Hacked By Imam

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Empower Yourself with Intentions and Archetypes: How To Prep Yourself For School Meetings

School meetings are a part of parenting. When these things include IEP’s or discussing behavior issues it adds a whole other level of stress and worry. Fear and dread take over leaving one feeling helpless and defensive rather than empowered as leader of who you know best – your child! Having sat on both sides of the table as teacher and now parent, I know that it is possible to feel more empowered going into these meetings.

In this 60 minute tele-class taught by me, Margaret Webb, educator, mother of son with special needs and certified life and parenting coach, I will introduce 4 main archetypes and the traits/energies that they represent in their best form as well as how they can hold us back from what we truly want when they show up as shadow behaviors. I will cover the importance of setting intentions prior to the meeting as well as providing some general tools and strategies to help deal with nerves beforehand and “thought triggers” during the meeting.

Details:

  • When: May 9th 11:00am-12:00pm CT
  • Cost: $30
  • Sign up here and the call in details will be emailed to you: https://acuityscheduling.com/catalog.php?owner=11123227
  • Call will be recorded so if no worries if you cannot make this time. The recording will emailed to you and you will also receive some handouts to refer back to.
  • Questions? Email Margaret at margaretwebblifecoach@yahoo.com.

Free Tele-Class – “Parenting the Child You Didn’t Expect When You Were Expecting”

I’m super excited about this tele-class and have gotten some feedback from people wanting to be part of this but the price was a concern.

So…I’m offering this class for free!!

The content of this class needs to get out there to parents who are ready for more peace and joy in parenting a child who is on their own developmental timeline. Since you are receiving this because of My Obstacle Course, you know how I feel about helping other parents. Helping them help their children developmentally and academically is just one way.

I’m like you. I sit in waiting rooms and get feedback from teachers and therapists. I see a lot of parents who are struggling like I was – trying to be strong for my family, hoping that my child holds it together long enough for us to get to the car, feeling the pangs of sadness when I hear my friends talk about all that their typical children get to do. I get it AND have learned to give myself what I need so that I can truly show up as a more peaceful and joy-filled mother.

If you are interested, email me now at margaretwebblifecoach@yahoo.com or click the sign up link below because this class starts Thursday!!

Taught by Margaret Webb –  Parenting Coach, former teacher, and parent to 9 year old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Apraxia of Speech and ADHD

This class is for you if…

  • you are parenting a child with special needs;
  • you are frustrated, annoyed and feel totally out of control because parenting is nothing like you expected;
  • you don’t do anything for yourself because all resources (money, energy, time, etc.) are focused on helping your child;
  • you desire parenting to be more peaceful and joyful.

Parenting may be nothing like you expected but it CAN be a much more enjoyable journey for both you and your child! I will teach you tools and strategies to help you deal with situations big and small that often arise when parenting a special needs child so that you can feel more like a leader in your life.

What:

  • 6 Part Tele-Class – This is the workshop I needed so badly when I began noticing things weren’t going the way they were “supposed” to as well as the years after my son was first diagnosed. The tools and strategies I will teach you changed my life and most importantly, changed my relationship with my son.
  • I will create a private Facebook group for support between classes.

When:

  • Thursdays from 11:00 – 12:00 PT from October 18th – November 29th (note: we will skip the week of Thanksgiving)

Investment: 

  • Now only $75!!

Sign up here for this life changing class. You deserve a more peaceful and joy-filled life. I can help!

Note: This tele-class is limited to 8 people.

Email me at margaretwebblifecoach@yahoo.com if you have questions, would like to be notified of future offerings or if you have a group that needs this workshop series.

“Parenting the Child You Did Not Expect When You Were Expecting” Tele-class

Taught by Margaret Webb –  Parenting Coach, former teacher, and parent to 9 year old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Apraxia of Speech and ADHD

This class is for you if…

  • you are parenting a child with special needs;
  • you are frustrated, annoyed and feel totally out of control because parenting is nothing like you expected;
  • you don’t do anything for yourself because all resources (money, energy, time, etc.) are focused on helping your child;
  • you desire parenting to be more peaceful and joyful.

