Saturday, October 18, 2008

Halloween Party

Today was the Halloween party for our homeschool group. This is the group that I started over a year ago, but only just got off the ground within the last two months. It's been wonderful--we have regular playgroups, people show, we're getting to know everyone, and the kids are all 6 and under. There's a good mix of boys and girls, too. One of our members was kind enough to host the party at her mom's clubhouse, and we all had a great time.

The kids bobbed for apples, played Pin the Stem on the Pumpkin, heard a mildly spooky Halloween story, created wreathes out of leaves, decorated cookies, and generally ran around like maniacs.

Lachlann slept through most of the party (Colwyn's birthday party was earlier in the day, and he was just wiped out), and Colwyn was pretty slow to warm up, but he felt a lot better after he had a big helping of all the nutritious goodies everyone brought for snacks. I was really impressed with his behaviour at the party. I never thought he would bob for apples, but he dived right in. He was even the first - one of the dads said, "Okay, Anakin, you're first!" and he went for it. Then during Pin the Stem on the Pumpkin (pictured above), he let me and Doug stay on the opposite side of the room, he let a woman he doesn't know at all really put the mask on his face and spin him around, and he let another woman (who he knows slightly better) help guide him toward the pumpkin. And when they did storytime, he sat with the other kids and even *gasp* raised his hand when she asked questions. That especially blew me away.. how did he learn to do that? He seriously raised his hand and waited for the mom to call on him before he spoke. Colwyn was delightful and really polite throughout the whole party (except for a bit of forcefulness when asking everyone to *please* call him by his character's name--though I was actually pleased to see him being assertive).

It just really struck me that, given the chance, he'll do things in his own time, when he's ready for it. There's no need for me to rush him or make him uncomfortable; it's much more enjoyable for all of us to let him participate on his terms--and if we do that consistently, he'll grow out of his shyness. And it was also a good example of how unschooled kids will learn to wait in line, take turns, be polite, respect other adults, etc. without being in school.



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