A few days after the very first lockdown was announced at the beginning of this pandemic, I looked at my husband and said “Academically speaking, this year is pretty much void, right?” He just sighed. We both had a feeling that we’d just have to erase this year from our children’s academic journey and start over next year! Being a teacher, he knows all too well the struggle to keep children’s interest in learning alive. He knows how hard it is to stimulate their young minds to keep learning at a time like this.
This past year, every time schools closed, he almost singlehandedly took care of our children’s education, home schooling them to the best possible standard and supervising them while they took their online classes. And all this, on top of having to teach from home himself. We have a routine, but let’s be honest – being at home with all the distractions just simply isn’t the same.
In times like these, that feeling of dread for your children’s future is normal. But you don’t have to do it alone, you don’t have to struggle. If you’re a parent who is finding it hard to give your children the additional academic support they need in their school journey, or if you’re simply looking for an affordable tutoring service of great quality, I’d like to tell you about Joy Learning (Click here to visit the website).
I value the beauty of communication and dialogue with my children. The questions I’m about to suggest came to me completely randomly as I sat down with my sons for our daily ‘chit-chat’ – a mother-and-son moment we have every single evening, where we talk about their day and anything else that’s been on their mind: from “Mum, how are trains made?” to “Mum, I have this spot on my chin…” That evening, I decided to have a bit more of a structured approach to our chit-chat, and introduced a set of questions. I didn’t think they’d be so useful in making the conversation flow, and I’m surprised at how much the boys enjoyed answering them! N.B.: These questions are specifically aimed at pre-teen/teenagers. However, parents of younger children (and dads!) feel free to tailor as necessary.
If there’s one thing this year has taught me, it’s that we can never be “too hygienic”. Growing up, good hand hygiene was something my mother used to insist on all the time, and I’m glad she raised us that way. Today I find myself using a similar approach when it comes to my own children – teaching them to not only wash their hands regularly, but also keep them soft, nourished and moisturised especially in colder weather.
With the festive season fast approaching, the Childs Farm Hand care tin makes an amazing Christmas gift and is also the perfect little tool (this year especially!) to encourage the little ones to be intentional about their hand washing routine.
This is one of those posts where I must begin with a disclaimer. I’m no psychologist or relationship expert, but for quite some time now I’ve been on a journey to be a lot more zen, calm and composed than ever. And these are the things that are working for me right now.
“There’s no “opt out” button. We’re responsible for three small human beings til they reach the age where they can start making life decisions for themselves, pay their own bills, have kids of their own… And even beyond that, I’ll still feel a sense of responsibility towards them. We can’t just switch this parenting thing off whenever we feel like it; it doesn’t just go away whenever you need a break; we have to deal with it, even on our worst days… and the journey has only just begun. Can you believe it?”
These are the types of words that come out of my mouth during conversations with my husband whenever the reality of our lives just hits me.
I’ve seen a lot of posts on how to keep the kids entertained this summer but most are aimed at pre-schoolers. We have pre-teens who are totally addicted to their video games and who constantly need to be encouraged to do other things around the house or in the garden. They love watching gamers on Youtube and can’t wait to try out what they’ve ‘learned’… and before you know it, you have kids who become increasingly disconnected with ‘everyday family life’ and totally uninterested in anything that doesn’t involve some sort of technology.