Parenting may be nothing like you expected but it CAN be a much more enjoyable journey for both you and your child! I will teach you tools and strategies to help you deal with situations big and small that often arise when parenting a special needs child so that you can feel more like a leader in your life.

What:

  • 6 Part Tele-Class – This is the workshop I needed so badly when I began noticing things weren’t going the way they were “supposed” to as well as the years after my son was first diagnosed. The tools and strategies I will teach you changed my life and most importantly, changed my relationship with my son.
  • I will create a private Facebook group for support between classes.

When:

  • Thursdays from 11:00 – 12:00 PT from October 18th – November 29th (note: we will skip the week of Thanksgiving)

Investment: 

  • Option 1: Tele-class $150 before October 8th; $175 after October 8th OR
  • Option 2: Tele-class plus one 50 minute 1:1 coaching session $200 before October 8th; $225 after October 8th

Sign up here for this life changing class. You deserve a more peaceful and joy-filled life. I can help!

Note: This tele-class is limited to 8 people.

Email me with any questions or to be notified of future offerings at margaretwebblifecoach@yahoo.com.

When People Stare, Mind Your Own Business

This is a repost from my life coaching blog. I wanted to share this here because the chances are VERY high that you’ve experienced this at some point. What I share below has made such a difference for me and I am hoping that it can also help you! Thanks for reading!  Margaret 

I have found that dealing with people staring and offering “advice” to be one of the biggest challenges parents of children with special needs face, especially when they get brave and take their child out into the unpredictable world. It can create the perfect storm of judgement.

The scenario…

Take child out in public…to the store, to a restaurant, to the library, wherever there may be other people.

Something sets child off.

  • They don’t get their way.
  • They become overstimulated.
  • They are hungry or thirsty.
  • They are tired.
  • They pick up on nervous or negative energy of the people around them – including the parent! (This was HUGE for me to realize and made such a difference because I used to get really nervous about how he would act before we even got there! He could sense this energy and responded as though there was something to be nervous about. Interesting how this works!).

The child has a tantrum (or meltdown).

The parent gets nervous or upset because their child is not behaving the way they’d like. This activates self judgement which usually consists of limiting thoughts like, “I should be able to control my child.” “I should have just given them what they wanted.” “I should have never taken them out of the house.” “A good mom would know what to do right now to make this stop.”

It also causes judgement that you may not like to hear (I know I didn’t like it at first but realized it was very true), but it is “parent judging child.” I’ve done it, still do it at times and am working to do it less and less. “Why is he doing this to me?” “Why can’t he just behave himself?” “Why can’t he just be like those other kids?” “Why can’t he just pull it together?”

The perfect storm has begun, only to get fueled by some outside sources getting involved in business they have no business getting involved in!

The parent notices the people around them who are looking at the upset child. People sense the parent’s frustration and try to offer “helpful suggestions” which comes out as unsolicited advice which fuels a parent’s feeling of inadequacy – “parent feels judged by others.” These people may or may not be judging us and our child but that’s their business (more about this below).

The parent might snap back with some response if they can speak without crying or yelling – “parent judging others.” Trust me, I have been there! I can remember a specific grocery store incident in June of 2008 when my son, who was terrified of bugs, freaked out when a piece of paper floated off of a shelf and he thought it was a bug. A woman approached us, looked at him and said, “What’s wrong with you? You’re too big to be carrying on like that!” I walked away from her after snapping, “I am doing the best I can!”, paid for the dog food that I could not leave without (poor hungry dog at home) and bawled my eyes out once we got into the car. What kind of b*#$h would do that to me?!? What was wrong with her!? I began judging her. I was wrapped up in all sorts of self judgement, judgement of my son, and judgement that other people should know how to behave.

