Tag Archives: learning

40 Open Education Resources You Should Know About | Edudemic

11 Jul

A fantastic list of resources for adults and kids.  Documentaries, programming, information.  Oh my!  Check it out…

40 Open Education Resources You Should Know About | Edudemic.

I plan on looking at each resources and sending my kid links to “assignments” (watch, read, do, etc…) and cc’ing his dad on them so that maybe we can get out of the SSDD of summer break.   Not that my kid is just sitting in front of the TV, but he has been more self-propelled this year than ever before.  He has been teaching himself how to use Raspberry Pi, Linux, Python, Scratch, and more things that made me finally understand how overwhelmed and somewhat alienated and antiquated my parents felt when I became more tech savvy in the late 80’s/early 90’s.   I couldn’t remember a keyboard shortcut the other day, and I pride myself on my resourcefulness (read: I don’t ask for help unless it’s a last resort.  The results of this creed have found me in numerous situations learning experiences that would have escaped my eager grasp, had I not been endowed with such tenacity) but I went to holler an inquiry to Alex instead of seeking the answer the “me way”.

It’s surprising, to me, how technology has grown since I left the traditional workforce over nine years ago, due to illness.      It’s mind blowing, to me, that Alex’s education is largely technology based, but more organically than I would have imagined a few years ago.  Technology is there as a medium and I can’t imagine it having more impact than in a classroom for children with communication disorders, as the technology offers the versatility, when combined with traditional analog methods, to meet the needs of the kids concurrently.   Kind of neat.

So Alex has been playing with technology, this summer and  I have been flexing my problem solving skills. I’m trying to explore how we can integrate technology into our world, here at home, without investing in some of the ready to go tech that is so out of reach for us, financially, and in a pseudo-organic way so that it is less of a distraction, more of a functional tool, and less of a superpower with the ability to create human islands in a little condo in SW Florida.

Anyway, check out the link and the resources on that list.  There were some that I was familiar with and others that made me giddy with anticipation.

Did they miss any?  Please share, in the comments, if there are any you would add and I will do the same.

Hope your summer is going well!

B

 

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Label Making.

23 Apr

labels

Labels.

Originally uploaded by CleverIndie

Awhile ago, before we really understood what was going on with Alex, I blogged about my label maker…

I really have stopped using it (yeah, not so much disorganized as trying to get rid of the unnecessary things and not commit to keeping them by putting them in a box and labeling them, but not totally committed to….let’s just say my brain is elsewhere… and at this rate I don’t know if I could find it if I needed to)

Before Alex started pre-school he was obsessing over my label maker.
As a reward for doing his best (with anything really) I would let him use my dymo handheld label maker to print one label.

I figured he might type his name, maybe the alphabet A-Z, perhaps some numbers…He took to typing things out in the way one might use a speak & spell…

This image consists of all of the labels he made over the course of a couple of weeks.

Dr. Literal, Mad Scientist

4 Apr

Raaaaaaaar!

Originally uploaded by CleverIndie

We are so used to Alex taking everything so extremely literal, or having a rather drawn out reaction (he’s a worrier) to things that are even slightly out of place that we really do what most folks would call “overthink” when it comes to daily activities, gifts, even clothes.

I’m guessing that most parents with kids with ASD or Asperger’s or anything under the PDD header go through this as well. I hear complaints about it and how it’s “abnormal” from my mother (her word not mine) but really, we don’t have much of a choice. It’s not that we spoil him so he always gets his way. We do take preventative measures with some things- we brief him before we do anything new.

I’m sure any parents of non-ASD kids make sure they have batteries for the toy they are giving their child as a gift, or else there could be some serious fallout (especially on Christmas morning, or if there is a sizable quantity of sugar involved).

We are that prepared for everything. It’s getting easier, as we have been working our behinds off with Alex, trying to improve his flexibility, self-soothing skills, and creative problem solving. He has come so very far- we can now crack the occasional joke and he will laugh or even if its not funny (joke delivery is not one of my well developed skills, I confess) he won’t break down into a full on freak out that takes over an hour to calm him.

