She has taken to it like a duck to water and runs off to the gate as soon as her teacher comes to the door (each class is directly on the playground with a little gated bit before the actual class door) shouting bye and so eager to go in, it is lovely that she likes school so much. I feel sorry for the one or two parents still leaving tearful children at the gates and those seeing sad eyes peering out from the classroom as they walk away.
They really did throw them in at the deep end at this school (we chose this school because it is a very academic one and thought it would suit our bright children well) and started sending them home straight away with phonics to learn (you can read my post about her first days and homework here) and matching letter cards so that they could start to build words.
That was very quickly followed by picture books/one word early reading books, spellings (well, a list of 5 words they have to be able to read and then make without looking at the word using their letters cards each week) and tricky words to learn (ones that can't be learnt phonetically like 'said' and 'she'). It seems like a lot for them to take in especially the younger ones but at recently turned 5 years old, Little 1 was ready for the challenge and has stepped up to the mark.
She loves making words using her letter cards and practicing her spellings and tricky words, she has been doing well and moved onto the third set of tricky words already ( I think there are 20 sets of words to learn in reception) and got all her spellings right so far.
She isn't so keen on practicing writing the phonics in her book, this is a painful drawn out process each night with us persuading her to do it and her not really concentrating and putting in the effort, she keeps doing them huge or forming the letters incorrectly or in the wrong direction despite the fact she can write really nicely when she wants too and almost all the letters correctly. We often end up giving up and finishing it at breakfast when she is more in the mood but that is not exactly ideal is it! We have tried stickers and things like a smartie a letter or line but she just gets cross as she only gets a few!
Thankfully it won't be for much longer though as she has done 24 letters of the alphabet to this point so only a couple more, but they probably start sending home diagraphs and trigraphs to practice next (that's the two and three letter sounds like 'th' 'ch' and 'air', I learnt that at a parents meeting at school, I had no idea either!) aaarrggghhh!
A couple of weeks ago we had parents evening and were able to look in her writing book, the painful homework process doesn't seem to have affected her as there was lots of really lovely writing in there, a shopping list, a description of a troll that read' My troll is bloo, he is fat and has big horns' (that one made me go awww, her first piece of writing) and plenty of other well formed letters and first words, so she is just being a pickle with the homework then!
One thing she does love and I mean LOVE is reading, we have always been a house of reading, the children's rooms are full of books as well as some downstairs, we read to them every night and often in the day too from when the girls were tiny and this has really helped Little 1. At parents evening her teacher said she is really advanced in her reading and flew through the first few bands of reading books and is has now been bringing home band 3 reading books for a while, we are so proud of our clever little girl and hope that her eagerness to learn and read continues but at the same time we are careful not to push her too far and let her tell us when she has had enough.
Yesterday she made my day (it was my birthday) by proudly coming home with a sticker on her chest saying Head Teachers Award as she had done a brilliant piece of work and her teacher had sent her and a couple of others to show the head. She was so proud of herself and we were of her too, it was lovely she really wants to please her teachers and is trying very hard.
Their topic this term is Superheroes, she had to make a wanted poster for a cartoon character, she had chosen Mickey Mouse and had written a description as follows 'Mici maus, he has a lon teyl, he has red shots (mickey mouse, he has a long tail, he has red shorts) she said she had written it by herself and her teacher had just reminded her to use finger spaces for the second line, I can't believe how well her spelling and writing is coming along already.
Great going Little 1, we are so proud of you x.