Sunday, July 31, 2016

Kindergarten Bound!

This fall is going to be a different one for our family. All of our kids will be starting school.
We will see how it goes for the year and decide if that is the right step for our kids or not at the end of the year.
On a wonderful note, Veronika will be fully included in a general education kindergarten class. She will be just another little girl in the class with no aid or para.
Rowan will also be going to kindergarten. I am hoping it will give him the outlet he needs and other kids to play and interact with.
Gavyn doesn't make the cut off in time to go kindergarten this year so he will end up going next year. He will spend another year doing preschool. The difference? He is TALKING now!!!! Not perfectly, but he is certainly trying. One of his favorite things is saying he wants ice cream, lol.
Willow turns 4 this fall, so she will certainly be doing preschool. She needs to learn social skills and play skills which she did not learn in the orphanage. For those who are new to the blog, Rowan and Willow have only been home since late March of 2016.
Ellie and Alina will be going to HIGH SCHOOL!!! Oh my word!!!! We will see how that goes!
In the mean time we have been working super hard getting Rowan and Veronika ready for kindergarten.
I have been working hard lately trying to fill in gaps and holes in our kids education.
I had not thought too much of reading comprehension in a 4 year old. Honestly, I thought, if they sat down for circle and listened to the stories, that was enough for a while.
However it was brought to my attention that at 4 a child should be able to "retell" a story and answer questions about the story. So we are working on that now.
Every night I read to the kids, I point things out along the way. I ask questions after every page, I ask questions afterwards. I am hoping that by doing this, our children will learn how to retell, how to answer questions, learn to focus more during stories. Just two weeks in and we are starting to see some results.
We are also playing a following directions game, I found some following direction cards with fun little things for the kids to do. The kids take turns and will do things like saying their ABCs to clapping their hands, counting to 5, touching their noses, etc.
Tonight we also enjoyed a game of sight word bingo. The kids are working hard on not just learning the sight words,but following the rules of the game. We play Bingo Blackout, which means more sight words, but we also play it until everyone has had a Bingo. They love shouting Bingo afterwards.

We are also working on independence. That one is harder for me than the kids I think. With them being my youngest, I have been holding on more than I should instead of pushing them towards that independence.
We are working on things like learning to work independently. Up until now, I have always just sat there next to the little kids while they did their work. Now, I need to work on teaching them to color a picture without me sitting there, or to do a worksheet without me there every second, or to be able to complete a puzzle without me. I am having them sit at their little table, working on something that maybe a little easier than normal, but something they are confident with, and then having them show me when they are finished. By doing this, their confidence in building in being able to work independently.

This summer has been mostly focusing on helping Veronika become potty trained so not as much "learning" has been done as I would have liked, but progress is being made.
Veronika is also getting use to having an expander, so that is something she is having to adjust to. Just taking it one day at a time and trying to get use to having two new kids at home. It is certainly an adjustment for all of us, but seeing goals being met and work in the right direction certainly make things easier!

 Veronika works on her cutting skills with regular scissors

 Fine motor work can be fun with something like DocMcStuffins Operation

Working on Spelling her name