When we first started homeschooling, I knew only a few other homeschool families. One family had a child, likely special needs in retrospect, that was awkward to talk with. They were intelligent and polite enough, but conversing with this child was tedious. Another family, same age child, and they could hold a conversation with anyone on any topic, no matter the other persons age. At the time I considered it due to socialization (yes, I was one of *those* people). I wanted to ensure that our children were not awkward but good conversationalists. I wasn’t sure how to make that happen, but I prayed that was how our children would “turn out”. Fast forward 10 years and I amazed and how God worked these things out.
When this review, Color My Conversation from Northern Speech Services came up, I thought only of our youngest son for this. He is tongue-tied and we have casually worked on the resulting speech issues at home. I realized this product was not strictly a traditional speech therapy but dealt with conversations. I still thought our youngest son might benefit and if nothing else would give us some specific practice of his articulation. This curricula (or supplement, you can use it either way) is recommended for special needs learners (learning and/or speech delays), those on the autism spectrum, and the general population.
Other items in our kit:
- 12 “Conversation Path” Stepping Floor Graphics
- 100 Topic Prompt Picture/Emotion Cards
- 50 Game Tokens
- 50 Dry Erasable Wall Display Cards
- 2 Dry Erase Pens
- Cloth Ribbon (approx. 9.5ft)
- Game Board (foldable) with 4 new Activities on the back
- CMC Ball
- Classroom Poster
- Instructional Manual on CD
- 12 CMC Songs on CD
- Additional Reproducible Worksheets & Activities
We have been steadily working through this beginning level. Surprise, surprise (or not), all of my children have asked to join in. I started using this with the sensory-sensitive 7 year old, once a week for 45 minutes or so. Now, we are doing this twice a week, 30 minutes (or more) with all of our children – even the 16 year old. In addition to the longer lesson time each week, we do spontaneously practice and review the topic we are focusing on daily. With everyone participating, these random times throughout the week are much more natural and spontaneous than if we were attending sessions for speech or other therapies.
I didn’t think the older girls would get much from these beginning activities, but they have. We have really been putting the “Conversation Path” to use. These are the colorful “stones” that go on the floor (and a smaller representation that we have on the wall). You may wonder what teenagers could be picking up about conversations — aren’t they chatterboxes? That is kind of the point. They will talk your ear off if you ask a question on a topic they are crazy about (whatever that might be this week). They don’t do as well with the give and take of conversation (actually, many of us don’t). They also will seldom initiate a conversation. Well, that used to be the case. The more we are working through these lessons (we are progressing at the 7 year old’s pace), the better their skills get. While standing in line recently to check out at the store, my second daughter struck up a conversation with the lady ahead of us. This would not have happened pre-Color My Conversations.
You may think this social conversation skill-builder is not for you. Based upon our experiences these past few weeks, you may want to reconsider. Not only have we seen improvements and results from we “regular folk”, but it has been fun and easy to implement. The manual and training videos (short, no major time commitment) give you confidence and enough of a script to take this on for your family. When compared with scheduling sessions with a professional (and for us it would be at least an hour drive each direction) this is definitely the way to go to work on communication skills for your family.
Read other reviews by clicking the image below. You might be surprised at what a great benefit this kit would be for your family.