Getting Ready For A Trip

We are off away today and I am sinking under all the jobs I need to get done.  Shouldn’t be writing this really, but it’s a chance to get it off my chest.

I have errands to run; work to finish; and of course, there is packing to do too.  I’m not quite sure how I will get things done, but I’m sure I’ll find a way.  I’ve set myself a deadline for the other stuff, the stuff that could be left if need be and then I will dedicate myself solely to getting ready for the trip.

I’m looking forward to going, but there have been a few obstacles put in our way which have made things more stressful than they need to be.  I’m not convinced that the hotel we are staying at is very customer service driven in view of their actions and I’m far from impressed.  Given that I’m supposed to be reviewing my trip, it makes things a little difficult to get off to such a bad start.

In fact, I’ll be glad when we are on our way and can just get on with enjoying ourselves.  Also, I’ll be glad when the travel is out of the way and we are finally at our last hotel.  I’m intrigued to see if the hotel will go out of their way to make up for their mistake, I’m getting the vibes that it will be a no, but obviously I’m hoping to pleasantly surprised.

Hoping too that all goes to plan with our complicated travel arrangements – seems to be too many steps in the process and it could all go horribly wrong.  Fingers crossed it won’t though and it will all be a fun adventure.  Wish us luck as we head south-westwards hopefully on a memorable holiday for all the right reasons.

Parking Again

Parking at the school seems to go from bad to worse.  The head teacher sends out regular reminders and this morning she was out there checking herself.  Even so, I regularly see a lot of bad, inconsiderate and dangerous parking.

The bus stop parking goes on.  Different people this year I think mostly.  I heard one father joking about how he had parked at the bus stop (because that’s a really funny thing to laugh about isn’t it?).    It seems to be a bit of a man thing to park there.  More men than women do it and given that more women do the pick up, it does stand out a bit.

Zigzag parking goes on too.  One woman I’ve seen dropping her kids off on the zigzags twice. Given that I tend to avoid going around that side because that sort of thing annoys me, I’m inclined to think she does it most days.  I know she’s not someone who is very considerate of others because she was regularly letting her kids run around the gardens of the neighbouring flats.  The gardens are very manicured and not suitable for a boisterous boy to be running around.  I’m glad her kids aren’t in my son’s year because I wouldn’t want my child mixing with them.

It’s all a bit silly and laughable because there is loads of free, easy parking available if you are prepared to walk a minute or two.  I do wonder if some parents still have the use of their legs, or if they have withered away due to lack of use.  I hate the fact that the lack of consideration is getting worse because it doesn’t bode well for the state of our future society.  A little thoughtfulness goes a long way and is appreciated, plus it’s so easy to do.

New Maths Methods

I do get the idea of teaching children different strategies for maths.  I don’t think having more than one way of working things out, especially for mental maths does any harm.  I can also see that some children might do better for different strategies than others.

The thing is that by the end of Year 5 they have to know the old-fashioned way that all the parents were taught at school.  I know in my son’s case it would have meant a lot less stress if we had gone straight to that.  How he hated number lines.  So did I to be truthful.  They seemed pointless and he hated having to draw all the lines.  Doing sums with a number line took 3 or 4 times as long as other ways.  Often he’d already done the sums in his head before he picked up the pencil.  It was just silly.  Maybe some children like them, but I remain to be convinced.

The grid method is one I personally loathe.  I spent an hour of my life on YouTube trying to work out a way of using it with decimals.  I don’t know if you can.  I still don’t.  Everyone doing their nice little YouTube tutorials picked nice easy sums.  We didn’t have any problems doing the easy ones, we wanted help with the difficult ones.  It wasn’t there.  I gave up and taught my son long multiplication.  It worked.

That’s the thing.  It works.  Once you have learnt it, you will have that skill for life.  It works every time and can cope with whatever you throw at it.  And in any case they’ll use a calculator for the really complex stuff.  Why not just teach long multiplication and if some kids don’t get it you can teach them something different? Then they’ll be able to do long multiplication in Year 3 or 4 rather than Year 5 and can move onto something else.

Hair Styles And Back To School

The other day we were out and I saw a primary school age child with those ‘hair tattoos’.  You know the sort of thing where they have a pattern shaved into their hair.  It was still sharp and clear as if recently done, but he was likely to be going back to school soon.  Now it might be that his school don’t mind that sort of thing or that he isn’t at school for some reason, but most schools don’t like them.

Every year in September we hear stories of parents up in arms because their child has the wrong hair do (or the wrong shoes or whatever) and there is some sort of school sanction about the problem hairstyle/clothes/shoes.  I never understand why.  Surely if you are doing something out of the ordinary, you check the rules first and don’t complain later.  Usually the rules are pretty clear and if there is any doubt, you can give the school a ring before school breaks up.  Or do something at the start of the holidays so that it has the chance to grow out, wash out before back to school.  It seems pretty simple to me.  Am I missing something?

Some of the rules are silly and others you might simply disagree with, but the rules are what they are.  Either campaign to change them if you feel strongly about them or put up with them.  Don’t encourage your child to break the rules or give in to pressure to buy unsuitable clothes, just stick to the guidelines and save yourselves the hassle of being picked up on it.  It also sets a decent example to your children for the future.  Obviously some parents will ignore the rules anyway and they are probably the same bunch who park illegally outside the school.

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