Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Plan of Genius

Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with all the things that Kiddo needs to work on.  Scratch that.  A lot of the time.  He needs work not just on his speech, (LOTS and LOTS of work on his speech) but also lots of help with all the following categories: Language Comprehension, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Self Help and Social/Emotional.  I have lots of pins on Pinterest and post-marked lots of pages in in several books I've collected over the last two years with activities and ideas for each category.  And I was only getting more overwhelmed with what to do to help him.  To top that off, Little Brother also has a speech delay and is doing speech therapy, and so I knew I needed to be focusing on his speech as well.  I felt all over the place, and like we would make such slow progress with Kiddo by continuing what we're doing of working a little bit of time in each area each week.

So I was excited to get to leave behind all the stress and go out of state to visit family and friends where we used to live.  While there, I determined to only work with Kiddo on his gross motor stuff.  Sure, I still incorporated speech here and there throughout the day, but every day I planned at least one trip to a play place, kid's gym, or playground.  And I really saw Kiddos' gross motor skills blossom!  Added bonus, Little Brother's skills bloomed too!

We went to Chick-fil-A a lot.  Why not get lunch and some gross motor practice in one trip?  Kiddo was able to climb up the HUGE slide!  January of this year, he wouldn't even attempt the slide at the CFA near our house.  In May he was climbing about a third of the way up.  But now he is climbing to the top effortlessly.  And what's even better?  He will slide down it!  He never went down the slides, but rather would go back down the steps.  His climbing of the platform steps at Chick-fil-A has gotten much better, and he's much faster so now he can keep up with other kids who are climbing up it now, and go down the slide like they do.  Play places are now fun, rather than stressful for me, now that he can get up and down completely by himself. :)  And Little Brother made quite some climbing strides himself, with all the practice.  He can now follow Kiddo up the entire slide, and slide back down with him, both of them giggling together when they crash into each other at the bottom.

We went a few times to the mall, which has one of my favorite play places.  The pics aren't of the greatest quality, as they're all from my camera phone, but I'm so glad I was able to capture these moments. :)

Kiddo climbing the eagle.  Love that proud grin when he made it to the top. :)
Little Brother's turn on the eagle. :)

More climbing fun
I also took the kiddos to My Gym, a place where I took Kiddo before Little Brother was born, when we were aware of his gross motor delays, but not the extent of his speech difficulties.  My Gym, along with physical therapy was great for him and I really miss My Gym, as we have nothing like this near where we live now. :(  Anyway, I registered the kiddos for a sibling class while we were in town and they had a blast!
Ladder and slide fun.

Ball pit fun!  Check out Kiddo's improving ladder skills too. ;)
We had lots of other adventures too!  We met some of my friends' new babies, had play dates with a few friends of ours at Chick-fil-A and the farm, and of course had lots of fun visiting with family.  After each of our adventures, this is what I usually saw within minutes:

So anyway, back to The Summer Plan of Genius.  I was discussing with Hubster how it's overwhelming to figure out what to work on with Kiddo since there's so many areas and so little time.  So after discussing a while, we realized that what I did while we were out of town is what we should keep doing.  I will continue to work with Kiddo throughout every day on his speech skills, but I will rotate our focus among his other areas of weakness on a weekly basis.  So one week we will work on his gross and fine motor skills, go to playgrounds, do crafts and exercises at home, really focus on all of his occupational therapy homework, etc.  Another week, we will really focus on his speech and language skills.  Back and forth.  Not that we won't keep working on all these areas each week, because we can always incorporate lots of these things throughout our day.  But I will plan activities that focus on that area specifically and reinforce often.  Just as he made lots of progress in his speech when we went to CHAMP Camp last summer (a week long speech intensive), and he made lots of progress on our trip in his gross motor skills, I hope this will help the skills to come faster overall, and help me maintain my sanity.

I'm excited about this.  I think it'll make things much easier and more fun for me, but for Kiddo too, as (hopefully) it'll really help his motor planning by getting to work on certain skills often for a few days at a time.  Anyway, we'll have to see how it works.

I pray that it'll be a summer of lots of progress in every area for both kiddos, and that it'll be a summer of peace for my mind and heart as I lean on God instead of myself for strength and wisdom. :)


  1. Sounds like a great plan. Olivia will be going to extended school year starting next week. She has been out of school for almost 3 weeks with no services. We have seen her speech really improve! Sometimes a break is very much needed with the schedule our kids are in. Doing a great job Momma!!

    1. Aww, thanks Jen! I've been so impressed with Olivia's impressive swimming skills! How much speech do you get for ESY? Ours is once a week, half an hour, for the month of June. So we're done with that. But I'm excited to be able to go to the CASANA conference in a few weeks, to learn how to work with Kiddo. :)