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 a la nipple
Well, we survived. No tears, not even from me. And not only were we on time, we were so early the twinlings actually asked why they couldn’t go into their classroom. Basically I’m petrified of seeing their innocent four year old names in the black and white of the late register.
I’ve been organised though. So organised I’m quietly impressed with myself. Shoes lined up at the bottom of the stairs, book bags and helmets hanging on scooters by the front door and uniforms and undies piled on the floor outside their bedrooms. I even followed a tip from a newspaper supplement and piled the clothes up in the order they put them on. Not massively helpful to the twinlings because I have to coax them into their clothes, what four year old wouldn’t rather be playing trains than getting ready for school?
I haven’t managed to organise myself so well though. Instead of leaving calmly I’m charging around in search of my shoes, umbrella, keys, phone – all hidden by DH, of course. And I’ve been dangerously close to being late for pick up time too, which should be the easy bit really shouldn’t it?
A column in last week’s Sunday Times claimed punctuality, or a lack of it, was a power issue, so people are late because it gives them power over the people they keep waiting. But for me it’s more about not wanting to wait around, I like to arrive on the dot, which doesn’t allow for slip ups, like lost door keys. So I’m going to have to give myself an extra five minutes for pick up time.
I think it’s going to be a tough few weeks getting them settled in, they were excited to go on the first day but even just a morning session tires them out quickly. Pickle shuffled home whimpering to himself on Friday and they asked me on their way in this morning (Monday) if it was their last day for the week. If only!
Have you got any tips on getting organised? Share them with me here.
Next topic: Packed lunches