Creation Unit

We are wrapping up the Creation Unit. It was a sweet introduction and we all enjoyed it. We are beginning a tradition where after each Unit, the children will present their projects and information they learned to their dad. We just finished doing this and Snicklebritches read “On the 7th day, God read.” not “rested”. That was cute.

Fair warning. I am a new blogger. I am not good with formatting. I will learn as I go. Here come the pictures.

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Snicklebritches was able to do her Creation book independently. She truly made it HER OWN.   This is why hers look all messy. And that is exactly why I love it! 

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Here is WiggleButt out at the park with us looking for things God created.

 

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God created leaves and berries. And flowers.
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God created ducks. 
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Their Creation books will become keepsakes. These are precious and I love their handprints they made in the land one.

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Man made this footpath. Not God.

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Snicklebritches working on her numbers of the days of Creation. This  banner is now hanging up in her room and she is very proud of it.

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I put together a sensory bin for creation unit. It has floral grass, dyed blue rice, white beans, and black beans. We read through Gerald McDermott’s book “Creation” as they play with the sensory bin.

ImageImageWigglebutt required heavy hands-on assistance with all his work, This is part of the package when you choose to home-educate your severely developmentally disabled child.

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The children enjoyed this gentle begin to their kindergarten year. Snicklebritches knows her numbers and she knows how to read, but this is perfect because she lacks the fine motor skills to write and to enunciate certain sounds. Kindergarten will give her time to gain the fine motor skills necessary for the more intense first grade program MFW offers. It also gives Wigglebutt a chance to learn alongside his younger sister at first.

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Both the children enjoyed this book, but as you can see, Wigglebutt hogged the week’s book to himself. He loved the bright crisp colorful pages that was busy enough to keep him engaged without sending him into sensory overload. His sister Snicklebritches loved how the letters were easy to read to herself and she enjoyed reading it aloud to us just to show us that she could. I tried to get a video clip, but she is still shy about reading on camera.

There it is- what we’ve done the past two weeks.

Thank you SizzleBop for this idea!

I just tried some new advice from the SHEM convention, Carol Barnier of Sizzle Bop told us if the kids come into the bathroom, well, put them to work on fractions.

In my case, that wouldn’t fit. But I took that idea and ran with it. WiggleAngel tends to come into the bathroom and sit on my lap while I’m seated on the royal throne. Aha! I’ll put him to work. There’s a sliding mirror door immediately next to the toilet so I put him to work drawing vertical lines, which he hates. Only, I did not expect it to work so beautifully. While he watched his reflection, I could see the wheels turning in his head. He then took my hands off him and went on to make more perfectly vertical lines!

I suppose he needed to see himself in the mirror as I guided him through the motions for him to understand how to move to make the vertical lines. I would have not tried the mirror with WiggleAngel if not for SizzleBop’s idea of using a white board with fractions in the bathroom to keep the kids out.

Just sharing, in the hopes that maybe you need to try letting your developmentally disabled child use a dry-erase marker on a mirror to help them learn to make marks with writing instruments.

Working on vertical lines for fine motor skills

Working on vertical lines for fine motor skills

 

 

Now… if only I could get WiggleAngel to quit using me as his personal handkerchief!!!

Grabbing the bull by the horn

WiggleAngel has been rebelling at his state school. After some prayer, research, and personal investigation by surprising the teachers, I think I figured out why he loved it the first year and began to hate it this year. They use the exact same material, day after day, each year. My son remembers this from last year and the one before that. They use the same everything. They scribble on pictures of the same little boy, year after year. The first week of October’s worksheets has been the exact same thing each year and the exploratory sensory project from the second week of last April is the exact same thing sent home last week. They do not change things up and these children are in the same classroom from preK to 2nd learning life skills. My son is bored. He may be still mentally 3 years old, but he is bored. I realized that if I was to hold him back in any other school, that he would end up with a different teacher teaching different material. It’d still be at his level, but different.

