Monday, April 03, 2006

Time for School

This is what P.E. looks like when you homeschool. When I was a kid, we just called it playing. This is one of the reasons I love schooling at home.

Mondays is usually Park Day, but it rained earlier, and I wasn't sure the weather would hold. So we stayed home. Matilda the Bouncing Kangaroo came to live with us via Target. As you can tell, she is much-loved. Many kids benefit from sensory activities, Sensory Integration Dysfunction is said to afflict 12%-17% of children. Regular sensory input is vital for these kids, or they get "out-of-sync." They don't handle life well when they are overtaxed, when their system is overwhelmed by all of the sensory input they have received, but have a hard time processing. This explains it better than I can. In any case, my son is one of these kids. He has to have regular proprioceptive activity (pushing a wall, huge bear hugs, scalp massage with pressure, joint compression) so that he can relax enough to get schoolwork done. I am now able to tell when he needs this input from me because he starts acting out. I can see it building. First comes the frustration, then the complaining starts. After that, if I haven't figured out there is a need going unmet, he will start meowing, or avoiding work in whatever way he can. He will, at this stage, still insist that he wants to do the work, but he won't follow through. This is Stress Time.

If I don't catch the cycle at this point, and let it go further, he will blow up. There will be a frustration outburst, tears, screaming. Thankfully, I have learned, through very messy trial and error when I need to intervene, and how. If I catch it soon enough, having him stand on his head or push a wall can be enough to stop the cycle. A big bear hug and a few seconds of joint compression and massage, and we are back on track. It is amazing what a difference it makes.

Some days, nothing helps, and that's when I have to think outside the box. We go outside and look at bugs, or just have a P.E. Day. Today was that kind of day.

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