What I’ve come to realize is that when other people stare or give advice, they believe they are trying to be helpful or don’t have any way to understand AT ALL what we have been or are going through.

If this is something you can relate to, let me share with you that it does NOT have to stay this way. I am living proof and get practice with this all of the time!

What can YOU do when you are in this situation to avoid this perfect storm of judgement?

Personally, I have found Byron Katie’s three kinds of business to be critical in times like this.

  • My business
  • Your business
  • God’s business

My Business During A Tantrum

In the situation of a tantrum-ing child, the most important thing I can do is to stay in my own business. That means to take care of myself and what I need. That usually looks like breathing, noticing the thoughts that creep into my head about what I am making his tantrum mean and choosing to believe them or not. What I need to do most to help us all is to keep myself and my energy calm regardless of what he is doing.

I think of myself as the captain of a ship. When something unexpected happens, like a storm, how would it serve those on board for me to get involved in everyone else’s business, running around trying to make sure everyone is feeling okay. I need to stay calm in order to stay in a position to problem solve to keep the ship safe. People might be freaking out or questioning my abilities but none of that would be helpful for me to focus on. I try to remember what this would look and feel like when I am in the midst of my own unexpected storms with my son, tantrums included. Try it! Put on your captain’s hat the next time things seem chaotic and it’ll make a huge difference!

Other People’s (Your) Business During A Tantrum

This kind of business involves the other people around me. I cannot control what other people do or say. Believing that I can causes pain.

My Child’s Business

I cannot control my son’s tantrum, I can try to manage it, give him choices, distractions or remove him but essentially, what he does and how he acts is completely his business.

I used to get all tangled up in his tantrums and this always left me feeling angry, inadequate and sad – not to mention very sweaty! It was as though I felt like I just needed to work harder to prove to everyone around me that I was trying to do something to stop him so they wouldn’t think I was a horrible mom. I would expend so much energy – physically, mentally and energetically- and still have an upset child. Once I realized that this was not working and learned some life coaching strategies to care for myself in order to care for others by breathing, staying calm and noticing what I was making his behavior mean, things became so much better.

Other People’s Business

I cannot control the words or behaviors of the people around me. Believing that they should have any idea of what I’m going through, should be able to empathize and be compassionate about what he’s experiencing or should know that we just need to be left alone, is only going to cause pain because they probably won’t do any of those things. Instead, when I see looks or hear the unsolicited advice, I take a deep breath and shake it off (sometimes quite literally like an dog that shakes when it gets startled. It doesn’t have to be obnoxious, just shake like you got the chills and you’ll get rid of some of the negative energy in your body caused by your own honest, startled reaction to the other people.). People cannot know what they don’t know and while I wish they would think before they speak, roll their eyes or stare, they often don’t and that is something I cannot control. Realizing this all makes me feel like a more confident leader of myself because I CAN control my thoughts about what is going on.

God’s Business

This is the stuff that no one can influence and to believe that I have any control over this causes pain.

What can you do the next time you are in a situation like this?

  • Breathe! Deep belly breaths followed by exhaling all of the way. This is the best way to calm your body and your energy.
  • Mind your own business. Caring for yourself so that you can care for your child IS a reflection of you and your parenting skills.
  • Do what you can to help your child but also know that what they are doing is their business and is NOT a reflection of you or your parenting skills.
  • Do not focus on what other people around you are doing or saying in response to your situation. You have no responsibility to listen or respond to them. How they behave or react is their business and is NOT a reflection of you or your parenting skills.
So, huge hugs for all of you parents who have been in the perfect storm of judgement as I have been. Next time, remember to mind your own business and watch the thoughts of judgement that creep into your mind. Start building this muscle and it will make all the difference in the world! If you get into this situation and you need help, drop me a message at margaretwebblifecoach@yahoo.com.
xoxo
Margaret
Helping Others Find Peace and Joy in the Chaos of Life
If you haven’t “liked” me on Facebook, here’s the link to my page so you can get tidbits between blog posts: Margaret Webb Life Coaching

 

ABC’s of Peaceful Parenting Tele-class

Do you…

  • crave more peace and joy in parenting?
  • find yourself getting annoyed, frustrated or angry with your child?
  • feel out of control, overwhelmed and exhausted?

