So, how are the Baguettes getting on at school?

I promised another couple of write-ups over the following week or so and I try to keep my promises.  Indeed, I thought it wise to attempt a September summary before the girls’ birthdays warrant pages of their own and I miss the opportunity, somewhat like the previous update.

So, if you think that the timeline of this website is as confusing as that of the TV series Rellik (topical!) then let me try and rectify this somewhat and join the dots and return us to the present day.

Chronologically, the last news you will have read about on these sacred pages will have been Ezra’s first day at school.  That was three weeks ago, and although we may not have been on any noteworthy adventures, I suppose that the first three weeks of full education is an adventure all of its own.

Before, I take you through Ezra’s journey I will get you up to speed with his sisters’ journeys first.  Let us start with the eldest first, for no reason other than you have to start somewhere.  In the lead up to the new academic year Éowyn had taken a shine to wearing Lucinda’s Fitbit Charge HR, and took delight in asking me for my step total each day!  She asked if she could have one, but nigh on £100 is not something that she is going to just get because she asked for it.  However, on Groupon there was a very similar fitness watch for a tenth of the price, but again, she wasn’t just going to get one: there needed to be a challenge.

I therefore suggested that if she attained bronze or above in the first week, then she would earn it.  Amélie heard the challenge and asked if it also applied to her.  I could see no reason why not and so the challenge was set.

Éowyn and Amélie started school the day before Ezra and thus their first week was a full five-day slog, which is difficult when you have been off school for over six weeks!  Nevertheless, they both like school and we very pleased to be with their friends again.

Éowyn is in year 4 and therefore has a new form teacher in the shape of Miss Lovell.  Early reports were (and still are favourable).  She seems to get on very well with her, however, she didn’t show herself in the best light.  Éowyn has a great memory and can learn new skills quite quickly.  She can revise and tends to do well in tests that she has prepared for.  She has a great imagination and loves to tell stories.  However, she has a tendency to rush and her general spelling (spelling tests that she has revised for notwithstanding) is atrocious!  Obviously, in this day and age of spelling checkers and auto-cucumbers (!) it is perhaps a skill that is in decline but one that should not be neglected.  Thus, one of the first things that Miss Lovell set for her class we a surprise spelling test.  Thirty medium to tricky words to sort out the wheat from the chaff.  Unfortunately, Éowyn did not cover herself in glory and was certainly in the chaff pile on the basis of this one test.

This means that Éowyn currently resides on the bottom table for spelling and as such has very easy words to learn for her weekly spelling test.  Words that do not test her and certainly not good for her learning curve when one considers that Amélie’s spelling test is harder than her big sister’s.  We are hoping that this will give her the impetus, to drive forward and return the level she was at the end of last year.  With 10 out of 10’s in every test so far, and a promise from Miss Lovell that if she continues with a perfect score then she will have the spellings that the rest of the class are learning I do not think it will be long and hopefully she will have learned a valuable lesson.

Amélie, on the other hand, has shone in her new teacher’s class.  Mr Toms is the only male teacher (apart from the headmaster) at their school and we were unsure how Amélie would take to him.  However, if early indicators are anything to go by, then she is going to thrive.  While Éowyn was flunking her first test, Amélie was earning her first bronze.  As you can imagine, this did not go down too well with Éowyn but it is always good to stoke a little sibling rivalry.

Amélie started off well and continued to go from strength to strength throughout the week.  Éowyn started slow but was picking up as the week went on but still no sign of a bronze.  Friday afternoon began and still no bronze for Éowyn, however, with the last cast of the die, as Miss Lovell was getting an excited class ready to send them home for the weekend, Éowyn helped calm down her table and this was not missed by Miss Lovell and she was allowed to move herself up to bronze and hence both sisters earned their fitness watch.

