just emerged... wings still unfurlingWe had a park trip planned for this morning with some of the local Home Ed mums, but unfortunately the weather wasn't cooperating, so we ended up with three families at one of their homes (eight children (seven of whom were boys) and four adults... that was one busy, noisy house with a very generous hostess!) The mums had a lovely time chatting about all sorts of things while the children played nicely, with only the occasional incident (I hope the carpet dries out before bedtime...). The children who were playing have all sort of issues, from those with autism to those recovering from being bullied or ostracised - and yet they all got on really well, considering. One of the things that I really love about Home Ed kids is that they are generally so tolerant of people's differences. I personally haven't felt the need yet to talk to my boys about any particular child being "different", because as a family we really value individuality anyway - I believe every person is unique, and it's good for us to practice consideration of others. As with adults, some children are really easy-going, while some are very decisive on what they do or don't like - which is fine, and it's good for us to be aware and sensitive to the varied needs of others. I really appreciate that on Home Ed play dates the other parents (and therefore their children) are usually really switched on to the needs of the individual. I have never seen that kind of consideration in schools, where 'unusual' children stick out like a sore thumb, which increases their anxiety and exacerbates any underlying issues. Um.. tell me again how HE kids are missing out on learning socialisation skills...? (that was me being ironic, in case you missed it).
Anyway, back home again, and the boys were treated to a few sweets after lunch. Who knew that even sweets were educational nowadays? Eldest had a few Starbursts (Opal Fruits to those of you like me who are having difficulty adjusting to the modern tendency for constantly rebranding). These Starbursts had individual wrappers containing different instructions, such as "Make a paper plane out of the (tiny) wrapper"; "Do 5 press-ups"; "Say a sentence repeating every word twice"... wow! An educational curriculum in a packet of sweets! (Yes I'm being flippant, but I did think it was a sweet idea - no pun intended).
So, now the boys are playing on the Wii, playing a lovely cooperative game on 'Club Penguin' (I particularly loved watching them do all the dance moves in unison) - and I fully intend to make the most of the time while they're occupied, to tidy up a bit before we have some grown-up friends over this evening :) Happy weekend, everyone!