Back in April when Oliver really stunned us with his breakthrough in communication I felt overwhelmed. I thought I had been teaching to his competencies. Turns out I was wrong. I wasn't even close -- and I really didn't know how to begin to figure it out. So, after we were able to replace our laptop (courtesy of a grant from our local ARC), I got busy putting together some ideas for what we will do this year in the thing like "school" that happens in our little green house. I decided not to focus on building from what he already knew (because I don't know!) but rather to begin new conversations with him about things that we both might find interesting.
We started back to our regular school routine several weeks ago (we take a long break November - February but generally go all summer). And do you know? It has been amazing. Oliver is focused and interested in a way that I've never seen him. I mean, the kid happily sits down with us and patiently writes out his thoughts. Before Oliver could communicate, I would have told you that he was aware of everything that went on around him -- but what, exactly, he was absorbing, was difficult to know. Now, I see that he understands and, indeed, soaks up everything. And, for the first time, Oliver and Sami are on the same playing field. I'm asking them to do the same things and they are equally able -- in fact, Oliver frequently knows the answer when Sami doesn't.
|Our Poetry Wall|
I feel very lucky that I can spend this time with my kids. I feel very lucky that I live in a community where I am one of many who have embraced alternative education and so I feel supported. For the first time ever, I'm excited to explore the world of ideas with both of my boys knowing that I'll be learning a thing or two myself.