The girls week

Muffin started flexi-schooling this weeek, she’s had a great time. The deal was she’d go in Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. She did, and she thoroughly enjoyed every day.

This surprised me as the week comprised tests, tests and more tests. Year 6 are currently doing 2003 SATS papers in order to assess how much ‘revision’ is going to be needed in order for them to do well in this years SATS…. Sounds a lot to me like they don’t actually want to asses (in May) what the children have taken in and learnt but what the teachers can cram into their poor little brains between now and then.

As it happens she came home complaining that she had problems with her first maths test but that the reading comprehension seemed ok. On Tuesday it turned out she hadn’t quite understood what was required of her and once she understood she did as well as the rest of her class, in the reading comprehension and spelling though she came out top of the class…. teacher said she would’ve liked a few more capital letters and full stops (but then my lecturers at uni were saying the same thing to me!). After speaking to the teacher we realise we may need to work with her on some maths language comprehension but the teacher is going to recommend a book on maths terminology in primary schools – so that should clear that up with any luck.

She enjoyed her week of testing so much that when the teacher asked if she could go in for an hour on Thursday for the final maths test she jumped at the chance and in fact asked to stay all day. She has asked if she can go straight onto 4 day weeks but i’m determined to try with 3 day weeks for a while first. I think her first week was bound to go well with being the new girl and everyone trying so hard to make her feel welcome. I’d like her to get used to the early mornings and homework for a bit before she starts trying to cram more into her week. If she’s still keen to go 4 days a week in a few weeks then I’ll happily sort that out for her.

Unlike at her last school she’s also managed to sign up for clubs that she always wanted to do. One of the clubs she did start at her old school but being rather good at it she got picked on about it…. So, now, with a fresh start she’s doing Gymnastics on a WEdnesday lunchtime. The other club she always wanted to do but didn’t have the confidence to do is drama, I’ll now be taking her in for an hour on a Monday afternoon for this. She’s desperately looking forward to it, it’s something she’s wanted to do for such a long time.

Noise has knuckled down a little this week. After a long discussion with her last weekend and me being rather sulky about her lack of motivation she has made some effort on the work front. Some of it has been a token effort and some of it has been rather rushed but overall I’m pleased. She has sat down every day this week and tried her hand at Maths. She’s struggled a little but she’s kept at it, and with a bit more practice on percentages she might actually have it! Hopefully a breakthrough. She’s also been reading ‘Planet Simpson’, an analysis of the Simpsons, she’s looking at it mainly in media context which is good as she’s been playing at the idea of media studies for a while. I hate knocking what she’s doing but it feels so hard watching her lack of enthusiasm for most things (other than shopping!). Any ideas on how to inspire her learning would be greatly received. I’d love to find something that truly drives her to learn. I never wanted to be a historian but when i was planning my GCSE’s i had this desire to study 20th century history and i did, i didn’t find it the easiest of subjects as it was lots of essays and i’m not fantastic at saying (clearly) what it is i mean but i thoroughly enjoyed it. chemistry i found easy and yes i was keen to learn but i didn’t feel passion for science until later in life. I’m not expecting Noise to know what she really wants to be when she grows up, I didn’t start my degree until i was 27 but i did find things inspiring. I loved the history i studied, i loved music and played the clarinet as much as i could (mainly big band stuff, which i still love and wish i had the time and money to play), i did GCSE photography, and i took french and german, none of these were likely to be useful in my future career and it probably frustrated my parents (although i doubt they gave it much thought) but at least i was motivated. I think that’s what i find so hard, why my lovely, intelligent 14 year old daughter can’t find enthusiasm for anything. She does dance once a week but it’s just something she does, not something she loves and wants to do each week. i think if i told her we couldn’t make it anymore she would just accept that.

so, i think what that’s about is – help please, any words of advice gratefully received. i know i can’t expect her to be me but a little enthusiasm for something would be wonderful.

On to Boo next. She’s been a bit of a pickle this week. I’m tired through lack of sleep – thanks to her nighttime shennanigans…. and she’s tired through lack of sleep. I thought she needed to drop her daytime sleep due to how late she was going to bed on days she had a daytime sleep but actually i think i just need to encourage a daytime sleep but much earlier in the day. the lack of sleep has re-inspired me to dig out The no-cry sleep solution by Elizabeth Pantley. It’s a good book, as it says on the title it’s not about leaving babies to cry-it-out in the night, it’s about getting them into the habbit of sleeping better, gently. It’s gentle on baby and it’s gentle on the parents. After reading through the chapter on toddlers i decided that although we haven’t yet done the prep work i’d give one thing a go – telling Boo that she could wake us when it was light but not until then. if she woke before it was light she could climb into the single bed in our room (Where Tom often sleeps these days for my comfort!) but that she wasn’t to wake us, she had to be very shush! I got her to tell me what the rule was and she seemed happy. I also told her that if she got up and it was still dark but that mummy & daddys door was still shut she had to try to snuggle back down in her own bed. I’m not sure what happened in the bits in between but she went to bed and didn’t disturb us until about 6.30, when i had to keep reminding her that she had to be shush but she did ok, and then around 7.15 it got quite light and she wasn’t having any of the ‘it’s still nighttime’ thing! so she and i came downstairs and she’s been much nicer so far today… although she’s getting a bit bored now so we’re going to head out of the house to give her a change. not bad, she’s been ‘up’ since 7.30 and now it’s 11.40 so not bad at all.

Finally an update on Yogi. He/she’s doing well. Definitely seems to be growing of my expanding stomach is anything to go by. He/she’s active so there’s not much more to say. We’ve now reached 33 weeks, I’m seeing the midwife Wednesday which I’m sure will all be fine. I’m hoping to arrange the ‘home confinement’ visit with her for soon so that everything can be settled in plenty of time.

that’s it, kids stuff updated.

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