Friday, February 22, 2008

Wind in the Willows: Pooh Narration 5

Then they bumped the weasels heads. Then they got out of the doors and they broke the windows. Then everything was cleared. Then Badger ate with his friends in Toad Hall. They ate chicken and lobster salad and they remembered when the Chief Weasel ran on the table. Then Mole and the Rat and Toad and Badger had a walk on the trail and they were good friends.

The End

Wind in the Willows: Pooh Narration 4

When Toad got away from the barge woman and the barge, the horse stopped. Then Toad saved himself from falling. Then he saw somebody, a gypsy. The gypsy speaks a different language. Then Toad didn't want to give the horse to him. But he listened. He gave the horse to the gypsy, then the gypsy gave Toad something to eat. Then Toad walked while the gypsy keep the horse. Then Toad sing.

Wind in the Willows: Pooh Narration 3

When Water Rat went to get a Doctor, Mr Toad was sneaky. He put down a rope and he climbed down of his house. Then Mole and Badger went back to Toad's house and saw Rat sitting down. Then Water Rat, Badger and Mole went upstairs. Then they saw Mr. Toad was gone. Mr Toad walked in the road. Then he went to a little street called The Red Lion. Then he went into some body's house and had to eat. Then he got our and saw a beeping noise. He wondered what it was. It must be a motorcar! And then Mr. Toad saw that a driver went into a party. Then Mr. toad wondered if he could drive it. Then he sit on the driver's seat and then the car moved. Then he kept driving on the road.

Wind in the Willows: Pooh Narration 2

Water Rat kept looking for Mole. And he found him in a cave. And then he told him, "You should not do that ever again. And we have to go back. It will be nighttime." Mole said, "Let me have a little rest for a little bit, ok?" "Alright, Moly" Water Rat said. They keep walking and then Mole fall down with his face on the snow.

Wind in the Willows: Pooh Narration 1

Mole cleaned. Then, he popped out. And he wished he could live beside the riverbank. And he saw an animal with whiskers. It was a Water Rat.

How Narration Evolves

I would like to share a few of Pooh's narrations of the book The Wind in the Willows. We started this 180 page book in September and worked our way slowly through it. This is Pooh's first book that I've asked narration from. I think you'll see how, little by little, Pooh is picking up more details and learning the habit of attention along the way. When we started, I really wondered how or if things would improve. He missed a lot of things that were happening in the story, just from reading one page. As each day progressed, he got more and more into the story. He was interested in it so he followed along better. That's why good literature is key in a Charlotte Mason education. It keeps the child interested and engaged. Slowly working your way through a story allows them to develop a relationship with the characters in the book. They become friends.

This is the way we narrated this book. I took a 70 page notebook (10 cents each at Walmart during back to school time. I stock up because he draws so much.) . On the front cover I put The Wind in the Willows by Pooh (real name inserted). Each day, after the reading (which only lasted 5-10 minutes) I asked him to draw what he remembered from the story. There are many pictures in the book I have (more on that later) and sometimes he would sort of copy the idea he saw. Other times, it would be more what he was thinking. I encouraged him to use the colored pencils in the hope that he would use those to represent the story a bit more. After he draws the picture, I then write down on the same page or next to it, his verbal narration. He patiently waits while I write before he continues with another part. Such a nice boy! lol

I definitely noticed how sometimes a verbal narration would leave out a detail he had captured in his drawing and vice versa. For instance, he never told me that the gypsy caravan was yellow, but it was yellow in his drawing. He never felt any pressure from the narration. I know this because I never heard that whiny, slight yelling of "I don't know!" or "I can't do it!"

Now about the book. This is the version of Wind in the Willows that we've been using. I just finished it today and found out that it is abridged! Horrors! How did I miss that you ask? I'll tell you how. I found this book at a scholastic warehouse sale about 2 years ago before I knew anything about Charlotte Mason. The artwork was soooo beautiful, just what an English book should have. I guess I just never thought to look inside to make sure it was unabridged because it looked and sounded like it should. (Obviously, I had never read this book before.) Also, the only place it says abridged is on one of the inside pages. Sneaky, to my way of thinking. :D So, while I'm not unhappy with how things have turned out, I do plan on finding this book on audio at the library so we can get whatever was taken out. From the amazon review there may be small sections edited out, but perhaps the basic Graeme language was kept intact. I must at least be thankful for that.

I will post about 4 different narrations. The first will be from the first day back in September. Then I'll post 2-3 from the mid sections. Finally, there will be his last narration that is the end of the story. The last one is a little shorter because that reading was shorter, but I still see how he's picked up some of the details. Also, note that I typed them as he told them to me. Grammar mistakes and all.

Hope these narrations are enjoyable and encouraging to those who are on a similar road!

A New Trend in Scripting

Pooh's scripting has taken a turn. I noticed a big change about a month ago when I noticed he was scripting out bits and pieces of two/three different movies to make a new story. I could recognize most of the parts and could see how he was blending them. Although, when i was trying to ask him about it, he got upset. So I didn't get to pursue or explore what was behind the changes.

Also, he'll substitute the names of the characters in the movies for the names of his friends. So for a Winnie the Pooh movie suddenly Piglet is being called Dylan, Tigger is Jonathon etc. He's done this with the PBS show Fetch with Ruff Ruffman by making up his own game show with questions he wants to ask and giving us points.

So, while part of me still dislikes the whole scripting thing in general, the other part of me is pretty impressed. This is a creative turn, to make his own stories from parts of others. (Plagiarizing big time I know. LOL) It shows how his mind is at least flexible enough that the story doesn't have to be the same every time.

For those who may think I'm being overly positive about this, I do believe that it's still a way for him to control his world. That instead of joining our world, he's bringing us into his. I don't plan on particularly doing anything about it. I may make my own suggestions for plot changes here and there and see how well they're taken. My main belief though, is that thru continued efforts in RDI his need for scripting will lessen. The more comfortable he feels in having a relationship with the people around him and becoming interested in the things they are interesting in, the less need he'll feel to stick with the tried and true avenue of movie and book scripting.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pooh's Pot of Honey

I just had to write about the smallest yet significant thing Pooh did tonight. I'm a little limpy from my hip sliding out of place. It does that on occasion and will eventually slip right back in. It's done this since high school. Anyway, I'm limping into the kitchen when Pooh notices and asks what's wrong. I explain. Then the cool thing happens. He bring me a piece of pvc piping that the boys use in their pretend play. It's about 2 1/2 feet long. He says "here this will help you". I told him that it was ok, i was alright but thank you. I wasn't exactly sure what i was supposed to do with it. lol Then he says "oh, it's too short".

It was supposed to be a cane!!!! How sweet is that?!? Not only did he 1. notice my problem. He 2. looked for a solution and 3. realized that the solution wasn't quite right. He didn't get upset about it and we moved along in our activity.

My Pooh bear is full of honey sweetness!!

Checkers Goal

So we've been working on this 'Checkers' goal for the past few days. I've been really trying this time to just do things in the moment instead of preplanning so much and getting bogged down with "activities". I've noticed that i don't even need to do any prep work for Pooh to be involved. Just pausing and looking at him clues him in that he needs to be alert for my move. Sometimes it's an eye movement-from him to an object, like the groceries in the cart at checkout. Sometimes, i catch his gaze and move towards the clothes dryer. He just follows me and starts joining in with what I'm doing. No talking is involved.

I've also played keep a way with the dishes he's supposed to be cleaning off the table, played a blocking game where i don't let him by as he's trying to leave the room and made Teechino (herbal coffee) RDI style.

So I think this goal is going well! I'm not stressing over it and am trying to incorporate 'lifestyle' ideas and I believe that this is working. I'm happy to see that our sabbatical didn't cause a major loss of referencing skills either.

This means i need to get working on my parent goals and giving feedback on the RDIos to my consultant. Hop to it, girl!

Friday, February 15, 2008


I talked with our RDI consultant today to start getting us back on track after a very long 'sabbatical', if you will. She and I were talking about Pooh's next goal. It has to do with Reciprocal and Contingent actions. As she is telling me what in heavens name she is talking about (RDI lingo is a steep learning curve for me ;D), I started thinking 'Checkers'.

This goal is basically like the game of checkers. It's turn taking (the Reciprocal part). And each person is always basing their move on what the other person does (the Contingency part). This is all going through my head as she's explaining that we are concentraing on the physical actions not the verbal (due to Pooh's frequent scripting--i just ignore it). Then she starts explaining that I need to come up with a catch phrase for this goal, something like Physical Contingency. Huh?!? I said, "How about Checkers?"

I'm the first parent that has ever used that as a catch phrase for this goal. Fancy That! LOL

No, really, RDI lingo may be easy for some, but if I have to be thinking of doing something all day to work on the goal, I'd much rather be muttering 'Checkers' than 'Physical Contingency'. So any of you RDI'ers who may read this blog, don't worry if your mutterings sound stupid, just make it easy on yourself.

Something I tried today that worked well was as Pooh was leaving the kitchen, I did blocking manuevers. You know, they move to the left to get by so you move to block them. (Remember to do this non-verbally with a happy Sesame Street face, not a Hitler one. ;D) Then they learn they can try to get through by going under your legs or running around the kitchen table. We had fun with this and Pooh did it with no problems. Then the King start a face-making game. We did a three way game of making silly faces. Pooh played right along.

I'm going to try going with the flow and work it into everything we're doing. I tend to overthink it and try creating things to do. I make myself nuts doing this. So for this goal, I've personally decided to try it in the most natural way possible. We'll see how that goes.

Play checkers, play checkers , play checkers. I have to play checkers. ;P

RDI-Your Background Matters

The other day I wrote a post where i expressed my displeasure that after 8 years with Pooh having the diagnosis of autism, the King still couldn't give a simple, basic explanation. Tammy, from AUT-2B-HOME wrote how her dh also has difficulties due to being raised in an imperative household. My King is Latino and as such, was raised in a very imperative way. Imperative meaning "Do It Now" no questions asked. You are robotic in your obedience. "Hurry Up" is frequently said. I'm not saying all Latinos are raised this way, but it is common. I'm NOT Latina and I was raised with no guidance from one side of the family and had Cruela de Vil on the other. (if you don't do it right, you get to start all over again from the beginning until you do get it right. Ugh)

I'm mentioning this because, when you're coming into RDI, it's important to realize what type of parenting style you have and that's based a lot on how you were raised. Your Background Matters. You have to acknowledge it so you can then make the necessary adjustments. I think this is one of the hardest parts of RDI. You HAVE to change the parenting style for you to get the changes you want in your child.

That means no more "hurry up", instead you have to slow everything down. I mean way down. Don't try doing RDI when you have something you have to finish. Or something you feel important having done correctly. It won't work. If you're picky about how you fold laundry, don't do RDI with it, or do RDI with the towels that maybe don't matter so much.

This also means changing your communication style (verbal and nonverbal) to a declarative style instead of imperative. Pick activities that this will work with for you and the child. Once again, don't try doing it with things you are picky about, you'll become imperative in a flash. I know you will, don't even think about defending yourself on this one. Invite instead of order. Comment instead of command. Relax and have fun instead of drill and question. If you're planting flowers, some will get mangled, be planted upside down or drowned. Let it be part of the experience. It's not the problem, it's the experience and the way we adjust and allow the child to think about what's happening that is the important part.

So if you're going this RDI road without a consultant, think about your background, how that affects your parenting style and then, how you can adjust it. (This is obviously what I'm doing and encouraging the King to do as well.) Video taping is a big part of RDI because the parent sees, not what the child is doing wrong, but what we're doing wrong and how we change our behavior to allow the child to grow cognitively.

RDI parenting will only help. It's about 'Relationship' and 'Connecting' with your child. That's the true parenting anyway.

Bird Update 4:45

At this sighting we saw:

2 Morning Doves
1 Carolina Chickadee
2 Northern Cardinals
3 Dark Eyed Juncos
2 American Robins

Despite today's results, I normally have a ton of birds in the yard. Last time I counted, in January, we had 17 species of birds, including a Red Shouldered Hawk who likes to visit on cloudy days. Tigger named him Glub the first time we saw him in December.

I'm hoping for a truer representation before the official counting time is over.

Count the Birds Today!!

Today starts the Great Backyard Bird Count!!! Here is where you can get the info and submit your reports. We've done one session so far today but the birds must have been on siesta! We didn't see one. Noone at the feeders, in the trees, flying, on lines, NADA!

Oh well, we will be trying again hopefully later. This continues through February 18th.

Monday, February 11, 2008

RDIos Lite 1

Ok, so yes, I think I'm missing out on the videos part. Or maybe I just haven't found them yet. What I've been looking at in the last week, is the elearning section. It's like little slide shows but you hear Dr. G talking/explaining things. I absolutely LOVE being able to listen to him. I choose the topic (we've been doing Guided Participation) and there are about 25 little slide shows adding up to one hour of listening time. I can stop and start it whenever I want. The King has been listening with me and trying to get better at understanding Autism and Rdi. I discovered this weekend that, after 8 years of him watching and reading different info i've given him, he still has no idea how to explain what autism is to other people. I'm not saying he hasn't tried to pay attention. It's just not been a priority for him. And yes, he's watched the whole Getting to the Heart of Autism DVD. We had a serious discussion about it because it bothers me. He needs to understand this to be able to give at least a simple explanation of what our son is like and what we're trying to do to help him. Anyway, I feel that the elearning section of the website will be a great help in that. And it's wonderful for me too. I need the review from time to time, because I read so much I just can't always keep everything all straight.

That's the latest. I'll keep looking for more tidbits to share.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Just Joined RDIos

Ok, i'm in. Doing the Lite version which basically means I have access to most stuff but not the videos? Not sure. I'll be exploring what i can and getting up with my consultant soon. It's sort of exciting, if it's all what it's cracked up to be. I'm hoping to get more info on each objective and ideas of things to do as I go along.

I'll keep you posted!