I decided that while Jedi’s homeschooling isn’t so interesting to look at visually, I was still going to keep a blog record of what we did. This might become helpful at the end of the year when I have to pull together a portfolio for his yearly evaluation for the school district (and it also might be helpful when I have to work with the district to create his IEP for the year). I will throw in a few pictures for good measure though. 😉
We learned about the difference between living & nonliving, as well as the characteristics all living things share. Jedi also did a plot study, where he went out to study a 4’x4′ square of land. Jedi decided to study an area of land with a recently planted evergreen tree in it, just thinking it was a tree and a small bit of grass. However, following a little trail of fluff in the tree, he discovered a hidden empty bird’s nest! The coolest part about the bird’s nest? The bird who made it recycled some bubble wrap, string, landscaping fabric, and other odd pieces of trash it somehow got ahold of. Very very creative!
In Chemistry, Jedi learned that everything is made of chemicals. He then looked at the ingredient list on a bag of marshmellows and a bottle of dish detergent and listed the chemicals in each that he had heard of before, and those he had not. Finally, he named chemicals that were usually safe, some that are dangerous, and some that we use on a daily basis.
Math was one of the two subjects Jedi really seemed to struggle with after leaving his Montessori school. At the end of kindergarten, he was one of the top of his class in math. However, at the end of 1st grade, his standardized testing done as part of his autism treatments showed that he never progressed at all in math, nor spelling…he was testing at almost the same level a year later. So, we are really trying to figure out what might help him here. We started Rightstart Math, which uses the Asian way of counting (10, 10-1, 10-2, etc. (10, 11, 12), 2-10, 2-10-1, 2-10-2 (20, 21, 22). He seemed to catch on to that way of counting. We also discussed parallel lines, recognizing how many are in small groups of objects (1-10) without having to count, and using an abacus.
In Geography, we started a 2 week study of China. Jedi, along with the girls, learned how to say hello & goodbye in Chinese, listened to children’s music in Mandarin, and colored the Chinese flag. Jedi created math problems using Chinese symbols. Finally, he created a replica of the Great Wall using mini foam building blocks.
This week was just an intro week, where Jedi learned about the study of ancient history, and in particular the study of archaeology. He learned how historians can figure out about ancient civilizations even though ways of recording history were not readily available.
This week, he learned about the Ohio flag, and how it is differs from other state flags in the fact that it’s not a rectangle or square!
This week, Jedi journaled about what he’d do if he woke up and found out that he was president of the United States. Because spelling is very difficult, we also worked a bit on editing his work.
We decided to use McRuffy Press for Phonics, Reading, Language, and Spelling. Jedi learned about prefixes, suffixes, and contractions. He really seemed to like contractions, as well as finding the root word of words that had prefixes & suffixes. He did seem to have a very hard time with the spelling aspect though, and we’re currently trying to do a bit more research into the most appropriate way to help him with spelling. He was taught to spell phonetically, which would be great, except he had auditory processing & speech issues. So, his spelling is exactly how he hears it, which sometimes is quite a ways away from the actual spelling. While Jedi’s reading level is over the 3rd grade level, his spelling is at the early 1st grade level, which is quite frustrating for him. Hopefully we figure something out in the next couple weeks that can help him.
This, by far, was one of Jedi’s favorite subjects. The first day, he had to sketch something that happened the day before using a graphite pencil & sketch pad. The second art day, he created a work using watercolor crayons. He was supposed to remember an event that he felt joyful at, and then use his imagination to find a way to color that scene so that it portrayed his excitement without words.
Day 1 of music each week involves listening to and learning about a famous composer. This week, it was Bach. Jedi learned about Bach’s life, and listened to Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.
Day 2 of music each week involves learning some beginner piano. This week, he learned the proper hand positioning, where middle C was on the piano, and learned a simple exercise using all of the black keys of the piano.
Jedi’s health curriculum is twofold. First, we use a social stories book for children with autism on personal hygiene. Second, we use Horizon’s health curriculum. This week, we learned about how each person is unique, and begun work on feelings. Because feelings, and especially recognizing the feelings of oneself and others, can be difficult for a child with autism, we are taking an extra lesson to work on this.
Not bad for the first week! It was a lot of work, but Jedi was so willing to do it (honeymoon period!). He was anxious to get to work each day, and for the most part, it was difficult to get him to quit. We certainly are going to take advantage of this honeymoon period willingness! 😉