Recently, he became the proud owner of an Easy Bake Oven (for use only with us, of course) -the image clearly shows a digital clock on the box- so I read every mm of that box for the words “simulated digital clock” or something similar. When we got home and unpacked it we found out it is a simulated clock, we braced ourselves, but Alex announced he could use my little kitchen timer instead. Phew. Big sign of relief. This is a kid who has been carrying around my old, broken cell phone for 2 years and until recently would not play telephone with it, but would follow me around trying to calmly explain that all it needed was to be charged up and as the grownup it was my job to plug it in, in complete denial that it was completely busted, and then would have a meltdown when we took it off the charger and it still didn’t work.  Recently though he started clipping it to his pants and paces around talking to various people on it. He is pretending, this is huge. He’s really into it- to the point where  he’ll say “shhh, I’m on the phone” with his hand over the mouth piece, if we are repeat offenders we get nasty looks and occasionally the suggestion that we will get a time out if this interrupting continues.  I’m so proud of how far he has come….

Just when I was thinking that we are out of the woods on maybe one little thing, we had another literal interpretation incident though that really drove home the recognition of what a strange place the world is, as a sum of all of it’s parts -particularly those with marketing and advertising people behind them.

From the bathroom I hear (Alex is an announcer. He narrates every moment of every day, repeating much of it a few times until someone acknowledges what he said by repeating it to him, at which point he will correct them or act angry as though we can no longer discuss the topic at hand.)

“I’m using the water to make the bubbles go away, but it keeps making more in my mouth”

Then he comes around the corner and he’s wiping out the inside of his mouth with a hand towel.

He announces “Oatmeal and Butter, I didn’t taste the butter, I don’t think there was butter in there. Is there butter in there?”

Our child, who approaches even edibles with great suspicion, apparently saw the new soap pump next to the basin and his brain interpreted the soap to also be a snack- one of “oatmeal & butter” which are two things that he really likes, so he squirted a bunch of the “oatmeal & shea butter liquid hand soap” in his mouth.

Yes, I realize we are very lucky that it wasn’t something toxic. He has been making great strides in reading and he is very rules based and a very cautious guy. We have had other tasty sounding soaps (milk & honey, almond, grapefruit, etc) that he never would have thought of tasting, so what made this one different? On the bottle it has a photo of a bowl of shea butter (all whipped up, could easily be seen as regular culinary butter) with a pile of dry oatmeal sprinkled around it. The other soaps we have had, that had culinary inspired fragrances, only had the names not the images- Alex reads very well, but as a kid who usually needs a visual reinforcement, the snacktime liquid soap from today really had him thinking he was in for a tasty treat that he could not resists (other household cleaning products don’t interest him at all- never had, they are locked away, of course… He has his own small spray bottle of water, vinegar, and lavender oil that he cleans his desk, snack tray thing, and step stools with).

By the way he said the soap didn’t taste so bad. Good to know.

From now on we will be using a refillable dispenser, and when shopping I now know to avoid anything non-edible with an image of foodstuffs!  Oddly enough, when I was very little I was threatened with having my mouth washed out with soap around the same time I learned the term “acquired taste”, so I would eat Ivory soap (and occasionally dove, depending on where I was in the house) a little fingernail sliver at a time.  I think I assumed that if my parents swore so much that I would someday speak like that as well, and I wanted to be prepared.  Imagine the horror on my mother’s face when she said she was actually going to wash my mouth out with soap and my response was to grab the bar and take a large bite out of it without flinching.

Anyway, hugs all around!

There are a few new pieces in my Etsy shop… Still on my crazy medical journey…And still getting the new blog just right so I can have a good and proper blog-warming!

xo

Bek

Rubik’s Confusion

27 Sep

Rubik’s Confusion

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Finished the language and speech part of kiddo’s evaluation with the county folks…

Turns out he’s on the upper end of the average range or above it on all things.

Except one.

In receptive language he is severely impaired.

