Shrieking with Delight and Persevering Through Fatigue: Rowdy Tutoring with Miss Isis

Last Friday Miss Isis, our young primary teacher who began living alongside of us at the Living Waters Ranch earlier this month as a way of deepening her walk with Christ, has begun giving tutoring classes to Gaby and Josue (our special needs ‘twins’ who are both 8 years old but are developmentally about 3 or 4 years old after having suffered severe abuse and neglect with their biological families).

Our little ones’ fine motor skills are abysmal (although astronomically better than they were 12-18 months ago when they arrived in our family!) as they struggle through basic daily activities such as washing a dish, holding a pencil, opening a door, operating a zipper, etc, and they live in the midst of speech impediments, lack of focus, diaper-wearing and untold difficulties that distance them from their peers. Thus, Miss Isis decided to focus much of the tutoring on physical movement, mimicking, strength and coordination (along with teamwork and general levels of fun!), all of which are basic building blocks on top of which finer, more focused motor skills will be added in the future as they learn to assimilate more and more into functioning society.

Last Friday was their first class together, and much to everyone’s surprise (and utter delight!) Miss Isis — who is typically very poised and quiet and has zero experience with organized sports  or any kind of physical training — brought her “A” game with our quirky little ones, thrusting aside any general societal norms of ‘accepted adult behavior’ or any notion of not wanting to ‘look weird.’

After having spent the morning in the ‘academic wilderness’ with her small group of second-fifth grade primary students (who also suffer many developmental delays, severe behavioral problems, and generally low intellectual capabilities), she suited up (as in, took off her sandals) for what promised to be a high-energy time with two very special little people.

After organizing several wind-sprints across our large front lawn (and participating), doing many frog-jumps and other rapid movement activities, Miss Isis began panting, collapsed on a nearby bench and informed the kids through heavy breaths, “Okay, great! You’re doing an excellent job. Now I’m gonna give you a little break to catch your breath before we continue onward…”

I laughed (because Isis needed the break, not the kids!), and I ran to get my camera for what was quickly becoming one of the best, most high-energy tutoring classes I’ve ever seen anyone give our little ones (and which is exactly what they need).

So here, captured behind the lens, is our beloved sister in Christ, Isis, giving her all alongside of our two goofy, precious, broken little ones. 16-year-old Sandra, who in no way was obligated to join in the tutoring class, even participated because it all looked like so much fun! Go, Sandra, go!

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Good job, Josue! Just follow my lead — keep those legs and arms in constant motion! Pedal ’em like a bicycle! Let’s go, kids!

 

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Legs up and down, up and down! You got it!

 

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Pump it! Don’t give up, kids!

 

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Get those arms and legs movin’! Up and down! (I think Gaby got the ‘down’ motion, but not the ‘up’!)

 

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Now everybody pull your knees to your chest! Pull ’em tight!

 

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Let’s get that bicycle action goin’ again! Don’t give up!

 

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Okay! Legs! Bring those legs up and down, up and down! Feel the burn! (Gotta love this photo of Gaby!)

 

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Whew! That was exhausting…

 

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Now it’s time for some stretching! Circle up! Touch your toes to your neighbors’ and try to grab their fingers!

 

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Now reach as far as you can towards the center!

 

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One hand on your head and the other one extended to touch your toes! You got it, Gaby and Josue!

 

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Okay! Grab your neighbor again! Stretch!

 

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Now try to put your head to the ground!

 

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Now reach behind you! Extend your arms!

 

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Okay, kids! Get showered up because now we’re heading in to art class!

 

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Gaby’s ‘silly (dragon) face’!

 

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What a beautiful drawing, Josue!

 

Amen! Glory to God!

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