“The Power of Words”

Yesterday our family and friends went to the premier of a short film titled “The Power of Words”.  It was written and directed by 5 teens with autism, one of whom is James! Never short on ideas or vision for these kids Elizabeth Vosseller, James’ speech pathologist, came up with the idea to do a “film camp” this summer.  She hired professional film maker Emily Marquet to teach the teens about filmmaking and then help them make one of their very own that would describe what life is like with limited verbal expression and how it has changed with RPM. James was chosen to be “head writer” which suited him quite well and he was thrilled with the final product. He is proud to share it on our blog!

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Grandparents!

Grandparents day is celebrated on September 13 in the United States.  I don’t think James’ grandparents know this or have ever benefitted from it (sad to say) but I like to think we recognize them at other times during the year!  James’ SLP discussed grandparents day with him and asked him to write some universal truths about grandparents and then a short paragraph on the subject.

Grandparents are a great resource for a person to turn to when times are tough.

Grandmas are very sweet.

Grandmothers have tons of experience raising children.

Grandfathers are older gentleman with kind hearts.

Grandparents are the leaders of our families.

Grandparents like to brag about their grandkids.

I am so grateful to the older people in my life. They are such tremendous sources of wisdom and experience. My grandparents have always been accepting and supportive. I appreciate their love and place in our family. I only wish I got to see them more often. Some of my favorite times have been with my grandparents. The world is a better place because of our seniors.

 

 

Beowulf Kennings

I have to start this blog post with a confession, until yesterday I had no idea what the word kenning meant.  I vaguely remember studying Beowulf but can’t recall learning about kennings! For those of you who need a refresher here is a little bit about kennings taken from the British Library’s “Learning” website:

The language of Beowulf

Beowulf is much admired for the richness of its poetry – for the beautiful sounds of the words and the imaginative quality of the description. About a third of the words in Beowulf are words known as kennings.Kennings are words that are in themselves metaphorical descriptions, and were a typical feature of AS poetry. Kennings combine two words to create an evocative and imaginative alternative word. By linking words in this way, the poets were able to experiment with the rhythm, sounds and imagery of the poetry. Beowulf contains over a thousand kennings.

Some well-known Anglo-Saxon kennings include: bone-house (banhus ) – the human body;    battle-light (beadoleoma) – sword;    wave-floater (wægflota) – ship

James’ assignment was to write his own kennings.  I thought this was a hard assignment but he really enjoys the new work he is getting at the Homeschool Group so he did it with enthusiasm.

Some of James’ Kennings:

house-top-a roof

cushion-floor- a carpet

drink-tube- a straw

salt-lake -the ocean

owl-glasses-night vision goggles

bean-juice-coffee

For those of  you doing RPM you may want to try this as a lesson.  There is a lot you can do with it!

 

 

First Essay: A moral obligation?

James’ teacher gives students timed essays throughout the year to prepare them for the SAT.  This week she let James write his outside of class and we are going to see if he is able in the future to do timed essays on the letter board. Here is the first writing prompt. He had a lot to say!

Many people are philanthropists, giving money to those in need. And many people believe that those who are rich—those who can afford to give the most—should contribute the most to charitable organizations. Others, however, disagree. Why should those who are more fortunate than others have more of a moral obligation to help those who are less fortunate?

Assignment: Should people who are more fortunate than others have more of a moral obligation to help those who are less fortunate? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations. 

THERE IS A LARGE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN SOCIAL CLASSES IN AMERICA. THE HIGHER SOCIAL CLASS HAS AN ABUNDANCE OF RESOURCES, WHERE AS THE LOWER SOCIAL CLASS STRUGGLES TO MEET BASIC NEEDS.  THE WORLD ALSO HAS THIS DISCREPANCY ON A LARGER SCALE. COUNTRIES BOND TOGETHER TO PROVIDE AID IN AN EFFORT TO HELP THE WORLD AS A WHOLE. THE MORE FORTUNATE IN AMERICA SHOULD GIVE MORE TO THE LESS FORTUNATE IN SOCIETY.

RESEARCHERS STATE THAT HUMANS HAVE BASIC NEEDS THAT NEED TO BE MET TO SURVIVE. THESE INCLUDE FOOD, WATER, AND SHELTER. THE RICH CAN AFFORD HEALTHY FOOD, UNLIKE THE POOR WHO OFTEN EAT WHATEVER THEY CAN, IF ANYTHING. ALSO WATER IS OFTEN SCARCE AND NOT CLEAN FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS. MANY MORE FORTUNATE PEOPLE HAVE MULTIPLE HOUSES, WHILE OTHERS LESS FORTUNATE LIVE HOMELESS.  WE ARE MAKING CHOICES TO LET PEOPLE STRUGGLE WHEN WE DO NOT HELP THEM.

IN OUR HISTORY THE  UNITED STATES HAS LEAD THE DEVELOPED COUNTRIES IN THEIR MISSION TO AID THE THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES. THEY SEND FOOD, MEDICINE, AND PEOPLE TO HELP COMMUNITIES DEVELOP. AS A COUNTRY WE HELP THE LESS FORTUNATE, SO AS INDIVIDUALS WE SHOULD AS WELL. WE USE TOURISM TO BOOST DEVELOPING ECONOMIES SO WE SHOULD ALSO SHOP LOCAL BUSINESSES. IF YOU HAVE GOOD RESOURCES YOU SHOULD SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY JUST AS OUR COUNTRY SUPPORTS THE WORLD.

