Progress!

Was working with A today on some preschool work, not really focusing on him learning the color blue but just to get him to SAY it, or anything for that matter.  Not only did he say it, but he colored the page himself!  This has been an issue with him.  When tracing things, I always have to do hand-over-hand with him.  If I removed my hand, he motions that he wants it back.  He will appear to attempt to do it himself but it’s almost as if he loses his confidence and has to have me move his hand for him.  A few weeks ago, I started putting my hand on his but wouldn’t move it just to see if he’d move it himself.  I think the security of my hand being there is what the issue was because as long as my hand was there, he would put crayon to paper.  Well, today while coloring our blue worksheet with blueberries, I move to put my hand over his and he told me no!  He colored one all by himself.  I know this isn’t a big deal to a lot of people but this is HUGE for us.  I hope this continues.

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First two days

We had our first 2 days of homeschool this past Monday and Tuesday.  It was uneventful.  No one is feeling cheerful in this home.  It has been one tragedy after another the past few weeks.  I am taking them to the butterfly garden some time next week for a distraction and field trip.  I thought about having another school day tomorrow because I don’t like them numbing their brains with video games, but honestly I think they’d just be “going through the motions” with school work right now.  Maybe they need to jump into school, maybe they need more time off.  I pray for guidance in making the right decision.

On a good note, I guess, I take out my sorrow, frustration and other negative emotions on the house.  The kitchen is absolutely immaculate.

Obama’s Common Core Tax Hike

COMMON CORE

Since many schools do not have the technologies necessary for nationalized testing of Common Core standards, President Obama has decided to raise taxes on everyone’s phone bills to pay for the Common Core testing access.

Yes, really.

See this Huffington Post article about the new ConnectED Initiative.

A national Common Core tax hike.

This is tyranny. What about the states that rejected Common Core? What about the home schoolers and private schools that reject Common Core? Why do we all have to pay for Common Core?

We were told that Common Core was voluntary. We were told that we can get out of Common Core any time we like. But now we’re told that we have to pay taxes to support it.

If you don’t pay taxes, you end up in jail.

Voluntarily?

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Ending and Beginning

Our last day of school was the 24th.  Since then, I have been caretaker of my mother who had knee replacement surgery and also A who stubbed his toe so badly it got infected, the nail separated from the skin and he required an injection.  It has been some kind of week, I tell you.

E said to me yesterday that he was “so bored” and wants to do some school work, when the public school hadn’t even let out yet (their last day is today).  So I agreed that we start on Monday for the coming school year, and will work 2 or 3 days a week for now.  Tomorrow is the first day for hurricane season so it’s probably a good idea to start off with extra days in the event of another evacuation or week-long power outage.  Our first lesson will be planning hurricane packing lists!  This is something I am an old pro at, but I will let them use some websites like this, this, and this to get ideas and make their own.

We have finally decided on a geography and history publisher!  I was so excited when I made that decision, and a huge deciding factor was their work against the CCSS.  We are going with Knowledge Quest.  We have ordered all 3 of their geography courses together so we won’t get them for a bit, the 3rd is still in production but you are able to download samples and I am impressed with what I see.

Proud of my kids today…

As much as I think all attention should be on OK, I can’t help but not trust a damn thing this administration is doing. While the media and the WH push this awful tragedy in our faces with their right hand, we have to pay attention to their left hand. What illegal executive order will he sign behind our backs THIS time? What law is going to get passed without a vote or a whisper? While my daughter packs up a doll with all clothes and accessories to send to OK, with her favorite shirt and pair of jeans to send to some child that has lost everything… I can’t help but wonder what new fight is coming that will affect them. Will that German family get deported? Will CCSS be forced upon homeschoolers? Will our homeschool course of gun safety suddenly be made illegal? These are my burdens to carry. As I watch my kids happily pack up some of their favorite things to give to total strangers, I can’t help but wonder what happens to us as we grow up that we lose that sense of obligation to others before ourselves.

Our last day of homeschool will be on the 24th and I am looking forward.  I am so tired we didn’t go to taekwondo tonight.  Maybe try again tomorrow.  With my mother out of commission due to her knee replacement yesterday my workload has doubled.  I just want some rest.

Science fun

I didn’t manage to get any pictures of our science experiments yesterday, sorry.

