We went at 3 till 10. We are usually in bed by 8:30. It was not too crowded till later, but the rides looked prettier when they were all lit up at night.
Dilara really revealed herself in her choices of activities. She spent much more time with the educational things, like the livestock and Mr. Bond's Science, etc. Her favorite 'amusement' was the funhouse, which she went through 4 times straight. She rode one ride in the 'thrill zone' with her teen-aged brother and sister and it was 'too high' and after that, she carefully considered which rides would best suit her.
There is a HUGE difference in the experience of "riding" and sitting passively in a seat, buckled in and going along a path pre-determined by others, and exploring a funhouse at your own pace. I am not the LEAST surprised that she kept going back for more treks through the funhouse, where I am sure she experienced or noticed something slightly different every time and was able to go at her own pace somewhat. There were kids behind her and there wasn't always room for them to squeeze by, but she went through it enough times to be sure she had gotten all there was to get out of the places she might have been rushed through. Kind of like "working to mastery" in homeschool. I am also not surprised that she didn't choose to ride ANY of the rides more than once. Nothing new to see, nothing new to learn, too much unexplored territory out there!
During her learning time at home, she is very good at selecting her own activities that cover a ride range of subjects, and she knows how to decide what is appropriately challenging. She used to get frustrated when she couldn't do something. Now, she may take on something a bit too advanced, but it is okay if she decides that she is not ready for it. She does 'too easy' work 'just for fun' and that is fine with me. She sees for herself the value in review, in how it helps with retention. I could not have asked for better student to homeschool while I deal with chronic illness. The only trouble she gives me is when I tell her what to do, but there isn't too much resistance, and I know she is just 'switching gears' between 'self-directed' and 'teacher directed' activity.
The ONE thing that surprized me was how interested she was in the livestock competition. I was grateful for the chance to sit down! She really wanted to try to milk a cow, and to bring home two brown and white 'dutch' rabbits and a small duck and some chickens. She looked at a game cock and said it reminded her of 'The Little Red Hen' and I was pleased at every turn.
I really wish Dilara's dad would trust me. I have tried to tell everyone I am the world's expert on Dilara and I know better than anyone how to make sure her educational and other developmental needs are being met. Her time is MUCH better spent outside of the institutional setting. It grieves me that she is being forced to settle for less than the best, even if it is a temporary arrangement. Dilara will never be able to get back the hours lost this year in kindergarten, and I will never be able to get back my parenting time that has been taken from me. I'm not saying it is all a miserable experience for her, because it isn't. I'm just saying that she should have the right to the best and most appropriate educational experience that is available to her, and I should have the right to do what I am best at, rather than having my hands tied by people who don't have the facts and understanding to make a decision that is truly in Dilara's best interest.