Friday, 27 March 2009

this week...........

One of the greatest stress busters...............bed dancing. Guaranteed smiles all round!
Children bring an unbelievable amount of joy into your life but boy do they make it guilt ridden and emotional at times. After a remarkably smooth transition into school life Kit suddenly started to cry every morning before going in and not wanting to leave me. I know, common sense tells me that how a child is one week will have no bearing on how they are the next but she was worrying us. Suddenly our happy, giggly little girl had become quite unhappy and clingy and wasn't really able to explain why. We think it's probably the realisation that full time school will be the reality for the foreseeable future, quite a lot for a four year old to take on board.

I have a huge problem with the age we send our children to school in this country. Both my children are summer babies which makes them very young for their year groups. Whilst Jack has managed pretty well Kit seems very little amongst her class. I really think that four year olds are too young to begin full time education, I'd be more than happy to have had mine at home for another year. Almost all of the children in Kit's class are tired, emotional and grumpy, why are we doing this to them at four?

Ok everyone, rant over. Still with me? Good, let's have some pics. Whilst having a crisis of confidence this week and feeling the full force of good old parental guilt, I thought I'd make an extra effort to be a nice mummy and not the ranting old bag I'm prone to be, and then I thought I'd take photographs to show the children when I revert to normal, to prove that it actually did happen..........................

Firstly, the good old no-bake cake making. One of the family favourites is good old fridge cake.........which was supposed to be the biscuit substitute for the week but only lasted three days. I mix a 100g bar of milk and one of dark chocolate, add a large lump of butter, two tablespoons of golden syrup, all the broken up biscuits from the bottom of the tin, smashed up, a bag of maltesers, again smashed up, and whatever nuts I have to hand, this week it was pistachios. Its truly delicious, go on......try it, the nuts make it positively healthy........

Next, cornflake cakes for the school cake sale. Always a firm favourite and ones that I vividly remember making as a child. Mum would keep adding more and more cornflakes, we wouldn't believe that the chocolate would cover them but it always did.
Of course we had to try the eggs, just to make sure they were edible. I'm glad to report that they passed with flying colours!

Jack's been creative with a few old loo rolls, making his own mini circus.............
..................before going outside to practice his fire making skills, under my watchful eye. Damp twigs do not make the most ideal kindling but to give him his due he perseveres

meanwhile, conforming to the female stereotype perfectly Kit stays inside practicing her stitching............after helping Jack to waft the flames to life that is.

My creative urges were satisfied with a simple little project, 60 bookmarks for the new cookery book we've produced for the PTFA funds.......
At this point I feel should own up to yet another guilty pleasure.................ironing. Yes, you did hear me correctly, I do actually quite like ironing. Oops, said it again. Before I come over as all 1950's housewifeish let me confess that I'm totally crap at all other domestic duties but ironing I'm quite happy to do. I actually iron very few of our clothes so it only takes a couple of hours in the week, so it's on with the radio and I can happily drift away. And when it's something as delicious as Kit's bedding I'm quite content.

So on that slightly sad note I'll leave you for now. Have a great week.......................x

27 comments:

serendipitylovesnewyork said...

I am with you 100% on starting school at four, in some parts of Wales..not Cardiff they start them full time at THREE, it is nursery based but even so a full day is awful at the age of 4 never mind 3! My boys are May and June babies so they are all in the younger half and all struggled in Reception! Hope Kit settles back into it soon, its so hard when they cant explain whats wrong with them!!
Fridge cake looks delish....I'm always throwing the contents of the bottom of biscuit barrell out to the birds, much better idea to make them into a cake!
Have a good week....Claire xx

Sal said...

Hi there!
I quite agree with you re children starting school at such a young age!

However, there is nothing to stop you from keeping your children at home until they are 5 years.
The compulsory age for a child to start full time education in the UK is at the beginning of the school term after the child's fifth birthday.

;-)

Sal said...

I meant to say that I love the art on the loo rolls..fabulous! ;-)

Jacoline (Lien) said...

In Holland they start also at 4 ( my big girls as well) her in New zealand they start at 5, that's what my little one did. And I can tell you she is the most happy girl I have ever seen.
Your "baking " looks great haver to try it out on one day!

tam said...

