Monday, May 24, 2010

story rascals

In another life, I trained as a teacher of phonics. I feel passionately about teaching children to read the right way. So many "fantastic" early readers, surprise parents and teachers by experiencing difficulties from year three onwards. This shows not only in reading, but spelling and comprehension too. Up to the age of about 6 to 7, children have a "memory capacity" which helps them remember word structure. This "memory box" fills and then if the building blocks aren't in place, everything starts to crumble. I could (and probably will one day), write a book about this subject, so will spare you a lecture today!

However, I am jumping with joy about a new pre school class that has just started in Beaconsfield (with plans to expand I hope?).
It is called Story Rascals (great name) and is the brilliant idea of an intelligent, warm, qualified pre school teacher, living locally. The class, or should I say fun and games in a learning environment, encourages parents and nannies to engage with their children, whilst exploring stories and sounds in a creative and exciting way. The teacher varies the format weekly with stories, music, art, tactile play etc. The classes are small, I think about 10 max. and toddlers are allowed to "toddle" freely, although they usually end up where they should be because this is a teacher who knows her art!!!! The message of the group comes from the children; READ WITH ME. PLAY WITH ME. LEARN WITH ME.  Just go along and see for yourself, you won't be disappointed....... it's a wonderful life!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"mouse" in the sink

we took this photo of our "mousey" early one morning when we were all still a bit blurry! Girls couldn't work out how to clean their teeth and husband looked grumpier than usual. I just think for this fat cat , "it's a wonderful life" with daisy and mouse.... 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I've just finished reading a wonderful book; "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand".  I am so in love with  MP, he has taken over from M. Paul, (my first literary heart throb). This witty, cleverly observant, little story reminds me of my love for the suburban countryside and the "Midsommer" villages that surround us here in the Chilterns.
I miss London and sometimes long to be back in the centre of it all, with the museums, galleries, theatres and bridges . I also miss my bohemian city friends, gathered from all four corners of the world. But, with daisy and mouse  and my little family in tow, right now, right here is perfect and as I walked the mutt "in and out the dusty bluebells", this morning, I knew we have "a wonderful life" 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

"searching for dorothy"

Saturday nights for us, means chinese takeaway and Andrew Lloyd Webber's "search for dorothy"! The girls and I get nice and comfy, (not too early in case we're frightened by "dr who") and spend an hour or so, choosing our favourite girls, singing the songs and booing the judges. Every week I say "do you know the original slippers were silver" and the girls roll their eyes. Every week we giggle hysterically at the faces Lloyd Webber pulls, and every week my husband sighs deeply throughout the whole show trying to spoil our fun! (We're still cross with him for not letting our mutt audition for TOTO, she would have been SO GOOD!!!!!!). There's one girl, who is the spitting image of Judy Garland's daughter; Liza Minelli, (which nobody ever mentions?), but we think she's too tall. Anyway, for now, "we're off to see the wizard" .......

it's a wonderful life with daisy and mouse ......