The Clara James Approach

Welcome to the Clara James Approach. Education should be enjoyable, inspiring and varied. Our aim is

Operating as usual


Merry Christmas from everyone at the Clara James Approach


The night before Christmas and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...

What are your family traditions at Christmas?

Happy Christmas and a happy Christmas Eve x


We were lucky, when the kids were young, we used to live on the coast in Scarborough. Each year Santa would arrive on his lifeboat, and we would go do there and wave to him and cheer as he arrived. There would then be a procession through the town up to one of the local stores where his grotto would be situated for the weeks up until Christmas.

We did this for years. At the end of the afternoon, reindeers would be foraging on a green off the main shopping parade so the kids could meet them and say "hello".

Other nights Santa would come around the streets on his sleigh and we'd all go to the door to see him. I think the kids got bored of this before I did. But they were great memories.

Time with the kids has always been important to me. I loved every second of it and feel privileged to have had that time with them.

They mean more to me than anything. Merry Christmas to you and your family x


I can remember when I was young mum would always buy me a magazine to read on Christmas Eve. I think it was to keep me out the way so that they could get on. There was one year the magazine came with a cassette. There was a story on there about a girl called Wander. It was read by Bernard Cribbins. It was a girl who was spoilt and whatever she wanted, she got. One of the things she wanted was Rapunzel's hair, which meant the prince couldn't rescue her from the tower.

The strap line was "What Wander wants, Wander must have". I don't know why but that story has always stuck with me.

Do you have a favourite Christmas story, or a story that has stayed with you since you were young?

Have a great day x


Christmas can be a tricky word to spell because it doesn't sound like it begins with a 'ch'. To make it easier think of as many other words you can think of that start with the 'ch' blend (obviously this can also be done for fun as much as it can be done for an educational boost...).

You could take it up another level and make the blend out of different textures such as rice, felt, pipe-cleaners, foam. Both the act of creating the blend from different textures and using these as a sensory reminder will help remind the child of the blend and the words associated with it.

You may also choose to draw images of the words you think of. Physically drawing the words will again help to strengthen that memory.

As Christmas draws closer, we are coming to the end of the Christmas activities. I hope you and your child have enjoyed them and will continued to be inspired by the ideas as we move forward into 2023.

If you want more creative ideas to support your child with their maths and English why not join us over in the Clara James Approach. From each subscription £2.50 will go towards the charity that saved Snowy, our old dog. To learn more about her story, click on the link below:


We're nearly there!

Just 5 days until Christmas x


The other day I suggested you make a Snowman from shapes. The body, buttons and eyes are made up of circles, the carrot nose is a triangle. The hat is made up of 2 rectangles along with the scarf which is made up of a series of rectangles or squares.

You could also create a Christmas tree. The tree would be made up of a series of triangles with a rectangle for the base.
The tree could then be decorated with circular balls and a star at the top.
Thin rectangles could also be used to create tinsel wrapped around the tree.



Just 1 week until Christmas!


Have a great weekend.

I hope you get chance to relax and enjoy the day.

Maybe this would be a good time to try some of the activities we have suggested over the past couple of weeks.

If you do, let me know how you get on. I'd love to hear x


How about writing a Christmas poem with your child.

It doesn't have to be great (as you can tell from my efforts) but writing poems can be a great way to build vocabulary and look at rhyming words (which is particularly tricky for a lot of dyslexic learners).

Enjoying seeing what you can come up with. Why don't you share it in the comments below.

Have a fantastic day. Warm wishes x


Imagine, giving the gift of confidence this Christmas!
Is your child struggling to learn their times tables?
Then click on the link below and fill in the form and we will send you across this FREE download.
It is full of information about how we learn and how to support your child.

Any questions, we are here to help.

Merry Christmas 🎄


I can remember making paper snowflakes when I was a child.

They're fun but once again they're also a great way to look at shapes and practice fine motor skills.

When you come to cutting out the shapes along the edge of the snowflake you can look at the shapes you're cutting and maybe even the types of triangles: equilateral, isosceles, scalene.

You can also look at area and investigate (if it all goes wrong) what happens if the cuts on the outside edge touch (it all falls apart).

Enjoy and have a great afternoon x


Another Christmas vocabulary task for you.

Down the left-hand margin of a sheet of paper write the Alphabet from A to Z.

Now either working as a team or as individuals, try to think of a word associated with Christmas starting with each letter of the alphabet.

Examples might include:

a) advent
b) bauble
c) Christmas
d) decorations

Good luck, it's not as easy as it sounds

For all the other activities and their templates why not join us over in the membership group:


Imagine, the gift of confidence. One decision that changed your child’s life for ever!
What do you buy a child whom you love with all your heart. You would move heaven and earth for them yet, they are so unhappy because they struggle with maths at school?

A tutor?

Maybe, but probably not. That’s a big financial commitment and your child is still only at primary school.

You love nothing more than spending time with them. You would help them yourself, but you don’t know how.


