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Thread: yoga for science class . . . WWYD?

  1. #1
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    Default yoga for science class . . . WWYD?

    Hi all, sorry I have been such a lurker lately! (OT: I quit my job and started my own business! How crazy is that?!)

    Background for those who don't know us: Evan is in 2d grade and has mild CP. In science class they have been studying "balance and motion." So, he came home with a note the other day saying that as part of their study of balance they will be having yoga classes for their science classes the next 4 weeks! I am sure that 99% of parents think this is a lovely innovative idea, but I am sick about it. Science is something that Evan has done well in. All I can think is that Evan now gets to learn that his disability will make science a struggle for him too. Isn't there any area of school where he can catch a break, have a refuge? And I can't imagine he will actually learn the lessons they are trying to teach, either, because (1) he will be so distracted by the fact that his body isn't doing what the teacher wants, and (2) his body sure isn't going to obey whatever rules of balance and motion the teacher thinks that the kids should be extrapolating!

    I should add that Evan is all *excited* to do yoga in science class, but the last time we actually did a group yoga class he ended up almost in tears. Even if he doesn't get upset, I am worried that it's yet another area for the other kids to think of him as deficient, where he used to be good.

    I have to say (slight digression!), for Evan this whole artsy approach to education is awful. His summer math homework was to "draw a picture of someone you know who uses math at work. Make it colorful and creative!" Evan's great at math and can't draw to save his life. That assignment sounded more like art class than like math class to me!

    So, WWYD about the yoga. I have started with a note to the teacher pointing out the problem and asking to at least talk with the yoga and science teachers beforehand so they know what to expect of Evan. I don't know how hard to push this. It makes me mad that they are so oblivious to the impact on him! I bet the teacher will win some sort of teaching award for innovative ideas. Aaargh.

    Thanks for listening . . . .

    Lisa

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    NancyR's Avatar
    NancyR is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Hey friend!! Congratulations on starting your own business!!

    Very impressive, I am sure you will do well!!

    Hmm as far as the yoga in class goes - I would find out what are the qualifications of the person teaching yoga - and what kind of experience do they have adapting yoga for snk. Leela has taken some great yoga classes where the teachers were really cognizant and aware and did a very thoughtful variation. And then there were the other classes... I would make sure there's a plan in place to adapt the exercises to Evan's abilities and still keep him involved, keep him from getting hurt and support him on all levels thru the process.. I can't help but feeling that in 2nd grade there's still a wide range of physical abilities - not all the kids will be little yoginis.. : ) and for liability reasons they're not going to do anything too extreme. Especially what I've seen from watching the afterschool yoga programs.. it was very silly. If that spirit of keeping it fun, and yet still a learning experience in the classroom is there, it can be positive. Do you have any of the yoga kids videos - to prep him beforehand and practice a little? Maybe if you all do it as a family (I keep thinking of all the times Leela's more flexible than I am - and we just fall over laughing at ourselves), Evan can see that every one has their strengths and weaknesses. (Leela likes to take charge in these situations and act like my PT, very funny...)

    I too have serious concerns regarding our schools teaching of math and reading, etc... Look into Kumon.com, we've had great success with it and it's done a great job of filling in the blanks. It's very traditional nuts and bolts math and reading, lots of skill and drill - a perfect blend for the school's approach. It really got Leela thru 1st grade, and has been keeping her on target for 2nd. We do about 15 minutes a night on reading/spelling and 15 minutes a night for math. You don't have to do both subjects, you can do either / or. We went straight thru the summer with it, and she's really getting good at math as a result.

    Many hugs and smoochies!! And CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! N + L

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    mckenziecat is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default OH hugs

    Oh, how I know the feeling of having something your kid is good at being screwed up by something he's not good at. I do agree that yoga done properly can be awesome for snk. Ds's former ot actually did a yoga class at schools and she would have been amazing. So, look into it hopefully and then be prepared to defend your child if you need to. I think asking to speak to the instructor would be great. Both of my kiddos have a cp label though it is not at all obvious. They both have low muscle tone, but otherwise do ok. It's only when they say, climb ropes in pe or the girls do gymnastics at recess that it becomes, oh, a nightmare. Anywho, dd was having issues in pe last year and I talked to her teacher and I don't know what she's done, but pe is no longer an issue. Dd doesn't love it, but she doesn't cry on pe days, just says, oh, I need my tennis shoes! For my kids, it's more that people don't realize it until I point out issues for them, then they go, OH, yeah, she does always do that.

