Building confidence

I am trying to take the boys swimming once a week. My eldest son was due to start swimming weekly with his school this term, and was extremely anxious about that. Having lived in Turkey for three and a half years, we did not have access to cheap, public pools in which the boys could build up confidence in the water. Swimming was reserved for holiday times. So, now I am able to borrow a car during the day, it is something I am determined to do regularly. Today was our second time, and I was amazed how much they have all come on already. With a super learner pool keeping them all comfortably in their depth, I found myself redundant as my middle son, who has always been extremely nervous in the water, launched out on his own with arm bands, and his younger brother was all over the pool - even jumping in! It was fabulous.

We also had a great maths session today with both boys using Mathletics, and my middle son setting himself some appropriate tasks independently. This, from a boy who tends to look for direction, was a real encouragement. I have a sticker chart on the wall for Maths now - & we are aiming for 3 x 20 minute sessions a week. They seem to like the visible reminder - and I must admit I find it reassuring too. It is great to see the boys motivated by the instant rewards the site offers. Our eldest aims for a whole page of PERFECT results, and will repeat a set of tasks if he is not on course for 100%! By contrast, and in contrast to the way he felt at school, maybe my middle boy is beginning to feel he is actually OK at maths. He seemed to enjoy his tasks today, and certainly seemed to be growing in confidence.

With Junior Masterchef set to begin on CBBC next week, our middle son has decided he has two years to get ready to enter. A keen cook, he is currently working on his pasta and cooked lunch for the family today. Home educating gives a really good opportunity to get the boys involved in the ordinary tasks of daily life. I had a run-in with my eldest son this morning, which is not unusual, and his brother made me a lovely cup of tea to cheer me up. Helps me to remember there's more to life than maths!