The antidote to yesterday's rant is something positive. Here are the obligatory Halloween photos. Pamela and I made her wizard cap (plus the fairy wand we made six weeks ago) and adapted the costume of a senator to that of a wizard. If you click on the photos, you will see larger versions of them. David reprised his role as the hippie, except that this year he decided he was too mature for candy. He was there to look out for Pamela . . . sigh . . . my baby is too old to beg for candy. . . sniff.
Yesterday reminded me of the positive impact of the Internet upon our life as a homeschooling family. Queen Mum over at Growing Fruit turned me onto the Hearing Journey, which has FREE weekly activities to promote language. Pamela and I read together a cute story about making a witch's house. We really needed construction paper, but I did not feel like going shopping. When Mom is lazy, we improvise! We took a sheet of the 24lb paper Steve keeps for special occasions and painted both sides orange (waiting for it to dry in between sides, of course). While reading the story, Pamela folded and cut the orange paper as instructed. This activity afforded many opportunities for referencing to resolve uncertainty. When finished, Pamela opened up the "house" and realized she had made a pumpkin!
Robyn reminded me in her recent post of the pecan trees in our yard and what a wonderful activity it would be for Pamela and I to harvest some home-grown pecans. We will be busy for at least a week, or two, just picking them. Next, we will have to work together to shell them. Then, we will have the opportunity to do something with the like bake a pecan pie or pumpkin pie, just in time for Thanksgiving.
I cannot remember who turned me onto paper toys, but I thank that anonymous blogger anyway. To date, we have made fairy wand, secret windows as thank-you cards, the animal menagerie (pictured below), and Pamela's best thoughts (on the right--her collection of poems and memories is still in the works until she fills up all sixteen cards).
A friendly email exchange back in February 2007 with Sonya from Simply Charlotte Mason, also the mother of an autism spectrum daughter, led me to consider experimenting with RDI. Then, I learned that my longtime cyber fellow blogger and friend Mary was working with an RDI consultant.
Since then, I have gotten to know blogging and non-blogging Moms doing RDI: Nifferco, Jamberry, Poohder, and others I am getting to know. In the photos below, Pamela and I talked about the animals in her menagerie. We had a delightful conversation in which she communicated verbally and nonverbally. What RDI did for her was to help understand why looking at someone's face is useful: because people send additional messages throught body language and that she can learn to decode it.
Email exchanges with other homeschooling friends inspired me with a story about the importance of thinking out loud with my children and the beauty of adoption. Then there is the FREE curriculum I use at Ambleside Online and the email lists to which I subscribe, especially Aut-2B-Home with people there that I have "known" for years! And, how can I forget the kindred spirits I met at the Childlight Conferences: Amber, Bonnie, Carroll and Andy, Cheri (listmom of AOwithLDKids), Dawn, Leslie, and Megan.
If I have forgotten anyone worthy of recognition, I am so sorry for having developed a premature case of Momheimers (when the gray stuff inside the brain leaks and alters your hair color).