This, good start (apart from Éowyn’s spelling test result) has continued over the last three weeks.  As I type Éowyn has been on bronze every week while Amélie has gone one better with bronze in the first week, followed by silver in the next two!  However, in Éowyn went up a reading level first this school year (in the first week) but Amélie was not far behind her, levelling up today!  So, we are two very proud parents as both girls are loving school and doing well.

So, now we turn our attention to Ezra.  As you will recall this is Ezra’s first few weeks at school.  He has gone 3 days a week at pre-school, to a seven week holiday to five days a week at school.  This has had its toll on Ezra.  He is physically shattered and this has got its benefits too, and he is now sleeping in until at least 0700!  That might not sound like much of a lie-in to you, non-parents, to us it is a welcome side-effect.

The first two days at school, Ezra was finding his feet and therefore, was nonplussed and just accepting that he was going to school.  As the days drew on and he didn’t have a day off, he was finding it a little more difficult.  This was amplifed by the fact that one of Lucinda’s child-minding wards, and his best friend was staying at home with Lucinda as he didn’t start school until mid-September.  He attempted emotional blackmail to try to win our hearts so that we wouldn’t take him to school : ‘No one plays with me at school,‘; ‘I was missing Mummy and Daddy at school today and I was crying.‘  It takes a certain amount of strength and a hardening of one’s heart to dismiss those worries and continue with what you know to be the best course.

Once he realised that emotional blackmail wasn’t working, he changed tack and simply blatantly requested that we stopped taking him.  ‘Daddy, can you tell Miss Snow that I don’t have to go to school again.‘  I told him that he had to go to school.  ‘When can I stop going to school?‘ I told him that you have to go to school until you are 18. ‘When I am 18 I can stop going to school?‘ I replied in the affirmative.  ‘I can’t wait until I am 18,‘ he replied.

That was in the first week and he still brings up the fact that when he is 18 he will not have to go to school any more.  However, since those first few weeks, and especially since his best friend has started (albeit a different) school, he has settled into the routine.  He seemed to know a lot of the other children, but whenever you ask him who they are, he says that he doesn’t know their names.  Names aren’t important when you are four years old.

This week he has begun to bring home a reading book and we are starting him on the journey of literacy.  He also has four ‘tricky’ words: I, the, she and he.  For some reason he has a real mental block about the word ‘the’ but on the whole he is enjoying reading.  Indeed, for the first two weeks whenever one would ask him how school was he would look you in the eye and give you a ‘thumbs-down’ sign.  This changed to a ‘horizontal thumb’, with the occasional ‘thumbs-up’.  However, since he has had a reading book it has been a ‘thumbs-up’ every day.  Lucinda asked him how school was and he said that if she was talking about school dinners, then it is ‘thumbs-down’ but because he now has a reading book, it is ‘thumbs-up’.  Long may that continue, although I sincerely hope he begins to like the school dinners, he has them for the next three years (assuming they stay free).

To prove to his sisters that whatever they can do, he can do too, today he has come home with a bronze sticker.  He was moved up to bronze for sitting quietly at carpet time!  Is Miss Snow sure it was Ezra! [edit 1: the next day he was moved up to silver for nice tidying – is this the same Ezra?  edit 2: The following day he ran into class with ne’er a backwards glance.  Indeed, Miss Snow had to tell him to run back and say goodbye to his dad.  He ran back, gave me a kiss and then ran into class full of the joys of life.  This new level of bravery was rewarded and Miss Snow moved him up to gold!  Not to be outdone, Amélie came out of school with a beaming smile as she had also moved up to gold.  Two Baguettes on gold in the same week.  Poor Éowyn looked forlorn, for she had not passed bronze.  Let’s see what the rest of the term brings.]

I will leave you now as there will be a birthday write-up coming shortly after the weekend.  While, for those of you that are only here for the photos you will be disappointed as there are only a few below, but with the Baguettes at school and the photographer of the family (me) at work there has not been that much of an opportunity for a photoshoot.  There will be more, next time!

Peace and Love