Friday, September 12, 2008

First Day of HIGHday

Thursday was the first day of our homeschooling co-op. We did this last year with Romania and Egypt while Holland was at school. It's three hours of school taught by other moms. You teach or assist two classes and then the third class you get a break and time to socialize with other moms. Romania was a little disappointed because he remembered how much fun it was last year. I reminded him that Holland was unable to participate last year and this was just how life works.

I had asked to be placed in Holland's first two classes: "fun with electricity" and a chess class. I knew Holland would like the electricity class because during the school year last year, he almost electrocuted himself when he put a paper clip into an outlet. It didn't really matter that I had told him not to do that. He simply had to find out himself what it looked like when he did. I guess sparks went flying but now he knows what that looks like and hopefully will not do it again. (When he was a little over a year old, he touched the front of our gas fireplace several times and got blisters from doing this. My helpful sister-in-law pointed out that I just should have told him not to do it. After all, that's what she did with her kids. I've known for a long time that he needs to experience something to learn it.)

The teacher did a great job. The kids all paired up and had a cell (a battery), a small bulb and a ribbon of foil for their experiments. Their first job was to find out how to make the bulb light up. The kids tried all sorts of ways and finally figured out how it worked. She handed out papers with drawings of different ways to get it to light up. The kids had to draw what worked and what didn't work. Then they had to make predictions about several drawings and actually do it to see if it worked. Holland actually got all those right. Chess class was a little more difficult because the teacher did not do a good job of seeing who knew what. I know that several kids (including Holland) had limited experience with playing chess. He assumed that all the kids knew what the pieces were called, how many moves each could make and how many points they were worth. Holland got a little confused, but he partnered with his cousin who knew quite a bit about chess and was able to tell him which moves he could do. I thought chess was a good way to use predicting skills and sequencing.

Overall it was a great first day experience. He socialized so well with his peers - maybe the IEP team should come in and see him and then they can get rid of those dumb behavior goals.

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