Sunday, November 18, 2007

Well... we're just finishing up a very busy week. 

It seemed like every day on last week's calendar page had several things to do written on it. We ran to ortho appointments, book club meetings (two! one R's, one mine), worked at the library, interviewed respite providers (an incredibly frustrating experience... I'm thinking maybe I don't need respite after all!), celebrated my granddaughter's 5th birthday, went to an IMAX movie and even squeezed in lunch with an old friend! 

 I'm seriously tired of running around right now and looking forward to staying close to home for a while. I've got lots of company coming next week (I'm so excited, I LOVE company!!) so I should probably clean my house and start getting things ready for Thursday big feast! 

 Since we aren't likely to get much school done this week I decided to try and just get a couple of math lessons done and skip the rest of our regular school material. Instead of our regular work I'm reading the kids Thanksgiving on Thursday (Mary Pope Osborn) and also reading them the non-fiction companion book that goes with it (Pilgrims: Magic Tree House Research Guide). I found this website that has vocabulary words, comprehension questions and activities for each chapter of Thanksgiving on Thursday, so I'll supplement our reading with those materials. We may also watch (again) the PBS series Colonial House, and do some of the activities I found here that are connected to the series. I think this will be a good, low stress way to do school during Thanksgiving week! 
R has been struggling so much lately with her school work, especially math, that I think an easy week will be good for her. 

It's looking like we've gone as far as we can go (at least right now) with Saxon Math addition and subtraction. She's still doing well with the other concepts, counting money, calendar skills, etc. but she isn't able to memorize the addition and subtraction facts, and they don't make sense to her... she still struggles with basic number sense. (For example, when you subtract the answer is going to be smaller, when you add the answer is going to be bigger.) So I'm going to go back to Touchmath for addition and subtraction, since it's the method she's using anyway to figure the problems out. She's fast and pretty accurate with touchmath so I think I'm going to give up (at least for now) on working on her memorizing all the facts and focus on making sure she has the skills to get the right answer. Memorizing facts (or memorizing the "tricks" Saxon teaches to remember each fact until it is memorized!) is just not working, and she's feeling bad about herself because she can't "get it". I think I'll try to reinforce the skills she does have and hope that the number sense will eventually come... 

 R's decided she wants to be a veterinarian. Although becoming a vet probably isn't part of her future, I do think she would be wonderful in any job working with animals. She has such a gift with them... She pretty regularly rescues (or tries to rescue) injured wildlife. 

Last spring she helped keep warm and eventually re-nest some baby bunnies when I accidentally destroyed their nest. (I was so happy to have the last of the compost pile shoveled up and spread on the garden, who knew mama bunny chose the compost pile for her nest?!) Here is one of the babies right after we found them. (It's a miracle I didn't kill them all shoveling up the compost, they were so tiny, but they all survived my careless digging.) They were very cold and unresponsive when we found them, we fed them homemade pedialyte and kept them warm until we could figure out a way to get them back into a nest.  

 After we remade their nest (using a clay flower pot turned on it's side, straw inside for bedding, and lots of straw piled around outside for warmth), we continued to check on them until they got so big they would either try to bite us or hop away when we visited the nest. Their mama didn't seem to care much that her babies were in a different nest (we put the new "nest" back where the old one had been) and continued to feed and care for them even after we'd handled them... 

 Here R is holding a couple babies in a rag after their fur grew in...

 

 Here's another one of R's wildlife friends (from last year). She kept him long enough to name him, and while taking care of him she not only learned a lot about snakes, but she also overcame her fear of them! (She still misses him and keeps watching, hoping to see him again...)

 

 Here's her latest rescue. This little guy flew into our window yesterday and knocked himself out. R held him, keeping him safe, until he woke up. As soon as he was fully awake and able to fly she let him go.

 

 I think she needs to give up her plans be become a vet and look into working for a wildlife rescue organization!

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