LoL! I love what a wonderful creative time you all had!!! I think your bookmarks are lovely! I must agree that four is too young. We start ours off at 5 here in the states and that is tough for some! I just think at four they still need Mum...Have a fun week!!!~Smiles~Tam!

Lina said...

I agree with the school issue. Had we still been living in the UK my son (end of August) would now be in school which I just can't imagine. Here in Montreal they start kindergarten at 5 and don't even start to learn how to read until grade 1 - as they believe the longer you wait, the quicker it happens.

Love your bookmarks - are they fabric?

clare Carter said...

I must admit to not moving to the Uk for the school reason! We were seriously looking at doing it a couple of years ago but I think even 5 is too young in some children-often the boys-so the thought of four was awful.In alot of Europe they don't start until six and seven which has been tested to be a much better option.They are able to be little children for a longer period and when they do begin they are mature enough to take it all onboard.Now that my boys are 'in the system' we will look at doing it in the next 12 months but I couldn't have dealt with it before and more importantly I don't think they would have : )All the craft looks wonderful!

Ali said...

I think it's just that tired and emotional time of term. Try not to feel too bad.

Personally, I feel the school thing is less about age and more about what they do with them while they are there. A full day of play versus a full day with huge amounts of structured activity are two very different things.

French Knots said...

My son is a summer baby too so was only just 4 when he started school, he found it really hard and was very tired. Emotionally he wasn't ready and was a bit disruptive in the class as he found it hard to be amongst so many children many of whom were much older than him.
Love the loo roll circus!

Lesley (Notesfrommydays) said...

oh dont get me started on the school system - jacob my youngest was 4 on the 26th august and started school on the 3rd so hardly a week later!!! he is so tired and grumpy after school and in bed by 6 most evening so feel like i hardly see him! i did look at deffering him for a year but although you can do that as they dont need to go till they are 5 that then means they go straight into year one and i think they need the "learn through play" aspect of reception class so cant win really! anyway......
i am quite sad person to although not with the ironing but i quite like the cleaning tidying process but ironing i do struggle with so have a lovely lady that does it for me :-S
wouldnt get done otherwise though!
fridge cake will be attempted soon :-)
lesleyx

Kathy said...

Hi Julia, I so agree with you on the school issue. My eldest is a September baby so was nearly 5 when he started school whereas my youngest is mid August and was 4 and 5m months when he started in January. And, only had 2 terms in reception!! So had alot of catching up where is the sense in that? When he was in year 1 he started crying in his sleep (actual tears whilst in a deep sleep) and worrying....have you turned the electric off, have you shut the front door - I would actually have to turn the car around so he could see. He was very close to a breakdown, not great for a 6 year old. I refused medication for him and we had a worry box where we wrote all his worries and he was only allowed to worry when we had the box opened. We also had "worry juice" which was a child's version of bachs flower remedy which he used to take to school - weird but it worked. I know this is an extreme example but now Jamie is a confident, happy boy...it was just a stage. Interestingly looking back we feel it was pressue as the years 1 and reception were in the same class and the teacher used to say come on year 1s help the little ones. He had just turned 5 in year 1!! Kathyxx

Kathy said...

Julia, I love ironing too....I give it ALL to my Mum-in-law!! Happy daysxKathy

Frances said...

I was born in early September, and was always one of the youngest in my class, and can sympathize with your children.

I can also praise them for their creativity! Your encouragement surely helps build their confidence in experimentation.

That chocolate!! I am in a choc-free zone until Easter, and those pictures were full of temptation.

Another person here who likes getting out the ironing board ... as long as it is not too often.

Cheers!

funkymonkey said...

I kept my son in playschool until I had to let him go to school. Yes, i agree we start them at school far too early. I have to say that your chocalaty fridge cake looks really apealing to chocaholic like me. I think I'll have to make that. I like things that are versatile and don't mind having the odd ingredient substituted with something else.

Tracey

serendipitylovesnewyork said...

Me again, it sounded like I meant that I was all for children starting at 4, should of read I was 100% about them NOT starting :) xxx

Tilly Rose said...