If so, come learn the…

ABC’s of Peaceful Parenting

Learn some simple yet effective strategies and tools to help you become a peaceful leader for your child, family and most importantly, yourself!

Facilitated by Margaret Webb, a special needs parent, former teacher, creator of My Obstacle Course, certified Martha Beck Life Coach and Sagefire Institute trained Nature Based Coach. www.margaretwebblifecoach.com

 

 

Who: Parents, Grandparents, Caregivers

When: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. (Central Time Zone). Note: The class will be recorded and emailed to you in case something comes up or want to listen again.

Cost: $30.00

Click here to register.

(You will receive call in information and handouts after your payment has been processed.)

Never done a tele-class before? No problem! Nervous? That’s normal but you don’t have to be! I’m pretty nice and really funny! 🙂

Tips:

  • A few minutes before the call is scheduled to begin, dial the number and call ID you receive after your payment has been processed.
  • I will start the class and recording right at 11:30 a.m.
  • The class will be recorded. That said, if you have background noise, are calling on a cell phone or are doing stuff around your house/office, please hit *6 and that will mute you so you can listen without disrupting the quality of the call. If you have something to share or ask, hit *6 again to un-mute.
  • During the 90 minutes, I’ll go through the ABC’s of Peaceful Parenting and will give examples and stories to illustrate how they make a huge difference. I’ll email the handouts after you register with this information so you don’t have to write it all down.
  • Specific questions or situations can be addressed after the call via email – margaretwebblifecoach@yahoo.com. Speaking from personal experience (and I’m sure you can relate from meetings or classes), it’s annoying to have a challenging situation get all of the attention when you have information you’ve paid to learn so you know how to deal with your own. This is what I do as a Life Coach, help people in one on one sessions with these situations.

 

What’s Perfect About This?

Deep breath followed by this fabulous question, “What’s perfect about this?”

I asked myself this question as I woke up one morning to find red pepper flakes in the cast iron skillet and an interesting aroma coming from my son’s room. Turns out that he loves to spin and really loves to spin glass jars. He poured out the curry, coriander, cumin and thyme into containers and when I asked him why, he said, “Mommy says don’t spin spices because they could break and go all over.” This is true. This is an example of things that I encounter and when that question, “What is perfect about this?” comes in real handy!

Honestly, this really is my favorite question these days, especially when I am in the midst of a negative situation, such as…dumped spices…my child’s tantrum…hitting every red light when running late…spilled Green Goodness drink on the floor…dog having diarrhea on the closet carpet. Now I’m sure these things are completely unique to me so just try to pretend you can relate. 🙂

There are many things that happen in my life that are out of my control, ok, when one considers that we cannot “control” anyone else, very little in my life, other than my thoughts, IS within my control. HOWEVER, how I choose to experience these out of control times or experiences has completely changed over the past two years.

Two years ago, before knowing what a life coach even was, I let these “things” that happen control me and would spend hours and days swirling around in my head with thoughts of judgement and feeling quite honestly like a victim. This felt like crap and was coupled with the fact that “things” always happened no matter how much I planned, which was A LOT.

The things that happened always seemed over the top and never seemed like things that happened to anyone else. I would frequently think to myself, “Seriously? This really just happened to me?” Now I know that they didn’t happen to me, they just happened. However their happening ended up teaching me some pretty powerful lessons about myself.

As I began doing my own personal work as a result of life coaching, “things” didn’t really change but I did! I slowly began to notice how I was feeling in my body when these things came about. I then started to notice the thoughts that were coming up creating the negative feelings. Thoughts like…

  • Why do things like this always happen to me?
  • Why can’t my child be like the other kids?
  • Why must my life be so much harder than everyone else’s?

