Finding the joy in reading

Society puts a huge pressure on young children to learn to read. Very early on in school, they start recognising letters, piecing together words and eventually reading them out loud with the correct expression and punctuation. Books come home and it’s a parent’s job to listen to their child read. Encourage them when they’re right, work through errors and help the child to learn. Learning to read Every day, Libby would bring home her reading book. We’d plough through it. She’d get frustrated that it was difficult and I’d be left questioning how she could get totally stuck on a…

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Premier League Primary Stars – One Year On

A year ago, Premier League Primary Stars was launched. It is an education programme accessible for all schools throughout England and Wales. They hoped to engage 10,000 schools by 2019 but the programme has been more successful than anyone could have hoped for. In 12 months, 15,442 schools have become involved, working alongside 101 professional football clubs. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Celebrating the Premier League Primary Stars On Thursday night, I joined some fabulous bloggers at an event to celebrate the achievements of Premier League Primary Stars. I hadn’t heard much about the programme before, and…

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The first goodbye

We strolled into the school playground, my eldest daughter laden up with bags. The only bags I carried were the ones under my eyes from sleepless nights, worrying about letting my little girl go. The first goodbye It is easy to think of the beginning of school as the end of an era. The pre-school days are over. The late starts, afternoon naps and lazy mornings at home. But more than that, it is a glimpse of a time when you will no longer be needed. We walked together to her line in the playground. Parents were milling around, waiting…

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What if my child is a bully?

Every day I read another tragic news story about a child who has lost their life to suicide as a result of bullying. Pointless, mindless cruelty that the victim can do nothing about. What child is strong enough to stand up to big groups of children ganging up to make them feel worthless? As an adult I know what it feels like when you don’t fit in. When you walk into a room and nobody speaks to you or there are giggles and cruel comments about the way you look. It’s heartbreaking. I’m a big girl, I deal with it.…

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To my daughter’s school – what I’d like you to teach her

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the foundations of different education systems. In Finland, formal education doesn’t start until the age of seven. Prior to that children are in daycare, where they learn entirely through play. In Japan, they learn manners and life skills before embarking on formal education. Few schools hire cleaners. Instead the children clean the school themselves to teach them to respect their environment. I don’t necessarily agree with all the principles of any particular education system. It’s all about balance and finding the right fit for the child. But these are the things I’d like…

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Thursday Photo #122

Well it’s been quite a week. After months of excited anticipation, Libby has finally started school and she couldn’t be happier about it. At the weekend, we were determined to make the most of our last few days together and there was no better way to do that spending the day at one of our favourite local attractions. We headed to Eastnor Castle on Saturday and spent most of the day outside. The girls learnt medieval skills like jousting and sword fighting and played on a brilliant adventure playground. Libby spent the day with my mum on Monday. She’s been spending at least…

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Why I won’t be crying at the school gates

Next week, my little girl will start school.  Every day I read another blog post or Facebook status about what an emotional experience it is seeing them off for that first day.  But I won’t be sad.  And I know you already think less of me for it, you’ve got me down as a bad mother.  The type that doesn’t care about my little girl.  Doesn’t worry about how she’ll get on and won’t miss her when she’s not around every day. But you’re wrong, I do care.  I care enough to have looked around all the local schools and found…

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