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What does your 8yo or 2nd grader do?

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My ds8 has autism, so every so often I try to step back and connect to what his peers are doing, see how we need to be moving forward, etc.  What does your 8 yo or 2nd grader do? What do they do *independently* and what do they do for pleasure? Do they use a checklist for their work or do you drive it still in some way? 

 

Also, do they type or do things on the computer? We've done a little, but I see this spurt like he might actually blossom if he had serious access to a computer. I'm just a little worried about the pandora's box thing. Like hope your dyslexic reads and types and he might actually do it and get addicted to screen time or something, lol.

 

TIA!  :)

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For pleasure my 7yo second grader puts things together - puzzles, legos, models. He also loves artsy things. Independently, he does pretty well with a checklist, a quiet room, and a timer. Otherwise, he watches what everyone else is doing, and takes forreeeevvveeerrr.... 

 

He does little on the computer. I'm quite non-tech when it comes to my kids. I'm an older mom, so I didn't learn to type or use a computer until my later teens, when computers were becoming common, and I'm still here. I feel there's more benefit to waiting than to hurrying electronically.

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Gem is 7.5. just starting second grade. 

 

he got a sandbox and nerf gun for christmas. he loves those. he likes to draw and paint. He plays some video games on the xbox or the phone.

 

He doesn't do anything on the computer He is not responsible, so is not supposed to touch it at all. When he does he ends up locking in airplane mode, or turning the screen image sideways or something that we then have to fix.  His reading and writing skills are not yet adequate for typing. We read from my Kindle., and he writes by hand in a notebook. 

 

Edit: For school., he does some worksheets on his own. He sometimes needs help with directions, as he doesn't read well. 
We do flash cards for sight words, times tables. We do phonics aloud together. He dictates to me, then does copywork from it. Content subject are though read alouds. 

Edited by Desert Strawberry
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My 8 year old is in 3rd grade.  (Her birthday is in April, so she may be slighly older.)    

 

We do an hour of  morning time where we loop through the following:   Sing a song, bible lesson, story of the world, sing CC timeline, Getting Started with Latin/Song School Latin 2, Getting Started with French/Collins French Audio  (All taught by me, nothing independent.)  

 

Then she does an hour of math.  She just naturally "gets" math so she is working in Singapore 4A.  I teach a lesson, we work a couple of example problems in the textbook, then she does the workbook semi independently while I stand by.

 

Then she hangs with her 3 year old brother and plays while I work with her older brother for about 90 minutes.   She is suppose to just play nearby and kind of occupy her little brother.   She chooses usually to play outside or to draw with her brother.   

 

Then she does 90 minutes of language arts:   She reads aloud to me from the McGruffy readers, does a lesson from FLL 3, does 15 minutes of Apples and Pears spelling B (not a whole lesson), and then an oral narration from a fable.  (Narrations are her weakest spot so we practice daily.)   She also does 15 minutes of memory work using ANKI which is some online flashcard program.     (All taught by me, nothing independent.)  

 

Next we eat lunch.  

 

After lunch I send everyone out to get some fresh air while I clean.   I put on a podcast or audiobook and decompress.   (Dishes, wipe and clear everything, floors, straighten pillows/blankets, etc.)   I used to have them stay in and help me, but for the time being, I found I could destress better having some time where I don't have to direct children every 2 minutes.

 

After "outside time", the kids have a quiet reading time and a cup of tea.  My  3 year old goes down for a nap.  I give my older kids each a book basket with a selection of 5 different books/audiobooks and they pick from those to read.   They read from that for an hour while I read my book.   (Paying attention to books for that long is really hard for her.  So that is probably too long of a time.  She often chooses to nap instead of read.)   

 

Finally she has independent work time:

She is suppose to:    1) Fix any missed math problems from the morning until she gets 100%, 2)  Xtra Math, 3) Practice piano for 15 mins, 3)   Xtra math on ipad, 4)  Read a chapter from her bible, 5)  Practice AWANA verses, 6)  Practice typing for 15 mins, 7)  Listen to her song school latin playlist and follow along in her book.  (On Thursday only, she has to do her Latin workbook pages and fix any missed problems.)

 

I give her a checklist to work through.   I also am standing nearby and redirect her often if she gets off track.   

