Educational content is a bit thin on the ground today, S has been here, so i feel an overwhelming urge to share the sheer weight of my “list” with you – but everything with an * is now done. I’m feeling rather proud of myself.
*Tidy up BM admin online
*Tidy living room crud
*Tidy dining rom crud
*Viking direct order – dymo, bags, grip locks, bubbles, printing ink
*Start amending template
*House inspection 4pm Thursday
Dentist – me and Max
*Wash and put away washing.
So now i feel slightly more inclined to start a list of some of the creative things i want ot do. This has to be positive for all of us.
S has played with the girls all day, so i’ve really barely seen them. TBH, this is probably a good thing; i adored our holiday but an unbroken 2 weeks for full time me and them was very full on i suppose and some space from each other has been good. I feel much more clearheaded and today they have all played nicely. Various games based on Harry Potter and the Wizard of Oz have surfaced at different times along with bit and bobs of other things.
I did manage to spend some time with Maddy and got her to make some word cards with me – she picked words she knew from her ExTC book, wrote them in boxes on an A4 paper and drew pictures of them in another book. She seemed to like this a lot and tomorrow we will laminate them together and play matching. Her writing is really excellent, considering the time she has actually spent on it and i adore her pictures. The eye for detail she has is remarkable, i think. She has had us in stitches the last few times by doing bits from The Magic Roundabout, which she has only seen twice, to my knowledge. her favourite line is “whoa, now that’s what i call putting yourself back together” and boy does she do it with feeling!
Josie’s new word is “diggy-diggy-diggy” – its very cute. Today she got to her feet, briefly, without pulling herself up on anything. Gulp.
We’ve got quite a lot of plans for tomorrow, but its stuff we are going to do at home; more baking, some crafts, stories. Fran is becoming quite proactive in planning her week now. She has changed enormously lately, i really do have to big up Miss Mason and her “no formal education before 7 when the child will be ready” theory. She knew her stuff.
Tonight she and i have sat doing some workbooky stuff together again. I’m quite keen to keep this aspect of her day up still, but not worried about how it happens. At the moment, i’m pleased that she is happy with doing something. In a way, the ExTC thing is good for me because i don’t have much of a feel for how reading/language is constructed. I’ve just always been able to read. Today’s lesson was on splitting consonants in the middle of words; it evidently went in as there was a marked improvement in her ability to decode some words in HP1 tonight.
Mathswise she’s hugely impressed me tonight – we’ve never done any subtraction work in the 100’s but i gave her one short explanation and she just did a page of them, 3D shapes and faces was a bit shaky, butr her sequencing and adding up “decade sums” was spot on. We’ve really not done any of this stuff formally before so its a bit of a thrill to see her able to do it easily. While we don’t by any means have an autonomous approach, we are fairly slow paced, i’m anxious not to push her because she doesn’t respond well to having to stretch herself. Its good to see that my instincts have been right.
I suppose that is the crux of a lot of what i write in my blog, analysing whether my instincts have been right.
Interesting to watch Dispatches tonight, on “The Dyslexia Myth”, though i didn’t catch it all, only the last 20 minutes in fact. Kate is dyslexic; everything she has ever told me and spoken about, everything i know about her clearly points to a person who genuinely has difficulty with typed word. What i saw of tonights programme seemed to mostly be about the shockingly inept manner in which literacy is being handled in our schools, and yes, its a crime.
I’ve only taught one child to read, when i’ve watched it happen 4 times, i suspect i’ll have seen 4 different versions of it. And it clearly requires enormous tailoring to the individual – one size will not, can not fit all. I know, without a shadow of a doubt that Fran would not have been reading earlier in school, i know she was going to need help at some stage too. I’m completely with Joyce on the “it doesn’t just happen for everone in a spontaneous fashion” stance. Fran has definite issues with something, i don’t know what and i don’t feel inclined to go hunting for labels over it because i *think* its going to resolve. But we’ve put in masses of practice and she still cannot reliably get p, b, d, q right; 3’s, s’s, 6’s and 5’s are still regularly backwards and she doesn’t even notice, she often can’t sound out a word of over 4/5 letters without sounding it out in a different order (calm could easily be clam, small is usually smell, climb could easily come out as ‘kill-m-b’). She is getting better but she’ll launch herself at a new, longish word and if she can spot that it is a similar length, shape or has the same start and end as something else, it becomes something else without further thought – eg challenge will be assumed to be children. Its as if she isn’t managing to apply what she knows and what would be logical, to what she is seeing.
Its been a defnite slog, but one that we needed to start and we have done so well. I’m glad we’ve done it now, while she is still fairly accepting of what i ask of her, rather than hanging on grimly ot the “it will happen” theory and then discovering i’ve got a struggling, resistant 10 year old on my hands. I’m anticipating having to support her reading for a long time yet but at least she loves it. And watching that programme tonight, that little wobbly lipped Tina describing how she was teased, i know just exactly what would have happened to my Fran and i am so incredibly relieved that it hasn’t.