I could go on but you get the idea. I would throw a little mental pity party for myself, seclude myself because at times it was too painful and I would get annoyed at everyone around me for not just knowing how I needed them to be.

What’s perfect about this? What could this possibly be teaching you?

Throughout my life coach training, I heard several master coaches (Terry DeMeo you are standing out in my mind here!) use the phrase “And what’s perfect about that?” or “What do you suppose this situation is trying to teach you?” and I’ll admit that I thought they were big time CRAZY! Perfect? Teaching moment? Seriously, you have NO IDEA what I go through.  Just tell me that I’m right, that no other person has had to go through the wild things I go through and give me my “best martyr” prize so I can move on.

What actually happened though was fascinating! Those words began to seep into my thought pattern and I began asking myself those very questions when the wild “things” would happen. This became a serious game changer for me! What those questions did was switch my thinking from feeling like a victim of my circumstances, which I already knew felt bad, to putting my brain to work finding out what I could learn from this. The lessons were simple yet powerful.

What was perfect was often a situation where I could practice…

Patience

(ex. I can practice patience when we are running late and my son has already taken a long time to get dressed and now has to do it again because the clothes are backwards. Deep breaths and lots of them. It really is okay AND he’ll probably get dressed faster and off to school in a much better mood than if I huff and puff at him.)

Setting boundaries, both physically and emotionally. Letting someone have their feelings without me getting tangled up in them.

(ex. I can practice setting boundaries physically when my son wants something that I’ve taken away and starts grabbing at me. We teach people how to treat us and what we will allow. During early practicing since he wasn’t quite understanding, I would lock myself in a room until he calmed his body. The physical boundaries allowed me to stay calm and also reinforced that I was not going to accept that behavior (grabbing, hitting, pushing, kicking) in my personal space.)

(ex. I can practice setting mental boundaries by realizing that someone else’s anger, sadness or frustration is their own. They are allowed to feel that and I don’t have to take it on as my own. “Your body is very wild right now. When it is calm, I will help you.” I have also used noise canceling headphones as a visual cue that I am choosing not to listen to the yelling or crying. Yes, I can still hear what is going on but it really helps me to remember to not engage. I go about my business, breathe and stay calm and I have to say that the tantrums diminish so much faster!)

Staying calm

(ex. I can practice staying calm when something spills or breaks. The item is already spilled or broken. I have found that getting upset makes it mean so much more and usually causes me to spend much more time focused on something negative.)

This shift in thinking allowed me to be more creative with a solution. I found myself looking at things from a different perspective to see if there was another way. I could practice realizing the reality of a situation without getting caught up in drama. I could practice staying focused on the present moment. I could practice making choices. I could practice saying “yes” or “no” and really own it.

So…the next time something happens and you feel your stomach tighten or your shoulders clenching or you feel the urge to scream at the top of your lungs,

STOP.

Take a deep breath.

Feel your feet on the ground,

look around with the eyes of an observer and think…

what is perfect about this? What is this allowing me to practice?

It makes a huge difference for me every day and I bet it’ll do the same for you!

If you enjoy hearing about ways to have more peace and joy in parenting, please check out my website www.margaretwebblifecoach.com or “Like” my Margaret Webb Life Coach Facebook page. I’m being completely honest when I say that I was a completely different parent two years ago (before life coaching) and now I have people come up all of the time and tell me how calm and peaceful I am with Andrew and I feel it too! If you are ready to have more peace and joy in your life, sign up here for a free 45-minute phone session to see if we are a good fit.

