Mobile Phones Need To Work

Last year I almost changed mobile phone provider.  Getting a signal at certain key locations for me was proving difficult and I wasn’t impressed by their foreign usage charging policy.  I was persuaded to stay, but I won’t be this time.

Mobile signal strength in our house used to be quite good.  It was rare to have any problems.  The other day we had a PJ day and I only got a signal for about 5 minutes.  I couldn’t send the texts I wanted to despite trying through the day wasting my precious time.  I live a few miles from the centre of a major city in a built up area.  The signal should be pretty cast iron reliable in my view and increasingly it’s not.  I’m missing calls and texts all over the place.  Sometimes my phone seems to have enough strength of signal to register a missed call, but not to actually ring to alert me to the call.  At home I don’t have a mobile phone in reality – I now have a device that works on my wifi, but that’s about it.

It’s no better at my parent’s house which is close by, in fact the signal there has always been pants.  At the mother in law’s it’s always been non-existent.  She doesn’t live in the sticks, so that shouldn’t be happening.  At my son’s tennis class there is often no signal too.

If a provider isn’t giving me a signal at the places I go to regularly, it simply isn’t providing me with the service I am paying for.  To be fair it’s often quite good when I am out and about, but as I work from home, that’s not that much consolation.

I read somewhere that the signal availability has got worst during the rollout of 4G.  I certainly get worse signal availability than I did previously and I will be moving in the hope of getting a better service.

Danger On The School Run

dangers on the school runThe school run can be a dangerous time of day.  People on cars and on foot are in a hurry to get somewhere fast, be it work or school.  Drivers put their foot down, pedestrians take the odd risk, it can be a lethal combination. As parents doing the school run, we have to find a way to get where we need to be, preferably on time, and to get there safely.

I think everyone has their own standards.  Some will insist on waiting for the green man at a crossing even if the way is clear.  Others will take a view on that if there isn’t any danger.

One thing I do is insist on is scooter safety, as that is a common way for us to travel to school (or for J at least).  He knows he has to stop scooting at a certain point on our journey, as there is a steep slope leading down to a very busy road with a fairly blind corner.  I don’t allow him to scoot across roads even on a crossing.  The main road we have to cross is on a slope and I don’t want him scooting off the central reservation accidentally.

When we are waiting to cross he has to stand behind those bumpy paving stones that indicate to blind people where the road is.  I figure that gives us a better chance if there is some nutter on the road.  There are certainly plenty of those around and they think nothing of jumping lights or speeding past waiting children.

So do you have your own rules for the school run?  I’ve honed mine to suit the roads that we need to deal with – do you do the same?  Do you have any tales to tell about the school run.

Over Pushy Parents

I want a relaxed approach to schooling for J’s primary school years.  I don’t want homework, although I’m happy to support some reading at home and learning a few spellings or times tables.  Secondary school is beginning to loom, but it’s not here yet, so all that can wait.

Over the years I’ve taken the chance when there has been the chance to give feedback to say the school gives too much homework.  And yet more seems to come year on year.  It seems that many parents are pushing for homework and many more just go along with it.  It’s the pushy ones that annoy me.  If they want their child to be hothoused, they can pay to go private or pay for a tutor.  Their child’s life will probably be miserable and I hate that thought, but I don’t see why their views should be influence my child’s school.

Some parents seem to want end childhood early and start on the relentless reality of working life as early as possible.  I really can’t understand why. Surely there is something to be said for having a long, happy, creative childhood before knuckling down to harder work as adulthood approaches? School under the national curriculum seems boring, regimented and predictable.  We need some fun and creativity to be injected into it all.

I don’t think our school gets the balance right and I don’t think they are alone in this by any means.  School should be fun, at least until 11 and hopefully beyond too.  Learning through play and discovery should be a key part of the educational mix.  There’s no reason why children can’t still learn a lot that way.

How is it at your child’s school?  What do you think about homework?