While we had a bunch of work to do before this, now we can focus a little, but I feel like we are snowed in and a little panicked…

Even though this isn’t really news to us. I mean, the term “receptive language” and all of the other language stuff is, well, like a foreign language to me. We knew something was going on, we still don’t know what, but at least we have some validation to our observations which is little comfort, but at the same time, I am forever second guessing myself in a way that I’m going backwards from acceptance and I’m trying to reach for denial with all of my might so maybe I can just curl up with kiddo there and pretend everything is 80’s sitcom normal. But I never get there. And I’m really tired. We could all use the break. But there are no breaks in sight…

So the eval (we haven’t had our formal review yet) was on Thursday and on Friday I came home from a pharmacy run and boy told me a story. Then he told me another one. My little boy stood there and very slowly and meticulously told me something that happened in his day. There was a beginning, a middle, and an end.

He is five.

He told me that he came home and there was a box from amazon.com on the chair. He told me that he looked inside and it was empty. He told me the box didn’t belong on the chair. He told me that he brought the box to the recycling bin. He told me that with Daddy’s help they smashed up the box and put it in the recycling bin.

It was the most gripping account of anything I have ever heard in my entire life.

My little guy doesn’t tell stories. He doesn’t have conversations where he is an active participant in the dance that is a conversation. He blurts stuff. He collects facts. He runs into the room and announces that “The big radio at Target looks like a face” and runs out… He is random yet structured in every part of his life. He does not tell stories. He does not answer questions.

Later that evening I was snuggling with him in the big bed before story time. I asked him about school and the other kids. He has been having a hard time. I asked him why he couldn’t finish his lessons in class today (according to his teacher via my husband).

I expected nothing, except perhaps a change of subject. Lately, his obsession is smoke alarms and fire sprinkler systems, so I was expecting the step by step run down of the sprinkler trigger mechanism.

Instead, he told me- slowly and step by step – that one of the younger kids came over and took his blue colored pencil and broke it so he could not do his lesson.

I was floored.

I asked him if he told the teacher and he said no.

We talked about what to do next time something like that happens.

Of course, from what I know of the way his brain works, the solution we discussed can and will only apply to the very same situation, with the very same child, and the very same lesson, and the very same blue pencil. He is very literal and rigid about these things.

But he told me, and we talked about it.

Today everything was back to the usual. The three of us are just so shell shocked with everything in our lives that we were all pinging off the walls and irritating each other.

But that one glimpse of his problem solving with the box, and what happened at school, are gifts I will not squander, for their rarity is unparalled.

Hopefully, when the rhythm of school begins again in the new week, we’ll be able to have more of these talks.

I don’t think he is understanding it yet, but I think he is working on memorizing conversational and story patterns…If that is the case, I can get that little glimpse into his school day, that may help him more than anything else…

And, faithful reader, if you have read this far, you are probably wondering about the picture…

Hubby was taking a picture of kiddo with his new Rubik’s Cube (he can’t mix up the colors, it will put him over the edge and if he finds out the stickers come off none of us will ever sleep again….) and told him to hold the cube in his hand…

So he is holding the cube in his hand….

Inspiration…

15 Aug

Apple Juice

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

These were my first vintage plastic purchase.

These little vintage catalin/Bakelite cabs are why I stopped beading and started hammering and melting.

I bought these, early last year, from a seller on eBay… The purchase was the ultimate decadence to me then. And I had plans . I was going to set the little cabs in silver bezels that I had found when experimenting with PMC3/Metal Clay…Easy enough.
When they arrived I found that vintage catalin/Bakelite is not a precisely calibrated material. Each piece was just different enough that the die formed bezels, that came with my little PMC starter kit, were of absolutely no use.
So I put them aside.
I melted my first PMC piece. Purely by accident. I was captivated by the mirror shimmy that the liquid silver danced under the flame of my little butane kitchen torch.
I had some wire, so I melted that too. I must have melted a hundred little balls on my soldering block. My husband sat with me and watched while I teased the metal into perfect little orbs and tiny kisses on the ends of wire.
A brief search of the online card catalog for our county revealed a few books on the topics of silversmithing and metalsmithing. Some of them were fairly new, most of them were long out of print and some even rare. I had my husband borrow one for me and I read. I didn’t understand a word of McCreight’s Complete Metalsmith so I found a book by Jinks McGrath that offered a nice cross-section of information- it assumed little-to-no knowledge of metalwork and tools and provided many photographs.
And then I got to work making bezels, and I haven’t stopped since….

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