One day before Child #2 had his last feeding therapy session (see the category “What’s the deal with Feeding Therapy” for more info) I was talking on the phone with my dad, expressing questions about the progress (or lack thereof) and wondering what ever could really be done about this problem. Thinking of how Child #2 has shown in the past that he latches on to the information placed around him in his environment and often goes on a serious quest for more details led my dad to suggest that we fill Child #2’s environment with information about how the body works. The hope was that if he understood how his body works that he might try harder to fuel his body properly. I loved the idea!
You may recall me mentioning that he learned the alphabet at 18 months because he had an ABC placemat before him at the table every meal/snack. He spent much of his time away from the table standing before our refrigerator playing with a talking alphabet magnet toy. He learned his ABC’s. While he was still two I realized that he could recognize words and by three he was reading (and writing) very well.
At any rate, there was a point where his interest in the alphabet became more of an unhealthy obsession (because he would get so upset if you interrupted him halfway through the alphabet). I decided to take the placemat away and replaced it with one of the U.S. Presidents. Many of his first di- and trigraph conversation revolved around his quest for more information about the presidents. He knew all of their names, and he wasn’t even three years old.
Last summer I was helping my husband organize his classroom. We found a big poster of the United States that wasn’t needed and was going to be thrown away. On a whim, I decided to tape it up on the wall above Child #2’s top bunk. He stared at it every night and he was settling in and would ask many questions. Soon he was fascinated about the continents. Now, many months later, he still is primarily interested in the world and has gained a lot of information about it’s geography.
I felt like my dad’s idea was worth a try and decided to call it homeschool. I found a series for K/1st graders called “How My Body Works” and I ran a set for each of our children. I went through the library system to check out all of the supplementary literature and have since had our first two session. Little One has a hard time sitting through it all, but he especially likes when we get to name body parts, do anything crafty, or read books (he loves books). The content of the material so far is pretty basic for Child #1, but she’s happy to join in with her brothers.
Child #2 was on my case when more than a week had gone by without having another homeschool session. 🙂 Looking ahead, I see content that will probably greatly challenge him when we get to the senses and he’s asked to touch, smell, and taste various foods. I’m just hoping that I can get him to stay at the table without a fuss, and doubt that he’ll participate…but hopefully he’ll at least watch. That’s a ways off, though. First we are learning about the anatomy of the body.
Being a teacher, I enjoy spending time with my kids in this more formal way. My heart does a funny flip when I see them sitting quietly at the table with their hands raised, eager to get to share. 🙂