Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Update: Reece

I decided to start with Reece mostly because she's the easiest to write about right now! She doesn't care what I post/write about her and, in fact, most of the time she asks me if I'm going to post about her to my friends online!

Fourth grade started out amazing for Reece and has continued that way. As hard as last year was for her, this year we are reaping the rewards. She doesn't cry nearly so much in group situations, and she has this strong desire to be involved. I think that's part of the reason she doesn't cry so much - she wants to be involved and she wants people to like her. THANK YOU, RDI!! I find myself wanting to run around and go, "SEE????? It works!!" So many people told me that I was making a mistake by not forcing her to be social when she was little, and by pulling her out of everything last year when she was struggling so much socially. In fact, more than one person told me I was going to make her regress because I was indulging the autism. I can't say that I wasn't afraid they were right. But I prayed about it and I kept falling back on the principles of RDI that assured me that removing her from all the negativity she was experiencing from her 'failures' in social settings would eventually pay off.

She still struggles for the first couple of times in a new activity, but as long as the leaders are patient, she eventually gets the hang of things. And she excels! At Christmas, she attended children's choir at church where she practiced to perform a duet and recite a couple of lines in front of the church one Sunday morning! She also read in front of the church one evening during a special church service!
She has thrived in her ballet class and her teacher believes she may be ready to move up out of this level that she has been in for the last few years. This is exceptionally "huge" because it means working with one of the other teachers instead of the one who has had her since she was 4. She actually got to work with one of them a few weeks ago when her teacher was sick (and let me add here that her teacher actually called me the night before class so that Reece would be prepared for the change). The teacher is one of Riley's teachers so she was familiar with her, but she had never really been taught by anyone else. Reece is now looking forward to moving up, and she's even been talking about working hard so she can go en pointe in a few years!!
I got her back on the ice last week as well. She didn't do the lessons again, but she is enjoying being out there on the ice. She even wants to have an ice skating birthday party - and I think I'm going to let her have one. She hasn't had a party with friends since she was 5! :) She also wants ice skating lessons again! LOL
Academically, this year has been fantastic for Reece! Math has been going well - and despite the many breaks we took in the fall, she could pick back up with math right where she left off! That shows REAL mastery in my opinion! The level she is working on includes a lot of drawing lessons for geometry and I was considering skipping them so she could work on "real" math in an attempt to get her caught up to her age peers. It seemed sort of a waste of time. But I know how much she enjoys to draw, and I showed her the drawing tools that she would be using and she was SO excited that I couldn't skip the lessons. What completely swayed me was one of the last lessons before the drawing lessons began. She was learning how to find the perimeter of a rectangle and she basically had to solve the problems on her own with manipulatives and her thinking skills. It was AMAZING to watch her do it, and when she was done, she asked if she could keep the paper she did it on. She was SO proud of herself!! Here is a picture of her working with the T-square and triangle to construct rectangles! :)
The only area of school where she is giving me ANY grief is taking over the responsibility for reading some of her lessons to herself, like history and science. She really prefers to be read to, but Charlotte Mason emphasizes that the child take over the reading on their own as soon as they are able to do so. Reece much prefers to be read to (as Austin did, and still does LOL). But luckily for me, she has two older siblings who read most of their own lessons so I can point to them as being 'grown up' and telling her she gets to be more like them. Nah, she doesn't fall for it... but I can still try, right?

So there is your update on Miss Reece!! I am enjoying every last minute of this time with her because I know that the hormones are just around the corner! LOL

1 comment:

The Glasers said...

I'm so excited for you that you are being validated for sticking to your principles! It sounds like Reece is thriving!

On the reading aloud, Pamela isn't quite ready to read on her own because she would probably skim quickly and not absorb a thing. The intermediate step for us is taking turns reading aloud. I read the narrator and she reads all the quotes. She is doing most of the reading in books with lots of dialog. The benefit of her reading aloud is that her articulation has improved immensely!