I stayed up way too late Monday night and then could not sleep more than 2 hours. I was too excited about finally pulling Julia’s summer academic program together. I’ve been looking through the ideas and exercises that her teachers sent home. I’ve been doing my own reading, and thinking about what I see Julia doing. But until last night it was a pile of suggestions with no real direction for the therapists. And, suddenly all came together. I wrote out eight exercises -- two for the reading side of her work and six for math. For reading, she will be reading chapters in easy chapter books, answering questions, and drawing and writing in her summer reading journal. She will also get 12 spelling words a week and go through four activities and a spelling test.
For math, exercise three reviews “first” and “last” using a 1-100 number board. Exercise four is reviewing “more” and “less”, and eventually “most” and “least” again, using the number board. I am trying to link “more” with addition, and moving Julia to being able to add by starting on the first number. (If that makes sense). Exercises five and six are about subitizing numbers 6-10 using flash card with dots and a matching game. Exercising seven is doing some addition facts, half of which are the targeted facts that she is working on in the computer program Reflex Math. Finally, exercise eight, is a simple chart where Julia will record the reward minutes that she earns each therapist session. After any two sessions, she can be asked when she earned “more” and “less.” After three sessions, she can be asked about “most” and “least.”
Last night, in a fury, I wrote up each exercise in detail, made charts and graphs and flash cards. I am so happy that it gelled before the final school bell.
I had done this sort of thing before Julia was doing intensive therapy. I was thinking this morning that I gave up being director of Julia’s education when our therapy team came in, but there were two good reasons for that. First, Julia did a lot of behavior work with her therapists for the first year or so. Coloring and putting together puzzles according to a schedule were as close to school work as they got. And sometimes it wasn’t too close at all. Second, David died during our second summer of therapy and I did give up trying to steer Julia’s summer education. I look back to two years ago, and I see that I was making plans and putting a few things together when David was re-hospitalized. I did a few things last summer but I still wasn’t ready to take over again. It feels very good to be back!
Our first book is Judy Moody who is in a terrible, bad mood and is very grumpy to her teacher and her brother. It is a perfect book to start the summer with because we had a bit of grumpy, bad moods here today. I put a sticky note with a question on each page for her to answer to help with comprehension. I see that she is now looking at the question before she reads the page to make sure that she gets the answer. I’ll have to be a bit more tricky but good to see that she is figuring out the system.
It has been a really lovely day today -- cool and perfect for gardening. (Right, Mary?) And I was stuck with my foot in the air because I overdid it yesterday. I was not trekking or digging out garden beds, but sitting at a table with my foot on the floor. And it hurt last night, and today I am not as comfortable. So, I sat myself down again. I am healing, it is all getting better. I just need patience.
Tomorrow, Julia should be finished with her antibiotic but she is still not well. Her cough is congested sounding and her nose runs with white goopy stuff. So, is it viral? I will call the doc tomorrow. I had hoped to be rid of it by this time. Julia is not as tired as she was last week, but she is not back to herself.
Tomorrow, I interview at Waisman for LEND.