Friday, 14 December 2012

Giving confidence

It's nearly the end of term and I'm not sure who needs it most - me or the children?

P has bags under her eyes dark and fluid filled, she needs more sleep and down time. She is not 5 until July and full time school is taking its toll. Sometimes after school I can see a tantrum brewing as I collect her from the school gates, she's kept her anger, frustration and bad behaviour (in the schools eyes) inside her - until she sees me, and then it all comes flooding out . One big stress particle. Melt. Down. On those days its a rush to get her seated on the sofa, choccie biccie in hand and a dose of Cbeebies to unfrazzle her poor little 4 year old brain. Emergency TV watching we call it. It works, she can speak to me civilly again after a some Mister Maker and a glucose intake. The last thing she needs is me shouting at her bad behaviour after a school day of being shouted at. So I nurture her, hug her through her tantrums, give in to her odd clothing requests and let her take charge for a while. She really needs this after a day of being told what to do.

A, darling A. My sensitive little bean. Now the easy thing to do would be to forget all about school for the holidays as though it doesn't exist, give her a break from the Maths and the spellings. But there are hundreds of ways I can incorporate learning into her days without it being a painful experience. A home-schooling friend of mine was asked if she stops teaching during the Christmas break - absolutely not she said, Christmas is full of learning and those who ask the question do not understand what learning is. We will cook, and measure, write Thank You cards (just in case presents are received), we will sing songs, learn other languages, read folk tales and stories, we will count, lay tables, do crafts and write menus. And many other lovely activities too, together, with praise and nurturing and without a boring school book or work sheet in sight.

All I would like for Christmas is for my children to be happy to learn, to take this wonderful world and to grab it, squeezing out all the joy and fascinating facets that are there for them to feel inspired.

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