I mentioned on my recent post, about Caleb and his ADD diagnosis,that my friend Maureen sent me a thoughtful note in the mail that also included a Staples gift card. (Thank you again, Maureen!) I thought this was so cute. She said to consider it a donation to our PTA. 🙂
So…..tonight I cashed in. Check out these puzzles that I found for…….du du du………Woot! 50 cents a piece!!!
You might say I was kind of excited about this. I bought one of each kind of puzzle, two of the US states ones, since that is something we are working on a lot, and I happen to have two boys that are both learning their states and capitals.
Receiving an unexpected gift from a friend is something that will just make your day, isn’t it? Even a note or an email–just knowing, hey, there are people out there who are thinking about you–it goes a long way. This is a good challenge to me to make sure I do thoughtful things for others too!
As you can imagine, I’ve been thinking about the ADD thing a lot lately. You can bet there will be a post soon on good teaching strategies for ADD students. In the meantime, I’m experimenting. I’ll tell you what doesn’t work: standing up at the board and talking to them…….total waste of air…..Joshua is excellent at concentrating on his work and staying on task. He just has a listening problem. Caleb, however, I’m still trying to figure out.
Today I decided to just ask him.
“Caleb, do you have trouble concentrating on what I’m saying when I’m talking to you, like at the board, in school?”
“Yeah! It just hurts, like right here. Right here (pointing to his eyebrows), when I’m trying to look up at the board it just hurts, and I can’t see it good, and I just can’t do it.”
hmmmm Now there’s another thing that I should mention here. Caleb has sinus troubles. They come and go constantly, and they are definitely aggravated right now.
I also have sinus issues, and when I do, I get a headache in my forehead, in the eyebrow/nose bridge area. So, I can relate to what Caleb is saying. I’m going to need to give that poor boy some tylenol and some Mucinex before school. Tylenol is no problem, but I don’t have any Children’s Mucinex right now. If only going to the store were easier!!
I should probably also look into getting Caleb’s vision screened. We’ve had Joshua’s done, and his is perfect. Phew!
I think that Caleb, like Joshua, learns more by doing than by listening. I’m going to have to drum up some more hands on activities for Classical Conversations. CC has a lot of memory work, and that is hard for someone who doesn’t listen. There are two things that Caleb needs help with right now: CC work (memorizing capitals, Latin, etc.) and Spelling. I switched his spelling program to k12reader.com. It’s free, and I was able to pick a list that is right for his level. That has helped a TON. The thing is, I’ve noticed he doesn’t internalize the word spellings from writing them, only from really discussing them with me, and spelling them out loud.
Don’t discount Caleb yet, though. He has many subjects that he excels at. He aces every math assignment I give to him. Goodness knows he LOVES science, and he has caught up on reading, too. He’s also really good at puzzles, cursive writing, and art. Caleb makes very clean, straight lines. His thoughts are very organized. For example, we gave the boys these design-your-own toothbrushes. Joshua’s looks like mine would look: a mess of stickers all over the place in all directions. (I understand, Jman, I do.) Caleb’s looks like Alan’s would look: everything on it is in parallel lines–perfect–no tape that stuck to itself, no disorder at all.
Here’s a cute picture that Caleb drew this week. He drew this just for the blog. It’s a scene from his FAVORITE book series, Elephant and Piggy:
“Caleb A (as in he gave himself an A–ha!) Let’s Go for a Drive”
So far this is what I’ve learned about ADDish kids: They don’t learn from listening. They learn from doing.
If I’m at the board, they do all the reading and writing. I just tell them what to write. My part has to be pretty minimal.
I’m learning more every day about this. It’s exhausting. Some days I randomly get these mystery fevers. I have no idea what’s wrong with me. I’ve started tracking it on my calendar and have found no pattern, other than sleep deprivation. Alan’s mother said that she used to get fevers when she was sleep deprived, so I’m seriously wondering if that’s my problem. Have any of you ever dealt with this sort of thing? It’s been going on since during my pregnancy with JD, but happening more lately.
I’ll leave you with this photo of Caleb, hard at work. I make them do all of their most consuming, not fun, work first thing in the morning, while they are still fresh. That has worked really well. They do their math worksheet, writing, spelling, and character lessons during the 9-10am block, every day. I’m starting to find ways to ease some CC memory work into their writing assignments.
Of course, Daniel finishes anything I give him, crafts included, in 15 minutes and then asks me for more work. This kid will be starting his K4 books in January. I don’t care if he is still 3. He is ready. Don’t you love his war paint? It’s just part of the package, ya’ll!
Okay. Now I really must go do this:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”