Life always whizzes by so quickly when you’re an adult. And it seems to go even faster when you’ve got children. But I think we can also savour life with our children. N’s certainly at a great age, and for some reason since the summer, he’s spending a lot more time with me and at home rather than on the farm.
Here’s what we’re enjoying about life at the moment.
School and learning
Now he’s moved into key stage 2, N seems so much more grown up. He does still tell me what’s going on, but less so than previously. I’m not sure whether that’s because he’s having to focus much more on learning new methods and doesn’t have as much time for noticing what’s around him. Or whether he’s heading more towards tween years and doesn’t want to share as much. Sad times anyway.
Maths is a favourite at the moment. Key stage 2 means they’re learning proper maths. Vertical old school adding and subtracting with carrying over. Just like we used to do in school. It means I know what N’s doing, what he’s meant to be doing. And he’s certainly picked it up quickly. Yes, he gives things different names like place values (I had no idea what those were). And we have challenges against each other doing maths questions for homework.
I’m also loving how well N’s writing and spelling is coming on. He’s having to think less about his spelling now. It comes more naturally, and he’ll happily try writing without moaning. Yes, there’s still the random letters he insists on forming his own way, and putting in capitals where he fancies. But his writing is easy to read and understand, even if he still thinks he can’t do creative writing…he really can’t, severe lack of descriptions and he needs a lot of encouragement in thinking up different ideas when we’re sitting down for homework. But get him laughing about a random item or toy and he’s quick to think up a mad journey or alternative use for it.
While N has always been pretty capable physically, and able to do chores and help with chopping and peeling from an early age, it’s great to see him trying out new things. Sports in particular, he’ll talk about as though he’s been playing them as a pro. According to N, his golf playing is really good, and he could play for a club. There’s nothing like a child’s lack of modesty and understanding of relative ability at something.
He’s enjoyed learning a bit of golf with his uncle. And has now decided he’s going to do multi-sports after school club. I’m pleased about this because hopefully the ball skills and different movements will help his tennis playing and movement.
The other day he was at after school club running around using some of those tub stilts. He decided he was going to make up his own sport using them, went home and drew a picture and starting writing out the rules. A year ago, it wouldn’t even have occurred to him that doing that could be a possibility. Now he’s happy to sit and write if he has something he wants to say.
A lot of N’s want to stay at home is because he’s obsessed with watching American families on YouTube. Yawn. I’m banning the tablet whenever I can because I’m sick of hearing it at full volume. But N does quite like just spending time at home. Building railways, or playing board games. Helping me cook – making apple crumble last week and I even had him stirring the cooking apples on the hob.
Conversations are great fun with him. N has opinions (not always quite accurate), he’s able to remember so much more and bring that into discussions. And best of all he’s absorbing my propaganda I’m teaching him. Ok, not propaganda, but he’ll repeat back some things I’ve said that he’s obviously stored away and thought about, then decided when it’s appropriate to point out something to his dad. It reminds me I need to be careful what we say around him though, because you never know when he might come out with something he’s heard.
I do want to get more autumn days out with him. Often we don’t have much time on weekends. Now that N’s swimming is later, it means we can’t do anything until the afternoon. So I need to be planning more Sunday days out, so we can make the most of autumn before bad weather arrives and before N refuses to go out and about with me to places.
What do you enjoy about spending time with your children at the moment?