    As a side note, the whole drawing a picture for math? For K, I might see that but that seems a bit out there for 2nd grade! I'm all for touchy feely education and thinking outside the box, but that seems so far from math. I could see shapes and parallelograms but just draw a picture of someone who uses math? Um, what is the lesson here? That all people use math? Didn't they cover that in k? Can you get a look at the curriculum? Hopefully that was a one off weird thing and he can get back to math!

    Big hugs to you,
    beth

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    BriNJ is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Try not to panic over it yet- speak to the teacher about your concerns (if he gets PT at school, talk to the PT too). My biggest concern would be making sure its safe exercise for your son- and if it is, then let it go. My guess is that they'll do very minor stuff (coordination in 2nd grade is really all over the place and I cant imagine that the teacher doesnt realize this!) and that it wont be a competitive thing at all. You can prep him ahead of time and remind him that noone does everything well and that he should use this to see how HIS muscles and body reacts when they move.

    As for the "artsy education" being awful for him- everyone will have some part of education that is awful for them. Its just impossible to make it 100% wonderful for everyone. Luckily he does well at the academics which are the most important and most focused on. Use that to his advantage and remind him and yourself that trying something is always a good thing no matter what the outcome is. And remind him that other kids may need to do these things to learn just as he needs things that they may not need. Keeping it in that perspective helps *me* to stay on track.

    Let us know how it goes! I hope its a positive experience for the class.

  5. #5
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    Default I think I have a different perspective (m)

    your ds has a clear and diagnosed disability, and if the school and teacher are aware, then they know he has limitations and not expect a level of performance or achievement for him that is impossible for him. I would not expect at a Gr 2 level that their science mark is going to be on their mastery of yoga, but rather their participation. I would talk to your ds - talk about how everyone has strengths and limitations, and discuss what his are. Explain that his body will only allow him to do so much (and for some people, their brains will only allow them to do so much), but what really matters is that people try their hardest and do the best that they can and that is what counts, and that is what you expect of him.

    My ds as Aspergers and an associated severe gross motor delay and is simply horrible at Phys. Ed. - he don't run well (or quickly) and really struggles to pick up basic new skills (at age 10 is only just beginning to consistantly be able to throw and catch a ball). He does, and probably will continue to achieve well below grade level on skill aquisition in Phys Ed. I know that, he knows that, and that is okay; however, what I am looking for is that every report card comes home with an 'excellent' for effort in gym, even if his mark for skill aquistition is 'poor'. That is a good mark and we celebrate that.

    Amanda

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    trek is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    congrats on starting your own business. I agree with Amanda and you can make sure they understand by sending a note and reminding them. I also understand your frustration over not allowing Evan to partake in something you know he would excel at-

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    angeleena is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Hi,
    I totally agree...send your note in or call with your concerns.

    I think that you have every right to be upset and/or nervous about how it will go though.

    I could see them doing this for say 1 or two weeks, but FOUR? That seems like too long!

  8. #8
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    thats a tough one...i'd talk it over with E before making any plans...see where his comnfort level is in terms of sharing his issues and how it relates to what they are studying. if he wants to help others understand his motor issues, this would be a great op. but if he doesnt then i would push for another option for him.

    on a side note, yoga may be beneficial to him too...but not at the cost of his self esteem...ya know. hugs

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    OK, deep breaths, not panicking . . . .

    Thanks everyone for the perspective. I am not sure why this one hit me so hard. Just feeling, I guess, like I wish Evan could get a break and have a place where he is just "good" at something, and his disability is not an issue at all.

    Ironically, he missed the first day of yoga because he was . . . at the orthopedist for his semiannual gait analysis and exam! Go figure. Fine with me.

    We talked with the classroom teacher and it's a little better than we had feared. First, they are not doing it instead of science class; they are doing it during some other time period and "making connections" to science. The other good part is that she's very aware of Evan's limitations and will be there during the actual class to see if he's getting overly frustrated. He knows he is not good at this stuff, and we talk often about everyone having things they are bad at (he was cute at his ortho appointment: he loves his ortho, and specifically asked him for guidance on what to say to kids who ask about his orthotics and why he walks the way he does!). I think part of what was making me upset was the idea that "I am not good at yoga" would translate into "I am not good at science." With that out of it, I feel *much* better. Breathing again! Breathe . . . breathe . . . . ;-)

    The whole left brain/right brain thing in education does make me nuts. A friend of mine just published a book on it, which I will post about separately because it sounds like a few folks are interested. Nancy, my friend's book actually recommends Kumon by name as an antidote to math classes that have more to do with drawing pretty pictures and collaborating with classmates than with actual math! Thanks for mentioning it.

    Thank you, as always!

    Lisa

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