Friday, August 27, 2010

What I thought was total loss ...

.... turned out to be a blessing!

It actually started last week when Dreamer awakened with a terrible 'cold'.  We've since been to the doctor and we now know she is suffering from some severe allergies, but at the time, it looked an awful lot like a heavy cold.  We had a very quiet weekend planned and thankfully we were able to get caught up on some home chores.

We were excited to be starting school, but I still had some planning to do.  Dreamer was signed up for a daily art camp this week and I knew we had some placement and assessment testing that needed to be tackled, so my plans were loose, but I hoped to add some fun to our first week of school.  Then I awakened in the middle of the night with a massive migraine and I knew our week was going downhill fast.  Thankfully, the Historian is home Monday mornings, so he adjusted his plan and took Dreamer to art camp.

The migraine totally destroyed most of the fun I had planned for the week, and I was beginning to think we were going to need a total 'do-over' for our first week of school, but I proceeded with the assessment testing while Dreamer did her art camp homework and the Storyteller did a lot of independent reading.   Not our best school week, but not a total loss either!

I have to tell you something about our Storyteller so that you will understand this next bit.  He has been talking in full sentences since 17 months.  Words are his friends!  He has always had an astounding vocabulary and been very bright, but he really really struggled with reading. We held him back last year, simply because his reading was so below grade level.  He has ADD and we have spent quite a bit of time doing professional speech therapy with him in the past, but that is mostly resolved. When I gave him the grade 2 reading comprehension test to do on his own last year he got 17%, but when I gave it to him orally he got 100% every time - in fact he passed the 4th grade test orally with a perfect score.

This week he passed the 3rd grade reading comprehension test with A 100% on his own.  Then he did the same thing for the 4th grade teat, and the 5th grade test resulted in a 95%!!!!!  He did these tests on his own - did all the reading and filling in the blanks by himself - and he took a little longer than the average student should, but he did it! Can you see why I am so pleased?  Now, we can concentrate on fluency and speed, but reading is no longer the struggle it has been for the past 4 years! Yeah!  Oh, and math - we can work harder in math now too!

Dreamer did very very well as well - she is going into 8th grade and she did the 8th, 9th, and 10th grade tests, just for fun and scored 95-100%.  These tests are not easy, they are not short - they are the State standardized tests from past years. I am so pleased with my children! I am grateful too - God uses these little things to bless my heart and re-affirm our homeschooling choice, especially on the hard days when I'm not sure we are making any progress at all!

We decided to celebrate yesterday.  We had already had a good day, since Dreamer's allergies are better with medication.  She is loving art camp.  I am loving getting some errands run during art camp. I went to Marshalls for the first time in 3 years and found some things I had on my thriting list forever - and they were very inexpensive! I have been looking to replace a large white platter that got broken years ago and found just the thing for $10!!!!  I'll still look for an ironstone one when I thrift, but this will do quite nicely in the meantime. We went out for dinner and to a movie and ended up being a bit early so we walked in the mall a bit.  I rarely get to the mall, but headed to the clearance racks at C.J.Banks right away and there was a nice long cotton denim skirt in dark blue - my size and on clearance with another 40%off - $19 thank you very much - it fits well and is quite nice! At the movie we had the theatre to ourselves - a private showing of Nanny McPhee Returns!  It was so much fun! Too much potty humor, as usual, but it was quite fun!  Hollywood, if you are listening, kids find lots of things funny, not just potty humor! Enough already!

We need to be leaving for art camp, but I just wanted to share our week of struggles and blessing with you!  Our computer is down again, so I am on the laptop - sorry for no pictures, but hopefully we will get the part we need to get the desktop back into shape - the keyboard went!

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  1. How wonderful for Storyteller that the reading finally "clicked"! Words are my friends too, and a whole lot of them are beautifully arranged in some darn good books.

    Sorry about Dreamer's allergies; I sympathize. The right meds make all the difference. Art camp sounds like fun; glad she is enjoying it.

  2. The specialist who originally diagnosed Christopher's ADHD told me most kids do get better as they get older.

    If they are not labeled and held back in public schools, they flourish later since they tend to be very bright.

    I think of Christopher's taking the most complicated math courses now and he was still struggling in high school.

    He had trouble reading at first, too. He got a little better each year and by around 7th or 8th grade, picked up a "really hard" book and did just fine... just a little slower to start.

    Isn't homeschooling great, even when the circumstances are not perfect?

  3. Oh, hooray on the reading! I used to be a teacher in my life before kids (but wait, I guess that means I still am) and just LOVED it when things just started clicking. I'm so excited for him!

  4. Good for your son! And you! I have been having one of those weeks...feeling totally incompetent and that my kids never going to do good enough and that I am failing totally in my home schooling venture! Unfortunately, we have not had an academic break through...just surviving on a wind and a prayer!

  5. Loved catching up with you.....thanks for sharing the "struggles and blessings!

  6. Such good news for your Storyteller! I love how grace and ease flow throughout your writing. It paints a beautiful picture.

  7. Flexibility...that's what I love about HSing!! So sorry your week was not what you'd expected. I hope you and Dreamer feel better this week.

    How exciting and wonderful for Storyteller's accomplishments! So awesome! I love when the Lord gives us tangible nuggets to encourage us along the way. This one is big! Way to go, both of you!

    Have a blessed week!

  8. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You ~Ron

  9. My older son has allergies and as long as we keep them in check, he seems to stay well. He also has ADD (inability to focus, but not hyper). We have chosen public school, but we've been able to keep him from being labeled. He is flourishing and loves learning.

    Praising God for your son's academic breakthrough!! And for your daughter's strength in learning!

  10. Wanted to share a migraine book that comes highly recommended by a friend who had horrible migraines for 20+ years. It is Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program By Dr. David Buchholz. Blessings!


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