New Tutor!

Well we got some great news! They hired a new tutor for Wesley! So we lose our current tutor on the 8th of April. And our new tutor should start April 29th. Meaning we are only going to go two weeks without a second tutor. It makes me so sad to lose our current afternoon tutor, as she is fantastic with Wesley, however I’m glad the process in which to hirer a new tutor went faster then usual.
Last night I asked Wesley where he wanted to go for dinner and he told me. “First Mom we go to “dollargrama”(dollarama) for batteries for my playdoh machine, then we go “Hamburger King”(Burger King).”LOL I love when kids say things wrong.
This morning Wesley woke up and insisted on playing with his Play-Doh Mega Fun Factory. He played with it for HOURS, only stopping to eat breakfast and lunch. Then his afternoon tutor came so he had to go upstairs for school. I think I’ve written about this before, but to watch him play with Play-Doh makes me so happy! When he was younger, his tactile senses were so sensitive he would freak out a the touch of Play-Doh. His daycare actually put globs of the stuff on light switches to prevent him from playing with them.
Overall I’m happy with the way Wesley’s homeschooling is going. We are finally in a great routine. And if we miss a day its ok! I think keeping data for ABA on stuff that we do has really helped me stay on top of things.

This is an old entry that was for some reason not posted the other week

Ok so I’m back in business. New hard drive in the computer and were good as new!
Today I had an extra little one to watch. I was excited when one of my first daycare children’s mom called me and asked if I had a spot available for the day. I agreed as long as he was dropped off after 9am and picked up before 3pm as that is Wesley’s tutors hours. So seeing as he is busy working, I only had 3 other little ones to watch. Well of course first thing in the morning Welsey’s tutor called in sick. So I have 5 children to watch today. Yikes! Thank God one of the parents brought me a coffee, and that kept me going. All and all it was ok since all my children are well behaved.
Wesley and I have Suzuki violin lessons tomorrow. I was suppose to start playing with him this week but the bow that came with my mom’s violin is awful, so I’ll have to go tomorrow and buy another one. Then after lessons he’s off with his dad.
Wesley didn’t have any mini-seizures today, but seemed a bit spacey from time to time. I’m hoping this new remedy the DAN! doctor sends us will balance him out. We stopped the digestive enzymes today. So far so good, he seems to be just as hungry. Hopefully his digestive system can take over from here. Our plan basically is to support the body in a way that it can do the work on its own eventually without supplements.
After the mini-seizure incident, a friend suggested I look more into cross-lateral coordination training. Glenn Doman talks about this in his books How Smart Is Your Baby?: Develop And Nurture Your Newborn’s Full Potential, What To Do About Your Brain-injured Child, and How To Teach Your Baby To Be Physically Superb: From Birth To Age Six; The Gentle Revolution. I’ve been thinking about starting a crawling program with Wesley, but time and time again I fail. So I think tomorrow, I’m going to go shopping and try and buy a bunch of those big square mats that interconnect and start a crawling program next week. I also contacted a Brain Gym instructor in our area but sadly I honestly don’t think we can afford it right now. I also have to think that I would love to take the course at the IAHP on Brain Injured children. But I’ll continue to pray and hope that the right answer will come to me.

Why boys and girls learn differently

This past weekend kizudo and I went to a homeschooling conference. I have to say it was amazing! Kizudo and I were in our glory I think its safe to say as the keynote speaker Andrew Pudewa, was trained under both Suzuki AND Glenn Doman!! Anyhow I plan on writing more about how we cornered him after one seminar and picked his brain for a little bit.
Anyhow one thing he talked about was how boys and girls see and hear things differently. So when your son is making that tiny clicking sounds that drives any mother NUTS, he doesn’t know he’s doing it. Girls tend to hear softer sounds then boys. Same with visual. Boys tend to draw verbs, they want to draw explosions, erruptions, things going fast, crashes. They don’t want to draw a plain old house, they want to draw the house that has been blown up to a million little pieces. Or a rockets moving at the speed of light. While girls want to draw nouns. They want to draw horses, and kittens. Girls will use every color in the box, while boys tend to use one or two colors.
Even in writing boys tend to use more verbs and adjectives. They want to write about how fast the dog can run, they really don’t care what color or texture the dogs fur was. While girls use more nouns and adjectives. They tend to describe in detail what color the dog was, was he happy or mean, what did the yard look like, what was the weather in the scene.
This was all real food for thought for me…
He also talked about how studies show that children do better in school if they split into classes by gender more then age. He also talked about how boys need to move while they learn, so in a class where chairs became optional, marks went up. You might find one boy leaning over a desk, one curled under the desk secret agent style. But they were all working, and excelling in their studies. 
He also talked about how the theory of fight or flight in stress situations ONLY applies to males. When these studies were being done, they only used male mammals, because females had more variations because of their monthly cycles. Now that they have started doing some research using female mammals, they discovered females appear to tend or befriend. When males are stressed they tend to stand and move around, females tend to hid, disappear, sit or lie down.
Andrew also cleared up some stuff for me about my hubby and son’s NEED to fight. To me it is ridiculous to wrestle every night in the living room. To me I just keep thinking someone is going to get hurt! Well turns out males need to play fight. While women brains tend to get foggy during moments of pain (obviously to forget the pain of child birth), pain clarifies the male brain. He used the example of men in war being shot. They need to think clearly to get themselves to safety.
Well needless to say when I came home I understood why my son and hubby are they way they are!

