The Big Picture: Planning for the Future

Well, it is snowing again, actually snow, sleet, and freezing rain. The prediction for today is 3 to 6 inches and/or 6 to 12 inches and it is going to last into tomorrow. We live in the border region, the foot hills. A few miles makes a big difference. So, today, I have time to brood/think. No church for us.

What is in our future? I do mean “our.” My twins will soon be 8. I am 61. Will I be in sufficient health to raise our sons to adulthood? Will Vinnie continue to progress as he is now? Will Brandon’s retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) get worse or remain stable? All questions we face each day. I tend to push those to the back of my mind and continue on with our daily routine. Do you worry about the future?

I want to share a piece of the present today. As always, I am looking at next year’s curriculum ideas/needs and what the next step is in teaching. My twins aren’t so different in their needs. They remain on about the same developmental level, just different learning styles. We share some curriculum resources and others are very different. Vinnie is total immersion in braille, Brandon works in print, large print. But, if I purchase my curriculum now, I get a 20% discount. I use Brandon’s print curriculum as a guide for Vinnie. So it is a no-brainer on this one.

While shopping for curriculum, the Lakeshore catalogue came. It is one of my favorite resources for materials. They are bright and colorful and engaging. (Yeah, I know, not so important for someone who can’t see.) Some of their materials are easily adaptable for braille. I found some word family flip books. They will enhance and reinforce our reading skills. They are great! It is a very organized way to teach words and phonics, while increasing vocabulary all at once. They are large print, about a 36 point pitch type, great for large print. They are easily adapted to braille. I just put braille in the print sections, and then placed the full braille word on the flip page. (I’m all about making lessons a “twofer.”) Vinnie went full speed ahead with the braille. He is blending new words from the very first introduction a couple of days ago. These were going to be my new materials for next year. They also have another more advanced version with more complex blends. The great thing about these flip books is that it is an easy way to introduce braille contractions as well as word sounds and blends.

That is about next year’s big picture. What I started talking about was down the road. I know some days we get overwhelmed with today. This is important too!

We have done some estate planning and named people responsible for making decisions when WE can’t. We can’t predict the future but we can plan like with education and who will be there when we can’t. It is important to look at the big picture. What we do today is going to last into tomorrow!