Read a great article in the Daily Telegraph Weekend section. Harry Wallop reviewed the game Bananagram which sounded intriguing. The game has even been proclaimed the “Official word game to the London 2012 Olympics” although I’m not sure when the athletes would have had time to play it! The game is similar to Scrabble but without a board and players each take tiles and make up their own free-form Scrabble boards around the table using 15-20 tiles. The first person to use up all their tiles shouts “Peel” and everyone has to grab another tile. This may help out another player. At any stage during the game a player can rearrange letters to form new words. The winner is the first to use up all his tiles. There is no scoring, speed and accuracy beat large difficult words. The game is available in Argos, WHSmith, John Lewis and Tesco. It costs £11.70 in John Lewis.
Read “Thrift” by Phil Church yesturday. A funny tale set in a term at an English secondary school. Failing kids and teachers, will they survive an OFSTED inspection and pull through for the end of term play? A good book.
When I picked my kids up from school, my heart wanted to break for my poor boy after his first day. Plunged into the scary unknown he found himself without anyone he knew from his old school in his lessons. He did have one friend in his tutor group, but this only meets at form time in the begining of the day. The school runs a vertical tutoring group system where each group has 4-5 kids from each year group in it. The system works well for peer mentoring.
Back to day one, the building repair works, started during the holidays had overrun and some rooms were unavailable for teaching. Only the new year 7’s and the oldest Year 11’s attended yesturday. After initial school tours and photos lessons began. My son didn’t understand from his tutor that he would attend taster lessons. Of the four lessons, he had room errors in three of them. A shy child at best he had to tell the teacher he wasn’t on her list, or he turned up at the wrong room. My heart just broke when he said children had laughed at him. Naturally he wanted to curl up in a ball and die of embaressment. He most certainly didn’t want to return for a second day of torture.
As a caring mother I have been in touch with the school to see if he had the right timetable and asked them to make it clear when room changes occur, especially for the new kids. Then together with my oldest child we went over routes to lessons and where rooms were. He now has a multi-coloured map. He has bravely gone off today with the intention to make one new friend, not get lost and to make it through to the end of the day. Me? After very little sleep, I’m home and a blubbering mess!!
With my second child on the edge of giant change from a small primary to a large secondary, it makes me think about how I need to support him at this challenging time. I already have another child already at secondary so am quite relaxed about the transfer, but I am not my son. I am not the one who will need to make new friends, get to and from classes all over the school and survive in the big new school. I am not the one who must remember the right books, not loose my PE kit, listen to the teacher when they hand out homework instructions and remember to do that homework on time.
I can support my children by having a copy of their timetable where I can see it every morning to help them with the pre school check.
I can insist that we have a visible list that all homework is written on with due dates, and that each day we check it together.
I will have tea ready when they get home to refuel them after their long day. I will not ask them about their day until they have had some down time unless they want to talk about it straight away.
Lastly I will have all their uniform named and ready for the start of term. I will set a good example of calm and organisation. And I will always be there for a hug and reassurance.
Anyone else putting up with the back to school grumps? So far it’s been quite a pleasant 6 week holiday, until this morning when things just seemed to blow up out of control. Reminders to child number 1 that there was still outstanding homework from child number 2, who is in limbo having left primary school but starts secondary next week, didn’t go down well! I wonder why?
Child number 2 is feeling vulnerable having been the oldest and “top dog” class last year, will now be the lowest and newest this year. So we have mood swings and senseless demands as we head into the mysterious world of being a teenager!
Child number 1 has only one more year at secondary, so we will have to think about 6th form options pretty soon. Fate by Tallulah Grace
This book is a thriller to me and I’m afraid that thrillers scare me too much! I have disturbed sleep after reading them. However it was well written until the end, I found the ending rather abrupt after the long build up and for me I would have preferred to know more about what happened to the characters afterwards, but that’s the old romantic in me I suppose.It is good to challenger yourself to read different types of material.