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.
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.
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.
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.
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?