Some songs get stuck in your head and some stories your children want read over and over and over … and although it’s annoying you – it’s linking language for them. Books and music are the number one links to language, so let them listen to that requested song or story again. Language is listening, comprehending, communicating, speaking, reading, writing… Language is key to future academic success, but more importantly the key to success in life. Success should not mean “the attainment of popularity or profit / prosperity” as some define it, but rather mean “the accomplishment of a goal.” The main goals for the children who attend Adventure Academy is simply to become respectful, responsible and resilient.
Becoming resilient starts by becoming confident, and those with language disabilities or delays have shared how language affects their confidence to communicate their wants, needs, interests… Often children with language barriers are very bright and want to share information and teach others, which would build confidence, but they instead become frustrated by the barriers. When asked What a language barrier is most say it’s a speech issue, like stuttering, but language includes all forms of communication. Barriers can be any failure to communicate, including understanding speech. For example: children who are very literal do not understand sarcasm and may have an interesting sense of humor, which complicates connecting with others.
Language is important for connecting with peers while growing up, and communicating in our careers as adults. Language disorders can be life long and those with subtle language issues often do not get the assistance needed early on, to prevent miscommunication issues in their adult years. Often these bright children with speech delays do not get to use their gifts and talents in careers simply because of miscommunication. For our children to become responsible adults who can provide for themselves and their families we need ALL parents and providers to have access to early developmental screenings.
Adventure Academy understands that all families deserve the same screenings, evaluations, referrals and services. Children who attend tutoring or child care services learn that everyone has different goals they are working towards – and everyone has different gifts and talents they care share with each other. Even the smallest child can learn to be respectful of another’s needs and abilities. When respect for all is modeled it becomes the norm instead of a taught attribute. Differences and diversity teach us acceptance, that we are here to help each other and encourage each other. Encouraging means being proud of others accomplishments and not jealous. Encouraging means being a part of the same team with a goal for everyone to find their success.
Goals change and sometimes goals change for survival focus. The last few articles have discussed fall changes and as fall turns to winter – survival is the focus for many. Survival is apparent in nature as we watch the leaves fall and animals begin to migrate and hibernate. Adventure Academy uses various curriculums to teach academic skills, life skills and seasonal skills. One curriculum that teaches such skills is Mother Goose Time. The hands on nature lessons this month “In the Orchard” has opened up many teachable moments during our fall field trips to farms and nature centers across Michigan. This week alone we adventured into orchards and learned about wild life on a reserve. When we came back to the center and opened up MGT activities for “Animals in an Orchard” we were excited to see some animals featured we had been learning about on location.
Sadly the porcupine on location was roadkill by the parking lot!
But we enjoyed making a pokey porcupine puppet none the less. We watched bird migration patterns, enjoyed ladybug pizzas, made sneaky raccoon masks, played Sammy Squirrel Math and matching apple games… We also turned our Where is the Lady Bug cards into a matching game. We often used the lesson materials as prepared then change them up. Adventure Academy has toddler thru elementary age students attending in scattered schedules so often we re visit concepts for children who missed the first activity, but if the child is younger or older we change it up and simplify or extend the activity. For example during “bird” day we used the Seed States activity, but continued to use the storytelling set in different ways throughout the week. All ages love the pieces and after using for lessons we laminate and put felt on the back to add to our felt board collections to tell further stories. Stories can be from past lessons or made up. It also gives opportunity for observing speech and noting delays and language development.
In the video 2 boys who have language needs are using the pieces (and a lil one is listening in). This is not a glimpse into using it as a therapy tool, but rather an observation of communication and comprehension. If you’d like tips on using it for therapy or observation please email Christi@MiFamilies.com. If you’d like tips on extending or simplifying lesson plans email me as well. Feel free to get in touch to discuss how I can help you as a provider or parent. Feel free to share my contact with local parents looking for childcare and tutoring services through Adventure Academy. Adventure Academy is a program offered through Mi Families (“my families”) which offers programs for families and those who work with families. We are on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, YouTube … find us, follow us, subscribe to us above! Being a part of our family helps other families! Thank you