Monday, January 25, 2010

on the eve of second grade

I've been wanting to write a post about each of the boys and their development, and I thought this was a pretty good time to write about Zoo Boy, since he's starting 2nd grade tomorrow. I'm not 100% sure he's ready for 2nd grade yet, so this may be stretching him a little bit, like I was when he was 5 1/2 and started 1st grade with him. By the time he turned 6 (last March), he was fully in the 1st grader's body and mind, and I'm assuming he'll be there for 2nd this March. So this is a little early for him. But J clearly is no longer being met by the 1st grade format (I'll talk more about him in another post), and it will be much easier for me to bring more of a 3rd grade feel into the 2nd grade format with him. (I'll be blogging plenty about the way Enki 2nd Grade is organized later this week.) So this is sort of middle road for both boys, and will be meeting Zoo Boy perfectly in a short time.

I know that we're getting close to Zoo Boy being ready for 2nd because of the things I've been seeing from him lately. Developmental things, that seem to come out of nowhere. Like his sudden interest in writing (here he is working on some sort of record book having to do with his Monsterology book). He's been picking up a pencil on his own quite a bit lately, whereas previously, he'd just avoid anything to do with writing if he could.

Spontaneous drawing is another new development. Unlike his brother, he's never been interested in doodling and drawing. But suddenly it's as likely to find him drawing as it is J. Here's a drawing of an original mythological creature that he invented.

He's also maturing in other ways. He's being more cooperative (which means he's only uncooperative most of the time rather than all the time), he's posing and smiling nicely for picture-taking (which is just plain shocking, actually), he's spending more nights in his own bed (and more time in his own bed before he eventually crawls into our bed), and his pull-ups have been dry upon waking in the mornings about 90% of the time (although he's not willing to give them up yet, and I'm certainly not pushing him!).

He still wants to be immersed in pretend play all day. This has caused a bit of strife with his brother, because J has moved on from there (again, more on him in a different post) and is not willing to play make-believe all day anymore. It's meant that I've been on the lookout for other appropriate playmates for him. Fortunately, they abound at our Monday Homeschool Classes, which started up our Winter Session today, so he'll have 4 1/2 hours of all the imaginative play he can handle every Monday pretty much for the rest of the school year. Hooray for that! Of course, he doesn't want to take any actual classes. But that's OK, for him, finding playmates definitely take priority, he's already going to be technically 1/2 year academically ahead of other kids his age. (Given that he's starting 2nd grade now, and would still be in the middle of 1st if he was in the public school system.)

The only place I can really say he's behind is with the sensory integration stuff. He's still highly resistant to me doing anything with him at home, although I've been sneaking in some activities in the name of games and races and exercise. I'm also setting up formal Occupational Therapy sessions for him again (and trying desperately to arrange for Speech too), so I'll have a professional to give me feedback on where he's in need of more work. I'm happy with what I have been able to get him to work on, but I'm also well aware of what I'm missing.

So, that's the boy in a nutshell! A few more notes: He says he's going to be an Ecologist when he grows up, because he likes animals so much. He wants a bunny (which I've promised him he can have when J gets his puppy later this year). He lost his 3rd tooth this past weekend. He's worried about turning 7 (although he knows that he survived turning 6, which he was also worried about, so figures he'll probably survive 7 too). His best friend is his brother, and he already knows who he wants to marry (although I won't betray that confidence here -- but she's several years his senior, so he's aiming high!).


MM said...

Whatever happened to his old OT and speech therapists? It sounded like he was doing well with them.

Brynn said...

Ooo...I am excited to hear about your journey to second grade. Like many other Enki families, this spot has become a great resource for us.

Stefan said...

You may be interested to check out the Free Sound Therapy Home Programme available from Sensory Activation Solutions. Their Auditory Activation Method builds on the pioneering work of Dr. Alfred Tomatis (Tomatis method) and Dr. Guy BĂ©rard (Auditory Integration Training) and has been specifically developed with the aim to improve sensory processing, interhemispheric integration and cognitive functioning. It has helped many children and adults with a wide range of learning and developmental difficulties, ranging from dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder to sensory processing disorders and autism. It is not a cure or medical intervention, but a structured training programme that can help alleviate some of the debilitating effects that these conditions can have on speech and physical ability, daily behaviour, emotional well-being and educational or work performance.

There is no catch, it's absolutely free and most importantly often effective. Check it out at:

Harvest Mom said...

MM -- This is his old therapists, we had to take the fall off for financial reasons. And now the speech therapist is having trouble finding time to fit him in. She's hoping to find time to do a little work with him while he's there for OT, and will fit him in again when she has an opening, but he really needs more consistancy than that, so we may wind up having to find someone else for him to work with (she'll help us with that if we decide to go that route).

Brynn -- thanks, it's so cool to be able to keep up with other Enki families' journeys, isn't it?

Stefan -- thanks for the resource, I'll leave your comment here in case anyone who reads here might benefit from the information. I'm really happy with our OT's sensory integration program (and they do some auditory stuff with him as well), and his speech issues are due to severe dental problems he had when he was first learning to speak. So I probably won't look into it myself, but others might find that helpful.