After about 6 weeks 'off' because of some technical issues involving the new RDI OS, we saw our Consultant-in-Training again this past Friday. We needed to discuss the kids' progress and our next steps. We are using money from the kids' college funds to pay for RDI, but it's about halfway gone, so it's crucial that we get the most bang for our RDI bucks. When the money is gone, we will have to become "lone ranger" RDIers (in the words of my friend, Tammy).
Our first task was to look at the objectives in the current stages for each of the kids and decide what to work on next. In this process, we realized that they have each made some significant progress and are ready to work on objectives in the next stage (Stage 3 for Austin, Stage 2 for Reece)! That was very exciting, especially for my dh, who really needs to see measurable progress to make him feel better.
Here are some examples of recent developments in the kids:
1. As mentioned before, Reece seems to have developed a healthy, age-appropriate fear of strangers. In addition, she has developed the understanding of referencing (checking in) with me when she is unsure about someone.
2. Reece wants to be around me, and her daddy, and her siblings, and her friends! I left her (and the other kids) with a friend on Friday who has a new 5 year old and 2 year old at home with her. Most of the time, Riley entertains the 5 year old and Reece does her own thing. But this time, Reece played with the 5 year old nearly the entire time, and there were no meltdowns for Miss A. When something did go wrong, Reece would ask Miss A for help. That's a really big thing because before she would just meltdown and it would take awhile for anyone to figure out what was going on. When I came back to pick the kids up, the 4 girls were playing "Ring Around a Rosy" which requires alot of co-regulation (don't pull too hard in the circle... that was the hardest part for Reece). They also had to walk very slowly because of the tiny 2 year old playing with them. And the 2 five-year-olds played "Red Light, Green Light" and Reece only had one minor meltdown because she didn't feel like the other girl was playing fair. We didn't jump in and try to solve it for them, and they worked it out together in a matter of a few minutes.
1. Seeing Austin's progress requires a little more attention to detail. He is so anxious to prove he is competent to everyone, that it's hard to keep him referencing the parent. He will reference just long enough to make sure he knows what he's doing, then he feels competent and he's done referencing! LOL He loves for people to think he's 'the man'! I'm going to have to find ways to work with him that will keep him referencing without making him feel imcompetent, which happens very easily! No problem, huh?? :)
2. Austin still gets easily frustrated when he feels incompetent, but I am started to hear more positive self-talk after the initial blowup. This is crucial for him! I think this is the beginnings of flexible thinking. This is my biggest goal for Austin... he has a motivation for relationships for the most part, but his lack of flexible thinking causes the greatest challenges.
As for me, I am feeling much more confident in my understanding and implementation of RDI. The big exception, right now, is the OS (the online Operating System that is the newest manifestation of the ever-evolving RDI program). I'm not sure how much of that relates to the fact that I'm a "paper and pencil" sort of gal. I like having a planner with a calendar where I can write things down. I like to do my lesson planning on the computer but then I printed it out. I don't like to read things online... I like to hold them, highlight them, scribble notes in the margin. My plan is to spend 30 minutes per day exploring and using the OS, in an attempt to acclimate myself to it. Hopefully, that will help!
We will be doing the RDA (Relationship Developgment Assessment) again starting in 2 weeks. This will not only help us really see where the kids are in the RDI scheme of things, but also where we as parents and guides are. In an effort to conserve some money, we will only be doing the first 2 parts of the RDA with both children. The rest of the RDA will be focused on Reece, since our master/apprentice relationship with her is more challenging. This will save us a significant amount of money, and allow us to work with our CIT for a longer time. Our CIT had to get special permission to change the RDI protocol, and I appreciate that everyone was flexible enough to allow these changes.
I know it may not seem like it in light of my recent posts about our academic stuff, but RDI remains my top priority right now, especially since our days with the CIT are numbered. The CM/AO philosophy lines up so nicely with RDI that I am able to mesh it quite well. Additionally, it doesn't take as much time out of our day, leaving us time for RDI lifestyle and objectives work!
So there's the latest on RDI, and I think I've caught everyone up on what is going on at the Black Pearl Academy!