July Backyard Visitor: Fireflies

When we decided to homeschool this year, I did not want every piece of our day to be remedial and fixing weaknesses. I wanted to do something that built on Nathaniel's strengths and things we enjoy. His receptive language skills are fantastic. He loves stories. He loves being outside. This intersection is where I am building some fun learning into our day.

"Backyard Visitors" is the name I am giving to our nature study. We are learning about one animal a month through children's literature, crafts, and time outdoors. We are working on core AAC vocabulary. The first critter that we learned about was the firefly.

Visiting New Mexico and Climbing Mountains

I drove nine hundred and fifty miles across Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico earlier this month. Rich and I won big at the only lottery we have ever played - the timing of a trip to Philmont High Adventure Scout Ranch. Scout troops put their request for a trek in a literal lottery eighteen months in advance. Josiah and Rich headed west by train with others from our local troop mid-June. Our personal win? Their one hundred mile backpacking trip ended on July third, the day before Andrew would participate in the 95th Maverick Club July Fourth Rodeo in Cimarron, New Mexico. Philmont sits just a few miles outside of Cimarron. Andrew took a full time cowboy position with the Scout Ranch last September. The opportunity to visit Andrew, see the guys come off the trail, and watch the rodeo called me west.

Stop Working So You Can Talk To Me: A Lesson For Mom On Modeling AAC

Nathaniel pinched play dough bits off the ball I held out to him. He poked each piece into the Fun Factory press.  Diligently and silently, he worked at the task. Once the press was full, he pushed down on the lever. He watched the play dough ooze through the three holes moving blue snakes across the table. For the twenty minutes that he worked, I modeled language on his communication device.