Thursday, September 14, 2006


OK - At long last I’m blogging! Just getting to my blog atm is pretty tough. Schooling three at three different levels is working out tough - although it is going well I think :)
The resources that I’m using this year seems to be just right, if perhaps a little to ‘plentiful’. The ‘Springboard’ introductory book’ (which is Joel’s basic English course) is such a cinch that Joel tries to make it more difficult by reading into the questions more than is there! He should zip through that pretty quick and get onto the stuff that is more appropriate for his level. Education City is proving a big hit with everyone and they are all spending quite considerable amounts of time on there. It’s great that I can pick out the activities that fit best with what we are learning at the time. So in science we have been looking at different ‘materials’ and backing up our paper/experimental work with Ed City stuff. :) I picked up some excellent resources in WHSmith for science too (after I had of course ordered Science resources from Peter - forgetting that I had) ; “No Fuss - Science Photocopiables” (£12 only). I got both KS1 and KS2 books - I thought I could not go far wrong at that price seeing as they are completely non-consumable and 100% legally photocopiable :) I also got a S&S KS2 Science Revision book which actually works really well as a textbook and all the children can understand the topics OK (despite it being aimed at 7 -11 yr olds!!). I’ve then been using the S&S ‘Starting Science’ workbook on materials for A and the Photocopy stuff fro A,P & J.

We’ve been using MEP Year one for A so far as my Sing MPH books didn’t arrive until today. She’s almost done a half terms work in 1 ½ weeks!! Admittedly I haven’t been doing the 45 minute lessons with her, but that’s because I felt she probably already had most of the concepts it introduces down pat already - having done EB last year - and apart from learning the meanings of the <, > and other related signs, there has been nothing new so far. Joel has been finishing of 2B of PM from last year - covered time and capacity in less than two weeks, so should be done with that pretty soon too - especially as he now spurred on by the arrival of the ‘NEW’ maths books. Having looked at the MPH now I can see that it is a much slower programme and probably much better suited to Joel speed of learning. That coupled with the lack of ‘practices’ and ‘revisions’ he is likely to be a much happier bunny altogether I think :) Looking at Boo’s I think she will race through some of the initial stuff and that will give her a real sense of achievement. She has really got to grips with some maths concepts over the summer just simply by asking her to work things out occasionally. I think we will carry on using MEP on occasions though - perhaps to ‘pad out’ the year and Miquon to cement the learning where I feel we need to, but I don’t want to overdose them on maths!!

Abbie loves Jolly Grammar as I knew she would. The S&S ‘Basic Skills’ is good too, but it is a bit demanding in terms of the amount of writing it requires. That says she doesn’t complain nearly as much as the boys would have at her age (or even now for that matter) and her writing is coming along nicely. Her spelling is beginning to be a little more sensible too now :) The Early Comprehension I go her she likes too - it’s really very easy - story sequencing and stuff like that. So she is happy all in all. She has also almost completed the Year 1 ‘STILE’ materials and then she’ll be into Year2.

Phoebe on the other hand, having been raring to go last year when she didn’t have too, doesn’t seem to want to lift a finger this year and is reluctant to do anything!! I have a stack of workbooks for her to get through and I can’t get her to the table! She loves Ed City though so that is a plus. I don’t to push her too hard either as she is so much more fragile than the others have been - it’s very obvious how easy I could go wrong with her. I know I can be a bit of a hard task master at times and she simply won’t have the strength to keep up with me, so I really need to watch myself. But to be fair to her, she is at playgroup 2 mornings still and going to H’s another morning, I really only have her two full days - and one of those is a non-school day. In the afternoons she is quite tired and I think that’s why she lacks enthusiasm. I’ve tried to keep to the fun stuff in the afternoons for that reason, but I can’t force her to take part really as, tbh, I still think a lot of it is a bit over her head - despite me trying to make it multi level. How, in reality, do you target an 8yo, 5yo and 4yo all in the same breath?! I’m sure she gets a bit lost at times and I’m not helped by the fact that she refuses to give me any feedback, so it’s hard to know what’s really gone in. She goes mute on me ‘in class’ time. Anyhow, I figure it’s a bit like when she was learning to talk - or rather not - she stored it all up until she felt she was really ready to let it come out and only then she started talking. One thing that has been a hit though is the little ‘start Write’ box I bought - both girls love it and I can see that it might be exactly the starter P needs as far as getting her to ‘have a go’ without the help of dots to follow. I am thinking that maybe I need to give a little of Friday afternoons over to Phoebe getting some one-on-one time, and maybe even more so after Christmas when she will be left playgroup and at home full-time. I have pretty much decided I am not going to start teaching her to read until next September and to just carry on with nursery level stuff for this year. I believe she is simply not ready to learn it all yet and I think that gently introducing her to letters, without requiring her to really learn what they sound like, is the way to go with her. She might surprise me and learn some of the sounds anyway. If she does it’ll be a bonus, but I want her to feel like she is just having fun! And I want her to get a more ‘broad’ spectrum of learning that just learning to read. There seems to be a whole host of things she has simply not ‘picked up’ - like the names of kitchen appliances for instance and what things are made of - hence the ‘materials’ topic atm. She didn’t know what a kettle was, bless her! I don’t know if I really have never told her, or if she simply hasn’t picked up these very basic things.

SO that’s us for now… gonna do the meme thing and leave it at that. I have a thumping head, this has taken me a couple of hours and tea is nearly ready. Plus I need to go chivvy the kids into clearing up a bit.

But first to respond to Kerry’s Tag - who obviously doesn’t realise that I REALLY don’t read very much at all!! One book a year maybe..!
Anyway… I’ll have a go…

One Book that Changed My Life - obviously for me - The Bible
Two Books I’d want on a dessert island - Mr God this is Anna (Fynn) & The L-Shaped Room (Lynne Reid Banks) - the only two books I’ve ever really loved and read more than once!
One book that made me laugh - hmmm - can’t think of one. I don’t really read funny books. I like to weep when I read!
One book that made me Cry - most of the books I choose to read make me cry! The two above not being exceptions of course!!
One book you wish had been written - I probably wouldn’t have read it if it were!!
One book you wish had never been written - don’t know enough about literature to really know - but “Our Mutual Friend” (Dickens) is pretty aweful and made my A level English literature pretty hellish (yes - I did do that despite not enjoying reading - don’t ask me why!)!
One book I am currently reading; I always have more than one on the go and take forever to read them! So currently “The explosive Child” ( Dr. Ross Greene), ‘Rachel’s Tears’ (about the Columbine shootings) and ‘We’re in this Together’ (Celia Bowring - about being a minister’s wife).
One book I have been meaning to read; the sequel’s to ‘Mister God this is Anna’ (Anna’s Book & Anna & the Black Knight). I’ve have a compilation book, so that counts as one! But it’s been on my shelf for two years now!
5 people to tag - err dunno - if you’ve not done it then go ahead, consider yourself tagged!

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