Sunday, March 19, 2017

Taking a Breather

We took something of an impromptu spring break this week. We still had co-op classes to attend and Amber diligently completed her homework for those classes, but that was just about it.

We simply needed a real break and since the week was full of medical appointments, decided it would be a good week to have a rest from school work. There were no quick lessons squished between appointments or after a tiring day out. Instead we both were able to relax.

Amber has been playing quite a bit of Lego Worlds this week since the much anticipated full release of the game came out last Tuesday. Her hand-me-down Alienware computer from Fred would not run the full game although it did just fine for the eons she played it in early release. That computer has issues at times too; there was a reason her dad got a new gaming computer last summer. So we decided to get Amber her very first brand-new computer. She picked another Alienware, of course.

Horizon: Zero Dawn on the PS4 (ignore the ugly blanket. The kitties like to play there.)
Lego Worlds on the laptop. I'm still looking for time to set up her new computer.
The new computer arrived Tuesday, but we have not had time to set it up yet. Amber is still gaming on the laptop, which is not the easiest to do. I guess a priority this weekend is to setup her computer. And finally decorate for spring, since I still have winter (not Christmas) decorations out. One thing at a time.

I did pick up my new sewing machine last weekend too! I ordered a Janome Memory Craft 6600P.  It's not the most computerized of their machines and doesn't have every last bell and whistle, however it is designed for quilting and will handle the weight of the weighted blankets we sew, which was the reason for getting a new sewing machine in the first place. I haven't had a chance yet to sew with it, but I've read through the book and played around with the settings.

Kitty Update:

Biscotti is still separate from the others. We have definitely determined that Milori has been the aggressor in all episodes. Biscotti is still not sure about hanging out with the other cats, but wants to come out of his room more often and is playing with Rose at the door much more. There hasn't been hissing or growling at the door for weeks. Biscotti hisses and growls when he is out of his room at the same time as Rose. Both are on leashes to prevent any surprises. Rose doesn't seem to care about Biscotti's noises and would get right up in his face if we let her. Biscotti often tries to flee. Still he's making progress and we hope to watch a movie this weekend with the two of them in the same room on leashes.

Milori seems himself until he sees a feral cat outside and then has started even fighting with his sister. Biscotti has had no interaction with Milori except through the door crack since the day when Biscotti got out of his room with the other two still roaming free. Milori attack Biscotti that day without provocation and set Biscotti back at least a week with his anxiety.

It's hard to believe they all got along like a happy family for nearly four years and then seemingly overnight Milori turned on Biscotti, who is the older, larger and original cat here. Normally Milori is docile and a little goofy. We continue to work with the cats to ensure a happy reunion and to keep from triggering Biscotti's anxiety and inflammatory bowel disease.

Biscotti and Rosetta were on leashes in the same room for the duration of an entire movie (well, almost). Rose likes to play with Biscotti through the door too. She doesn't seem at all perturbed by him, while he is still scared of everything.

School & Therapy

I'm still planning for next school year and happy with many of the decisions we've made. We just can't be the type of home educators we want to be, however we will be the type Amber needs. Just today Amber's occupational therapy appointment reinforced several educational changes we've made in the past month. I expressed my frustration at finding the right methods for Amber and the therapist suggested that Amber's learning style may be evolving as she matures. She's definitively gone from a mostly visual learner in elementary school to needing a kinestic element to all learning experiences.

We're also heavily working on executive functions at the OT sessions and at home since Amber appears to be operating at a level much below her capabilities based on specific testing completed at OT. If it's not one thing it's another. There is just so much extra that comes with EDS and dysautonomia than what the straightforward definitions give.

Finishing her forensics class homework before co-op day.

Coming Up:

Next week we have fewer appointments away from home and more time for school lessons without feeling rushed. This week was nice, but I'm beginning to feel unproductive and Amber has recovered some from the medication side effects that triggered our need for a rest. It was rather stressful for a while though.

One more week of co-op classes to teach before another break there. Second semester has three break weeks because mid-semester does not hit at a good time for a Spring Break, and the local homeschool convention does not coordinate with either our mid-semester or Spring Break.  We only have four class days left, but it's going to take six weeks to get through them.

Linking With:

Weekly Wrap-Up  Homeschool Coffee Break

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