Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Developmental delays or a different wiring!

I have had 3 children with developmental delays. I should be used to it by now and not worry but I still fall into the trap. When the kids were little, books like Raymond and Dorothy Moore's, "Better Late than Early" made such sense...you cannot force a child to develop at the pace you want, they can only go at their own inbuilt pace, just as speech and walking etc has it's won timing so does something like reading. And a late developer does not equate a dumb child. Bright children can read late!

One of my oldest children was not reading very well @ nine, nearly ten. I tested her with the New Zealand reading tests and she did not manage at a grade one level. Six months later I retested her and she was reading at the 16 to adult age level with the same tests. She loves reading now (theology, history, anything good and just for the fun of it!) I still sometimes have to hide books away from her in order to get her to help with chores:) I had not changed what I was doing with her in that time, in fact if anything I did less as I had had a baby and my life was very pressurised with 5 little ones as I was on my own most days with them. I can only say she was suddenly 'ready' to learn.

I had another child who had severe speech dispraxia whose reading pattern followed the same pattern as his speech problems. Do you get reading dispraxia? He too now reads beyond his age level in any good and interesting subject and has to have books taken away from him. His read aloud skills might be a little stilted due to his speech issues. Comprehension wise he does brilliantly!

So why have I been 'tizzing out' privately in my mind re my 7 year old? Peer pressure?Fear of failure as a home shooling teacher?

I don't know? But although this is the third year of doing grade one work, all of a sudden I see she is understanding! Has 2 years of messing around with this and that been of any worth, when quite plainly she was not ready until now? Apart from the fact that I made it a lot of fun for her, I doubt there was any value in what we were doing. If she was still at the concrete operation stage of development, then no amount of learning, playing with letters/number would have helped. If I was on a deserted island I would have left her to dictate her own pace and just run around catching her beloved lizards without all the letter practice etc. I don't think my rote work etc helped much for the last two years when quite plainly she was not ready. Now all of a sudden learning, real learning seems to be falling into place.

I am so grateful that I am able to home school this child in particular....if she was in school she would have long had the stigma of being dumb. Today she got grumpy as her younger brother did a reading exercise more easily than she did. I told her that she was better at science and drawing than he is...he has to practise these more and she the reading more. The penny dropped and she got on and did a bit extra. She knows every inch of our back yard...where each type of lizard/gecko lives, insects etc. She can sing whole songs. She can see patterns in three dimensional puzzles that even the teens can not see. Developmental delays?????or just wired differently?

If I can get it to work ( I am severely developmentally delayed in the computer area)....Take a look at what she did here a few months ago! She figured it out quicker than an adult mathematically minded engineer!


video

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Things Happening...

Holidays are over for us....they have been so busy that I look forward to a normal 'quiet' school routine! School starts tomorrow for us...so if I am a bit quite that will be why!

I have spent part of the school holidays house hunting, helping my Mom and Dad find a house to buy. They are now the owners of a house just two streets away from us and as the crow flies in line with our house! God is so good to give us grandparents close by....what a blessing to us they are!

We will miss them living with us....Jarryn especially as he loves to get an early morning cuddle and then have his rice bubbles with Granny or Grandad (or Papa as Grandad is called by Jarryn.) But we are very excited to have another house to visit so close and to see all sorts of interesting things arriving from NZ

Bus Party

This bus makes ours look small! Ours is a 12 seater, this one was a 25 seater! Can you spot Erica here? Both Erica and I joined this wonderful bus party, so please take a look!

http://greshamadventures.blogspot.com/2010/01/wheels-on-bus.html

What a lovely day we both had with our friends! Erica and Sinead talked and talked and talked....when I asked them what they talked about they looked at me blankly, and Erica said, "oh, just every day sorts of things" Isn't it nice to have a friend who talks about everyday sorts of things merrily for as long as possible! Thank you Sinead for being a wonderful friend to Erica and for having a 10th Birthday, so that we could join in with the fun! And thanks to Wendy and Dominick for all your well thought out effort and hard work! It was a wonderful day...very good memory making!

Zimbabwe, please pray!

I stay in touch with a Zimbabwe homeschooling lady. Her family is one of the few white farming families left in Zim. Do you know in the 80's Zim was exporting Maize! And Doug says it was the biggest maize grower in the world. This is so hard to even imagine now, when they cannot even feed their own people now! The white farmers who are left in ZIm now are oftentimes staying on their farms in order to protect their workers and provide food for them and others in the area. Each farm that is destroyed by Mugabe's mob destroys 100's of peoples income or means of survival! Hospitals have little or no supplies, Dr's are leaving as they cannot do anything without medicines and supplies. As with Haiti, many are dying. The world forgets them form election to election. But they need our ongoing prayers and help as well.

My Zim friend has asked for prayer again as there is some trouble on farms again...for protection of those involved, no names given, nor needed for us to pray. We know of many others in Zim too. And some who are planing to go back to work there in a Christan capacity. Please pray.

Here is a dream for Zim... the everyday people are hardworking, warm and kind and peaceful... the politicians have a lot to answer for in destroying such a beautiful country. (Please note, I do not agree with any of the comments that are racist etc.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXY6nsDP4i0

Ndebele , for those of you who don't speak it there are beautiful photographs of Zim! Note the 1988 coin equal to today 10 million dollar note! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff3yaLmXtQI

And in case you speak Shona! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3Up8tx832k&NR=1

Haiti

If you are following Haiti, I highly recommend Noel Piper's blog as she is in touch with christian Americans helping there! See http://noelpiper.com/ It continues to be a heart breaking scenario in much need of our help both prayer wise and financially!