 

(Just for refererence, when she was in 2nd grade she had to:   1) fix math, 2) xtra math, 3) Do an evan moore daily language review, 4)  Map drill online using shephered software, 5)  draw something from mark kistler draw 3d, 6) practice typing, 7) listen to her latin playlist.)

 

In her freetime, she LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to go outside and play with other kids.   She is very extroverted and active.   She likes basketball, skateboarding, playing in the woods, etc.   She has trouble entertaining herself when it is just her.  She likes active or project type things.   She almost never pretends which seems strange to me.  (The rest of my kids pretend play all of the time.)    Indoors, she likes playing with remote control things.   She also likes snap circuits.   She also likes board games, but has trouble talking people into playing with her everday.  She is HIGHLY drawns to screens.   So she really like the hour of code, prodigy math, Mark Kistler Draw 3D, etc. (And of course other junky screen things like netflix, etc.)   I try to limit those so she gets plenty of exercise.   She is very hyper and has trouble focusing.   She is not medicated at all, so exercize and limiting screens help a lot.   

 

When my oldest son was 8, he loved playing with lego hero factory.  (He still does.)   Or he could go and play with his action figures for HOURS.  He sets up these elaborate battle scences that take up our whole basement using blocks and other props.   

Edited by TheAttachedMama
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My 8yo is almost 9 and in 3rd grade, but last year she did a handwriting page and some reading on her own, and everything else with me. Occasionally I would leave her on her own to complete a few math problems (practicing already learned concepts) but she would struggle in those cases to keep her focus and take for.ev.er. We didn't start a checklist til this year in 3rd grade and it's still very basic repetitive things like "do 1 page of handwriting" "do 1 session of Xtramath" "do 4 pages of Building Thinking Skills" "do 1 Mind Benders puzzle" "read 30 minutes" etc.

 

She does Xtramath on the computer and I do have her type her spelling words/dictation sentences once a week. She has started with Typing Instructor a couple times a week but does not enjoy it. 😉 She plays on the tablet almost every day but we limit recreational screen time to 30 min/day.

 

For fun she loves Lego's and imaginative play with her little sister (with her as the boss of course 😉) and reading.

 

 

Sent from my Z988 using Tapatalk

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DS just turned 9. Thinking back to last year:

 

- No written work was done without me sitting beside him. However, he can be relied on to do other kinds of tasks independently (go wash the table and sweep the dining room; brush teeth and get dressed; take in the trash and recycling carts, etc.).

- No, he doesn't type. It's on my list for fourth grade; we are still working on handwriting, and his cursive is finally getting legible now. (He's left-handed.) He likes games on the computer (e.g., at boyslife.org) but is allowed limited use. None of the learning games I found were acceptable to both of us, and he does tend to get too attached to screens.

- He reads for fun, often picture books, Calvin and Hobbes or Pokemon comic books, or easy chapter books--no novels up to his instructional level, except...

- If I order new school books for the next year and leave them out, he at least skims them. Any subject. And he asks me to request kids' nonfiction library books on interesting subjects (currently the American Revolution). He has his own library card and backpack, and he checks his own books out at the kiosk and is responsible for returning them.

- He likes science-related toys and will use them on his own (magnets, snap circuit jr., rock collection, etc.). He has always liked to paint, but has just started to choose to draw often.

- He needs to be told to practice piano but not helped. He operates the CD player.

- He can climb a tree, ride a bike, swim, etc.

- He'd be able to do a load of laundry, except he often can't reach the items on the bottom of our washer (top-loader). He can sweep, wash the table, vacuum, and help carry in groceries if the bags aren't too heavy. He returns the shopping cart to the corral for me, watching carefully for cars. He can make pancakes with a little help flipping. He is struggling to put new sheets on the bed and needs supervision and encouragement for that.

- This is the age when I made him learn to tie his own shoes. He still often does it poorly and needs to re-do it in a few minutes.

- He joined Cub Scouts at the end of 2nd, and I wish I'd helped him join at the beginning of the year. He likes learning new skills and earning badges.

Edited by whitehawk
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My ods turned 8 last week. He works from a checklist. Math is mostly independent. I make sure he understands the teaching box in mm, and I often sit near him for puzzle corner. Spelling and astronomy are independent. For piano, I go over new lessons with him once per week and he practices independently the other days. I do Bfsu and history with him. For English, his work is broken into several activities each day. I go over it with him, then he completes the activity, and I go over the next activity, etc. I work closely asking questions during the brainstorming process of writing.

