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How to prepare for school a foster child: the experience of mom

When the eight-year-old Galya appeared in the family of Olesya Likhunova, the mother of two relatives and five foster children, she had to master the preparation for school over the summer — practically from scratch. How to teach to read and solve examples of a child who was considered mentally retarded in an orphanage? How to read fairy tales to him if the child does not understand a good half of the words? Olesya’s experience, which she described in her diary, can now be found not only in her blog, but also in the book “Do you want me to be your mother?”.

How to teach a child to draw

July 3, 2014 I noticed that Galya, when drawing, uses color completely thoughtlessly. It can color the princess's face with bright red, blue hair, make her hands yellow or green. Gently so. And nothing distorts her in such a figure. Brings praise.

I praise for diligence and accuracy, but I explain: the princess was ugly, because the colors are used more than strange. Galya at first is inflated, she can sit for a while, putting her head in her hands, saying: "I am not succeeding in anything." But after a conversation about the fact that there are no people who immediately get everything perfect, cheers up and colors again, now choosing colors more carefully.

She showed her how to draw beautiful lips and eyes for girls. At first, nothing worked, Galya panicked, but then she began to leave better, and she was delighted. We will continue to cultivate self-confidence.

Tells about life, but cannot retell a fairy tale and answer a simple question.

July 3, 2014 Sometimes memories come over Galya, and she begins to tell something about her past in the smallest details.

For example, the day we arrived home. Accurately describes what kind of clothes anyone had, who said what she thought. She also told how their birthday parties were celebrated in an orphanage. Several children gathered at once, whether those who were born in one month, or those who were in one season (summer or autumn, for example). And while the others on a walk, they led off to the assembly hall, gave presents, congratulated and served tea.

Galya does not know any cakes, and even more so with candles — she made big eyes when I asked about it. Ice cream was given, he says, and oranges with bananas, too. After congratulations, the guys went to the group again, and they were not always allowed to take presents with them. Once, Gale was presented with a large doll, but then they were taken away and placed in a closet in the game room, from where it could be taken only with permission.

With Galya

July 8, 2014 Gale somehow seems that she can not retell a cartoon or a fairy tale. I ask, for example: "How is Thumbelina different from you, Galya?" - in the eyes of horror, blushes, covers his face with his hands and whispers: "I do not know ..."

I say: "Galya, this is a simple question, the answer is, you know, I am sure. Tell me why the bug cannot carry you away, and Thumbelina took you away?"

And again: "I do not know ..."

Then I somehow talked to her, and Galya perfectly told me the whole story. We must often ask her to retell, so that she would believe in herself.

Although simple tales she does not know. Neither Cinderella, nor the Frog Princess, nor any such Koschey the Immortal. We turn on a cartoon every day - and this is a big progress, which Galya watches carefully and with interest a twenty-minute cartoon and can retell it.

Galya counted only up to ten, and somehow stupidly. Up to twenty already with errors. I hung her a tape of numbers from 1 to 100, and every day several times we call them loudly in order. Then I ask to show on the number line, how many years in our family, the apartment number and the house. Galya is doing this very willingly, with small hints she names all the numbers herself.

July 13, 2014 I also seem to be beginning to understand why they wanted to give Galya to a correctional school.

When you constantly communicate with her at home, at first glance it seems that she is quite a normal child. But if we go outside the apartment, and a hairdresser, a salesman or a neighbor ask a simple question, Galya gets lost and mumbles inarticulate nonsense.

In the true sense of nonsense. Some words do not fit together, in some of them the syllables may be rearranged. If you ask again what she meant, Galya smiles guiltily and says quietly that she does not know.

The first and second time I thought - it seemed to me. But no. It is also interesting that after such communication with a stranger, Galya cannot come to herself for a few minutes and speaks or asks some slack. And it is able to talk normally only after silence. What is it? Probably the strongest self-doubt.

For a month at home, we altered with Galya a bunch of various tasks to prepare for school. There are some difficulties, but in general, copes well.

The most difficult thing for Gali is to answer ordinary questions. It seems that she was not used to thinking at all. For example, she was given a complete stupor by asking: "Why does a house need a roof?" I already and so, and asked, and asked to imagine how she would live in a house without a roof. Useless.

I decided to teach her to think. Now I often ask simple questions: "Why do I need sugar in tea?" or: "Why do people need fingers?". And I encourage.

How to develop self-confidence

July 17, 2014 We continue to prepare with Galya for school. The main task now is to overcome her insecurity in her own abilities. As soon as Galya begins to doubt herself, her brain seems to be turned off. I meet for the first time!

It happens like this. Galya solves examples. Two columns, six in each. Everything works out perfectly, it counts on the fingers, it writes down the answers in beautiful numbers, I praise it.

And suddenly, on some eighth simple example, Galya sharply begins to doubt. She does not manage to count fingers correctly, she tries twice and as if she turns off. He closes his eyes with his hands, blushes, whispers: "I will not succeed." I'm starting to help, cheering, but she doesn't seem to understand what I'm saying, rubs her face, is about to cry.

At first, I thought she was tired, and you just need to switch to some other thing. But if I tried to clean away the failed example, it caused a roar and despair with lamentations that she would never succeed. So now I try to get out of such situations with humor. I say: "So, Galya was confused." I take her fingers and help to calculate, loudly speaking correctly for her, I try to make her laugh a little. And after that, Galya again easily solves other examples.

