Attendance Awards In School: Is It Right?

My little boy has just finished Year One. We are all set and ready for a fantastic summer holidays and preparing as much as we can for Year Two. I am well aware that this next school year is going to be a tough one for Logan. With SATs and extra milestones he needs to reach I’m going to have to help him at home as well. Hopefully to ensure that he isn’t falling behind or losing the enthusiasm he has for school simply because he is struggling and not enjoying it. School have a lot to focus on. With targets and levels they need to meet I understand they are under pressure to get the results, and attendance is one of the areas that they need to get to a certain level.  Our school encourages classes to have at least 97% attendance each week. So I am guessing that this could be around the target in which they need to meet.

Praising attendance

Each week our school has an assembly, and every year is given their percentage for attendance, and the kids love it. They all want to reach that 100% goal and earn a badge for their year. This is great encouragement, and attendance in school is extremely important. But, there is one thing that seems to be a big trend amongst schools these days, and that is awarding children individually for 100% attendance.

I don’t agree with it. 

There will always be times in your child’s school life when they are unwell. They don’t ask for it, they certainly don’t enjoy being ill. In many cases, our school included, if a child is ill then you are encouraged to keep them off school. This avoids the illness spreading and causing further absences. There was a prime example earlier this year, our school was hit with the vomiting bug, bad! At least 40% of the school was effected and because of this we were advised to keep out children off school. Until a full 48 hours had passed since the last sickness. My son ended up with it, in fact we all did, and it was pretty horrific!

We didn’t manage it

My son didn’t get 100% attendance this year, he ended up on 97%. The percentage in which our school aims for. He wasn’t rewarded for that, I don’t expect him to be, but why should a child be rewarded for 100% just because in-theory they were lucky to not have to experience the illness?

Now don’t get me wrong, I think attendance in school is extremely important. But it is down to your own parental opinion. Some people are happy to take their child out of school and have unauthorised absences for one reason or another. This isn’t about judgement. It may even Be worth it to take my son out of school in the future. But I don’t think that awarding children for 100% attendance is the right way to go? At this rate, children who become aware of the award system will push themselves to go into school when they aren’t well, and they may even get worked up and upset because they have had to have a day off. Is that really fair on them and their mental wellbeing?

In conclusion

Award systems work well in most scenarios, and even with attendance I think it can be a good motivator, but I don’t think 100% should be the target, it should be awarded for the school reaching their target.

What do you think about attendance awards in school? Do you think they work? I would love to know your thoughts.

Trying To Conceive – Our Journey So Far

Having a baby was something I just expected to happen. After all, I already had a baby, and that was a complete surprise. Logan came along in a whirlwind. Myself and my now husband hadn’t been together too long, and to say we weren’t exactly prepared would be an understatement. Of course, we were extremely excited, and I would say having Logan has certainly been a highlight in our lives. But, the one thing I never thought would happen would be the difficulty of trying to conceive once more. Surely if it happened the first time, it would happen again easily enough, right? Wrong!

When Logan turned two, we thought it would be a great idea to have another baby. We have Luca as well, but as he isn’t with us 100% of the time, we thought it would be nice to add another sibling into the mix. We tried, and for a few months, nothing happened. I know that these things can go like this, so when September 2015 rolled around and we finally got that very much wanted positive pregnancy test we were elated. It was finally happening for us. However, it doesn’t always go to plan does it? I started to experience pain, and bleeding, and to cut a long story short, one I plan on blogging about but have talked about on Instagram, I was having an ectopic pregnancy. Baby loss was something I knew very little about. I was aware of it, I knew it could happen, but thats as much thought as I had given it in the past. This pregnancy was something I did not expect to end in the way that it did.

It took a while to get over it, and it never actually leaves you, but we knew we wanted to try again, and that we did. However, it took 18 long months later to finally get a positive pregnancy test once more, a month after our wedding day, perfect time you would think. May 2017 and again the excitement took hold quickly. I was cautious, but I just thought that this was finally our time. But only a few short weeks later, the pain returned and so did the bleeding, and after regular trips to the hospital, a promise of an intermittent heartbeat being detected it turned out that out little one hadn’t made it. I could have waited for it to happen naturally. But I went numb and just wanted the whole thing to be over as soon as possible, so I opted to have the surgery to end the pregnancy.