RESOURCES ARE PRECIOUS AND SHOULD BE CONSERVED. WHEN PEOPLE LACK BASIC NEEDS THEY GENERALLY BECOME SICK AND NEED MEDICAL CARE.. IF WE AS A SOCIETY PROVIDED THE BASIC NEEDS THEN WE MAY PREVENT FUTURE MEDICAL BILLS. HELPING PEOPLE LESS FORTUNATE HELPS ALL OF SOCIETY.

THE FORTUNATE HAVE THE MORAL OBLIGATION TO HELP THOSE LESS FORTUNATE. THERE ARE MANY BENEFITS TO ALL OF SOCIETY. IT  HELPS PROVIDE THE BASIC NEEDS AND IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THOSE LESS FORTUNATE. IT ALSO DECREASES THE FUTURE BURDEN ON SOCIETY.  IMPORTANTLY, GOD INTENDED FOR HIS PEOPLE TO CARE FOR EACH OTHER. IT IS A MORAL OBLIGATION FOR ALL PEOPLE TO HELP OTHERS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE MORE RESOURCES.

 

 

 

 

Oh the Difference a Year Can Make!

I am happy to report a successful first day of school with the home school group James has joined.  The parents and students made him feel very welcome and he really liked the lecture style of his new teacher. It was interesting and challenging for him. These are a few of the things he said; when asked to introduce himself with one thing that would help others know him he spelled, HI I AM JAMES. I LOVE TO LISTEN TO BOOKS ON TAPE. And to Shannon and me while we were sitting in class he spelled I AM ALWAYS GOING TO LOVE IT HERE.  And at the end of the day  he said IT WAS HARD TO CONTROL MY BODY BUT I DID IT!

In this first week there are so many examples of how different life is now that James has RPM.  One of them is the contrast  in first week homework assignments! Last year as I have mentioned we were just beginning to get a handle on where James might be academically so the assignment was to learn how to conduct a simple interview. He was given a set of about 5 questions and was to gather the information from various family members. We quickly moved on from there but see below for this year’s first week assignments! All I can say is “oh what a difference a year can make”!

Literature homework for Tuesday, September 9: (1) Read lines 1-836 of Beowulf. Throughout your reading of the book, watch for the development of the themes of loyalty, reputation, generosity (comitatus), hospitality, envy, and revenge.  (2) In modern English, create a list of ten of your own kennings that refer to people, places, objects, or events in your daily life. Include the kennings, which must consist of two hyphenated nouns, and “true” definitions. Be prepared to trade with another student your list of kennings.  (3) Write at least two informative, “teach-the-class” identification sentences about each of the following: Shield Sheafson, Beow, Hrothgar, Heorot, Grendel, Beowulf, Wulfgar, Ecgtheow, Unferth, Wealhtheow; include any pertinent symbolism or thematic relevance in your answers. Be prepared to share your answers with the class before you turn them in on September 9.
Note: As you are reading the weekly assignments, mark text or take notes for the culmination essay, due October 7: What role does religion, Christian and pagan, play in Beowulf? Support your theses with line references in parentheses (parenthetical citations). Your final paper must be 700-900 words in length.  Outline required!

American History homework for Tuesday, September 9: (1) Read, study, and make flash cards for all the Section Reviews of Chapter 1 ofHeritage of Freedom. Your flash cards should include all the “Identify” terms in the assigned Section Reviews and other important terms found in the reading assignment, bring your flash cards to class. (2) Copy and answer the numbered items in the assigned Section Reviews.

 

Back to School

This time last year was the start of a new life for James.  It was labor day weekend 2013 that James had his first real “open communication” with Soma and it was that same week that we began our first year of home school. The primary goal of home school was to allow James to use the letter board to show us what he knew and what he was learning. He was still a novice on the letter board and so were we!  It was hard to know where to start with our curriculum because James had only been formally given about a second grade education.  Soma suggested starting with 4th grade language arts books, math and science.  So we did and it quickly became apparent that we needed to go higher.  By mid fall we were doing 6th grade work and ended the year as the equivalent of a middle school graduate.

Throughout the year James kept asking us to raise the bar and he often talked of his dream to go to college and be an honors History student.  So with that in mind we applied to be part of a home school high school group for the coming academic year. This is a big step for James but it seems like the right one if he wants to graduate from high school and go to college.  This group has a lead teacher who is very rigorous and the students do high level work.  The advantage for James is that they meet just one day a week so it won’t be as demanding for him as a full week of lectures and discussions.

So off to school tomorrow for his first day of being with other student’s in a demanding academic setting.  He is beyond excited!  We will keep you posted on what happens.  In the meantime, a few short thoughts he had about education when discussed with his SLP.  Next blog post I will share his essay about America’s veterans, which is due tomorrow!

What do you think of when you hear the word education? LEARNING
Tell me one thing you expect to see at schools? THE STUDENTS ENGAGED IN LEARNING
What do you think the following quotes mean?

“You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.” ~Conrad Hall (American cinematographer)

THE JOB OF EDUCATION IS NEVER DONE. THE LEARNING MUST CONTINUE YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~ Nelson Mandela

KNOWLEDGE IS POWERFUL AND INFORMATION IS VALUABLE. IF YOU HAVE THOSE THINGS, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING