Reading his school book - Bubbablueandme

School days – homework mission and sports relief

We’re on countdown to Easter although bizarrely N seemed to think this week was the last week of term.  I think he was confused because it was the last Friday, but he’s definitely not breaking up til next week.  This week’s School Days has included annoyances with an additional sweet moment.

Too ill for tennis

Having had croup the week before and having a bit of a cold hangover on Monday, I mentioned to N that maybe he shouldn’t do cross country running at lunchtime so he’d be better able to do his normal tennis class  in the afternoon.  But when I picked him up he told me he’d run cross country but had been too tired for tennis so he’d stayed in the class room with the teacher.  I couldn’t believe that he’d chosen to run round a field which was optional instead of playing tennis with the rest of the class when he usually loves tennis so much.  I can’t believe he’d been allowed to do so either – in terms of missing tennis.


It’s now got to the stage where N thinks it’s hysterical to try and trick people.  He’s turning into his dad – when he says things, you’ve no idea whether he’s winding you up or not.  With the OH I always presume he’s joking, with N it’s harder to tell the difference because I can’t believe he’s mature enough to grasp the concept.

He keeps saying he was a VIP but they’d run out of stickers…pah, I can’t believe that.  But then I found a sticker in his book bag.

‘Is this yours from today or another time?’


‘Really?  What did you do?’

‘No’.  Grrr. Little liar!  I’m hoping the phase doesn’t last because it’s driving me nuts, making me question what he’s telling me and I can’t believe it’s great for him to think I don’t believe him all the time.

He also told me that he and his friend had a school values sticker for helping the teacher clear up, but again I’ve no idea whether that was true or not.  I’m turning into Mrs Skeptical.

Lost clothing…again

More lost clothing.  N’s forgotten a school jumper and then came home in his PE kit one day but was missing his school polo shirt.  Neither could be found in his peg area or their class lost property, but both turned up in the lost property box in the toilets.  One week, we will have every item of clothing brought home – I hope.

Sports relief

For sports relief at N’s school they were asked to come in in their favourite sports kit.  It was pretty close to N needing to go to school in his PE kit.  He doesn’t do football (apart from in school) so doesn’t have a football team kit, he wasn’t going to school in his swimwear, and he doesn’t have time outside of school to do any sports because he’s in after school club.  So he just went in in jogging trousers, a t shirt with a bike on in reference to his love of riding his bike, and a hoody.  He’d forgotten to change into his outdoor shoes/trainers after school the day before so had to then go in wearing his school shoes.

The odd thing was that their school Easter church service was on that afternoon, but they all had to change into their school shoes, meaning a lot of sports wear not worn with trainers.

Easter service

N’s class were reciting an Easter Bunny poem  for their class performance at the Easter service. I was working so didn’t make it.  N doesn’t mind the services although on the way home he was asking why he doesn’t go to church on Saturdays.  Well, church is on Sundays so he wouldn’t be anyway, but I did suggest that maybe we’d go to an Easter Sunday service.  I’m sure when it comes to it, he’ll turn his nose up and moan like we did when we were kids and had to go.


I’ve always been fairly relaxed about homework.  Yes, N does his reading (well, once a day), I read bedtime stories, and sometimes we’ll look at his words he needs to learn, but otherwise I’ve left it. He’s only 5 and we never had homework at primary school (apart from spellings and times tables) and I didn’t suffer from not doing any.

But having spoken to another mum at a school birthday party, heard some concerns about lack of reading in class, and chance to read with the teacher rather than support staff, I’m on a mission with N.  I thought he was doing ok.  He’s progressing, he knows his 1st and 2nd level phonics in different orders, and can sound out the words on his worksheets.  But I have no idea how he’s progressing compared with his peers and how he should be for his age, especially given he’s earlier rather than later in the school year by birth.

Reading his school book - Bubbablueandme

According to him, he’s in an off shoot phonics group – he started off telling me there were about 6 boys, but now he’s telling me there’s 3 of them.  I’m presuming they’ve been struggling a bit although N knows his phonics, but is lazy about reading.  My concern is that this group is with the TA.  They don’t seem to have rotated round so they get to be taught by the teacher.  So I need to have a chat with him so I know what the plans are and what’s happening.  I don’t want N to be struggling at this stage and then miss out on teaching from the teacher and then end up further behind.

Having a child who struggles at school was always my nightmare.  I found school easy, and don’t recall struggling at all, plus my mum was really good about giving us extra work to stretch us at home because she didn’t think school gave us enough work for those who were capable.  So to have a child who might struggle is just beyond my understanding.  I just can’t put myself in his shoes.  On the other hand, the OH hated school and struggled.  So I want N to be guided as well as possible to avoid him struggling.

So, mission target reading starts now.

We’ve got a reward and star chart for all the words in his envelope he needs to learn by the end of the year.  He knows quite a few already, some he’s half there – still sounding them out, and there’s some which he’s not learnt the sounds for yet, so will likely be next term.  He gets a star once they’re learnt and we’ll be doing a few a day.  We’ll be reading his reading book as usual but I might be throwing in a Biff and Chip or Usborne first readers book as well in the hope of getting him to start reading his own books out of school.  We’ve also got phonics flashcards so I’ll be bringing those out more frequently as well.

Capital letters are a problem.  They don’t learn these alongside their phonics. But that then causes issues when he needs to read books.  So the fridge magnets now match up lower and upper case letters, and we’ll be working on these too,

Bribery is going to be happening as well.  No food until books are read after school.  And if he does things without moaning and tries hard, then he may be allowed a sweet.

Here’s hoping we can continue it on work days otherwise I may need to ask after school club to help out and do some reading with him straight after school before play time.

How do you deal with homework?  Do you have any tips for others activities to help with reading?

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  1. Not kiddies yet but I think you guys are doing great since he gets to read every day even if its just once and you still read and practice with him at night.

  2. Monkey is going to school in Sept and I am also worried about having a child that struggles – its great N he knows all his phonics though and I think you are right about homework I would have never of thought about Monkey getting homework in his first year. I hope you have a great Easter break x

    1. From talking to other mums with kids of the same age, their boys are at the same stage so that’s reassuring. Sounds like many have a huge leap in Y1, so hoping that’s the case with N. It’s beyond me and was my worst nightmare with having kids especially when the OH doesn’t care and is so negative about what he can or can’t do. I think it’s so important to be positive and supportive, and bring learning into everything.

  3. My husband mentioned to me that it was sports relief the other day, I didn’t even know! Its normally plastered everywhere but I didn’t even know it was coking up this year, thye seriously failed at promoting it unless I live under a rock lol

  4. Dealing with kids homework is the worst especially when they don’t want to do it. I think you have the right idea though it can be hard to gauge what works best but its good to try anything you will think works.

  5. I still can’t believe that kids get homework at such a young age, I don’t remember having any at 5! Poor thing missing out on his tennis because he was too ill, I’d definitely have skipped out on the running if it had been me x

    1. Really they just have reading. Mostly it’s us reading to them, and then him reading his reading books that come home from school. But we do have phonics worksheets – just consolidation of what they did in class – so sound it out, write it if they want, and go through the words/sounds blending they did. Only takes 10 mins max for their bit. Reading is just what we do at bedtime anyway.

  6. I’m the same, really relaxed when it comes to homework. They shouldn’t even be having homework at age 5. I noticed thought that some parents are really competitive about their kids progress in school. We just shrug it off, as long as T is happy, we are happy too 😉

    1. Yes, him enjoying school is the biggest thing for me. Especially as I loved it, but his dad hated it because all he wanted to do is be on the farm. I don’t want N to be like that, I want him to still have something to say he’s got qualifications and know that he’s not thick which is what the OH says about himself (he isn’t, he just knows quite specific things, but school failed him in bringing out those interests imo)

  7. Oh good luck with the reading. I try hard to make sure we do it at least the a few times a week but its so hard with the other two and then fighting with Roo when he is knackered after a full day at school – its a lot for a 4/5 year old! I also have the joy of attending the Easter Service with the kids this year… yay. Haha! H x

    1. Fun at easter then. I didn’t make ours, but N doesn’t seem too worried that I can’t make them all. They’re definitely tired doing it at the end, but he won’t do it in the morning either, so it’s hard. I’m going to have to make it more practical I think – maybe it’ll be easier when we can do things outdoors in the evenings.

  8. Good luck with the reading! It is so hard to know exactly what is going on in school and how your child is doing. Things have changed at my daughter’s school and I don’t know if it’s down to the National Curriculum, the school or her teacher. All I know is the work isn’t challenging enough!
    It made me laugh about the sports kit and school shoes! My daughter did a run for Sport Relief last week too and most kids just went to school in jogging bottoms and Tshirts.
    What a nightmare that N keeps losing stuff. My daughter has always been very good, but has lost a cardigan for the first time ever and keeps forgetting to check lost property. Grrr!
    I didn’t realise you did a linky. As you can imagine, I write about school stuff a fair bit so I will have to remember to link up sometimes!

    1. Ah yes, do come and link up. It’s very informal really.

      There’s just no feedback at all. Parents evening was just ‘he’s come on a lot since starting and knowing nothing/not caring. But I don’t want to be told too late that there’s a problem…I’ve been testing him this morning and it turns out he does know quite a few of his capitals on recognition so it is just that he’s lazy. But if he won’t do stuff for me, he has to do it at school. Might have to get after school club helping him too then there’s no excuse that he’s too tired. And I’ll be removing YouTube from the tablet! I’m going hardcore

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