Sunday, June 24, 2007

Art #2 Utah Homeschool Convention Review

Using Art to Reinforce Core Subjects by Sharon Jeffus

Sharon gave us online resources for learning art. his web page of course Other resources,, he said that more resources can be found here.

I loved this list from Sharon

Characteristics of the Creatively Gifted
from The National Foundation for Gifted and Creative Children.

1. High Sensitivity
2. Excessive amounts of energy
3. Bores easily and may appear to have a short attention span
4. Requires emotionally stable and secure adults around him/her
5. Will resist authority if not democratically oriented
6. Have preferred ways of learning; particularly in reading and math
7. May become easily frustrated because of his/her big ideas and not having the resources or people to assist him/her in carrying these tasks to fruition.
8. Learns from an exploratory level and resists rote memory and just being a listener.
9. Cannot sit still unless absorbed in something of his/her own interest
10. If they experience failure early, may give up and develop permanent learning blocks.

Sharon had allot of fun ideas on how to make lessons multisensory by including art. I think that this idea is wonderful and will enjoy doing more of this.

He recommended these resources.

The way they learn - Cynthia Tobias

The book, Kinetic House-Tree-Person Drawings - by Robert C. Burns
(this book is expensive. I wonder if there is another newer book with the same information) These other selections seem to be good substitutes
Art Therapy Source book by Cathy Malchiod
Self-Growth in Families: Kinetic Family Drawings by Robert C. Burns
Robert Burns: Selections by Robert Burns (Edited By Weston, John C.)
Kinetic family drawings (K-F-D);: An introduction to understanding children through kinetic drawings, by Robert C Burns

Michaels - you can go to these stores and ask them for their mat scraps to use for fun art projects

Google Earth - is a great place to go and tour the world from your computer.

Self Government #1 Utah Homeschool Convention Review

Teaching Self-Government by Nicholeen Peck

This was a wonderful class and gave allot of information on raising a self governed child. I liked the ideas of using SODAS (Situation, options, disadvantages, advantages, solution) to practice and review every day life events and improve child actions in these situations. By helping the children discuss the situation, the options the child can choose, and the advantages and disadvantages in the situation, then letting the child choose a solution. I want to use brain storm situations in which I would like to help my child consider their actions through SODAS.

Being board and waiting (in church, at the doctors office, etc.)
When we wake up (early morning work)
I am annoyed with my sisters and I want some alone time
I am sad and I want some extra attention from my parents
Mom and Dad are leaving me at the babysitter
I need help and am having trouble getting someone to help me.
I am jealous of my sister and feel like she is getting something better then I am.
I am hungry
I want to get my mothers attention but she is talking to someone

The Four Basic Skills- Nicholeen talked through 4 basic family relationship skills and the step by step instructions on how to act in situations that help children learn appropriate behavior. We feel these skills are skills of self control.

Following Instructions
Accepting Constructive Criticism or Accepting No for an answer
Accepting Consequence's
Disagreeing Appropriately

I liked the method of detailing out appropriate behavior like this. I think there are more skills then these four and would like to consider them.

Asking for help
Asking for something you want
Waiting for help or other things
Saying Thank you
Resolving emotions that feel overwhelming

To help our children become Self Motivated Learners Jeff would like to cover these topics.

Finding which direction or area of interest to pursue
taking initiative
discerning right and wrong in choosing a direction

I also think we need to cover
Learning methods and resources to find information

Nicholeen covered the ever popular LDS and Thomas Jefferson Ed idea of Family Council Meetings. In her hand outs was a meeting sheet that outlined the basic elements of a family council. I really like the ideas she gave on family council and believe that they will be great to implement in our home.

In Dr. Mel Levine's Feelings and Motivation guide he stressed the importance of creating a safe environment in the home or classroom where the child can make mistakes but their self confidence is not broken. Helping avoid humiliation and feelings of failure help the child feel more confident. Nicholeen also covered this. She feels that the home should be the safest place for a person to make a mistake. Our children have a short time where they can learn and make mistakes in total safety and we should create that safe environment while we can. Remembering not to judge or label your children. Always assume the best in your children, rather then assuming the worst. Making instant judgement calls and giving instant consequences does not teach our children life skills. I have always loved these ideals, but I am glad for the review in order to help me refocus on this.