Hyper on coffee

Well I just had a wonderful (but too short visit) with a follow Brillkids member. I have to say I’m terribly jealous that she is on her way to the first day of the homeschooling conference, and I’m still here sitting at home. But I forgive her because she brought me then Yummiest coffee from Starbucks, and I have begged her to email me the Coles notes to this speaker:

The Profound Influence of Music on Life – Andrew Pudewa: Music has become such an ever-present influence in our daily life, we seldom stop to consider what effect it has on us. But we must. As we changed over the last 100 years, from being music “makers” to music “consumers,” we have gradually lost control over, and even awareness of, our auditory environment. In what way is music beneficial to our bodies and minds? In what circumstances can it actually be harmful? Solid scientific research provides some astounding answers to such questions–indeed, facts that must not be ignored by today’s parents and children.

I’m so excited to be able to listen to the rest of the topics tomorrow by Andrew Pudewa.
Andrew Pudewa is the director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing and a homeschooling father of seven. Presenting throughout North America, he addresses issues relating to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity and insight, practical experience and humor. His seminars for parents, students, and teachers have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students’ skills. Although he is a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan, and holds a Certificate of Child Brain Development from the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, his best endorsement is from a young Alaskan boy who called him “the funny man with the wonderful words.” He and his beautiful, heroic wife Robin currently teach their three youngest children at their new home in Locust Grove, Oklahoma.

Kizudo and I plan on cornering this poor man and picking his brain about what he learned at IAHP. Its just so exciting that this years Keynote speaker is someone so knowledgeable in such important subjects to us.
Tonight is another quiet Mommy-Wesley night. We have to practice violin especially because his dad is taking him tomorrow. And once my little man is in bed, I’m hoping to clean house and listen to my Tweedlewink Overview course MP3s. I have to keep moving while I listen to them, the woman that speaks in them (Pamela Sue Hickein) voice is so soothing and if I lay down I fall asleep. Not that the info is not interesting, it really is so fascinating. I’d also like to read a few chapters of her book “Right Brain Education” and also work on a review or two. Get ready for giveaways guys!!

Suzuki and other Updates

A couple weeks ago we discovered that Wesley did better at his Suzuki violin lessons if his teacher played violin with him. However this made if difficult for her to correct him. So I borrowed one of my mom’s full size violins and I am now taking lessons with him. Last Saturday was the first lesson we had together, and it was the best lesson he has ever had.
So far he can play
– no fingers on all 4 strings
– one finger on all 4 strings
– two fingers on E and A string
– three fingers on E and A string
It doesn’t always sound fantastic, but that’s part of learning violin.
I’ve been listening to my Tweedlewink Overview Course mp3s and I’vew come to realize that I need to do some more right brain flashcards with Wesley. Since he is language delayed, this means his right brain is still very open. So I need to get a flashcard program running, and remind myself that it is 100% input and not to expect any output. The point is to stimulate the right brain and create connections in the brain. If he chooses to show me what he knows from this program great! If not that’s ok too. I think I’m going to start using Semester 2 of Little Reader as well.
I’ve started having to keep data for Wesley’s ABA program. The program requires all parents do 5 hours of therapy a week on their own. Well it is well know by our team that I do more then that, however I am awful at taking data. Well apparently the program has been auditing clients files and if they don’t have “Parent Hours” documented they are getting in trouble. So I’ve had to start taking my own data. I was a little OP’d at the start, but now I find that it is helping me stay on target with my programs.
Right now the programs I’m keeping data for ABA are:
– addition
– Pathway Phonics
– Reading trials
I’m going to add in:
– Canadian Geography
– Hooked on Phonics (I was taking data for this, but it was confusing so we stopped, but I think I can take data another way) 
Our afternoon ABA tutor quit 🙁 This is very sad for us because it has taken us so long to finally get the perfect ABA team. I’m hoping it won’t take long to find a good replacement. However she may only be gone for a month or so and if that’s the case she will come back and work with Wesley.
I was going to cancel daycare tomorrow to go to our local homeschooling conference, however I had 3 kids booked, so I didn’t. Well one child is leaving for Mexico tomorrow and one is staying home. Now I only have one child. Sadly it is too short notice to cancel so I’ll have to wait till Saturday to go. No big deal I just wish I had know.
Wesley has gotten a little cold. Luckily I have some homeopathic remedies here and they seem to be helping him. I’m hoping he will feel 100% soon.
Have a great day!!

