Sunday, 13 September 2009

Calm has descended

Things are settling down now in the Working Mum household. Husband is away for the weekend with work and daughter is at Church Parade so I've got a few minutes to myself to do the ironing, tidy the front garden and update the blog. So what's been happening?

In the house the shower seems to have stopped leaking now after being positively encased in silicone. The plasterers have finally finished the hall, stairs and landing. The electricians have been and checked the electrics, everything is safe again (MIL house sat for us). Huge sigh of relief. Just waiting for the joiner to come back from his holidays and start on the staircase and doors. Oh, and two of the burglar alarm sensors seem to be broken as well. Heigh ho!

Daughter has settled back into her school routine and she has now added 'spellings' to her homework along with her reading. If anyone has any tips on how to get a stubborn five year old to learn ten spellings a week please let me know. We've had tears, flouncing and shouting so far! (All on her part, not mine, I must add)

Work is still manic (I've already done the first Parents' Evening of the year) and, given that the whole school computer network seems to be malfunctioning I think I've coped rather well. I have now gone back in time. I am writing on a normal board instead of an interactive one, I am giving pupils photocopied worksheets instead of taking them in computer rooms to work on-line and I am putting notes in other teachers' pigeonholes instead of e-mail. It's like teaching in the last century! He he he!

I'm back to rehearsing with choir again after the summer break and I've a concert at the Bridgewater Hall to look forward to on October 4th.

So, I'm back in the swing of things, busy, busy, busy and no time to stop and think, except ......


...........next weekend.............


...........is the big 4-0 for me!

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

So excited!!


22 comments:

Strictly said...

Congrats, hope you have a great birthday

Maggie May said...

Amber seemed to enjoy the ten spellings a week last year. We got her to write the words down first & that seemed to stick in her brain She was then tested every breakfast time. Then every week if she got ten right we told her se'd get a treat if she got three more. Every month she chose a present! 10s every week from then on!

Oh...... the house, you are streets ahead with yours and we have been working on it for ages!

Working Mum said...

Maggie - thanks for the tip. Izzy has a spelling book to write them in and will happily copy them out if she can see them, but when I cover them up and ask her she gets frustrated and won't even try (takes after me, I can't bear not being good at something!). I will try a test result chart and promise a present every three 10/10s - see if that motivates her!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

I'll swap ya the big 40!!!! somehow l dont think you'll take me up on it..

Working Mum said...

FFF - swap 40 for 50? No way, I'd miss out on a decade of looking forward to 50!! (Isn't 50 when the children leave, the house is finished, the mortgage paid and I can live again?)

Iota said...

Put the spellings into the computer and let her type them. More fun than writing or saying out loud. Or would that be more frustrating for her than fun? Depends how computer-keen she is.

I was recently sent some info on a programme called spellquizzer.com, which looked quite good (but a bit laborious for parents - you have to put the spellings in yourself, and a definition). Might be worth checking out.

Have a great birthday!

scaryazeri said...

Hey, hey, hey....
My husband had a surprise trip to Paris with some semi-naked ladies to watch at the famous Lido...( which I by the way highly recommend, not for the semi-nakedness so to speak but for the amazing show!)

So what have you planned then? a big party?

Nunhead Mum of One said...

oh my, it's all been happening with you!!! what have you got planned for your birthday?

Kelloggsville said...

I don't reward based on results but on practises. I do the same for flute and guitar too. Weekly pocket money is calculated based on certain requirements (50p for 3 flute practises, 50p for 2 guitar practises, 10p for hanging school clothes up after school everyday etc). I have always picked off the things that cause me the most headaches! that way at the end of the week pocket money is issued based on measurable facts not subjective. It motivates my H to do and so practises are covered without nagging but any week she chooses not to do them. I've just got to ride it and let her learn her own consequences. Also school peer pressure will kick in over the next few weeks, your daughter will want to try harder when she sees her friends achieving. I am loathed to reward on achievement because not all children will be top performers, rewards on practise allows H to motivate herself and will teach her a life skill - but what works for the child is the best thing - if achivement based rewards works then go for it!

Welcome to the 2x20 club (20 with 20 years experience - I'm loving it!) happy returns for next week x

Working Mum said...