 

He uses the iPad for math facts practice. He has an iPod with songs for piano, math songs, classical music, and school house rock. Aside from those two things he doesn't do much computer stuff. We haven't started any typing. I am intentionally delaying it for logic stage.

 

For fun, he reads, builds, plays piano, plays sports, writes, and runs around like a maniac with his younger siblings. He can ride his bike in the neighborhood, being careful of cars. He is generally a cautious boy. He vacuums, shovels, snow-blows (with direct supervision), helps my youngest get dressed/coat, and helps with meal-prep. He still can't tie his shoes.

Edited by Syllieann
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FWIW, at my kids' schools, 2nd is a bit young for anything significant on the computer.  There are computer classes at most of the local schools starting in K (a once-per-week special, "technology") but no schoolwork until 4th/5th or later.  Dd7 and ds8 play games on the computer at home (a little webkinz, club penguin, maybe some Roblox, maybe ds8 does a smitch of Minecraft) and dd watches princess cartoon videos.  She can turn it on and shut it down by herself and usually find what she wants, possibly with her brothers' help.  There are days when they fight over time on the old laptop and other days when they don't go anywhere near it, too busy with ordinary play; it hasn't been an addictive issue at this point.

 

As an aside, their school had given up cursive when my big kids were there, but yet typing wasn't taught beyond their weekly computer class.  Maybe they decided they needed at least one or the other, because they have gone back to teaching cursive, now early in 3rd rather than at the end.  Ds8 picked it up incredibly fast and does beautifully, SO much better than his printing, though I haven't seen it required for ordinary work yet.  Hmm...  I think typing may be a summer project for ds8.

 

Both dd7 and ds8 have checklists in their Montessori classrooms, usually some combination of requirements and choice work.

 

ETA, just to show how quickly they can pick things up in the coming years, ds10 is now my IT manager.  Yesterday I had him transfer photos via PC from my phone to an external SSD (phone is android and my macbook doesn't like it and I didn't want to figure it out... so I assigned him the project).  He needs more typing instruction/practice but he could probably sell phones at Verizon (yeah, I moved him over to the stem school with his big brothers)

Edited by wapiti
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Well this is interesting! We use checklists with him, but they're checklists on the wall on whiteboards, lists written by the workers. I was trying to figure out if I should move him over to a printed weekly checklist, but it seems like it's still a little early. We're within the realm of typical to continue as we are this year.

 

I LOVE your observations on things your kids are doing independently!!  A lot of that is stuff he is ready to do!! They want him to have independent work (to work on the behavior of it, the self-regulation), and we had been sort of scrambling. These ideas like the Mark Kistler drawing, Hour of Code, Prodigy Math, Snap Circuits, magnets with a book, rock collection, etc., these are all spot on and terrific for him! Much more engaging than file folder games, lol. He had liked things, but he just keeps growing. These is good stuff!

 

You've expanded me on the chores thing to. He does the dishwasher when told. I got a Roomba, and I think he could learn to pick up his floor and run that in his room. He doesn't put on his own sheets yet, but I like that idea. It's just a good next step. And flipping pancakes, well now that Big Sis is gone that can happen!  :)

 

I'm intrigued by how much you're still doing together. I think I won't feel so badly about it, and you're right that there's no need to rush or confuse 2nd and 3rd. There can be a jump in 3rd. Right now, we'll just let him be little. The years go by VERY quickly. I know that, now that dd is gone, sigh. But you're right that we don't milk those years by rushing them. We just have to do what is appropriate. 

 

I'll have to look at that MP astronomy. I'm looking for some science that he could do independently, something with an audio component. I could get the BJU videos again. He likes them. Haven't really decided. He has access to an ipad, so we can use TTS for pdfs and ebooks.

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Wapiti, that's a totally separate question on magnet schools and where he would go next. I have funding but not enough to pay for a $40K school, sigh. If I got his behavior, with our ABA in-home, to where he could mainstream reliably, he might have options. I really hadn't thought about that. All I thought about was me as Starbucks and chauffer mom and him somewhere else that could handle him now. But places that can handle him would have a hard time doing what I try to make happen. He's just TOO divergent, with too much discrepancy. But there are limits on what I can handle. And I'm no longer convinced that homeschooling is so awesome. If I had a school that could do right by him, I'd enroll him next year in a heartbeat. But I doubt it exists. Nice dream though, thinking maybe for junior high. Would probably make more trouble than it's worth, sigh.

