La Gidg has just turned six, and is in Primary One at school. This is big stuff and has brought with it the beginnings of homework. I’ve been trying to instil discipline into my daughter: when she has homework to do it is done immediately before any fun stuff like playing with the cats or watching the evil ‘Tiny Pops’ on the T.V. In order to get around this she has been known to do her maths and Catalan homework in the car on the way home. Job done, right? Wrong. As this leaves me with my own personal mission for my darling girl that of learning to read and write properly in English. We do the bedtime story every night with mixed success. Some nights it’s a walk in the park, and other times it’s a total disaster ‘I don’t WANT to read it, I’m TIRED’. Okay, point taken, and we don’t push too hard. Let’s face it, she is learning to communicate in three languages simultaneously, but I do worry that her English reading and writing skills won’t be up to much unless I persist.
So I was very happy to meet Julie Staley from Kip McGrath Education Centre recently and get to know about her tutoring business which is based in Son Rapinya (at the Son Quint Golf Course). Contrary to some reports Kip McGrath is not a language school, in fact my husband said exactly that, ‘Oh isn’t that the language school?’ (An emphatic NO from Julie). In fact, as La Gidg and I discovered last weekend it’s a place for kids to go throughout the week to improve their English, and their maths, as well as also offering support for Catalan and Castilian homework demands.
‘Mummy, what are we doing here?’ ‘The lady said that she had heard about how good you are at reading, writing and maths, and she wanted to meet you’ I bluffed, not wanting to say that I thought we might need a bit of leg up to get her reading in English up to speed. I shouldn’t have worried about whether Gidg would enjoy the session though as she was made to feel right at home. She loved the worksheets, the conversation, and the bespoke interactive games on the computers.
The outcome? As expected she needs a bit of help with reading in English, when she’s not being coached by her doting mama she struggles with the ends of words (let’s nip that in the bud then), but she aced the maths. So, off we will trot to Kip McGrath every Saturday morning for the next month, to see if we can get on track. I think I will learn as much about helping Gidg as she will about the pronunciation of English. But the last word should go to her: ‘Gidg what did you think about the place we went to on Saturday?’ She flips her hair and looks at the ceiling (when did my six year old enter her teens?), ‘It was cool, I got to play games on their computer’. Well, as they say, learning is easy, unlearning is hard.
Find out more about Kip McGrath here: http://spain.kipmcgrath.com/Centres/Mallorca/Mallorca-Centre-Details.aspx