Becoming a Big Brother

31st August 2012

Will, what a big day it was for you today! Today Charlie ‘came out’ as you have enjoyed telling people all day. You have also enjoyed telling people her long name, Charlotte Mary Taylor, and her short name, Charlie.

When your Mummy and Daddy called you from the hospital to tell you Charlie had been born, you looked so grown up speaking on the phone. You were excited about Charlie and the phone call. Throughout the morning you asked, using your lovely manners, if you could look at my phone. “Let’s ring up Charlie!”, “Let’s see if there is a message from Charlie”. When I explained that it was a bit tricky to ring the hospital back and suggested you could make a message to take home for Charlie you said, “Let’s make a picture of James for Charlie”. You selected some paper and helped me fold it to make a card. You knew you wanted a picture of James inside and outside but when you started to draw you said, “It’s a bit tricky”. I asked if a picture would help and you said yes. I wondered where we could find a picture of James and you suggested the computer. We looked up James on google images and you selected one to copy on the front of the card. You really wanted to draw James and you started by drawing a circle for his face. You told me that is what you needed, “a circle for his face”. You seemed a little frustrated with your work and said, “It’s not a circle, it’s an oval”, but you continued and added eyes (2 dots). You said, “That’s not his eyes”. I think you meant that you didn’t think they looked like the picture. Then you added a lot more black to the picture and said, “He’s got coal. Here and here are his wheels.” You were happier with your work after that. We printed a picture of James for inside the card and you asked me to write to Charlie to tell her you had made a picture of James for her. Then you told me you wanted to finish it later.

Monday 3rd September

Today you asked me where the card for Charlie was and you wanted to finish it and take it home to her. You enjoyed cutting out the printed picture of Thomas and you were very patient using 2 different pairs of scissors to try and cut it as you wanted to. You knew where to find sticks of glue in the purple classroom and you stuck the picture on very carefully. Afterwards you asked me to draw a penguin for Charlie though you were not sure why you wanted a penguin. I wondered if it was because we had read the dress-up book in the morning and it has a penguin on the front. You wanted to finish the card off by telling Charlie you loved her and you wanted to write your own name. You recognise your own name and you were able to tell me your ‘W’ goes “Down, Up, Down, Up”. You seemed a little less happy and confident in school today and wanted to be close to me. You told me, “I’m not comfortable to stay with ayi to finish my snack yet” and you were happy when I stayed with you. I love that you are able to talk about how you feel, about Charlie being at home and how tiny she was and about how Mummy and Daddy were looking after her. You were happy to leave school for the first time today because you were excited to go home and see your family.

Wednesday 5th September

The first book you chose to look at in the library had real photos of babies and older children, it was called, ‘Now I’m Big’.

 Thursday 6th September 2012

Today I asked you what a baby needed and you told me, “Some toys and milk from Mummy”. I asked you if you would like to get some baby things for the role-play area. Together we went up to the resource room and you selected some toys, some clothes, a stroller, a small bed and a high chair. We carried these down stairs and you said, “Oh, so much work!”.

What it means:

It can be hard getting used to big changes like starting school and becoming a big brother. Will, you have been so grown up and brave tacking these big events over the last few weeks. You are so good at trying to explain how you feel and talking about things really seems to help you make sense of your world. You use big words and you love to try out new words like when I used the word tricky, a few minutes later you also used it. Making a card for Charlie seemed to be an important way for you to try and tell her how you were feeling (and the things that are important to you) too.

You are so comfortable with technology. You know how to work my phone and that it is possible for me to get calls and messages on it. You thought to find a picture of James on the Internet and you love to use the class camera and computers.

Making the card for Charlie you demonstrated your confidence in using classroom resources and finding the things you need. You seem so comfortable and independent in the school environment. You are able to choose what you want to play with and you seem interested to try new things and often join other children if you see them doing something you think looks interesting. I have observed you ‘having a go’ in each learning area.

Opportunities and Possibilities:

I hope that Will will continue to make suggestions about things we can add to our classroom or arrange differently as he did in the home corner with the baby items. Perhaps we can select some baby books to put in the home corner too.

