So the 2nd eldest in our collective brood is part way through year 1, bless her learning lots, excelling in some areas, finding others harder. It’s tough to get that balance right, how much work we should be doing at home, a bit of gentle encouragement – or there’s that school of thought to leave them to it and just let them be kids for now. It’s so hard not to compare, the kid who’s got the amazing (joined up!) handwriting, the all rounder kid who can read, write, ride a bike and have the confidence to talk to adults articulately whilst ours often shies away.
Our girl makes us very very proud, she has always been such a book worm and is currently tearing her way through the books at school and half way into the year 2 selection too. But maths can lead to full on tears, simple sums send her doolally. She can neither ride a bike or swim a length, but thankfully (depending how you look at it) we have a stubborn little tiger on our hands. She isn’t giving up that easily. And there’s no hurry, I know she’s going to be a brilliant and bright young woman one day.
Here are our own little methods and ways of learning at home (and we welcome new tips!):
Blackboard– essential for learning to read tricky words! Three ticks and the difficult word tends to have sunk in. We also use the board to award points for reading, sums, writing. Never more than half hour each day, sometimes 10 mins after breakfast if we’re not rushing around like lunatics to get out the door. Then maybe another 15/20 after dinner IF we feel like it, we never push. She can get points for each time she does some work, and the points can go towards some chocolate, a magazine perhaps (I hate buying those, it’s the plastic tat that they come with) maybe even a trip to the cinema for lots of hard work. This has really worked for us, I highly recommend blackboard paint, most of us have a spare bit of wall somewhere at home and you can buy the paint in your local DIY stores.
Our latest tip is for writing. Little H tends to write her words at all different sizes, letters jumping up and down off the lines, upper case letters mid sentence, that kind of thing. Now I let her choose one of her favourite books and a page, she copies the words off the page (this gives a bit of reading practise here too). She loves picking out a book, finding old favs and so proud of herself as she can see for herself her writing getting neater as the page goes on. That’s my girl!
She also has two little pen pals, faraway friends. I treated pipsqueak to some pretty stationery and she loves writing on it, silly jokes and what not, covering in stickers and waiting for letters to come back from her fellow budding writers.
Now numbers, these we will continue to battle with (the mother got a C in maths GCSE so it figures) swimming she will bravely battle on with and watch out for a girl in a rainbow helmet tearing down Brighton promenade on her bike very soon. Lx