Friday, November 4, 2011

ABC Jesus Loves Me - Week 9, Review

We skipped a week to play a little catch up, in case you were wondering if I forgot that 8 comes after 7.  

This week's goals:
Bible Theme/Story:  God Made The Animals/Creation Days 1-6
Bible Verse:  I Thessalonians 2:13
Books:  Old McDonald Had A Farm, Five Little Speckled Frogs, Good Night, Gorilla, Moo, Baa, La La La!
Color:  Red, Blue, Green, Yellow
Letters: A-K
Number: 1-3
Shapes:  Circle, Line, Square
Information:  First Name and last name
Self-Care and Manners:  Use Fork and Spoon, Place dirty clothes in laundry, Pick up toys
Fine Motor Skill:  Finger paint
Gross Motor Skill:  Hop like a kangaroo

This was a review week to cover the above material; and every day we did a little something:

God Made the Animals

We played with the 5 Green Frogs again, but this time under the table!  We also played with the animals under the table, including cleaning them up.  Isaiah loved finishing his Creation Book and then reading it to me several times.  He is also a champ at the animal sounds!  We also enjoyed some sticker action again with some very colorful fish.

We all became very familiar with ducks, as Little Sister enjoyed her duck costume.

Numbers and Shapes

We made some more wooden squares, and the kids spun each other around in the laundry basket again, since they enjoyed it so much the week before.

He liked glue so much that I just let him practice on a blank paper.  Good fine motor stuff, right?

Fine Motor Skills

Isaiah's getting better and better at using his fork.  This week he scarfed down a whole Polish sausage at Sam's, and those things are huge!

Check out the grip on that marker!

He also enjoyed destroying an egg carton with his sister, which I cleaned up for days.

Gross Motor

Um, hopping like a kangaroo wasn't really in the cards for us, but he's getting quite adept at wheeling himself around in his chair.  We've found Sam's to be a great practice area with it's wide aisles.  He's a great helper in the shopping, too!

Our family enjoyed the Fall Festival of the church we attend locally, and a member of the church was kind enough to help Isaiah play all the games.  She's a 3rd year OT, so he even got some therapy thrown in for fun.

Faves of the week:

Isaiah:  I think he enjoyed playing under the table as much as anything else!  We did lots of things under the table this week.  And since God blessed us with a new table, I can even fit underneath it!

Mama:  I loved watching Isaiah and Nadia together as the King Josiah and his duck.

And who couldn't love this "funny face"?

I'm still a week behind in my posting, so this was actually 2 weeks ago, but hey, who's counting?  We just have fun, and if it gets recorded, then all's the better.  Check out ABC Jesus Loves Me for more wonderful lesson plans!

ABC Jesus Loves Me - Week 7

Check out the full lesson plan here

This week's goals:
Bible Story:  Creation Day 6 (farm animals)
Bible Verse:  I Thessalonians 2:13
Books:  Old McDonald Had A Farm
Color:  Green, Yellow
Letters: H-K
Number: 1-3
Shapes:  Circle
Information:  First Name and last name
Self-Care and Manners:  Pick up toys
Fine Motor Skill:  Finger paint in a circle
Gross Motor Skill:  Rolling a large ball

What we accomplished:

Creation Day 6 - Farm Animals

We enjoyed some stickers of farm animals (from Dollar Tree yet again!) on a piece of green construction paper.  Isaiah is getting better at figuring out how to maneuver stickers with his fingers--great fine motor skill practice for him.

Isaiah loves Hide and Seek, so we played with the animals!  An animal would hide under a green towel and make his or her sound (because of course some of our animals are girls, you know), and Isaiah would guess which animal it was.  After a few rounds, he was getting them all right!  As we would take our walks outside, I would quiz him on what each animal says, and about 8 out of 10 times he would get them right, sometimes needing the first sound of a word.  He always repeated the sounds, too!  I'm pretty stinkin' excited about this.

The animals needed a snack, too.  (We couldn't have done this without, you, Aunt Beth!)

