The last week of term has crept up on us. I can not believe there are only a few days left until the holidays. Our winter illnesses as well as the usual exhaustion felt by children, parents, carers and teachers is apparent in our household. However, the exciting Christmas activities that have taken place in and outside of school have really kept us going. During these last few days, we’ve taken part in Enterprise Day (where the children make and sell what they have been making in class) and Christmas Craft morning (where parents were invited into school to help their children take part in crafty activites). A special Christmas meal, class party and carol service are all yet to come! I love being able to be so involved in these activities with my son at his school. My daughter also enjoys seeing her big brother a bit more. Being able to chat with the other parents is wonderful too. I feel very lucky.
What kinds of activities do your children do in school around Christmas time? Are you invited to join in with any of them? It would be great to hear about other magical experiences during the run up to Christmas!
Update on my last post: The baby clothes are sorted into bags according to size/age. They have been photographed. All bags are now happily stored away again, in the same place I stored them last time. I have failed. Maybe I’ll sell them in the New Year…
This morning, I took the children to the park. This may seem mundane to some but I have not taken my children to play at the park for a couple of months now. Our weekends have been full of family weddings, meeting up with family and friends as well as the children going off to see their father, amongst other things. The time seems to have just slipped away lately.
Today was different. We did not have to be anywhere for any particular time. We did not need to get dressed up. We did not need to be on our best behaviour. We had a morning free to do what we wanted and we could walk at normal speed, rather than the fast-forward motion that we are becoming accustomed to. We savoured every moment. It was heaven!
For us, the Halloween celebrations started yesterday with the school disco. Convincing my son not to wear every spooky costume he had was a challenge. It took a considerable amount of time to persuade him that wearing a wooly pumpkin hat, a witch hat and his monster hoodie would make him rather hot once he had danced about a bit. He had a great time (in only the pumpkin hat). He even won a prize for his dancing, although he did give it back as he didn’t think he deserved it. My son is very honest. An extremely admirable quality…possibly.
We carved out a face and a bat on our medium sized pumpkin and lit it up in preparation for tomorrow. The children enjoyed ‘scooping out the brains’ of the pumpkin, looking at the shadows it created on the wall as well as helping to decide on our designs. As they couldn’t cut the design into the pumpkin themselves, they made their own Playdoh versions. My daughter spent much of the evening, in addition to today, shouting, “Look pumpkin Mummy!” as she ran back and forth between the living room and the kitchen.
Tonight we shall be going to a Halloween party and the children will be trick or treating for the first time. I think it will be more treats than tricks though. The whole idea of dressing up, walking about with their friends in the dark and having lots of sweets to eat is a very exciting prospect for them. Fingers crossed that not too many sweets will be consumed before bedtime, otherwise I’m sure tucking them in will be a chore tonight.
When I was young, Halloween wasn’t as popular as it is now. I remember dressing up as a witch every year (my only costume that Mum bought a few sizes to big for me to ‘grow into’) but I can’t ever remember trick or treating or doing much else for the event. Now, the shops are full of costumes, as well as many, many other items coloured orange and black for the occassion. I’ve read articles on whether Britain is becoming to ‘Americanised’ about this and if it is a good or bad thing to be promoting ideas of the supernatural. In my opinion, as long as the children are having fun, staying safe, not getting into trouble and enjoying socialising with their friends, surely Halloween is a good thing. What do you think?
I am in an extremely fortunate position; my ‘work’ includes spending lots of time with my children, doing many different fascinating activities with them each day as well as watching them grow and develop into imaginative and creative people.
Finding out what my children are interested in or what ‘catches their eye’ when we are out and about is always a great place for us to start to learn more about the world we live in. We share stories (and the love of reading that goes with it!) as well as counting with my two year old daughter and times tables with my six year old son. It is tremendously important to me that my children have fun while doing this learning. Putting pressure on my children to learn something they don’t want to or that they are not bothered about always backfires, in my experience.
Homework used to be a challenge for us. After a long day at school, tea time, bath and having time to unwind from the day’s activities, homework is often the last thing that anyone feels like doing. I believe it is important though. Consolidating reading, writing, spelling, phonics and number work after school are helpful to my child as it aids him in his everyday work at school. Stressing and pushing my son to do it never works for us: screaming and crying ensue, he’s later to bed than we would like and it doesn’t bode well for the next time we do homework as he remembers what a chore it was and how upset he got which puts a negative block in his mind. Instead, I try to find ways to make homework more manageable and easier to make him do, without him reacting like this. He is a ‘doer’, he likes to make, build and discover things by physically moving, manipulating and seeing with his own eyes how things work and how these relate to him specifically. Homework is less of a challenge now, as we use techniques that are better suited to him.
I feel incredibly lucky to be able to support my children at the start of their lives to prepare them for the increasingly competitive world we live in. In my blog, I would like to share some of the activities I do with my children. I would also like to hear from parents, guardians and carers of children of any other ideas in addition to issues in the everyday lives of children. Blogging to share ideas, problems as well as solutions is an amazing tool to help us all to figure out how we can make our, sometimes overwhelming, task of caring for children, more manageable and exciting.