Thursday, September 20, 2007

Not what I should be doing now

Blogging, that is. The homeschool newsletter deadline is tonight and I still haven't done the New Member paperwork that I need to have done for that and I'm supposed to write an article too. Did I mention that I am a procrastinator? You should've seen my senior year in college, lol. But since I'm here, I can't deny my loyal throngs the blow-by-blow of the day.

Started with a doctor's appointment. Lovely joy. My hCG is at 48. Almost zero, but not yet zero so I have to go get yet another blood draw in a week or two. Yes, I'm on a first name basis with the lab tech now. She loves Cassia, especially because she is so very interested in whether or not it is hurting yet. ;) Next was Trader Joe's. At one point there were cherry tomatoes all over the floor of the produce department and it ended with Cameron and Cassia forbidden to let go of their opposite sides of the shopping cart. I'll leave the rest of that trip to your imagination.

I don't know what happened to the rest of the morning, but we started school at around 1:00. (Again, super thankful that I came to my senses and postponed the first 4-H cooking project meeting, that was supposed to start at 1:30, until October. I would NOT have been at my best to teach/lead after that shopping trip, lol.) Phonics went ok. There was a review of all the weird short-vowel sound vowel pair words and Cameron read all of them like a pro, but then when it came time to read them in a story he just fell apart. Lists that follow a pattern, he can do. Random sentences overwhelm him and he just starts guessing every word. The word on the page is "they." He tries "the, there, chair, hippopotamus" until I final give him the ok that he found the right word or tell him what it is supposed to be. I don't know. On one hand, I guess that's a sign that he's still just not ready to read and it's stressing him out and he's not remembering and getting flustered. But on the other hand, when I freak out and demand that he stop being silly, sit down THE RIGHT WAY IN HIS CHAIR (oh, we have serious chair issues), and actually READ the words instead of guessing... when we get to that point that he knows I am really and truly at the end of my rope with him... he can read just fine. It's bizarre. I really don't believe in forcing a child to do something they aren't ready for just because *I* think they should be able to, but it really seems to be that he just doesn't want to. But I guess that's his right too, isn't it? Anyone have any brilliant advice here? He can read. He even finds it a useful novelty on rare occasions. But he refuses to sit still and look at the word long enough to do it right. OK, enough whining on this. Phonics took about forty-five minutes today because he had to go take a restroom break in the middle of it (whole other issue which I'm not going to get into, lol). Like I said, the list of words he read fabulously and then we struggled through the 15-sentence story.

Math was a disaster, but that was probably my fault. He's been doing so amazingly lately with working on his own that I just read the textbook lesson with him and then leave him on his own to do the workbook. I've been using that as my History/Science prep time, lol, bad me, I know. Anyway, he was not capable of working on his own today for some reason so it took about an hour and a half to do a three page workbook exercise. Yikes. Also partly my faulty because I kept reading mummy riddles to him. OK, totally my fault. ;)

But then, finally, we got to the mummy. Yes, THE Mummy. The infamous, ever debated and feared Chicken Mummy. Cornish game hens, in this case, but it was a big deal all the same. Cameron has this thing about getting his hands dirty. He thought the chickens were really gross and didn't want to touch them, lol, but made exceptions for the cool parts like rinsing the body cavity and patting the whole thing down like a baby out of the bath. Yes, we love our mummies like babies. Cassia was all over it though. That girl is NOT afraid to get dirty. Today we just washed them with water, dried them, washed them with saki (it's what I had, lol), and then filled them and their plastic bags with a baking powder, baking soda, and salt mixture. Next we read Mummies Made in Egypt by Aliki (our favorite author, I think!) and then called it a day. I had tried to read Cat Mummies while Cameron did his math, but he said it distracted him too much. Dust was distracting him today, but whatever. ;) At least he told me. Better that than for him to listen to the whole thing and do all his math wrong. I'm a one-at-a-time person too, so I totally get it. I can't even listen to music while I read or blog or anything like that.

We finished the day with a 4-H Leader training meeting for me (a big reason I felt no guilt in canceling the project meeting today - I'm not trained yet!) while the kids went to MomM's house for a couple of hours. Cameron and Cassia, apparently, played very, very well with L5 while they were there but sweet little Greyson cried the entire time. Poor guy. :( What is he going to do next week when we go out of town for our 10th Anniversary and he is left with Grandma for 3 days?!?!?!?!? He's still nursing first thing in the morning and sometimes in the afternoons (this second time mostly because of teething) but I was thinking that since it's really just a "I want Mommy" thing that if I weren't there, he would be fine with just cow milk or juice at those times. Now I'm thinking that maybe that little taste of Mommy - no pun intended - might help him to relax in those moments when he's missing me most. I haven't even looked at my pump for over a year. I've only used it once or twice this babyhood. I pumped all the time for Cameron, lol. Never let that first child be deprived!!

