Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas!

I was wrapping presents and thinking of each of you. Is peace and joy flowing through your home? Not so much? Us either. But it is not what it was last year. There has been growth. She has enjoyed almost every night of advent with us this month! Wow! But the wounds are deep still and the rages seem louder the last few days. Although I do not think all triggers are holidays or big events or that all kids that are spiraling are doing so because of Christmas, I do think the added commotion and lack of schedule and anticipation do compound the wounds are their hearts..... or maybe we are more distracted and less therapeutic? I know for me it is hard to say no to all of the little things I think will add to their experience of the season. I think there can be deep moments and traditions that let the chaos the world tempts us with settle beyond the doorstep. I am striving more this year than last to seek out those moments. Warm cocoa, family quilts, books, soft lights of the tree, cookies baking, candles burning. Simple joys to bring simple peace. And let us--and I speak more to myself than anyone-- seek it in our own hearts. Take the time for stillness. For your own quiet. Take our own warm happiness in your favorite mug by the tree. Reflect. Imbibe. He is good. He loves you, His daughter. He is working out these hurts though it may not always feel that way. He knows the work, the stress, the anguish, the deep valley you feel you are in. He knows. He loves. I cannot see that Babe in a manger without remembering the sacrifice and purpose for which He came. What a great reminder to my soul that He created my child on purpose for a purpose and wants me to help Him love her soul for that great purpose. To Christ alone be the glory! Forever and ever. Merry CHRISTmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ideas for the Home-Educator and others :)

Trying to home-educate all the kiddos in your home....while one of them in particular (or more than one in some cases)tries their hardest to make life all about them all the time?

Here are a few ideas/tools we have used in our home over the years:

Buy your child an ipod and let him/her listen to music of your choice. Good stuff.

Give her crayons...colored pencils and markers w/a sketch pad. Design for her a still life set up and instructions that she is to create her version of that scene.

Place her in a spot where you can see her and she can see you.

Call it "Independent Music & Art Study."

Focus on the other kids. Get done what you need to get done.

If you are not done w/ what you need to get done and she is done w/her still life...hand her a pair of scissors and a stack of scrap paper. Instruct her to cut 25circles....25squares...25 rectangles 25 triangles etc.

Call it "Math."

If you are not done w/what you need to get done...instruct her to color the shapes...circles red...rectangles yellow etc. Have her paste them onto a poster board in patterns w/a glue stick. Make sure she is not eating the glue stick :)

Call it "Cross Curriculum Math/Art Activity."

Should get you through a morning.


Try puzzles and tannegrams. They require focus and help w/logical thinking...planning...cause and effect thinking.

W/the ipod...of course.

Let her chew gum (sugarless.) In packs and packs of gum and let your child be in charge of how much she is chewing (especially as she matures.)

She will feel very powerful..."and have no idea that you are pulling an idea from your therapeutic toolbox.

When she completes a puzzle or successfully works a tannegram sheet...take a photo of it and make a book of the she doesn't carry a wound when her attempts are dismantled and put away.

Hook rugs...needle point...cross stitch etc. Good for concentration and fine motor too.

Knitting...chrocheting...lacing toys for younger ones.

I like Dover coloring books because they require concentration.

Also, you could put on a ballet or exercise dvd and have her "take a class" in the living room.

Trampoline first thing.

Jump rope first thing.

Swing first thing. (Do lessons at the park...take frequent swing breaks.)

A few laps around the cul-de-sac first thing.

Swimming laps first thing.


I'm searching my mind for what else we have done...

Rubik's Cubes are good and those old fashioned math squares...where you have to move the #'s around get them in order. Geoboards and rubber band balls are good things to have lying around. You could keep them all in one in a plastic shoe box.

Bead work is good.

I guess the point is to try and get her interested in something and focused before downward spirals begin.

Things sure seem to go downhill once the spiral ignites.

Easier said than done, I know.

And, many times...impossible.

Burn candles (we have them going almost all the time) to facilitate a calming effect. If it doesn't calm your may calm you :)

Please add to the list any ideas which work for you and your family.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009