But let me explain why its this way, as it wasn't always like this, when my eldest started school as a eager 4 year old he was happy to pick up books and flick through the pages, he would happily bring me his words to learn, I wrote in the home to school book every night with what words we'd 'learnt' and the next day he would bring home more and more, but as things started to get harder and he started to struggle more I noticed his spark fade, he would turn his nose up at any book, and his interest in reading was fast becoming a hate!
The more I pushed the reading at home the more upset he would become. His confidence was being knocked as he struggled more and more. He went from a little boy who enjoyed me reading him stories to a boy who would do anything to avoid going anywhere near a book!
His struggles with reading and writing started to grow more and more apparent as time passed, and his peers shot ahead of him in that department, he really did try his hardest but things were not easy for him, he constantly mixed up letters reversing them, he could not grasp phonics and reading was a real struggle. Time was passing and it seemed that because he was taking longer to grasp the basics he was getting more and more behind as the rest of his peers marched on.
At the time, he attended the local village school, a tiny school with only a 5 other pupils in his year group, the school helped as much as they could but with the sheer number of peers his difficulties were ever more apparent to him, the teachers constantly told me he worked hard, tried his best and was well behaved much liked member of the class, but to him not being able to just do the things so easily like the others, with no one else in the same position as him, knocked his confidence.
I hated seeing his confidence dropping, I hated the arguments dragging out his school books brought up, I hated knowing that he had probably spent the past 6 hours feeling inadequate at school and then making it ever more apparent when we pulled out the school books at home, having a sister who is in the year below at school wasn't helping, he is the older brother, but struggled more, it was negative in so many aspects so I stopped. I decided forcing him to read a few lines in a school book, was not going to make him suddenly grasp the concepts he needed, and all it was doing was reinforcing the fact he wasn't very good at it. My frustrations were rising and as ashamed as I am to admit it, I would shout at him for 'not trying hard enough.' I am not a teacher, I did not know how to teach him what he needed.
So that was it, enough was enough, I decided I would no longer put him through the nightly struggle wasting the few hours between coming home and eating tea, bathing and going to bed, with anger and frustration, upset and humiliation. No, enough was enough, I wanted him to have at least some time in the day just being.. playing.. laughing... not worrying about how hard it was, or how he should beable to do it. I wanted to beable to praise him for things and tell him he was doing well. I wanted to go outside and climb trees, ride our bikes and learn about the world instead of being sat inside anguishing over a school book.
So fast forward, we ignored the home school diary, we left the school books in his bag and spent time having fun. When he was going into year 4 we moved house, and schools, a huge difference in schools, this school has more pupils in each year group than the old school had total children! Jake still struggles, but his confidence is growing, we still don't read the school books, but I love catching him reading for pleasure.
When Mikey started school last September, I have from the word go been a 'irresponsible' mother. Not commenting much at all in his home to school book.
I don't sit him down and force feed him the words he brings home in his word pocket, I want to do it a different way, with Jake we 'learnt' the words he would bring home in reception, he seemed to be keeping up to begin with, it was later that it was noticeable he hadn't grasped any of the concepts at all, so with Mikey I don't want to rush him, I don't want to write how amazingly well he knows the three words in his bag today so that tomorrow he gets another three, with no real regard to if he actually understands the phonics behind the words we've parrot style learnt that day, to be forgot the next week.
So we play games, we have fun, and we stick his phonics to the bathroom wall whilst in the bath!
Learning in a fun way is definitely the order of the day!