The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here for the past several days. Spring is finally upon us and we’d better enjoy it before the sweltering heat of the deep south engulfs us. We spent the late afternoon yesterday outside with the kids cooking on the grill, swinging in the swing, and playing soccer (actually it was more like two boys trying to keep mom from scoring a goal and my legs sure had something to say later about all that kicking). It was a lot of fun though, until the mosquitos started to feast on us. After dinner we played Clue with the boys--It was Mrs. Peacock in the library with a revolver, by the way.
The picture above was taken a few days ago at sunset. It was a breath-taking sunset and Gavin yelled “RUN MOM, Take a picture!” So, there it is. Almost looks like the trees are on fire, doesn’t it! I didn’t get any pictures of the outdoor fun yesterday afternoon. Too busy kicking a soccer ball and chasing Luci, I guess!
School is going great. We are SO close to finishing up now. Gavin has one math lesson left in his book, but still a few more weeks left of everything else. I’m going to use that time to work on multiplication facts and word problems. He’s still rushing through word problems so fast that he doesn’t take the time to figure out what he’s trying to find out. He just takes the first two numbers and does some figuring and leaves it at that. I don’t think its a matter of ability, just a matter of applying himself to doing it. He’s still working on his research paper. It’s due in less than two weeks now. In case I haven’t mentioned that already, he is doing his research paper on Henry Ford. Should be interesting, and no one really has to wonder why he chose Henry Ford! He has finally decided on a science project for the science fair next month. I hope he is happy with his decision, but I suspect he ‘settled’ on something out of frustration. His project is “What type of infrastructure makes a skyscraper the strongest?”
Ben is doing a great job with developing his reading skills. We played a sentence game today and he had so much fun with it he hardly realized he was doing school. I wrote words on small cards and had him read them and put them in order to make sentences that made sense. “Can we do this again tomorrow, Mom?” He moved into learning about place value today and really flew through that! I think he is very mathimatically-minded so all of this comes really easily to him. He still struggles with paying attention and focusing and this affects both his reading and math. However, we have done some experimenting and he has responded remarkably well to small doses of caffeine. Yes, I know... we are giving our kid caffeine! But the reality is, in kids with ADD or ADHD caffeine works the same way that ADD drugs work--without all the side effects of those prescription meds. They are basically just stimulants, like caffeine, and have the opposite effect in kids who suffer from ADD. So, while caffeine might wake you up, make you jittery or hyper, it settles Ben down and the result is a little boy who can do all of his school work in one sitting and who experiences far less frustration in his day. He is going to be evaluated next Monday by a psychologist and after he is given an official diagnosis Brian and I will be working with his pediatrician on an effective treatment plan that will include dietary changes as well as behavior modification in addition to any medication (or caffeine) we decide to try. It is our hope to avoid medications, but we want to do what is best for Ben so that he can have a better grasp on his impulses and emotions.
Be sure and check out the video of Luci riding her trike. I plan to try and put up a new video here every week, so be sure and check back so you don’t miss one!