jokes, she doesn't get sarcasm or idioms, she's sees no difference in being good friends with a 10 year old and being good friends with the 5 and 3 year old next door, she will curl up on my lap saying "mama, mama" right in front of other kids......Ya I could go on. BUT, she mimics really well. We don't see a lot of these things at co-op or when she was in PS for most of 3rd. If we're in a small group or with people she knows well she's more herself, but any time there is a lot of people (like co op and classrooms) she becomes quiet and behaves perfectly. She's often still oblivious to instruction or discussion around her and I've had to tell teachers to make sure to address her when giving an important instruction or she will miss it. We were told that was "anxiety winning" and that's why it wasn't autism, because "autism can't be overrode by anxiety." 😕
  12. Yes, it's amazing being so close to Primary Children's. They have several satellite locations for rehab so we don't even have to go all the way into SLC for therapy or evals (though we've spent a fair share of time at the main campus too) But they all have access to the same tools so they have a lot. And for the TLN, you said it was maybe Utah State and it could be, but University of Utah is more likely as they have a strong medical focus and Primary is affiliated with their medical school and hospital.
  13. Yes, very much this. Right now she is pretty socially unaware of what it means to go forward or back a grade. And while she is aware on some level that there are 12 grades and then college, it's not on her radar yet. She hasn't counted down the years to graduate, she hasn't figured up what year that will be. If we're going to need an extra year, much better to do so now than once she has become aware of all those things. I actually talked to her briefly today just to feel her out. She couldn't even remember for sure what grade she was but guessed 5th. I mentioned maybe 'changing' what grade she was because kids with her birthday could be 4th or 5th right now. I gave her a very brief run-down of why it could be good and assured her if we did it that it wouldn't actually change anything we did. She just said okay and asked for cookie dough. So again, very immature and not on her radar. That will catch up to us eventually. And yes, once it does, she would dig in her heels and not accept the change. She doesn't care now because her grade means nothing to her.
  14. I will call then and get a referral in through our ped for the SLP. So I want the SPELT and the TNL?
  15. I never considered that the narrative issue could need re-addressed as she gets older and the work changes. That makes perfect sense, though. I will find out if that will be done through this new psych. If not, I can go through Primary Children's rehab. That's where she did speech and OT before. She's done OT on and off since her initial dx of SPD when she was 6.
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