Coercion! Force! Bribery!

I’ve abandoned all my principles and it’s working. After the most awful week we’ve ever had, I think, I drew up checklists for the girls – make bed, brush hair, clean teeth, get dressed, do some literacy stuff, do some maths stuff – and made a 30-minute screen session conditional on a completed column of ticks.

And it’s working. And I’ve learned something.

Spelling isn’t awful or miserable for the seveneight-year-old (Oh my GAWD she’s EIGHT!) if I don’t combine it with writing. So if we use Bananagrams letters, it’s much easier. And if we use words that combine and form other words, it’s exciting and interesting. And if she chooses every second word, that’s good too. I haven’t worked out the limits yet, but we’ve had eel-heel-wheel, ape-cape-escape, and quick and queen, and pocket, paleontology, packet, polycarbonate, rocket, and things like that. I’m hoping that working on spelling will translate into reading more accurately, too, which will help her pronunciation of words like polycarbonate and paleontology so I’ll know what she means before she writes them down.

She’s extremely keen to play Settlers of Catan again and we’re going to do it as soon as she has cleared a space on the dining table and set up the board. Hopefully it will take less than two hours this time.

My own ticklist makes me take my pills and eat my meals, so that’s good too.

We’re trying to get up a pattern of painting on Mondays. We had three other children in yesterday, and one of mine and two of the visitors painted, so that was lovely. I might need a better source of very cheap canvas and boards or this could get expensive quickly. Any suggestions?

  1. Anna’s avatar

    Kate is 10 & in Year 5 & her weekly spellings relate to topics that she’s studying, so they relate to something else. She manages to get 10 out of 10 each week learning them on her own. When they didn’t relate to anything, she struggled to learn them with me & would get 8 or 9 out of 10. I used to be anti phonics as it doesn’t always work for dyslexic children & Holly taught herself to read CVC words, so didn’t need it to learn to read. It was useful to her for “ay” “ea” & those kind of sounds though, but she could have learnt them without it. From working in UFS & Year 1, I can see that it works fabulously for about 80% of each class. Great, if your child falls into that 80%.

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  2. Ailbhe’s avatar

    I think it’s a useful tool, like so much else.

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  3. Pau Amma’s avatar

    Maybe you could toss in some Walt Kelly lyrics?

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