Monday, January 30, 2006

'Puter Troubles!!

It’s always quick these days…

I never seem to have time or energy to properly blog or to blog trawl these days. I’d love to catch up with you all and sincerely hope that your new year is going well so far. Maybe one of these days I’ll get a not so tired spare evening.

We have been having MAJOR computer problems with our upstairs PC and despite me spending nearly two whole days (and most of a night) over the weekend trying to make it happy, it still keeps crashing! Basically it powers down in the middle of everything, but not properly, so you can’t even restart - just have to unplug and start again! In fact if has taken up to six attempts to get it to power up at all at points :( Anyway, at least we have the downstairs one now (just in time it seems!!), so the kids can play and I can keep at least reasonably up to date with emails etc…

School is still good. I’m going in to see Jake’s teacher this week, just to chat. I have a few issues to raise. One is that she is wrecking his handwriting - trying to make him do it ‘her way’ which is not so different to the way I taught him, it’s just that she is working on the standard he was at two years ago! She wants him to write bigger (WHY???), straighter and with diagonal joins. Now you tell me - how do you do diagonal joins on straight writing? And WHY does she have such a problem with his slopping his writing - that’s what they are working towards anyway. (big rrrrrr). He has talked to her about it, but her response is “No, you have to do it our way!!” I don’t think so. His writing has really gone down hill and I have a big problem with that, so that is definitely one I wish to tackle - perhaps more than the reading issue, because we can deal with reading at home more.

The others are doing fine. Phoebe spends many hours in the dining room either working on PC Play and Learn or on (excellent site) and in my experience an infinitely renewable free trial! I got her some Carol Vorderman books too, just so she has some ‘school books’.

Abigail is coming on well. I have decided to tread slowly and carefully with her. So we have taken three weeks to cover the first six letters in Jolly Phonics and gone over and over the ground. I think they are well cemented now so today we moved on to Book 2, which starts out with letter ‘C’, which happens to be one she already ‘picked up’ somewhere along the line anyway, so was easy. So, so far she knows s, a, t, p, i, n, c, & k. (c & k are covered in the same lesson as they make the same sound). The other day she came to me and asked “what does this say?” She had written ‘stop’ on piece of paper. I asked her where she copied it from. She said she hadn’t, she had just written it. I asked her what it said and she told me. She had simply sounded out the letters onto paper - and I haven’t even taught her ‘o’ yet, but she must have that logged that somewhere already too :) She can also easily read(by sounding out) the CVC words that her learnt letters can make up, so with a little ice-treading I think we’ll be OK!

Both girls had fun with Maths today - a huge play tub of water on the kitchen floor with lots of different tubs, cups and bottles (it was too cold for the garden! I love the versatility of this new house). They were experimenting with quantities of water in different size containers, learning about volume and the basic measuring of. I called it ‘school’ - they called it ‘fun!!’ (albeit a bit wet)

Joel is doing swimmingly too - when he’s in the mood. I try to do a little of ‘making him write’ and a little of ‘Mummy’ll do the writing if you tell her what to put’. It encourages him to ‘dump’ more when he doesn’t have to do the writing - definitely a boy thing. He has great writing, but hates to do it! His maths is progressing slowly, but he just doesn’t get word problems. He’s fine with numbers, it words that muddle him!! I got him this - Papers in Verbal reasoning - to try to help him out. It’s not just with maths(in fact that’s a very small part of it), but lots of logical thinking. I think if he can learn to reason better then the maths problems will be less tricky for him. These books are great and they are quite fun too. There’s loads of freebies on the website too, so go check it out! :)

Sorry there are still no pic’s. Probably won’t be for a while now. I’ll let you know when I post them up, but the main ‘puter is going to the menders (I’ve given up) and I don’t want to put pictures on the kids PC as the HD is not too big for storing all that sort of thing.

Well that’s me. P needs to do some work now on here and I’m going to veg’!!


Anonymous said...

Glad things are going well for you, we are having similar problems with N's school, I feel I am interfereing when i dont agree with their way of doing things, I guess its a product of mass education*sigh*
Abi has a huge problem with verbal reasoning and comprehension, its her big sticking point with everything.
Where did you get the 'papers in verbal reasoning' from? I'd like to try it with her too.

Caroline said...

I got them in WHSmiths. Even my small local store has them, but he big ones have more. Alternatively they are cheap enough online and with a discount I believe, which, if the p&p is not free, would make up for it. They are £5.50 in WHS, but less than that online I believe. Click my link and it should be easy enough to find out :)
Good luck. I was about to start using them for Jake, but then sent him to school - but I still might as he never seems to have much homework and I think he even might enjoy the little tests. They are taxing, but well laid out, not fancy or distracting with pretty pictures (not that I'm against pretty pictures in the right context). Why don't you get a couple of the freebies from the website and see what you think first.