Reading Biff and Chip books

School days – the new term

I can’t believe N’s in the summer term at school already, but that’s the first week of the new term done.  Here’s our update of this week.

Reaching standards

It’s getting to the stage where I’m getting worried that he won’t have achieved what he should have done by the end of the year.  He’s got 40-50 words to learn by the end of the year and it’s seriously slow progress.  I mean how many times does a child need to sound out words of 2 or 3 letters before knowing them?  I wouldn’t mind so much, but his long term memory’s usually great, but unfortunately waiting until a year later to remember words isn’t going to cut it!

Friends who have boys are trying to reassure me and stop me worrying, saying they get it in the end, but that’s not very reassuring when you see peers racing ahead who’re younger or the same age.  I really do think it makes a difference having dads involved and supporting them with reading and writing.  N’s dad hasn’t been to the school since he himself left it, hasn’t done any listening to reading or telling N stories, or just generally talking about schooling or his own ability in a positive light.  It’s not helping my cause to encourage N, and that’s certainly a difference between N and other dads.

Fingers crossed this last term the interest will suddenly kick in and his progress will take off a bit.  I think it’s going to be too late to get him up into the group of Year 1s who will move up, but I don’t want him to start year 1 behind where he should be just because he’s not interested or not encouraged that he does know more than he thinks.

Reading Biff and Chip books

Easter reading books

N came home with 4 books for reading over Easter. Thankfully it wasn’t too hard to get him to read them, and having so many to choose from definitely helped encourage him apart from the days we were away.  It gave him a bit more confidence  that he could do reading but since starting back, he’s still moaning about reading books.

I wouldn’t mind so much but he loves listening to stories, and recites along bits he can remember as I read them.  I even try to encourage him to read odd words out of other books, and his own first reader books, but I can’t persuade him to do those.

I’m wondering whether it’s worth asking for 2 books from school each time then that might get him reading for longer.

Tennis club

So far, N’s not wanted to do any of the after school activities which is sad but works for me given they finish well before I finish work and there’s no way of getting him from school to afterschool club.  However, this term they’re starting tennis club run by the company who comes into school already for tennis lessons.  I checked if N wanted to do them after school as well and he said yes, so on Monday he’ll start them.  I’m quite excited and I just hope that he enjoys them, and that it isn’t too much doing tennis in the afternoon at school, and then afterwards.

Although the sessions are only for up to an hour, I’m lucky in that a friend has offered to pick up N at the same time she picks up her son from another club and drop him off at after school club.  And my sister in law is available as back up.

Accident prone

Another term, and the first day I got a call from school saying N had had an accident. He’d fallen over while playing tennis and hurt his cheek.  Yes, I wondered how he’d managed it too.  Picking him up I expected a grazed cheek or something worse, but it was only a slight red mark so it wasn’t serious.  He told after school club that he couldn’t remember how it happened, but as soon as I’d got him in the car he told me straight away that he’d gone one way and another boy had gone the other, they’d crashed, N had hurt his cheek after falling, the other boy had bumped his head.

It’s really obvious at the difference in communication. Straight after school, N will have forgotten everything. And yet miraculously by bed time he’s in conversation mode.

Outdoor birthday party

At the weekend N went to our neighbours’ daughter’s birthday. She’s in Year 1 but is friendly with N because they were in day nursery together, and then have been in after school club together as well as being neighbours. N and his best friend were the only reception children there, the others were mostly her class mates from year 1 and 2.  The weather as always for her birthday was sunny and warm, and the children were just let loose in the garden to play.  There were no fights, no injuries and they had a great time.

cycling to a party

We cycled down there, as did a couple of other children and parents, and it was lovely to have most of the mums stay so we could catch up. A few have children at different schools now, or were old nursery friends, so there was a lot of chat going on.  Although N was there with his best friend, it was reassuring to see that he does get on well with other children (mostly the slightly older ones), and that most of them would speak to him and say bye, involving them in their games.  Maybe my concern that he only seems to play with his best friend and that others in his year aren’t on his radar, shouldn’t really be a concern.

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  1. They put so much pressure on kids these days I am not looking forward to when my monkey starts next year! I wish they would let them be kids for a bit longer. Don’t stress things always work themselves out

  2. It’s crazy how many things kids have to do in school, the home works are crazy. I am sure he will learn all he’s words soon

    1. Yes, we’re working on it. Really he only has 2 books a week so daily reading, parents have to read for 10-15 mins to them, and then 50 words to learn for the end of the year.

  3. I think the school system is crazy! The amount of homework they get and the style of learning. You really shouldn’t worry about him, he’ll be so fine. It’s the system we should be worried about but that’s a rant for another day! xx

    1. The system is mad. N only has 2 reading books a week (so daily reading), 50 words to learn over the year, and then we have to read to him each day. But I have serious issues with academies and class intakes (going over capacity while not thinking about future years when they’re all combined 2 years together)

  4. I think kids are put under a lot of pressure now and current research is saying that homework isn’t really of any benefit. I also think that kids learn at their own pace so I definitely wouldn’t worry too much. I’m finding it hard to believe myself that we’re in Summer term!

  5. You are right the year is going quickly. We got M’s school place today so now we can plan ahead for him starting school in September.

    Many people have told me boys are less interested in reading than girls so I hope I don’t apply B’s experience on to M. Fortunately he is showing a lot of interest in books at the moment, and I hope any effort we put in now will pay off in Reception even if he loses interest again.

    1. If they’re interested now you’re on to a winner. N did phonics (supposedly) at 2 different nurseries, but being child led he was probably outside playing when given the choice. He couldn’t write more than 3 letters of his name, and couldn’t read anything before school. Because he just wouldn’t try. He did some reading eggs stuff, but just didn’t stick at it and I didn’t want to make him, because I couldn’t. So while he’s progressed lots, the love of doing it (even though he likes ‘writing’ cards and shopping lists) hasn’t kicked in like others who were interested before starting school.

  6. I can understand your worry. T was the same when she was in Reception. Her friends were doing so well and she was a little bit behind, but now she’s perfectly fine and loving books even more.

    1. I’m hoping his love of it will kick in and he’ll want to do more himself. It would help if his dad encouraged him too instead of it just being me going on about having to do the school reading.

  7. My son is the same with memory… He forgets everything until bath time. I have a theory that it is where he relaxes and so out it all comes! I tend not to ask him how his day was simply to allow him the time to tell me when he is ready.


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