Friday, 14 August 2015

Summer break

We have been so lucky with the weather for the past two weeks that I have to admit that our days have focused far more on cheap outings than work. Charlie logs onto MyMaths when I remind him and we have had some more lessons on division, but other than that we have been enjoying our freedom from structured work.

Popcorn division with me
Lego division with Dad
Apart from being fun for all of us, these outings are an essential part of Tom's therapy, enabling him to maintain his confidence at going outside so that he is able to cope with school in September. He and Charlie are getting along really well at the moment and very much enjoy each other's company.

One day last week, we took the boys to a fete in Glynde and I was really impressed by how well Tom coped with the crowds. He distracted himself by playing with Charlie in the playground at first.

Then we all sat down to watch a traditional Punch and Judy show.

After lunch in a nearby tea shop, we went back to the fete to listen to live music from a local band. Both boys loved the music.

On another day, we walked to a local beauty spot on the South Downs and enjoyed a picnic on the grass.

Charlie loved exploring the hills and woods nearby.

One morning, my husband drove us to a 'surprise' venue, having challenged us with a riddle to solve on the way. He said the place we were going to was somewhere we had been over, but never through. We came up with all kinds of answers on the drive there, but none were right. Finally, we the Ouse Valley viaduct in Balcombe.

This was another free trip which the boys loved. Both were enthusiastic about the structure and impressed by how much work and time it must have taken the Victorians to build it.

Our most exciting outing has to be our trip to see the Perseid meteor shower earlier this week. We left after dinner, having packed picnic rugs, bottles of water and torches, and drove to Ashdown Forest, where we could be assured of proper darkness. Lying on our rugs, watching the sky darkening and the stars come out, was impressive enough in itself, but when the first meteor flashed briefly across the sky we were all awe-struck. After that first one, we were treated to a display of about one every five minutes, some of them long and bright enough to leave trails across the sky. It was a wonderful experience. We drove home sometime after 11 and I made the boys hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows on before they went to bed. 

So we may not be practising Times Tables or handwriting much at the moment, but I think the boys are learning something even more important: how to enjoy life and relationships. And, hopefully, they are also building happy memories.

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