If you missed yesterday's blog - stop reading this one immediately and click HERE. You will be shocked...amazed...and, if you're like me - will cry tears of joy.
Go ahead... I won't start until you get back.
So... yesterday we went to an open house at a potential school for Gavin. It's called Camphill Special School. It is a private school with an adapted Waldorf curriculum for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I wrote about it before when we decided on a random Saturday to drive there - just to see how far it is, what it looked like, etc. HERE is that post with some photos of the campus.
When we got there, there were several prospective families...what looked like some students that actually attend and live there at the school...and teachers. It was hard to know from looking who were the parents and who were the teachers, which I found kind of nice. It's definitely a laid back, family-like atmosphere. The first scheduled activity was "folk dancing", which was done in a large room with high ceilings and gorgeous stained glass windows. I only mention that because, besides the music - they were definitely things that Gavin noticed. Perhaps he's destined to be an architect! We stood on the sidelines as kids and adults held hands and danced in a huge circle. Gavin was by far the youngest child there and he was happy to cling to me and dance like we were at home.
The second scheduled activity - the one I made sure to clear my camera card for - was horseback riding. This would be Brian's very first time on a horse!! And Gavin, who LOVED his horseback riding therapy SO much, would surely be thrilled to be back in the saddle!!!
Or so I thought.
It was all a big disaster. Brian was too scared to even go near the horse! And Gavin, who was the first to get on, was walked maybe ten steps away before they took him off. They walked him back to me and the only thing I can surmise is that he felt unsteady. They had just met Gavin - and he probably just got a little scared.
But he looked adorable!!
We walked back to the main house...admiring the campus along the way. The different houses - each one more architecturally interesting than the next - are nestled among tall trees. And they even had patches of bamboo here and there! It's a beautiful setting, I have to say. When we got back, there were still a couple families and some teachers milling around. Ed and I checked out a classroom on that floor and both agreed that it was really nice looking...
It was then that we were approached by Maureen. She's a sixth grade teacher, if I remember correctly, and came here from England specifically to work at Camphill. We chatted for a while and then she offered to take us on a tour of the classrooms on the bottom floor of the building we were in.
I didn't bring my camera with me, so you'll have to take my word for it. The lower grade classrooms (grades 1-3) were so adorable. And they had a music room that had an impressive collection of instruments, including a large handbell set. Music and dramatic arts are a large part of the curriculum at Camphill, which is right up this Mom's alley!
Ed and I left there feeling very comfortable. We're not sure yet what we'll do - if Gavin will end up there or not. I don't foresee sending him there for Kindergarten. At least I don't think. It's a half hour away...and the Kindergarten program is full day. He'd take a bus - which would mean he'd be gone WAY too long for my taste. He just seems too young for that...in my opinion. But Camphill is absolutely on our radar for Grades 1-12!
With the rate he's going, though, who knows what Gavin's future holds...
Brian and I worked on his school "Snack Box" today! His teachers said I could bring in a box of "safe snacks" for him that they'll store in their snack closet. He helped decorate it by putting all those dots on...and then helped me fill up the box with snacks.
Of course he sampled some of the snacks along the way...and so did I. His favorite gluten free/nut free snack is Pirate's Booty - and mine are "Mary's Gone Crackers Sticks and Twigs Pretzels" - the Sea Salt version. Brian seems very excited that he will have his own box of treats to choose from each day during snack time!
We've been doing a ton of practicing. When I say "Brian, what are you allergic to?" He answers, "PEANUTS! NO NUTS!" And when I say, "Brian, what would you do if someone asked you if you wanted some of their snack...or their cookie...or their ice cream and Mommy or Daddy weren't there?" He answers, "No thank you!"
Let's see how that plays out in real life. I'm holding my breath.