Galya could draw figures. But she draws everything in small jerky, insecure lines, drawing and painting on the same thing a hundred times over. I teach her to draw confidently in one motion, without taking the pen from the paper. It was not immediately obtained. For eight years, Galya was so accustomed to her uncertain lines that she couldn’t draw even a small circle with one movement. What if it doesn't work out?

It was difficult to convince her that nothing terrible would happen if the circle were not as desired. We drew a lot of curved lines on a clean white sheet, a lot of sloppy circles, just kalyaky, without lifting his hands.

Galya looked at me like I was committing a crime. With horror and admiration. Gradually, she relaxed and learned to write beautiful numbers, without taking off her hands. Masha and I praised her in every way! And I repeat, I repeat endlessly, that everything can be learned, you just need not despair.

With reading everything turned out to be more difficult. We came to words of five letters and firmly stuck. While Galya reads the word to the end, she completely forgets which syllable was at the beginning.

This problem began to hinder the development of her self-confidence, so we decided to take two steps back and start again with simple syllables.

I live happily and carelessly with the children for a day, and in the evenings, when they are already asleep, I sit and cry in the kitchen for pity for Gala. How to catch up on those eight years lost? Why didn't she catch my eye earlier? ...

Where does the diagnosis of mental retardation come from

July 28, 2014 It seems that this is a difficult task - to take an eight-year-old child from an orphanage and prepare him for school one summer before school. But the most difficult is not that. It is difficult to wean the child from the habit of "include a fool."

Here in the next room children play. I hear Galin's voice ringing. Some dispute arises, Galya resorts to me and explains the situation emotionally, even efficiently, logically, lays out the arguments of both sides, listens to my opinion and escapes to explain further.

But if we go together, for example, to the store, and I, in order not to go silently, start asking her some questions like: “What do you think, why do children of September 1 carry bouquets of flowers in their hands?”, Galya changes walk to a fluttering and bad voice (so stretching-burry) he begins to answer: "And patamushta ... uh ... patamushta - water the flowers."

Why she does that is a mystery. There is a feeling that in an orphanage children were made to behave with adults as if they were idiots. Or maybe she copies the answers of other children; there were a lot of guys in Galina’s group who for various reasons were not even capable of ordinary speech.

The more I watch these amazing transformations, the more I understand why the doctors put her diagnosis of mental retardation. If I had seen Galya once a month, and she would have answered my questions in this way, I would not even doubt that the diagnosis was correct. But this is only a mask that the child wears for some purpose. Here with what - I do not understand.

Sometimes Galya does not answer a simple question, but simply repeats the last two or three words from there, looking at one point. Of course, this behavior is annoying.

I decided to talk with Galya. So I told her directly: “Galya, what are you talking about? Such a smart girl, you decide the examples yourself, and you already know the letters, and you behave like a baby! There are no fools in our family, we all have smart kids, have you seen someday that Timur or Masha behave like that? No, of course! Nobody wants to be thought of as if he was stupid. " And stuff like that.

If Galya turns on the stupid voice again, I now imitate her. I continue to talk further, as if nothing had happened, but also stretching and adding words.

Galya blushes and stops. I'm not sure that I am doing the right thing, but I can't think of anything else.

I also found Galina a weak point and no-no, yes, and I use it for educational purposes.

Galya is fascinated by weddings. We live very close to the central city square and every Saturday we can observe a string of wedding processions, brides taking pictures near the fountain, and smart guests.

Galya stands still with delight, looks at everything for a long time and asks me about the different details of the ceremony. And everything asks again whether she will have such a wedding. Well of course, for sure. Will I buy her a dress like that? What if she can not find a groom? Does she have to wear the ring to the bridegroom too? And he will carry it on hand? And you can sleep in the same bed, and talk before bedtime as much as you want? And you can hug? And I show her pictures on the computer, where the bride and groom hug? And how to pin a veil? Will I help her pin? Many, many questions.

And at every opportunity, I now tell Gala that the grooms even sometimes argue for a well-educated bride, because everyone wants to find the best wife for himself. To cook well, and was beautiful, and smart. Galya listens and nods. The thing is serious.

The first success in preparing for school

August 1, 2014 All week, Maria and Timur stay with the grandmother in the country. Vadyusha in kindergarten, only Galya and Kristinka are at home.

Galya bathes in my attention. I braid it that way, that way, everywhere I drag after myself and talk, talk, until the voice sits down. Well, we do necessarily.

She already thinks well of thirty examples a day and is extremely proud of herself.

We continue to train correctly to answer questions. Now to the question: "What is porridge?" Galya doesn’t answer as before: "This is when they eat from it," and "Porridge is food." It is quite another matter!

Today I printed five pages with words of five letters, and Galya had already read the first page in the morning. How much joy there was when she was able to understand the words from the first bar! I screamed and rushed to hug: "Mom, I have already learned a little bit to read such difficult words!"

Reviewed a bunch of videos on the Internet over these days. And how the chickens with butterflies hatch, and how they make chocolate, butter and bread, and how women give birth to children, and how they breastfeed them ... Galya is delighted! Dreams as soon as possible to give birth and feed the baby.