We’ve been doing a lot of work on times tables recently, as multiplication seems to keep coming up.
We started with chanting the tables as we walked along, but J gets cross after a couple of sets and starts muttering or just generally being silly so we’ve had to be a bit more obvious about it. The biggest problem is that he claims to know them, so won’t bother saying them, then when pressed has to admit that he doesn’t know them (but how could he? He’s never learned them! I don’t quite understand why this is such a problem for him 😕 ) and then goes all sulky or even downright depressed and sobs about how useless he is 🙁 which leaves me feeling totally rubbish and as though I might be better just letting him take his chances at school because at least he liked the teachers there…
Anyway, in an attempt to get out of this cycle I’ve had him colouring in number squares to see the patterns, which was quite fun, and then chanting the tables using the number square as a help. So far we’ve done 2s (fairly confident), 10s (totally confident), 5s (fun – like 10s with an extra twist) and 3s (less popular) and are taking pains to point out that the more he learns the more he already knows of the rest 😉 The Woodlands school pages (will try to add link later) are really useful for reinforcement on the PC, so we’ve been using them a bit too.
Yesterday J had a CHEF sport session, which was good, and he and L collected their certificates for doing the Great School Run (2km) a few weeks ago – very chuffed they both were too. After that we took L to Mustard Seeds, where J and I sat in a corner and coloured in number squares, then read My Naughty Little Sister, interspersed with tables questions (the more he answered the more I read – seemed to work!). I remember my grandfather reading MNLS to me when I was J’s age, so it was quite a trip down memory lane 🙂 Mustard Seeds finishes with a story, which is always done in a fairly hands-on way so all the children can feel part of it. This week was the story of St. Laurence (MS is held in St Laurence’s church) and J really got into it. When we saw Bob later he retold the story to him. Actually 💡 that might be a good start point for some imaginative writing – or indeed any writing.
In the afternoon we had a friend from school round for tea, so J had a chance to meet up with old friends (and his favourite teacher) and play for a bit, then we came home via the library where they each chose 2 books which we then came home and started reading together on the settee before tea. After about 4 books it was so hot the children decided ice lollies were in order, so took those outside then came in and did sand art until tea was ready – am I mad? 4 children, aged 6, 5, 4 and 2, several sticky bits of paper and 6 pots of coloured sand! :yikes: Actually, the results were not bad at all, and the mess safely contained on newspaper.
Today we met with Z, L and mum at church coffee morning, then all piled into the car (yay for a 7-seater!) and went across town to the Funky Funhouse where we discovered that the children’s tickets entitled us to a free tea or coffee and them to a free icepop. Useful when it came to time to get them out of the softplay zone and back in the car…
Dashed back across town (boy does time go fast when you’re having fun!) just in time to get J to French club – and having the car proved to be a stroke of luck when the thunder, lightning and enormous raindrops started just before we were due to head back home. Next week is the last session, possibly ever 🙁 as the teacher still does not know what the school will be doing next year and whether their plans include her after school sessions (in which case J will be able to continue) or will put French into the schoolday curriculum, in which case J will no longer be able to do it. I think the time has come for me to look seriously at Jolie Ronde training and possibly franchise.