Is a Camel a Mammal and Other Musings

Seeing as this is the first week of the new school year, our letter of the week is A.
A is for animals.
As unorganized as I am, I actually do love order. So teaching my little ones (Noah 7 DS, Bella 6 and Seth 4) about animal classification is a fun little project for me.
We talked about the qualities of mammals, arachnids, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and fish today.
Anybody know what kind of animal an armadillo is?
Would you believe a mammal?
It’s true. Alongside their hard shell you will find a hairy body.
So in talking about mammals, Bella very excitedly pointed out that she knows she is a mammal because she has hairy arms.
I said, “That’s right, you are a mammal.”
Then she said very dramatically, “Daddy is DEFINATELY a mammal.”

Guys, it just doesn’t get any more hysterical than this.
Does anybody know – did we ever laugh before we had kids? Did we ever have these moments of pure joy when time stops and love just takes over?

“Daddy is DEFINATELY a mammal.”

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

A little sidenote here. If you are teaching the classification system to your children, it is important to remember that while scientists classify humans as within the animal kingdom, God makes a definite distinction between animals and man in the account of creation in Genesis. This can be a great time to introduce that scientists have discovered many wonderful things, but some of those things are refuted by what the Bible says. Science is valuable, but theories come and go and even “facts” get disproved and tossed by the wayside. God’s word stands forever. It is trustworthy and righteous. We and our children can stand on it no matter what the “great minds” of our culture present as truth.

Have a blessed day! More animal antics to come!

Who Would Have Thought?

On our way out to Bible School this morning, this is what we found in the driveway:

cropped empty wagon

Note the handle of the wagon has actually been placed over the hitch.

Can you imagine what would have happened if nobody had walked behind the Suburban?

Can you say country bumpkins?

So, who would you guess is responsible for this little doozy?

I’ll give you two hints.

1.  He’s my out-of-the-box thinker.  Come to think of it, he blew up “the box” ages ago.

2.  He’s got a smile that takes me to the moon and back.

EVERY.

SINGLE.

DAY.

cropped wagon

Oh, how I love that courageous hero of mine!

Another Day, Another School Year

Well, the Dunn Family Homeschool officially starts the new school year tomorrow.  The kids are spending most of Monday at our church’s weekly Bible class, but will I let that stop me from having our first day of school?  Never, I say with an evil cackle.

I start this school year like I have so many others – high hopes, high expectations, a ton of curriculum (although not as much as in years past – my shelves are full of very good but unused curriculum).

I’ll be teaching four age groups this year – Seth 4 and Noah 7 (DS) will be doing preschool, Bella 6 will be doing first grade and some preschool with us, Andres and Eden will do 5th grade, and Leah will be doing 7th grade.

Uh-huh.  Or maybe more accurately I should say Uh-oh.

I’m going to go back to basing my preschool curriculum around the alphabet, one letter at a time.  Let’s see if I can get past C this year.

Math will be Math-U-See, Language Arts-Abeka, 7th grade science – Abeka, History – Alpha Omega LifePacs, Bible – Character Sketches by Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts (ATI) (and yes, I know about Bill Gothard’s fall from grace) :(, and we’ll be capturing teachable moments along the way to fill in all the gaps.

I realize how less than fully present I’ve in homeschooling the kiddos the last year or so, and I want so much more this year.  I want to get caught up in the excitement of home education again, I want to find and capture the ah-hah moments my children and I have along the way, I want to treasure each and every teachable moment, each and every time of togetherness.  Lord, let it be so!

Disclaimer:  When I first started reading blogs, be it mothering a large family, homeschooling or parenting a child with Down syndrome, I hated it when the authors lamented over their doubts, shortcomings and weaknesses.  If I wanted to read about those, I could just start a journal.  Yet here I am, full of doubts, shortcomings and weaknesses; and here I sit sharing them all with you.  It seems less than honest to do anything else.

The children are all on grade level it seems, except Noah.  I find myself elated and dejected at the same time by all he has accomplished this year.  He has started using spoken two-word phrases; he can, ever so crazily, write his name, he is able to do speech flashcards along with me and by the third repetition he can say the word on his own most of the time.

Those are all big differences between last year and this, and that’s the elating part.  The dejected part is that we have been working on many of these things for 3-4 years.  I think of ALL the time, effort, frustration and creativity that has gone into it, and I am flustered and overwhelmed by how slowly we have progressed.  And then there is the ever maddening question of would he have done better if he had been in the public school system.

A few of the things Noah has been up to during my blog hiatus?  He’s learned lots of potty words that we wish he hadn’t.  He has taken to calling certain people stinky and yucky.  It’s hard not to laugh when I leave him with a therapist or other adult and when I come back, they bubbily tell me, “He kept saying something, but I couldn’t tell what it was.”  And then I have to break it to them that he was calling them one of the two.  Maybe I should just shrug my shoulders next time and tell them I have no idea what he was saying.

Noah has gotten to be resistant during drilling, and I often have to bribe him with the promise of iPad time or a goodie.

Noah spent a week at a horse day camp at Red Arena with three of his siblings.  Much fun was had by all!

Most of Noah’s noises are still unintelligible – I don’t think he is even trying to pronounce a word most of the time.  He uses simple signs and sometimes even speech spontaneously – still mostly one-word phrases.  Noah responds very well to PROMPT speech therapy, and we are seeing some carry over at home.  He says words much more easily if I say them along with him.  Having him place his pointer finger on my lips while I say a word also helps him a lot in his pronunciation.

This road is much longer and steeper than I had imagined it would be, but the scenery is beautiful and the company is the best.  Noah fills our life with love and affection and it is a blessing to know and love him.

And that’s all for today.

Blessings to all for a great school year.  Stay tuned for our adventures through homeschooling and Down syndrome?

Alyson

 

 

 

An extradorinary little boy, the ordinary people who love him, and their journey together through the world of visual learning and speech acquisition. (And in my "free time," vintage crochet, machine embroidery, digitizing and Etsy.)

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