Saturday, December 08, 2007

Journal in a Box

Pamela started exploring calendars in 2002. All on her own, she figured out how to look up calendars in Wikipedia and Google and learned about the fourteen kinds of calendars: seven leap years and seven common years. One of many things she does in her free time is to write different ways to analyze calendars. Not only that, she remembers the exact date of events that have occurred since she developed this skill. In fact, if you tell her your date of birth, she can tell you the day of the week on which you were born. This is a great way to break the ice with acquaintances! She knows what years go with what calendar type. Then, in her mind, she visually looks up the date just like we would look up the same information visually by going to a website.Years Cheat Sheet

As part of a writing co-op class, Pamela kept a journal for two years from September 2003 to July 2005. Back in September of 2007, she wrote her auto-biography in a spiral notebook but ended it on December 31, 2006. I wondered if she would ever write up 2007, and she has launched her account of this year in a very unique way: a journal in a box! She found some untouched, little tablets in my desk and started filling them out page by page. Methodically, she ripped off each completed page and placed them neatly in a plastic, food container.

So far, she has recorded daily entries for the first two months of 2007. Some entries look very similar, and it is amazing how accurately she remembers events by date, such as a trip we took to Wilmington, NC around Valentine's Day. She wrote that we saw a movie on Monday, February 26, 2007. (If you double click, the picture you can read that entry.) The movie was Amazing Grace, which was released on February 23, 2007. I remember seeing it on a Monday because Steve was hoping to take the afternoon off and meet us at the movie theater. She even writes down what days we homeschooled and did not homeschool. I wish I were as accurate in remembering dates at the end of the school year when I write up my homeschooling reports! In fact, I think I better just use her journal as a guide come August of next year . . .

7 comments:

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

I need to check out the links but Andrew is like that as well- my little record keeper. when he gets to the point of being able to do that himself, I will let him keep the homeschool records;)

momof3feistykids said...

I am blown away by Pamela's visual thinking abilities! :-) That is SO cool.

Thanks for telling me about the movie Amazing Grace. I'm off to add it to my Netflix queue.

momof3feistykids said...

Me again. I just took a peek at the blog entry about Pamela's autobiography. WOW! Since I have just recently found you're wonderful blog, I have a bit of catching up to do. ;-)

My 9-year-old son, who is not diagnosed on the autism spectrum but does have ADHD (and shades of Aspergery traits, as siblings of kids with AS tend to do!) is a fairly "right brained"/visual thinker. He HATES writing. I have bought him journals which collect dust. Even narration is a struggle. We have settled into a routine of ONE brief copywork activity per week (following a Ruth Beechickish approach) and sometimes it's like trying to nail both feet to the floor. Your encouraging word about reluctant writers, and about Pamela's writing development, are quite helpful to me.

The Glasers said...

Stephanie, I think sometimes we push writing so hard that it sets kids with fine motor skills back. When Pamela was six years old, we had it in her IEP to teach her writing skills. She did not even have hand preference established! I should have questioned this but did not.

The first thing I did homeschooling was go on a writing sabbatical. I let her spend a year doing pre-writing things and getting dominance established. Once I did that, she stopped screaming at the sight of a pencil!

If you look under Language Arts, I have some entries about how Pamela learned to write. You might find some of them helpful. I posted some OT tricks of the trade that worked for her!

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

um...i got a new calendar for next year..guess who has taken an interest in it... EEK!!

Anonymous said...

My son had the same hand dominance issue. How did you work with this? My daughter also does. My son was a lefty, then a righty for a while.

Sue

The Glasers said...

I suspected she might be left-handed because both of her grandfathers are. So I did some dominance tests for her ear, eye, and foot. She preferred the left on all three. So, I assumed she was left handed and began encouraging her to use her left hand for everything. She established dominance very quickly--within a few months--so now I think her teachers were forcing her to be right handed, which made her appear to have no preference.