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Tag: education

Nursery Woes and Birthday Shows

Nursery Woes and Birthday Shows

When you have two children born ten and a half months apart, it’s hard work. Trust me, I know. When you’re the primary carer of two children born ten and a half months apart, it’s really hard work. Trust me, I know. I’ve spent the best part of three years willing time to pass. Looking forward to the next milestone because that’s when things will get ‘easier’. One particular milestone that’s been in my sights, is nursery. Life would surely be simple when the kids start their nursery placements.

Now nursery is literally just around the corner, the biggest has her third birthday and then BAM, she goes to school. I honestly didn’t think it would bother me, I would get the quiet time I’ve been craving. I’d get time to work as when one is at school, the other will nap. The perfect scenario. I’m absolutely dreading it though, how can she be three already? How is it possible that she’s old enough to attend a state nursery? Seriously, where did that time go?

Less than 24 hours old.

Ready for the next step –

Her, not me. She’s so ready, you can almost hear the cogs going around in her brain it’s working that hard. She loves reading, drawing, riding her bike and being outdoors. Everything that nursery will nurture and make even more fun for her. She’s been asking to go to school ever since we went to visit back in November. She loved every second and I know it’s time for her to spread her wings.

It’s me that’s not ready for the next step. I know she’s ready and I know how much she will blossom, but I just can’t help but think it’s too soon. She’s my first-born and time has just gone too quickly, time that I sincerely wish I enjoyed more. Just like everyone told me I should. Hindsight is a wonderful thing I know, but I can’t help but look back on the times I’d wished things were easier with regret.

 

Becoming a big sister at 10.5 months old.

Three is a magic number –

On the day that this post was published, the biggest turned three years old. Three whole years passed in a flash and she’s gone from a tiny 6lb 3oz baby to a walking, talking, tornado of incredibleness. She’s funny, she’s clever and she definitely knows what she wants. All I have to do is believe in her, believe that she’s ready to take on the world and know that this is where she needs to start. So Happy Birthday my beautiful girl, here’s where your next chapter begins!

 

Happy 3rd Birthday!
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Knowledge is Power – Learning to Inspire the Next Generation

Knowledge is Power – Learning to Inspire the Next Generation

I’ve always found it difficult to switch my brain off. As far back as I can remember I have loved to read and learn about the world around us. We’ve always been an outdoorsy family too, learning about nature and wildlife is still one of my favourite things to do. In my early twenties, prior to having children, I went from one course to another, as my interests changed and grew. My thirst for knowledge always being the driving force behind my endeavours.

I fell rapidly out of learning when I got pregnant with our eldest daughter. As is the case with many mothers, pregnancy takes its toll and everything else in our lives often gets put on the back-burner. I had hyperemesis, so getting through each minute was a task, never mind each day. Picking up a book was just impossible. Especially the second time around when I had a two month old baby to take care of too.

Fast forward two years and two children later, life seems to be back on an even keel. We have two children that sleep at night and we have a good routine during the day. Now I’m finding that my thirst for knowledge has never been stronger. I struggle to watch naff television or read books that aren’t teaching me something. Mostly because I feel that I should be filling my free time with as much work as possible. I feel that if I am going to do something other than looking after the children or work, it has to be something that I’m going to benefit and learn from.

 

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Getting back on track –

One thing that really bothered me is that until recently, I hadn’t picked up a book for over two years. Not only did I feel like my brain needed a workout, but I find that reading is a great way to escape from everyday life. With two toddlers in the house, it’s often a welcome distraction. So, although I’m not a huge fan of New Years Resolutions, this year I vowed to read more. To nourish my mind and get back into the swing of learning.

I kick started the year with A History of Britain in 21 Women by Jenni Murray. When I first picked up this book there were two things that struck me. One was that I only knew about 4 of the women who were included in this book. Secondly I’m bringing up two future strong women, how am I supposed to do this if I’m not able to teach them about the strong women of our past. I need to be able to educate them on the women that paved the way to the opportunities that are available to them today.

This book marked the beginning of my mission to educate myself further, so that I’m able to inspire the next generation. Hopefully instigating a thirst for knowledge in them too. I think it’s so important for the next generation to appreciate that there’s so much that can be achieved, even when it may appear that the odds aren’t in their favour. I’m not saying I’m going to push our girls too far, that would only saturate their minds beyond their years. There’s an amazing world out there though, with so much experience to gain down whichever path they choose to take. I just want to be able to enrich their lives. To give them the privilege of an education and ultimately, to give them the power of knowledge.

 

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A final word –

Not only do I want to empower my girls, I also want to empower myself. Having children makes you see the world in a whole new light. I’m only too aware that nothing is set in stone. There are no certainties in this life and I don’t want to waste a minute of it. I want a wealth of knowledge that I can can draw on at any point. When I look back over my life I want it to have been enriched with history and culture. I want to look back on an education to be proud of. 

