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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Mungalli Falls for a Home Schooled Marriage Proposal

Partner proposed to me! We’re getting married in March. I am so happy. For my birthday, the boys arranged a weekend of delightful surprises that culminated with a marriage proposal on the beach at Palm Cove.

(Pic is of a Cassawary: a rainforest bird that lives in the surrounds of Mungali Falls. the magical place we are getting married.)

What does a marriage proposal have to do with home school? Everything. The teachable moments connected to this event are huge. Although Boy was involved in his father's wedding many years ago, he was too young to draw lasting learning from the whole wedding and marriage experience.

This time Boy has already learnt about:

1) Surprises: Boy and partner had arranged the proposal between each other, weeks prior to my birthday. We don’t do secrets in our house and Boy had the ultimate learning in the importance between a secret and a surprise. I still cannot believe that he managed to keep his mouth shut!!!!

Apparently, Partner consulted Boy on everything (including asking permission of Boy). The degree of responsibility enhanced his self esteem and taught him the importance of family sharing, decision making and togetherness: a huge learning for a child with Aspergers.

2) Word of the day: Boy is going to be the best man and has responsibility for organising the bucks party. A term he has never heard before, Boy was most interested in what a Buck's Party and Hen's Party is. The history of the traditions associated with weddings have caused a great deal of learning for boy and he has some new words that he can now talk around.

Following many discussions with us about what works, what’s legal, what’s appropriate, etc, Boy has chosen to hold a Laser Tag Bucks Party. What a wonderful idea he came up with. Not wishing to be left out, the Hen’s Party will be the girls against the boys.

3) Decision making: Boy has been included in every decision to date. His and my first choice of place to get married was Paronella Park: a place steeped in history, conservation and teachable moments just waiting to be grabbed. Unfortunately, Paronella Park can only accommodate small weddings and will therefore not suit us.

Back to the drawing board, Boy and I decided upon another place that we love: Mungalli Falls Student Village and Wilderness Retreat. Boy has been longing to horse ride and do archery at Mungalli falls but we have never had sufficient time. So, the wedding will be a lunch time wedding, leaving sufficient afternoon time for Boy to capitalise upon the activities that he likes

We know the owners of Mungalli Falls Student Village and they are very decent and caring people. They offer a superb service in the most divine location, have home schooled one of their children, and are focused on the developmental needs of children. I love them and I love Mungalli Falls. Boy, partner and I are very proud to be able to celebrate our most precious family day with them and we thank the Trout family from the bottom of our hearts.

4) Preparations: We attempt to remain child focused. Boy and his needs remains our concern. Therefore, the wedding will become a child focused overnight camp. Boy is in favor of a picnic lunch, games and face painting for all the kids, platypus and glow worm viewing, a campfire and singing that evening, horse riding the following day and archery too please.

While we are on school holidays and before home school starts, Boy and I are in preparation mode.

Our wedding is a home school experience that cannot be paralleled by other teachable moments. This is an experience that Boy is immersed in, has some ownership over and will produce learning that he has never before experienced.

Now I just have to have faith that Boy will not have an Aspergers melt down on the day of the wedding. Any tips from other parents of children with Aspergers in risk managing and minimizing the likelihood of meltdown in an over stimulating environment?

2 comments:

JJ said...

WOW! What brilliant teachable moments you have associated with this wonderful event.
You are destined to have a fantastic wedding (and marriage) due to the participation by all involved.
Well done and it was a brilliant read!
Congratulations!
JJ

Megan Bayliss said...

Thanks JJ. I know the wedding isn't supposed to be around Boy's learning but I just can't help it. Mungali Falls is just one of those places oozing teachable moments.

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