Sparkabilities DVD Review

Wesley, my daycare children and I have recently had the chance to review the DVD series from PlayWise called Sparkabilities.

The Sparkabilities segments are designed according to specific developmental stages. They build on one another becoming more challenging while remaining familiar to your baby. Each title repeats theme segments creating a pattern within the show!

The Sparkabilities DVDs were created based on the PlayWisely method.

“PlayWisely®, a curriculum and pioneering developmental play system for little ones ages four months to 3 years, serves as a potential mechanism to jump start a child’s intellectual and athletic foundation, something that may prove to help children learn more effectively during their formal education.”

The DVD’s build on each other and progressively get more difficult as your child gets older and mature.

Babies 1– is designed for children birth and up. It introduces the concepts of math, reading, art, music, language and emotions

Babies 2– is designed for children that have just started to sit and up. It introduces the concepts of math, reading, art, music, language, and communication.

Toddler 1– is for children who have started to walk and up. It builds on the concepts learned in Babies 1 and 2.
Math- geometry, fractions, addition, subtraction, and numeration
Reading- letters, letter sounds, visual discrimination, and directionality
Art- hue, saturation, and value
Emotions- happy, sad, mad, and ok
Music- instrument families, notes
motor skills- throwing, catching, kicking and more.

Toddler 2 – is for children who talking to Preschool (even older if they are interested). It builds on the concepts in Toddler 1.
Math- 3D Forms and patterns are added
Reading- c-v-c words are added
Art- Primary and secondary colors are added
Emotions- opposites are added

Also you can download apps for you iPhone and iPad for when your out an about with your child.
What did we think?
We love it! Even my kindergartners have gotten into it. I have used other flashcard DVDs in the past, but what I like about these Sparkabilities DVD is the fact that they are very playful. You will often hear the children giggling while they watch these videos. My little ones seem to really focus on what they are watching so I believe they are really absorbing the information. Whats funny is I have one little one that is on Babies 2 and another child that’s on Toddler 1 and you can notice that when Babies 2 is on my 12 month old is totally engaged and the 22month wanders in and out, but when Toddler 1 is on my 22 month is totally engaged and the 12 month old pays attention on and off.
If your looking for a fun and engaging system to expose your child to a whole new world of learning Sparkabilities is what your looking for. It helps busy parents teach their children. Parent don’t have to gather, buy, print and store flashcards. All you have to do is plan a special time each day(or as often as possible) to cuddle up on the couch with your little one(s) and watch these videos.
Thank-you Jana from Sparkabilities for allowing my children and I to review your great product!
I was provided the Sparkabilities DVD in exchange for my unbiased option. I was not required to write a positive review. The options expressed her are my own, others my have a different experience.

Cross Lateral Training

Ok so I’m back in business. New hard drive in the computer and were good as new!
Today I had an extra little one to watch. I was excited when one of my first daycare children’s mom called me and asked if I had a spot available for the day. I agreed as long as he was dropped off after 9am and picked up before 3pm as that is Wesley’s tutors hours. So seeing as he is busy working, I only had 3 other little ones to watch. Well of course first thing in the morning Welsey’s tutor called in sick. So I have 5 children to watch today. Yikes! Thank God one of the parents brought me a coffee, and that kept me going. All and all it was ok since all my children are well behaved.
Wesley and I have Suzuki violin lessons tomorrow. I was suppose to start playing with him this week but the bow that came with my mom’s violin is awful, so I’ll have to go tomorrow and buy another one. Then after lessons he’s off with his dad.
Wesley didn’t have any mini-seizures today, but seemed a bit spacey from time to time. I’m hoping this new remedy the DAN! doctor sends us will balance him out. We stopped the digestive enzymes today. So far so good, he seems to be just as hungry. Hopefully his digestive system can take over from here. Our plan basically is to support the body in a way that it can do the work on its own eventually without supplements.
After the mini-seizure incident, a friend suggested I look more into cross-lateral coordination training. Glenn Doman talks about this in his books What To Do About Your Brain-injured Child and How to Teach Your Baby to Be Physically Superb : Birth to Age Six (More Gentle Revolution). I’ve been thinking of doing a crawling program for the last year or so since I talked to someone at the IAHP. But I keep fail miserably at this task. So this weekend I’m hoping to go look for some of those big 2’x2′ interlinking mats, and start a program.
Anyhow its late. I have to be up early to get my monster to his lessons.

