Yesterday was a very busy day.

First, Bubba 1 (J1) stayed home with us as I had no opportunity to reschedule these appts.  Let’s just say that I received confirmation that him spending most of his day with dad at NCS is not a bad thing.  I hate being negative, but until he is willing to make a change in his heart and his attitude this is the way it will have to be.  I’m praying continually that it is only short term.

Second, all three Bubba’s had eye appts.  The first was scheduled for 9:10 and the last at 10:10.  About 9:30 I realized that bringing Sissy along was not a good idea!  So I called Grammy and, bless her heart, she came to the eye dr and picked her up.  They went shopping until we were done.

The eye dr seemed to take longer with my boys this time than on prevous visits.  The end results are:

  • Bubba 1 – only needs reading glasses if he wants.  They are not necessary any longer! PTL!
  • Bubba 2 – need glasses for near sightedness.  That means all the time.  He took it better than
  • Bubba 3 – who needs glasses for school or computer work.  The doctor also told me that the eye surgery he had when he was 2 or 3 (soon after Joshua died – it’s sort of a blur) did not completely fix the problem.  He gave us some exercises to do to retrain his brain.  Bubba 3 was pretty sad to hear that he was to wear glasses for school and told me he didn’t want anyone to ever see them. :(  I think he feels a bit better about the situation now when he realizes that Bubba 2 has to wear them all the time.

After that we took Sissy to her speech therapy.  Maybe it was the missed nap, or maybe it was the good weather but she was talking up a storm!  Her therapist was pretty excited about it!  Sissy was copying her and really trying.  It was so nice to hear!

After a quick lunch, we went to the surgery center to see an ENT dr about Sissy’s tongue.  I can’t pronounce/spell the thing that is under her tongue, but there has been concern that it was too short and would affect her speech.  But the Dr said it looked ok and he’d prefer we just watch it and deal with it later if needed.  To deal with it now would require surgery and later it would just be an office visit.  After learning that Bubba 3’s surgery didn’t give us the results we wanted, I was quick to agree to wait.

Then it was home to crash.  And my headache was full on by then.  :(  The Hubs took pity on me and picked up some dinner at the local grocery store.  We had done Corned Beef the night before so we did Chinese on St. Patrick’s day….yeah, we are weird like that!

In spite of my headache, I was determined to go to Knit Night.  Ruth helped me wind some sock yarn into two cakes so I could knit 2 at a time.  It was a great turn out and even though I ended up tearing out the 4 rows that had taken me all weekend to do on my socks, I was happy to have made it!  I love Knit Night!

Well, the boys are patiently (NOT!) waiting for me to listen to them read – so I’d better close.  Please pray I can be headache-free today – I need a break from this contant pain!

Lately on a small homeschool group I particpate in we’ve been talking about Teaching Textbooks which I started to use this year with my two oldest boys.  Also I shared my thoughts on using it with a child with significant reading disabilties on the Teaching Textbooks yahoogroup this weekend – but it never posted for some reason.  So here are some of my thoughts/responses on this product for anyone searching for information.

Teaching Textbooks are currently offering Math 4, Math 5, Math 6, Math 7, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry and Precalculus.  Pre-Algebra and above offer the lecture and practice problems on CD-Rom and then the student works on their own.  If they are stumped they can use the solutions CD to walk them through to the correct answer.  Math 4 – 7 are all on CD-Rom.  The student watches the lecture on the computer and then completes the practice problems and lessons too.  They are given hints if needed,  immediate feedback, and a second chance – and if they still get it wrong, they are walked through the process to get the correct answer.

Below are some of my replies to specific questions.

