My day began with a morning tea here in our house. Arrowsmith parents, new and old, met and chatted over tea and coffee and many delicious goodies (coffee thanks to Lynette who not only brought her kettle but also her Nespresso machine, beautiful teaspoons and a delicious dip – thank you! Delicious goodies courtesy of all the parents – thank you all too). It was really good to meet many of the new parents and just like us last year, they were wanting to know had we seen any changes in our children (still our children no matter how old they are – sorry Simon!) and what were the changes and how quickly were they evident. I guess it is not surprising since we have all invested so much hope in the Arrowsmith programme, splitting our families, leaving husbands or wives behind, moving far distances, sometimes half way around the world, or moving the whole family to a new town with siblings having to go to new schools, mums and dads having to find new jobs, the sacrifices that families make to be able to access the Arrowsmith programme are extraordinary. And, of course, there is no guarantee that there will be the changes we hope for, they are dependent upon the engagement of the student with the programme, but it seems to me that it is rare that a student doesn’t engage as they are keen to make the changes in their brain occur and are prepared to put in the hard work required for that to happen. I have said many times now that I have not come across a more encouraging and supportive group of teachers, they are truly inspiring. And that of all the interventions that Simon has had over the years this is the most effective, and in fact, I found out today that he has become so blasé about his progress that he didn’t think to tell me that he has gone from level 4 to level 6 in tracing!
After all the parents left, the parents of the new students reassured by us that all will be well and their sojourns here in Peterborough will be worthwhile, Ben emerged to have breakfast and lunch together. We then went for a walk to show him the main streets of Peterborough (not a very long walk!), picked up Simon from Arrowsmith so Ben could see where Simon spends his days (being tortured, as he said to Ben!). A quick shop to buy dinner for Simon and Ben as Emma and I had other plans! We went off to Le Petit Bar to enjoy a pre-movie dinner, a beautiful platter of cheese and charcuterie, with a glass of Niagara Pinot Noir – perfect! We didn’t have very high expectations of “This is Where I Leave You”, chosen because it was the only movie which looked ok at a reasonable time so it was a bonus to enjoy it and laugh as much we as did! Much better than “Endless Love” which we watched on a rainy evening earlier this week – two hours of my life wasted and gone! Emma and Amanda felt the same way too! Don’t you hate it when you wish you had not bothered to watch a complete-waste-of-time-film!