m for mountain learning phonics

School days – poppies, mud and phonics

We’ve done the first week back at school after half term.  N couldn’t wait to go back, he was excited to see his friends, although he did worry that daddy wouldn’t be able to manage on the farm without him.


They’ve hit the ground running, and with the first term focusing on listening and being aware of sounds, they’ve now started learning phonics.  It really feels like he’s now learning properly rather than just playing all the time.

N’s not told me how they’re learning them (I know they’re doing Read Write Inc – I must find the flashcards I’d bought).  But he’s already done 2 letters, and brought home 2 worksheets to practise writing them out.

m for mountain learning phonics

There was no note to explain how or what we should be doing with them, so I’ve just encouraged N to have a go at writing them.  He took the first sheet back in and was told to keep it at home, so I’m presuming it’s just to practise at home.

Of course, N wanted to do things his way.  After afterschool club pick up, I suggested we do the worksheet straight away.  Half of it was done (following the shadow letters), but he refused to do the freehand practise.  We agreed he could have a sweet for doing the first lot (not sure the dentist will love me for that for 26 letters!), but he’d have to do the freehand part in the morning before school.

Next morning I come downstairs, and the worksheets have already been completed with perfect m’s and a’s.  It turns out that N didn’t want anyone to watch him doing it.  We’ve also been working out what words and items being with those letters.  His favourite thing seems to be names…I could run out of name suggestions soon.

So far so good, hopefully he’ll enjoy learning them and retain the information he’s been taught.

Making friends

N’s never made an effort to make friends.  It’s his best friend or nothing.  But this week, he came home one day really proud, telling me that he’d asked some of the other children to play his game.  And they did.

So he had to tell me all about it, who did play, who was busy playing elsewhere and had said no.  I was told that he enjoyed playing with lots of people.  Hopefully it gave him a bit of confidence in asking to play with others and inviting others to play with him and his best friend.


N’s school does quite a lot in, with and for the village.  After Harvest Festival for the school in the church, they also invited people from the village to come and watch the performances at a special assembly in school.  They’ve also planted bulbs on the village green, and then they’ve also been out selling poppies door to door.

I’d obviously not taken it in that they’d be doing it (I presumed it was in the newsletter), but N mentioned that he’d had a Freddo from the lady at the door.

Errr, really?!

Turns out that they were out selling poppies, and he and a girl from year 1 went to a house and the lady there bought a poppy sticker ‘because she already had a poppy, Mummy’.  She then gave them a Freddo each.

I wondered what the school had said, but N just told me that they ate it after school at after school club.

I guess I really should start telling N that he shouldn’t be accepting things from strangers.  Food would easily turn him if offered it.  Usually I would be there (and I’m not sure where the school were supervising from).

I was quite impressed that he went at all to people’s houses.  He’s not the bravest and most confident of children, although the girl he was with is.  I asked if he’d done any talking, but he said that they’d both asked ‘would you like a poppy?’.  It seems that if school tell him to do something he does it, which is good.  Although hopefully he will challenge these requests in time as he gets older.  I want him to have a bit of spirit without being into naughty and unmanageable territory.

Mud mud glorious mud

I always send in a spare change of clothes for N in with his PE kit.  Luckily I do, because a couple of times previously he’s come home in PE shorts instead of his school trousers, or in his spare clothes…both times due to enthusiastic and intended water play.

On Friday I picked him up to find a bag with his school trousers and sweatshirt in.  No water this time.  Just a lot of wet sand. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot.  He tells me he fell off the bike (I think he means the trike type of scooter they have), but the teacher took him straight inside to get changed.

muddy and sandy school clothes

At least the bag came home the same day.  I wonder if it would have done if it had been after-school club people picking him up.

Another successful week of school after half term.  How has your return to school been?

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    1. It probably didn’t even occur to the teachers that things might be offered. I’m sure they’d have told the kids to say no thanks if so.

  1. I was surprised to hear about kids going house to house to sell poppies – I didnt know that was a thing! Did they not ask parents permission for that first? I don’t think I’d have minded the freddo too much in that situation but I can see where you’re coming from with the concern about taking things from strangers. I wonder if a teacher had that conversation with them or missed the opportunity?! x

    1. It was a bit of a surprise to hear they were going to the door on their own, but I guess a little village is a bit more community minded and safe than a town where people don’t know anyone. I’m probably quite relaxed as I’m usually with N so guess now he’s doing things with school we need to start talking to him about stranger danger. Sad really, because he’s quite shy with new people, and I’m trying to encourage him to speak out and say hello to people really.

  2. Ah Maisie Mountain Mountain is well known around here too! We’re not getting worksheets but we did have a phonics session at school for the parents so we know how they’re being taught and what the rhymes are for each letter. They seem to be teaching each letter at least four different ways on the basis that at least one will click which I love 🙂

    1. I have no idea about it. I don’t think N’s one for linking rhymes, but he’s quite good at thinking of words that begin with letters. We’ve not had a phonics lesson although I think later on once they get into more maths, they usually do a maths session. I definitely need that because I remember being confused about long division at school, my mum then taught me her much more concise way, and now I’ve no idea how to do it!

  3. My oldest is 3 and doesn’t go to school yet. Still another 2 years until he does. He doesn’t get a break from creche. Only Christmas, that’s when creche is closed for 2 weeks.

    1. N was just the same. He usually goes to holiday club although now he’s old enough to go out on the farm with his dad for the whole day if I’m at work.

  4. I didn;’t even realise kids did that, selling poppies to houses? It’s quite a big thing to ask of children and then of course the concern of accepting food off a stranger although I guess sin this case it was ok but like you say maybe time for the conversation. Sounds like school is really working out though. My son starts in a few years, he’s at nursery now though and loving it telling me all about his friends, it’s really sweet. It’s lovely that he talks to you about it. 🙂

  5. My little man has been doing Phonics at school and I am amazed at how fast he has learnt. He is always singing a phonics song about Ants on his arm. Love listening to him he he x

    1. So funny. I don’t think N’s doing jolly phonics which is the songs, but they used to do some in nursery. It seems a bit hit and miss with them at the moment, nothing so far this week, so maybe they’re only doing 3 a week.

  6. What a character, seems like his getting more confident such as making new friends and etc. You must be very proud of him getting all the work done.

  7. It sounds like he’s getting off to a great start – it’s good that he’s doing the freehand without too much cajoling, even if it does require you leaving him to his own devices! I’m with you on the mud front, my little fella comes home from creche looking like he’s been sitting in the dirt and eating it all day, I don’t know how so much dirt can stick to such a small human! Considering renting him out to detergent companies as a tester, theres enough to go around!

  8. Ah A is doing read write inc too! She gets one of those sheets to bring home every day as homework. ‘Up Nobby and over his net Mummy!’. She’s learning really well but it makes no sense to me! hehe x

    1. I don’t think N’s very visual (or me) so he doesn’t seem to link the visual part of it. We’re only 3 letters in, but they’re obviously going to romp through it now. Mind you, he’s done these 3 before as part of Reading Eggs (we’ve not got much further that that) so has found it ok til now.

      I’ve bought the RWinc flashcards from Amazon. There’s 2 sets and an explanation of how to teach/help them. They’re pretty good and even without knowing phonics yourself it makes sense.

  9. One of my sons was the same with writing/phonics, but has become a great writer and reader now – I suppose you just have to just let them get on with it!!

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