What a busy summer we are having! Since my last post about Special Olympics we have had 3 weekends of company visit our house.
The first week we had some dear friends from Indiana come through on their way to a wedding. They had their grandson with them and he and Gess really seemed to hit it off. Those two played so well together that the grown ups were able to relax and visit without much interruption. We walked them downtown and took them through the Safari Museum, which is this biggest tourist attraction in our small town. Gess willingly gave up her bed and enjoyed sleeping on her "pallet." In fact, she continues to ask to sleep on one.
The next weekend we had her cousins for 3 days. We love having them around as they all play really well together. Their ages are also perfectly spaced as they are all about one year apart. We pretty much had an 8, 9 and 10 year old for the weekend. For this visit we spent most of our time at the pool, which kids that age love. We had a blast, got lots of sun and Gess again learned about opening her home up to others.
This last weekend my sister and her daughter came, though her daughter is all grown up so there were no little ones to play with this time. Gess did show some signs of growing tired of company, specifically when conversations were loud, however she really did enjoy herself and liked having them around. We also took them to see the Safari Museum. Here is Gess with my sister and my mom and with Osa and Martin Johnson, the adventurers the museum was created for.
This week we are beginning swimming lessons. She took lessons last year but we were still working on comfort with the water. I just never seemed to take her swimming enough last year to get much past that. This year we have already visited the pool quite a bit and she seems much more comfortable with the water. She still has no desire to get her face wet or stick her head under it, so I am not sure how much "swimming" she will learn. My only desire is that she be able to tread to safety if she ever falls in. We will see what this year's lessons bring. I know she is looking forward to it, for when she woke up this morning she ran out of the room saying, "swimming lessons, here I come!" She's ready!
After 8 days of lessons we will then be heading to church camp where we will be spending one night in a cabin and having tons of fun. I shared about our first overnight camp last year and Gess can't wait to do it again!
We are also in the library reading program as well. There Gess gets in on some of the story time adventures, crafts and tea parties. We will warm up to more fireworks and have a picnic with our church on July 4th and just meet friends and family at the park and various other places too. Summer is the perfect time to work on those social skills with the kids not even realizing that they are learning a thing!
Parents of kids with special needs will really appreciate how much these experiences mean, and not only how much fun we have, but also how much "work" they are! Taking a child out of their normal routine can be hard on anyone, and for our kids it's even more so. I have to say, Gess has handled it all pretty well and has really developed some pretty good social skills. Was she perfect? No, but was she any more or less behaved than any other kid, absolutely not!
So for all of you those people who ask homeschoolers, "what about socialization?" Believe me, our kids are getting plenty of it! We go off to study things hands on so much and find so many ways to interact with others that I often joke about how I can call it homeschool when we seem like we are hardly ever home! Have a great, happy and safe summer!