After completely switching off from home-ed over Christmas, we are finding it a little hard to get back into the routine. W went back to school on Tuesday, so I had intended to do a little work with J, just to ease ourselves back into the swing of things, but it wasn't to be. He had a complete paddy over the handwriting practice I had given him, and was in such a foul mood that I knew it wasn't worth trying to do anything else with him that day. Luckily, yesterday we had a planned home-ed trip, arranged by the lovely group we are a part of for kids on the spectrum. We went to the local agricultural college for a lambing workshop and had a lovely time! I thought it might be a bit early for lambs but, no! The season has literally only just started, but there were plenty of lambs to see, some only just minutes old! (Yes, twice we just missed out on seeing an actual birth - we were both a little disappointed by that!)
In between visits to the lambing shed, there was an activity session and a chance to chat over our packed lunches. J wasn't interested in the activity, so I did it for him (sound familiar?) but he still had fun exploring the classroom and talking to his friends.
My little lambing pen, with mother and baby!
All the kids coped really well, and we are looking forward to the next workshop next month - ferret racing! Tomorrow we have a trip up to London to visit the Natural History Museum planned, again with some friends from the home-ed group, so we are having a lazy day today and will start trying to do some proper "work" again next week. It's very hard trying to find the right balance, as J is still very much against doing anything much that seems like schoolwork, but we will keep at it, little steps. A big part of it is finding the right motivation for him to do something that he doesn't necessarily want to do. For example, getting up in the mornings. J is NOT a morning person! He does not like waking up and it's always a struggle to get him up and going. During December, he had a Lego Star Wars advent calendar, which was absolutely brilliant in that it got him up on time every day, he was so excited to see which little figure he would get next! But of course, come boxing day, there was no such motivation and he went straight back to laying in for as long as possible! Peter then bought him a little Star Wars action figure and we made up a reward chart so that he had to do certain things for a week (up on time, washed and dressed etc) - again, this worked perfectly but once he had his reward, back to square one! Obviously, we can't keep giving him toys as rewards, so we need to have a think about that. One of my goals for him for this year is to work on his "life skills", but he will have to learn that some things just have to be done, with no reward for doing them. It's a tough one, but hopefully we'll get there!