Reluctant learner

Pop anything remotely looking like a work book, or work sheet in front of Lil and the shutters come down, her arms fold and the strong willed, I’m not entertaining that attitude sets in… and I recognise myself so much. Even now as an adult I still feel this way when all I want to do is learn, soak up the knowledge and not have to bother with the boring stuff. However the boring stuff needs to be done, somehow and someway.. but she’s 6, and I don’t want to turn her off learning so lately. Workbooks and sheets have been put to one side and we are taking a new approach to our daily Literacy and maths work.

We discuss…. we use real application, weighing, measuring, watching. doing and if we feel up to it we write down some info too.

With Literature, especially as she wants to read by herself, we still use the Usbourne books series, however I don’t want her to see reading as a chore. And that’s what I feel it is becoming in schools. Up until a child starts school Literature is a pleasure it is explored through rhyme, through glorious stories, through music and beat and movement…. and then it kind of stops and instead children have to learn the technicalities of literacy to the detriment of the enjoyment of it.

Michael Rosen summed it perfectly recently..READ HERE

.. I couldn’t agree with him more. I want Lil to understand literature, to enjoy it.. to love the written word and not be turned off by the mechanics of it!

So I have changed my stance on her road to reading (and writing)

We have always been residents at the library. She has had a library ticket since she was born. But recently we have been signing up to their reading challenges. We’ve also been taking advantage of their reading events. The most recent being their bed time stories session, were stories and rhymes are shared for an hour in the evening once a month. Very similar to what they do for toddlers but extended for older children. And it is fantastic.


This was the latest session, and I have to admit I really enjoyed it myself. Enjoyed!! 🙂

I also decided that we would pick an author and read our way through their books. I also wanted to do this as seamlessly as possible, so it didn’t feel like a lesson, so I decided that these books would be our bedtime stories. Reading one to two chapter per night. And lo and behold after deciding to do it this way THIS article made it into the news this week. And I couldn’t agree more with whats written.

One of my fondest memories is my mum reading me the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe at bedtime when I was about 5. We didn’t have a lot and my mum left school at 13, but she never failed to read to me….. Minion 2 only just got a TV in his room last Xmas which he now no longer has as he is a gamer and prolific reader and doesn’t use it. Minion 1 didn’t have a TV in her room until she was 16, and again it is hardly ever used …. and non for Lil… hopefully never… I have a TV in my room and it is never on.. we are a family of book worms. I wouldn’t say that the bedtime story is the key to literacy, but it goes along way to firing a young childs imagination, bonding between parent and child and also for them to love the written word. I don’t read every night, but a good chunk of the week.. ok back to this post…my mind wanders 🙂

…seeing that Roald Dahl day was approaching we decided to start reading some of his books. We started with The Twits
.. which she didn’t like. I was really surprised. But we discussed it. The main reasons being she didn’t like Mr Twit.. he was mean… The character made her “not feel nice”.. now isn’t that the job of a good villan. But I was happy that she felt that. That she engaged with the characters.

The best bit about choosing Dahl first is that there is a wealth of free resources on the net to accompany his books.  One we loved was Puffins Roald Dahl days Virtually live video cast.  Where schools, home educators etc all tuned in live from around the world, you can pose questions and they also discussed through some of Dahl’s work, and had small activities and this year they chose the Twit’s… They have past years videos on there too which we are working through.

Roald Dahl Day 2015

Roald Dahl Day 2014

Roald Dahl Day 2013

Roald Dahl Day 2012

Quentin Black Illustrator for Roald Dahl

All virtually Live days.. Lots of children’s authors


Quentin Blake had a drawing class on how to Draw Mr Twit.. here’s Lil following the instructions and her finished Mr Twit complete with fish in his beard 🙂




We then started The BFG.. WOW!! She loves this book. And thanks to The Roald Dahl museum and their lesson plans we have got stuck in today making a Dream Jar just like the BFG, discussing the use od adjectives, and also talking about Lil’s future dreams and hopes with the culmination of the picture below



She wants to be a paleontologist when she is older… digging up dinosaur bones.





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