Earlier today I enjoyed lunch with the ladies (my good friends Vicky and Viv) to celebrate Viv turning twenty-one yet again. It’s not often that we meet up but when we do whether it’s a few hours over lunch or a full day out on the razz we sure have some fun.
Having stuffed my face like a p-i-g I made my way to pick up the children whom were rather disappointed to see my ugly mug rather than their Nana. The kids are yet to adapt to my shift changes which often results in pleas to see their Grandparents on days which aren’t arranged. I wouldn’t mind but it’s as if they’d prefer to go to their Grandparents than to go home. I’m not sure whether that sits well with me, either way over the years I’ve grown used to being bottom of the pile.
Having provided my poppets with snacks, drinks, fresh clothes and entertainment I then made a start on the household chores. Given that I’d spent dinner with the divas I had quite a bit to catch up with which from an outside perspective would have appeared much-like Kim & Aggy on fast-forward only without the god awful beehive and rubber gloves.
Being the perfect house wife I’d already scrapped the idea of cooking tea, there was simply no way that I could fit in cooking tea, eating tea and clearing up before heading out for a parents evening. A ‘chippy tea’ was the only option and the kids seemed more than happy with this so I see no issue… I’d had a salad with my dinner which somehow seemed to make eating out twice in a day perfectly acceptable!
The kids weren’t too keen on the idea of going to school twice in one day and who can blame them? J took some colouring pencils and paper to keep himself entertained, meanwhile E proudly showed us around her classroom. It’s a great space, the children seem really settled and whilst looking around we were rather impressed to see her name placed within the ‘shining star’, that’s exactly what she is – our shining star!
We then sat and read through her ‘Learning Journey’ with interest as her Teacher assured us that despite E being so much younger than the majority of her class she is already catching up to her older peers and has shown great progress throughout her first term.
Earlier this week E brought home her first reading book which she slowly but surely read with support to blend the letter sounds. I’ve been eager to start reading with E for a while but haven’t wanted to push her until she felt ready, likewise with her writing which she has also made a start upon.
E tends to use her left hand for the majority of drawing, colouring or writing tasks and although I am 99% convinced that she is left-handed there are moments when she switches hands and uses her right hand. I’m not sure whether to encourage either way but for now have stood back and allowed her to use whatever feels most comfortable. Does it even matter which hand she choses to write with? I just worry that being left-handed may make things a little more challenging for my little lady but I’m sure she will cope just fine.
I wasn’t sure whether to write about this or not but following J’s parents evening last week we became aware that he greatly struggles with reading, writing and spelling. This is an area we have been working upon with him for some time now but I realised that we need to up our efforts.
Being on the spectrum J often becomes fixated by certain things, he is currently obsessed with Bendy and the Ink Machine, an adult comic which I’m not entirely enthralled by but it’s no use arguing. However, his interests can often interrupt his learning as he distracts himself by drawing, doodling or daydreaming about whatever fad he’s fascinated by at the time. This is something which we need to work upon, drawing his attention to the task in hand both at School and at home.
The children have a set homework time following each school day where each of them are to complete a number of reading, writing and spelling based tasks suited to their ability. We have extended this time for J by asking him to write a daily diary entry, this seems to be something which he really enjoys as he can write about his interests, obsessions and whatever he so fancies. Within only seven days his handwriting and spelling have improved dramatically, that and he is finally showing an interest in writing!
Not only has he started a diary but we’ve also switched his school reading books for ‘Horrid Henry’ books which are suited to older readers as they feature smaller, more complex text and less pictures. These books are far longer than J’s previous reads demanding an increased effort, further concentration and most importantly, imagination. Despite declaring his detest for Horrid Henry J seems to be enjoying this series and although we’re only reading a chapter or so per evening his reading seems better already.
Juggling two kids can be hard work at the best of times, it sounds rather a strange thing to say considering that I once taught classes of thirty or more but managing two sets of differing homework whilst supporting each child equally is challenging to say the least.
We seem to be getting into a daily routine now, J will begin with his spelling and timetables work whilst E practices identifying letter sounds from flash cards. J will then write his diary whilst I sit and read with E, following this J reads to me whilst E practices her letter formation.
Having completed all the above I then reward the children with a short amount of ‘tablet time’ whilst I clear the table and get things ready for tea. The children have become accustomed to their daily homework duties and whilst they may not always seem entirely enthusiastic about ‘homework’ they understand that it serves a purpose and seem grateful for the time that we spend together supporting their learning.
They say that practice makes perfect but being a parent I already believe that my children are perfect and I have full confidence that with time, effort and support they will both fly high.