Sunday, June 5, 2011

It's been a hectic month, so I haven't had much time to do anything formal with the girls or myself, but I thought I'd check in anyways.  Tyler finished his first year of medical school!  It feels like an accomplishment for me as well, because I played a very significant supportive role to him, as well as his practice dummy.  Right now he is doing a preceptorship for a few weeks, so we are staying with my in-laws at the moment.

In the few weeks before we left, I was spending a lot of time working on Early Intervention evaluations for Lydia.  Those of you who know us well are familiar with the struggles she's had since she was tiny.  Between moving so much in the last year, and the lengthy process of getting set up for evaluation, this is the first chance we've had to get her checked out since she was a baby.  I was worried that I was making stuff up and that she was doing just fine and I was just one of THOSE first-time parents.  It appears I wasn't making it up at all, because she qualified for 2 hours each (the maximum) of developmental, speech, and occupational therapy per week.  That's 6 hours a week!  Before I started this process, I was thinking I should sign Lydia up for a class or something to get her a little out of her comfort zone and out of the house on a regular basis, but I think 6 hours a week of therapy should be plenty of activities.  I am totally new to the area of special needs and therapies, so this will definitely be an adventure.  I have a good feeling about the company that is doing her therapies, though, and she really seems to like it there so far.  I'm looking forward to getting back home and getting her started.

For Music Study, Lydia has zero interest in Chopin.  Every time I start Chopin, she says, "Listen Baldi!, Wan to listen Baldi!"  I can see why she would prefer Vivaldi.  It's more exciting music, as opposed to Chopin that is quiet piano music for the most part.  I haven't been great about turning on Queen, but that's an album that gets listened to at our house all the time anyways, so I'm not too worried about her getting exposure to it right this minute.

As for Unit Studies, she wasn't really getting much out of it so I'm not doing them anymore for the moment.  She already knows all her letters and their sounds, and is learning her numbers through daily activities, like counting the stairs and her cars.  She doesn't really care about crafts at all at this point, either.  She enjoys scribbling with crayons, but that's about it.  The one part that was very successful was getting her a few books with a theme and reading them over and over again.  She especially enjoyed the penguin books and the kitten books.  She still recites The Three Little Kittens and Kitten's First Full Moon to herself while she plays.  I think I'll continue to get several books about the same basic theme, because she enjoys it.

Grandma's house has two back decks, each with a porch swing.  Lydia LOVES the swings.  She is almost always happy to go sit on it and swing with you for a long period of time.  I've been using this time to do read alouds.  Right now we're working on Anne of Green Gables, one of my personal favorites.  Both Lydia and Ellie will sit with me on the swing for a few chapters.  I'm most impressed with Ellie, who will just go limp and listen until I'm done reading, up to 45 minutes or more.  That's a pretty good attention span for an eight month old.

Ellie is getting bigger every day and is starting to want to be involved in things.  She follows Lydia or myself around everywhere.  She can pull herself up to her knees and sit up by herself now, as well as crawl and get into things.  She's fun and I look forward to getting to know her better as she gets older.

As for my studies, I'm still plugging along at Latin and Khan Academy.  I just finished Lesson 11 in Latin for Beginners this morning and have completed 49 exercises areas on Khan Academy for a total of 170,011 energy points!  In math, that puts me in simple geometry and pre-algebra.  It's all coming back to me and I'm finding it fun. I'm thinking that I should probably add in some formal grammar, specifically diagramming.  My grammar knowledge is all intuitive, and I would like to know it better formally.  I plan on having a heavy diagramming emphasis in grammar when I teach my daughters, so I think this would be a good place for me to start considering I did diagramming for all of 2 weeks in school.  I was thinking I might do KISS Grammar all the way through, but I've since found out that they don't do diagramming.  Maybe I'll just get a book on diagramming and do KISS?  KISS comes very highly recommended and it's free, so I'll probably at least try it.  Finally, I'm trying to get caught up in my history, so I've been reading History of the Ancient World, by Susan Wise Bauer.  I really enjoy Ms. Bauer and plan on using her other book, The Well-Trained Mind, as my guide through educating my children.  HOAW is the first of four books that she will eventually finish (only two are out yet) that will chronicle the history of the whole world.  It's very dense, but I enjoy her style and find her way of viewing history to be both entertaining and informative.  I'm learning so much just by reading it, and I can't wait to do history with my girls.

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