He also enjoyed his (free!) Vocal Zoo app on the iPad, which has real life pictures of animals.  When you touch the pictures, you get to hear the sound the animal makes.  There is a "full version" that you can buy, but we're content with what we have.

We actually found Old MacDonald Had a Farm at our library, because we made it to the library!  Isaiah mainly liked sticking his fingers in the holes of this book, but he didn't have the patience for me to read/sing it the way the author intended.  But that's OK because we read tons of animal books this week, tons for us that is.  We enjoyed Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, Doggies by Sandra Boynton, First Animals and Learning Ladders Animal Babies.

{I must confess that I didn't like this Sandra Boynton book as much as her others that I quite enjoy.  We only read it once because I sensed some confusion from both my kids about the dogs making different noises.  We mainly used it for counting purposes.}

Big Red Barn is now a family favorite!

Green and Yellow

We didn't focus as much on colors this week as Isaiah seems to be getting better and better at remembering them.  He did work on his yellow crown though....more to be revealed later.

This was also some good fine motor work, those jewels were tough to pick up!

Letters, Numbers

We played the board game "Sorry!", and Isaiah did great counting his spaces.  He also continues to correctly identify his letters from a field of four.


Our laundry basket is sort of a kidney bean in shape, but it can make great circles, especially with someone sitting in it!

First and Last Name

Isaiah is a pro!

Pick Up Toys

Isaiah loves to put things "in", so this wasn't much of an issue for us.  He even likes to put little sister "in" things. :)

Fine and Gross Motor Skills

Isaiah wasn't interested in finger painting this week, but we got tons of gross motor skill practice for him with physical therapy on Monday and a physical therapy demonstration on Tuesday.  We love being able to help people learn how to help other people, so when Isaiah's physical therapist, whom we absolutely ADORE, asked us to come to a class she was teaching, we rolled at the chance, since jumping at it wasn't an option. :)

Because I've waited almost 2 weeks to actually write this post, I must confess I don't remember what our favorite things were, though I think the laundry basket rides were definitely near the top of the list!

Happy playing learning!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ABC Jesus Loves Me: Week 6

For the full week 6 lesson plan visit ABC Jesus Loves Me.

This week's goals:
Bible Story:  Creation Day 6
Bible Verse:  I Thessalonians 2:13
Books:  Good Night, Gorilla
Color:  Green
Letters: H-K
Number: 1-3
Shapes:  Square
Information:  First Name and last name
Self-Care and Manners:  Place dirty clothes in laundry
Fine Motor Skill:  Play-doh
Gross Motor Skill:  Jumping

What we accomplished:

Creation Day 6 - God made the animals (and people)

We focused on the "wilder" animals like lions, tigers, giraffes, gorillas and such.  Isaiah seemed to enjoy putting animal stickers (from the Dollar Tree!) on the green paper with a big 6 drawn on it.  This was a nice easy suggestion from Heidi at ABC Jesus Loves Me, which you can find in the lesson plan link above.

We continued to read the Bible story of creation every day.  Isaiah seems to like stars the best as he says God made them on every day.  In addition to knowing Adam and Eve, he has learned that they lived in the garden of Eden!  He's also getting really good at giving a "thumb's up" as Heidi suggested in the very first lesson.

I Thessalonians 2:13

Isaiah still enjoys listening to me sing this song, but he will repeat each word after me as well.

Good Night, Gorilla

We made it to the library, but this book wasn't available; so we checked out lots of other animal books for next week.  We enjoyed reading a Fisher-Price book, My Best Friend by Kirsten Hall.  A little boy talks about his best friend while playing with all kinds of animals, but I won't spoil the surprise of who his best friend is.

We also found a great little book at Dollar Tree:  Amazing Animals:  Wild Animals by Hinkler Books Pty Ltd.  (There is no specific author listed.)  It's a short book with great pictures of safari

Green and Squares

We did everything we could think of with the color green, even begrudgingly eating green vegetables!  We painted green, played with green play-doh and did some square activities.

We also glued together 4 tongue depressors into a square.  Isaiah loves to play with glue, so this just sort of happened as I tried to keep him interested in things.