 

The bummer is the social and finding ways to meet that need (with the asd, with...). Could drive you crazy trying to meet all these supposed needs. (deleting my pessimism)

Edited by OhElizabeth

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I have been accused of being a Luddite, so take that into account with what our 8 yo does (and our past 8 yo's did)...

 

  • computer time is limited to Saturday only, and is only Angry Birds on dad's iPhone after chores are done.  They will start typing later and we have none of our school on the computer.  We have really taken SWB's coaching to heart about active vs. passive learning, so tend to stick with paper when possible. 
  • Comics (reading, looking at, drawings, copying)
  • Audio books (Audible is the best!)
  • Legos
  • Skateboarding is a new independent adventure
  • None of the school work is independent at this point
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My now 9 year old grew greatly in independence over the last year and a bit (she has just finished 3rd grade). I started being able to leave her to do some math by herself, she types some now - mostly to family though so usually only short pieces. She started school and the homework they gave she completed by herself, but anything that required any teaching she did with me. 

 

I still have to remind her of certain things that need to go in bags when going out for activities though she has got a lot better. She reads more now independently than she used to and sadly seems to be playing with toys less frequently - only joining her younger sister to do that though she will build more complicated Lego sets alone. Some days she wants to try adult things - getting into fancy dress or experimenting with make up and other days she wants to ride bikes or swim or try new sports or dance to music and still other days she just wants to curl up and watch a movie.

 

She will get her own breakfast now, but still wants a lot of help with the bedtime routine. 

 

I miss homeschooling terribly and my daughter is unsure from day to day which she would prefer - she really likes some of the activities at school but feels she learns very little there especially considering how long they are there. She misses spending long time periods with friends and the free play she had when homeschooling - in school they only really have break time to play together and eat - but at the same time she does like having more people around. She finds it easier to concentrate at home, but likes the competition of school... I find the whole thing very awkward. She has told some people she wants to go back to homeschooling and yet she is looking forward to going back to school too... she has certainly enjoyed having me and her sister around this holiday. As for me - my house is cleaner when they are at school, I have more down time, I can make some money (I work part time) and the weight of responsibility that was homeschooling can go to the school some... except that I do not believe they care as much as I do about my children and their education. My eldest's self esteem was better with homeschooling I believe and its hard to know if her independence has grown because she went to school or just because she got older - maybe a bit of both. I guess everything has its pros and cons and every child and family is different. 

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I miss homeschooling terribly and my daughter is unsure from day to day which she would prefer - she really likes some of the activities at school but feels she learns very little there especially considering how long they are there. She misses spending long time periods with friends and the free play she had when homeschooling - in school they only really have break time to play together and eat - but at the same time she does like having more people around. She finds it easier to concentrate at home, but likes the competition of school... I find the whole thing very awkward. She has told some people she wants to go back to homeschooling and yet she is looking forward to going back to school too... she has certainly enjoyed having me and her sister around this holiday. As for me - my house is cleaner when they are at school, I have more down time, I can make some money (I work part time) and the weight of responsibility that was homeschooling can go to the school some... except that I do not believe they care as much as I do about my children and their education. My eldest's self esteem was better with homeschooling I believe and its hard to know if her independence has grown because she went to school or just because she got older - maybe a bit of both. I guess everything has its pros and cons and every child and family is different. 

 

That was incredible helpful. Thank you for sharing that.   :001_wub:  And I think you're right that that's how it would be for ds, sort of a mixed bag, better on some things and not as good on others. And that's not something he's mature enough to sort out. 

 

I hadn't thought about him outgrowing the toy stage. Oh my! Might need to make another one of these, lol. Time is running out.  :blush:

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My 8yo does math worksheets and reading on her own, but I’m usually nearby in case she has questions.  We have a very regular daily school routine, so we don’t use checklists for school, but she does have one for chores.  She can be a bit flighty, so I can see a checklist being a problem.  She hasn’t really tried typing on a computer yet, but is allowed to use her older sister’s computer for games after school sometimes.  We’re doing cursive until 5th grade, and then she will take a typing course.  For fun, she loves to play with our vast Lego collection, Playmobile, coding robots (Ozobots), dolls, and reading.

