Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's Not Work If It's Play

Shhh!  Don't tell Wade that Yellow Time with Mommy isn't just a game.

And don't tell him that when he gets a "reward" of drinking yogurt through a coffee straw, it's actually work too.

We've been doing a lot of work with categories: numbers, letters, toys, musical instruments, containers, things to wear, furniture.  Deciding if something was a number or a letter was difficult at first. On the pictures above, he did fine with sorting the magnetic numbers and letters into separate bowls, but needed quite a bit of tutoring on the worksheet.

Buttons have been another difficult item, but he has finally mastered unbuttoning small buttons.  And the reason I know that is because he unbuttoned my dress one day while I was talking to someone and holding him at the same time.  The true sign of a therapy-drenched mother is when she looks down in shock at her unbuttoned dress in public and says, "Yes!!!!!!"  One of life's great moments.

And then sometimes, in order to make an idea stick, you might just have to tattoo it onto your child.  After I labeled Wade's hands and feet with permanent marker, the concept of left and right and the correct fingers on the piano were much easier.  It's just one of those mantras of ordinary parenthood that have been turned upside down.  Instead of telling him not to write on himself with permanent markers, I just do it myself.  Whatever works.

Following a pattern can also be difficult.  He finds it easy to follow patterns in spelling words or in placing the magnetic shapes on a template.  But listening and then remembering a pattern (first red, then yellow, then green) is quite hard, as well as just laying out a row of colored blocks or stringing the right beads in prescribed patterns.

Tracing numbers, shapes and letters has really helped his fine motor skills.  Ziggity Zoom and Activity Village both have some great printable tracing worksheets for letters and numbers that we have done over and over. 

I also am using a set of preschool books from Rod and Staff  to further supplement and reinforce what he has learned. 

Our private school does not offer kindergarten or preschool, so the mothers use this set of books with their children at home in order to ensure that the children will be ready for first grade.  It is an excellent preschool program.  Wade loves the rhymes with the visuals for how to make the numbers.  Saying the rhymes as he draws the numbers helps him to keep a picture in his head of what needs to be done.

A straight line down and then you're done---
This is how to make a one.

Around and back on a railroad track---
Two, two, two!

Around a tree, and around a tree---
This is how to make a three.

Down and over, then down some more---
This is how to make a four.

Down the trunk and around the tree---
Add a branch.  It's five, you see!

Curving down into a loop---
Number six can roll a hoop.

Across the sky and down from heaven---
This is how to make a seven.

Make an S, but do not wait---
Circle back to make an eight.

A loop on top and then a line---
This is how to make a nine.

Make a one and then a zero---
It's easy to make a ten, you know.

Another great source of printables for literacy and math comes from the Learning Program, which is based in Orange County, CA, and was developed by a mom of a child with Down syndrome.  I think you have to register in order to be able to access their materials, but registration is free and the materials are wonderful!  The three pictures above are showing worksheets from the Learning Program.  

A wonderful resource for practicing speaking skills is Mommy Speech Therapy, which is a very informative blog done by a speech therapist.  She has great printable worksheets which focus on the articulation of initial, medial, and final sounds.  There are worksheets targeting specific sounds with single words, sentences, or stories.  It's Word Heaven for Wade!

And then there are the other fun things to practice like cutting.  Wade decided one day that it would be easier to cut right over top of the trash can rather than have to clean up at the end!

He likes to practice acting out words:  here we are doing initial g sounds--grumpy and glad.

And I mustn't forget to leave a tribute to the workers behind the scenes who help me so much every day.

It takes a family, working together to get it all done...

...or undone.

Sometimes I get surprised by a picnic lunch made by Chris!

And sometimes we really don't know whether it's work...

....or play...

God bless 'em!

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