Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Stage 5 -- reversals and transformations


Coming back down to earth from my new homeschooling obsession, I set forth to examine Stage 5 on my October 2006 video tape for my consultant. Stage 5 is "Reversals and Transformations", and in overly simplistic terms means that the child enjoys massive variations in which things they previously knew to go a certain way suddenly change and don't go back to the original way.

So I set out to see what we might need to work on. We loaded clean dishes into the dishwasher and ran it. We threw clean laundry around the living room and then left for the day. We ate out of dog bowls and fed the dogs off our plates. We shopped the grocery list backwards. We played red-light-green-light in "opposite world" fashion (where the rules were reversed, so red light and facing meant run, green light and back turned meant stop). We played it so that "apples" meant run and "peaches" meant stop (and each round was a different set of rules). We drove backwards around the block. We spent some time saying "good bye" instead of "hello" and vice versa. We spent some time saying "green" instead of "hello" and "red" instead of "goodbye" for awhile. We played baseball with a golf club and a basketball. We made the goal of races to lose. We threw the ball to each other trying to miss. We ate breakfast under the table. We slept in our clothes and dressed in our PJs during the day. We charted out routes on maps, then purposely went the wrong way. We made out grocery lists and never bought a thing on them. We made out grocery lists for ridiculous things. We set out to go to one place and wound up at another.

Jacob thought it all was hilarious and played along readily with all the nonsense, even offering his own transformations. We were done with Stage 5, after working on it for all of a month.

But it wasn't really just a month. I had inadvertantly (due to my own confusion over what was Stage 4 and what was Stage 5) been working on it for pretty much the past year. You know those times when Jacob got upset over my Stage 4 variations? Well, that's because they were really Stage 5 transformations. But in the course of the year, we'd worked our way through that, scaffolded and framed enough to make those new connections in Jacob's brain that we needed, and he now could handle as big a variation as we could throw at him.

We'd done it. We'd turned The World's Most Rigid Boy into Mr. Flexible. In just 2 years we'd transformed a kid that couldn't tolerate even the most basic variation to a real go-with-the-flow, enjoy-life-to-it's-fullest kind of boy. Or, rather, we stripped away that cocoon of inflexibility to reveal the joyful, fun-loving child beneath. The future loomed bright with promise. And Stage 6 was unfolding right before our eyes.

2 Comments:

At 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harvest Mom should congratulate herself. What a great leap forward
she has accomplished for her child.
And yay, Enki! Blessings upon them all!

 
At 5:56 PM, Anonymous kyra said...

that's the coolest! i remember when you began the work on stage 4/5. wow! such amazing progress! rah rah RDI and Team Jacob!

 

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