Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer Begins! - Week One

School has broken up and so begins Summer Time! Over the next six weeks (and maybe probably longer!) I'll be posting photos of Callum and his summer holidays. Hopefully I'll also get time to do some full blog entries too.

The first week of Callum's summer holidays was a very busy one, it was his Fifth Birthday so we had parties, trips to the seaside, lazy days at home playing with new presents and friends coming round for paddling pool fun.

Birthday Cake Surprise! Callum looking shocked that all the other kids didn't sing Happy Birthday to him but instead blew out his candles.

Nevermind second time round was more successful.

On the Sunday we had family round for another party, here's everyone bar my brother Joe who left early to go drinking over the park with his buddies. Teenagers!

Then Monday Keith (Daz' brother) and his fiancee took Daz, Callum and I to Southend. It was our first trip ever to the Seaside and lots of fun was had, well until the end when I slipped down the concrete steps but we won't talk about that too much.

Then last but not least we eventually reach Callum's birthday the 22nd July. Our little boy is Five years old, my where did the time go? Here he is opening presents.

For Callum's birthday Daz and I bought him a bike, a big boys grown up bike. Callum's finding it a littler harder to ride than his trike but it's mostly down to size and that our garden is the flatest garden there is. Still he'll get there. Here he is on a little practice.

And well some monkeys are just too cheeky!

Tune if for the next entry which involves Down on Foxburrows Farm, South Park and lots more.

Monday, July 07, 2008

What the Teachers had to say.

Today I had a meeting with Callum's school teachers. It was just the end of year parent meeting but this time round they had daytime appointments which is a much easier way to do things.

I got to read a copy of Callum's school report (of which I'll get the original at the end of the week) and from that I learned that he has settled in well and is on the recommended level of learning for all subjects. There was a little concern about his emotional side which the school are dealing with I think they called it "action" where they are trying to teach him how to deal with things such as if someone is playing with something he wants to play with how he should go about not crying to get his own way but either talking to the person currently playing with said item or playing with something else until said item is free. They aren't overly concerned it's just something they want him to learn and said as he is an only child it's not an unusual thing for him to be doing. They also mentioned about his maths and said that he needs to practice more with his bond numbers. This had Daz and I a little confused. By bond numbers they mean just adding up sums that make say 5 or 1o, so for example 2 = 8 = 10. Now at home Callum is constantly going round doing sums like this but it turns out that at school he isn't. We're not quite sure why but his teacher just suggested we keep up with him doing it at home and see if it carries over to at school. Children are strange that way, the things he'll do at school he won't do at home and vice versa.

At the end of the day though for someone who has only been at the school 68 days, has moved from one London Borough to another and had no friends at the new school or even in the area we now live in he is doing remarkable well. His teachers told me it is like he started back in September with everyone else and has made some good friendships and is eager to learn. Lets hope he keeps it up.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Three Little Birds

As with most societies these days Callum's school is very mixed cultural wise. We live in a Borough that has a lot of immigration to it which is rewarding and enriching. So as to embrace this it seems that Callum's school has been teaching him and his classmates various songs which not only seem to have meanings relating to people being different but also about making friends and being there for each other. Now Callum takes after me in lots of ways as it is always being pointed out to me not just by Daz but by lots of other people, so it seems only fitting that he also has my lack of musical talent, I am tone deaf. Still this aside it's so lovely and cute to hear Callum sitting outside playing with his cars singing one of the many songs he has learnt at school. It's got to the stage now that Callum even has his own playlist on our iTunes of these songs and it's an interesting task trying to work out which song he has been taught from the few lines he can remember (thank you google!) then tracking it down for us to buy and adding to his list and then learning the whole song.

So far the songs he has learnt are:

Bob Marley - Three Little Birds
Stevie Wonder - Ebony and Ivory
Bill Withers - Lean on Me
Keane - Everybody's Changing
S Club 7 - Reach
Queen - We Will Rock You
Dionne Warwick - That's What Friends Are For

Out of those his favourite seems to be Bob's song which I have no problems about Bob Marley was a hugely talented person and the song is a nice sweet song, which Callum after us only singing it through twice now knows all the words to. I also like the message in it about not worrying about things, I often worry that my special little man himself worries about too many things, you can see his brain ticking over thinking about things and it's not unusual for him to pent up worries and then suddenly one night burst out crying with them all. I hope this song helps him to realise that he can tell people and that together we can work it out to make everything alright. Also Bob's song is the one song each night he will ask me to sing to him before he goes to sleep.

I love waiting to hear what the newest song is and I hope his school continues to do this. It is in my opinion a fun way to teach kids about music but also about life too. Well done Cranbrook Primary School.