Today was our first home-ed meet of 2011. We were a little bit dubious about the weather conditions and what would be in-store for us, but we decided to risk it and give it a go anyway.
The group meeting was going to be held in the exquisite surroundings of Cockington Village. It is full of chocolate box thatched cottages and oldy worldy charm. In the summer they still have horse and carriages bobbing up and down the lanes, it's that kind of place.
I was unsure of how many families to expect given that it was a cold winters day, with the constant threat of rain. I knew that I should expect a new family joining us, as I had exchanged emails with them, but you just never know who will actually turn up on the day.
I was very pleasantly surprised. We had a total of 11 families - consisting of 15 adults and 27 children. When we first started the group in February last year, we had no idea of how many home-educating families there were in the area. I only knew of a couple, which had fast become friends and a support network as we progressed on our home-ed journey. Our group meeting numbers soon swelled as it seemed more and more families were creeping out from their hidey holes, and I'm extremely glad that they did :) It seems as though not a week goes by without an enquiry from either somebody new to the area, or new to the idea of home-ed. Just on Sunday I received 3 emails from local people wanting to know more about the group and asking if they could join us.
The day was lovely, lots of happy children chattering, with adults enjoying a social time together. We walked around the grounds, watched ducks on the lake, and picnicked at the playground. Around 3pm the weather started to change, and rain started to pour. Families started to leave, and the last few stragglers went for delicious Hot Chocolates with Marshmallows in the cafe.
Lee had to leave us a little early for an appointment, so as everyone left, we seeked shelter from the (by then) heavy rain. I took the opportunity to take a few photos of the grounds, liking this one of the church in particular...
By the time Lee returned to pick us up, it was 4pm and we had been at Cockington for 5 hours. We all resembled drowning rats - particularly this little one who refused to put his hood up as he likes the rain...
I was really proud of my gang though, there was not one single complaint about being cold, wet, nor bored of waiting. Instead we sang silly songs and danced around to keep spirits high :)
Next meeting on the 17th January is our group "planning meet". I'm looking forward to hearing what ideas for upcoming meetings people bring along.