I will never be a pushy mum.
This is my solemn vow to you, Beaver and Godivy. I don’t mind if you are the first or the last to do something. If you don’t want to conform. You are wonderfully independent, spirited and funny and whilst you challenge the socks off me some days, I know that your wilfulness means that in life you will both be ok. No matter how much I mess you up.
But I have to admit when I was told at a class forum last week that our children will have to be able to read and write by the time they break up for summer in July, I had two reactions.
Panic. Then fear. Both of which could turn me into a pushy mum. If I let them.
Beaver is the youngest in her year. Something that has never bothered me. Hey, we’ve saved a year on nursery fees, what’s to worry about?
Now, like so many before me, I’m beginning to see the unreality and the shortcomings of the school system.
Because honestly, the rate at which ‘we’ are progressing in both reading and writing, it is difficult to see how Beaver is going to achieve what is expected of her. By July. Or how I am going to help her do this. I don’t want to let her down.
You see, I have no real idea what is happening at school. Academically speaking. Oh yes, I know ‘who likes who,’ what Beaver had for lunch and who brought birthday treats in. The stuff that is important to a four year old.
But as a first time school-mum, I know very little about school. I don’t really know what Beaver is learning. Or, more importantly, how. And I feel completely unequipped to support her at home. They may as well be asking me to teach her Mandarin. As the complex language of Phonics.
If I am on the Everest of a steep learning curve and I can read and write, how must Beaver be feeling?
At the end of a long school day, longer on the days I work, the last thing Beaver wants to do is more reading or writing. She wants to chill out and watch Katy Morag or do some painting. She is four. Of course, this is what she wants to do.
At the weekends, we are busy swimming, going to Sunday school, a party if Beaver is lucky. On top of this, there is a never-ending list of chores to do.
I’m not sure schools, governments and statistics always appreciate this.
As parents, we are encouraged to ‘make learning fun’ and incorporate phonics and reading into everyday activities. But unless you’re a trained professional, this doesn’t necessarily come naturally and we’re not given much guidance about how to actually do this. In reality. Us first timers need to be nurtured almost as much as the kids and supported through this new terrain.
In the meantime, I will accept the following. That Beaver is still oh so very young. That I am new to this too and quite possibly a hindrance in her learning, whilst I am still learning myself. That Beaver will develop at her own rate and if this rate is different to what is expected, so be it. We will cross that bridge if and when we come to it.
I will never be a pushy mum.
And this, Beaver, is my solemn vow to you.
Do you feel the expectations of your child are realistic? Too high? Do you have any tips? I’d love to hear your comments so do share your views below.
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