Monday 2 June 2014

Writing Practice and Stick Fighting Men

After Gorgeous’ teacher changed at the beginning of this term, she clamped down on the cheekiness he seemed to be getting away with with his last three teachers who never had a bad word to say about him (I knew better, but they always looked a bit incredulous when I asked if he was behaving). So since then I have been asking at the end of every week about his behaviour and getting varying reports along the line of “he could try a bit harder this week” or “he was fine this week but he needs to stop talking in class so much”. Recently his behaviour has improved and he is doing well mash’Allah. He finds maths easy and he is full of ideas for his writing work. The only problem is his handwriting is terrible. His Reception and Year 1 teachers both spent the year complaining about his handwriting and lack of finger spaces. We would spend all year working together to help him improve and every time he had a holiday from school, he would lapse again.

This time round his teacher has told him his work will be shown during the school inspection this year if his handwriting can improve. He is also scoring a grade 3 for maths and reading, but needs to get better at his handwriting to get a 3 for his writing (he is in Year 2 and the expected level of achievement is 2b, 3b is the expected level at the end of Year 3 or in Year 4). The idea of getting threes like his big brother has motivated him. His teacher has asked me to make him practice his handwriting every day for 20 minutes on a different theme with a timer.

So I have bought him a little yellow kitchen timer, which he is also using to time to brush his teeth and annoy the heck out of his sister by constantly making it beep. We are currently having a debate if two minutes starts from 1:59 (me) or 59 seconds (him) because he thinks the first minute disappears when you start the timer (who knew the being a parent meant having to explain things like this and failing). I have been giving him a theme and he has been practising by starting the timer, stopping it midway and then starting it again a bit later.

So yesterday I didn’t ask him to practice, I thought it’s the weekend and we have spent all day outside, so I didn’t think either of us needed the extra hassle – me of chasing him and him of actually doing it. Instead, he delivered up a letter he had decided to write with his timer of his own accord.

The writing is a letter to Gorgeous’ best friend giving him the login and password to a fighting game. I don’t like the boys playing games on the family PC , let alone fighting games, but the minute the password is off the computer and I take my eyes off them, they are on zombie wars or stick men fighting. Recently one of their uncles has made them an stick men fighting account, which I had no idea about and I don’t know if it cost money, so I will have to get to the bottom of.

I wasn’t very impressed with the letter as it’s certainly not 20 minutes worth of writing and barely readable. The content made me smile though:

Click the match
Then click the man with the spear
Then click the people at the bottom (does that make you attack the people at the bottom?)
But you have to have enough gold and mana (that’s like food from heaven right? Like mann-e-salwa in the Quran??)
Do it every day.

I took his letter to keep and he wrote a second more detailed version for his friend.

This boy drives me up the wall and charms me in equal measure. He spends all day fighting with his brother, annoying his sisters and throwing tantrums. His reaction to everything is loud, rowdy and always someone else’s fault. He is becoming expert in emotional blackmail (“You don’t care about me mum, you didn’t even say anything to him, you just care if anything happens to him, not me!”) which thankfully doesn’t work on me. But he is my ray of sunshine mash’Allah. Easily pleased, gullible, easily letting go of his anger alhamdulillah and full of affection and fun.

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