Well here we are on our way through October! Wow it is sure amazing how the time is flying by so fast!
September was full of trials as we began our official home school journey. We tried a local class day through a Christian home school program, but sadly this just did not seem to be a good fit for Jonah. We tried some different strategies to help him adjust, but I think due to the lack of structure and not being able to participate in activities that he is familiar with and enjoys, he was just completely stressed and not happy and then so was mama. At some point I decided as much as I felt this would be good for Jonah to have one class day a week, I just can't make him comfortable there at least at this time and it really didn't seem fair to the other children to have him yelling and throwing himself on the floor, it just scared and stressed them too I felt.
So we keep trying... heading off in an alternate route - but to the same destination. God will make a way for us, I must have faith and trust. We enrolled in a Kindersports class and a special needs dance/movement class so we are going to see how these classes go. Also, we are hoping to catch up with some local home school families at park days - looking for any ways to get him out experiencing life and people!
At home we have had a fairly unstructured day doing what we can while trying to touch on multiple subjects in some way throughout the day. Our nationality song this month was This Land Is Your Land http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1L-4tsceVM, we said the Pledge of Allegiance and waved our flags. We continue to work on signing "kind" and using gentle hands, the concepts of helping and asking for help. We are using the Spectrum workbooks for Reading, Phonics, Math and Language Arts, which I love because they have color pictures that are more appealing to Jonah. I have to try to help him hold his crayon and it is so hard and frustrating for him due to fine motor difficulties, but we keep trying. We worked on matching upper and lower case alphabet and he is doing great with this. We worked on words that start with S and T, watching videos, circling letters, pages in workbooks with these letters. We have been reading the early reader books and other books, still trying to get him more interested in reading! I do love seeing him pointing and signing to words in books demonstrating his understanding of what we are reading! We worked on new vocabulary words which he seemed to do well with, but did not quite make it to spelling words this month. We are reading Bible stories and are working on signing "Jesus" which he can do in his own way and on the idea that "Jesus Saved Me" and on spelling BIBLE. Our song this month was ABCDEFG, Romans 12:20, and we talked about how Jesus makes him strong. We studied South America looking at pictures, pointing out S. America on the globe compared to where we live, watching videos about the rain forest, listening to pan flute music (which was our instrument this month). We watched the Jungle Book movie and Jonah made his own jungle book gluing numbered words/pictures. We went to the zoo with our good friends and saw animals that live in the jungle - Jonah loves the gorillas! We also went to the Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney, which was fun and yummy! We made a back to school kindergarten collage, an apple tree gluing on red pom poms for apples, made a zebra mask. We talked about weather and temperature as well as did our calendar and worked on months, days of the week. We talked about the 5 Senses and I tried to reinforce those through activities throughout the month. We continue to work on counting and numbers 1-10, matching numbers, looking at number books and counting many things throughout the day, using the abacus; he seems to be liking the counting and will now initiate counting on his own more. He is doing great matching shapes and colors and hardly ever makes mistakes, but sometimes he seems to intentionally not do it to show me he is not really in the mood, but will correct himself with some negotiation! We worked on parts of the computer and on typing a little note to his cousins. We also studied transportation this month. We went to the airport to watch airplanes, Seaport village to see the boats, to Disneyland looked at all the cars and trucks on the highway, road the monorail, saw the Trolley going by and incorporated helicopter, airplane, truck, boat, ambulance, train into our vocabulary. We also watched the Cars movie and saw the cars at plane at Disneyland. We danced and listened to South American music and listened to Mozart lullaby, which mama loves! Jonah's new favorite song is 5 Little Monkeys and he finds it funny how I sing the song - and he does the signs along with me - I truly love making him laugh! I would really like to incorporate more music and art into our days! We worked on our dress-up monkey to work on dressing skills, which are very difficult for Jonah although he can get his shirt off in a New York minute! We went to Mt. Laguna and had a fun time exploring and got to hear real thunder and feel the rain which we hardly ever get to experience at our place. We had so much fun going to the park and did lots and lots of swimming Jonah's favorite thing to do in the whole world, swinging is a close second. We went to have lunch with daddy in Pt. Loma which was fun and also did other fun stuff like go to KidVentures and Funbelievable for exercise. We also have been reviewing safety information and working on listening to the word "stop!" which he can also sign.
Oh my there is more, and also much more I had planned we didn't get to. I try to plan more than less and just do my best to get done what we can. Trying not to beat myself up for not getting more done, but rather working to focus on what we are getting done!
I keep a daily list of things we work on and one thing I decided to add this month was "Highlights" each day. This has been a tremendous help to keep myself focused on looking for the good, savoring those positive and love filled moments together in the day! Trust me I NEED this as this has not been the easiest month by any means; a month full of joy, smiles, laughter and fun, but also trials, tears and heart ache. It truly has been a roller coaster of emotion, still grieving I think of the ideal school setting for our son that does not seem to exist. I had to also write out a list of reasons to home school vs. public school and when I get down I refer to this to redirect my thoughts and frustrations, knowing in my heart this is the best plan for him for right now. I'm also trying to find ways to filter out other peoples judgment of us deciding to home school. I get it there was a day I may have felt the same as them about home school and limiting "social opportunities" that was until I had a special needs child of my own. That old adage of not judging someone until you have walked in their shoes is sure on the mark! As a parent, I feel compelled to do what is best for my son regardless of the opinion of others, the judgement, the cost or sacrifice - his needs come first. I'm learning along with him and boy do I have a lot to learn!!!! He is teaching me and I'm doing my best to teach him too! The love I have for this little boy is mind boggling sometimes and knowing that I'm not alone, that God is watching over us... helps us along the journey. "The task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you." ~ Author Unknown / "Life's a journey - not a destination." ~ Author Unknown
I'm finding this blog cathartic and helpful as I type my own reflection of our journey! Thanks for reading and I wish you and your family a colorful and joy-filled autumn and Happy Halloween!