I think this is one of my favorite pictures of all time--
kids working together.
The last three days, I've introduced "work" to the kids, and they've loved it. I've managed to put together about 15 different task for the kids, and a number of adaptations of each for the differing skill levels of the kids. I can hardly keep up with them. I continually hear a chorus of "Paty" (how my name is spelled in Spanish!) as each of them wants me to look at what they are doing, and give them praise. The teacher in me wants them to be more independent, but the mama in me loves that they want my attention. These kids have gotten so little affirmation and have had so few opportunities to do anything that would earn them praise, that for now, they're gonna get all the praise and encouragement I can heap on their darling little heads.
Even Gloria, a Guatemalan lady who volunteers at the
orphanage 3 days a week, is joining in the fun!
One of the neatest things that has come out of this is seeing the kids work together. Yesterday there were about five kids around one small table, each doing something different, but working cooperatively. I don't think I've ever seen this much interaction between kids. Of course, some of it is "fighting," like when Ervin tried to touch the blocks Heidi was using. She's normally so quiet and passive, but boy, can she let out a scream of protest when she wants to. Even this, though, is so good for her--to be able to assert herself in some small way and have it respected. And, believe it or not, Ervin did back off and leave her stuff alone! We'll work on sharing later. It's hard to ask kids to share when they've never had anything worth sharing before. All things will come in due time.