I have a suggestion. A gift that could give them the knowledge and confidence they need.

Welcome to the Clara James Approach.

The Clara James Approach is an accumulation of everything I have learned over the past 20+ years about supporting children with their maths and English.

It is full of resources and games to share with your child to help them to find the confidence and knowledge that they are looking for.

There are ‘how to’ videos explaining how to do things to compliment the resources. In addition, there is also the Facebook community and a monthly Q&A where I will answer any questions associated with what your child is struggling with.

Every month a new bundle of resources is added to help you support your child.

A bit about my beliefs before we go any further.

Having worked with both children in the mainstream and those who have different learning styles due to something like dyslexia, ASD, ADHD, etc and as a mum to 3 grown up children, it is clear we are all unique in how we learn.

But if the child is relaxed, they are more likely to retain the information. If the activities are enjoyable, they are more likely to want to participate.

The more they participate the more practice they get and the better they become.
Improvement brings about confidence and it becomes a positive spiral of success.

In addition, by using a range of activities such as games, we are creating multiple memories. If we do something once, we create a memory. If we keep repeating that act, we are making that memory stronger, but our brain still only has one place to go to where it can find the information that it needs.

However, if we use a range of activities, we are now creating multiple memories, giving our brains more places to go to where it can find the information that it needs.

If you want to join the membership group, I would love to see you there, but in the meantime, why not download this free PDF full of inspiration and guidance in helping your child find confidence with their times tables. The first step in finding confidence in maths.

Click on the link and get it sent straight to your inbox now.

Merry Christmas!


How about a game of hangman?

You could choose a more festive image rather than a hanging man, such as a Christmas tree, Christmas pudding, Santa, etc.

Pick a word from the list.
Don't tell the other person which word you have chosen.
Then draw one small line to indicate each letter.
The other person then has to guess which letters are needed to make up the word.

The goal is to guess the word & it's correct spelling before the image being drawn is complete (don't allow the word to be guessed, instead ask for letters).

Once successful, swap roles and enjoy!

Games like this are great, not just for spelling but also for practising handwriting. With focus going into each letter that is written it helps to ensure it is written correctly. (Though do remember this is officially a game).

Enjoy x


I didn't expect to wake up to snow this morning, but it seemed like the ideal opportunity to mention Snow and her story:

For every paying member of the Clara James Approach, we will donate £2.50 to the charity that rescued her.

The membership group hosts a range of resources to support children with their maths and English. The resources aren't your usual worksheets. Instead, there is a range of games and activities, in addition, there is the monthly Q&A to offer any support on areas where your child is struggling and the Facebook group where you can speak to and seek support from myself and other parents.

To find out more, click on the link:


This is an adaptation of an activity we use quite a bit.

You have 5 minutes.

You both need to think of three words which will suit each category (so for 3 words starting with 'Ch' you might state Christmas, chair, China).

At the end of the 5 minutes, you compare answers.

What did you come up with?

Have a great day x

If you want to join us over in the membership group for more great activities to share with your child, just copy this link:


Snowmen are a great way to look at shapes. The body, buttons and eyes are made up of circles, the carrot nose is a triangle. The hat is made up of 2 rectangles along with the scarf which is made up of a series of rectangles or squares.

You could create your snowman by simply drawing it. You could do it as a concentration game and ask your child to draw a circle. Now draw another slightly smaller circle on top. Now a slightly smaller circle on top of that. As the drawing grows, they have to guess what they're drawing. Or you may do a role reversal and ask them to describe what you have to draw.

Drop your pictures into the comments below so we can all see what you have created. You may want to use this as an opportunity to look at colours and prepositions (where something is placed - in, on, under, next to) or create a robin or Christmas tree instead.



letter to Santa

The letter to Santa is possibly the most important letter your child will send this year.

I can remember when my 3 were young, they would cut what they wanted out of the Argos Catalogue. One year Clara convinced me that Angel desperately wanted a new baby Annabel (even though it wasn't actually on her list). So, like a mug that is what we got her. I don't think she ever played with that doll, she was much more into her books and Sylvanian families. But Clara loved it and got the doll she wanted but suspected she wouldn't get as she already had a vastly extended family of dolls.

Writing the letter to Santa with your child is a brilliant time to sit down and work together. Keep it fun and enjoy the quality time together


The other day I mentioned the possibility of doing an advent calendar. Another option is to create one that focuses on words. The words I chose were 'Merry Christmas', but you may choose a different phrase instead.

The templates are available over in the membership group if you want to use ours. Activities such as this are not just fun but also great for practising fine motor skills needed for writing and looking at the spellings and the letter formations of words.

You could make individual banners of words your child struggles to spell. As a more physical act such as colouring, cutting, clipping, ordering will make a stronger memory and make it easier to recall the information. Then additionally, having the words around will help to place them into their subconscious.

I'd love to see what you create. Have a great day

The link for the membership group if you want to access the templates and give your child the gift of enjoying maths and English this Christmas is:

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