"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up 29: HS Conference/Eye Tracking Exercises & Sketches

I entered our homeschool week all revved up from a Homeschool Conference. :) I purchased my new curriculum for Canadian History, see all those fantastic living books?! We are one month away from American History being all done and are quite excited to begin a new history program. I drove up to the conference with a bunch of ladies, where we stayed over night. We enjoyed a lovely dinner out and headed out to the conference early to shop and enjoy various seminars. It was a great time away with some wonderful women who I am truly blessed to know!

While at the conference I attended a bunch of seminars about Learning Disorders. It was at the last seminar I felt that I was quite possibly getting a handle on what may be going on with my son. I don't get the sense that he has a learning disability, I've been all over the diagnostic criteria for them and I can't find something that really fits. So when the speaker in the last session spoke about eye tracking issues I began to see some strong co-relations with my son. His eye sight is really bad (+4) and we didn't discover it until he was 4. Plus a lot of children with allergies tend to have this problem (he is Celiac and has a host of environmental allergies). He complains of headaches when having to read or do math. I can tell he's straining to make sense of it but I couldn't figure out exactly what the problem was. Of all the seminars I sat through on Learning Disabilities the symptoms of poor eye tracking started to make a lot of sense. It could be that the muscles in his eyes have been made weak by his poor eye sight in his earlier years. I have booked him an appointment to get his eye tracking ability assessed. We'll rule out all the physical first and then if nothing pops there we'll look else where. He's as smart as a whip but he's struggling with math and reading. Don't get me wrong, he's making strides but he's not quite where we think he should be at this point. I found it incredibly helpful to have sat through all these seminars to help me figure him out. :) I've already started some eye tracking exercises to help strengthen that skill because it really can't hurt!!!

Today, was a hard day for my boy. He had fallen earlier in the week and did a face dive into the pavement. His glasses got scratched up so badly that we needed to replace the lenses (so thankful for the eye protection plan we purchased). We had them replaced today but he had to go for a few hours without glasses. He completely melted down in the van on the way to piano. He sobbed and asked me why he had to have such bad eye sight, and why he had so many food issues and outside allergies. It was heart breaking to hear him so upset. I let him vent and be sad then we talked about how it was good that we could get him glasses and that we had the ability to make him good food to eat even with all his food sensitivities. Really, he's taken most of it in stride but now and again he gets sad......and that's okay. We'll deal with these things as they come, knowing the Lord has a plan and purpose for his life.

All in all it was a good week though. We got lots of school work done and my daughter started a new grammar program called: Growing with Grammar. She LOVED it! We were using a different Grammar program but she was finding it difficult to understand the instructions. It looked to busy and wordy. But GWG, she said, is both straightforward and simple to follow. She blew 18 pages and 1 test (perfect score) away this week in the grade 6 level. (which made her very happy because she is in Grade 5). She's like that with Wordly Wise too, loves to do the work in that book. She is required to do that once a week but likes it so much she does it more.

The kids are interested in WWI and WWII so I got Usborne War Stories (True Stories from the First and Second World Wars). They used to be in separate books but they combined them into one. We read the first chapter which then sited the events of Christmas in WWI when the soldiers came out of their bunkers to have smokes/drinks together, play some soccer and even exchange military items like hats or badges. So we skipped over to that chapter to read. The kids were astonished at this. They couldn't stop talking about it. The book has ended up being a great read this week.
We've continued to do some history sketching. This week we talked about the missionaries and how their work is very important in history as well; from David Livingstone, to Jacob Deshazer to Jim Elliot. They sketched some animals from the jungles where some of these missionaries went to spread the gospel (see pics below). We have read Nate Saint's story but we haven't read about Jim Elliot: Christian Heroes Then and Now yet. That one is on our reading list for this year. A good week, a revitalized Mom, some tears but healing hugs/words, relaxed home schooling, a play date and time spent together as a family. :)

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  1. I understand about your sons food issues. My son 11 has a disease that limits his protein and he too sometimes gets "down" however he understands how blessed he is because its just food... We to are working on eye tracking!! We do lazy eights and its helping a lot with my 2 boys!! XOXO

    1. Yes! My son is 9, we've been at this for 5 years now. But so glad it's just food we have to change. :) I am really hoping the eye tracking exercises help.

  2. Don't be surprised if the eye exercises give him headaches! or that he can't do more than a few minutes! They're not easy to do! I've used Eye Can Learn with my 7-year-old son his has tracking and convergence (using the eyes together) issues due to SPD. It is VERY HARD work for them to do, but it has helped over time! All the best!

    1. Thanks for the heads up! I appreciate it. :)

  3. Good luck with the eye exercises and I hope things work out for him. My daughter has worn glasses for 3 years now and she can't really see without them. She sometimes gets very upset about it and wonders why she can't have better vision. She finds the glasses very limiting and awaits the day when she can have contacts.


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