Saturday, February 2, 2013

Old, New and a Book

Ok, I have a bit of everything to discuss today, so bear with me!

The Old-I realized last week that my student at Kumon with autism has been with me a whole year! We learn through the summer, so it has legitimately been a year. Thinking back to the first month, I am amazed at how much he has grown. Our worst day today would have been a miracle if it had happened that first month. Initially it was difficult to get him to: sit down, biting or pinching me and to stop singing/carrying on conversations with himself (just to name a few). He still doesn't answer my questions (good afternoon, how are you), but he will read for me, do work, stay seated (most days) and he has learned to ask questions when he doesn't understand- BIG YEA! He is no longer my most difficult student. Yes, there are still days when he is hesitant to learn and I need to break out the singing directions (this was much less embarrassing in our little room, now that we are in a room with everyone else, I try not to resort to hurting their ears), he still has days when he talks or sings to himself (but it is much quieter and he can work while he does it), and will still throw my glasses across the room (I just wear my contacts). But amidst it all, we are learning and the behaviors have increased exponentially.

The New- One of my students (new to me this year) moved away. I was starting to see real progress in his attention span, ability to focus, and learning his letters (sounds for most are still developing). He was one of those sweeties that has such a heart for others and loves to give hugs. He will be missed, but I'm sure his new teacher will find much joy in teaching him.

A Book-I finished one more! To review: one of my goals is to read 20 books this year. I have a list, but have been having difficulty finding books on that list available at my library or through the libraries in the inter-library-loan program. The ones that are in the program are taking forever to ship (seriously, one said it was shipping for 2.5 weeks)! I would still like to read all of those, but for now am deviating from the list, in order to keep reading. I figured that in order to meet my goal, I should attempt to read 2 books a month, and if I only get one read for 2 months, I will still meet my goal. See last post for January.  I have read one for February and have a review for you.

The Returning by Ann Tatlock is an adult fiction novel. It tells the heartwarming story of a man who struggles to put his life back together after 5 years in prison. While in prison, he found Jesus, but only his 18 year old son who has Downs Syndrome understands his relationship with the LORD. He returns to a wife whom he struggles to love, his 18 year old son, his 16 year old daughter and his 6 year old daughter (whom was an infant when he left). This book deals with many adult topics including, struggling with faith, voodoo, drinking, divorce, drugs, and adult relationships.Although there are some intense topics, they are dealt with in as realistic and gentle as they can be without dumbing them down. I'll give this one a 2 out of 5 for wholesome matters. I refrained from giving it a 1, because it stayed away from details which could have made it far less wholesome. The character development was superb! I laughed, cried and was completely wrapped up in the emotions of the characters: 5 points. The plot twisted and turned and left you guessing: 5. No gore, despite the amount of intense topics covered: 5. Overall, a fantastic book for adults to read (maybe upper teens, I suppose it would depend on the person).

16/20 completed. 0/20 on the list so far (give me some slack, I'm reading 2 on the list right now, they just aren't finished enough, so they don't go in the count til I finish them). That about sums it up: old, new and a book!