A dismal, cold and rainy day in Reading. Having taken the train up there, wandering around and feeling quite uninspired to take photos, I saw a quite random and abstract opportunity – a cable tube running under the train tracks. It was shining in the rain and the vivid colour stood out against the dull background.
Well, this partly sums up Liverpool’s season, lots of potential, creativity and intent, but the finishing off needs work. Liverpool have scored a lot of goals this season and are only just behind in the charts to Chelsea, Arsenal and Man United. This is a bit distracting because there have been some high scoring games, but also games when just a single goal was needed at the end of long periods of pressure.
Inconsistency has ruled the season and the effectiveness of the team needs a lot of work, particularly in turning possession, creativity and pressure into goals.
The Reading game was so one-sided – they had a few chances on the break but we had 2/3 of the possession, 26 shots (nearly 4 times as many as Reading), 15 shots on target (3 times more) and 9 corners. Great stats but the only stat that matters in the end is the score. This sort of dominance has to be turned into points next season.
It has to be said that their keeper put in an incredible performance with a series of amazing saves. Not the first time this season LFC have been on the end of some inspiring action from an opposition keeper!
The big story since the transfer window has been the early scoring of Sturridge and the creativity and assists of Coutinho. We now have two excellent strikers and more threat from a creative midfield, with Downing and Henderson finally starting to play well. Reina in goal has picked his form up but this is countered by the drop in form of Martin Skrtel.
Overall lots of positives but a couple of signings needed in the summer if LFC are going to be able to convert 7th in the league into 4th.
Claire has had a great idea of using pegs and cards to match up letters and words to try and teach the boys more about reading.
We had 10 minutes earlier where I encouraged the boys to try out the peg word game. They both joined in and we managed to go through various words and letters, talk about how each sounds, how the name of each can be different to the sound they make and what other words are within the larger words.
The main one was LEGO where you can make LEG, EGO and GO, just by using the letters in the same order.
The other morning, I came downstairs and the first thing Jamie said to me was…
J: ‘Rabbits and Giraffes can’t climb trees bur rabbits can dig holes and giraffes can get leaves with their long necks.
Me: ‘How did you learn that then?’
J: ‘Because i’m good!’
He’s a cute kid and it’s amazing seeing him developing in so many ways. Jac is also developing but sometimes it’s easy to not see this as much as Jamie, because Jamie is always breaking new ground. The thing is, Jac is also breaking new ground every day as everything he is doing is original and unique.
Every evening, from 7pm till 8pm, while I put Jac to bed (most nights anyway), it’s Jamie time with us and he seems to be really enjoying it. We play board games or puzzles and read books, but Claire has also got a Reception level word set, which Jamie is working through.
It’s from http://www.fridgemagnet.com and has the 45 words which school children are meant to be able to read by the end of this year in school. Every time we get a new word for him, he reads it, we talk about it, then he puts it on the freezer door.
He’s doing really well and i’m also going to start getting him to write them out as well, therefore giving him writing practice and hopefully learning the word better.
In the spirit of finding out ‘what the other half’ are doing in Reception class (or probably 99% of children!), I had a brief look into what the requirements are for children at the first couple of stages of school. It was a bit strange seeing the parents for the Reception class sitting waiting for their kids to come out, while I was with the boys at their active tots group.
Reception & Year 1 level reading word list example: y1_curr_leaflet_aut08
So, 45 words expected to be read by the end of Reception year. This gives us something to aim at and to try and to follow as a guide, so that if Jamie does decide somewhere down the line that he does want to try school out, he won’t be too far behind. It’s also a good guide for Jac who hasn’t yet been through the ‘will he, won’t he’ process of schooling!
So far Jamie can recognise various letters by sound, name and association (eg ‘P’ for police car).
Another very useful website is the UK IXL site for the various maths requirements at each stage of school. In terms of Reception level, Jamie is probably already at stage E and the next stage is counting with money. He’s generally been very good with numbers and it’s something the teachers at his old playgroup commented on.
Jac’s also been copying his ‘what does that say’ line and does this a lot now. I can see Jac developing faster than Jamie as he’s over 2 years younger and therefore has the benefit of our own learning with Jamie. I might even learn a few things along the way.