Iota - the computer thing sounds like a good idea; she likes to type on the keyboard - will give that a go

Scary & Nunhead - we're going away for the weekend see http://workingmumonverge.blogspot.com/2009/08/you-know-youve-accepted-motherhood-when.html
then I'm having a meal with family the following weekend.

Kelloggsville - I think your system sounds fantastic for developing the skill of doing your best; maybe when she's a bit older I'll adopt something similar. At the moment I think she's quite capable of learning ten spellings and does need to know them all so I'm aiming for full marks. I know once she has a taste of success she'll want to continue so maybe I'll do the reward thing for a term and then reassess. We did practise them on the way to the park this afternoon and she knows eight out of ten now, just "because" and "another" to master!

Maternal Tales said...

Don't think my eldest has been given spellings to do yet, but I reckon it's just a matter of time (she's in Year 1 now - same as yours I think), so might have to pop back here and use some of these tips. Ooh the big 4-) - hope you have fantastic celebrations. Good luck! x

Kelloggsville said...

ahh the old: Big Elephants Cry And Upset Small Elephants!!!!

(H had a lot of trouble with because!!!!!)

Felinedream said...

I must still be teaching in the last century because my use of computers is limited. I think it comes from working in a very small school (less than 20 pupils and 6 teachers, 2 SMT). It just seems easier to pass everything on via post-it.

mater familias said...

Well, my son had a bourbon biscuit on the table to have when he had written out his ten correctly! Although actually, I think he only had eight.

Working Mum said...

Maternal Tales - this is the beauty of having a blog, a wealth of parental experience to draw upon!

Kelloggsville - I'll be coming back to you for more of those! I've been making up a song with actions to learn "because" you should see my action for 'curly c'!

Mater Familias - hope you haven't had as hard at time as I've had with these spellings, and we've got a whole year of this!

Feline Dream - I imagine communication is much more manageable in a small school, but in ours we have 13 members of my department never mind the rest of the teaching staff; e-mail groups are a necessity!

Claire said...

This post is once again bringing it home to me how early the UK starts to teach reading, writing and spelling.

Eldest son didn't come home with spelling homework until he was at least half way through year 1 (when he was six and a half) and then it was four or five letter words. He's now 3/4 way through year 2 and is seven and a half and has only just started to spell "because" type words.

In fact homework isn't mandatory until year 2, the only reason why his teacher gave them homework in year 1 was to get them used to doing it for year 2, otherwise she says it's a bit of a shock to them!

So I'm afraid that I haven't any words of wisdom on this as, by the time eldest son was given homework, he was mature enough to know that it just has to be done!

Catharine Withenay said...

I can give no tips on learning spellings, but if you have any tips on how to deal with stubborn, sulky, tantrum filled little girls I'll gladly take them! Somehow, it is always when I say, "Time for bed!" or "Can you help with the drying up?" or "Please switch off the TV and come for dinner..."

Ladybird World Mother said...

Big 4-0 eh?! How exciting...
I LOVE BIRTHDAYS!!!xx

Working Mum said...

Claire - you are right, sometimes it is a case of too much too soon. My daughter goes to my school which is independent and hence isn't bound by government rules, but does have a tradition of academic excellence and pushes children from an early age. I accepted this when I chose to send her there, so I have to find ways to make it work.

Catharine - I'm afraid my sanctions with such children involve "persistent infringement forms" and detentions. Not much use at home!

Jacki said...

Your daughter has spellings already? Wow! I am very frustrated with Emma's school curriculum because she isn't doing anything she hasn't learned at home or at preschool. She brought home a worksheet yesterday which they had to trace shapes. It's frustrating because I know she is capable of more, but yet the school system has to deal with 5 year olds like Emma who are already starting to read, and other 5 year old kids who can't even spell their name yet. And they won't put her in the next grade, either. Sigh...

You will be 40? No way!

Working Mum said...

Jacki - you have the opposite problem to Claire. Surely the job of a teacher is to make sure that every child is working at their correct level and fulfilling their potential? Well, that's the utopia we strive for!

scrappysue said...

happy birthday - in advance! can't wait to hear all about the big day - spoilt yourself!!!