Sunday, January 30, 2011

Can it be?

My boy is motivated! He is seeing his progress and is READING! We have completed 2 weeks worth of lessons out of the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. 17 Lessons to be precise. The boy is highly motivated and has wanted to do more than one lesson in a day. I gotta say, as I see the progress, I am highly motivated myself. I find myself excited to do more. I just can't believe how this program is working for us. One reason we have been able to do more than one lesson a day is that we have scrapped the handwriting portion of the program. Doing this really cuts minutes off the lesson. I figure we will focus on just the reading now and do a different handwriting program come fall. He is reading sentences! SENTENCES! It is awesome.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Robo Mom to the Rescue

Alternate Title: The Boy's Day of Reckoning

I just wasn't going to take it another day
. I sent him, rather dragged him kicking and screaming to his room for a 4 minute time out. He threw stuff at the door and screamed and cried and pretty much let me know that he was going down in a blaze of glory. His timer went off and I went in to give him another time out for throwing stuff at the door. He flipped his chair upside down and looked at me with angry eyes. I walked out. The timer went off after another 4 minutes, I took his chair out of his room and set the timer again...4 minutes...again. He is angry. I am determined.

While this is going on, my little one happily colored at the table. I am thanking God for her at this moment. I talk to Adam, he sends me a link to a blog he thought could help me. I ask him to look up Bi-polar disorder. I was convinced he has this. He is so Jekyll and Hyde sometimes. I quickly scan the article he sent. She said one thing in that article that made sense to me and I took the advice. I decided that I had to be ROBO MOM. Absolutely emotionless. He was out of his mind and I had to stay the course. It helped. Making the decision that his words would not hurt me and that this was the best thing for him propelled me on through the day.

After this first episode. He pulled himself together. It was 9am. We headed upstairs. I could see a change in him already. He was being the kind, sweet boy I knew. He even suggested that he clean the playroom so we could have more fun in there...WHAT?! I was not going to complain. What a great idea!!!

After an hour and a half of cleaning and mostly engaged play, I gave the 5 minute warning. We would be heading downstairs so my baby girl could have some quiet time in her room. (God bless her! She loves to read books quietly in her room!) Bryson and I would work on his reading lessons. And down we went.

It didn't take long for him to "challenge me" with a slight hint of discontent. STRAIGHT TO HIS ROOM FOR YET ANOTHER TIME OUT. Homegirl wasn't playin! We went into yet another cycle of time outs and more time outs for misbehaving during the time outs. He was going to re-learn to have a happy heart if it was the last thing we did that day. I am not kidding when I say he was in time out most of the morning. Being emotionless was the best thing I did that day, besides pray, Pray, PRAY.

It all becomes a blur at this point...but I will say. I won the war. By the evening it was, Yes, Ma'am, and mother may I?

I couldn't decide what to tell the school for his absence, so I just told Bryson to tell his teacher the next day that his mommy just wanted him to stay home. Of course, they pressed and he told me that he said, "my mommy wanted me in time out." I called to talk to the teacher and let her in on our day of discipline. She chuckled and said, "well I knew there must have been a major shake down because he was a different boy today. So well behaved and full of "yes, Ma'ams" Music to my ears!

I will be on him like white on rice until further notice. So far, our house is much happier and I can see the gleam in my big boy's eyes again. I got a note home today that said, "Great behavior today and lots of Yes Ma'ams."

A Never Ending Job

In our house, we seem to have cycles of behavior. We can be rolling along and all is sunshine and rainbows, until...we have one bad day in a week. We brush it off as "everyone has a bad day now and again." One day a week turns into two and before we know it, we don't even like hanging out with our own son. Yes, you heard me. I don't like hanging out with my own son. Shocking, I know. You wouldn't like hanging out with him either, trust me. Simple tasks such as, "Go put on your sock and shoes." turns into SO MUCH MORE! Tantrums and screaming and throwing of items, hitting and furrowed brows followed up with "YOU ARE SUCH A MEAN MOMMY I AM NOT YOUR FRIEND ANYMORE!" Those words sting. I ain't gonna lie.

