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The State of Jen

I thought I might do some writing/musing

Will Development/Weight Management
I am a sugar addict. Oh hell, I'm a food addict. But sugar is the biggest problem of all. I get on that roller coaster of highs and lows and its just awful. I have managed to stay away from sugar for almost three weeks. This is big for me. I want to be healthier, but most "diets" have you cutting everything out at once. And it doesn't work. So right now I'm focusing on sugar. Baby steps will win the race. I don't know if I've lost any weight or not, but my Mom says I'm not as puffy as the last time she saw me. And my scale in the bathroom doesn't automatically go "TILT" when I step on it. It actually has to think about it before it does it. So I see that as a vast improvement.

Sleep
Oh my god do I need some. For the last four nights Gray has gotten up in the middle of the night for a couple of hours. I finally figured out he's probably teething, so I've been giving him ibuprofen. Problem is that it wears off in the middle of the night. So my night is really broken. I'm crispy. Thank god I'm not eating sugar to make it worse!

Homeschooling
Has actually been going well. We do better on the days we stay home all day, but overall school is going well. The other day Ike said to me "Mommy, I love doing school here. J (boy down the street) has to go to school all day, has homework when he gets home, and we're done by lunch! I get a lot more time to play" Smart boy. We are working on American Tall Tales right now and Melisa is right as usual, when you read a book the lesson goes flat. So I will be telling the next couple instead of reading the cool picture books I found. I'll save those for story time (which is something new I've managed to institute. I read to the kids for about an hour every afternoon). He's also found pencils are much easier for him to write with than using crayons. So we are making headway there.

I did a lot of thinking and meditating this summer on how to approach teaching this year. I gave myself permission to not beat myself up because I can't manage a Waldorf School experience at home. I'm Homeschooling! Not Schooling at Home. So I'm not going to kill myself trying to squeeze in everything. I'm working on stories, some writing, handwork, singing, penny whistle, verse memorization, and some painting. Which is still a lot. And I'm not even going to bother teaching Grammar this year. Ike doesn't read! It makes no sense at all to me to teach a non-reader grammar. I'm also not going gung-ho on teaching him to read. He's not frustrated enough yet. He's starting to get there, but he's not there yet. And when that frustration sets in, then I'll work on turning him into a reader.

I also got inspired by another Homeschooling Mama of 9(!) kids. So, in addition to focusing on less things, I'm leaning a bit toward child-led education. I'm giving the kids the option of a lesson (but they have to finish a lesson they start). And if someone expresses an interest in a subject, we'll look at it as appropriate

Steiner did say once that not having to go to school to age 12 would be a good thing...so I'm still schooling them (I'm not that brave to not do "anything" until age 12), but I'm backing off on forcing the issue. There's no rush. Everything will be covered in due time.

LifeWays
I had my first class on Saturday. Awesome, but long day topped off by a Stupid Tax courtesy of SFPD. (Not only was I blocking someone's driveway, I forgot to curb my wheels. Whoops! I'm glad they didn't tow it.) We started the day with singing, then Steiners Ages and Stages (going whole to parts, of course), lunch, sewing, and knitting. My kind of day!

The knitting component was starting on our year long knitting project...the knitted farm yard. I've gotten the first two squares done. I had to rip out what I did in class 'cause it was messy and uneven.  And I didn't like the needles we were given at all! Bamboo makes for really slick needles and it just drives me up a wall! I'm completely sold on my Knitpicks wood circular needles. They are perfect in my book.

Autism
So I'm finally doing some major reading on autism. When Ike was diagnosed a year ago, I just wasn't up for any reading. Now that I'm finally feeling like my head is out of the water since I got pregnant with Gray, I've got the energy to read. (yea, I know I read a lot. But this is a different type of reading. I just wasn't ready). Things I've figured out/found out. Kids with Autism have fewer mirroring neurons. Which is why a baby smiles back at you when you smile at them. The fewer the number the more pronounced the autism. Ike has problems with Executive Processing. Which is not only causal relations (i.e. if I hit my sister, she'll get hurt, then I'll get into trouble) but sequential thinking (i.e. first I pick up, then I dust, then I vacuum). It also impairs his ability to take verbal instructions. He just can't do it beyond a certain point.

I also found its quite common and expected for younger siblings to mimic elder siblings behave. In due time, as they mature, they outgrow it. (Thank goodness!)

Handwork
Oy, am I knitting up a storm. I've been focusing on my shawl. I'm finding I have an urge to make something. I've been cleaning out my work basket. (Where things are put to be repaired) so far in the last week or so I've repaired 2 Heavy Babies and I've finally put together a Gingerbread Man I knitted up last year. Turned out really, really cute! Gray will enjoy it for Christmas!

I'm starting to look toward Christmas and decide what needs to be made by then. I want to make the kids their own Hobby Horses from Santa. I have 5/6 of the material I need (I need to find a co-ordinating fabric for Ike's Horse, which is red of course) I need to set up my sewing machine as I want to make the girls their Halloween costumes on top of everything else.


So that pretty much sums up everything going on with me. How's things with you?

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
sapphyres
Sep. 18th, 2010 05:07 am (UTC)
iswear everybody posted because they knew I was ignoring my phone today.

Gabie started school. He's talking a ton but engages in even more odd behaviour than before. All he does is stack things that are not toys or stack well, but he manages it. But most people tell me he's not on the spectrum. *sigh* I see a bit of a struggle there in the future.

Mostly my brain is shut down due to insomnia issues & allergies. Stupid insurance company is such a bloody hassle about my Ambien! >:( we pay them a ton of money too.
aelfie
Sep. 18th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
I had that problem with Ike too. Part of the reason why I brought him home. He'd come home from school with some new, really annoying behavior he learned from some other kid.

How's it going with just one of them at home?
allanh
Sep. 18th, 2010 06:15 am (UTC)
Honey, now you need permission to pat yourself on the back a little...the [positive] behavioral changes in Ike since you started homeschooling him are nothing short of astonishing.

And you know it's true coming from me. :)
aelfie
Sep. 18th, 2010 02:09 pm (UTC)
The problem is, is that I don't see it. Its kinda like living with a person who's losing weight...I don't see the gradual, cumulative change.

(And the fact that I'm still getting complaints about his behavior from friends (read other parents) isn't helping either.)

I'm glad someone is seeing it though! My parents are biased. =)
rephetibel
Sep. 18th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
I had to work with sequencing with my middle child. I cut pictures out of magazines and glued them to card stock. It was things like a person in clean clothes, person falling down, person in dirty clothes. Or a person in dirty clothes, washing machine, person in clean clothes. Then Matthew had to figure out the proper order. Of course pictures in magazines don't come in neat threes like that so I had to be creative. I think one sequence involved a horse but I can't remember what it was now.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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