Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordly Wise

Of course, the day after I posted on Hopeful Parents about Oscar's recent amazing flexibility, maturity, and participation, it all fell apart.  He fell apart.  His processing speed slowed. His anxiety skyrocketed. He started asking a zillion questions in his high-pitched "emergency voice" and became increasingly inflexible about everything from socks to family outings.  By 9am on Sunday he'd already had two big tantrums and Paul and I were scheming about forcing a morning nap. 

We never know what causes these swings in behavior and function. Maybe it was the interminable plane ride home from the east coast on Thursday. Or the jet lag. Or anticipation of school starting back up. Or post-holiday blues.

So I was surprised to hear that he actually had a good first day back to school.  And even more surprised when the first thing he did today when he awoke from his nap was get started on his vocabulary homework.  He even forgot about snack.

O's class uses a 5th grade Wordly Wise vocabulary and reading comprehension workbook. It's a stretch for him, but he's keeping up far better than we'd all anticipated. Usually the first couple of exercises with the new set of words are challenging.  Until the words are ingrained in his brain (darn working memory issues!) he has a tendency to get overwhelmed and shut down.  I've been working with him on developing strategies -- like trying the words one by one until he finds the one that fits -- before overwhelm strikes.

This afternoon, though, he pulled out his workbook, grabbed a pencil, squatted on the living room floor and banged out all ten questions in his Wordly Wise in what seemed like five minutes flat. He didn't ask me any questions. And he got them all (mostly) right.

 And then he immediately asked if he could have his screen time.

(When oh when am I going to remember just how motivating screen time is and use it more strategically?)


  1. I'm sorry that you jinxed yourself, but it looks like he's only taken one step back and is already onward again. Knock three times!

    I'm just so glad that you're writing again --

  2. I'm with Elizabeth. It looks as though he's jumping and leaping ahead. Glad you're home and can settle in again. Wishing you a calm and happy new year!

  3. You are such a loving, patient advocate, Mary. It sounds as if you are giving your family every good experience possible, while doing your best to mitigate the difficult transitions.
    I love hearing about that session with Oscar's workbook, and the success he must have felt at finishing his lesson.