Friday, August 6, 2010
It is hard to believe that Joe's no longer working locally. Thursday was his last day at his janitorial/grounds keeping job at a business 10 miles from home. In 2 days, he will begin his new job with an OTR (over the road) trucking company. He will be gone 6 weeks at a time. What a change that will be making. We've done this before. Abbie was an infant then. Joe left trucking when she was 2 yrs. old when still expecting Micah. Micah has never known his Daddy to be gone for periods of time longer than a regular work day. The adjustment will take a bit for both of the kids.
I am preparing myself for the time apart also. I am going to be getting us on a more set routine/schedule. Not only will it help me get things done, but Micah thrives in the structured setting of a consistent routine. I will be starting Abbie's Pre-K homeschooling on Monday. That morning, the Sooner Start coordinator will be arriving to see what Micah's therapies needs are, along with our immediate goals for him.
I chose to do the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling with the kids. We will be reading a lot of books and working on projects as a basis of the curriculum. I am including lap books and file folder games into the curriculum. For the first week, we are going to be doing 2 lapbooks. The first is a devotional lapbook for the Creation story. The second one is on the topic of Ants. I ordered at the library the Aesop's Fables book containing the story of the "Ant and the Grasshopper" to read to Abbie. The lapbook I found online didn't have any math related projects, so I am making my own. I am drawing my own math worksheet. On the sheet will be a series of ant hills. In each I will draw or use ant stickers to add between 1-10 ants on the hills. There will be a line drawn under the hill where Abbie will write the number of ants on that hill. Later, that same idea can be used by having 2 sets of ants and one hill. Abbie will add the 2 sets of ants and write the answer in the hill. Pretty basic, but will add the math to the lapbook.
I am finding that planning the lapbooks to be a lot of fun. One thing that I am realizing though is that I need to start early to plan them. Not having a printer, I have to take the jump drive with the files on it to a office supply to make the copies. The other option is to use the items found online as a guide, then hand draw and make my own. With this in mind, I am carefully choosing which items to print out. Mainly the very involved ones. The easier ones, I am simply making my own. I bought a box of file folders from the office supply store to use for the lapbooks. As I get components made, I will start adding them to a file folder. When it is time to make the lapbook, I am hoping that the items will be ready for Abbie to use. My goal is to make the lapbooks a minimum of about 2-3 weeks in advance. Come winter, I hope to have a ready supply of them so that I won't have to go out and make copies in the winter weather. I will likely work on the lapbooks and file folder games after Sunday. It will give me something to do in the evenings after the kids go to bed and help pass the time until I am tired enough to sleep.
I am looking forward to the therapies starting for Micah. The way Sooner Start works is to teach the parents what to do and guide them in how to teach their own children. This is exactly what we were wanting. I am going to request from the speech therapist that if possible, she bring me as much PECS information as possible so that I can study ahead on it. We have only 8 months to help Micah learn to pay attention long enough for us to teach him the PECS communication system as well as teaching him how to use PECS. I feel a bit like we are under pressure here. There is no guarantee that once he is no longer eligible for the Sooner Start program at age 3 (in April, 2011), the Head-Start therapists will teach it to him. It all depends on what amount of time & resources they have available to him. He won't be enrolled in the program, but would be going for therapies only. That is the main reason why I am wanting to learn as much as I can so that I can use it to teach him. He will be homeschooled along with Abbie and the information for PECS will be a blessing.
Overall, the upcoming change is being planned out as best as possible. I have ideas for helping the kids to know when Daddy is coming home. One is to use the PECS idea and have a picture of Joe to place on the calendar on the day he is due to be home. We are going to put up a map of the USA on the wall and use push pins to show where Daddy has gone each day. Joe plans to text us each day to say where he is so that Abbie can see on the map. Once she is older, we will turn it into a project for homeschooling. For now though, it is simply a way for her to know where Daddy is and when he will be coming home.
For myself, I plan to stay busy as best as I can. Once we are on a steady routine, it will be easier to get more sewing and such done. I have been wanting to sew, but by evening it is too hot to use the treadle or I am too tired from the day's activities. Typically, I sew more in the cooler weather. I really want to get back to having a set time to do it. This will be a chance for me to do so. Another source of comfort for me is writing letters. I have a few pen friends that I write to and have others wanting to exchange letters with me. I love it! On days/nights when I feel lonely, I am able to pull out the letters and read them. They uplift me and are such a blessing. I never feel so lonely after reading a few of them. Thank you to those who have already been writing to me. I am getting the letters answered as quickly as I can.