Join me as I share the joys and pains of being a Christian
blended family choosing to homeschool a special needs child.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Our First Official Day of Homeschooling!
Our first official day of homeschooling went beautifully! We had our best friends over for a kind of co-op morning, as it helped with the logistics of their family's commitments, and afforded all of our littles an opportunity to enjoy some time together working with Montessori inspired activities. The above picture is our "family" sensory tub, filled with items that we eat together as a family, play with together, items that reminded my son about each member (including Harley's toy bone), and it just so happens that this is my very first sensory tub at that scale. I've done smaller versions, but this was big enough for both my boys to get into the night before! (I'd post the pic but I didn't realize Son2 was only in his diaper... just don't know how I feel about that.)
We also worked with these Three-Letter Words Flash Cards. I looked through them and pulled out a number of words that could relate to our family theme for the week, and I'll do the same for future units. I'm hoping they will segway nicely when we begin with sequencing cards.
We also watched the starter video to the "Your Baby Can Read" program. It was given to us by friends as they were preparing to move. I've only heard of one other family that actually used it, and they loved it. I had hoped to buy it at some point, but I am so glad that I waited! I'm sure it's worth the investment, but free is always better, right? ;o)
Because my friend's children were doing their own work, I had the chance to help with my God-daughter's math work sheets. She is a year older than my son, and I was expecting to see some differences between them when it came to her fine motor skills and busy work. Instead, what I witnessed were very similar skills, but of course with the maturity and creativity of a 5.5 year old intelligent little girl. First, I noticed she wasn't sitting straight, and instead was supporting herself by leaning on her elbows. I say elbows because she was also switching back and forth between her right and left hand as she was holding her pencil. Her hold was incorrect, which is often the case for kindergarten kiddos, but as I looked even more intently I saw a tremor as she pressed down to write. My son also has this kind of intention tremor, but his is throughout his torso as well as his arm.
Of course I shared my observations with my friend, and she is thankful that I did. We're planning on creating a Montessori-inspired, occupational therapy-inclined curriculum on Mondays that will allow both of our littles to focus on core strength, while developing their fine motor skills and leaving plenty of room for sensory breaks that will keep them from becoming too fatigued. I am really looking forward to researching this. I had intended to anyways for my own child, but now I have incentive to make it even more grand by including my God-daughter. I just get all geeked out like that. It's the ballet teacher in me, lol.
The day wasn't completely smooth, obviously. I was expecting a meltdown or two and got a kind of perma-melt for most of the day from Son1 who was very sensory sensitive. When he finally was able to calm down at bed time, he was able to express that he really loved having them here, and loves doing school at home. I told him all about Day 2 and he could hardly fall asleep he was so excited. We were going to be doing geography and science. Looking up our house and the houses of all our family and friends on google earth... and making tin-can phones with string.
Day 2 was a huge success! He always processes everything verbally/outwardly, so I heard many affirming comments and am feeling very pleased with our choice to do this. I know it won't all be like this. Of course it won't. But it is a very nice start to what I hope will be an indefinite adventure.