For chores, she helps prepare lunches like sandwiches, feeds and brushes dogs, straightens up rooms, wipes and dusts tables and shelves, sorts and folds laundry, vacuums using a lightweight stick vacuum, sweeps, light cleaning in bathrooms, and she helps with outdoor chores like shoveling snow and trimming bushes.  She can get her own breakfast in the morning and is always dressed and ready for the day when I get up.  She’s better at some of these chores than others, but she usually enjoys pitching in around the house. 

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If I had a school that could do right by him, I'd enroll him next year in a heartbeat. But I doubt it exists. Nice dream though, thinking maybe for junior high. Would probably make more trouble than it's worth, sigh.

 

Take it one year at a time.  Options that might fit for jr high might not even exist today and I'm guessing it's pretty hard to predict various function levels more than a couple of years in advance, as frustrating as that would be.  It seems to me that there are seasons for things.  Elementary schools tend toward one-size-fits-all, so I imagine options are limited at this age.

Edited by wapiti
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My 7yr old (will be 8 in March) 2nd grader works from a checklist (me, too!), and has the following daily schedule:

 

8:00 - 8:30am: Morning time (led by me) - prayers, poetry, grammar (First Language Lessons #2 - all oral), family read-along (currently The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe).

 

8:30 - 9:00: (independent) spelling (Spelling Workout B) and handwriting (Zaner-Bloser 2C)

 

snack/break

 

9:30 - 10:30: math (Singapore CC 2A) I present him any new topics and work through textbook material with him, and then he does assigned work in the workbook or the extra practice/challenging problems books and brings it to me to be checked. Most of the time this doesn't take anywhere near a full hour.

 

outside break/lunch/clean up/family read aloud

 

12:30-1:00pm science (independent) He's focusing on astronomy, mostly reading, some written/copy work. He keeps an astrojournal of stargazing at night with his father.

 

1:00 - 2:00: (led by me) history (Story of the World 2) and literature (Classical House of Learning Literature, Middle Ages Grammar Stage). I read and ask questions orally, he does some writing/mapwork/coloring work, and then he reads from other related fiction/nonfiction books on his own.

 

He has only 60-90 minutes of daily screen time during the week, mostly tv with his little brothers. He hasn't used the computer much, and I guess we should add a typing program in at some point. He has a tablet that he just received for Christmas, and plays with that as much as he is able between Friday night - Sunday afternoon. He reads and plays independently doing puzzles, arts & crafts, Legos, and loves to listen to audio books with headphones. His chores include clearing the kitchen table after dinner and loading/unloading the dishwasher. He also washes/dries/folds/puts away his own laundry on laundry day, and helps out with his little brothers' laundry as well.

 

 

Edited by Noreen Claire
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My younger DD is 8.5.  Late reader; doesn't love formal school work.

 

Her school day is pretty easy right now:  

fact practice (either a work page or Xtramath)

1 page (front & back) of Math Mammoth

Phonics lesson

1 page from Apples & Pears A

Pentime 2

 

None of this (except Pentime) is done independently.  I drive the school day.  We also do some History and Science together.  Sometimes Spanish and recorder.  (We're not very hard-core, here. :o)

 

For pleasure:  my girls play with Schleich animal figurines a lot.  Lots of independent imaginative play (with figurines and doll houses -- not dolls, usually the Schleich animals live in the dollhouse).  She loves movies, loves Harry Potter Lego for Wii, playing apps on iPad.  Plays outside with the neighbor's children and with the stray cat that hangs around our yard.

 

She doesn't currently do any school work on the computer, though they play around on Wizard School (formerly Wonderbox) and other edutainment apps on iPads.

Edited by alisoncooks
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I have really enjoyed reading everyone's comments on this. My 8yo has ASD, Apraxia, and pretty severe dyslexia so I too wonder about what his peers are doing.

 

For us, my 8yo's day looks like this:

 

He makes his own bed and gets dressed before breakfast.

 

After breakfast, he listens to an audio book for about 45 min (his older brother read during this time as well).