Not related to green but related to squares, we stamped!  Isaiah found this great stamp set at Dollar Tree, and thankfully the stamps were squares, so he enjoyed stamping Lightning McQueen around the place.

Numbers 1-3

We used tongue depressors for counting and number recognition.  Then we stirred things with them.  Isaiah liked the stirring best, I think.

Letters H-K

We are still working on A-G.  Isaiah will identify the correct letter from a field of 4 about 9 times out of 10.  He is also starting to willingly tell me what sound the letter makes.  Thank you, Letter Factory!  We will keep on watching!

First and Last Name

No problem!  He can still tell you his first and last name, and everyone in our immediate family; but we need to work on his generalization, though because he now says our last name is EVERYONE'S last name.


Isaiah's very good about putting things away.  He loves to put things "in."  Although this week, he and sister did a much better job of taking his dirty laundry out and spreading it all over his room.  But they had fun, and we worked together to put it all back.


Um, yeah, that didn't happen, but Isaiah got tons of wheelchair practice in the store.  He's pretty amazing.  His post-op visit went really well, too, and he showed off his chair rolling skills for some interns.  Thankfully we are cleared to start physical therapy!

Our Favorites:


I think he actually enjoyed the painting this week!  That's my sensory-seeking little man. :)


I love that my kids enjoy doing things together.  Anytime Isaiah does something, it's only a matter of time before I hear, "Sister...too."  Smile.

Friday, October 21, 2011

SEW: Head Lock

Last year:

This year:

Siblings make me smile.

See other Special Exposure Wednesday posts here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week 5 - Creation Day 5

After a two-week surgery break (not two weeks of surgery, just surgery and recovery), we are getting back into the swing of things again.  I had had all these grand plans of getting to do things with Isaiah in the hospital like read books and learn songs and all manner of fun.  The poor little guy however could barely muster a "No" whenever I offered him all my wonderful ideas.

So I let it slide.  We cranked it up this week, and there's a double meaning in that, unfortunately.

For the full lesson plan and other great ideas, visit ABC Jesus Loves Me.

This week's goals:
Bible Story:  Creation Day 5
Bible Verse:  I Thessalonians 2:13
Books:  Five Little Speckled Frogs
Color:  Red, Blue
Letters: H-K
Number: 1-2
Shapes:  Line
Information:  First Name and last name
Self-Care and Manners:  Use a fork and spoon
Fine Motor Skill:  Tear Paper
Gross Motor Skill:  Throw a bean bag into a circle

What we accomplished:

Creation Day 5 - God Made the Birds and the Fish

We continued to read the "Very Good Beginning" section from our copy of The Big Picture Story Bible. Isaiah can now tell me what God created on each day, including Day 5!  He can also complete some of the sentences of the story as I read, and he knows the name of the first man and woman created by God!  This is HUGE!  I am so excited that he is able to retain this information!

We did two crafts for Day 5:  

Getting the proper hold on his scissors is trickier than it looks!

We (and yes, I mean WE!) cut out two fish together!  Isaiah then half-heartedly colored a few random lines on both of the fish.  Rather than stapling the fish and stuffing with paper towel as suggested, I taped them up 3/4 of the way, and followed Isaiah's lead as he began tearing the scraps of paper left over from our cutting.  We then stuffed the fish with the scraps of paper as the fish said, "More paper, please!" in a very fishy kind of voice.  He also asked Isaiah what Isaiah's last name is, as well as the last name of all the members of the family.  Yeah, we love multi-tasking, and apparently Isaiah enjoys talking to a fish.

That was one hungry fish!

The crankiness occurred when we attempted our second Day 5 craft.  Isaiah enjoyed glueing the "water" to our paper, but he was "ALL DONE!" when it came time for finger painting the fish and the birds in the appropriate places.

I Thessalonians 2:13

"Give thanks to God."  (to the tune of It's Raining, from the curriculum)  We sang this over and over and over and over again, and this time "we" means "mama" while Isaiah kept saying "Again! Again! Again!"

