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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lesson Learned- Playing With Words 365

I am so excited each time I get an email with a guest post for this series. Taking the time to plan and execute lessons is not always easy, especially when Boogie isn't in the mood and I feel like I wasted my time. Preparing something and having it go wrong before Boogie even touches it can be extremely frustrating. Before I started this series, it would be easy to gloss over the struggles and mistakes and just post pictures of the awesome things that happen in our home on a regular basis. But it wouldn't be honest, and it might make some people feel like they are failing. My goal with this series is for us to share honestly about the times that didn't go according to plan (because those times happen to everyone whether they show up on a blog or not) so that we can encourage one another to smile to plan another day.

This week, Katie from Playing With Words 365 is sharing about some activities she planned for her daughter. Katie has two adorable kids and we have bonded over the fact that both of our families are biracial. We had a lot of fun talking through Chinese New Year ideas back in January. She is so enthusiastic and friendly and fun and I am so happy that we have become friends thanks to the wonders of modern technology. Katie works with children and comes up with tons of fantastic ideas that she offers for free on her site. I have pinned and printed many of her freebies! She also hosts a fabulous linky party that I join every week called Thrifty Thursday where you can share free or almost free kid-friendly ideas. Please enjoy her post below and then head on over to PWW365 for more educational fun.

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Playing With Words 365

Hi There! I'm Katie, a speech-language pathologist, mama and blogger over at Playing With Words 365. I spend my days driving my three year old E back and forth to preschool, attending Gymboree class with my one year old Ev, stopping at Starbucks to grab a latte, grocery shopping, planning speech/language activities for my clients, blogging about speech and language development, taking my daughter to her numerous doctors appointments (she suffers from Juvenile Arthritis), stopping at Starbucks for a Chai tea, reading blogs, reading books, blogging about speech and language intervention strategies, redecorating my house in my head, taking my kids to the park, planning activities to do with my children, doing activities with my children, stopping at Starbucks for a vanilla latte and three mini pink doughnuts, teaching my children sign language, going on playdates, fundraising for the Arthritis Foundation, cooking meals.... Reading the above you should notice two things: I am ridiculously busy and I have an addiction to Starbucks. Both of which I am always working on ;) Now that you know a little more about me...let me be the FIRST to tell you that though I LOVE my life, my family, my job, and blogging...I make mistakes. I mess up. I am faaaaaar from perfect. I am learning lessons EVERYDAY. I was really excited when Sierra contacted me about this guest blogging topic because as a blogger...it is super easy to leave out all the mistakes we make and simply post the pretty pictures and happy stories! The last few months I have been trying to work with my daughter on letter and number ID. She is three and so far can only ID a couple letters. Because of this I created a few different activities that I can use in my speech therapy sessions and can be used with my own daughter to help her learn her letters and numbers in a fun way. In December we did a fun activity where we fed a Reindeer foods with letters and numbers on them. In January I changed it up and created a Snowflake gross motor activity (because she loves to be on the move) to help her learn to ID her letter and numbers.

   

Sounds fun right? And the activities WERE fun! She loved them both and our Reindeer was out many times so she could "feed him" all his letter and number food. So what's the problem then? Well you see she loved HER version of these activities, not MY version. What I mean is, she had absolutely NO interest in the letters and numbers aspect of the activity. She likes to count so she enjoyed counting during both activities but when it came to naming the letters and numbers she was completely uninterested. At first I was very frustrated. The activities just did not go like I had hoped. Yes she loved the activities but not the way *I* had planned them! It was during the snowflake activity that I realized I needed to be flexible. I needed to take her lead and let her show me what she really wanted to learn. Ironically...I am very good at doing this for my clients but for my daughter? I was a little slow to realize that I needed to back off and let her lead. Once I realized this...working with my daughter has been MUCH EASIER! She has quite a little personality and has an opinion on e v e r y t h i n g. And rather than trying to work against it, I need to embrace it and follow her lead when it comes to learning activities. I also have learned that teaching your own children is quite different from teaching someone else's children! There is a totally different dynamic (and quite frankly, a different amount of patience, at least for me!). So, lessons learned: It is OK if an activity doesn't go as planned. Be flexible and have patience! Just because it doesn't quite go as planned doesn't mean it was a failure either. In fact sometimes it can turn out to be your biggest achievement! I wanted to conclude by thanking Sierra for this guest posting opportunity! This is SUCH a great topic and I am so happy to be a part of it! :)

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If you would like to participate in this series (running on Sundays), please email me at hisforhomeschooling {at} gmail {dot} com!  

7 comments:

  1. THANK YOU Sierra for this guest posting opportunity!! I had a blast writing this!

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  2. Great post! I love this series! I know with my daughter she seems to come up with her own ideas for the activities that I plan more often than not.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Jessica! I'm glad you are enjoying it!

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  3. Hi Sierra and Katie,
    Great post! Thanks for sharing your heart with us! I do love this series. And as I wrote earlier in the series, I too am learning to be flexible and follow my little ones lead too. Katie, I can so agree with you that when working with students/clients it can be so much easier to go with the flow than when I am teaching my own children. I am still working on this one. And many times my children have a different approach to a lesson too! Thanks for sharing!

    Sierra, thanks for hosting this awesome series! Great idea!!

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    1. Thanks for the edification, Trina! I know I have said this before, but you definitely have a gift for making people smile and feel encouraged.

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  4. Trina THANK YOU!! Yes, I'm sure you TOTALLY get the whole teaching-your-own-kid is SO different, right?? I need to be MUCH more flexible...but I'm working on it!! Day-by-day...

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