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Mothers and Childcare

I. Reading Test

You are going to read a magazine article about working mothers. For questions 1-15, choose from the mothers (A-E). The mothers may be chosen more than once. There is an example at the beginning (0).

A – Ellie Learner

B – Dr Meredith Cox

C – Penny King

D – Joanne Potter

E – Anna Larkin

Which of the mothers suggest the following?

My older children sometimes look after their sisters. 0 ___ B

My children can keep each other company at school. 1 ___

One of my children found it hard to adjust to my working. 2 ___

I was very careful when choosing my child’s first school. 3 ___

My child comes to see me at work. 4 ___

I have to work for financial reasons. 5 ___

I hope to eventually reduce my working hours. 6 ___

A family member helps me out while I’m at work. 7 ___

My daughter likes to do things on her own. 8 ___

My children are almost as busy as I am now. 9 ___

Children should learn how to look after their brothers

and sisters. 10 ___

My working hours vary from day to day. 11 ___

I had to go back to work very soon after having my child. 12. ___

I regret having missed some very important occasions

when my children were younger. 13 ___

My daughter is very happy with her school. 14 ___

I’m not interested in getting a higher position at work. 15 ___


Mothers and Childcare

With so many mothers choosing either to work or to follow an active schedule outside the home, the use of childcare facilities is becoming more and more widespread. Five mothers discuss their choices, the daycare centres available, and the consequences.

Thirty-two year old Ellie Learner has two children, Bruce, two, and Vera, five. She recently returned to work after six years of being a full-time mother at home. “I was concerned about how they would react to being without me from eight in the morning till four in the afternoon. Vera’s got a fiercely independent personality and she automatically adjusted and managed well from the start. Bruce, on the other hand, found it more difficult, at first he cried and clung to me, but within few weeks he was quite happy and he runs off to play as soon as he arrives.”


Dr Meredith Coxis a GP and, like most doctors, works irregular hours. She is also a mother to Jim, Darren and Eve aged nineteen, nine and four, respectively. “Fortunately, while Jim is at college and Darren is at school, my mother-in-law looks after Eve. If I’m not back by 5 o’clock, Eve’s brothers are responsible for her. Encouraging older siblings to take an interest in caring for younger ones is very healthy for them. The challenge and stimulus of my career are essential for me, but when I’m free from surgery, I devote my attention to the family, and perhaps we appreciate each other all the more because our time together is so precious.”


Another working mother, Penny King, a twenty-seven-year-old library assistant, found that her daughter Moira, four, was eager to start school. “We looked at a lot of nurseries in the neighbourhood. Moira loves company – she doesn’t play well on her own – and we wanted a lively and friendly nursery school with plenty of activities. Fortunately, she’s very content in the one we found. She has made lots of friends there and many of the mothers work like me. I sometimes feel I’m missing out on her growing up, but the library runs story mornings for children on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Moira comes along and I get to see her a little more.”


Joanne Potter has twin eight-year-olds, Robert and Celia. First they went to crèche together, then nursery school and now they are at the primary school. “Before the twins, I was a horse-riding instructor – I couldn’t have given that up. Sometimes I feel guilty about not having been with them at significant moments, like when they read their first word, or wrote their first sentence.” Joanne believes their relationship has been affected. “Lack of time separates us: now they have a full routine at school, and then homework and sports clubs. I try and make up for it as much as possible by arranging outings so we can all be together.”


Bank clerk Anna Larkin, twenty-two, had her baby six months ago, and started back at her desk after three months of maternity leave. “Personally I’m not ambitious and if I could stay at home I would, but we have the mortgage to pay. I drop Heather off at the crèche every day on my way to work and pick her up again on my way home in the evening. It’s not that I worry about Heather, though, because the staff at the crèche are great. I just wish I could have a share in every stage of her development. Maybe later, when we’re more financially secure, I can start working part-time and have the chance to spend more time with her.”


II. Writing

1. Write a summary of text 3 “The Fun They Had” by I.Asimov.

2. Write a discursive essay “What Makes a Good Parent?”

Date: 2016-01-05; view: 1231

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