Do you find yourself looking forward to a different time of year when things will be a little quieter? In the run-up to the school summer holidays, I was longing for things to calm down. Every evening and weekend was packed full of plans. Then the holidays came and we filled virtually every day. Now that the children are back to school I’m into a routine again, but outside of school hours, it’s jam packed as usual.
Reading and mum guilt
When Libby started school, we used to sit down after school every day to read a book with her. It was highly unsuccessful because she was far too tired to concentrate. So before long, we switched to the mornings. After breakfast, we’d sit down for five or ten minutes and focus on her reading. It clearly paid off because she reads well now and got a brilliant score in her reading SAT test.
Then, it was Lia’s turn. She seems to cope so much better with tiredness than Libby, so we’d read with her after school. Except on days when they were doing something and we didn’t have time. We’d rarely get around to it at the weekend either. I didn’t think it mattered, because Lia seemed to be grasping it anyway. Her sounding out was good, she seemed to be progressing quite well.
Then, she went into year one. And I’ve suddenly realised that she’s not doing so well anymore. Her progress is slow, she’s still sounding out most of the words. Reading is a bit of a chore, and most days we don’t find the time. Where we were reading religiously with Libby every morning, Lia gets reading time as and when we can. Sometimes as little as two or three times a week.
Mum guilt has set in and I’m determined to do better. Lia is just as capable as Libby, if not more so. She’s had excellent teachers since starting school, so I know she’s had the best possible chance with reading. If she doesn’t learn to love it or at least become competent at it, the blame will lie entirely with me.
Raising adaptable children
Occasionally, I stop to admire how adaptable and resilient the children are. Last weekend was one of those occasions. My husband was away for the weekend and Lia had a party to go to. As usual, I left it to the last minute to sort out what I was going to do with Libby. I messaged one of her friends whose younger brother usually goes to the parties, thinking we could swap children for a few hours but they were away. I messaged my sisters but they were busy. Eventually, we settled on her going to grandad’s.
Usually, she goes there with me and lots of people are around. This time though, grandad was on his own and he had shelves to put up at my sister’s house. So, Libby spent the afternoon pottering around with him. She had no problem going along while he put up shelves, or amusing herself if he was busy at home. As it turned out, my sister was at home, so they went over there and Libby helped my sister get ready to go out.
Whilst there are many aspects of parenting I’m clearly getting wrong (see above), it’s always good to take a step back and appreciate the bits I’m getting right.
Thursday photo #282
As usual, I had to grab a photo of the girls yesterday evening to include in my post. I asked them to stand together and Libby stood behind Lia with her arms around her. It looked a bit odd, so I asked them to stand next to each other. They sidestepped, walked towards each other and banged heads. There were tears. I decided to make do with this photo rather than risking any more accidents.