Me and my kiddo

Me and my kiddo

Monday, June 21, 2010

Successful First Day: Mommy School

In my last summer school post, I reviewed past years of Mommy School.  For some reason, I was really procrastinating this year.  However, I am glad to report that I was able to nudge myself into preparedness.  (I'm wondering if the issue of perfectionism might have something to do with it as discussed in the comments of this friend's blog post.)  Anyway, the first day of Mommy School was a full success  and I can now present what I came up with!  Here is our curriculum:

Mommy School
You Pick:
snake game
bank game
addition games (cloth then race)
Cameron Book- practice like first grade, lots of choices!!!
Paint a picture
Mommy Reading
Cameron theatre
Back and Forth (or both)
Computer Learning: Dreambox, Music Program
History: listen to Mr. Powell's stories while hands are busy with legos

My son crossed off as we did each thing and there were lots of laughs and play in the process!  It came in right on time too at somewhere near 1 1/2 hours which still left lots of free play time before lunch and afternoon activities.  

He picked the addition games which involved using the Montessori stair to do two digit addition and then racing to do as many single digit additions as he could in one minute.  I know he's going to love the challenge of getting faster at the basic addition.  In one minute, he was able to do 9 problems which did not involve carrying.  Knowing the way he loves to show off knowledge, I'd bet he'll easily double that by the end of the summer and hopefully have a better quick, memorized response for basic addition.  (All the games are using Montessori math materials.)

For writing, he first picked a topic for his book and then the chapter titles, and then he wrote the first chapter.  He picked parts of the head (odd since he's not usually into biology that much).  His first chapter was about noses.  We brainstormed what he could write about noses.  Then he wrote four sentences with proper punctuation!  (One sentence picture labels are usually his max, but he's really enjoying the idea of having his own book at the end.)

The paint a picture idea is part of the Lindamood Bell Verbalizing and Visualizing curriculum.  My son doesn't have the comprehension issues that he used to when his Hyperlexia led to super decoding coupled with poor understanding.  He paints a picture in his head, but they aren't nearly as detailed as the level of material he can read.  So, he will often miss pieces and especially miss understanding the whole of a scene.  When we completed an evaluation at a Lindamood Bell center, they recommended intensive therapy of 8 weeks (four hours a day at about $100/hr).  We decided I'd buy the book and give instruction at a home a shot before considering a $16,000 investment!  So far, I've been fascinated by the reading and can understand why the techniques are so helpful.  Next, it was my turn to read and we continued reading The Hobbit.  (He was definitely picturing the simple humor of the surprise arrival of the dwarves on Bilbo's doorstep; he was laughing so hard, he was gasping for breath!)  Finally, another aspect of bringing meaning to to the written word is learning to read with expression because the reader is hearing the story in their head, hopefully with the feeling indicated by the text.  The "Cameron Theatre" activity involved reading a Shel Silverstein poem with feeling.  This technique, which I've modified, often takes many repetitions, but it's lots of fun for the goofy in kids :)  While I again find many of these techniques through Autism resources, I can see no reason why they wouldn't bring a delightful vibrance to any kid's reading experience.

We skipped computer/history time today to avoid even a hint of rushing before heading off for a dentist appointment and swimming lesson.  The in-laws arrive tomorrow too and the following week, we're off to visit my parents.  So... a busy summer begins!  I'm glad we're starting off on the right foot :)

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