Let's back up shall we?

So my oldest boy (4 1/2) is sweet and kind and loving and has the cutest dimples south of the Mason Dixon. But, boy oh boy, he's got spunk!

Like I said, we were rolling along and all was wonderful with the world. Bryson was happy and content and loved working quietly in his room. I would send him to his room occasionally for quiet time and ask him to "read books in your room." He would come back and say, "well, I would really like to (insert a different quiet activity here.)" I would usually let him, "fine," I would say, "that is another quiet activity, have at it!" Or, I would say, "we are having cereal for breakfast," and he would come back with, "I really want oatmeal." I would say, "time to brush your teeth," and he would respond with, "but I am just going to finish this puzzle."

Do you see what was happening? I was letting him make appeals. Appeals are all well and good for the most part, except when the appeals start causing conflict. He was starting to appeal everything, EVERYTHING. Having the option to make an appeal comes with the understanding that sometimes my answer will be "NO, you need to do what I am asking right now." First time obedience. If he can handle obeying the first time and understanding that his appeal was rejected and continue on as normal, he can continue on making appeals.

That was not happening in our home. He was starting to think he was boss. "UM, not so fast there tiger!"

His teacher had been telling me about time outs at school. EVERYDAY. He was throwing tantrums. EVERYDAY. Something had to give. I was tired. Adam was tired. A change had to be made.

And then it happened. He lost it one day this week 15 minutes before he needed to leave for school. All out crazy tantrum. Lunch was packed, he was completely dressed. All because I asked him to brush his teeth. WHEW. I decided right there and then that TODAY WAS THE DAY. I called his ride to school and told her to skip our house today. Today was going to be "DAY 'O DISCIPLINE." I just wouldn't have been able to accomplish what I wanted with him in 15 minutes and I sure didn't want to wait til after school.

Tune in tomorrow, to hear how this day went down...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

7 days in...

Look at me, I am checking in; I am surprising myself!

Bryson has completed 7 days of reading lessons. So far so good. He has been excited and up for the challenge and is encouraged to know that if we stick to the program, we should be finished with the book (and reading) by his 5th birthday.

I am learning a lot each day as we complete each lesson.
1. Sitting still and on his bottom is not high on Bryson's priority list.
2. Bryson wants to skip ahead... a lot....
3. If there is so much a speck of anything other than this reading book on the table, a competition begins and the speck will win every time.
4. I need to wear protective gear. His arms and legs can flail up at any moment in time causing injuries to my eyes, legs or stomach. (My eye is still throbbing from the whollup I got today. See item 1.)
5. The lessons so far really do only take 15 minutes.
6. I can see progress.
7. I have hope.

So there you have week down about 13 more to go.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This is a test

On recommendation from my sister in law, I got a copy of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. After reading the introduction, that took me back to my college school text books, it seems doable. The author has built me up and has made me believe I, too, can teach my boy to read. We have successfully completed the first lesson to which he responded, "that was easy." We shall see. To me, 100 and easy don't belong in the same sentence. Doing 100 things consistently has NEVER been my strong point. (Remember that ADD post where I promised to chronicle my adult ADD? I never posted a thing after that about in point.)

I do plan to homeschool for kindergarten, so this is a test. Will we survive? We shall see. Don't bother checking back on me...chances are, I will never give an update.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hello? Is this thing on?

I am so tired of clicking on my blog to see that Munchkin sippy cup title. Quick follow up on that: They never did what they said they would do by calling me and giving me any kind of update. They did send me a "BE QUIET" gift of many Munchkin products. I am over it.

Life is happening all around me and it is a fun ride. Bryson keeps me on my toes and Mabry is deciding that she has opinions about many things and is beginning to assert them daily.

I think I have missed blogging, but I am not sure. I am here, checking out the waters and I just might jump back in. Don't hold me to it.