XOXO

Margaret

P.S. So what was perfect about the spices? Well, he had contained them instead of spilling them onto the floor which made cleanup much easier – for him! I got to practice deep breaths and patience, realizing that they were only spices. When I found him in his room, the aroma was so intense that he was sleeping with his comforter covering his face rather than his body SO I think he learned that he didn’t want to have to smell those smells again and hasn’t done it since. It was also kind of humorous to see how he took me literally and I believe that he honestly didn’t understand that what he had done was wasteful. When I brought him over to it to clean it up, he did want to pour them back into the jars. I sensed that he felt bad when I told him that since he had poured them all together that we couldn’t do that. Lots of perfection for both of us wrapped up in something that was not ideal. 🙂

Exciting News!

I am excited to share with you something I have been working on for the past 8 months…

Margaret Webb Life Coaching – Find Peace in the Chaos of Life

Me and my teacher – Martha Beck!

A life coach could help you if…

  • Life feels chaotic and you want more peace and joy in your relationships and home environment.
  • You have lost their identity and cannot remember what brings you joy.
  • Struggling with finding peace and joy in parenting a child who is on his/her own developmental timeline (autism, apraxia of speech, developmental delays, ADHD, etc.)
  • Creating or cultivating a connection with nature.
*Those are some of the things that I have worked through and have focused on in life coaching others.

As a life coach…

  • I can help people who want more out of their life and are willing to look at the thoughts, beliefs and stories that are holding them back from living a life that is filled with more joy, peace and love than they could ever imagine.
  • I work 1:1 with clients via phone or in person if you are in the area
  • I will be teaching tele-classes based on common issues that come up, such as “peaceful parenting,” “finding out who you really are and what brings you joy,” “setting healthy boundaries” and “surviving the holidays.”
  • I will be leading a tele-book group for Martha Beck’s new book “Finding Your Way in a Wild New World.”
  • I will also have “fee-free” call hour once a month to do one on one coaching on a first come, first serve basis. Depending on the demand, I may open this up to a group call, something I have personally found to be beneficial to be part of!
  • If you are part of a group (school, neighborhood, etc.) and would like me to cover a specific topic, I can set that up as a tele-class.

Coaching Services

I have done lots of free practice coaching and now need 25 paid hours to qualify for certification. If you are or know someone who is interested in improving themselves and their lives, I would be honored if you passed my website to them –www.margaretwebblifecoach.com.

I am offering 1:1 coaching for $25 per 50 minute session but in February my rates will increase to $50 for 50 minute sessions. Appointments can be scheduled by clicking here and can be done over the phone.

My heart’s desire has always been to help people and right now I am feeling pulled to help people who want more peace and joy in their lives. One of the many things that having Andrew has taught me is that I cannot live vicariously through him and need to have things that I am passionate about and bring me joy. I now know that in order to be the best mother/wife/friend/person for anyone, I have to be the best me.

My Training:

Martha Beck Life Coaching

I learned life coaching from Dr. Martha Beck (www.marthabeck.com), a monthly columnist for Oprah’s O Magazine (check her out here on Oprah’s Lifeclass Webinar – even Oprah was amazed!) and some amazing Martha Beck Master Life Coaches*.

Martha Beck is the author of several books, “The Joy Diet,” “Finding Your Own North Star,” “Steering By Starlight” a new one that is being released December 27th – “Finding Your Way in a Wild New World.”

She also happens to be the mother of a son with Down Syndrome (her memoir of this experience “Expecting Adam” is Target’s Book Club book!) and when I was really struggling with accepting Andrew’s autism and apraxia it helped to hear her perspective of the path she went through to come to terms with what this meant as well as experiencing all of the gifts that having a child who doesn’t fit what you “thought” it was going to be like.

*Master Life Coach Instructors: Jackie Gartman, Terry DeMeo, Susan Hyatt, Pamela Slim, Christina Brandt, Jennifer Moman Voss and Abigail Steidley.

Nature Based Coach Training

In addition to the Martha Beck Life Coach training, I am also part of Sagefire Institute’s Nature Based Coach Training program working with Master Life Coach Michael Trotta who is a master teacher and naturalist. Spending more time in nature has improved my self-awareness and I will be leading nature based coaching retreats for self discovery, peaceful parenting and team building.

Pure joy!!

