Where has the time gone?! To think that I have already been here for over a month is outrageous because although I have fallen into a nice daily rhythm it seems impossible for me to have been here for more than a week.
Lots of things were happening this week at Open Arms. Not only were we able to go see a dress rehearsal of a youth ballet in the city, but we also were all getting prepared for Interhouse Athletics at the school on Friday. Interhouse Athletics is a track and field event which is between the two equal "houses" of the school named "Davidson"and "Williamson." Since we have children in both houses it is great to see the camaraderie and competiveness through pride for each house. I was in charge of supervising all the homeschool children because we all decided to allow them a field trip to go cheer on the others. They were all very supportive and it was a great event!
As for homeschool with the boys, overall it was a fairly successful week, however we did have our largest meltdown ever on Wednesday. My learner with emotional development delays finally exploded after having a prior meltdown free week. This meltdown was far more serious than any of the others as it evolved into the throwing of rocks at windows, attempted biting, running away, throwing classroom materials, and slamming doors. It was as if something inside him had snapped and he became stuck in this rut and he just need to release some steam. He received a very serious yet short scolding and was dismissed from class for the day, but surprisingly he was able to calm down and gave a sincere apology for his misbehavior and came back to class and was well-behaved for the remainder of the day. Even though this meltdown was stressful and quite large, I view his return to class as a huge accomplishment. Two weeks ago, he would have never been able to calm down and return to class, but the fact that he could acknowledge that he made a mistake and understand the difference between right and wrong behavior to me shows that he is making progress. Once he gets his emotions under control he will definitely be school ready because he thoroughly understands every area of the class material.
After this meltdown, I finally decided it was time to add my personal addition, upon the suggestion of the staff psychologist, to the new classroom. This weekend I used the leftover bricks, stones, and sand to build the boys their own personal sandbox. Let me tell you, building a sandbox is much more difficult than it sounds! It was a full day project that included several blisters, scrapes, and cuts, but I know it will be worth it once the boys begin to use it this coming week. This sandbox is unique because it is just for the two boys and it is only to be used during school hours, or under my supervision or a director when requested. From a psychology standpoint, a sandbox is a wonderful development tool because it is used to relieve stress and give a child a free space to create and explore without any distraction from the outside world. Sand play therapy is a common technique used by child psychologists for a variety of different therapy patients. Not only will the boys be able to grow in this aspect, but they will also be able to develop their gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination through sculpting, focus, and learn through experiencing different textures and feel. I am very anxious to test out the sandbox this week and continue to see the progress through learning and behavior skills.
This past week there was a lot going on and I barely had time to sit down, but that is just the way I like it. All this business is causing time to fly by way too fast, but as the cliché goes: time flies when you are having fun!