Letters in book bag - when do you find time to do this?(27 Posts)
Ok so DS in reception sent home today with 6 letters and a list of high frequency words to learn. I have no idea of what the expectation is here. Will they expect him to know them by Monday? When is the best time to do reading practice with a rather tired DS who tends to be tired and silly after school? I can try & encourage him to find the words during bed time stories but will that be enough?
I want to support his learning but I'm feeling a bit flappy as I also have a 2.8 yer old DD & a 3 month olds DS2. Time is kind of at a premium. There was no accompanying letter so I feel a bit adrift.
I deal with letters after the dc are in bed but witha 3 month old, I'm not sure exactly when that would be.
After school IMHO the dc need a period of decompression (silliness is a sign of decompressing) and to be fed of course.
As you have your hands full I'd advise setting an after school routine to try and fit everything in.
We used a mini whiteboard and magnetic words to practice high frequency words with the dc competing against me to "win" the words by recognising them so that they got to stick them on their side of the board.
I would get the eldest dc to read their school reading book to me whilst I fed the youngest dc their bedtime bottle, we all cuddled up together sitting on the bed. Any chance your middle child would treat this as "bedtime story" ? You could read another story afterwards as a reward for ds's good reading efforts.
With regards expectations of HF words, he'll know them when he knows them and not before, just practice them daily if possible or twice a day at weekends if you are skipping days in the week.
Love the magnetic board idea - that should appeal to his competitive streak!
I deal with letters straight away if possible. When the DC come in they get snacks and drinks while I empty out their bags. After reading letters they either go in the recycling, get pinned to the notice board and/or I transfer any useful dates/info onto the calendar. If a response is needed I also do this straight away and put into my child's bookbag, unless there is some particular reason it needs to be left till later (e..g checking when DH was available for parents' evening).
High frequency words, I think are good to practice for a few minutes every day or as often as you can manage. Agree that straight after school is not a good time for these.
I also deal with letters and reply slips straight away. School bag is emptied as soon as we get home and is then packed ready for next day. I would also try to do small amount every day and obviously give plenty of time to relax after school. I sometimes get dd to read her reading book with me later on whilst I am having my glass of wine or cup of tea on the sofa. Over the weekend we do it before going out to do something fun as she is always more willing to comply then.
Letters dealt with as soon as we get home - get them from bag at same time as lunch box.
I always had my Dc's read to me before I read to them at bedtime. To begin with a page or so is fine IMO or going through the high frequency words list once or twice
We do spellings at the breakfast table and times tables in the car
When DS1 was in reception I had 2 younger ones as well, so we used to go over his letters, words, book etc just before bed as DH was home then to watch the other 2.
Now DS2 is in reception I do it after snack and drink but only as they're all older now, so the other 2 can be quiet or watch TV or something.
They won't expect him to know them by Monday, it's more an ongoing, practise every night thing, he will get 6 more next week and more tricky words, we just used to keep going through them all adding the extras on each week.
bath crayons at bath time could work for you?
For some reason dd loves reading to me while she's on the bath... No idea why but it works!
You can get magnetic/ foam letters to help practical spellings.
And letters from school / admin - I usually do in the morning on the way to school
5 mins every morning. It's the routine now so he brings them to me. I never have to ask.
And OP - you'll probably feel flappy for a good while yet - my dc1 had just started secondary and the near-panic just continues
I should have explained better - I meant letters for DS to learn not letters for my info! Letters for me get read, actioned & binned at the first opportunity. Some great tips here though - thank you.
In this house all
Homework gets done at the weekend because DS2 is just too exhausted to do it in the evenings (and he is year 1). Means Sunday mornings are not much fun though!
I'd check with teacher and see what expectation is.
He wont be expected to know everything by Monday..probably just spend 5 mins a day going through them with you. Little and often.
I'd get in a routine - morning may be easier if tired.
If they expect them known by Monday they are fools.
I'd take cue from child's enthusiasm, & see if we could get them to recognise or 3 of the letters & 1 or 2 words sort of consistently by Monday. I'd rate that as high achievement. 5 minutes/day sounds plenty. I've got m & a today, and a book (with actual words!). But I only asked to DS to pick out m, a & s letters in it.
I'm a big fan of flash cards. Small bits of card with just one bit of info on. A letter, a word, a sum or times table(with the answer on the back). I have a stack of blank business size cards and a pen in the kitchen. I write the 'to learn' things on the flash cards keep them in the fruit bowl for some bizare reason and then we quickly run through them at snack, dinner, breakfast etc.
I'm a rec teacher. I would not expect them to be learned this weekend just to keep practicing when you get 5 mins. They will be built up as they learn new letters ans words I imagine. The more practice the better basically so we send them home to compliment what we're doing in school
Ok, little & often is good. I can do that. We have foam bath letters and some flash cards also a great idea.
I was panicking because we get home about 3.20. I give DS and DD a drink and snack and he then spends an hour or so doing junk modelling, geomag or whatever he wants to do (within reason). No tv until 4.30 is the rule. I tend to do tea for about 5.15 then it's straight to bath as they're all knackered.
I tried to do some hf words in his school book tonight but that was an epic fail. He couldn't or wouldn't identify some that he had done earlier Tiredness I think.
We have a small whiteboard which we write his HFW's on (he gets 6 at a time) which sits in front of the TV, so we can't miss it and we go through a couple at a time randomly, morning and night.
Reading his school book is the first story we do in his bed time routine.
This may all change when he starts full days next week!
I'm struggling with exactly the same thing OP. I have DC2 bumbling around pulling the house to pieces & no time to sit down with DC1 & practise blending like I'm supposed to. DP is working loads at the mo so he isn't even home at weekends or evenings so I get no space with DC1 as she is at school when DC2 naps! Am sure it will fall into place eventually...
I do think first borns have it tough in that respect, when dd1 started school dd2 was 2 and a half and ds was -3 weeks!
For a while we did the no TV until reading was done, but now afterschool activities have taken over much of our time, so we do reading at bedtime - they read to me (now yr1 + 3) and depending on how much they read to me influences how much of a bedtime story the get --except when dh puts them to bed as he often doesn't bother ).
You can also do bits on the weekend, and maybe reading once morning and once in the afternoon on saturday and sunday will take some of the pressure off in the evenings. It does calm down, and now I can get one of them to play with ds while I help the other.
As an aside, I leave a pen in dd's book bag, book bags are opened while they are playing in playground, and replies signed and returned before we go home. Anything which is first come first served eg clubs, parents evening appointments mean we are topp of pile and it saves stuff being forgotten.
10 mins each morning if you can. We do it over breakfast.
Letters: as soon as possible, ideally when the children come home.
We are lucky, our school uses ParentMail so most things come per email and I deal with it when it comes in.
We got three words each week but the school only said to keep them on sight, so they ended at the dining room wall where DD reads them at mealtimes.
I thought this thread was going to be about letters in the book bag that get left there, i.e. letters from the school that one never reads . I often find them at the end of term.
Having read the thread, I second the idea of bath crayons.
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