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It appears that Michael is not colouring properly. He does not make an effort. His teacher is cross. She told us this and we nodded seriously. She was not deceived. “I know” she said, “that you think it is only colouring, but it is important for concentration, how will he manage in September when there are 27 other children clamouring for the teacher’s attention?” We are planning to start the boys at big school in the autumn where the pupil teacher ratio will go from 6:1 – Montessori to something far less favourable.

Nevertheless, I am finding it hard to care. If his St. Patrick’s Day shamrocks are less coloured in than Daniel’s, well then so be it. With this kind of attitude at home is it any wonder that his colouring reports continue to be poor.

Meanwhile, I discover to my surprise that the boys both recognise numbers 1 – 10 (Daniel somewhat more readily than Michael) and are starting to point to letters and pronounce them phonetically. Clearly, they are learning something at school despite the colouring difficulties Michael encounters. I feel a bit guilty that I have only noticed these talents by the by and have done practically nothing to foster them. Daniel is desperate to start reading and sits running his chubby fingers under the words in books while saying them very slowly (he knows them off by heart). I think that he is trying to unlock the mysteries of his sister’s new reading trick. He sees her spelling them out to herself and thinks that, somehow, if he says the word slowly and runs his finger under it, it will work for him too. Who knows, maybe he’s right.

2 Responses to “Learning”

  1. eimear Says:

    My cousin, herself a primary school teacher, is very sceptical about all this colouring that younger children are required to do. She considers it to be uncreative make-work which is used to prove, mar dhea, that the children are Doing Something.

    Also Daniel may well be on to something. I supposedly learned to read by a combination of knowing which paragraph in my story books was which part of the story, peering over my older brother’s shoulder as he practised his reading and quizzing any handy adult as to what various signs and labels said.

  2. Norah Says:

    I relate absolutely to the faint surprise when your second born is able to do something that you had no idea they were capable of. Sprog attended weekly Sing & Sign classes from 4 months old, and I spent many patient hours teaching her to clap her hands, clapping them for her, demonstrating various clapping techniques and applauding enthusiastically if she ever accidentally banged her hands together. Wilfred resignedly sits in the corner clapping along as his sister sings “Happy And You Know It”, and it takes me 20 minutes to notice, much less grap the camera to record the momentous event.

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