Ju, Harrison is the oldest of my 3 boys and having been born on 30th August he came under the January intake into reception. He is keeping up but is the youngest in the year and too finds it really hard. I have tears alot of the time and very very grunmpy when he comes home....so..... after having spoken to his teacher (who was born in Sweden and so thinks that the schooling rules in this country are mad, we have agreed that Harrison stays away from school on a wednesday, this gives him time to recharge his batteries to see the week out and also a bit more time with his mum and brothers........it is not legal for him to attend full time school until he is 5.......plus I do feel why do we send out children off at such a young age, its rocks their boats and we will never be able to gwet these years with them back !!!!! Good Luck and really do know how you are feeling ...

xxx

Tracy x said...

how great is that circus????
all your pictures are lovely but your wee ones creation made me smile from ear to ear x
t x

Curlew Country said...

Julia you're so very welcome to pop round and get an ironing fix at mine anytime you like! I'm resolutely "as needs must" ironer thesedays. Something had to give, so now we do a lot of shaking and smoothing things down on radiators!

My two are late summer babies too, Arch will be 4 just one week before he starts school in fact - gulp! I'm just happy to have foudn such a caring, fun school. He goes to the pre-school there, 1 or 2 mornings a week and loves it there. I'm hoping for a smooth transistion but you never know.

Hope Kit feels happier soon, these little phases come and go don't they. It's a long, tricky term from Christmas to Easter, the hardest I think. Sure a jolly Easter holiday at home will perk her up no end.

Enjoy the cakes, think we'll have a bash at fridge cake over the holidays too!
Stephx

cheltenhamclaire said...

hello julia, finally leaving a comment....
i've got biscuits to make tomorrow for ralphs pre-school, found an easter bunny cutter in the shops so now i have to find an easy recipe!!
i hope kit will have a good easter break and find it a bit easier going back, charlotte can't wait to be off school too and personally i'm looking forward to a lye in!!
i love the toilet roll circus, and the sewing, maybe i'll dust of the paints (if they havnt dried up) and let my gang do some painting in the holidays......

Theresia (minoridesign) said...

what a beautiful blog! So glad i found it, great reading!

Julie said...

Another comment in agreement re the school age thing - it would be so much better to leave them til they are older.

Love all your crafty/baking activities though - I've been an old bag kind of mummy this week (my excuse is the cold I'm brewing,but really, I think I'm just being a witch)so am going to take a leaf out of your book and attempt some Good Mummy activities next week. x

skippinginthemeadow said...

Have had a very inspiring (first time) visit to your blog. Love the loo roll circus :O)x
x
Sumea

Things Hand Made said...

I will join you on that rant having 3 summer babies and the youngets will start school a week after she is 4!

Summer by the sea said...

Hi Julia, my little one is a May baby, I'm not sure whether she will start when she is four and a quarter in September or whether they have a January intake here - I will have to check. Its lovely to see that all your family have been creating - Please tell your son I love the loo roll circus! - Making all those bookmarks must have been a little monotonous, are you still on with the crochet? - I must admit, I love it and can't get enough - have a good week - Natalie x

Bobo Bun said...

What a lovely post. We all beat ourselves up you know. I used to think when the kids get a bit older I won't seem such a nag and they'll find out I actually have a sense of humour. They never saw it like this though and think I'm fun lovely mum. We just find sticks to hit ourselves with.

Kit's circus is great. We have stereotypes around here too, at the moment mummy is in the Sylvanian caravan kitchen with her daughter and daddy penguin is playing chess.

Will definately try those biccies.

Lisa x

Emma Bradshaw said...

Julia, I agree my son is one of the youngest, born in July and he too was fine at first, but over the year it all got rather too much, he put everything in to school but seemed to come home so tired and frustrated, I often wondered if it was worth it. Even now he is in his second year, there are times when he seems so tired. I actively rebel when he gets sent home with homework on top of a long day! Oh well - roll on child number two - also a young one! emma ;0)

Thrifted Treasure said...

I'm having the same dilemma on whether to start my eldest next year as he'll be one of the younger in his class. Love your blog by the way!! Just happened across it today.