Monday, May 30, 2016

a budding ornithologist

We like to blame Trevy for our anti-social ways, but the truth of the matter is...

we just aren't cook-out-party people.

We're spend Memorial Day somewhere quiet and peaceful people.

Like nature hiking, for instance.

It was exquisitely peaceful and joyful.

At one point I asked Jonathan if it was weird that I, literally, feel myself healing from the inside out when we're hiking. He assured me that he'd recently read and article that agrees with me. Not that I need science to have my back, mind you.

Barely had we started down the trail when we heard the very distinctive call of the red-winged blackbird. Trevor immediately identified it. He delights in birds. As we walked I shared with him that science is the study and observation of the world God created for us to enjoy, like birds. I taught him the big science word for people who love and study birds, Ornithologist. 

Can you say that big word, I asked.

His attempt was speech challenged adorable.

You're an Ornithologist, I informed him.

I know, he grinned, I love birds! And with that he skipped ahead to puddle jump with his "bunny foo foo powers". 

My heart squeezed. 

I don't know what the Lord has in store for Trevor's future.

I don't know if he'll ever read past a Kindergarten level...

or do math figures at a level that would allow him independence...

or speak in smooth grammatically complete sentences.

But I do know that intelligence exists in different forms and this little boy can identify a variety of birds from the very first note of their song.

**photo credit goes to his sister, who is a budding national geographic photographer**

Saturday, May 28, 2016

BFIAR: The Little Rabbit & The ABC Bunny

Trevy continues to really enjoy our Before Five in a Row book selections. I have a stack of pre-selected (borrowed from the library or our own) book choices in his purple workbox bin. Each weekend he chooses the book he'd like to read the next week. He loves the freedom to choose. Having him pick over the weekend has been working well. 

Here are some ways I tried to therapeutically enrich our journey with The Little Rabbit and The ABC Bunny...


Trevor has always always loved music. Songs are a great way to work on articulation and phrasing. I want to capitalize on that by finding songs that relate to our stories. 

We used Little Bunny Foo Foo for The Little Rabbit. It's fun and silly and chock full of articulation opportunities.  The ABC Rabbit has its own song which he enjoyed and we also used Rhyming is So Easy which is super fun.

I also like to work on vocabulary to give him more meaningful words and articulation. I snagged some free printables and used for reading and speech.

His favorite new word was "rhubarb" and how cool is it that on our nature hike this week we stumbled on a garden with rhubarb in it! The Charlotte Mason in me adores when natural connections happen!

Gross Motor

We played two gross motor games. Rabbit Hole was a Pinterest find. It was fun and he loved having his siblings join in, but he fatigued quickly. 

I modified the idea and create a bunny obstacle course. The hula hoops are still the rabbit holes to jump into and the discs are foxes that he had to weave in and out of. This was great for coordination, balance, and scanning.

Fine Motor 

(with a side of Science)

He really enjoyed this sorting game and quickly mastered it. I deliberately printed it on regular paper to make it a little more fine motor challenging for him than cardstock is.


(with a side of art)

He loved taking a magnifying glass around the yard to study the various flowers (aka weeds) that are flourishing. My original idea for an art tie-in was to paint with dandelions. Sadly, we discovered that dandelions don't hold up well as paint brushes. Particularly with children who tend to be sensory seeking and a bit rough. A little Pinterest adaptation later and we still created a cute art project to go with our stories. I did have to hand-over-hand with Trevy because his impulsivity was firing on all cylinders but he drew his own stalks. He enjoyed this activity and was insistent mommy must make one too. His is the orange paper, mind the purple. 

There are so many ways to therapeutically enrich learning. Especially when your foundation is a rich, living book! Check out my Before Five in a Row board for more ideas. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

safe with me

An ambulance and fire truck screamed down the road this morning just as we were running over to pick Toby up from his standardized testing.

As I watched them blaze past, the realization wasn't lost on me.

Now that Trevy is home with me full time, I no longer have a pit in my stomach when I hear sirens blaring.

I no longer watch to see which direction they're heading. 

I no longer jump when the phone rings because I've been unconsciously waiting for "the call" from school.

I know he's safe.

I can see his crooked grin my rearview mirror and he's got ideas about what adventures we need to go on today dancing in his sparkling eyes.