Thursday, 29 November 2012

Back on track

At the end of last week, I was aware that Francesca was losing focus and starting to misbehave more frequently and I decided that the lack of structure was not good for her.

So, Monday morning, we reinstated some sort of timetable - at least with the stated objective of completing violin, Maths and English in the morning.

She took to it brilliantly, seeming even more motivated than before, getting the tasks finished in record time with suitable amount of concentration and the minimum amount of faffing about.

More on that later.

Elizabeth has done some lovely art work this week, which I wanted to share.

This is, a tiger, obviously.

And this is a collage that she spent ages meticulously working on. She has such patience and precision!

Now, to the academic progress.

Francesca has dug out an old English workbook that is far too easy for her. She is really keen to work through it at top speed and I am letting her. It gives her a great sense of achievement and we'll come to more demanding tasks soon, no doubt. This book will be finished in a matter of days, at this rate (9 pages a day sometimes!)

Elizabeth's reading and phonics work is coming on nicely - slowly, because she's been at Play Group a lot, but that's ok.

This week, I printed out all the phonic sounds that she knows so far and she carefully cut them out and stuck them onto card to make a game. We practise reading and making words by arranging the sound cards on the table. With daddy, she managed to sound out 'girl'! With me, it was more 'cat' 'hat' 'sit' 'sat', but hey :)

Sebastian's been quite good at amusing himself. Some mornings, this week, when I've wanted to do more in depth teaching with Francesca, I've sat Sebastian in front of CBeebies, which is something he's never done before. It's the first time he's sat, engrossed, and enjoyed the TV. Won't do him any harm to have his share(!) The girls have seen quite a bit of TV in their time, but I've cut right back on it now, for them, as it seems to result in horrible behaviour. Sebastian's been ok so far...

With Francesca, I've had a break from the Heinemann maths book, simply because I've had Francesca one-to-one and I wanted to directly teach her some skills.

We've been using a squared whiteboard to revise number bonds to ten. I'm trying to teach her how to add, by going via ten. It's kind of hard to explain at the best of times and, poor thing, she's struggled to get what I was on about(!) but today I think she understood. We'll have another attempt tomorrow and see if she can do it.

In other news, we had another fantastic French lesson.

We also had fun using some dried teasel heads to comb out the sheep's wool we'd collected on holiday. I think we might do some dying and felting with it although we haven't got much.

Francesca's been reunited with her sewing. "I LOVE sewing!" she said, and she's worked really hard on her embroidered cushion.

Ta da!

And pinning the two sides together...

She's almost finished the whole thing today.

The behaviour and motivation round here have improved greatly with the structure and 'pressure' (by which I mean, having things that have to be completed). Francesca has usually finished her set work by elevenses and has time to do some typing practise (which she loves) or listen to her story tapes.

In the afternoons, we've been learning some carols and dancing to the music from the play we went to see last week.

Now, I'm off to make paper helicopters and blimps from this site.


  1. We have loved seeing this update with such progress from all.

    Yes the television probably has much to answer for, yet it clearly has its place.

    Read recently statement that TV, and single function toys "entertain" the child but do not give him space to privately work things out, think and experiment. I'll try and find the link.


    Found it! I was especially interested in the notion of allowing the child from a young age, to have private time to think and work things out.