Five Little Speckled Frogs

Didn't make it to the library, but I do know a song along the same lines, so we sang "Five Fat Freckled Frogs" instead.  Perhaps not as politically correct, but lots of fun!  As we sang the song, we pulled the frogs off the log and made them jump into the water.  And now we have laminated frogs that we can use again and again!

First and Last Name

See the story about the fish. :)  Isaiah definitely knows his last name now!

Using a Fork and Spoon

Isaiah loves to play with spoons, pretending that he's making cakes in a bowl.  We have been working on his utensil skills for, oh, 3 years or so.  This week we actually began to see significant improvement!   He intentionally tried to stick his food with his fork by himself.  He has been able to eat with a fork, if the food was already there, so this is great improvement.  I think little sister is inspiring him as he sees her try these skills, too.  It's always good to have a partner in crime.

Tear Paper

Again, see the fish story.  Isaiah LOVES to tear paper.  He sees Daddy shredding things the old fashioned way and his eyes light up as he scoots himself closer and closer.  Keep strengthening those hands, buddy!

Isaiah never gets cranky when asked to tear paper.

While we didn't work specifically on letters, numbers, colors or lines, there was lots of unstructured learning going on in that area throughout every day.  We worked on circles while waiting for the doctor one day:  Nadia and I twirled around while Isaiah twirled around in his wheelchair; he was pretty amazing! We are constantly counting things and naming colors.  I want to be more intentional about letters next week.

If you'd like to see more ways to use the ABC Jesus Loves Me curriculum for 2-4 year olds, visit ABC Jesus Loves Me or Our Out-Of-Sync Life where the developer of the curriculum has a blog roll of people who use the curriculum regularly.  Thanks, Heidi!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Short Week

This past week the ABCJLM curriculum scheduled a review week, which worked really well for us!

Monday and Tuesday we kept very busy before our long day in surgery on Wednesday.

We were finally able to get at least one of the books from the curriculum at our library.  Thankfully people have donated lots of Dr. Seuss books, so One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish was actually available!  I think I enjoyed it even more than the kids, though.

Monday we started preparing for our "Pre-Op Party", and I couldn't have done it without my baking helpers!

It's amazing what you can learn in the kitchen.

Flour is great for making circles and lines!

Sister wanted in on the action, too; and brother was kind enough to share.

Isaiah "measured" things with one bowl and worked on pouring the flour into (or onto) something else.

Tuesday night we got to party!  I realize this isn't quite part of school, but we were enjoying the fruits of the plants that God created on Day 3, right?

The fruit of our labors, a "Singing" cake, per Isaiah's request.

The rest of the week was sort of a bust for school, but that's ok.  We've talked a lot about the days of creation as Isaiah lay on his tummy in his hospital bed.  He's listened to his daddy sing a lot, and he's enjoyed some of his favorite videos, which did include some Letter Factory.

I'm not sure what next week will look like, either, but we'll get back into the swing of things as we are able.  I'm learning to give myself some grace in this area and make sure that we have some fun!

He's Getting It!

Our third week of ABCJLM school went great! Our week was a little crammed because we had some extra dr visits thrown in at the end of the week. Isaiah got to start physical therapy, this week, too, which was very exciting.  We even managed to fit in a trip to the library since I had an extra pair of hands.  I haven't been brave enough to take both kids by myself because I know all the books will end up off the shelves and on the floor.

I'm writing this from Isaiah's hospital room, so I apologize ahead of time for not getting in all the links that I would normally put in, but I didn't bring all my supplies to the hospital because we are trying not to move in. :)

The biggest news this week is Isaiah's ability to tell me the days of creation! This is HUGE for us! He has days one and two down cold.  He tells me day three and four with a slight prompt from me of the first sound of each word. I think his favorite part of creation though must be "stars" because he tries to put that in every day.

We did do a bunch of fun crafty things, but I focused more on the creation days memorization, so I don't have as many pictures of the craft stuff. Also it's been a week since we finished the lesson plan, so my memory isn't as fresh.

The main goals for the week (that I actually worked on):
Creation Day 4
Color Yellow

You know we have to have our play-doh!

Isaiah did a great job gluing on the sun, moon and stars for our Day 4 craft.

