Friday, June 12, 2015

Pre-Summer Recap, Part II

Renaissance Faire

The kids have been enjoying the movie "A Knight's Tale", so I decided to see if there were any festivals around--and we found one, less than an hour's drive! The reviews stated it was a family friendly event with affordable admission. I emailed the festival director and asked about the terrain for Elena and myself; they said it was in a large field, on a hill (they weren't kidding) but they gave us directions and offered a golf cart ride back to the car if we needed it (we didn't).

Welcome Lords and Ladies!
We had such a great time! The girls saw jousting (with a lady knight, very empowering!), jugglers, entertainers, singers, beautiful crafts, a blacksmith, knife/axe throwers, archers, and lots and lots of people in costumes.

Cheering on Lady Anne at the Queen's Joust
One of the reviews I read mentioned how the costumed individuals are very welcoming to children--were they right! The girls were repeatedly bowed to, addressed as "my lady", and asked questions like "are you a princess?" and things like that. They were tickled.

Talking to a Lady before Court
To my surprise, both kids loved the Queen's Court. There were seats in the shade (the day was HOT! I can't imagine how hot the people were in mail and armor) and they had front-row seats to watch people bring gifts, read poetry, make jokes and otherwise entertain the Queen.

Girls being offered a front-row seat at Court
 The girls also were knighted by the Queen! They were cheered by the Court (Huzzah!) and received a certificate. Both girls brought their certificate to school for show-and-share.

Lady Vivian leaving Her Grace's Court
The Knighting of Lady Vivian
We had an awesome time. The Ladies were tired after our day at the Faire. If you are around Lake Anna Winery, you should definitely cheek it out!

Bonus Moi

Quest Fest

 There is an end-of-the-year showcase at school where students' prominent works are on display. I had both Elena and Vivian take me on a tour of the school and show me their work. My favorites are shown below.

E with her word portrait and sock puppet

Homemade Circuit Board Quiz!

Vivian with her "Seasons"
 One thing that continually amazes me is the variety of work Elena does in the fourth grade, and how well integrated she is with her classmates. School helps put her on peer level better than anything else right now. It's wonderful to see.

Climbing Study

Elena was asked to take part in a climbing study. The objective is to see if rock climbing can be used as an effective PT tool. Elena is monitored via motion-capture technology on her first and last sessions; in-between, she climbs and hopefully improves her motion. We can come as often as we like. Right now, it's once a week.

E getting set up by Mr. John and Mr. Eric

Elena has been climbing before, and typically is willing to try anything--even if it's scary. She doesn't seem to be afraid, even after losing her footing--she trusts Mr. Eric on belay.

Mr. John giving instruction
E taking instruction

 First they had Elena climb as she pleased, while they got the idea of her comfort level and movement abilities. The second time, John gave her instructions of where to place her feet and hands, trying to stretch her range or use right vs. left extremities. In general, Elena leads with her left leg. Her hands are not particularly strong, and she relies on her left leg for strength and stability (no surprises here). Important to note, this is the first time she has ever used a half-harness (waist only); every other rock climbing experience (three, I think) she has been in a full-body harness (I wasn't sure if she could right herself if she lost her footing--now I know she can).

We've been a few times--Elena enjoys it much more without the time taken to attach all the motion sensors. I can see definitely improvement in hand strength, using her right side, and her weight distribution on the decent (trying to get her feet flat on the wall, while leaning back in an attempt to repel down the climbing face). Vivian is allowed to try too, although she is more of a one-and-done climber.

I'm looking forward to the report at the end of the summer!


Kim said...

How fun! Both the fair and rock climbing. The rock climbing especially sounds really neat. I bet it is much harder for her to favor her left while climbing. And fun. The best part of anything even potentially therapeutic.

TheCzarsOf45 said...

It's great exercise. I climb with the Catalyst Sports adaptive climbing program in Knoxville. And have a superb time. I like it.