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Five Minute Mum: Time For School: Easy, fun five-minute games to support Reception and Key Stage 1 children through their first years at school

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The crucial point is this though, as it is with all my games. Only if he WANTS to. The games are there to provide fun and entertainment for us all. The letter and number bits I put into them are there as a way to bring those vital educational elements into our play without it detracting from the joy. Learning through play always. First of all you could try showing them how to write the letter onto the paper or post-its, both capital and lower case and see if they want to copy and have a try too.

An exclusive first look at Five Minute Mum: Time for School with the Maths chapter. It may not clear all those home school headaches, but it will make life easier- and a bit more fun too! We are skipping at a frightening pace towards my eldest starting school now. The summer holidays are here, and parents with older children are wondering what to do with six weeks at home entertaining their kids while I try to soak up every second of my wee man before classroom antics turn him into a 12 year old in a heartbeat. Next year I will be that Mum…but for now, it is school that is on my mind this summer and one question; IS HE READY?Unfold the letters and form your silly word. It’s more likely than not going to make a word that isn’t real ZOK, KAM, DOV, PUM etc. That’s OK. I explain why below* Then after that, we often run around the house looking for something that has the SOUND that letter makes in it…I will often help and prompt by saying things like “I can see something with a h in it, am I looking at the hat, or the car?” and let them see if they can hear the H sound in the word hat. The sound doesn’t have to be at the beginning of the word. So for example if your letter of the day is X you might want to use box as the thing you find. After you’ve found an object, see if they want to draw it on the paper or post-its. Your little one has to experiment to find the two ingredients that make the magical fizzing potion. Now we obviously know that is the vinegar and bicarb but they don’t.

So what do you do? Here’s what you do. You set up the activity while they are busy/asleep/out and then when ready you START TO PLAY YOURSELF. And when they approach you say casually, “Do you want to try/play too?” and once you’ve got their interest you start to explain what to do.Or if you really want to understand phonics clearly then I made this hour long video here which talks you through it all slowly (as I swig a gin!) I made this video during the pandemic when people couldn’t visit schools, like they usually would, to join a parents evening where this sort of thing is usually explained. It goes through the phonics phases reception class (first year of school) will usually cover in detail and explains all the terminology like blending and segmenting and digraphs etc. And the reason I don’t only teach Ewan the sounds the letters make but the names of the letter is because if I taught him the E in his name is an ‘Eh’ then it’s rather confusing that it makes a “U” sound in his name. So instead I always say its an “Eeee” because it is - no adult spells their name over the phone as ‘Duh, ah, ii, ssssssss, yuh’ so I don’t see why children shouldn’t know the proper letter names and then be taught that they can make lots of sounds right from the get go (but this is my own personal feeling!) after all, they all sing the bloody Alphabet song. Time for Home School: Maths is THE book you need if you're home-schooling, from former teaching assistant, bestselling author and social media superstar Daisy Upton AKA Five Minute Mum.

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