Yesterday, I went for my usual morning stroll with my elderly dog. We take it easy because I’m always recovering from my morning run and he’s a little old man recovering from life. He sniffs at all the smells and I admire the views and the wild flowers. But just after I took this photo and marvelled at the gorgeous, vibrant, summery colours, I was stopped in my tracks. Because just around the corner, there were blackberries. Big, juicy, ripe blackberries – just the sort you get in autumn. And so it is arriving – the beginning of autumn. Darker mornings, falling leaves – and more importantly – my baby girl starting school.
Libby is so ready for school, she literally can’t wait for her first day. And I’m pleased for her, but I can’t help but worry. I know it’s time to start preparing – we’ve been getting her uniform together, she’s got new shoes and had a lunchbox for her birthday. But we’re also trying to prepare her for learning.
It’s so easy for children to get out of the habit of learning during school holidays. Even the little bit of learning that Libby was doing at nursery will be slowly seeping out of her mind if we don’t keep her interest whilst she’s at home. So this summer, we’re throwing ourselves into books.
She’s learning about Roald Dahl, we’re going to take her to watch the BFG and we’re reading a chapter of the Witches every night. She is also colouring in regularly, because I know that’s a great way of developing fine motor skills as she gets closer to learning to write properly.
Another way we help her with letters, numbers and pen skills is by using education books that are aimed at her age and skill level. I’ve written before about our love of The Works, and the fact that it’s Libby’s favourite shop. She likes the selection available, and I like the fact that the prices are reasonable so I can buy whatever she wants. There’s nothing worse than going into an overpriced bookshop and having to say no when a child asks for a book.
So now that I’ve realised how quickly that dreaded first day of school is approaching, we’ll be investing in some new learning books from the Works. We already have a few of their books for learning letters and numbers, but we’ll be stocking up on some more. They’re great for Libby to practice both pen control and letter and number recognition, and Lia is picking up some letter and number recognition too, so we go through them together.
We also love workbooks, and the Ready for School workbook with its stickers and activities is perfect for Libby. This is one that we’ll do when Libby is on her own with one of us. Both girls love to read a book together, but I know I need to start giving Libby some time to learn on her own. After all, there will be homework to focus on in just a few short weeks.