Category Archives: Homework

We had a little visitor this weekend…

On Friday Ladybird came out of her classroom grinning wildly. In her wake came a Peppa Pig suitcase that she pulled air hostess-style.

‘Jasper has chosen me this weekend,’ she announced with glee.

Jasper the Bear

Please Look After This Bear. Thank You

The class bear is a new one on me. When a friend asked, ‘Are you doing anything exciting with him this weekend?’ I felt relief that yes, as luck would have it, we would be showing Jasper a good time this weekend. But what if we’d planned a quiet one? Would we feel obliged to change our plans just to show Jasper a good time? I’d like to think we wouldn’t go that for far for a stuffed toy, but I can’t guarantee it.

DH said he’d read that parents did just that, one-upmanship leading to the class bear being whisked off for lavish and exotic bear-cations. I sniffed disapprovingly at this revelation, while closely scrutinising Jasper’s scrapbook; counting the number of photos and stickers carefully added by his previous hosts. Like it or not, I’d been sucked in.

Jasper is a cute, if a little solemn, bear. He comes with three pairs of shoes, toothbrush, several changes of day clothes and some red, snow flake design pyjamas that we were all eyeing up jealously. He also brings a storybook, a game of snap and the dreaded (for me at least) scrapbook. On the plus side, no dietary requirements, he didn’t even hint at marmalade.

Ladybird was concerned with his upkeep, changing him for bed and including him in our activities. I was concerned with the scrapbook. Snapping away all weekend on my phone, Jasper was pictured at firework displays, up trees, at ballet, in the pub, scaling rope ladders and flying on magic carpets.We took him to Wilderness Woods to choose our Christmas tree and in case you’re wondering, no, he didn’t, he’s not that sort of bear.

I hate to admit it but I did get a bit stressed with the printing. I needed to print all the photos at my inlaws as our printer gives the photos a bleached, poor man’s sepia effect. But my phone’s battery gave up before I’d emailed all the photos to myself. It ended up as a team effort, the grandparents roped into it  and even DH’s cousin had to leave his Sunday lunch to sort out the printing and prevent the bickering between DH and I escalating.

Jasper himself didn’t ask for much and Ladybird was in heaven hosting him for the weekend. She walked all the way to school today without a whimper and it’s all down to the contents of the suitcase rumbling behind her.

As I snapped Jasper’s completed scrapbook shut with a sigh of relief, DH delivered a cruel blow:

‘You do realise Pickle could be bringing Jasper home again as early as next weekend.’

Let’s hope it’s a busy one.


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Filed under Homework

My Mum ate my homework

Homework, for four-year olds, really? OK, so the twinlings aren’t bringing home quadratic equations (just as well really) but every night they do bring a reading book each and once a week we add to their sound books, where they practise writing, drawing and sticking – all related to the sounds of the week. This week it was ‘ck’, ‘u’, ‘r’ and ‘e’.

The problem is they’re so tired in the evening they want me to read to them, not the other way around. When I open the book and start talking about the characters, Chip, Biff and whoever else, the calls of ‘just read it’ are so strongly voiced we’ve now struck a deal that I read it first, then they ‘read’ it, which seems to be working. Plus there’s a good bit of competition going between them to be the first to find the words. I’ve also started trying to get the sound book done at the weekend, Ladybird still blows several raspberries in the direction of the table and likens her homework to excrement, before capitulating and joining Pickle at the table. But at least the pain of getting it done is kept to just one hour at the weekend, with DH coerced into getting involved, rather than me trying to fit it in with dinner, baths and tantrums during the week.

On the plus side, the sound book work has produced some surprising achievements and some amusing results. This week Pickle, who normally shuns writing of any sorts, wrote the word ‘rain’, while Ladybird drew a picture of a duck, complete with nipples and a belly button.

But I remain unconvinced that there’s room for these extra jobs, for me or the twinlings. I’m all for getting involved with helping them to learn, but the formality of homework versus taking some time out to sit down with them and let them learn while we all play, seems to me to be more important at this age.

Pickle’s ‘r’ picture and writing
Ladybird's duck

Ladybird's Duck a la nipple

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Filed under Homework, Starting school