We also colored with a yellow marker on a coffee filter to make a sun.  Isaiah then painted this yellow sun.  He really liked the sponge paintbrush more than I thought he would.

We had a great week (two weeks ago)!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

SEW: Simon Says, Sort Of

Before Isaiah's surgery we played at our local children's museum. Thankfully a friend joined us. A fun little friend who likes hanging out with Isaiah.

We love our friends.

See what else has been special this week at 5M4SN.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SEW: The Drinker

(Been gone a while.  Have a new name.  Getting back into the swing of things.)

How to get Isaiah to drink:

Find the largest cup possible, fill with ice, insert straw.  The boy who has to be forced to drink, will ask for more!

See what other people have enjoyed lately at 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Two Weeks In A Row!

Well, week one went so well, I thought we'd keep on going.  Just kidding, we were going to go on no matter what, but if it hadn't been fun, we would have made changes.

Here's the original lesson plan, if you would like to see all the options available.  Momma C has found some great resources!

This week's goals:
Bible Story:  Creation Day 3
Books:  When the Elephant Walks
Color:  Blue
Letters: A-G
Number: 1
Shapes:  Line
Information:  First Name  (We actually worked on last name, since Isaiah knows this cold)
Self-Care and Manners:  "Please" (This is one of Isaiah's best manners!  He's very good at saying please and thank you!)

We're still getting in the groove of life in America, and we're trying to fit in as many reunions as possible, so our schedule is not routine to say the least; but it is fun!

We are in the habit now of reading our Bible story every morning.  Even Nadia is getting better at sitting still for this time!  Isaiah's cath time has become a regular singing session when we sing the Bible memory verse.  This week he actually repeated some of the words with me!

Monday we kept things pretty simple and did prep work for our Day 3 craft by cutting strips of green construction paper that would later be used for grass.  I was so proud of Isaiah's cutting!  He still needs me to hold the paper for him and encourage forward progress, so alas, no pictures; you'll just have to take my word for it that he did the work.

Tuesday we enjoyed a day with friends, and Isaiah enjoyed exploring the different environment and practicing new friends' names.  I think he's becoming more and more understandable to other people.

Wednesday we finished off the Day 3 craft and enjoyed blue:  blue play-doh, blue-colored shaving cream, blue guitars.  It was a blue fiesta.  We worked on lines with the play-doh and the shaving cream, not so much the guitar, though the strings are lines.  Isaiah usually just pulls apart the play-doh into tiny pieces and moves them around, but he did attempt to roll play-doh into a line for about 10 seconds, which is 10 seconds longer than he's ever tolerated that before.

Isaiah LOVES glue.

Check out that grass!  I helped him with the placement of the tree, but the grass and flowers were all his own.

We also worked on letter recognition.  I made capital and lower case cards for every letter of the alphabet.  Isaiah doesn't vocalize the letters very well on his own yet, but out of a field of three he identified the correct letter 8 out of 10 times.  We only worked on A, B, C; and I completely forgot to work on the number 1 specifically, but I did hear him counting things that he was pulling out of the cabinet the other day, and he started off with 1 and made it all the way to 4 on his own!

The tray on Isaiah's stander tilts up and down, so I have a built-in vertical surface.  Thank you Squiggles!

Thursday we worked with sister on a sorting toy.  Last year at this time, Isaiah could still not do sorting toys without a lot of assistance.  I'm pleased to say that he definitely shows improvement!  When he's paying attention he can identify the correct hole for the shaped toy 8 times out of 10, and he can get the toy in on his own!  Go, Isaiah!

Friday we focused more on Day 3 by going to play in the dirt.  Isaiah knows without a doubt that God made DIRT!  We all had a great time playing in the dirt.  Yes, even Mama.

Yes, our dirt was sand, but you work with what you've got.

