Thursday, July 28, 2016

Please Stop Over-Using Programs That You Don't Need

My son, Joshua, will be 3 in June. He is mostly non-verbal. Yet he is now without speech therapy.

"Speech Issues" seem to be the "in" thing for kids to have nowadays. When Isaac and Brianna were little, I knew of, like 2 kids that had speech issues. Since Olivia and Joshua, it seems more kids have speech issues than don't.

Sadly, this is more a matter of little Suzy only says 40 words when she should be saying 50 by x age. Or little Johnny wasn't quoting Shakespeare by 2 1/2. My friends kids were referred to speech simply because they're twins that were born 3 weeks early. They were referred FROM BIRTH. They have no speech issues. Yet they took up space (two spaces actually) in the system, simply because it was assumed that they'd have issues.

Then there's a kid like Joshua. Completely normal birth circumstances. Normal development everywhere but speech. By 12 mths, he had 2 words. By 18 mths he had zero. By 24 mths he had zero. By 2.5 yrs he had 5 words (that were few and far in between).

Joshua had a speech assessment last September. It was seen that he clearly needed help. In October, Lee and I were informed that we would have to take a multi week class (to teach us how to teach him) THEN they would assess Joshua again to see if he needed individual help. The class taught us nothing that we weren't already doing with all of our kids, let alone Joshua.

In January he had another speech assessment. Clearly, he needed individual help. The worker told us that he wasn't in the group that was due to start the following month, but in the group that was due to start in May/June. However, because he would be turning 3 in June and only had 5 noises that counted as words, she would try to push him into the Feb/March group. Thankfully she succeeded.

Between the end of Feb and the beginning of April, Joshua had 7 weekly speech therapy appointments. He loved them. Sassy, his therapist was very patient with him and we got lots of new sounds out of him. We even got 2 new words! He was clearly thriving.

April 7th was our last session. We have no services until at least August when they will book an appointment for another assessment. Since we know he'll need more therapy the assessment seems like a waste of time. After the assessment, we'll be lucky to re-start therapy in October.

Our speech therapist told us that the delay was completely due to the amount of kids in their system.

Don't get me wrong! Joshua is not the only kid with speech issues. Plenty of kids DO have real speech issues. But well more than half of the kids in my town's speech system are like little Suzy above (only 40 words when she "should" have 50).

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Selfish Sewing

I've posted before about my business, LoveBugs Accessories. I make a bunch of accessory type items... soother clips, teething rings, crayon rolls, hair stuff, ect... I love creating stuff!

But I also love creating stuff for my family. LoveBugs started because I wanted to make Brianna hair stuff (or "pretties" as we call them). I've made nightgowns and pj pants several times but I've always had a hard time reading patterns and old school patterns require cutting up sizes and rendering the other sizes useless.

(I am in no way compensated for the comments below, just my honest opinion!)

Thanks to Stitch Upon a TimeA Sparkly Baby, and Patterns for Pirates (and their respective facebook groups), I've been able to start making other cool things. WITH patterns! PDF patterns are awesome and the ladies behind those shops make them easy to read and understand with lots of pictures. The latest version of Adobe Reader allows you to remove layers of patterns and only print the sizes you need (while not destroying the other sizes!).

So now, I am testing out making all sorts of different clothing items for the family! Buying fabric is so much fun when there is such a great selection online! No more being stuck with just the one in-town fabric store! I have many more patterns to try, but these are my faves so far....

Olivia's Easter dress

Matching monster shorts and tanks for Joshua and Olivia

The first real pattern dress I've made for myself

Undies for everyone!


Olivia's panda outfit

Brianna's running clothes

Friday, June 3, 2016

Weekly *cough* Monthly Wrap Up - May

Ok, so this is kinda a Month of May Wrap Up, since I didn't really post much this month. It's been a little crazy around here prepping for my surgeries in June (15 teeth extractions and a hysterectomy). We've also been outside a LOT enjoying the totally awesome weather! Enjoy a boat load of pics!

The girls have found their new favorite schooly YouTuber - AsapSCIENCE. They have spent hours watching random videos. Some are silly (like Can You Actually Eat a Bus) but some are really cool (like What if You Stopped Going Outside). There ARE some mature videos that some may not want younger ones watching, so maybe preview before you set kids loose.

Olivia attempted to help Joshua learn how to peddle his bike. He is totally lost lol He never cared to learn to ride a tricycle so he has no idea what he's doing. Olivia is confused as to why he can't peddle. It's interesting to say the least! Olivia herself has some new bike learning to do as we took off her training wheels. She's really struggling with balance but I think that's because her training wheels were so crooked that she rode her bike off centered for so long, she has to learn how to ride upright.

