Yesterday, I dragged myself out of my funk and borrowed a friend's car to take Rye to Brockhill Country Park, to meet up with the rest of our Home Ed group. I'm glad I did, it turned out to be a lovely afternoon, and I have some lovely wild garlic sat in the fridge in water for use tomorrow!
I walked up toward the shop calling his name, and Jen went down the lake way. Thank the Gods he had opted for the shop, although I was almost at the shop calling his name, before he came running round the corner grinning at me. I confess for a moment, I didn't know whether to hug or wallop him. I hugged him. Then I lectured him. This is the second time he's taken off like this recently, and its giving me a fair few grey hairs. I'm not quite sure how to impress how important it is he tells me if he wants to go elsewhere, he says "Ok, mumee I'll tell you," but I know when push comes to shove, he'll just run off. I'm just gonna have to curtail his freedom for a bit and keep hawk eyes on him. Part of my need to keep him in view, is simply his age - when he was younger, I knew exactly where he would go - these days, the 4yr old urge to explore means I'm never quite sure, and I love my son dearly, but he is very much lacking in common sense - not that I imagine many four year old's have much in the way common sense - but you know what I mean. He is very impulsive. Another part of the need is the alerts/rumours of dodgy people in the area - whether it's true or not, I want to keep Rye a bit closer at the moment.
Aside from that incident, Rye enjoyed himself immensely, and was very taken with the Rooks:
They came very close, and Rye threw some of his crisps to share. I wasn't entirely sure whether that was a good idea, but figured that a few wotsit type crisps are probably ok when considering what a Rook will eat!
We stayed nattering at the park till quite late, before meandering back to the car. Rye appears to have made a friend. The little lad is a couple of months older than Rye, although Rye towers over him, and they just seemed to be having a really good time and bless the boy, he was really upset when it was time to say goodbye. Rye being, Rye was a bit more blaise about leaving time; he was already anticipating a visit to Aunty J's house and a ride in Uncle Lulud's car, (whom had lent me the car to drive over to the park).
I've festered a little this week, since finding out the date of the funeral, so it was really good to get out doors - seemed to reset the balance a bit. This morning I was awake at 7am and up and pottering around; whereas the past few days I've found it difficult to drag myself from the bed. Mind, I did have a very odd dream this morning - a spider that grew about 3 or 4 inches long, and I decided it had to go, (not sure where we were, it looked vaguely like the farm where I grew up), and the spider spoke English and told me it wasn't going anywhere, and kept throwing cobwebs, bunched up at me. So I swatted it down, trying to capture it, had my hand around it, as it was sinking its fangs into my fingers, mumbling it wasn't going anywhere, and me screaming for my brothers to help me.... very odd dream, and have to say, made me just a little jumpy around spiders, whom aren't my favourite species at the best of times.
But anyway, moving on, this morning I did a little crochet, 3rd row of the shawl completed now, some housework, putting laundry onto wash, and then Rye and myself popped into town. Bought the ribbon for the Maypole dancing for the Home Ed group next week. (I'm suppose to be in Scotland, so we arranged to do the dancing next week), and bargain! I picked up Rye an Ikea easel from a second hand book/toy shop for £10 - never opened.
Friend popped over this afternoon with her kids, and we had a nice natter and Rye, especially, got very wet playing with the kids and the water soakers I bought a few days ago. Once they left I thought I'd set up the easel. Rye had a little play with it - and then I thought we'd do a little letter recognition exercise.
Oh dear, not a good idea. I wrote "a, b, c" and asked Rye what the letters were. He knew them, so then I wrote, "apple", "bus", and "cat". I also wrote his name, "Rye". We both got very frustrated and peeved off. Rye just wasn't paying attention, I'd write Bus, and he'd sound out the letters, and eventually say bus. I'd rub it off, write the exact same word and he'd tell me it said "apple". I felt like throttling him. He couldn't keep still either, jigging around, hands down his pjs, bending down, standing up, hopping from foot to foot (no he didnt' need a pee either), I should have stopped and accepted he's not ready yet.... but I was in a bullish mood. So I persisted and persisted, getting more and more frustrated - and Rye becoming more and more unsure and trying to say what he thought would please me, rather than actually paying attention and looking at the words/letters.
Yes, it ended in tears. Way to go. As I put him to bed tonight, Rye said he didn't want to do letters anymore and looked at me tearfully. **sigh** I apologised for being short and frustrated with him and said how about we do something fun with letters tomorrow - he perked up at that idea. I have some sandpaper, I think I'll cut the letters out and let him feel and trace the shapes and maybe get the paint ot too, so he can paint over the sandpaper letters, one thing I did notice is that Rye does appear to be a tactile learner. He kept tracing the letters on the blackboard with his fingers. I will back off, but I don't want him to think looking at letters is not fun - so we'll do something fun tomorrow and then I'll go back to following Rye's lead - rather than trying to force things he's clearly not ready for.
All my fault for comparing - a few of the members of the HE group are more structured and their similar in ages, (in some cases younger) boys appear to be more along learning to read and write etc than Rye. Silly me, it doesn't matter, and he was doing pretty well... afterall he did accurately remember that the street sign outside our house this morning. And ok he seems to have forgotten some of his letters - but then we've been busy these past weeks and the repetition of our rhythm has faltered a little - it was through the repetition I was introducing games to help gross and motor skills, concentration, reptitions of letters and numbers, stretching our bodies, learning to listen to a story, as well as looking at pictures in books as I read.
Not that he hasn't learned other valuable lessons in the past weeks - he is beginning, I think, to understand the concept of friendship - he's starting to learn how to play with others, negotiating how that play is directed, sharing of toys, exercising his body, and running off the boisterious energy that is so much in evidence at the moment.
So yes, I need to sit back and remember that one of the reasons I've chosen to home ed is so that Rye can learn at his pace and also to have his childhood for much longer; to be out side playing, expanding his imagination, experiencing the community around him. I don't "do" lessons because I genuinely believe he's too young!
Hmmm, mama still learning ;-)