We have talked to the group about Charlie and when Will is feeling a little more settled in school I would love him to share this exciting new experience with the class himself, perhaps using photos of Charlie or even when Bec and Doug feel ready to bring Charlie to visit.

Will’s big vocabulary and ability to express himself in words will be a model for the group and we look forward to providing opportunities in small and larger groups for him to share his ideas about all the things that inspire and interest him.

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3 thoughts on “Becoming a Big Brother

  1. We so enjoyed reading Will’s learning story on becoming a big brother. It was lovely to hear the other side of the story on the birth of Charlie and the making of the card for her. He is indeed comfortable with technology! We have seen this since he was very small on his visits to us in Aust. He was so fascinated with the buttons etc that he posted our remote control into the video player last year! We look forward to hearing about his progress.

  2. Will, I am so proud of how well you have welcomed your new baby sister into our family. You had waited for Charlie to arrive for so long, I was not surprised you were so excited. I am so impressed that you tried to draw James on Charlie’s card as you can sometimes find it challenging to draw things by yourself.

    When you came to the hospital you were so gentle with Charlie and wanted to hold her and give her hugs and kisses. You bought pink necklaces from Round About for all of us to wear. When we got home from the hospital, I have never seen you so excited and happy.

    Will, you really love Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, so I am not surprised that you chose to put a picture of James on your card. You asked me to print out all the characters from the Thomas website (3 pages worth!) and had Mum, Ni Ni and I name them all to you multiple times a day for weeks after. Funnily enough, you can now name most of them yourself.

    I love that you love words. You enjoy trying out new ones when you hear them and if you don’t know what they mean, you often ask me. Camouflage and splendid are my favourite ones that you use at home or when we out and about. You are also getting better at using your words to solve problems when playing with your friends.

    I know that you love technology. Ever since you were a baby you have been fascinated by phones, watches, remotes and other gadgets. When you crawled for the first time it was to pick up my phone! You must take after me.

    You have settled into school so well and I am so proud of well you have coped with all these big changes in your life. Good on ya, mate.

  3. Dear Will,
    What a wonderful Learning Story! I was so excited and proud to read it that I cried tears of happiness. I like to read this story over and over again because it makes me feel so happy.

    Reading about the steps you took to create the beautiful card for Charlie shoes me you are such a clever, kind person.

    I know how hard it can be for you to take a risk and try something challenging like drawing James. Good on you for doing your best job, even though it was tough!
    The way you problem solved with Miss Ali to find the picture of James on the internet was really inventive. I really love using technology with you – like when we find animal videos on the internet if we have a question after reading a book or challenge each other to avoid the “booms” when we play Fruit Ninja on the iPad! You always make me laugh and feel amazed with the way you navigate my iPhone to find music or photos.

    I remember coming into the playroom one day to find you concentrating very hard on cutting around the edge of a piece of paper with your special scissors Nai Nai bought you. I love that you have taken that confidence and used it at school when you cut out the picture of James.

    I’m so proud of the way you express your feelings Will. In our family, we know you have an amazing brain that thinks so many things but that it can be hard to remember to use your words when you are so full of feelings. This Story shows me how good you are at telling people what you need, want and feel.

    I was so surprised and impressed with your ideas about what baby things to include in the imaginative play area. What an exciting creation you made! I’m really looking forward to coming into the purple room to explore the area you helped make. I wonder what things Charlie uses at home that is the same as what you have at school for the toy babies?

    Just like you, I was also looking forward to Charlie joining our family. I also felt nervous because you, Daddy and I had been such a wonderful, happy family for three years and I wasn’t sure how you would cope with Charlie’s arrival. Were you going to be angry that Charlie came home with us? Were you going to feel like you weren’t important to Daddy and I anymore? Were you going to feel jealous of Charlie and be mean to her? This Story, and the gentle, loving way you behave with Charlie at home, shows me that you are a wonderful big brother who knows that no matter what, YOU are my best boy and that I love you so, so much.

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