Oh yes. Welcome to Hancher Elementary.
The school where Nadia calls me “Mrs. Mom” with a giggle, and the ornery kid in the class is always Lambie Hancher. 😉
We begin the morning at Nadia’s regular school time, and we end a couple hours later at the same time, as well. Or a few minutes early. Cause, seriously, people. It IS summer, after all. 😉
Today we made a list of goals. Do I expect her to nail each one of these over the course of a couple months before real school is back in session? Nope, but it doesn’t hurt to try or at least get a head start. The thing we learned about Nadia is she likes routine. And to be honest, summer vacation ruins that for her. It’s nice to take a week or two to just wing it and enjoy the break, but she truly does like having that morning time to do what she’s used to doing. It was very apparent today when she woke up and said, “It’s time to get dressed for school.” Sure, why not?
(Also, pretty sure she’s mocking my enthusiasm here. Haha!)
Some of our goals are more challenging than others… our biggest challenge is one that I think most parents take for granted. Sipping a drink from a cup. When it comes to academic things, Nadia picks it up rather quickly. But her biggest difficulties are always things like speaking and coordination and socialization.
One of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received was from my friend Kelly and his mother-in-law… You see, Nadia was the flower girl in his wedding. Allow me to flashback for just a second to show you:
Crazy cute, right? ANYWAYS, I gave him “warning” ahead of time that I wasn’t 100% sure she’d be able to follow the directions to walk down the aisle because she was currently undergoing some testing because we suspected autism… and following directions and communicating wasn’t exactly something she was even capable of at that time. So what did him and his wife do? Like the good friends they are, they said, “No big deal! She can carry her blankets and Lambie and whatever she needs, and if you want to lead her, then by all means, you walk, too.” So yes, I was the adult flower girl. 😉 But she made it.
A couple months later, I got an anonymous package in the mail full of academic books geared towards little ones with autism, and I found out later that his mother-in-law used to be a preschool teacher for the kids with special needs, and she gifted them to us. I can’t tell you how useful they have been, and a couple years later, we’re still working with them… in fact, they are of more use to us now because she’s really starting to get the hang of it. So that’s also on our school agenda. 😉
She also has a backpack full of Scholastic booklets that we’re going through. In addition, we’re doing journaling time, practicing writing her letters, we sit on the floor and have story time, arts & crafts time (hello! My favorite!), among some other activities. I’m sure we’ll add some more outdoor activities to the list as we get in the swing of things, but right now I plan on taking a weekly trip to the library and really setting up a nice routine for her.
Will she enjoy this as much as regular school? Yeah, I’m gonna have to say no! 😉 It’s never as much fun when your “teacher” is your mother! Or dad! (Although, I think having Dada teach every so often might be amusing for me, so I’ll be putting him on the roster some days. LOL!) But Day 1 was enjoyable, and I think it will help her to feel not-so-out-of-place all summer. Just wanted to share. 🙂