It’s actually been 3 weeks since she started (tomorrow) and her school did a quick settling in process of 4 half days and then full days just a week after starting – I have to say, I’m impressed that they did and it all went well: not a tear in the playground (except for those held back by us Mums (and Dads).
Today, I had my first real moment of ‘feeling hopeless’. I was taking photos in her room. The room which was my first project, to keep me occupied when she first started and to keep her spirits high as much as mine needed to be. I posted a few on Facebook and tagged the lady who made her beautiful bunting and then when I sat down on the bed and took in the ‘quiet’ and the ‘tidiness’ of her room, I’d of given a month of ‘Time-Out’ days to see her playing on the bedroom floor, toys and clothes piled high. I thought about it for only one second and then the floodgates opened ……. the feeling of not being there for her everyday: driving to stay & play sessions; toddler French classes; swimming lessons; play dates; lunches at home; adventures out with Mummy; even simply shopping – was all too much for me. She would look up to someone else now for guidance and play under the supervision of her new peers.
I have enjoyed walking her to and from school, wanting so much for her to settle in and make new friends, asking her how her day went and making sure she had ‘everything’ she could possibly need for her time away at school. But, what I was not prepared for was that there is no-one there to help me settle in to this new routine and my favourite day-time companion is no longer there to make my days as rushed but fabulously colourful as they were.
After the first week, she came home with an Activity Pack. I was so excited for her and spent as long as she wanted reading and letting her show me what she could do. I thought it would be a good idea to blog about the pack – it had so many lovely things that are helpful to encourage her to learn to read, write, solve problems, ask questions and have fun doing it.
I’ve never really blogged about K’Boo (things we like and things we like to bake – yes!)
Two weeks on – I have to blog about it! I want to feel a sense of sharing something with you guys. I have taken the time to go throughout the packs and loved being able to play a part in her ‘new’ learning ….. its what any Primary School Teacher would hope for (parents that encourage and share the learning process). But, because I know that this is not just a difficult transition for me – there are many of you out there that are going through this …… I wanted to share this time with you and know that it will get better and week by week I hope you are all still finding the time to have this precious one on one time with your
grown up growing up child and that you are able to appreciate their need to have your help at learning to be ‘even more’ independent.
WEEK ONE : (this is her 3rd pack – but I’m celebrating the start of my School Dayz)
The Reading Packs or books that your child’s teacher send home are not just a bit of bedtime reading or there to make you ‘do your bit’. They are an essential part of your child’s learning. It’s you that they have learned their first words from, it’s you that they have listened to and taken instruction from in their first years. It’s you that they are familiar with and you have been and will continue to be a ‘huge’ part of their learning journey. Once away from the busy play and interruption in the classroom – your child can sit down and apply what they have learned and take time to ask you (the person they trust most) the questions they felt a little nervous to ask the teacher.
Taking the time to go through the Reading Packs and books they have brought home will help your child to learn in a familiar environment and help them gain confidence to progress more smoothly and at a rate they can cope with. The fabulous thing is that you are still an important and significant part of your child’s learning and deep down you get a huge buzz out of this link with their ‘primary education’ and its also reassuring to know and feel a part of their progress.
With each pack comes:
Something to help learn writing skills
She gets to follow the dots and this helps her to follow the shapes of letters: the curves, the straight lines and the whole circles involved. Then she gets to colour the picture in afterwards. It’s important to discuss the shapes that the dots make, so that she can relate to what she has already learned. “I have made a circle Mummy” or “That’s a wiggly line” Following the dots allows her to make the shapes that will form letters. Writing their own name is a good step to using letters that have meaning. They will write this many times at school and feel proud of the work they write it on.
A puzzle or jigsaw
These are not just any old puzzle, but naturally they have letters that make words and teach word association to the pictures, as well as having fun learning. Talking about the pieces in the puzzle and how they make up a word and have sounds, is extremely helpful and will build confidence as they play and learn. Luckily the puzzles usually match in colour (or have done so far) and so that’s another association she already feels comfortable with.
Books (there are usually two)
This week she has a book that teaches basic science. To her it’s just a fun book with interesting pictures – but your interaction and explaining turns it into a new level of understanding. This book is about ‘Heat’ and how it affects us and makes us feel – then how we can help ourselves avoid it or make ourselves feel comfortable (and have fun too).
Also she has an Usborne Phonics Readers book ‘Mouse Moves House’ – which uses words that sound the same to help her progress in a rhythmic way …. it’s not to hard to guess the words if they sound the same and she can see which letters make this sound more frequently than if they were all different sounds. The storyline gives her something to think about and discuss with you and also the pictures help to tell the story.
That all important ‘Reading Record‘ is a good way for you to communicate with her teacher and even if it’s you doing the reading at first and her asking the questions and recognising sounds and letters – that’s all great progress that the teacher wants to know and you can feel a part of sharing.
Remember: Always allow time for your child to ask questions and don’t feel irritated if they interrupt when you are reading or explaining something to them. They need to take things in at their pace – not yours! Questions are good – it means they are willing to learn and that they are interested. Also, as we all learn in different styles (auditory – listening; visually – looking; kinaesthetically – by doing) then you are tapping into their own learning style if they are listening, looking and putting together or drawing/writing as well as asking and trying to understand for themselves.
I hope to continue this ‘every’ week and that is my pledge to you. If you want to share your child’s ‘Learning Journey’ through Primary School then I’ll definitely consider making this a ‘meme’ (so that we can all read your experiences). Otherwise, please feel free to comment and ask questions – we can all benefit from this sometimes tricky and even occasionally daunting experience and know that we have each other’s support.
I can’t wait for next week’s pack
Happy School Dayz!!!!!!!
N.B. I am a fully qualified Adv. practitioner of Sports & Holistic Therapy (taking time out to be a Mum and recover from an injury) after years of running a successful business. The only qualifications I have for the information you read here are: my own experience of bringing up and supporting my own two children (aged 12 and 4 years); my support and guidance to my disabled step-son (11 years); my experience of working as a volunteer classroom assistant over the years within a Primary School; working within a Pre-school Nursery for over 2 years where I completed an NVQ Level II in Childcare & Development 0-16 yrs; C&G Foundation Teaching Course; recent studies in Maths & Science (mainly Biology and Anatomy & Physiology); my openness, listening and advice shared with friends as an NCT volunteer and finally my lifetime desire to teach, but never seeming to be in the right place at the right time when the opportunity is presented to me to peruse this career (maybe one day).