Monday, July 22, 2013

Learning Braille as a family

In our homeschooling family, learning usually happens as a group.  When we fell in love with our Nellie and started the adoption process, I started learning Braille with Hadley School for the Blind.  It didn't take long for my son Jericho (6) to join me in filling in the Braille cells with dots for fun.  Since we were already learning the sound of the print letters I just added learning the Braille letters into our education plans.  

I've learned how to identify and write the letters, numbers, and some symbols.  I feel like I am cruising right along and will be able to help Nellie learn Braille when she is ready.  

Hadley starts us sighted people out with identification first and then writing with the slate and stylus second.  Right now Jericho is working on identification while Gaelan (14) is identifying and starting to emboss.

Jericho is terribly excited about using my new labeling tape and the fancy Braille label maker.  You know when you see or feel the Braille in the elevator?  I find that exciting!  Well our house will soon have labels for Nellie.  Refrigerator....piano....window...  I want Braille to be as common as print in our house (and we do love our books!)

And since now you know I get excited by seeing and feeling Braille in an elevator, you won't be surprised how I love ordering Braille books.  I've begged my library to join a book club for the newest Braille and text books and I've started our personal library.  These ones are perfect for family read aloud - Braille and text with the original illustrations intact.  This Peter Rabbit one also has tactile elements.  Be still my heart.

The Tactales books have Braille and tactile illustrations.  We got them free through the Braille Institute.  Nellie will need to work on her tactile discrimination before we start Braille.  So we'll be doing lots of sensory activities.  But first we will help her feel safe and secure in her new home.  Lots of kisses and real experiences for concept development.  She'll need to have real experiences of up-down, in - out, over - under before they mean anything in Braille.  No comparisons to her peers, just slow and steady with lots of support.

This one has labels to label items in the bathroom.

This one is amazing!! Tactile illustrations for how to fold Origami!

And then my handmade Braille chart, situated in a strategic place, at least in my house (the bathroom!!!)

And NEWS:  we have USCIS approval and our letter is on it's way.  We will have it notaried and apostilled and off to Bulgaria it goes and then we are FULLY SUBMITTED!! If the Bulgarian government stays in shape we should have our travel dates very soon.  Prayers are welcome.

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