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Tot-school | Week 18 | Letter SFebruary 18, 2017

This past week’s tot-school
…was s s s something.

I found the letter S overwhelming, there were just so many things we could link to. On Monday, I had just finished the weeks paperwork when the computer crashed… stupidly I’d forgotten to hit save. It was a disappointing start but one that would not define the week, no illness would do that for me. As I dosed up the 2 men in my life tot-school became the treat activities to do when the little guy was showing signs of boredom.

While the week was rather unfocused Adam picked the letter up from the get go and was pointing out ‘S’s and guessing objects he’s forgotten the name of with ‘s,s,s’ followed by a random sound. It’s a great place to be as he’s really starting to identify the idea that all words begin with a letter sound.

The pack I’ve made is available for download at the end of the post.

This weeks read more questions:

Mummy loved the sheep but Adam got most excited about the snake craft, referring back to it many many times as well as pointing it out to visitors.

The letter tracing mat was a bit of a flop for the first time in ages, Adam wasn’t interested in working with it in any way other than to match objects, though he did match the big letter to the letters in the basket.

Nope. Linking sounds to letters, phonics, is something I’m been pretty sure Adam’s was aware of before now but this week he’s really confirmed that. Phonics is all I am aiming for on the reading spectrum, I believe decoding (putting letter sounds together to form words) is best left until children reach at least 3 years old, preferably older.


Tot-school | Week 17 | Letter RFebruary 11, 2017

This past week’s tot-school
…was rather enjoyable.

I’ll admit it, I was looking forward to the letter R appearing, rockets and robots and rainbows are all such beautiful and bold things to work with. I must have mentally checked off 20 odd activities to do and yet when I came to plan I reined in the chaos and forced myself into a simplicity that gave the week a lovely balance. Having a beautiful rainbow to brighten the blustery transition into spring helped too.

With hindsight I’d recognised that Adam only really uses the uppercase resources. When we’ve introduce lowercase he ignores it or gets confused. This week the lowercase bits were the rocket, rather than adapt I decided they could be used next time round. I’ve also recognised that the guided letters in the letter tracing mats focuses his lines really well and so this week I made him a second one for his unsupervised table. He usually begins from the base of the page rather than the number prompts but at this stage that really doesn’t matter to me.

The pack I’ve made is available for download at the end of the post.

This weeks read more questions:

Co-operative crafts. I knew the rainbow craft was far too difficult so we worked together, Adam choosing bits, pushing pieces down and passing them to Mummy. It’s a lovely way to do crafts and while independence is great this teaches co-working skills that he is still mastering.

I think the biggest flop I had was actually before we began when I realised printing all the lowercase stuff would just be a waste of paper.

Nope. We loved R and learning a new word ‘rhino’ and trying to remember the word ‘reindeer’ from Christmas, but existing words really do work best. The word ‘Queen’ hasn’t stuck with him so I’m glad we jumped a week.


The goggle boxFebruary 8, 2017

I’ve noticed a pattern, it’s a sad one and one I’d vowed I’d never fall prey to, but alas I have a kid that totally over-consumes on screen time. In some senses it’s not really surprising. We have more screens per room in this place than we had in the whole house during my childhood. I’ve got the 2 year old who can exit a kids app and happily navigate youtube alone if unchecked. It’s something we are clamping down on.

I’ve always been terrible with screens myself, I feel them suck me in like a huge vortex and all other activity fades. I apparently goggle quite badly and can’t multitask while they are blaring, even silent screens will result in lost conversations. I’m not sure why they are quite so potent to me but it’s not surprising that Adam seems to suffer similarly.

Screens are like the prayer life I’d love to have. That all adsorbing focus, irrespective of time or distraction. It’s been too long since I got ‘lost’ in prayer. I found myself time wasting the other day as I waited for sleep to claim the little man on the other side of the room. I read correspondence, saw the headlines and peered down the rabbit hole of social media until I found my eyes close from frustration and the thought of prayer came. The shame came too, for prayer shouldn’t be a last response for the bored, the forgotten task you left unchecked on your list.

There have been times in the past when prayer was a delight, a refuge and a divine embrace when life seemed too huge. But not lately. Recently my prayer life has been like a long distance phone call, a mix of highlights and pleads, frustrations and forgotten thanks. And really that’s not all bad, sometimes we don’t need a God who is our BFF, prep talk, and crutch. Sometimes. Other times we need to feel that almost tangible hug, that connection you only get after you’ve got past all the small talk, past all the niggles and fleeting affairs, onto the deep stuff. While my prayer life of late has not been absent, it’s not been celebrated or treasured either.

One way I’m combating this is to restart my love affair with the pray as you go daily recordings. I discovered these when I first came to Serbia and they have been ebbing and flowing since, arriving gently and slipping off silently when other activities drown them out. I’ve also discovered that I’m best praying for others, praying over situations conveyed through the webs of murmur and sighs of help. While it’s great to finally be the friend who genuinely prays when she exclaims she will, it’s also not so healthy for my own relationship with the divine to be always turning up with an outside agenda. So I’m going to start writing to God again, pick up my pen and scribble lines, correspondence that is never as one way as it first appears. Hopefully I’ll fill you in on the journey.

Photo Source : Unsplash – Pawel Kadysz