Sunday, September 7, 2014

Impulse Control.

Friends, we are tired!  The first week of school always seems to end in exhaustion for kids and teachers alike.  Ellie and I spent Saturday running errands and relaxing, and today we ran more errands, went to church, had a picnic, and went to a park.  We're trying to cram all of our fun and our "to dos" into the weekend since school is wiping us out…. along with very early wake up calls.

Saturday morning at 4:45 am, Ellie informed me, "I love Ms. R___.  I love Ms. M____. (The classroom assistant and teacher.)  Ellie was unhappy when I told her that we don't have school on Saturday.  Then we went for a walk that involved me being told "Wait on the line!  No running!"  I asked if Ellie did that at school.  She smiled at said, "YEEEESSSS!"

Ellie's school year started off well.  Her teacher has only said that Ellie is "busy exploring" which can be translated as "a little out of control," but big transgressions tend to get comments like "Ellie required 3-4 reminders to follow directions today."  (That was the first half of last year.  Maybe she's growing up?)

Even with the exhaustion, we needed a return to routine.  Ellie's life started off fairly routine-free after her NICU stay.  She fed as she was hungry to bulk up for open heart surgery.  But after a whole summer off, I noticed that she missed the routine of school.  And I missed the routine for her.

You see, Ellie sometimes often has trouble listening in group settings. Following directions took a lot of effort last year.  As she gets older, I want her to learn impulse control.  This weekend at Barnes and Noble story time, I was shocked when she listened as well as the other children present.  Ellie attended to most of two stories and drew a picture to encourage the crayons from The Day the Crayons Quit to stick around.

Note: Have you read The Day the Crayons Quit?  If not, you need to.  Right now.  It's fantastic for teaching persuasive writing, character traits, letter writing, and it's such a fun book!

Of course, then we went home and did art.  Every time we drew a face together, as soon as Ellie painstakingly drew ears (a scribble on each side of the head), her eyes would light up and she would scribble on the top of her picture, yelling "CRAZY HAIR!!!"

So about that impulse control?

Sometimes it shows up.  Sometimes, it takes a backseat to drawing crazy blue hair all over art.

Next project?  Learning about teaching impulse control to preschoolers with disabilities.  I'll be seeking out Ellie's old teacher this week to pick her brain, since she conveniently teaches at the school where I work!

How are you, readers?  Are you happy to be back to the routine of fall?  Wishing for a few more weeks of summer?  Any great tips on teaching impulse control?  Leave a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!

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