I’ll never forget the day that my oldest son’s preschool called me in to talk about addressing his “learning differences.” As an involved parent and a former teacher, I was acutely aware from infancy that he processed things differently than his peers. I was just surprised to hear someone else acknowledge it. Worry wasn’t top of mind during that conversation, when they suggested we have him assessed by the county for an IEP and start making minor adjustments to his day at the learning center.
I was relieved to be getting help.
Living in Southern California, we’re big movie buffs. I used to teach the children of movie stars when I worked at elementary schools in Los Angeles. My own kids have been immersed in Hollywood through numerous trips and even had a couple cameos in commercials. As viewers, we absolutely love film, so learning with movies is just one of the many ways we use our kids’ passions to broaden their horizons.
The boys have hit that point in school where they start learning about money. Instead of adding ones and tens, they’ve started calculating pennies and dimes. Naturally, this prompted ALL sorts of questions. The day our 1st grader asked if he could purchase a house with a handful of change, Nate and I realized it was time to show them that coins are more than just numbers and placeholders. How to teach kids the value of money? For us, a piggy bank was the obvious first step!
With all our independent study lately, the big kid has been looking for ways to dig through a book as a group when he doesn’t have access to the reading circles that are often found in a classroom. We read one-on-one, but a ton of learning and connection comes from reading with your peers. A kids book club was needed to help him solidify what he was reading and and really get engaged!
People often ask how we juggle the kids’ school work when we travel so much. Living in California, we’re able to do a blended approach with independent study AND local elementary school enrollment. I’ve explained a bit about how we meet our children where they are in the learning process and supplement with different tools at home. An online tool is actually what helped our son breakthrough and figure out phoneme blending when his school’s traditional approach failed!