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A Diamond in the “Ruff”

Posted Nov 21 2012 6:21am

Three Good Things for the day:

  1. Leo is totally into animal sounds. The only one he can really make is a dog’s “woof,” which is adorable because of the way he purses his lips. (His little mouth is one of my favorite parts of him.) But today I discovered that he wants to know all the animal sounds. We have one of those speak-and-say things and he just couldn’t get enough of it tonight.
  2. I got to play on a Wii at physical therapy today.
  3. This didn’t happen today, but I’m still rejoicing about finding two incredibly important things for Sam this weekend. First, I found a homeschool Brownie troop for her. Then, I signed her up for an extracurricular course at an “enrichment center” which offers a la carte classes to homeschooled kids. I didn’t care much what class it was – I just wanted to get her in so that we could start building a network of homeschool friends. Then I found out that both the troop and the school were founded by the same woman. We spoke on the phone for 45 minutes because we couldn’t stop discovering all the things we had in common. I think these two things have the potential to fill the social gap that we have as homeschoolers. Sam really needs a group of kids she sees regularly, in a relatively unstractured setting. Most kids get this from school or church. They see the same group of kids day after day, week after week, year after year. We do have our neighborhood, but now that all the kids Sam’s age are going to the same school, she is an outsider. She is also on a very different schedule than most of them. And extracurriculars are too structured to allow for making real friends (and enemies). The woman who started the Brownie troop and the school had the same things in mind for both, and miraculously (irony intended), they are both secular! The Brownie troop meets weekly instead of twice a month, and there is a lot of unstructured time (as well as very cool field trips). The enrichment center only offers classes on Wednesdays, but it goes on all day in a huge facility, so there are tons of kids there at the same time, and there is a lounge where the parents and kids can hang out, plus a huge play area outside. Sam will be taking a class called “Engineering Extreme Structures” for 1-3rd graders, which seems like a joke to me (she’s never even built anything out of Legos), but we plan to spend part of each Wednesday hanging out there. I will be so happy if this works for us because otherwise, I’ll have to try to build a group of kids on my own. There really is nothing else here in NOVA if you are not religious. And Sam really, really misses her friends from school.
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