Anyway, this is way too long. It's now almost 10:30. I have one hour and forty-five minutes to do what I should have done several weeks ago. But at least I got a good, heart-felt blog in. ;) Gotta remember what's important, you know!


~Mary~ 4boys4me said...

good luck with your mummy!! We tried it a couple years ago but the ick factor was just too much for me! The boys didn't care enough for me to finish it up. I also accidently used chili powder instead of cinnamin (sp?) so the whole thing smelled like a giant taco. I pitched it before it was done.

G said...

Can't stop laughing! Seriously - that sounds soooo much like Cyrus when he's reading and doesn't want to.

Yeah, I'm not sure what to do about the whole forcing-him-to-read thing either, and we get to the end of THAT rope altogether too often, but then he reads. Very frustrating.

Happy 10th btw! We're on 12 in November this year. Scary - don't know where the years go....

lynsgirl said...

Hi again, Jenny :).

LOL and I SO am there and doing that (no BTDT when it's still present tense, right? lol) on the reading issue. N is also in first grade now - :O on time flying, yikes! - and has turned into a perfectly capable reader who does not wish to *be* a perfectly capable reader @@. And the chair thing? OY. Maybe they were separated at birth. He'd be standing on his head if I didn't make him un-contort himself (is that a word?) every 10 seconds. Phonics? Most of the time, if phonics is mentioned, his eyes almost roll across the street - that's how much he loves phonics. Sigh.

A couple of ideas, though (you asked for ideas, so hopefully these will be even a teeny bit helpful). For phonics, when we were reviewing at the beginning of the school year (July for us), after the first day of moaning and sighing and contorting and stomping (oh wait, we're talking about him, right? lol , J/K, it was him), I needed something different. So I started tossing a hackey-sack back and forth with him while we did our phonics sounds. I have Orton cards, so between his craziness and my lack of catching ability AND me holding the cards in one hand (ahem), it was rather interesting at first. It was no big deal, just us tossing it back and forth while he'd say whatever phonogram was up. (Toss) ER the ER of HER. (picture me sort of catching this stupid hackey-sack). I'd toss it back while he said "IR the IR of FIRST!" and so on. I almost fell over when he begged to do "Hackey-sack Phonics" the next day :D. So I'm *trying* to remember to do things like that with him.

For reading, swapping sentences has worked wonders with his attitude and I DO make him sit up. I put a little piece of blank paper (index cards are great for this) under the sentence being read and we each read 2 sentences. Back and forth. Occasionally, I have him read 4 or something and then he catches on and makes a hideous scowl at me and accuses me of not taking my turn :P lol (mostly good-natured on his part, but not totally or always hehe). It has been really funny to see him figure out that PHONICS is how we read (apparently, this did not click last year). He's spotting phonograms in the words he reads and is so delighted that I almost laugh. And "silent E's." His new thing :D.

I'm glad you're having this experience FIRST and not THIRD, because he's obviously my third and the other two were not like this. Sure, I had my boy moments w/E (now 10.5 and in FIFTH grade! Eeek!), but he's not nearly as crazy as N and he *liked* reading. He asked to read at age 4. B also learned to read at age 4.5 and she is a very girly-girl. J will be 1 next month and he seems to be following N, personality-wise :O. Fun fun!

Anyhoo, that's my long-winded and rambling idea reply lol. ((Hugs)) and hang in there. You're doing a great job!

Amy :)

Vanessa said...

You know, my daughter also went through a phase where she didn't believe she could read as well as she could. For her, it was at the point when she was ready to make the leap from phonics readers to beginning chapter books. She could read the words, but seeing more than a couple of lines on the page freaked her out, and she would say it was "too long" and she couldn't do it.

One thing that really helped was to buy new books that I knew she'd like and casually leave them in the back seat of the car for her. She'd get bored back there and pick up a book to flip through, and in a few minutes, I'd peek in the rearview mirror and she'd be reading. I think it was less stressful for her to try something longer and more complex without me sitting right next to her, urging her through every sentence. She's 8 now and reading is her favorite thing in the world -- there have been nights when I've fallen asleep before her and woken up at midnight to find her on the last chapter of a book -- so I think it's safe to say she got over the hump. :) I'm sure Cameron will too.