Friends LearnTogether

Samantha had her first sleepover last night.  She's been so excited! This is a big deal for her because one of the challenges for her with her Down syndrome is friendships. Samantha can do just about anything a typical child can do, it just takes her a little longer to learn things. Her milestones are a little later than most typical children. She learned to walk when she was 19 months old, she was fully potty trained when she was 6 years old, she learned to read when she was 9 years old.  Samantha's speech is good, but a little difficult to understand.  Her therapists and our family are working with her on her communications skills.

Because of the Down syndrome, Samantha's cognitive development is considerably slower than the typical child. So over the years, as her friends are maturing at a typical rate, she is maturing at a slower rate cognitively. Samantha is 15 years old now, but she looks like a 10-year-old and cognitively is maybe like an 8-year-old in some ways, like reasoning or problem solving.  So naturally, the friends she had when she was chronologically 8 years old and are now 16 years old, do not have a lot in common with Samantha. The typical children that are Samantha's developmental or cognitive age, say between 8 and 10 years old, are friendly, but they have a little bit of a hard time understanding her. So she doesn't have any close typical friends.

There are a couple of girls with Down syndrome who are Samantha's age who live close to us.  We invited one of these girls to spend the night. They've both been so excited. They could hardly sleep, talking late into the night in Sam's room like two teenage girls. Her friend is also homeschooled. So this morning we did some elementary science. They had so much fun learning about syllables with Silly Bulls. They giggled through a video lesson on molecules and atoms with Molly Cule and a couple of Adams. They also learned about mixtures, recycling, and materials. They took turns answering questions and working through the online activities together.  They helped each other as they learned how to put science vocabulary in ABC order. Now we've moved on to some copy work from their favorite books. I've found some 2-player games that are educational for them. I've promised to take them out for some frozen yogurt or Starbucks after lunch. For the rest of the afternoon I might take them over to the science museum to complete our science day. :)
Samantha and her friend doing science and copy work.

What does your science day look like for you and your kids? Do you do science every day or just once or twice a week?

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