Grabbing the glasses…

For the last few months, Kiddiewink 3 has been grabbing her glasses from our hands when waking from a nap. She then, usually proceeds to eat them .
This morning, she grabbed her glasses and proceeded to try and put them on! We were so excited because it means she now completely accepts them as a part of her, she is independently choosing to put them on. Rather than passively accepting them.
This happened again after her nap!

We are so lucky that she accepted them straight away and never takes them off. To see a just turned one year old trying to put on her glasses, is adorable!

Long may the glasses love continue… Our thoughts are with those currently on a glasses battle with their kiddiewinks! Stay strong, they’ll get used to them in the end.

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Glasses broke; bank balance ruined.

Yesterday’s day at pre school as cost us £70! Somehow, my little boy got hit on the glasses with a wooden bat (apparently it was an accident). However it happened, they are completely and utterly broken, the arm snapped clean off : (
He (and we ) loved those glasses and they have now been discontinued so he can’t even get the same pair again. The opticians just rang to worn me the frames could not be repaired with the voucher so they were going to order him the black pair! As we have to pay again, we are popping back there later so he can at least choose another pair!

It’s so frustrating as he didn’t break them on purpose, in fact he has never broken a pair, but we now have a £70 bill, a bill we wouldn’t have if he didn’t wear glasses. In future, we could have two children breaking a pair and things are going to get very costly!
Essentially, our bank balance is being penalised because the children wear glasses and it feels so unfair. We can’t afford to pay £70 for another pair, he’s only had them 6 months!

Sorry about the rant, just feeling a bit hard done to!

Here is little man in his spare pair, he didn’t want to wear them, he says they feel too small…

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Goodbye, favourite glasses, we will miss you!

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Developing a love for writing

A friend once told me she was bothered, because her son was not interested in writing (he was four/five). I reassured her and explained it would come and it was important to go with the child. In some countries, writing is taught the same, until around seven!
I suggested if she wanted to actively encourage it, she kept it real and not panic or put the pressure on.
“I’m really busy, can you help me write a shopping list”
Upshot was he began to choose to write. Largely shopping lists, initially… But he was choosing to put pen to paper; a vital skill!
Other things to keep it real could be:-
A note reminding daddy/mummy to do something
A note to an auntie/granny.
Recipe
Book review- they get to give their opinion, give it star ratings

As children get more able, if you feel you want to foster creative writing at home. Keep it fun and interesting. Following children’s lead here can have have a massive impact. It encourages children to practise all their whizzy writing skills! If they don’t want to write, don’t make them! Unfortunately you would be doing more harm than good.

Ideas for Home

Stimulus doesn’t have to be text based- it could be audio recordings, sounds, images, video clips… They need a hook to ignite their writing

www.literacyshed.co.uk has some fabulous ideas for all genres….

Alan Peat had also some brilliant resources, we use lots of his ideas in school, and many would work at home too.

Casually throw in an activity, part way watching a film together! Even just a discussion can support them as writers; talk for writing.
– give them a story opener (book or film) can they predict what will happen and write their own climax and ending
– support them in drawing/creating a character to include in a story
-share lots of quality books with exciting plots, rich and varied word choice.
-pictures- describe the setting, including the senses(see, hear, taste, touch, smell
– recounts/diaries/news reports on family days out and events! Who can think of the best headline? Etc

The Early Years

Some children take longer than others to perfect the art of forming letters, supporting them with fun fine motor skill activities can really help here. My son struggles and needs to concentrate to form a correct pincer grip, he knows he finds it tricky. There are tricks such as putting the one a different way, so when they pick it up, it is in the correct position, for my son, he just turns it too suit home so we are trying other activities that promote fine motor control. The imagination tree has some great ideas as does pininterest https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/204913851772401268/

Don’t rush them
My biggest advice would be don’t rush them, all children develop differently. Don’t get bogged down by all the genius children your friends post on Facebook, maybe they can write an essay at four, but do they have more tantrums, not speak as well, less comprehension…. Remember people rarely post or discuss the things their children find more challenging.

My two eldest kiddiewinks are a prime example of children having different strengths. By four kiddiewink 4 could write neatly and attempt any word phonetically. Kiddiewink 2 is almost five but doesn’t start school until September and his fine motor skills are poor, he always uses a Palmer grip by choice and his writing is definitely more like mark making still! Am I worried ? Nope! He has better comprehension of stories and a ridiculously advanced vocabulary for four. If he is still like this by Year one with his writing,  I may start to get frustrated, but for now, I am just going with the flow.

Spellings- supporting at home

As a teacher, I need to teach spellings; as for sending them home to learn, I have mixed feelings! I send groups of words home for learning but do not necessarily test children on the same words; I just focus on the same sound! My reason… Children can learn words for a spelling test, but the real test is can they apply them in their writing! Instead, I am focusing on them taking home all those words they frequently spell wrong in their independent writing! These differ for all children and learning them will make a real difference. I have children in my class focusing on ‘when’, ‘with’, ‘found’, ‘suddenly’ etc . Every child in my class could tell an adult what spellings they need to learn and why, and that keeps it real.

My daughter gets spellings every week (she is a year two); finding time to practice as regularly as we would like was a nightmare initially (with us working full time) but now she can independently practise for some of the time! This has had a massive impact on her confidence, enthusiasm and success!
We bought an app for about £1.49, it is amazing and there are similar wonderful apps available!


The children type the spelling, record it and practise, kiddiewink three loves taking ownership, and eagerly puts them in on the day she gets her new words. The addition of anagrams, practices and tests, keeps it varied and since we started using it, she has had 10/10 every week!
Another good way, is the tried and tested look, say, cover, write check sheet- just search in Google and there is lots of templates. Kiddiewink’s school have just started sending them out, so now we do a mixture of ipad and written. Spellings are no longer a chore in our house, and as she can practice independently for some of the time, and enjoys doing it; time is no longer an issue either.

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Another fun way of helping them at home, is

  • mnemonics such as         because- big elephants can’t always understand small elephant

saw- smiling aliens win

anything they will remember will work…

  • flash cards- these can be as simple as a piece of scrap paper with the word written boldly. Display them in lots of prominent places around the house.
  • writing words in flour or sand
  • Writing it in lots of pretty colours
  • little rhymes and phrasing – eg there is a hen in when.
  • Having fun in a no pressure environment -little and often

This is the key (well I think so anyway)

Even better, is that younger siblings want to get in on the action and experiment with letters!

Another kiddiewink 2 classic…

For months now, my mum has been telling the kiddiewinks she has eyes in the back of her head. Largely, this has been said to stop them winding each other up in the car on the school runs but seems little man has been mulling it over for some time…
While at a farm cottage in Holmesfirth for new year, he asked my mum to go upstairs to wipe his bum when he had a poo. (Lucky her). While mum was stood at the door waiting, he said
“Granny, what’s that behind you”
Mum turned around and said “nothing”
“See! I knew you didn’t have eyes in the back of your head”

One nil to kiddiewink 2! It had us chuckling for days. Clever little monkey!