Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sometimes, she wins

Some days, as hard as it is to admit, you give in to your kids. Today was that day. Since summer began, we take the daily opportunity to continue Emmie's school work. Every morning (sometimes later in the day), I send Carrington and Jensen to their rooms to read quietly and Emmie and I work on different activities. Her superwoman Resource Specialist provided a package of great summer time activities for each of her students and I purchase the Auditory Processing Kit from Lingui-systems. It took awhile for me to develop a daily plan of activities and I certainly don't envy teachers who do that on a regular basis! Wow! Anyway, some days we focus on auditory memory where Emmie receives three (four seems too many still) either related or unrelated words with a one second pause between each. She then has to repeat the words to me in order. Ever few set of words, I am suppose to have a 45 second pause before she repeats the set. She hates this exercise! It's one of my favorites only because I know she will have to rely on her auditory memory so much as she grows and learns. Some days we work on auditory discrimination, an example would be me reading aloud two words with even intonation and Emmie has to respond if the words are same or different. I have learned to cover my mouth when I pronounce the words because she's a smart little cookie and can tell how I am forming the letters, even when I try very hard to not move my lips, teeth, or tongue any differently! Because her brain can't always process different sounds, this activity can be difficult for her but she actually enjoys it! An example would be the words "Cake-Coke". Anyway, we have 8 different auditory based sections we work on together. After each day's activities, we read a story provided in a book from the Superwoman. She has enjoyed the reading part, the stories and themes are simple and only contain a few pages. I have also added, in the recent weeks, Art therapy to her lessons. She thrives in art and it allows her to build her confidence. But I didn't want to just hand her crayons and let her color every time, so I have a masterpiece coloring book. A coloring book filled with pages of Famous paintings, such as Van Gogh's Starry Night. She not only colors the painting, but we also talk about the artist. What was he feeling? What colors did he use? What colors would you use if this was your masterpiece? Why? It is important to establish a positive language environment and since she has so much confidence in her art, this activity allows her to build her language "file".

She works extremely hard to complete all her lessons and she's been a real trooper over the summer. We have taken a break from time to time, maybe a few days here or there, but she has been working Monday through Friday for about 30-45 minutes each day. We have built up to that time, when we first started it was only 10 minutes! But today, knowing she had such a horrible day yesterday, when it was time to do her work I wasn't sure how she was going to react. I told her it was "Time to Listen" and when she looked at me, her response said it all. The hand on the hip, the curled lip, and the words..."Mom, can I PLEASE just do math today". I stood there a minute wondering where to go with this one and finally I said, "That is just what I had planned for today". Of course, it wasn't, but sometimes you just have to give in to your kids! Math, like art, is something Emmie thrives in. Math doesn't change (of course I know it will get harder as she gets older) and right now the rules are the same. 2 + 2 is going to equal 4, this time and next time. Stability. She likes stability. So, I let her win today. Let her work from her Hello Kitty math workbook and be on her way. Of course, we also spent an hour in the bookstore today. I don't think she realized that when I asked her to read the story with me that she was actually doing something besides math today. Oh well, she can't win them all :)


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