RE Sufficient review/dyslexia

I’m using TT with two of my sons.  We are using Pre-Algebra and TT5.  My son who is in TT5 is 12 yrs old, but reads at a 1st/2nd grade level.  However, he has no trouble with comprehending and math.  We were doing Saxon in the past, but that required I teach/read him the lessons and walk him through the practices as well as read him most of the problems.  So while he could do it – it was hard on both of us.  Then, this year I needed him to be more independent when we started Homeschooling his brothers also (14 and 8 yrs old) and adopted their baby sister.
So to answer your question – yes, I’ve found that there is sufficient review throughout the year.  In fact, my son loves that because even if he struggles to learn a new idea,  he knows there will review that will be easier for him.
As a almost non-reader, he’s doing very well with the program.  A few times they will ask him to find the words for a number (Two Hundred Thirty-two and 8 tenths) and he will tell me the answer and I will show him which words on the screen corresponds with what he says.  I’ve never helped him on those – if he said it wrong, I showed him the wrong one.  I felt bad the first couple of times I did that, but he seemed to really learn from it.  And, lately as his reading is improving, he seems to ask me less and less for help.
The other thing I love about TT for him is the immediate feedback whether his answers are right or wrong.
It has been nice to have a program that he can excel at – without my help.  It has really helped him realize he’s smarter than he thought!
I’m sold on TT – I just wish the upper grades were formatted the same way.

RE WHETHER WORKBOOKS ARE NECESSARY:

In the lower grades, the workbooks are not being used by us.  But in the older grades, only the lecture and practice are on the computer.  Then he goes to the table and uses the book and has to write out all his answers.  I then correct it – he tries to fix his mistakes.  If not, then he views the solution CD where they walk you through the problem.

I hope this helps someone!

One area I don’t share here is my Bible study.  One reason is that it’s so personal, but also because it’s been so rare that I can sit, study and REFLECT.  I get to study whatever the boys are studying, but reflecting for myself, well, it’s just so hard.  And joining a group outside the home…forget about it!  I accept that this is a Season where that’s pretty hard to pull off.  Maybe if I didn’t homeschool and work?  But I do…so let’s not go there.

Anyway, I’ve been finding more time to get to reflect on the Word of the Lord.  I’ve been asking the older boys to take JGirl for romps in the backyard or playtime in the bedroom.  I grab my Bible and notebook and I’ve ben working my way through Kay Arthur’s “Lord Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 Days”.  It’s inductive Bible study which I’ve loved since Eric’s seminary days.  But I’ve never really understood how to do it.  This book has really been helping!

Today she is having me apply the methods to the book of Jonah Chap 1.  First I observed the passage.  Then I reflected.  I really didn’t think I’d be able to relate to Jonah.  I’ve studied this book many times before.  How can I – a mom of 5, living a quiet life – relate to a man who was literally called by God to go to a evil city.  Then not only did he not obey, he took off in the other direction!

But I dutifully observed.  And, then I reflected.  And I learned something about Jonah and something about me.  I was really struck anew by the fact that when the storm comes up…Jonah goes below, lays down and goes to sleep.  And, when the storms hit here…I retreat…often falling asleep.  It’s not because I am so laid back about the troubles, it’s that I’m so overwhelmed.

Here is part of what I wrote in my journal:

During the storm he (Jonah) went below and slept.  I can relate to that.  When things get crazy, I retreat…I need to recharge.  Jonah didn’t pray….and often, I don’t either. It’s too overwhelming.

If I – like Jonah in verse 9 – recognize that God created the sea and dry land….why do I think I can hide from Him or that He can’t fix my present storm?  Is it because I worry that if I ask Him the answers to my prayers are only coincidence or my desire to see only the good things?  And what if I ask Him to stop the storm and He says ‘No’.

Wait…I know…I believe that even if He says ‘No’, He will not leave me alone.  I’m never alone.  When Joshua died, God obviously did not answer ‘Yes’ to my heart’s scream to save his life, to bring him back.  But He was there for me. He didn’t save me from the storm, but when I turned to Him, He comforted me.

I don’t believe losing Joshua was a punishment for running from God, but it was definitely a storm in my life.  And it taught me that the Lord will be there for me, if I only turn to Him.

In Chap 1, Jonah did not turn to God.  He did tell the sailors to turn back so he could obey and go to Ninevah.  He said ‘toss me over’…suicide really…still running from God.

I’m excited to do more of this study.  Not sure if you’ll hear any more of it….not sure why I felt burdened to share this today.  Blessings!