Brianna had her first race of the year. Her training has MUCH improved since last year so here's hoping for a great season! Olivia had her first soccer game of the year too. She's on the red team this year which totally confused her (she was blue last year). We think we'll be signing Joshua up for soccer next year, speech depending.

We'll be starting summer schedule early, due to the aforementioned surgeries. I hope to be able to finish their biology course over the summer still. It was originally planned to be completed *before* summer schedule but life happens. Otherwise, they'll be slowly puttering their way through their various work in math and English (and in Brianna's case, French).

Olivia teaching Joshua to ride his bike

Lee helping Olivia learn to ride her bike without training wheels

Brianna's favorite school spot

Watching for our cat to give birth (sadly one was stillborn, the other we lost 5 days later)

Olivia planted her garden box by herself this year

Playing the "even/odd game" with Daddy

Open hydrants means loads of water fun!

Joshua helped plant the big garden this year

Soccer practice

Progress on my temperature blanket January-April 

Olivia's psoriasis is flaring up :(

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and The Practical Mom

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

First Run of the Season

Brianna's first race of the season was on the 23rd. As usual, her first race is a 5K chase. The "chase" being that everyone is staggered in start times by age and sex and statistical ability. Brianna's age group is females 14 and under.

She had a fantastic first lap (2.5k). In fact, her best first lap ever! However, endurance has always been her struggling point and with the lack of training in the last year, the second lap caught up with her quickly and she ended with a fairly slow finish time. Either way, she finished! And she felt really good about it.

Brianna is suddenly the tallest kid in her age group!

46 mins 41 sec final time (accounting for staggered race start)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up - April 29th

So I decided to go back to my usual "story mode" of my weekly wrap up. Some weeks we don't cover all subjects and then I get anxious that I missed something. I know our eclectic homeschooling works for us and the kids learn all they need to, so stressing myself out about unnecessary stuff seems counter-productive.

Saturday was the Great Cloth Diaper Change. Joshua took part (probably his last year unless I can squeeze him into a cloth trainer next year) with his twin friends.

Joshua in Magic School Bus
Brianna has been reading a lot with Olivia. Olivia really likes it (cause I guess if it's not reading with mommy, it's not "school" lol). Joshua loves all things books so he's joining them often too. Olivia has also been enjoying learning to spell words with ASL. I figured she's learning both the sign language alphabet AND general spelling. BONUS!

The girls have been helping my niece, Tanya, build a lean-to. Brianna spent Sunday helping another homeschooling family trim trees and doing general yard work.

Joshua decided he wants some preschool. He has started his own cutting practice whether anyone wants to do school with him or not.

On Thursday, the girls took part in Cornwall's City Clean Up Week.

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and The Practical Mom

Thursday, April 28, 2016

City Clean Up Week

Every year, the City of Cornwall runs a City Clean Up Week where various groups get together to clean litter and debris all around the city. Every year, the girls and I take part, cleaning the 2 streets in our neighbourhood and a portion of the bike path along the waterfront.

I was actually fairly impressed with how little garbage we picked up this year! Last year we had a full over-flowing garbage bag, the year before we had 2 bags! This year was barely a half a bag. Yay for cleaner streets!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

World War II and The Holocaust

Brianna got a gift card to the local book store for Christmas. She's been enjoying these Dear Canada books so got another one, Pieces of the Past, for her collection. The book is about a little girl who immigrated to Canada during the 2nd World War. It talks about her struggles with her new life and about the event of recent past that lead her to where she is now.

Once she was done reading it, not surprisingly, Brianna had a lot of questions about the Holocaust. As we do not censor real life from our kids, I answered her questions as best as I could. As usual, my answers weren't enough. She wanted more. So I found her a bunch of documentaries and based-on-fact movies (since she's a great visual learner).

A couple of favorites:
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. It's a fiction film based on historical fact about a young boy who's family moves as his father is commandant of a concentration camp. The boy, exploring, meets a young Jewish boy on the other side of the concentration camp's fence. A very moving story that shows a child's side of the Holocaust.

Schindler's List. Another fiction film, based on fact. This one is a little mature for most kids as it is more graphic than most. It is about a German business man who essentially turns his factory into a refugee camp for Jewish people to save them from Auschwitz. Brianna came up with lots of great questions with this one.

Auschwatz: The Nazis and The Final Solution. This one was a surprising like. I thought after a different one that she watched, she would be bored with this one also, but nope! She was full of questions and wanting to rewind to show me various clips. This one is fairly self explanatory as being about Auschwitz and The Final Solution (which Brianna was thoroughly disgusted with).