We are in chapter 3 of Real Science 4 Kids Chemistry pre-level 1 (seriously, look at the covers of those books, they even LOOK like so much fun).  Thankfully, I had the foresight to put big trays underneath our clear plastic cups (we call those big trays “crawfish trays” down here) because if I hadn’t, I would have had a huge mess to clean.  We are studying chemical reactions and how molecules trade atoms.  E was so excited when he mixed two cups and it bubbled over all into the tray.  We took our science outside and used baking soda and vinegar to kill fire ant hills.  I call that a practical application!

And as requested (since it’s not often they actually ask for something educational) they now own a periodic table shower curtain. 

We still have not had any success in choosing a history curriculum.  Perhaps I am being too picky about it, but I don’t want to use something that I’m not okay with.

That marketing project I was so worried about.. I got 100% on it.

Busy Busy Busy!!

I have been just ridiculously busy.  Friday, we attempted a geography lesson after our bible readings and E could not stop rubbing his eyes.  He often wakes up with red eyes but he has reallyEeyes bad allergies.  However, never has it been this bad 2 days in a row.  I tried his usual prescription eye drops and they weren’t working.  I decided to ask friends for eye doctor suggestions being that we had been with the current doctor for a year with no real diagnosis, and the doctor refused to do a prior authorization for the insurance so we ended up with less effective eye drops.  This one doctor in another town was recommended to me, so I called at 11:20.  They closed at noon!  The receptionist called me right back and said “Come in ASAP, the doctor said he’d see your son before we close.”  Over the moon happy and thanking God that this doctor actually cared, we jumped in the truck and got there at noon on the dot.  I explained that we’ve seen the other doctor for a while with no real diagnosis or course of action, just these eye drops that keep changing.  Well, that’s when this doctor got serious and did all kinds of tests and looked at my son through many difference machines and lenses.  We finally got a diagnosis of vernal keratoconjunctivitis.  From the web:

Vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) is an allergic eye disease that especially affects young boys. The most common symptoms are itching, photophobia, burning, and tearing. The most common signs are giant papillae, superficial keratitis, and conjunctival hyperaemia.

Patients with VKC frequently have a family or medical history of atopic diseases, such as asthma, rhinitis, and eczema. However, VKC is not associated with a positive skin test or RAST in 42–47% of patients, confirming that it is not solely an IgE-mediated disease.

The clinical management of VKC requires a swift diagnosis, correct therapy, and evaluation of the prognosis. The diagnosis is generally based on the signs and symptoms of the disease, but in difficult cases can be aided by conjunctival scraping, demonstrating the presence of infiltrating eosinophils. Therapeutic options are many, in most cases topical, and should be chosen on the basis of the severity of the disease. The most effective drugs, steroids, should however be carefully administered, and only for brief periods, to avoid secondary development of glaucoma. The long-term prognosis of patients is generally good; however 6% of patients develop corneal damage, cataract, or glaucoma.

The doctor gave us two eyedrops after I explained to him there will likely be a request for a prior authorization.  He filled out that paperwork and faxed it in front of me for the daily maintenance allergy eye drop and the steroid eye drop that came with very specific instructions.  We leave and head straight to the pharmacy where I am told the insurance will not pay for either, they are $150 a piece.  I called the doctor’s office PRAYING he was still there.  He wasn’t but his receptionist was.  He had left to go to another office to see other patients.  I explained what happened, she said she’d get on it, so we left the pharmacy with just a few samples he had given us.  My poor E, he was practically crying and wanted to claw his own eyes out.  I gave him benadryl and an ice pack, it was all I could do.

An hour later, the doctor himself calls me to say he took care of the issue with the pharmacy, he redid the paperwork and yelled at the insurance HIMSELF and that it should be ready but to give the pharmacy at least another hour.  I went right before they closed and they hadn’t even gotten to it yet but the woman ran it through again and said “Yep they paid for it this time.”  GOD BLESS THIS DOCTOR!  As of this morning, E’s eye is almost completely clear and just a tiny bit swollen.  We were able to finish our schoolwork this morning with no problem.  Well, eye-related problem anyway.

On a personal level, I just finished my first week of Marketing class.  I had to write a part of a marketing plan for a product or service and I have no experience in this.  My faith in my abilities to do this project well doesn’t exist.  Then I thought, I am running circles around people who aren’t doing anything to better themselves — and that is motivation enough to keep on keepin’ on for me.  Homeschooling, taekwondo training, my own college work, looking for a job — I can do this.