Daily Archives: May 8, 2015

A Field Trip with a Beautiful Boy

After the school field trip, I did some research this afternoon into how to teach Kepler. Two things resonated enough to write down.

Meet the child where he is.

Follow the child.

These are both from a Montessori website which addresses how to use Montessori materials to teach a child with special needs. 

I could leave him to his iPad, or I could take him to the park. One thing I know about him is he thrives on loving attention. Another thing I know about him is he loves to go places. 

Unlike the earlier (school) field trip, on this one, we climbed on rocks in the creek, watched some children who were walking in the creek, played the “drums” on a resonant railing, asked “Brad” and “Breezy” their names and told them ours, met a friendly dog, tried climbing some trees, stopped at the amphitheater and put on shows for each other, and practiced counting as we took turns balance beaming on the concrete parking stops. I basically followed his lead and took advantage of every teachable moment. 

Yes, I can most definitely teach him. It looks different than typical second grade. I’d say he’s about at the developmental age of a 4-5 year old when it comes to what and how he is ready to learn. So there’s a pretty good reason why I have such a struggle with how his school days go. 

I’ll definitely figure it out. I don’t know what it’s going to look like, but unhurried exploring is part of it. Laughing and singing will be essential. Jumping. Pretending. Talking together. Holding hands, walking, racing. Touching the world. Trusting my intuition. 

He deserves it. 

A Beautiful Day for a Field Trip

23 little people clad in matching maroon t-shirts line up obediently to get on the big yellow bus that is going to take them to the county park for a fun day! I write a positive blog post about the experience, choosing to focus on the experience from Kepler’s point of view, and the Universe erases my draft to let me know that I should do better than that.


Yes, Kepler did have a great time, and it was a pretty special thing for him that I was along. We played on the playground, took a nature hike, did a scavenger hunt, ate a picnic lunch, and listened to a little presentation about composting and recycling.

It made me miss the days of homeschooling the big kids, and the fun times we had at that very park. Every first day of school, we would go and do the parcourse and take lots of photos. Greg would go, so it would be the whole family, and I would just thrive as we taught them experientially and learned so much. Our nature hikes were a bit different back then, as we would carry a tree identification guide and a bird identification guide, and we would ask lots of questions along the way.

The nature hike today was a walk on the trail from point A to point B, take a few pics of the group, and walk from point B back to point A. Or, in Kepler’s case, ride on mom’s back from point B to point A. Not sure what would have happened if I hadn’t been one of the chaperones!

The scavenger hunt was completely inappropriate for Kepler’s attention and understanding, so we did our own version of it, and spent some time reading a book, and secretly visiting the gift shop and exploring over there.

Good thing I took along a handful of tissues — the pollen today is crazy! So, perhaps this wasn’t my favorite field trip ever, but the humid, sticky bits will fade, while the memories we made today will last forever, or at least a good long while.