It has been quite a while since we last posted. If I am being honest, it really has been very busy around here and because Ryan has a difficult time engaging himself in appropriate independent activities, I am interacting with him most of the day. By the time the evening rolls around, there are plenty of chores and activities to be done before bed. Excuses aside, thanks for being patient with us.
Ryan wanted to blog about Grace. Ryan absolutely loves her. His face lights up when she comes home and he is always happy to do things with her.
Recently, we attended the Liberty Elementary School Carnival and the kids had a great time. We brought Freckles and Ryan had an opportunity to talk to some of the kids at her school about Freckles. Bringing Freckles along provides social opportunities and conversation starters for Ryan to interact with other kids.
We also attended the Reading Olympics Ceremony at her school where Ryan came up with the slogan for the poster that we made to cheer on Grace. A parent of one of Grace’s friends made it a point to send me a message to tell Ryan that she thought that he did great considering how loud and overwhelming it seemed.
Grace often asks to have conversations with Ryan, where I hold the board and they talk back and forth and ask questions and share stories. Sometimes the conversation flows, other times I have to initiate it with a topic. Either way they enjoy the time.
We also read books together and listen to audiobooks in the car. We are currently listening to The Witches by Roald Dahl, one of Grace’s favorite authors.
In previous posts, we have talked about some board games that we have played as a family. Most recently, Grace asked to play Rummikub with Ryan. He was so overcome with emotion that she wanted to play with him that Ryan let it get the best of him (he could not stop crying) and was too overwhelmed to play the game. This is hard for me as a parent but I chalked it up to a learning experience and that he needs to learn to self regulate. I could have coddled him, but I really think that he needs to learn this skill and that he can do it. I ended up finishing the game with Grace.
Grace asked if Ryan would judge a drawing contest between her and me. Ryan is not able to draw, so he came up with the subject matter and then judged our two pictures. The three of us sat for 25 minutes, doing two rounds of pictures (both subjects picked by Ryan and both times it was Greek Mythology.)
Ryan has been doing so well with family events and outings and sat though Grace’s entire play that she performed two weekends ago. He did not make much noise at all and told us it was BOUND TO BE GREAT and CARING TO BE IN A PLAY TOO.
If any of you fellow RPM parents have any ideas on how to do this, I am all ears. Ryan and Grace have decided that they are going to write a play together as well.
Ryan also attended the Keller School District Art Show in which Grace’s artwork was displayed. He wanted to buy her flowers for the event and he picked out the multicolored daisies.
Ryan and I have been working on handwriting during school. In Soma’s Blue Book, she talks about practicing two letters a day. We have been doing that everyday and Ryan has been improving and many of his letters are readable now, which in the past, he would just scribble on paper when asked to handwrite on his own. Grace was watching us one day and she asked if we ever did words instead of letters. I proceeded to give her “the by the book response” of just doing letters, but she insisted on giving Ryan words to write. Of course, since this was Grace’s idea, Ryan was all in. She gave him several words to write. This is the one that turned out the best.
Ryan has been attending church with us as well. His behavior in church has improved in the past year and he is very interested in the Catholic religion. We are currently reading the book, A Biblical Walk Through the Mass: Understanding What We Say and Do In The Liturgy. He keeps asking to read more of it. Grace is making her First Communion in less than two weeks and I am confident that Ryan will want to undertake the journey next year as well. We are meeting with the pastor of our church in June for Ryan to interview him and to ask him questions. I am really looking forward to that, so keep a lookout for an upcoming post on it.
Best of all, Grace has written and delivered two lessons to Ryan. She came up with the subject matter, got the material and came up with her own questions (which she asked me to type up as a lesson plan.) Her first lesson was on the author Roald Dahl and her second lesson was on the two Egyptian gods, Ra and Osiris. I did not want to video tape them as I did not want to make either of them nervous, but Randy and I did manage to snap a few pictures. Grace is doing paper choices with Ryan and trying to work up to the letter boards. The process is not easy nor is it quick. There is a learning curve for both of them: Grace as a teacher delivering the lesson in an engaging fast paced way and presenting the choices in the correct manner and Ryan adapting to a new teacher who is not as experienced. I am proud of both of them as they are both committed to this and I believe that over the summer, they will try to do lessons together at least weekly.
Grace is Ryan’s biggest advocate. Her school friends think that Ryan is super smart and awesome because of what she tells them about him. As I mentioned in our post about our college presentation, Grace was a big hit. Unbeknownst to me, she actually has portions of the presentation memorized now and she was correcting me and making sure that I did not forget things in the presentation. Speaking of the presentation, I went to lunch with Angela, the professor of the Child Psychology class, last week and she presented me with an amazing book of feedback and comments from the students in the classroom during our presentation. I included some of my favorites follow below, with the last page of the book cracking me up and sums up Grace appropriately.
Grace will often hold Ryan’s hand or watch him for me if need be. I can honestly say that writing all of this brings a tear to my eye. I remember that for many years, Ryan seemed indifferent to Grace. I could not tell whether he had an opinion about her or if he really noticed her. I know better now, but boy was I wrong for years. Here is what Ryan had to say about Grace:
BECAUSE DEARLY HAPPY TO HAVE MY SISTER AS MY BEST FRIEND, LIKE THE WORLD TO KNOW DEARLY HOW SPECIAL SHE IS. DOING HER BEST ALWAYS SEPARATES GRACE FROM THE REST. HAPPY TO LOVE HER FOR ALL OF TIME.
After I read the post for Grace’s approval (of course already getting Ryan’s approval) she loved what Ryan said and stated, “I would also say that Ryan is my best friend!”