Thursday, January 18, 2007

Day 4

I have been experimenting with visual/spatial type charts to see if they are effective tools for my right brained learners. I just made another chart for my 11 and 13yo boys. The one I made for Aidan has really helped him. Y’know, I never actually presented it to him. I put it up on the side of the bookshelf in our room, and one day I saw him looking at it and touching the laminated cards, and a couple of days later he started giving verbal instructions to himself and to me at bedtime. “Now it’s time for my FK (anti-rejection med) and then my vitamin…. now the prayers,” It helps ME too, especially since I’m usually scattered at that time of the day. Eventually I’m going to make one for Paddy.
I made the charts for the boys because every day, they ask if they’re “done” for the morning, and every day I verbally run through a checklist with them, and this is extremely hard on my memory retrieval system which does NOT do well with auditory-sequential recall. Almost every day I get a little shock of irritation when I realize I’ve forgotten to remind them of something…. AGAIN. So I made a list of all the things in the morning routine. This was surprisingly hard to do. I have a hard time making lists. There are eight things in their morning routine, which I would like them to have done by about ten or so:

Make bed, say morning offering, unload dishwasher, do a daily household task (we have a weekly rotation), eat breakfast, bring in firewood (I’m going to have them alternate that between the two of them), do math, and Latin.

Then I found clipart online and pasted it into a document (here’s the pdf–I hope it works) — two of each icon because I have two boys. I printed it out on cardstock, cut out the forms and laminated them). I used those sticky velcro dots on 2 pieces of poster board, one for each of them, and there it is. The idea is that the poster board has two halves and they can move the finished ones over to the other side. OK, this may seem a little bit childish to my almost 14yo so I won’t insist they actually do the moving, but if it helps them they have that option.

Clare is tired today after getting home at almost 11 and then being too enthused to go to sleep until she had told us about the opera — which was Rossini’s Cinderella. She got to go to the dress rehearsal which was only 5 dollars and they left the curtains open so you could see the scene changes. She was thrilled by the whole thing.

Today the children are having their “free day”. So Clare watched Harvey Girls and the boys are now playing Pod Racer.

Sean finished Beyond the Desert Gate and is now reading Between the Forest and the Hills. By the way, Stephanie is so right about Library Thing. I LOVE it.