Seemed to have stopped

Well seizures seem to have stopped. We had a seizure free day yesterday. 
I can’t wait to get my computer back tomorrow. I spent the day arguing with the computer place about a fair price. Finally we came to an agreement. It needed a whole new hard-drive, this apparently happens every once in a while, they don’t last forever. I am also going to order a new battery and my laptop should last me another 3years 🙂 I’ve been watching my part time daycare child a bit more and watching a child I use to have full time a day here and there to pay for the repairs. 
I’m not sure what’s with Wesley, he seemed to be figuring out his addition problems just fine and now he seems to be forgetting them again. I’m just going to back off for a little bit I think. 
Thank God it’s Friday! I Haven’t been sleeping well. 
Once I get my computer back get ready for a bun of wonderful reviews! I have them all ready to go.

Seizures

Well things were crazy yesterday! Wesley started having mini seizures. I never saw any of them, but he had 6 yesterday and 2 this morning(thou the two this morning were with a minute or two apart, so I believe it was the same one. He basically freezes and his eyes roll up in his head and the tutors have to say his name a few times to get him back to reality. I called his DAN! Doctor and she said right away mini seizure, so we put him back on a medication we recently took him off. I’m suppose to call her tomorrow if they haven’t stopped. 
Then I had to call our vet, our cat has displaced aggression towards our senior tutor, she attacks the tutors feet or hides and hisses. 
Good news at least we discovered we can work on one new math fact a night and it seems to help him memorize it. 
Well all we can do is pray this is just temporary. 

Our weekend

Saturday morning Wesley and I went to violin lessons. His teacher and I decided that it might be helpful for me to borrow one of my mom’s full size violins and take the lessons with him. This is so exciting! Basically I get free violin lessons. May as well get two birds with one stone. He is getting so close to learning his first song. Lessons are less combative. He really likes playing violin it’s just mornings he is so full of energy its hard for him to stand still. But each week gets a little better. 
Then Hubby and my stepdaughter were out at a birthday party. Wesley and I played ” beat the tv “. I put in the Hooked on Phonics DVD a good friend gave me (we have the older version of HOP without DVDs) and Wesley would try and sound out the words before the narrator said it on the tv. He’s getting good! Before he would just look at part of the word and guess. Not all the time but when he was feeling lazy. But now he seems to get it. 
We also sat and did a few puzzles together. A year ago Wesley was really into puzzles, but he kind of lost interest. So I’m trying to spark that interest because it’s so good for brain development and building math skills. 
I also had him watch Kids 20/20 Math Facts. I’m hoping that might help him remember his math facts. But I know I have to get my printer up and running and use some of my HeidiSongs resources. I’m sure there is plenty available on that disc to help me teach him. 
Saturday night Wesley and I have a Mommy/Son date. We went to Wendy’s for supper. It was so nice to sit and relax with him. He is just so sweet to be around. I love him to pieces.
We came home and watch Elmo in Grouchland on Netflix. I really can’t stand Elmo, his voice is so shrill. But oh well the kids enjoyed it.    
Sunday morning I forgot about daylight saving time and I slept in and missed church. When I came downstairs my stepdaughter was waiting for me. She wanted to make her princess party cupcakes she got as a party favor the night before for her daddy’s birthday. So we whipping some cupcakes, cooled them in the freezer so we could decorate them asap. Then we whipped up the icing and put it on the cupcakes. By the time I was carefully placing the edible decals on I heard hubby stirring upstairs. So I sent my stepdaughter up to tell him he couldn’t come down. He called down and asked how long he had to wait and I told him 15mins. So he requested Chloe bring him a bottle water and he waited patiently while we painted the cupcakes. Lol poor guy got princess cupcakes for his 27th birthday, but I think he love the fact his daughter made them for him. Wesley was with us while we were baking but his dad picked him up before they were done. But that worked out because they were not Wesley friendly cupcakes. Saturday night he gave hubby a card he made with his tutor. It was actually super cute. He drew himself and hubby. Hubby was like “Oh you gave us wings!” I whispered to him “those are your hands” lol. When Wesley draws people his hands are so disproportioned because he has to draw each finger. 
I took my computer in Sunday for a tune up. Just waiting for them to call me back about what needs to be done. 
Our fish tank is turning into a real interesting place. I have never seem so many Fish murdered and killed. Then Larry our crayfish shed his shell. One fish had babies. It’s very interesting, and we can use it to teach the kids about the cycle of life. I wish it wasn’t so gory though. And it’s all no aggressive breeds of fish doing the murdering. Lol except Larry, he’s crazy. But thank God our eels are still alive. 
Later on Sunday we went for a car ride and then dropped off my stepdaughter. After she went home I asked Hubby if he would like to go to Earls for his birthday. I didn’t really have lots of money but want to do something special for him. He said instead he’d like a nice home cooked meal. So we came home and made a yummy roast beef dinner for two. With the left over roast beef I’m make us Beef Pot Pie for supper tonight, Yum!