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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quick Victories


I am taking my own advice and writing a quick blog to get something accomplished before I get bogged down even more and never write one again. I believe very strongly in the need for quick victories to keep excitement and motivation up for challenging tasks. For example, when we changed J's diet for the first time I was only able to persevere because we saw some immediate and rapid gains in his eye contact and language. The same is true for all the hard things in life, a win right off the bat is important to keep you moving forward with confidence. These wins can be small and relatively insignificant, but they must be quick to be effective. I've been fortunate to have had a few quick victories with Jackson this week that have kept me excited about homeschooling.

1. Lower Case Handwriting - He has NEVER written in lower case letters. He writes in all uppercase, and even those are too big and usually pretty sloppy. Last week I decided to try adding a "penmenship" lesson to his daily morning work. I was blown over by how well he followed the directions and wrote the whole alphabet in perfectly sized and extremely neat lower case letters...the very first time he tried it! So much for "he can't write lowercase letters". Victory!

2. Reading Outloud Jackson has always hated reading. He rarely picks up a book on his own and when he does, it is usually a few levels below what he is capable of reading. I know he can read well, but I also know he does not like it. So I added "Reading with Mom" to his daily schedule. It took a few days, but I finally found the right book, and today we read Chapter 2 of "Big Nate" out loud together. We alternate paragraphs and it works beautifully! He is expressive in his reading and often will read my part if he is excited about the story. So much for, "he won't read in class." Victory!

3. Calm Yoga Practice Jackson can get really silly. Once he gets on a roll, it is hard to refocus him. So in the mornings, I decided to add yoga to our routine to help him start off the day with a calm and focused energy. It started off OK, then he got silly during the warrior poses. But then, out of no where he pulled it together for a good 5 minutes of tree poses where he just balanced on 1 foot and held these challenging poses without cracking even the slightest smile. I tried to avoid eye contact so I didn't distract him. After we were done, he rolled up both our mats, got his shoes on and was super chill for the rest of the morning. So much for, "he can't sit still and focus for more than 30 sec." Victory!

These quick victories in the last few days have encouraged me to keep pressing forward with more challenging and innovate tasks for Jackson. I know there will be long stretches of discouragement along the way, but these small accomplishments are essential for me to maintain a positive attitude and a joyful spirit.

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