Preparing for CP

(Natasha Wright) #1


I have 3 little boys - 1, 3 and 6 years. The 6 year, Will, has been in GS at Maternelle since November and has done really well.

Will is starting in CP in September and I just wondered if there is anything I should or could be doing to help him prepare for it? I only ask as I was in a shop the other day and there were rows and rows of 'workbooks' and 'helpbooks' designed for all ages of children.

Will (and the middle one) is currently attending the local Centre Loisirs 2 days per week over summer as we wanted to make sure he kept up with his French. I am also a mean mummy and he still reads to me every night in English and also does English and Maths workbooks.

Should I be doing anything else?

Thanks for your help

Natasha x

(Tracy Thurling) #2

That’s really good to hear as I am having guilt trips at giving in to pester power!
Have to ask - why were you cooking school lunch, I have eaten at our school but as a guest only - and they gave us a glass of wine!!!

(Catharine Higginson) #3

DS are fab esp for peace and quiet. I used to ration it out so that I could use it as a bribe when I wanted to be left alone.

I was really mystified by the request for a clothes peg till I went to lunch at school (I was cooking it - don’t ask) and realised that the clothes pegs were to secure the napkins round the little ones necks at lunchtime!

(Tracy Thurling) #4

Hi Suzanne,
My little one has to have a double side ardoise, one is blackboard and one is white board with squares like the books; I also have to find a sponge in a box, (for washing it), a duster (for drying it) and a cloth drawstring bag (to put it all in)!!!
As for the writing, it’s strictly the old fashioned way, my daughter spent a week on each letter in GS, majiscule A, miniscule a, cursive A and cursive a. They only start teaching them to read in CP.
We are actually about to buy my daughter a DS lite for her birthday, our first foray into electronic ‘must haves’ but she has been asking for one since Easter and I think it will satisfy her thirst for learning. I am also hoping it will give me more than 5 minutes peace and quiet on the days I work from home!!!

(Tracy Thurling) #5

My daughter will also be entering CP in September and she is desperate to go back to school to learn to read in French. She loves reading in English and is most distressed that I won’t teach in French as well (as if I could LOL).
She’s even asking me about commas and full stops etc now, so I guess I’m going to have to look out for an English Grammar book, she’s the kind of child who won’t accept me telling her that 'it’s not the same in English’
Incidentally, around here, all the French buy the holiday workbooks for their kids and the kids all do them. I think it is possible because the holidays here are exceptionally long, they need to do something. I’ve always bought them for my 2 (age 3 and 5) and they will work on them from next week as they have been at the Centre de Loisirs so far this summer. No provision in August so my mum is coming out - 9 weeks of holiday are a nightmare for working mums that don’t get all of August off.

(Catharine Higginson) #6

Oh yes…

(Natasha Wright) #7

I think I may just have really strange kids then as my 6 and 3 year old boys who are both happy running around like crazy pirates or spacemen all day also get upset if they cant sit down and do their English and Maths workbooks! I never ask them it is them who ask me! Its actually annoying sometimes as its just another thing to fit it… we now use no reading time as a punishment i.e, if you dont stop doing that there will be no reading later!

Natasha x

(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #8

I remember using Letts revision guides at senior school which were excellent!

Ah the little whiteboard thing sounds like a great idea. Does it have the little boxes which seem to be in all the french exercise books? In UK we tend to have ruled lines but in France it seems most are grid like. Is there still an emphasis on writing a specific way or can kids freestyle more these days?

Moving away from the manual method, I heard at my niece & nephew’s primary school in England they all have laptops!

It’s amazing how much parents can be guilted into buying things…the list is never ending. I know I have people back home ask me does my little one have a blah blah and I am pleased I can mostly say ‘no - we don’t bother with that in France’ it’s a great excuse! No guilt!
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(Catharine Higginson) #9

@ Natasha - you’re not a mean mummy - you’re a good mummy!

@ Suzanne - whether you get work books or print outs and files tends to vary from school to school. Workbooks are much better for small children in my opinion - just from a practical point of view.

I think the work books that are sold in the supermarkets are (generally) a big fat con. Parents are guilt tripped into buying them so that the children ‘keep up’ during the summer hols. As long as they keep reading and thus using their brains, they will be fine. They are useful though at secondary level if kids are struggling in a particular subject and need to consolidate their knowledge and / or revise stuff.

(Natasha Wright) #10


Thats good to hear! Yes they gave me a list but it was all stationery type items and there is no books or anything on there. As for being ‘uneconomical’ one of the items is a little wipe board thingy which they practise writing on… suppose saves on paper!

Natasha x

(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #11

It sounds like you are doing what I will be doing too!
I think some of the books are actually part of the curriculum aren’t they? Did the school not give you a list of what to buy?
The little girl over the road from us (who is about 7) showed me her school workbook very proudly as she’d done her homework. My hubbie said ‘that’s uneconomical, what happened to school text books & separate exercise books?’ Assume those days are long gone then… can one of our parents with school age kids shed some light on this for us?
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