Thursday, 24 September 2015

School..The Best Days Of Your Life?

I loved school. I loved primary & secondary and never understand people who didn't. I was never blighted by bullies, was intelligent enough to wander through in top or middle sets and made a couple of life long friends. I often take a nostalgic stroll looking back and sigh with a smile at the best days of my life.

But now I have my own school aged children and being a parent is nothing but a battle of wills. Homework, reading, pen licenses, projects and the worst thing to happen to my children; codes.

Codes are a way for the school to instill fear into the children so they don't misbehave. You get a code 1 for small misdeeds such as talking in class. Five code ones in a week is an automatic code two and you miss golden time on a Friday to see either the Head teacher or the deputy head. Either of these will meet out the punishment, usually writinga paragraph explaining what you've done and why.

Earn six code two's and its report.

So far the 10yo has sailed through primary fairly easily. He's no angel, his ADHD diagnosis makes fiddling an Olympic past time and he has a tendency to talk. usually ten to the dozen and a fair amount of rubbish.

However, not a month into year 6 and my boy who would come out of school on an even keel is now miserable.  Next week is PGL.  He's uber excited. Not just because Mr.M is attending as parent helper but because his class teacher ISNT GOING!

I've told him to keep his head down, try to keep his "thoughts" to himself, not worry about the codes as I'm not and have reassured him this doesn't get sent onto his next stage of school.

But what really worries me us this. What if his teacher doesn't like him? I know as adults we're not meant to say things like we don't "like" someone's child and teachers are supposed to maintain a professional standard. But we've all known a teacher who disliked a child in their class. What if my child is that one?

Year 6 is a big year for kids. Stuff the SATS,  its when they become a big fish in a little pond. King of the playground and should be the best days of your life.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

This Week I Will Be Mostly..... week 2

Listening to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off"

Not by choice.

It's not that I don't like it or Miss Swift's world takeover - there are far worse role models our youngsters can idolise and she's an extremely talented young lady. It's a problem because my 5 year old loves it. And plays it over and over again.

It's not even the Taylor Swift original but a cover version.  The 5 year old has found a Bieberesque type boy who sings & vlogs. It's called MattyBRaps and she is ever so slightly obsessed.

Thank God she's too young for twitter and facebook.

Matty can be found here MattyBRaps

My Random Musings

Friday, 18 September 2015


When I was 10, I was a precocious thing. A know-it-all with a penchant for back-chat.  Until I was firmly put in my place by my parents.

I have a 10 year old. Now they're not precocious; they're "TWEENS".  Moody, mouthy and with no respect for people or property.

This week, the 10 year old came home from school in a shirt and a pair of shorts.  This is not what he was wearing when I dropped him off in the morning.  It turns out after blindly dumping his bag on the playground floor in what turned out to be a steaming pile of fox poo. He picked up said bag, slung it over his shoulder and slung poo all over his clothes.  The school changed his clothes and put the dirty stuff in a bag for me to find later in the bottom of his school bag.

Both my children come home covered in pen.  Every. Day.  I keep all washing powders, washing up liquid and ASDA in business the amount I spend on trying to get rid of the pen and buying new polo shirts.  This day however; I noticed on the 10 year old it wasn't just the odd mark made by mad colouring in but a perfectly formed squiggle.   I asked him what it was and his reply.

"Oh I couldn't get my pen to work"

If you could just imagine the double take you see in cartoons.... that was me.

"Pardon? Did I hear you right? You couldn't get your pen to work so you just decide to draw on your clothes?"

"Yes, it's alright, it's not my top"

This is the point I got a bit "bug-eyed" and decided that he needed to appreciate how to respect things like property and drawing willy nilly on clothes was unacceptable.  So I told him he has to pay for a new polo shirt to give to the school.

We moved onto homework.  You may have seen my post last week about Homework Hell. This week took us to new limits.

He had 15 (yes 15!) new spellings to learn.  To start with I give him the spellings book alongside a dictionary. All he has to do is find the word. He has it written in front of him, he knows his alphabet. Apparently it's too hard.  We had tears, almost every word wasn't in there he declared. It's an Oxford English Dictionary... I checked. The words were in there.

After at least half an hour of crying, moaning, shouting (me) and general grumpiness he was flicking through the dictionary with such bad grace he ripped out a page.  I managed to point out he will now need to replace that alongside the school shirt.

Let's just say it didn't go down too well.  But how else will he learn that I don't have a bottomless purse and can replace everything that gets lost, ruined or broken?

It might teach him a little respect.

Modern Dad Pages

Friday, 11 September 2015

Homework Hell

I hated it as a child and I hate it now I have my own children.

I know they need to learn how to read and write.  How to spell, add up, multiply and divide.  That's why I send them to school for teachers WHO ARE TRAINED to show them.

Why do teachers feel the need to send my children home with a slip of paper telling them they need to do a two week project and spend x amount of hours on it?

What they mean is; they want me to spend two weeks nagging the child to make a plan and get on with it. I no doubt will have to make a trip to Tesco to print some photos, nip into work early to print it off or just do the damn homework myself.

We've made a bear in the woods. (He was in grizzly bear class). A paper mache Titanic, a large canvass of the planets, posters... plus other things I feel I have blanked out.

Don't get me started on when the bloody class mascot comes home!

It's a paper mache Titanic!

Does a bear shit in the woods?

Modern Dad Pages

Thursday, 10 September 2015

This Week I Will Be Mostly....week 1.


Podcasts. Yes I know they've been around for 10 years but I'm a bit slow to join the party.
So for anyone else who hasn't given them a thought, here's my recommendations.

I particularly like the Frank Skinner radio show, which is the chatty bits from his Saturday morning show on Absolute Radio with his co-hosts Alun Cochrane & Emily Dean. Frank is extremely quick witted and coupled with Alun's almost deadpan presence and Emily's reminders she was in "Day of the Triffids" it makes for a fun hour.

I've also made a start on The Archers omnibus, so far 4 weeks in and I still have no clue who anyone is!

This week I also discovered Titanic Letters. These were letters sent from passengers and crew on the Titanic in the days before she sank and again sent from survivors on the Carpathia. Each one was only about 3 minutes long but fascinating.

What have you discovered this week?  A favourite tea, a song, TV Programme?  Let me know what you're "mostly into"