On Monday we went shopping first thing. Did I mention I love Family Dollar? They have a whole aisle dedicated to teaching aids. I found full-size laminated posters for $1! I got one with the map of the U.S., one with letters, and another about telling time. They work with dry erase markers too. We got some craft supplies and a travel chutes and ladders game. We were in the toy aisle (which isn’t all that impressive) and he stopped dead in his tracks, looked at me with huge eyes and said, “Mom! I seriously need a dolphin!” How can you say no to that? So he got his dolphin. I guess his rescue heroes at Grandma’s house needed a dolphin. After that, we walked to the pet store just to visit the animals. We saw lizards, frogs, tadpoles, birds, guinea pigs, bunnies, fish, snails, and a cat. He got to see a tadpole whose legs had just sprouted.
Then we went to Grandma’s house and I set him up on the computer at starfall.com. Adrian has never used the computer much but someone recommended that site, so we tried it. It is great! He played for 30 minutes and only stopped because his “butt hurt”. LOL Starfall basically teaches reading and phonics. Grandma also read to him for about 15 minutes. He learned about farm animals. We hung his birdbath on Grandma’s front porch.
Then we went home and he played with his dolphin in the bathroom sink. I filled his little pool and smeared sunscreen on him. He found a spider in his pool and caught it with his net. The set I got him had a butterfly net, a container to keep bugs, tweezers, and a compass. He pretends the compass is a clock. He looks at it and says, “Yup, time to go catch bugs!”. So he was catching everything. He caught 2 spiders, a couple of ants, and a beetle. Then he gave them grass and raisins to eat. I made him put his shoes on when he was running through the yard because there were a ton of bees hanging out. He said he wanted to step on all the bees and kill them so they wouldn’t be in our yard. So I explained 1) Why they are important and 2) That they have an exoskeleton and stepping on them in the soft grass wouldn’t likely kill them anyway.
We went inside for a bit and he made a door hanger with his foam sheets and stickers. Then he played with his calculator a bit. So far he knows how to add on it. We played chutes and ladders and I noticed there is one square that has a boy chasing a dog with a stick and it goes down to a picture of his mom beating him with the stick. What the hell?!
In the evening one of my friends came over with her 2 little boys. One is not quite 2 and the other is 8 months. We connected quickly partly because her older one has a birth injury too. Not a brain injury like Charlie’s, but a brachial plexus injury. He’s had surgery on his left arm and lots of therapy. It’s taped up and splinted most of the time. So they ran around the yard for a couple of hours while we at and talked.
After they left we watered the garden and then went inside. We read a book about the American Flag and realized that the day before was Flag Day! So we made a flag to celebrate.
We looked at our new posters. Adrian drew on the telling time poster and showed what time it was. He knows “o’clock” and he’s starting to figure out “half past”. He was able to draw the hands to show it was 8:30. Then he pulled out his letters poster and said “Let’s do this!” but it’s really just a visual aid, not like a game. Hmmm….how do we “do” that poster? I laid it down on the floor and had him toss a bean bag at it. Whatever letter it landed on, we had to make the sounds that letter makes. Well, that works as well as any game. He got out the map poster and asked about Ohio, Michigan, Washington, New Mexico, and Florida. I just told him what I knew from looking at the map. “Washington is by the Pacific ocean.” “Ohio has a long river under it called the Ohio River.” Stuff like that. He asked about the lakes around Michigan. I told him those were the Great Lakes and showed him which beach he visited while he was there. Then he got his globe and showed me where the lakes were on it. Smart boy!
After it was good and dark, we went outside to catch lightning bugs. We caught 2 and went back inside. We learned that they are small enough (and smart enough) to find their way out of the bug container. Oops!
We went to bed and I read him a book about underwater creatures. It reads like a story, but has lots of info about the fish. He couldn’t fall asleep yet, and begged for a video, so I put in one we got from the library about phonics. Man it was boring! I don’t know who thinks kids will like this. But it was perfect because he got tired quickly. We only got through the “short a” sound.
Subjects covered: Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Geography, PE, Art.
Total time spent: About 8 hours.