Here is a link to my Facebook page for Margaret Webb Life Coaching. I’d LOVE for you to “like” it!

Consultation Services

I have also been consulting with people who have relatives or friends with children on the autism spectrum because they want to understand or they have questions that they do not feel comfortable asking parents of these children. These people want to connect with the child. They want to help the parents. They just don’t know how to do so and don’t want to come across as being intrusive or insensitive. This is where I step in. I shed light on the daily struggles of parenting a child with autism as well as help to explain things from a different perspective because as I have learned, things aren’t always as they seem. No doom and gloom or pity seeking here, just helping to explain a different kind of normal!

If you can relate to this and have questions, want to get my perspective OR are a parent who would like some suggestions for how to explain things/behaviors/frustrations/etc. to family members, you can sign up here for a consultation session. Please know that I do not pass judgement on anyone and everything remains confidential. I really have heard it all, ranging from things said to me about Andrew (“I would have never known! He looks like he’s normal.”) to people inquiring about a child’s behaviors they call “odd” only to have a greater sense of compassion and understanding of those behaviors after talking with me.

My rates for consultation services will be the same as my life coaching rates, $25/5o minutes until February when they will raise to $50/50 minutes. You can sign up here for an appointment and will take place over the phone.

My Obstacle Course 2.0

Don’t worry, I will still be on the lookout for ways to share how to “engage, encourage and empower” you and your children at home and will post when I find things or think of ideas, but my year of frequent posts has come to an end. Writing these almost daily posts was a great joy and also more time intensive than I imagined. I have lots of ideas percolating in my brain that I think will help people like you even more but haven’t been able to put them together in a useful format, yet, so stay tuned!

Thank You!

Thank you so much for all of the support you have given me during this year and I look forward to working with those who are ready to find their peace (and joy) in the chaos of life!

Love and gratitude,

Margaret

Halloween

I hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday. Halloween holds a special place in my heart, not because I love it or love to dress up or scare people (I actually don’t), but because it is the holiday that woke me up a bit to something I had been overlooking with Andrew.

We were in the grocery store a few years back, when he was 4 and was not speaking any consonants. There were decorations up all over the store and he pointed up at a witch and asked in his own way, what it was. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I had been so focused on trying to get him to talk that I hadn’t really placed any focus on things that most typical children generally pick up on at an early age. It was not that I was dying to teach him about witches, ghosts and goblins but was more about how he was noticing all sorts of things going on around him that I didn’t even realize.

I wanted to be more mindful of exposing him to vocabulary and concepts of each holiday, month and season so that he would form connections between symbols and these times of the year. This is essentially how I was motivated to incorporate themes into My Obstacle Courses, which then reminded me of how I did it so naturally as a teacher. I could incorporate fun, thematic things and concepts while building things like literacy, math, fine motor, gross motor, oral motor, sensory processing and pretend play. He loved it and still gets excited as the themes change.

A huge bonus for me came a year after this first happened and we walked into a store in September with all of the Halloween decorations up and he looked up and said, “Haween.” I said, “Yes! It’s almost Halloween.” 🙂

Andrew's first Halloween in New Zealand - 4 months old.

This year as Spiderman!

Engage, Encourage and Empower!

Enchanted Learning Halloween Themed Pages

If you have been following my posts for a while, you know how much I love to use materials from www.EnchantedLearning.com. Here are some examples of what they have to help build math skills using the Halloween theme.

Count the bats and write the number.

Station set up for Andrew with numbers printed so he could refer back to them.

A great way to build counting skills with individual items as well as counting "how many in all?"

Station set up.

Note: This is just me, but I wanted to make the papers look a little more appealing so I trimmed them and glued them onto black construction paper before “laminating” them with clear contact paper. I did this so I could reuse them in future My Obstacle Courses as well as share them with Andrew’s teacher to use in his classroom. The construction paper and contact paper make them a bit more sturdy.

Engage, Encourage and Empower!