Update on Junior: Fall 2015

IMG_7725I can’t believe it’s already Fall. Summer really did fly by…between our family vacation to the beach, Tater’s and my journey to Canada and seeing family in New York, Junior’s therapy, house projects, and school (Tater started 2nd grade in August), I feel like I’m finally coming up for breath.

We had planned for Junior to begin preschool at a local church two days a week to help him learn good speech habits from his peers, but at the last minute, we decided with his speech therapist and OT to keep him home until he turns 4 in May. So, he’s starting to do “school” while Tater does. It’s taken two years of therapy, but he’s finally learning to sit still and focus on a single task. It’s so incredibly exciting to have him color or play with blocks for a solid 10 minutes while I work with Tater when this time last year he wouldn’t sit still more than one to two minutes. It’s the little things :)

As far as his speech, he’s starting to understand a lot more (receptive language), and is starting to say more words (expressive language). His receptive language is close to age level (he’s behind by a couple months), and his expressive language is about the level of a 2-2.5 year old. He’s doing pretty well, although his enunciation is lacking. In true little brother form, he can often be heard telling Tater to “go to timeout” when he’s mad at her, and has started saying “Bless you, momma” when I sneeze. So, he’s up to 3 word phrases. We’re hoping to get him saying full sentences soon!

Thanks to LeapFrog Letter Factory he’s started running around the house singing his ABCs, and can count to 20. He also sings Amazing Grace every night before bed, which brings tears to my eyes. Every. Single. Time. His cochlear implants conked out a couple times this summer and had to be replaced, but we were grateful that he was able to wear his backups so he didn’t miss out on any hearing time.

Junior received a big boy bike for his birthday (with training wheels), but just recently started riding because we had the hardest time finding a helmet to accommodate his cochlear implants. We finally had great success with the Giro Raze Kid’s Helmet (affiliate link) and it’s been fabulous. He can keep his ears on and keep his head safe! He also enjoys pretending to play golf and climbing whatever play structure he can find. Junior is so sweet, but all boy. There is never a dull moment with him!

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Our 2nd Grade Curriculum Choices

2ndgrade

So, I’m kind of torn about school starting. On one hand, I have a little obsession with school supplies, so I have a reaalllllly hard time staying on budget in August because I seriously covet boxes of fresh crayons and newly sharpened pencils…and notebooks, binders, backpacks…well, you get the picture. But, on the other hand, it means getting the motivation to sit down and do our lessons every day, and we’re definitely still in summer mode right now!

We’re actually planning to put Junior into a preschool program a couple mornings a week just to help with his speech, which will give me some extra time with Tater. She turned 7 last week, and is going into second grade.

See last year’s 1st Grade Curriculum Choices
See our 1st Grade Midyear Curriculum Update

Both for Kindergarten and last year for First Grade, I piecemealed our curriculum with different companies, but this year we are using an all-in-one for our base curriculum. Not sure if I’m going to like it or not, but I have heard great things about My Father’s World, so we are going to give it a shot.

Bible, History, Science, Art,  Music, Geography: My Father’s World: Adventures in US History

Math: Horizons 2

Grammar and Language Arts: Abeka 2

Spelling: All About Spelling 2

Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting Cursive

PE: Basketball signups start next month, and in the meantime Tater has expressed an interest in karate. Basketball takes up the winter months, and she is going to play softball in the Spring.

Because of Tater’s Dsygraphia, we are going to start her on cursive…our Occupational Therapist recommended this, so hopefully it helps!