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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Homeschool Gym at the YMCA

We started homeschool gym again this fall, and it's even better than before - both for Tom, and for me. Instead of creating two separate groups of homeschoolers (older/younger), the Y went with one larger group. As a result, we have about 10 kids enrolled, ranging in age from abou 7 to 13. Being homeschoolers, they're less intense... less competitive... and more interesting than your average kiddos. Same goes for the moms!

Homeschool gym is a sort of substitute for ordinary school gym, only much more interesting. Kids spend about an hour in gym-type activities - but in this case they include things like... ultimate frisbee, rock climbing - things you might actually WANT to do. No "president's fitness test" here. After the first hour, you get changed and get a 1/2 hour swim lesson follow by free swim (including time on the water slide!).

One of the nicest things that happened this time around is that a woman I know locally brought her autistic 11 year old to join the group. This is a boy who, I thought, might have a tough time. Certainly his mom was concerned. But lo and behold, he had a terrific time! Not only did he join in as he could, but no one said a word (beyond encouragement) when he chose NOT to join in.

This mom thought perhaps the fact that the instructors were men might have made a difference. I suspect she's right. Tom, who has NEVER cared for group sports, jumped right into soccer (of all things!). He ran, kicked, and even threw the ball back in when it went out of bounds. His pratfalls were also a hit: everyone giggled when he "hit the wall" and pretended to slide down to the floor!


The Glasers said...

Hurray!!! Snoopy dancing for you here in South Carolina!!!!

Did Tom enjoy his role as class clown? Pamela can finally laugh at pratfalls. She even watches "America's Funniest Videos" from time to time . . .

Lisa Jo Rudy said...

Thanks, Tammy! I'm psyched for Pamela - so great to be able to laugh together. There are definitely some things we can all enjoy together ... Shrek, for instance, has something for everyone LOL!

Ursula said...

We have the same program here, too. I'm so glad they created it. It really did put the fun back in. I was amazed when the instructor said he'd worked with autistic kids often and felt right at home.

Tom sounds like an amazing kid. Thanks for sharing his experience with the rest of us! I'll check back often.