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.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A New Beginning (again)

Around the world school has officially started, and this week it will begin again in our home, too.  Since Isaiah is 5 I am actually doing a curriculum with him this year called ABC Jesus Loves Me.  This is a free curriculum online, but I did choose to purchase the book so that I can make notes throughout the year and have everything in one place.

Momma C who writes the curriculum has done a great job finding all kinds of online resources and materials and suggestions and putting them all in one place.  For the internet-search-challenged mama like me, her work is quite a blessing!  I personally get overwhelmed with the options and activities that I find, when I'm able to complete a search successfully.  So thanks, Momma C!

I've chosen to start with her 2-year-old curriculum because I want it to be fun and I want Isaiah to have plenty of opportunities to succeed.  It's a nice basic preschool curriculum that has plenty of room for making it personal, but gives me the structure that I need.  I also like that all the lessons are built around a Bible story and encourage Bible memorization.

So, Lord willing, we'll be posting about our adventures again, as we learn together!  I'd appreciate your prayers for wisdom and patience and consistency for me and for patience and a good attitude for Isaiah!  Thanks, friends!