12 articles Tag Reading

Learning Burn Out?

Now that Sausage has got past the anxieties that made her first few weeks at school difficult for her, she’s taking to it like the proverbial duck dipping his toes in the pond. She’s already on books with words, she has been for a few weeks in fact, and she’s excelling in just about every area. She’s even becoming more physical, something she’s been apprehensive of in the past because she’s not that confident when it comes to climbing or heights. All in all, it’s been a hugely positive experience for her and it seems only to be getting better.

If you read our review of the Jolly Phonics Home Kit, you’ll know that Sausage has also been coming home and wanting to do more learning. She’s given a new reading book once a week by her teacher, but this isn’t fulfilling her thirst for reading so she’s been attempting to read the books from her Dr. Seuss set too. On top of this, she’s been completing the exercise books that come with the Jolly Phonics kit, insisting on Husband and I holding word flashcards up for her to read, asking to practice writing and doing various things on my laptop and her Dad’s PC such as the Jolly Phonics CD-ROM.

Husband and I are both absolutely thrilled that she’s taking such a keen interest in learning and the increase in her confidence has been phenomenal, but we’re also both worried. The thing is, she’s only four and while we’re happy to encourage education it’s difficult to know when to say ‘enough is enough’.

This evening, Sausage was at her exercises until almost 8pm, having already done writing practice and some number work. She’s done a full days school and then probably up to 2 hours of extra work, which is the same amount of work that I was set to do at home each evening at my very academically focussed secondary grammar school. In saying ‘no’, are we limiting her or at risk of alienating her or putting her off? By letting her fill her boots, are we at risk of letting her burn out or lose interest? I just don’t know.

It’s a real noodle-scratcher, this one, and I fear it’s one of those things that we’ll only know by letting it run its course and adapting as we go. Hey, just like pretty much every other aspect of parenting, then, yeah?!

NaBloPoMo November 2012

World Book Day, the ‘Mum’s the Word’ Way.

Today is World Book Day. If you have children of primary school age, you probably already know this as you’ll either have needle-pricked fingers from frantically sewing a costume, or a dented Visa from giving in and buying a damned costume!

Here in the Mum’s the Word house, we’re a true family of readers, Sausage has been read to since she was in the womb and Husband and I are never far from our Kindles so we thought we’d put together our list of reading recommendations, in honour of World Book Day.

1. Sausage’s Reads

I asked Sausage what her favourite book in the whole world was and it’s varied between Meg and Mog, Room on the Broom, The Snail and the Whale and her beloved Ponyo and Totoro books. My favourite book to read to her is probably The Snail and the Whale or Room on the Broom as I love Julia Donaldson’s effortlessly beautiful prose, which just trips off of the tongue.

2. Husband’s Reads

The first book that Husband recommends is Life of Pi by Yann Martel. When I asked him why, he said that he found the book “absolutely enthralling” and that it spoke to him on many levels. He also said is was hugely refreshing to find a book that’s both funny and entertaining, whilst espousing a message of tolerance and happiness.

Husband is also a bit of a true crime fan and had nothing but good things to say about author and psychological profiler Robert Ressler, particularly his book ‘Whoever Fights Monsters‘, which he said was traumatising and difficult to read, yet fascinating and rewarding at the same time.

An honourable mention also goes to Paul Ekman’s ‘Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage‘, a truly enlightening look at microexpressions, it’s written by the man who inspired the brilliant TV series ‘Lie to Me’.

3. My Reads

I’m currently smack bang in the middle of ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire‘, the second book in the Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I’ve been wanting to read these books for ages and have finally got around to it and I can’t hardly put my Kindle down.

Another author of whom I am particularly enamored is the amazing Mr. Stephen Fry. I’ve read just about everything he has written, both fiction and non and I would recommend it all. There’s something in his books for everyone, fantasy, history, romance, intrigue, politics…I think they should be part of the National Curriculum,  kids would get SO much more from his books than some of the stuffy old texts that are still prescribed and I guarantee a lot more teenagers would be interested in English if these were in there!

At the risk of overdoing it, I’d also like you ALL to go out and read at least one book by the following authors:

1. Bill Bryson

2. Douglas Adams

3. J.K. Rowling

4. Philip Pullman

Sermon over! (But seriously, do go and read these books, they’re worth it, I promise!)