How are we half way through July already?! How does the time fly quite so fast?!
Its been pretty full on with out much time to sit and think, as is the way sometimes. We had our Home Ed Summer Party at the adventure playground, the children enjoyed the bouncy castle, go karts and nerf battles as well as the usual activities. We wont be meeting there again until September which makes me feel slightly sad as we have all made such good friendships through the group it feels like a long summer without that meeting place set up. It will be very hard to think of an alternative venue open through the summer that gives us everything we need for such a broad age range that wont be so packed full of people that the young people with anxiety cant cope. So in that sense there will be the usual level of hibernation.
It has been amazing seeing how the children have progressed through these fortnightly meetings, all the children have come such a long way. Children who have battled with anxieties around meeting new people, who have struggled to make friendships or who worry about being outside have all flourished. N has grown obviously, to think he was only 5 months old when we began the adventure meets and he is 2 now. It is amazing to see him playing confidently with children of all ages, he runs around and explores the outside, walks around the woods and plays on the trampoline and the equipment comfortably. It doesn’t phase him if there are bigger children or small children, he will be friendly to all of them and will just join in. I have observed so many 2 year olds behaving shy and nervous around other children, but not him.
J has grown and matured, I have been so proud to see his ability to form friendships, compromise during games and even share his nerf guns with people he doesn’t really know. I have seen him in situations that have made me hold my breath, knowing that even 16 months ago this might have spoilt our whole day and caused me to need to take him home and remove him from a situation and he has just taken a deep breath and moved away. I have seen him learn new skills and work on improving those skills by criticising himself positively, to look at where he can improve rather than shooting himself down and giving up as “I cant”….. and I have seen him come out of workshops that he has struggled during moments but the organisers and other parents have praised him for keeping his cool and keeping trying.
A has improved her confidence in going into new surroundings. She has completed her Duke of Edinburgh practise expedition with some minor injuries and she took nearly a week to recover BUT she completed it, and even if she hadn’t completed it I am extremely proud that she went for it. She continues to attend and is looking at areas she needs to work on before the main expedition. Most importantly she is eager to work on these areas, rather than being scared, worried and put off by the things that she struggled with. When I think of the girl so worried about going into new environments and being around people who she didn’t know that she had full on anxiety attacks leading to chest pains, crying and even vomiting at the prospect of attending a group situation, she is like a totally different person. She sat her exams, she studied for those exams. She is enjoying falling *jumping* into the lake during her kayaking lessons, she enjoys camping and cooking on fires in the woods, she is taking the dogs out on longer walks and maintaining more positive friendships with the ability to tell others to get lost when she needs to.
I don’t feel that I need to update on the academics, anyone who takes the time to talk to the children will know how well they are doing, how much they are learning and how motivated they are. I can look through learning journals and see handwriting and spellings improving and when baking J is even quicker at working out measurements in his head to alter and adjust ingredients as and when needed.
If I had one wish, one plan for the future it would be to include more travel into our plans. It is something to look into a bit further. But for now, I can look at how far we have come and feel nothing but pure excitement of where we have still to go.