There was another exciting occasion last Saturday, which thankfully took place before Mr Jazzy took to the skies...... thank God that Volcano-with-the-unpronounceable-name stopped spewing our way! You see WiiBoy had a Taekwondo testing for his blue belt last Saturday and as you can see from the picture, he was successful! It was a very grueling test.
But before I tell you that story I must tell you this one.....
They've been preparing for weeks for this test and although WiiBoy has been a green belt for a long time he had to work hard to be ready. On the Wednesday before the test they had to be at class early and the intention was that the senior students would help WiiBoy and his pals with their preparations..... whilst the Instructor taught the younger class.
We were the only ones who turned up and there were no senior students. Well, that's not quite true. There was one....... WiiBoy. The Instructor needed some help with the White belts and she had Wiiboy help one student with his pattern!! He stood watching the student go through his moves with a stern, teacher face on him and then he gave him some tips on improving his moves!! Can you believe it? He was fantastic! He then had to hold the paddles for the students to practice their kicks etc. Finally the teacher had him do all his patterns on the floor, whilst the class continued around him and he was brilliant. He had an audience you see, so he performed. His mother's son alright!
So then to Saturday, and the test. Great care and attention was given to their uniforms.... the milton and ironing boards were put to great use for the occasion! They all practiced beforehand.
Then the Master entered the hall and you could hear a pin drop. Discipline and respect are very big tenets of Taekwondo sopressure was put to bear on any lagging attention spans and plenty of loud utterances of "Yes Sir" , "Yes Ma'am" and "Ki-yap" were to be heard throughout.
Seriously, they were on the floor for about an hour and a half with Yellow, Orange and Green belts getting a break of only 15 minutes. They did Patterns, One-Steps and partnered, non-contact, fighting techniques. After my last Taekwondo Post, it was agreed that WiiBoy didn't have to do any sparring for testing. He took part in the non-contact part though. WiiBoy did extremely well, he struggled a little with the attention part. Not much, but it was noticed by the Master and he called out to him but WiiBoy's Instructor discreetly stepped in and all was well. He did his pattern extremely well and he struggled a bit with co-ordination for other parts of the testing..... it is very hard to keep your guard up with your fists in front of your face whilst also trying to do a tricky Taekwondo kick! As usual the uniform and belt caused some discomfort but he was fine.
And he received a well deserved and much coveted, nice shiny new blue belt for his efforts!
Unfortunately this week, in the House of Jazz(y), the ash from that Volcano-with-the-unpronounceable-name was replaced by the Homework Cloud. Yes, that dreaded cloud descended upon us once again....on the week that I was home alone. Teacher has substantially increased the amount of homework in preparation for what lies in store for them in 5th class next September and she is being hard on them all. Monday was a disaster. Tuesday was fabulous because teacher had serious words with him. He did 1hr 40 minutes of homework (interspersed with lots of trampoline breaks etc) that night. He's 10 years old.
Last night (Wednesday) was OK. He forgot some copy books which is a regular occurrence. He does not tick enough boxes for a Dyspaxia diagnosis but this is pretty much standard behaviour for a child on the Spectrum. He was annoyed at himself for forgetting and knew that he'd be in trouble.
I felt for him and more words were spoken to him today. However, his SNA Angel has devised a clever little plan.... a checklist of what's expected of him so we'll see how that goes.
I know how important this preparation is, really.... I do. But I seriously question the homework ethos in schools, generally speaking. Particularly the inconsistency of it between, and within, all schools. The Protestant school across the road from them, for example, doesn't get half as much as they do. Do they fare any worse in Secondary School? I don't think so.
I believe piling on the pressure will have an adverse effect though. And I think I was proven right today. WiiBoy had a big meltdown in class today and I honestly believe it's due to the stresses of the week. I will be monitoring the situation, taking all things into consideration, and will have any necessary discussions. He does have great support though.
We had more success with the recent strict enforcement of the uniform code in school and I got a retrospective (I'd been cheekily doing it anyway!) agreement for him to wear his favourite uniform on Fridays!! I also got agreement to allow me obtain a Jumper for school with less sensory input for next year! This is all with reference to our special needs, of course. Some schools can be so supportive when you approach them.
I'd like to end this blog post as I started it.....positively. Looking for Blue Sky tagged me recently with a Gratitude Award. Thank you Blue Sky.....it does us all good to think of things we're grateful for. Here's my Gratitude List for this week:
- The gift that is our WiiBoy.
- That special time of an evening...just after 9pm...when our gift has gone to bed!
- Mr Jazzy..... I really miss not having him here this week!
- The return of Mr Jazzy this weekend...laden down with gifts! Including a bottle of cheap Vodka. Although I am astounded at his surprise that I didn't still have the bottle he brought back last April???
- My friends....online and in person ;-)
- A supportive school for WiiBoy.
- The opportunities I will get for....... PAYBACK, regarding Mr Jazzy's current trip! Starting with a nAutie Night on the Tiles next Saturday!! Oh yeah! Bring it on!
I now tag Kathleen, Jean, Lora and Taz. with this positive meme!