Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bits and pieces (Present)

This is a "tying up" of some loose ends type of post.

Do you remember when I wrote in one of the posts that Werner's X had pneumonia? Now that you know who Werner really is, do you realise the significance of that? I was praying very hard for Cream Puff, to get well again!!! This has all been brought back to mind, because we are hearing rumours that she is not well. We don't know exactly what is wrong with her, the little ones don't seem to know about it, and we are not "in the know", of course. But, as with most things, time has a way to tell.

On to other loose ends! (Hey I feel like a news reader!)

Last week was prize giving at Marielle and Arno's school. Marielle walked away with top honours - receiving 5 subject trophies and for getting the highest class average. I can't even remember what that average is - something like 92%. Remember - this is the one who says every evening during exam time: Mom I'm scared I don't know my work!

WOW Marielle, we are bursting at the seams with pride.

Now Arno, on the other hand, has us worried. He "always knows" the work when you ask him. I wish a bit of exam nerves would hit him, but he is blissfully ignorant of the term "nerves" - they don't figure anywhere in his little makeup! Well, he did do us proud as well. He got 80% for the Maths (yes - despite getting such a low mark for the exam due to not reading the questions properly), and he got 93% for his Afrikaans. Well done Arno!!!! We are so proud of you.

So, that puts the exam stress behind us and now we have a very loooong holiday. However, a tiny cloud on the horizon (but one with a silver lining - hopefully), is that one of the teachers spoke to us about Arno. Although most people say - he is a typical boy, we can't use this excuse for everything. He struggled through these exams mostly because he misread questions. Is this a concentration problem? Is it comprehension? This same teacher gave wonderful advice. We are starting a whole schedule of things with him today:

  • Reading - lots of it,

  • Crossword puzzles,

  • Copying over of paragraphs within a certain time frame - needing accuracy and neatness

  • A handwriting exercise program.

I found a wonderful article about handwriting, where they explain that handwriting is a function of muscle groups. You need strong arm and shoulder muscles in order to write properly. We now have an "exercise" routine for handwriting. Another interesting thing about this is: he needs to draw these shapes - over several lines: / O X \

These need to be drawn over 4 lines, and gradually through time, you start to make the shapes smaller.

The hand writing muscles got me thinking about another something : core muscle strength. Children with low core muscle strength, battle to sit up straight, and battle to concentrate, because their concentration goes into keeping them sitting upright. Typically they slouch, or lie down if they can. (Arno does this all the time. He looks like water - always flowing to the lowest point.)

So, as of today - Arno is sitting on an exercise ball. Doing homework, eating, watching TV - all on the exercise ball. This is very good for building core muscle strength. It also keeps you from slouching, because if you slouch - you roll off the ball. (That should wake him up!)

I will let you know if these ideas help.

Ah - another photo. This is what "farewell" to primary school looks like:

O dear, I am very heart sore - another phase has just finished. Can't we stop the clock somewhere - just for a little while?


  1. Interesting about the exercise ball and exercises.
    Time goes to quick!

  2. Love the photo with all the trophies! Incredible, Marielle - well done (proud to be your aunt). When Frank's daughter, Nicole, was getting married I asked him if he was sad and he looked at me like I was crazy. No, he said, he just thoroughly enjoys every stage of his children's lives. Nice to hang on to, huh?

  3. I forgot to say Congratulations! That is wonderful achievements, Marielle!