All tagged Preschool

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.

These Are a Few of My Favorite (Preschool) Things

I have been a stay-at-home mom for twenty-eight years. Next week I start my twenty-fourth year of teaching my children at home. Josiah was born into a homeschool family; he nursed through older siblings' math lessons and overheard first, second, and third grade reading lessons all the same year while playing in his high chair. He was the youngest before Nathaniel and is a senior in high school this fall.

Both Joe and I reap the benefits that he has never known family life apart from homeschool life. For us, there has always been a blurring of what is daily living as a Rankin kid and what is homeschool; Joe has always known his parents, and mother specifically, to carry the duel roles of parent and educator. There were no "before we started homeschooling" habits or relationship patterns to overcome.

Augmented Communication and Messy Play

I realized something new in our quarterly AAC consultation earlier this month. We were discussing Nathaniel's ownership of his device and the need for him to have it with him at all times. I've been honest with the team and on my blog that I struggle with this idea. He is three, little for his size, and his device is a full size iPad. It is cumbersome even in the lightest case. I know he needs his words available. I dislike putting the responsibility on him to carry them or wear them at all times.

I brought up messy play. "Nathaniel shouldn't have to give up messy play because he is wearing his words..." I said. We use our water table daily three seasons of the year. On warm summer days, it is my son's "afternoon at the pool" experience. His words and device are exchanged for water, sand, shaving cream, cooked and dyed spaghetti noodles, mud, and rocks.

AAC Part 7 - A New Turn in Our Journey

Nathaniel is taking a college class! Well, not really. Nathaniel is a college class. He has been accepted into a preschool level Developmental Language Group (DLG) at a local university. This summer he attends for two hours two mornings a week. The program is offered through a hands-on clinic where students enrolled in a Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program work with patients under the supervision of university faculty members. For the summer session, three clinicians and an instructor are working with six children. Nathaniel is the only AAC user. He is learning to navigate play and preschool programing alongside peers capable of speaking.