Teaching Styles
1. Praise - Praise your children 6-10 times for every 1 time you correct them.
2. Preteaching - Teach your children ahead of time what they need to know in order to behave the way you want. I.E. tell them what you want them to behave like before you go to an event. or teach them good behavior patterns. Practice good behaviors in mock situations.
3. Corrective Teaching - This is when you tell the child what they have done wrong. This should be done with a spirit of understanding.
A. Reaffirm to them that they are loved or good
B. Explain the problem like "just now you made a mess" without any titles.
C. Show empathy or praise them for things they have done right before.
D. Explain the consequences of the child's actions.
E. Explain the benefits of cousing right in their terms.
F. Practice doing it the right way.

When a child is out of instructional control (I.E. Throwing a tantrum)

1. Preteach - I am going to give you an instruction because right now you seem like you are out of instructional control. If you choose to not follow my instruction I will give you consequence x. If that happens then I will give you a second instruction. If you choose to not follow that instruction then I will give you consequence x and y. If that happens then I will give you a third instruction. If you choose not to follow that instruction I will give you consequences x,y and z.

2. Give them the instruction - Like "close your mouth and stop talking". If the child does not respond then wait a few mins and give them the second instruction. Do this three times.

3. Show you child the rewards of being in instructional control. If the child is still out of instructional control leave the child and their bad behavior. Take the rest of the family into another room. Have fun with the rest of the family, read books, eat ice-cream, spend special time together. Check back with the misbehaving child every 10 mins or so and ask them if they are ready to follow instructions. If they are start over with the preteach. If not wait and come back again in 10 min.
4. Enforce all consequences earned. Write down every consequence the child has earned. It may be allot but the child has chosen each of those consequences. When the child finely comes out of it, even if days later, enforce all the consequences the child has earned to the letter (if you do not then you loose credibility). If enforcing the consequences causes the child to go out of instructional control again start back up at the top at the preteach.

Tips - Nicholeen says that eventually the children learn to dislike the phrase "out of instructional control" and the consequences that come with it and will many times quickly correct their behavior so as not to go through it.

Other tips from Nicholeen.

Don't ask why your children are misbehaving. They will only tell you what they think you want to hear. And you will not like what they say anyways. Pointless.

Make time for family activities at least once a week. Scheduling the time out makes it an extra special event. Anticipation makes more special. Placing an high importance level on this helps others schedule their lives around it. This is essential because it helps create feelings of unity and togetherness. This is an opportunity for the family to show each other love. A Child should NEVER be excluded from the family activity for bad behavior. All behavior problems are left behind during the family activity. This way you communicate to the child that you love them more then you care that they obey, that the love is the most important. But consequences should return to normal after the family activity.

We should choose what we want our homes atmosphere to feel like. We should set goals for what we want our home to feel like in 20 years, and set goals for getting closer to that in the short term.

Seek to understand then to be understood.

If you make your children do what you want, you will loose them. If you let them choose what they want, you will keep them.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Interesting LDS Church History Fact

"The Zohar, book of Kabbalah, predicted that in 1840 the wellsprings of information will open up…" - Rabbi Simon Jacobson
Work on the first LDS temple in Nauvoo began in the autumn of 1840.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Concerned about Curious George

Curious has been having progressively worse and worst trouble breathing while sleeping at night. I have been trying to get appointments to help with this issue. Last week we saw Dr. Tagge's assistant a great ENT and he scheduled surgery for Curious to have his Tonsils and Adenoids removed, and tubes put in his ears. This appointment is not until June 25th. I was glad to have the appointment but felt anxious that it was not soon enough.

