Tuesday 19 June 2012

Waffling ignore if you want to

Well it's just after 3am in the morning
in the UK.
If you don't feel reading feel free to ignore this post.

My asthma is being naughty at the moment
so the doctor prescribed some steroids.
I only started taking them when I got home
this afternoon so they kicked in big style
at bedtime.
Hence the reason I am posting at this stupid hour!

There is so much going round in my head at the moment!

In the UK the school year runs from September to the end of July.
My son came home from school the other day
and asked what he has to do to get star of the week.
We didn't even know they were doing star of the week in his class this year.
The thing is what do you tell your child when you know it is because he isn't
one of the "chosen" children.
Have schools not learnt yet?
My son is one of the youngest in his year
so of course isn't as good academically as the children a year older.
However is average for the year and has moved up a group in his phonics.
I am highly proud of his, yes I know I'm his mum.
He try's his best most of the time - well he is a boy.
I know he can lose focus at times but if you praise him he will then do
anything for more praise.
It seems because he just is and just gets on with things he gets ignored by the system at our school.
Every year they have assemblies that the parents can watch and the Christmas play.
Before we even get there I can write down who is going to get the main parts.
I can write down who is going to get the least part to play.
My son is always one of the ones who gets the least part.
I wish I could say it's only in this year but it carries on to every year.
I know it's easier for the teachers this way but I also know it means
a lot of kids give up even trying!
If you are never picked and never praised what is the point.
They do split them up into ability groups but Little Red is on
the top of one and doesn't seem to get moved up
as it's easier for the teacher to leave him to get on with the task
whilst she is having to spend more time with others in the group.
She even told me this!
I have written to the teacher today with Little Reds question
but it broke my heart when he asked.
There is part of me that wants to fight the system and get my child noticed
but then there is the other part that says what is the point!
I don't have the energy to fight but this is my child
do I not owe it to him!

Anyway I've made one decision through this.
I'm going to work with him this summer holidays!
I already do quite a bit with him.
We play games that are educational (without him knowing about it)
Any questions he asks we try and answer truthfully and honestly even if they are tough ones.
We do some work in his star books but
at the moment he has reading, maths homework, library book, spelling
and other tasks each week for homework from school.
I am hoping with the time we have through the summer holiday
we can do more fun experiments, use his microscope more
and do more work in his star books.
I want my son to enjoy learning and I'm hoping if it's fun
he'll enjoy the world and learning about it.
Yesterday he was already making plans for getting his books
on trees and insects and going out looking to see if he could find things.
I had to let him know we wouldn't be able to find a killer whale :-)

Anyway I've waffled enough!
I'm off to see if sleep will come!
I hope you are all having a fantastic week!

I'm making a large pretend hammer for Little Red.
Wonder which cartoon he has been watching?


  1. I'm sorry you're not well and are stuck awake at a late hour. It's after midnight here in Florida, and I'm awake, too.
    It's a tough predicament to be in as a parent; the schools here in the states are the same way. The average kids get swept into the cracks. I was a squawker parent when my daughter was in school (I homeschool now); if I didn't think she was being treated fairly, they heard from me. I was not a welcome sight.
    You've made a good choice to work with him this summer; it's the best way to keep his love of learning alive.
    Feel better soon.

    1. Thanks ever so much! That much be hard being up that late and then homeschooling all day!
      I think I'm not going to be a welcome sight as well!
      Homeschooling isn't really done here and as Little Red is an only child I don't think it will be an option for us.
      At least if I work with him he can progress. His teacher even told me that he doesn't really want to learn. This was the day after I had to explain about sun tan cream, the sun, uv rays, the browning of your skin, burning and layers of skin. If that's a child that doesn't want to learn I don't know what is.
      Thanks ever so much!

  2. Hi Sue. I sooooo hear you about your son. My youngest has also asked the same question but I resolved it by starting our own star award system at home. I know it's not the same but I print off certificates (You're the Champ!!!) etc for him and he gets such a kick out of it. He sticks them up on his bedroom wall and there's no sweets or treats involved, just the certificates! The same applies to the school plays but I guess that's life in a way. Some people are always top of the pile and the rest of us scrabble around at the bottom! Don't let them break your heart.....lol xxx

    1. Laura,

      That's a fantastic idea! We do the star books so he gets stars for them and he loves them. I think I will start the certificates as well. We have always made sure that when he gets anything for achieving anything it is always put in a place where everyone can see what he has done.
      Thanks ever so much!


  3. It is almost 2:00 here in Tampa and I don't even have the excuse of being sick to be up! I didn't squawk enough for my kids and wish now I had. Perhaps before the next drama, you could talk to the teacher about working with your child and his aspirations for a more important role, a bit higher up on the ladder so to speak. In the meantime, you are so smart to spend time to keep him interested in learning new things and seeing the bigger picture! Two thumbs up!

    1. Thanks ever so much! I more of a morning person so I am usually in bed early and up early. What do you get up to till 2am? that's a good idea! I was naughty and ordered some more books. He is all excited about feeding the birds in the garden & getting more bugs and butterflies into our garden this summer :-)

  4. Like Kate, I had a son who was 'mishandled' by the school system here in the States. In his case, he had/has ADHD (actually, he has no short term memory and the inability to do sums in his head). After his diagnosis, I had to do battle with his grade school, middle school and high school to assure that he got the help and extra time that his IEP (special needs policy for classwork). I was on a first-name basis with the teachers, vice principals, principals and even the superintendent. I was extremely vocal and advocated for my son throughout his school years. And this was while I was also working full time. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

    1. It's just so sad with all the knowledge they know have you still have to fight to get what your child needs. I think school are going to know me very very well.

  5. My 15 year old son has Aspbergers Syndrome - a form of autism. Because his diagnosis is for a relatively "new" disorder, I have always struggled with the school system. He looks and sounds like a "normal" kid, but his brain doesn't process things the way "normal" people do. Because of this teachers and the school administrators considered him a behavioral problem, and instead of finding ways to help him, they removed him from class and punished him. It took years of fighting the system to get him into a program where he is finally flourishing. I guess what I'm saying is, no matter what it takes you need to advocate for your kid. If you think he's being passed over or not being offered every opportunity I encourage you to speak up. I don't know what it's like in the UK, but in the US every child is entitled to an education - as parents its our job to make sure they get everything they deserve! My blessings for you and your family!

    1. I'm glad he is finally getting the education he deserves. I must admit I think I'm going to fight. The school has been trying to change things by splitting them into smaller groups of different levels but it is so ingrained in them to give everything to the hand children that it is going to take some pushing to get it out of them. We had a program over here they showed what happens to the children who don't put their hands up and it showed they stopped learning because they didn't see the point. They wouldn't get picked for anything so what's the point. They changed the school so each child had a white board and everyone had to put up the answer. The rebels turned out to be the children that put the hands up all the time. They weren't the center of attention anymore. They also looked at other ways of teaching children as most lessons are based round how girls learn and boys learn differently. Within that there are visual learners, listeners etc. Schools need to be more flexible in their approach and include everyone.


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