Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Boo's Journey

Today I celebrate a milestone in my beloved firstborn's social development.

Since September, she has struggled with impulsive behavior. At least once a week, she has received a yellow or red light from school, for behavior requiring repeated warnings. Usually it involves "unsafe hands or feet" or "disregarding others' green words" (as in, please stop doing that, etc).

There have been three weeks of the school year that she earned all green lights. One of those weeks was a four day week. One week she had a sub two times. And one week she started out with a yellow light on Monday, but on Wednesday the teacher crossed out Monday's mark and changed it to a green light. So all of them had exceptions.

Boo had shown improvement, but the last month she has been demonstrating classic regression behavior associated with major change at home, such as addition of a new baby. I reached my wits' end when the teacher called from school so that Boo could report to me that she could not hear. I scheduled a conference with the teacher to ask how typical her behavior is, and see if I could get some tips on how to deal with it at home.

The conference was last week. But miraculously, last week she was a stellar student. No warnings whatsoever, cheery, helpful, and responsive to the teacher. Yahoo! Last week, Boo earned five green lights, for which her daddy and I are very proud. We took her out for dinner and also to the toy store to purchase a toy she has been trying to earn since September.

The first Littlest Pet Shop pet, Pearl

From the conference I learned (among other things) that she started out the year way ahead of the other students in the area of writing; but while she has maintained her same skill level, the other students have improved and passed her. Apparently she really likes the action-packed Middle of the story, and is impatient with detailing the Beginning and End parts. So I am embarking on a journey to help her improve her writing skills.

We agreed that for every story she writes for me (involving at least one hour of effort), she earns one hour on my computer to play in Littlest Pet Shop world. She also earns one credit toward the purchase of another Littlest Pet Shop pet (worth 16-25 credits, depending on which one she wants). She writes the story out by hand, giving her some needed fine motor practice. Then I have her type it out on the computer, and incorporate some of her photos, if she wishes. I have set her up with her own blog, so she is even posting the stories for the world to read!

Yesterday she experienced one necessary "a-ha" moment, as she read me the next line of her story and I laughed out loud. I know she likes the idea of entertaining others, so I think this is a natural way to foster her interest.

I am optimistic that by the time she has earned her next pet, her handwriting and her storytelling skills will both have improved dramatically. You can check in on her blog by clicking her photo in the right hand bar. You can also click her photo at the top of this post. Feel free to give her some feedback to continue to encourage her!

So today I celebrate. My first baby, growing so big, is slowly but surely learning to conquer some of her personal challenges. It's a good day.

1 comment:

  1. That is so cool. You set her up with a blog. What a neat idea. she will remember this forever. And, maybe, she'll turn into a writer like her Mamma.


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