Friday, March 11, 2005

Incredible day ...

Today I had an incredible day!
Until about 7:00 I thought it was awful! LOL!! But now I can see that it was truely an amazing day for me.
Today was the first day of our two day conference. About 2 months ago, I picked what little seminars I was going to do. I was excited to go. Got up today. Got the kids ready. Had the diaper bag packed the night before. Had my bag to carry around packed the night before. With great excitment we drove all of 5 minutes to get the convention that was for half my state (aren't I lucky to live so close!).
We checked in, went to our volunteer orientation and had a few minutes to relax. I reminded the kids again how our day would go. They would go to the play room while mommy went to a "class." Then we would have lunch together, after which I would bring them back to the play room and leave them again while I go to another class, and then I would come back to the play room and be with them for an hour and half (my volunteer time to help out) and then daddy would come take them home on his way home from work.
I will say honestly, I expected my 2 year old to throw a fit and not stay in the playroom as seperation anxiety is a huge issue with her. I was prepared for her to sit in on the seminars I was going to (which was allowed as she wasn't distracting) and that would be that.
But I took them both, signed them both in and then kissed them good-bye. She looked at me nervously and asked (in her own way) if I was going to stay. I told her I wasn't going to stay and braced myself for tears. No tears came, but she asked me to stay again, and I told her I had to go to class and she was going to stay with her big sister and play. With a little fear in her eye, she said good-bye and went by her sister.
Just like that.
I almost fell over from shock, but instead boogied out of there before she could change her mind! LOL!
Went to my first session. It was about getting started. I thought we would discuss state laws, resources we could use, etc, etc. It didn't. I was disappointed. I'm not sure if I misunderstood the class description or if it was misrepresented becuase I haven't checked the packet yet. But I was disappointed. I can honestly say, I got nothing from the session. Not one thing. Not true ... I did get that the presenter was an unschooler and (appeared) to look down upon those that didn't. I could have misread her. I don't think I did, but I could have ...
Session ended and I kind of shook it off ... I had 2 more sessions to attend today and several tomorrow. No biggie if one was a flop. I went and checked out the kids. First we stopped in a "mini-session" about a science curriculum that sounded really great. Then had a dandy lunch together.
We had about 15 to minutes to just hang out before the next session started. They both had fun in the playroom and told me what they did. And it was time to take them back. Again, my 2 asked me to please stay with her. I told her I couldn't, but I would be back, and with a bit of fear in her eyes, she let me go. Again, no tears, no clinging. Again, a shocked mom, but one who jetted out before the mind could change!
I walked into my next session, which was about helping your child have a lifelong love of reading and all that jazz. Reading is near and dear to me, and I want that for my children too.
Again, big flop. They did not say one thing in there that I hadn't learned before. Basically what they said reminded me of one of the class lectures from my reading methods courses in college.
I couldn't believe it! I would have settled for just one new idea. One new fact. One new ... anything!
So I went to the play room and played. That was pretty fun. One little girl took to me. My oldest was having a blast in the room doing her onw thing. I think she talked to me once while I was in there! Which is fine ... I was glad to see her having fun and talking with other kids! Even my 2 blew me away! She hung out with me part of the time, but part of the time she was off doing her own thing ... even though I was in the room. She didn't demand for me to hold her, or put her on my lap, or give her all my attention! I was very blown away and wonder if I haven't been giving her enough credit in this department until now, or if it's just something she has learned to cope with? Who knows, but I'm so happy to see it!
Then we went to the vendors. I bought 2 things for a grand total of 17.50! And then dh picked up the kids to take them home. I almost went home with them ... afterall, so far the day had been a bust and I really felt like it was a wasted day, other than discovering my 2 year old could handle herself in a new environment without me ....
Instead I went and bought some more items. I found stuff on logic for my 5 year old! I have been having a hard time finding things that could start a foundation of logic skills at her age. I think logic is one of the best gifts I can give my kids and don't want to throw it all at them when they hit high school. So when I saw it tonight, I grabbed it!
And then, I went to the next session. It was "Sixes and Sevens." My oldest is 5.5 and I thought 6 will be soon enough so it should be good. Well, let me tell you .... this session was amazing!! Almost all that we talked about applied to my dd. The changes he described, the things we discussed ... it was her to a tee! And other parents shared and it was their kids too! And suddenly I thought "wow! Other mothers go through this too!" It was great. The guy presenting made a lot of sense. Things he said made my brain go "Oh! So that is what is going on!" What he said made sense ... he talked about the needs at this age ... what happens at this age ... and a few ways to help it ... but it was more informational than how to since every kid is different.
I sat there and just sucked up all that he said! I even approached him afterwards to continue the discussion with him (and well, I had a few situations I wanted to present to him for ideas how to handle). He was very personable, and everything he said made sooooo much sense! He has 2 books out right now that I am going to buy!

Interestingly enough, when I was talking to him, he said based on my description, it sounds like my 5 has a lot of similarities as gifted children. I found it very interesting - not so I can say "Haha my kid is smarter than your kid" but interesting in "Hmmm. Should I be approaching her education differently? Does this mean her brain works differently than me and that is why we sometimes have a hard time understanding each other? Or is that just becuase of our different personalities? What does this mean in terms of how we will homeschool her?" Honestly, I don't think she's "gifted" in that she has an above average IQ ... but I have felt that she just thinks about the world differently. I thought all kids looked at the world differently than other adults, but maybe she sees the world differently even than most kids. It will be interesting ... I think my 2 sees things differently too ... mostly becuase of her sensory issues and becuase the way she learns things and processes new information just looks and sounds different than most kids her age. But I never really thought about my oldest that much. And of course, my youngest is delayed (not so much anymore), but at one point we discussed her having autism ... so I tend to watch her like a hawk. And my oldest pretty much breezes through everything and so I don't watch her like a hawk.
I think I realized that I can't pass her over becuase she doesn't tend to struggle with learning.
The session just really opened my eyes to pay attention to her more ... to really get nitty gritty with her and try to figure out how to help her grow and learn the best. Which I think I've neglected doing so far. This one session made the entire day worth it. Because I just had so many Aha! moments. Wonderful! I'm so excited right now ... I feel like I'm on fire and my passion is renewed and that I'm just ready to plug in more to both my kids. It's amazing! I expected to learn a few facts today, get a few ideas, have a good time, and here I sit ... ready to go! The fire going again. And I still have one day left! LOL!


Anonymous said...

Wow that class sounds amazing! I wish I could have been there with you since I have a 5.5 year old too. What are the names of the books? I am interested!
Karen (Renren74)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like that last class was awesome. I would love to know that name of the books. They sound like a must read for me.

Chrissy(LF Joi)