Saturday, April 01, 2006

Absorbed in Books

There's something very magical about watching your child loving a book. For the last few days, Emily's hardly had her nose out of one. She's an excellent reader but for a long, long time, she was only really interested in reading non-fiction. She loved having fiction read to her, but never seemed to find the time to read it herself. Not any more! I think we have Mr Potter and friends to thank for properly awakening her interest in reading fiction.

Emily's now 3/4 of the way through the first Harry Potter book, having stuck at it resolutely. With her having spent much of the last three weeks very ill (and therefore not reading it) we thought she'd drop it but nope, now she's better she's picked it back up again with gusto. The other week she read the two new Magic Pony Carousel books from cover to cover, then yesterday the newly released Princess Mirror-Belle & The Flying Horse arrived (third and latest in the Mirror-Belle series by Julia Donaldson) - Emily started reading it on the way to Romy's house yesterday and has now finished it.

In this morning's wholesale delivery was Unicorn Wishes - Emily got back from ballet at 2.45; it's now 16.30 and she has spent the whole time curled up in a chair in the sunshine, totally absorbed in that one too. :-))In Monday's delivery we'll be taking stock of 14 sets of the Pet Keeper Fairies, latest in the interminable Rainbow Magic/Daisy Meadows malarky. I guess she could move onto those next, but as she's yet to touch her set of the jewel fairies, I'm guessing she's not that fussed. We made a rule in this house about those last time - if she wants to read them she can read them herself, as Jon point blank refuses to read the rainbow magic stuff to her - he suffered the originals, the weather fairies and the party fairies, but enough was enough - how many times can you write the same story anyway, for heaven's sake???

Apart from reading, what has Emily been up to? Well, Thursday morning she and Jon went off to tai chi. Their tai chi teacher has now taken his two daughters out of school to home educate them :-))) The eldest girl came with him to tai chi, so she and Emily were partners during the partner exercises. Hopefully that might be a new friendship in the making. On Thursday afternoon Emily had her drama class. Apparently next week the class will be perfoming some mini sketches for us parents to watch. Unfortunately, after Easter the class will be split in two, with Emily having been allocated to the 7 and under group. That would be OK, except she'll be by far the oldest in the group with lots of preschool kids. Hmmmm. She seems to do a lot better (and be a lot happier) when she's with older children rather than younger, like at yoga, for example. It's a shame she hasn't been bumped up into the 8+ class. We shall have to see how that one goes, as I can foresee Emily losing both interest and patience, potentially.

On Friday morning we worked on some maths, mainly fractions. Emily had to work out things like 3/10 of 70, 2/3 of 36 and and 4/5 of 25. The way it was explained in the book was incredibly long-winded and complicated so we abandoned that explanation and tried it in a far more common sense way. She soon got the hang of it and did about 20 of those without problems. And - drumroll - she says she liked doing those and can she do some more!!

Friday afternoon we went over to see Hazel and Romy for a play. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, and I think the girls thought summer had arrived already - they spent most of the time out in the garden and came back in eventually looking like they'd had mud-baths....

This morning we went off to ballet; the teacher wasn't there (again) so the two assistants toook the class. Still no word on when these exams are, or indeed whether she's decided to cancel them since all they seem to be doing now is show rehearsals (and the show's not until the end of June, for flip's sake!!! - reminds me of the way schools seem to spend from October onwards doing nothing but rehearsing for Christmas plays....). I'm getting mightily fed up with the set up there. We seem to be paying for an absent teacher; there's no communication at all to the parents; many of the children in Emily's class, including Emily, are already a year too old for the exam they may be doing and should be doing the next level up; it's months since they did any tap or modern; plus this whole thing about asking which group Emily wanted to be in and then totally ignoring that is still rankling with me, blah blah blah. Told Emily that so long as she's happy she can keep going for the time being, but that if she gets fed up with it after Easter she doesn't have to go any more and that we'll investigate one of the other ballet schools in the area instead. May well do that over the summer holidays, to start somewhere new in September, even if Emily decides she wants to stay put for this coming term.

Going back to books - during her ballet lesson, I finished the first Warriors into the Wild book. It actually made me cry at one point (good job I was the only parent in the waiting room!) when a old cat from a rival clan, who thunderclan's leader had taken pity on, defended thunderclan's kittens against warriors from her own ex-tribe during a raid.... only to then be accused of killing the medicine cat, betraying the clan and kidnapping some was so movingly written. I've got to read the next one, Fire and Ice now. Jon and Emily are onto #3 - there are six in the first series and four in the second, New Prophecy series. Really can't recommend those books highly enough. Once again, in case anyone missed it: Warriors: Into the Wild is the first book in the first six book series, and the Warriors website is here. Go and read them!

1 comment:

Deb said...

Oh, tell me about the book thing! DS3 is now sneaking downstairs after bedtime every night in order to collect yet another pile of books to store in his bed. The older two are avid readers too - DS1 once told me (when he was about 6) "Reading is my destiny" LOL

I do think a love of reading is one of the most wonderful things to have :-)