 

For this reason, I will have WiggleAngel repeat kindergarten, but not repeat the same curriculum. This year, he will do My Father’s World Kindergarten and next year, it’ll be the Kindergarten from a different curriculum, like Heart of Dakota or Sonlight or something else. It’d still be at his level, kindergarten, but different. I am learning from the school’s mistakes of what NOT to do with my son and what to DO with my son. I attended a convention this weekend and I am energized. I am ready to tackle this educational bull by the horns and take it down. My WiggleAngel can learn! If the school won’t teach him, fine, I will. God help me.  Image

Wordless Relationships

 

 

On Sunday, the sermon notes were about prayer. I saw up on the screen that we tend to view prayer as asking when God actually designed it as relationship. It’s better to get to the point quickly than to fill the space with lots of words. So I went to the Bible references. 1 Kings 19 is the part where God speaks to Elijah in a still small voice. Gotcha. Then there’s Matthew 6 which boils down to “don’t babble on- a few simple words will do.” Then it hit me. That’s how I talk to my special needs son. If I try to lecture my WigglyAngel, he will become self-abusive. However, if I get to the point in as few simple words as possible, WigglyAngel will get it. He is much happier. WigglyAngel taught me that it is possible to have a meaningful relationship without words. He showed me that communication can come in many different forms. I never realized that God also wants me to talk to him that way too and it’s funny how God used my son to teach me how to better pray. I went searching in my Bible for more references and I found:

 

 

 

Psalm 66:17 I cried to him with my mouth,
    and he was exalted with my tongue.

 

 

 

Psalm 95:2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 14:15  What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

 

 

 

Interesting. I am to cry to God with my mouth and my hands (ASL) and God is exalted when I cry to him. This is prayer? I vent to God, but I never correlated those intense moments with being in prayer. When I am in an emotional mindset, I vent in my language, my hands fly everywhere, my heart wrenches open, and I can feel God responding, even though there aren’t words involved. He is my still small voice, only… it isn’t a voice. It’s a presence in my heart. As a deaf person, I can sense people behind me by the way the air feels. It’s kind of like that with me and God, only from within. I can sense ripples within my soul. This is similar to how I communicate with WigglyAngel. When I place him in a restraining bear hug to prevent him from further self-abusive behavior, I sense subtle changes in his body, his temperature, his pattern of chest rising and falling, even the way the rumbly vibrating of his gut tell me how he needs me to hold him to help him regain control of his body. I like to think that God is doing the exact same thing with me and that’s why we are so attuned. It’s a relationship without words. I know my son and he knows his momma only wants to help. All this, without words.

 

 

 

I am to come into God’s presence with thanksgiving, making noise with songs of praise. That seems to balance the other how to verse on crying out to God. Although I can vent to God, I’m also supposed to thank him for the very things I am venting about with songs of praise. But what if I don’t want to use words. That’s okay too… I can pray with my spirit and my mind. My son is nonverbal, but that doesn’t mean he cannot pray. He can pray with his spirit and mind. This evening, I took my son out for a walk. I was focused on just getting around the block, but my son forced me to dawdle. To grab all the dandelions he could find in the neighboring yards. To make me blow them while he stimmed with the seeds. That’s when the sermon outline hit me. This is prayer. WigglyAngel is worshiping God’s creation by his autistic stimming taking apart the tiny seeds of the dandelions. God knows the number of hairs on his head and he also knows the numbers of seed heads that my son just sent scattering into the wind.

 

 

 

Now, I do not believe that God caused WigglyAngel to have Angelman Syndrome. That’s due to the fall of Adam and Eve that imperfection came into this world, but God is still glorified in imperfectness. God used my WigglyAngel to bring me closer to God by teaching me a better way to fellowship with Him, therefore, enabling me to witness to my son and bring him to our God. I cannot make my son believe, but I can bring him to the Living Water and let him taste it.

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Now, my Snicklebritches, she’s entirely another story for a different post. It’s fascinating how both my children have autism, yet be polar opposites of each other.