5 year old expectations-mental exhaustion

This year it is planned that children will leave junior school with a statement that they either meet, or do not meet age related expectations. This means that seven years of primary education are summed up with an equivalent of pass or fail.

Raised Standards.

Unfortunately, this does not mean that the government have invested millions into our crumbling buildings or raised the pay of hardworking and dedicated teachers and support staff. It does not even mean that the children are being given a higher standard of education than previously. “Raising Standards” just means that you have increased the threshold for the equivalent of a “pass mark”.

Under the new system, the teachers have to teach 10 or 11 year old children work they would not have previously done until secondary. Teachers have to get their pupils to meet age related expectations which are significantly more challenging than they have previously been. We have the same children as last year: the same learning difficulties, the same social and emotional challenges and yet teachers are expected to magically up their game and increase what these children learn.

Teachers are committed and dedicated to getting the best possible results from every child in their class. They are already at breaking point. You cannot expect them to work harder than they already do.

The fact stands that no matter how hard some children work this year, it is very unlikely they will meet age related expectations.
Is this really fair? Can we really judge our children against a standardized norm? Do we want a generation who grow up to feel they are failures already at the age of 11? 

What matters is whether they love books and has got a love of language. It matters that they are creative and imaginative. These are not standards by which they are judged in the new SATs. Similarly, in today’s society it does not matter if you can’t do long division.We no longer teach our children to be inquisitive and love learning for its own sake. It is now just an exercise in exam technique.

It is not my child’s fault that he was born in the school year that all the goalposts change. It is not his fault that the new tests are judging him against standards that he will struggle to reach. In Government, you do not see the child who burst into tears tonight at the thought that he would not be able to “make the grade”… Do you want a generation of disaffected children? Do you want children to be reluctant to learn as no matter how hard they try they will always be found wanting? If the answer is no, I would ask you to reconsider this new change to the education system, and instead concentrate on “raising the standards” of education in its true sense: a love of learning and the joy of achievement.

Words taken from a letter to the Prime Minister, written by worried parent Lucy Hoggan.

tom sad.jpgRe written by Debbie Henson for this blog to hit home to every parent who is living this hellish education system.

Photo credit: my son who couldn’t finish his food through sheer exhaustion after a day at school. He is 5.


Is it ever too late to say sorry?


Something happens…..and for whatever reason you didn’t say sorry.
How long can it go until you can never say those words that need to be said?

Time is a healer

Will time heal the wound?
Time passes for everyone, everybody says “things get better in time”…but do they?  If you have ever said something or done something you need to apologise for and you didn’t say sorry how long would it be before it ate you up inside?

Choose carefully your words, as once they are spoken the cannot be forgotten,  only forgiven.

Saying sorry is a hard process.  It leaves you naked, your soul turned bare, waiting for the response…you can say sorry 1000 times and some people will never forgive you, what if that’s the case, you will have let your guard down for nothing, laid yourself open for no gain….but saying sorry is not about gain. It’s about saying “I am wrong”.

We have been taught from a very young age being wrong is bad, so bottling up a ‘sorry’ is expected…no-one wants to be wrong do they?
Everybody makes mistakes in life, says the wrong thing, does the wrong thing, we accept that children make mistakes often and teach them how to react differently or talk about the mistake, so why does that stop as adults? Being an adult has so many stresses and strains attached to it and the world is one big mystery …we are bound to make mistakes and say the wrong things now and then. So when you do, and you will, please explain why and say ….sorry. There is no time limit on sorry.

Everything is a learning curve


Who’s right?

Some days are just too much...
Some days are just too much…

Some days are just too much.

Some days are just too stressful.

Some days are just too hectic.

Some days are just too much.

For the past few weeks this has been my pattern. This is all I seem to be thinking or saying.

I guess Ive been spoilt, having time off work after Libby was born (maternity leave), having time to play with her, taking the boys to school, making home cooked lunches and dinners, bath times, story times, cosy bed times. Yes I’ve been very spoilt….or have I?

Isn’t this what parents should be doing?

Isn’t this the pattern of what home life should be? Or am I thinking more like a 1950s housewife?

I only work 3 days a week, and I still struggle with the onslaught of emotion I get when I get home at 6pm, my children are tired, emotional, stressed, angry, miserable, and after a busy day at work I feel the same, it’s a recipe for disaster. The hour between 6 and 7 is the most stressful of the week. Bath, story, milk, bed, sounds simple, but when faced with all 3 children with the above roller coaster emotions, its so hard.

so who is right?

So who is right?

Am I right working until 6pm ?

Is my childminder right for having them after school until I get them when they are already tired from being in school all day?

Is it right to think bugger the reading, I just want ten minutes talking to my child before they go to bed ?

Is it right that Daddy doesn’t see his children for days on end?

If you have the answer I’d love to know?

Maybe this is just how it is, maybe this is what parenting whilst working is like.

These are the things people neglect to tell you before you have babies, they don’t mention manic school runs, being late for work, never having a hot drink… ever, food or snot constantly on your clothes, never having time to just ….sit. Visiting friends, pah, you’ll spend every other minute taking Billy for a poo, or a wee, or a snack, or a time out, you might catch a snippet of one conversation and then you’ll have to leave to pick up Polly from pre school.

Some days are just too much.

Is Daddy coming home today?

It breaks my heart when the kids ask if they will see Daddy tonight, no sorry darlings, Daddy has to work late again, you will see him on Friday, maybe…

The deteriorating Daddy

Its so sad to see the deteriorating Daddy. The time spent at work lengthens, his tired eyes every night tell the tale, his heart breaks a little bit each day when he does see the children and he realises what he’s missed. So much pressure. To bring home the money, to be the man, I’d hate that job.

Some days are just too much.

Daddy and Libby
Daddy and Libby