that moment when things click

That moment when things click

Sometimes I do despair with N and school work. Just everything seems so hard in getting him to do things.

that moment when things click

I do wonder what he’s like at school, whether they have the same battles. Or whether he’ll happily sit down and do it there because it’s school.

But it does seem that only 4 weeks in to year 1, we’ve reached the moment when things click.


His reading last year was painful. He didn’t seem to remember words, he didn’t really want to try, and it was taking an hour to read a few pages of a book. Not because he didn’t know what he was meant to be read, but because he’d be distracted by the pictures, asking questions about what was going on, counting how many pages there was left to go. Anything which meant he didn’t have to read.

Which was ridiculous, because if he just read normally, he’d have finished the books quicker.

writing in his notebook

This year, after only a week of being back he was reading much more fluently, was remembering more words. And while he still drives me mad not remembering Is and On, he’s much more able and willing to read, and able to work out words I wouldn’t have thought before the summer. The only ones he struggles with are recognising the split digraphs (i-e, o-e etc) because he says he’s not learnt those in school yet. Which I know he hadn’t last year because he kept asking why the other group had, but not their group.

The annoying thing for me is that although his reading is coming on really well, and he’s proud and more confident of what he can do, he’s still reading the same level of books as those in the summer. Which is madness to me. Maybe after these 2 books…


Writing was the area that he was under-performing a little on last year. Mainly because he wouldn’t write independently without a teacher, he just wasn’t confident. Even now, he still likes to check what he thinks and whether it’s right. But he will write on his own, and actually he’s pretty good at knowing the letters that come next.

I’ve decided that for some words like bath, grass and all, I’m going to have to speak in a northern accent, or a deep south American accent to make it easier for him to learn the spelling. Because southerners saying ‘barth’ and ‘grass’ does complicate things!

I’ve been really impressed with his writing this year. He’s confident, and he’s already learning cursive writing. The other day for his homework, he decided to join up a whole word on his own because he could. Ok, it wasn’t exactly accurate, but it was certainly a great step in the right direction.

The hardest bit for him is deciding what to write. He’ll happily do his English homework, but when it asks him to write 3 things he likes doing, you’d think he’d been asked to debate the US presidential race.


I’ve written before about his tennis playing – he’s now playing twice a week – and while his shots are still wild, I think his physical ability is coming on leaps and bounds. With tennis it’s his confidence that trying a new club can be good.

Physically, he will now jump higher, and run faster without even thinking about it. He’ll still take some encouragement to do an obstacle, but mostly I’ll turn round and he’ll be jumping off something much higher than I’d have thought.

jumping off the plaground tractor

He’s also playing a lot more football. He still won’t join the after school club sessions (that saves me a lot of money!) but he’s so much better at catching and throwing a ball, and playing football with his cousin and enjoying it, will help with so many skills. Not just fitness, but acceptance, and socialising with children of all ages.

bare chested football

Swimming’s another sport he’s getting to grips with, and it’s all about confidence with N. Yes, he still can’t swim a length, but he can do a fair try at half a width. And he’ll swim with his face in the water which he wouldn’t have done in the summer. He’s also happy diving to pick things up from the bottom of the pool. It’s amazing what a couple of fun swimming sessions with props, and a different environment like a holiday swimming pool can do.

I admit we do have to rely on a reward chart to get him started on some activities but after 5 years of rewards not exciting him, it’s working. And increasing his negotiation, maths and problem solving skills as he works out what activities are more valuable to filling up his chart!

When did things start to click with your children? Do rewards work for you?

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  1. We have just started to bring home reading from school and whilst Alice is keen to listen to the story. She is so tired that she doesn’t want to do much else. I am hoping over the year her tiredness will improve and we will get more from her in the evenings. But you are right once things click there is no stopping them. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. It’s hard for them, and that’s early to start reading. We hadn’t even started phonics by this stage, so didn’t get reading books until just before Christmas. I think N needed as much time as possible to learn phonics (they didn’t have time to learn them all by the end of the year), but having the first half term learning to listen for different sounds and getting used to school really did help.

      It’s a big step full time school if they’re not already used to full time nursery. For N school was reducing hours he already did although he does have after school club, and that’s why he struggles because he doesn’t get home til late, but it doesn’t take them long to get used to the hours and doing reading.

  2. I’m so pleased to hear that the reading and writing is starting to fall into place. Definitely we are the same – Max will have me worrying and worrying about him struggling to do something, and then out of nowhere he’ll just do it and I’ll wonder what I ever worried about. I’m sure as he gets older the challenges will be bigger and take longer to get over, but I’m sure we’ll follow the same ‘worry-worry / do it no problem’ pattern. Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. The positive thing is that once it comes, you know they’re ready for it. And it seems to then progress quickly. With the reading it’s just annoying now that the school books aren’t progressing as his reading has sped up. It’s like they have to stay on the same level forever, even though we’re through 3 series at the same level as he was in Summer, but they’re just the same words. Repetition and gaining confidence is one thing, but they could mix it up with 1 book that’s a challenge and one that’s an easy one.

  3. Great to hear that N is getting more confident in reading and writing – such important in life. You didn’t mention maths, but if I recall he was doing well at that anyway.
    I had to chuckle at having to use a Northern accent – I’m originally a Yorkshireman but live in the south now – I get called a Northern ***** down here and a Southern ***** when I go back to home. I can’t win.
    Will N end up the next Andy Murray 🙂 Then the cost of those lessons will be worthwhile when he makes his millions!!!

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