Friday, 21 September 2012

The journeys of fact and fiction

Well it's another Friday and another week almost over.  It's Ella's second week at school and my head's in a bit of a spin!It has all gone pretty well; adapting to new routines, coping with the changes and making new friends.  Ella's handled it pretty well too ;)  She has settled really well and made new friends.  Her social life is taking off with playdates arranged which is great news that she is a popular girl already. 

So, Ella's school journey.  We've opted for the packed lunch approach which I am happy about.  Staying for lunch commenced this week and each morning I have lovingly prepared a healthy, balanced lunch box for her.  I think we'll switch to school lunches once it's colder.  I was glad that we opted for packed lunches after the first day when I overheard one child tell her mum she had eaten spaghetti hoops and a slice of bread for her lunch.  Cleverly the mum now writes down her selection from the menu to hand to one of the servers so she gets more balance!  £2.10 per day is steep if all the child is eating is bread and spaghetti hoops!  Although it's often difficult to get facts out of a 4year old!

I managed to embarrass myself slightly when I arrived to collect Ella on Tuesday.  I was hearing all about the Phonics Workshop for the parents of children in her class.  The parents were buzzing about how good it was, etc.  I was not happy that I hadn't been informed about it and proceeded to march into her classroom, straight past one member of staff to ask why no one had told me.  The woman, who I had assumed was her teacher but turned out to the teaching assistant, kindly advised me that a letter was placed in Ella's book bag telling parents all about it.  She proceeded to open the book bag and present me with the letter.  I felt a tad silly and promised I would check said bag daily in future!  I went along to the other class' workshop so all was not lost.  I also wished I had correctly identified her teacher and not marched past her!

I attended the Phonics Workshop at her school yesterday which was very interesting. The teachers explained how the teaching of phonics has changed and we were taught how to sound out the letters correctly. Sounds simple enough however there were some things I was not doing entirely correctly so it was useful.

I did have one issue with the whole phonics thing and that is the use of nonsense words. Children are presented with words that are made up to see how they cope with reading them. I first heard about the use of nonsense words, being used in phonics, through social networking because Michael Rosen campaigned against their use in the classroom. He has always been strongly opposed to phonics as a method of teaching to read and on some levels I agree but that is a whole new blog post so I will save it for another time...

So now Ella is at school am I getting more time to write?  No, to be honest!  When Amy (my 22month old) is asleep for a precious hour and a quarter I end up doing the social networking, marketing and very little writing.  The fact that I am writing this blog is testament to that!  Poor Anastasia is awaiting further instructions from me as she sits suspended in the middle of an adventure.

I am, however managing some time for my writing and am working on 'Anastasia and the Wild Irish Eyes' which is the 8th story in Series III and 28th Anastasia story in total!  In Anastasia Series III, Anastasia is dealing with the dark world of human trafficking, forced marriages and the market for selling babies.  Anastasia has a no nonsense approach hence advising Series III stories are for teens/young adults upwards.  I like the way that with each Series you can follow Anastasia's journey as she grows up from a 9 year old to a now 15 year old and learn about her past and her future along the way. 

So while Ella is enjoying her new school journey I am trying to maintain mine and ensure Anastasia continues hers!  This weekend I promise to get my head down and write, write, write and write some more.

Here's to a fulfilling weekend and some kick ass action from the beautiful Anastasia.  My girls' journeys have begun... 



  1. Great post, Rachael. Wishing you much success and prosperity. Thanks for all your support, MG