Yesterday I went to Ellen’s college for an end of year review meeting and on the way out I was shown a display of some of the art work that she has done over the year. I have to admit I was stunned, in a good way, as I had no idea that she was capable of such detailed work. It was a proud parent moment, especially when the tutor said that she hoped to have Ellen in art again next year as she just loved the work that she produced 🙂
I had already planned today’s craft activity and have to admit that having seen her college work I wondered whether I had set the bar slightly too low with pecking birds… Possibly Ellen thought so too, because she really resisted the first couple of times I tried to get started on the activity with her. Having learnt from the strawberry planting activity that although it is possible to ‘push through the pain’ of resistance, it is not very productive from an RDI/guiding point of view. So instead I decided just to swop the day’s activities around. Off we went to the village shop so that Ellen could work through her list there (she’s getting very quick at that – more challenges required!) and then we came back to the pecking birds after lunch.
What a difference there was on the third attempt! Ellen was engaged and even coordinated her movements with mine on occassion (which had been my RDI objective through the task). Even more amazingly when the birds were finished she not only verbalised the fact that we needed to clear up, but she even helped me do it.
One thing which we agreed at the college meeting was that it would be useful to have more communication between us (where have I heard that before over the years!) They seemed keen to pool knowledge and resources which has only got to be a positive move. For example, I suggested that if they sent home the recipies that Ellen cooks every week at college, we could have a go at cooking them again at home and so reinforce the activity. It’s not rocket science, it’s more at the rocking birds level, but it seemed to set off a few lightbulbs. Here’s hoping.