Merry Christmas

December 08, 2017

Cobblers about Christmas
The angel said to the kings, “Look for the bady Jesus.
You will fight him in a manger bed!”

As a teacher I loved Christmas. I think it helped working in a Church of England School. We would begin in November with the Festivals of Light, starting with Diwali, gradually processing Christmas-wards with Santa Lucia, St Nicholas, then Advent, to the finale of the Christmas Story. By the time we got to the last week, our classroom had enough lights in it to drain the National Grid, but ooh! aah! it looked lov-er-ly.
We had many children with varying special needs, so for their sake, the festive season was a chance to be totally inclusive, as they gave vent to their individual talents, be it decorating the room, singing, dancing, role-play, or just being good with a dustpan and brush!
All children love routines. If you have a learning difficulty it is even more important to stay grounded at a time of year when everything seems to be going to pot in a frenzy of excitement. By the beginning of December, most dyslexic children are so confused they don’t know whether they should go to school with a Red Nose, or dressed as Pudsey Bear, or, just to be on the safe side, leave the house wearing a bit of tinsel, a tea-towel head-dress and a patch over one eye!
As the school routines start slipping, then stress levels go up. When your child gets home, it’s ‘Chill-out-Time’. If your child is feeling fractious, give him or her the time and place to have a bit of space. The short days and unreliable weather mean that children often don’t get a chance to go out much and let off steam, so make full use of the weekends by getting out into the fresh air or doing something energetic. If the weather is bad, give them something open-ended to do. Get a pile of coloured paper, felt-tips, sparkly bits, glue, masking tape and scissors and have an afternoon of shredding paper and making stuff.
As for homework, pick your battles! You will probably do more good by sitting on the sofa with your child and sharing an enjoyable story book. Take time to listen to their gripes and moans – it just means, “I’m tired and I’m losing the plot.”
I am off to watch the turning on of the Christmas Lights in Lyme – Majorettes, Lanterns, Father Christmas, Fire Engine. What’s has a Fire Engine got to do with Christmas? – who cares, I love it…………

‘And the angel said, “Peas on earth.” ‘

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