Saturday we used a drink bottle for this cool painting idea originally found at The Amazing Mess.  Isaiah loves playing with bottles, so this was right up his alley.  You simply use the bottom of the bottle to make the flower and the cap to make the center.  On one flower, Isaiah got the bottle cap in the center of the flower all by himself!  He also picked out his own paint colors, which I thought was pretty cool. (see picture below, on my fridge)

Faves of the week:

Isaiah:  Definitely the guitar.  Isaiah likes to play the guitar because Daddy plays the guitar.  Or perhaps playing in the dirt!  What boy doesn't love dirt?

Mama:  Other than the play date, my favorite activity was the bottle painting.  It was really cool and showed me some development in Isaiah I wasn't anticipating.  Oh, and playing in the dirt.


A picture of pictures.  I love having refrigerator art.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Week One

So, our first week has gone pretty well overall.  I've been slowly developing a routine for us, though not too stringently because I know soon it will all change as we start therapy.

We started a couple weeks late from the curriculum's original plan, but I'm not too worried about that detail.  Isaiah is actually having fun, and that's what I'm focusing on right now!

This week's goals:
Bible story:  Creation, Day 1, 2
Book:  Llama, Llama, Red Pajama
Color:  Red
Number : 1
Letters:  A-G
Shape:  Circle
Information:  First Name
Self-care/Manners:  Sitting Quietly

Now, before you think I'm some kind of super mom who had this great plan and actually implemented it and accomplished everything listed above, think again!  One of the things that I love about this curriculum is that there are so many possibilities that I don't feel pressured to actually do everything listed.  There's time.  I have two main goals:  1) Have positive, somewhat structured interaction with my son that encourages learning; 2) Have fun!

So this week, it looked like this:

Almost every morning we read Part I from The Big Picture Story Bible.  (Thank you, dear David and Cathy.)  It's more of a thematic approach to telling children God's story, but I really like it!  I think it's helpful for Isaiah because there aren't too many details.  Then at random times during the day we sang the songs from the lessons.  Isaiah really, really likes them, though he won't sing them.  He always says "Again!" whenever I finish.

Monday was Labor Day, but we didn't let that stop us from having fun with friends and taking over our Day 1 and 2 art projects.  All the kids, even Isaiah seemed to really enjoy the projects!

Coffee Filter Earths, so easy, but all the kids liked them.

This was almost my fave pic for the week, I couldn't believe how into this project Isaiah was!

Day 2

Tuesday the kids and I went for a run in a park nearby, and wouldn't you know it, the firemen were there running, too.  And they traveled in style!  As they pulled into the parking lot they saw me with the kids and flashed their lights on the GREAT BIG RED TRUCK that's wheels are circles of course.  Yeah, that was pure gravy.

Wednesday we played with red play-doh and snacked on strawberry flavored Twizzlers, after we had a fun play date with friends!

Thursday was a marathon doctor day.  We left the house at 9:30am and returned shortly before 5:00pm.  I don't remember what we did that night.

Friday was Isaiah's physical therapy re-evaluation.  He did great, naturally.  And while this won't mean anything to many people, I have to brag that for the first time, he wheeled his chair all the way from the therapy clinic to the parking garage, which includes a slightly inclined breezeway!  When I'm hurrying with the kids, that walk takes me 10 minutes.  It took us a little longer after his appointment, but it was so worth it!

Saturday before going to watch UGA football (yes, RED uniforms) with some friends, we painted with shaving cream again!  I just can't get over how much Isaiah liked this activity.  He painted the Creation craft again, but then we just played with the shaving cream, drawing circles and lines on the table cloth.  We had a great time.

I didn't do anything with letters, but I have something ready for this week.  Isaiah already knows his name really well, and if you've ever been near us in church, you know how well he can sit quietly.  Hurray for easy successes in those areas!

Faves of the week:

Isaiah:  Play-doh and shaving cream painting were probably a tie.  He loves play-doh, and he was so into the shaving cream paint that I had to tell him it was time for ice cream in order to get him to stop painting! That's certainly a first.

Mama:  Ok, Saturday football was my favorite.  I have to find a way to tie that in again this week. :)


Isaiah was being the teacher, telling Nadia who people were, even in some old pictures!  I love my family.

To learn more about what we're doing, visit ABC Jesus Loves Me or Our Out-Of-Sync Life.