 

By 9:30ish, I sit with him to do math (30 min) and then we usually work on reading and grammar (45 min). He then has a break while I work with his brothers or he may choose to do something off his daily list that he can do independently (his handwriting, or ETC).

 

After lunch, we often work on science or geography together and then he might do some drawing or other art at the table by himself while he waits for his brothers to be done so they will play with him.

 

As far as other independant things he tackles, the list is quite short I'm afraid. He is still learning to ride a bike and swim completely independently. He will help me cook but it is completely supervised. He loves to do puzzles, and build with blocks. He brings in the garbage container and recycling containers from the curb for me on garbage day. He will water the plants for me. He helps me garden in the spring and summer a lot.

 

I loved reading some of the other things people posted that their kids are doing independently. Lots of good ideas for us to work towards.

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My 7.5-year-old is in second grade.  She turns 8 in July.  She gets up, gets her breakfast, and is supposed to brush her teeth and make her bed.  I am still often there telling her to stop playing and get her things done.

 

Her schoolwork is nearly all completed in the morning. She begins with reading a book of her choice, then a phonics workbook and spelling; these are independent.  She does grammar with me.  Then she breaks with whichever toy or craft she decides.  After her break she reads a book of MY choosing.  Some books I get the audio and she follows along.  Then she has another break.  From there she does math (somewhat independent...I mostly teach the lesson and she's sitting near but I'm helping someone else usually).  After math she does writing which is not independent at all.  About this time she finishes and plays while I help everyone else finish.  

 

After lunch the kids each have a chore (sweep, clear table, dishes, or put food away).  And then they get a break while I put the toddler down for a nap.  They then play outside or help me clean (their choice).  If they didn't finish putting laundry away or get their bed made or room picked up before schoolwork, they must do it here.  Then we do history or science as a group with a snack.  And then she's released to go play. 

 

She still plays with baby dolls.  She also loves to craft (cutting and pasting and making a giant mess in general) or listen to music or sing.  She plays outside with friends but not as much in the winter because she's a skinny little thing that gets cold easily.

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Well this is interesting! We use checklists with him, but they're checklists on the wall on whiteboards, lists written by the workers. I was trying to figure out if I should move him over to a printed weekly checklist, but it seems like it's still a little early. We're within the realm of typical to continue as we are this year.

 

I LOVE your observations on things your kids are doing independently!!  A lot of that is stuff he is ready to do!! They want him to have independent work (to work on the behavior of it, the self-regulation), and we had been sort of scrambling. These ideas like the Mark Kistler drawing, Hour of Code, Prodigy Math, Snap Circuits, magnets with a book, rock collection, etc., these are all spot on and terrific for him! Much more engaging than file folder games, lol. He had liked things, but he just keeps growing. These is good stuff!

 

You've expanded me on the chores thing to. He does the dishwasher when told. I got a Roomba, and I think he could learn to pick up his floor and run that in his room. He doesn't put on his own sheets yet, but I like that idea. It's just a good next step. And flipping pancakes, well now that Big Sis is gone that can happen!   :)

 

I'm intrigued by how much you're still doing together. I think I won't feel so badly about it, and you're right that there's no need to rush or confuse 2nd and 3rd. There can be a jump in 3rd. Right now, we'll just let him be little. The years go by VERY quickly. I know that, now that dd is gone, sigh. But you're right that we don't milk those years by rushing them. We just have to do what is appropriate. 

 

I'll have to look at that MP astronomy. I'm looking for some science that he could do independently, something with an audio component. I could get the BJU videos again. He likes them. Haven't really decided. He has access to an ipad, so we can use TTS for pdfs and ebooks.

I don't expect any independent work in second, or third. Nothing more than completing a page I've assigned. Fourth grade is for moving to independence. 

 

I was so impatient with my oldest in 3rd grade. I had two babies and a K to deal with. I NEEDED him to just follow his own darn checklist. It was really beyond him, and so frustrating. So frustrating. Independence does come in time. Just not this time. 

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As far as other independant things he tackles, the list is quite short I'm afraid. He is still learning to ride a bike and swim completely independently. He will help me cook but it is completely supervised. He loves to do puzzles, and build with blocks. He brings in the garbage container and recycling containers from the curb for me on garbage day. He will water the plants for me. He helps me garden in the spring and summer a lot.

