Mommy Teaching for the Non-Teacher Mommy by Krista
“There are some mommies lucky enough to have the experience of teaching, some blessed with the gift of teaching, then there’s some who just throw a bunch of ideas at their kids and hope that just one will stick.
None are wrong, although some may be easier and work better than others, but when it comes to being a mommy teacher the only rule is to keep kids engaged! When my first son was diagnosed with autism at 18 months we started sending him to therapy from 8-3 five days a week. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I definitely wasn’t expecting this so-called “intensive” therapy to look like playtime. The autistic brain works differently so I had to use some more involved techniques with my son, but the one thing that I took from his therapy that I can apply to all of my children is this, just play. Let them get dirty, let them make messes, let them touch, and feel, and listen, and do! Don’t stifle your children by telling them, “no” and don’t let your fears or discomfort keep your children on the sidelines! But, unlike my teacher, mommy friends I don’t have a portfolio to pull from, I don’t have training or experience. So how can I make sure my children are staying engaged, not getting bored, learning and trying different things each day? There is one thing that changed my non-teacher mommy life: the internet! Here are a few ways to use what others have learned and done to your advantage…
Pinterest! Welcome to your own personal portfolio. Get prepared to hear your children say on a pretty regular basis, “You’re the coolest mom ever!” The possibilities are endless. From arts and crafts to bedroom ideas you will always be able to find something that you will love. Making monsters out of tissue boxes,
how to make your own sidewalk paint, even artwork your children can help you make for their playroom, you will never run out of things to do! It’s super easy if you don’t have an account to create one. Just go to pinterest and request an invite (or ask a friend who you know has an account to send you an invite through e-mail). Create your boards and start pinning photos from their site, your friends’ boards, or anything else you come across while searching the web. Just be careful it is more addictive than Facebook and a lot more fun!
Facebook groups and blogs. Obviously, you’ve already noticed how helpful it is to have the advice of those who have “done” to help you learn how to “do”! It’s amazing the information you can find (good and bad…so make sure you know the source of whatever info you’re looking at!) from other mommies and professionals. One group I found on FB is the Play At Home Mom which gives great ideas for sensory play from therapists and moms. If you have a specific area you need to work on with your child try searching for a group that caters to that specifically i.e.
I follow the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation and the Baton Rouge Speech and Hearing Foundation so I can keep up easily with news of therapy ideas, new research, events, etc. Blogs are fabulous as well (obviously I think so since I’m a blogger!) But you need to make sure you are not getting overwhelmed with the feelings of insecurity you can get while looking at something that seems to show a “perfect” mom doing the “perfect” things. Remember, all of these “perfect” ideas came with trial, error, and a lot of grace. Luckily, you get to see the finished product, but don’t forget that these moms didn’t get it right the first (or fiftieth) time either. Don’t get overwhelmed with everything you “can” and “should” do, just pick a few and go with it. No pressure!
Don’t feel like you can’t be a mommy teacher just because you’re not a teacher mommy! You know your child better than anyone, and with a little effort and a few resources you can make sure that at least a few of the seemingly random things you throw at your child actually stick. Feel free to share your successes, failures, and mommy teacher ideas! After all, the best way for us to learn is to learn from each other.”