I wasn’t sure how much more I could take. Like the last time, I distracted myself with life and got on with things, and surprisingly only a few short months later in September 2017 I was pregnant once again. This was going to be it. I was sure of it. But this time the doubt and the fear was overwhelming. Every little niggle I was scared. Everytime I went to the bathroom I was scared. A few weeks later, it was the weekend, and the start of Logans first half term. I started to feel period style pains and cramps and bleeding heavily. I was miscarrying again, only this time it was happening all on its own. I remember the day vividly. I remember it happening. It is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. From October 2017 to today now January 2019, we have continued to try, albeit not in a strict kind of way. We want nature to takes it course but sadly it hasn’t happened for us. We are under the care of the hospital. We have had scans and an MRI to see if there is any reason why this keeps happening, and we now have some difinitive answers which will be coming up in a future blog post. I wanted to start tracking our trying to conceive journey. I want to try new methods and things to see if it helps increase our chances. I also want to be able to share with you all the highs and the lows, baby loss, what it means and the general mental impact this can have on you. We are still positive that we will be able to conceive again, and this is going to workout for us. But we also realise how very blessed we are with two healthy boys.

Do you have any trying to conceive tips you would like to share? Leave a comment below with your advice.

The Park Saves Lives – Weekend Diaries – 17-18th November 2018

Weekends come and go in the blink of an eye, don’t they? One minute it’s Friday night. You are enjoying your glass of prosecco and see this big long weekend stretched infant of you. The next minute you are crying into your sauvignon blanc on a Sunday night, ironing shorts and wondering what the hell happened. I wanted to start documenting out weekends as much as I could. We have fast approached the end of the year, Christmas is nearly here, and when it comes to documenting memories, I just haven’t been that great at it. I sometimes even forget to pull my phone out and take a snap. Something I know I will regret it come the future when pictures and video clips will be what I have to look back on.

This weekend wasn’t special; in fact, it is just a normal one for us. It begins with Soccer AM on a Saturday morning, and breakfast being made while drinking hot cups of tea and coffee. Today, we decided to head to the park for some fresh air, and I will be honest with you, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I had been feeling a little bit of cabin fever, and I know that moods were beginning to turn, mine especially, and so heading to the park was really going to save lives. Ok, enough with the dramatics!

Sometimes it is the simple things that can change your mood, and instantly put a smile your face, and the park did that for us today. I felt fresh; I felt happy and content. I am so glad I managed to capture a few images while we were there.

Saturday evening was a relaxed affair and the same can be said for Sunday. Traditionally Sunday is a day that I catch up with washing, and we do homework. Watching films, cooking up a big Sunday dinner and just soaking in the last few moments of family time before the week kicks off in full force the following morning. This weekend wasn’t special, we didn’t go anywhere particularly amazing, and we didn’t have any elaborate days or evenings out. But it has been one of my favourites, and I think that is simply because time with the family is often the best tonic to help you feel happy and content.

I also managed to put together a little video. I hope you enjoy it. If you did we would love it if you subscribed to our channel.

The Parenting Edit Is Here – But Who Are We And What Is This Blog About?

I wanted to write this post as a sort of extended “about me” blurb. I’m Rachel, I’m in my early thirties, love writing and drinking wine, not necessarily in that order. I am a mum to a bouncing four year old boy called Logan and a step mum to a teenage boy called Luca. My job is technically a freelance writer and I do love the occasional boxset marathon and binge watching a bit of trashy tv, when I get to control the remote. My husband is Wayne, he has a pretty stressful job and also has businesses working from home. We met back in 2012 and literally had what you would only describe as a whirlwind relationship. Our little boy was unexpected but what a gift he was to us, and we now currently live together with our dog on the borders of Derbyshire and Cheshire.

Here I am once more, blogging, something I thought I never would do again. It is crazy to think that nearly two years away from the “parenting” blogging world I have found myself jumping head first once more. This isn’t my first rodeo in the blogging world. As a family, we also have a home renovation blog. But I did in fact have a parenting blog that I started back in 2013 when my little boy was only a baby. It was a way of release and keeping my brain functioning a little, while I navigated the sleep deprived world of first time parenthood. Blogging was really important to me, but I began to feel a little wobble in terms of the online world and juggling a freelance writing career, that my blog gave me, alongside it felt like too much. I gave it up. Something I completely regret now. Of course, back then it felt like the right thing to do and I recently have learnt that you can’t regret things that have already happened. In theory, you can’t change them. You can only learn from the experience and move forward. And so here I am again, having learnt that having a passion, a hobby and something you enjoy is important as a mum and even as human being. You need it in your life. It is important for your wellbeing.

I guess this blog will be very similar to what I did in the past. I plan on sharing our family life in the form of an online diary. The highs and lows, my tips and experiences, alongside hoping to reach out to other parents who have experienced similar or to help in some way. In this blog I will also cover things like miscarriage and baby loss, something myself and my husband have now experienced three times. Blogging was a form of therapy for me back when my little boy was younger. I struggled with post natal anxiety and even now still have my bad days. I’m hoping that writing articles once more about the things I love as well as still managing to juggle my freelance career, which again I thank blogging for, will give me some new found perspective and motivation to capture the memories that myself and my family make on a day to day basis.

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