September 24, 2008

Progress Report: E for Effort

Ok we started out a bit rough, but it is getting easier. JBug had some big trouble getting adjusted to her schedule and the new demands that homework placed upon her. She is still working out the kinks, but we haven't had every day melt downs like we did the first week and a half. To be fair, the classes started with a bang, and just overwhelmed her.

She started Biology, and the book is dense, a lot of extraneous information that she doesn't have to know for quizzes and tests. But she didn't know that. She was taking far too many notes, and freaking out, thinking she wouldn't be able to handle the class. She told me she would have to drop, and I said she needed to stick it out for a while. Sure enough, she has had two quizzes, that she has aced, and a chapter test she felt quite good about. And she loves the labs. So she is starting to settle down now.

Then there was Logic. The first day of class, she had an essay assigned, "The problem with Blind Faith." hello? I mean, as a college student that is a tough topic! And on top of that? It was assigned on Wednesday and DUE on Friday. 500 words, typed. A complete recipe for falling apart. I walked her through it,step by step.

How To Write An Essay
1. brainstorm some ideas, pick the best ones
2. write each idea on a separate post-it.
3. use the glass door or a wall, and move the various notes around until they are in the desired order.
4. write an outline that mentions each major point
5. throw in some filler, transitions, pretty up the sentences
6. 5 paragraph essay- done!

It wasn't easy, as I said, the topic was difficult to write on. She turned it in and received credit. Not even a grade (though I was glad to see that). So her first class assignment was trial by fire. She doesn't have another essay due for a while, and figured out she could do it, let's hope she remembers.

As far as other work, she hasn't done a ton. I am hoping she picks up soon. She is knitting well, and it is working to soothe her so I am glad. But she needs to make better use of her time. She also doesn't like it when remind her, so I am not sure what else to do. Will probably discuss this with the therapist this week.

Still, we are now in the middle of it, let's hope classes go well. I myself had a bit of anxiety at the prospect of all the places I had to be (I hate figuring it all out when it is so new and all), but that is settling down, too.

JBear is doing really well, though he hates the Aleks math. I am thinking of moving him to a book, but the problem is, he doesn't hate Aleks, he hates math. He doesn't retain things like math facts (or his phone number!) but yet he has an amazing memory for the things that matter to him. Spelling is going well, I am using a multi-sensory program called All About Spelling. I am planning a review of it soon. History is good, Science is not ready to start yet. We started grammar today and he is getting that, hope it continues. He is reading more and more, I pretend not to notice. That has to be his thing.

JazBean is currently enamoured with her Word Book, a spiral-bound notebook she writes new words in , especially when watching Word World. They are DVRd so she pauses to write the word, and sound it out, and spell it... love that. I have not pushed her too hard in the academics, she is very resistant, so for her I use "teachable moments" when they come up. She likes formal bookwork when it is her idea. We are going slow, she has that autism stubbornness. She started ballet, which she loves and I posted some pics.

All in all, we are off to a good start, and I will update more as we go.

T, who is optimistic about the year

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