 

 

This made me smile because it is very much my 8.5 year old.  She just learned to ride her bike a month or so ago, and she practices in the backyard often.  She also loves helping me cook, doing puzzles and building with blocks.   She has only recently been entrusted with bring up the cans from the curb and getting the mail from the mailbox (I still watch from the front porch -- for a long time she wasn't allowed because she'd had an "incident" near the curb that probably scared the cr@p out of some poor neighbor who was driving by. :o)

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Strawberry, that is such a good point. And they're only asking for 10 minutes, sort of making good choices to busy yourself. It's like in K5 when the kids color their page at their desk and then play quietly for 10 minutes waiting for 8:30 bell to start. It's really more like busy yourself for 10 minutes quietly. He has a lot of waiting behaviors, so "busy yourself quietly for 10 minutes" is actually a really good behavioral goal, lol. But I agree, I'm so distant from things now and my brain was like oh maybe it's time for that jump! And you're right that making that jump (here's your list, work through it) might not be appropriate. But it's good to talk through that and see what people are doing.

 

Right now, ds seems smack in the middle of things other people are doing, so that's pretty good! 

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Lots of boys, I was admiring the compliance and routine you seem to have there. So he has no behaviors and just glibly follows the plan and does all that? Wow! My ds is totally on his own path in life, and we're like hello, we exist, let's get on the path together... But we also don't have that momentum of two other kids of similar age. You've got a good thing going there. :)

 

As far as the swimming, yes we have it. And gymnastics. But what it took to get there was sort of overkill astonishing. Like when he was in K5 and 1st we did swim lessons 3-4 days a week. They were just 1/2 hour classes, but I put him in the morning preschool class two days a week AND sometimes the Saturday morning class AND the evening weekly class. That was for swimming. And the preschool morning class was just him and one or two other kids most of the time. He was in that class two full school years and during summers. That was with a veteran teacher of 35 years. She would motor plan his arms and give him lots of personal attention. He went from there to one of the top level big kid classes and is now doing very well on swim team! He's still different, because he has to wear a 3/2 mill wetsuit to stay regulated in the pool. It's partly that he's thin, but it's also the autism we think. He just can't regulate his temperature, and when that goes his behavior goes. He was literally turning blue!

 

I'm all in favor of swimming. It sort of messed up the motor planning for his speech by introducing a pulling down motion. But overall, the confidence, etc. is really good. I think it's just going to take a lot longer for some kids. Like maybe sign him up for daily lessons the whole summer if your area has that. Maybe try to get small group or get him in with younger kids. The big kid classes get lower quality (high school kid) teachers around here. They put the best people in with the preschoolers. Our Y was fabulous with us and gave us carte blanche to be in the classes that worked best for him. They also have adaptive aquatics classes. But for my ds, it really took quantity. Everything has taken him at least 4 times as long to learn. It was really discouraging to watch, because all the other kids would come and go, and we'd still be there, in that same class. But after a couple years of sticking with it like that, it started to show!

 

Gymnastics is really good too. Gives our kids strength, a chance to stand in line and practice waiting and social behaviors, etc. Also tones down some of the sensory seeking, oy.

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Mr. Inquisitive is 7.5 and halfway through 2nd grade. He's great a remembering intricate details and something he read once 2 years ago but can't remember where he put his shoes (that he was wearing 5 minutes ago) if his life depended on it. He's generally responsible and very detail orientated. A simple, no frills, workbook approach works best for him. He's the type that needs to have the broad strokes of something before he can focus on the details - for instance he has great difficulty learning a science concept from an experiment but does really well if an experiment is used to enforce something he's been exposed to/learned about a few times already.

 

For play he likes: riding bike or scooter, making up games/make believe inside and outside, swimming, helping me in the garden, cooking, drawing - or, more accurately, making his own board and card games, playing games on the computer or xbox (DH and I are both moderate gamers so that's something all the kids have been exposed to since birth), and reading.

 

During school he does handwriting, copywork, geography (a workbook), and most of his math (math mammoth) independently. We do grammar, narration, and science/history together. For spelling I've gone to just having him spell the words and moving on because A Reason for Spelling isn't work book-y enough for him. He generally prefers  a "brief instruction with mom and then left alone for the bulk of his work" approach.

 

He does play games on the computer and tablet on a daily basis but doesn't do a lot of typing yet. We'll probably include that in next year's formal instruction.

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