We visited the girls psychologist yesterday. Last time we were there was in June before I started homeschooling. The Dr. has been on maternity leave and that's why the long interval. Her conclusions were so good to hear. She said she was super impressed with the girls' progress. She could tell that there was a difference in their attitudes and a lot more willingness to "be brave". They greeted her in the waiting room, (always after my prompting, not spontaneously) and it didn't take any time at all for them to warm up and start speaking in her office. Since her leave, the Dr. had moved rooms, so we didn't have access to her normal board games that she utilizes and had to improvise with reading aloud. We read "The Nose Book" by Dr. Seuss. They don't know all the words yet but enough of them to get a good assessment of their skills.
She complimented on how nicely they read and how patient I was helping them. I admitted it's been a process and a definite learning experience but the girls have given me a generous learning curve.
I told her our normal weekly routine has been a big part in providing opportunities for me to work with them. Since the girls are going to their "specials" at their old school; ie, gym, music and art classes on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with Co Op too on Fri mornings, we've really focused on finding one person each time we go somewhere to 'be brave' with. I reward them with "Be Brave" (I'll post a link below) cards and they need one card every day we venture out of the house to get their reward at the end of the week. We usually take a trip on Saturdays to Jo-Ann Fabrics for something small. During the week I also reward them with Hershey kisses immediately after they've been brave.
The Dr. and I set some more reasonable goals to achieve within the month. Oh, that's the best part. I asked if we could visit her on a monthly basis on from now on. I feeling well equipped with the tools she's given me over the last year to work with the girls. I said I didn't want to quit seeing her all together because I value her opinion and advice and I want her direction to continue. She said that monthly visits would be fine since she hasn't seen a regression. Yeah for us!!!! I'm sure there were moments where she might have speculated over our choices. She hasn't come out yet to say we've made the right choice in homeschooling but she's said whatever I'm doing to stay consistent.
Speech Therapy has also started for them at their old school. We go twice a week to meet with the therapist there. The girls spoke to her (not spontaneously, only forced choice one worded answers) but on the first day no less! A huge milestone considering the therapist is a new face to them. The therapist, our Dr. and I are meeting together next month to discuss the girls speech therapy goals. I'm looking forward to what she has to say.
Lots of horn tooting with this post. I'm just so darn proud of all our hard work. It's probably too soon to say this is the way to go, maybe not, but for these two it feels like it's been the right choice. Today we've been homeschooling for 49 days. I pray in the long run, this will be my legacy for them. I can only hope and pray that God continues to support our decision to homeschool and He'll see fit to bless the girls with a long happy, balanced life. There's a quote I've heard by Erma Bombeck that struck a chord with me lately, it goes:
I want this for my children, to use every single talent the Lord has given them to serving Him without anxiety, being happy and content.
PS, Here's the link I promised to the website for the reward/chore cards I use. I use the whole system she's designed but I used sticky magnetic tape and use the side of the fridge to display them. After the girls do their chore then they move it to the pockets, I got at Ikea, under their side. The "best beehavior" cards are our "Be Brave" cards here. They've worked wonders! Good luck.