Friday, July 20, 2012

In the midst of summer

The summer is passing by so fast too fast.
We are busy really busy.
I still teach in the morning my kids have turned around the we can all spend more time together and so we can fit in his program five hours a day ...and it does not matter the sun shines at any hour anyway.
They take the bus to my school and join me as we are running a course for children who have an Icelandic parent but live abroad. Those kids need to practice and improve their Icelandic. Some of them do not speak any Icelandic at all,  it is a summer school, a game and play course and we are all there, me and my daughter (who the headmistress hired after it turned our we were having more kids attending than was anticipated) running the course for the little ones and my sons helping out and including their brother in the games and actions.
My sons have made me so proud this week with the care and attention they show the kids and the way they pay attention to their brother and what he is doing. My oldest son is working there too, a three weeks summer job and the smaller ones are just coming in with me.
For Sturla it is a social course.
I would be lying to say it is a piece of cake it certainly is not. I wake up at six to prepare the course and to keep Sturla´s papers and programs in order to think of opportunities and then I have to keep twelve other kids happy and engaged and hopefully learning some Icelandic as well. Frankly some of them just do not see the point of speaking Icelandic.
The first week is over and I am crashing a bit...catching up on some sleep, regrouping and thinking over how I can increase Sturla´s interactions. He does well when we sing and read and do structured games even in a large group with forty kids and when I ask questions he knows the answer too, he stands in line, holds hands and is somewhat enjoying it all he even remembers the kids names.
Bur it takes a toll on me teaching two courses and then go home and teach my child. I have to take care and notice when I get cranky like a child and then slow down  no good teaching happens with a bad tempered teacher.
He has difficulties in many tag and run games though and when the sessions are unstructured.
I also have to keep him engaged with a reward system... tokens to remind him to join and stay positive for three hours until we can go home.
He finds something to do on his own now and then even though it is not always social like chasing the bees or drawing with chalk in untructured time when we are outside which is the hardest for him and that is progress.
I have too set goals for next week.

Chin to his chest pacing on the green grass not looking up
not seeing
Come here and I pull him in...because he does not enjoy himself like that
it is an inability to plan and sequence that makes him like that.
he needs movement
he craves it helps him focus
he talks better when he moves
he laughs more on the move but he needs purpose in his movements.

I plan to let the kids end the course by setting up a little play.
And I plan to have Sturla participating as well.

The three goats and the troll under the bridge.

we have been on two camping trips.
Lovely weather.
dirty clothes
steaming cocoa in the chilly evenings
swimming in new pools
grey moss and lava
jumping between the tectonic plates
loosing balls into canyons
walking and waking and endless waking because summer is too short and the nights are long and bright.

The rhubarb in our garden is huge and sturla suggest he tastes it ...first time ever we run out with a knife and cut a piece I give him a bowl of sugar beacuse that is how I ate rhubarb as child.
I have a sour face...he says and... yup... he does.
I want this summer never to end.