Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Up, down, and often round the bend

It's been a while since I wrote anything here, life has been a curious mix of crazy and not worth blogging about.

Often I get mental blocks - if something big is happening then I can't seem to plan things the other side of the big thing, and we've had some major things to get to the other side of!

The biggest reason for my silence has been L and his exams.  He took Edexcel Mathematics B IGCSE and Biology IGCSE.  We hit the books for some pretty major revision, and fitting "normal" life in around the edges wore me out.  L does not like exams, and despite being pretty good at both subjects his dyslexia may well get in the way of decent results, but now the exams are over all we can do is wait for mid August and results day. 

Revising has been awkward.  I generally prefer to follow the kids as they show me how they want and need to learn.  Thus far it's been a successful strategy, but revising for exams changed that.  Now we had a deadline, and a specified curriculum.  No more digging as deep as L wanted, no more skimming over the boring bits.  Together we had to do this in a much more structured way, and it really didn't suit either of us!  L wanted to look far more deeply at the cellular biology.  Ecology didn't interest him.  At times I was telling him to stop being interested, and at other times trying to help him remember things he felt no connection to.  Maths was a little easier - until L wanted to know WHY trigonometry works, and why Pythagoras was so fascinated by right angled triangles.  Still, at the end of the day we got through the material, he retained a lot of the information, and he went into the exam halls confident and with a good shot at things.

So that was one big thing.

Another has been a weekend away.  Not such a big deal?  Really?  We went away with the children's scout troop.  I am not particularly keen on quite a few of the leaders, and there have been . . . issues in the past with how the leaders cope with the boys differences.  Add to that the fact that this was our first camping adventure, and that L was going to be left at home for the weekend alone . . . so much potential for disaster!

L was fine.  He had a friend come over and stay for part of the time we were away, and together they managed to cook (pizzas and curry) sleep (at least a little) and feed the animals.  They didn't change the kittens litter tray, or walk the dog, or wash up (not convinced L washed himself let alone anything else!) When we got home the house was intact, and I guess since L is only 15 that's enough of a victory for me!

The camp was OK too.  The first night we had a thunder storm.  So now we know that the tent can cope with a lot of rain in a short space of time. 

There were lots of activities on the Saturday, and from those we learnt that A is awesome at climbing - she went across the traversing wall so easily, confidently and quickly!  She is also fab at monkey bars and other "dangling" sorts of things.  We really need to find a way to get her climbing more.

J really enjoyed the air rifle range - and he improved his shooting over the day too.  He wasn't so good at the climbing side of things, but he did persevere and improve.  One thing he excelled at was random conversation.  J has a small selection of topics of conversation, and if the other person is even vaguely positive about them J will natter for hours.  The other person, of course, rarely has to say anything, but J barely notices that!

M didn't find an activity that he excelled at, nor did he fixate on any one thing in particular, he did, however, have fun and try pretty much everything.

All three children were awarded badges and trophies at the AGM - they have all been recognised as working hard and trying their best.

J has had awards before from both Cubs and Beavers, A has from Girls Brigade, but M never has.  He was so sweet as the younger two got their awards - cheering for them and being very encouraging.  He clearly didn't think he would get anything, so when his name was called his reaction was lovely.  Lots of smiles all around :)

In other news, our local CAMHs are having a bit of a reshuffle, and this has dramatically increased waiting lists for things.  So whilst J finally has a date for his ADOS we still haven't had a follow up for M's ADOS which was on the 4th of March!  This process is taking forever!

So now that the exams, revision and camping are over and done with, I have lots of posts bubbling around in my mind.  It's amazing what climbing over those mental blocks can do for the subconscious :)

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