So I called my family doctor Potter and asked his staff if they could send me with an Oxygen tester or oxmitery test I took it home last night and taped its sensor to his little finger. Curious was mad at something when I did so his heart rate showed it. But in a surprisingly short amount of time it dropped to 40. This is a fact I forgot to tell the doctor today, Curious had greatly fluctuating heart rates even when awake. I then proceeded to not sleep as I watched his oxygen and heart levels. His oxygen looked much better then I expected, it was ranging between 95 and 80, which is not good but better then I expected. But his heart rate was distressing to me. It went from 140 ish to as low as 22 when I was looking, and many times this change in rate was in a matter of seconds. I went online and found that his heart rate for his age should range between 60-150. So he was not maxing out at the top, but goodness, he was dropping so low. Can a person go any lower and still be alive? I wondered to myself.

Then today we went to go and see Dr. Potter. After looking over the results he wrote a cover letter to both Curious's ENT and his Cardiologist and faxed it with the oximirty test results. Also Potter advised me to call both doctors and see if telling them the results would encourage them to set quicker appointments for him. The results of the oximitery were lowest oxygen level 79, and lowest heart rate 20 (goodness, if that don't cause worry I do not know what does.) I left a voicemail for Tagge's head nurse, and got ahold of someone who emailed Dr Williams. I am going to call again first thing in the morning.

While worrying about the test results I asked Dr. Potter what should I do between now and when the other specialists can see Curious. He said not to let him sleep alone. And was glad to hear that Curious sleeps with me. But he also said that it was not bad enough that Curious need to go to the hospital.

Later I reconsidered his opinion. I know that when Kerry takes her little baby into the Emergency room for troubles breathing they will not let her leave the hospital unless her little girls oxygen level is 90 or higher. Many times Issy in the low 80's has been put on oxygen. So inother words if I took Curious into the hospital while he was asleep they would not let him leave.

Later in the day I picked up Granny from the Airport and she noticed that Curious has labored breathing even while sitting in his car seat awake.

Dr. Williams the cardiologist told us that it was most likely that Curious's heart murmur would close on its own by the time he was two. But Curious's pediatrician and our family doctor both tell us that it is not closed yet. So under normal circumstances we would go and see Dr. Williams when Curious turned two.

But if Curious's heart started to have troubles supporting his body as it got bigger we might notice him having troubles with eating, and breathing. Thus his difficulty breathing while asleep, and apparently normally, is a sign of his heart not being able to support his body since it has grown.

Which I think means that Curious is in for heart surgery. Already Curious is in for his ENT surgery. And he needs dental surgery. Ideally they try to avoid surgery before a child is two. How many surgeries can a little tiny boy take?? Each and every one of these surgeries would involve general anesthesia. I hate the idea of general anesthesia. HATE IT. Now how am I suppose to feel about the need for it three times, and with a breathing and heart problem?

It is going to be a long night tonight as I watch Curious's every breath. Jeff is on oxygen at night for his difficulties breathing, he is already working on a setting the oxygen up for Curious instead. And Jeff plans to call Dr. Potter tomorrow and insist on putting Curious on oxygen at night. Also Jeff wants me to request that at any or all surgeries that there be a specialist there just to watch Curious's oxygen and heart rate.

Jeff and our neighbor Jeff just gave Curious a blessing. It did give me peace. Curious was blessed with health and strength. He was blessed that he would respond well to treatment. His doctors were blessed that they would be inspired by the Lord and know how to help him. And he was blessed that he will be healthy and strong. Also he was blessed that he would grow with strength in the Lord and will follow his teachings.


Monday, June 4, 2007

Post for my Lerning Sign Language Yahoo Group

This group has been inactive for a long time. We do not always talk on here. But because you are new and excited I would love to give you pointers :). And I would love to hear from others on the list if they want to talk about sign language a bit.
My favorite signing time resources for kidos are these.
Their shows are played here locally on our TV's
that is a sample of what the videos are like. On that Utube it shows Rachel doing some of the signs on the DVD Leah's Farm. But it does not show you any of the cute songs on the DVD's. All of the DVD's are FULL of great songs.
If you are just starting out I would HIGHLY recommend the Baby Signing Time DVD's, my boy cant get enough of them.
fun stuff you can do online with your kido's to learn sign.
I found some great sign language stuff on youtube the other day. Here is one.
Online Sign language dictionaries are wonderful. Look up the sign you want in an instant.
This is my all time favorite.
Hope you like that info