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.
One thing I absolutely love about this time of the year is using my imagination to transform our living space into the perfect festive setting. I usually do this indoors with our Christmas decorations, our tree and all the other festive touches that put us all in the mood for Christmas. This year however, I decided to do something different by creating a Christmas enchanted garden – an adventure that my children, especially my 2-year old daughter, would remember for a long time.
No matter the size of your garden, there are many different ways to encourage your children’s curiosity and sense of adventure. From creating a mini winter wonderland, to turning your outdoor space into a small campsite, you’ll find that a little bit of imagination can go a very long way. So get into the spirit and dress for the occasion – we are wearing Barbour’sgorgeous new Father Christmas collection, which is inspired by Raymond Brigg’s Father Christmas, available here.
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.