 

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Preparing your Child for Nursery – Including Tips on Working Towards EYFS Goals

Preparing your Child for Nursery – Including Tips on Working Towards EYFS Goals

Education has always been a priority in our house. We love to learn, just about as much as we love to have fun, it’s even better if we manage to combine the two. My husband is a perpetual learner and I’ve always been keen on keeping my brain in shape wherever I can. Educating ourselves is one thing, but with two little people under our belts education has become even more important. With nursery just around the corner I find myself drawn to enriching our children’s lives as much as I can.

Ever since our children were born, I’ve had a clear idea of the level of education they would receive at home. First and foremost, I recognise that it’s essential to make our children’s world as fun as it can possibly be. They are happy, healthy and loved which is paramount. Within the realms of fun though, I knew I wanted to teach them as much as I could along the way. I took some time out to educate myself on the Early Years Foundation Stage goals (EYFS), so that I’m aware of what goals our girls should be achieving and when.

Now that our eldest daughter is close to three years of age and therefore about to begin her school career, at an educational, state nursery. I’m keen to get her as nursery ready as can be.

 

The key thing to remember with EYFS goals, is that ultimately they’re just guidelines. I personally believe that it’s necessary to have an idea of where your child is on the scale, without getting hung up on, or upset about them not hitting every goal by a certain age. 

 

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How do we work on reaching EYFS goals, age 2-3 years?

 

Communication and language –

  • Reading together, recognising characters, discussing the story.
  • Role play.
  • Listening to fun and educational nursery rhymes.
  • Involvement in everyday activities, discussion, fun and giving them responsibility.

Physical development –

  • Visiting soft play centres.
  • Toddler play groups.
  • Outdoor exploration.
  • Messy play.
  • Use of different equipment and teaching how to use them e.g) sieves, pouring from jugs, holding and using scissors.
  • Practicing climbing stairs using the hand rail.

Personal, social and emotional development –

  • Making conservation.
  • Toddler groups – interaction with peers.
  • Organised classes – taking instruction and interaction with peers.

Literacy –

  • Arts and crafts – painting and drawing lines, patterns and shapes.
  • Flash cards – first words, recognising items.
  • Use of favourite characters to engage them in story telling.
  • Rhyme and verse to instigate learning phonics in a fun environment.

Mathematics –

  • Arts and crafts – painting and drawing numbers.
  • Flash cards – recognising numbers and putting them in order.
  • Rhyme and verse to instigate learning numbers in a fun environment.

Understanding the world –

  • Toddler groups – interaction and exploration of different situations with different people.
  • Allowing children to develop meaningful relationships with their peers.
  • Teaching them about themselves – how to recognise themselves and introduce themselves to others.

Expressive arts and design –

  • Organised classes e.g) dance.
  • Exposure to music, learning to enjoy rhythm using fun and educational songs.
  • Free play.
  • Messy play.
  • Role play.
  • Arts and crafts.

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Not everyone chooses to prepare their children for nursery in the same way. Here are few words from my fellow bloggers, giving an insight into how they got their children nursery ready;

 

 

Becka from Mummy Est. 2014: ‘I’ve always believed that the ‘Prime Areas’ are the most important part of the EYFS. I think that supporting skills such as having experience around other children (such as toddler groups), knowing their own name and identity, being able to communicate (signing, speaking or symbols) and having basic self care such as getting shoes on and off, washing own hands etc. These sort of basics I believe help children have a starting point to grow from.’

Beth from Twinderelmo: ‘We let ours choose their own water bottle and lunchbag so they were excited to go and use them. In terms of EYFS, we just practised their name. Jolly phonics is a great place to start and they used to watch on YouTube.’ 

Suzy from Our Bucket List Lives: ‘I let nursery prepare my little one. Because they are linked to the school they prepare the children by teaching them the basics for reaching those goals. I did no ‘learning’ with him at home at that age as I wanted him to enjoy the time he had with mein a non learning sense. I did no letters or phonics and he is doing really well because he has been taught by one person and not more than one. We did some maths such as counting to 20 and down from 20. If you aren’t sending your child to a nursery linked with a primary school then I’d concentrate on lots of play based activities that strengthen there grip and movement. I’d do a lot of counting songs with them and other similar rhymes. Again if there’s no chance for nusery then toddler groups, especially at centres, are great for children. They tried to get Jamie to get himself changed too early in his life and it made him scared of jumpers. I’m all for when they’re ready with regards to getting himself dressed.’

Jessica from Beauties and the Bibs:  ‘I wouldn’t worry about if they are ready academically that’s what nursery is there for. I would say make sure they are ready emotionally so if your offered settling in sessions take them and talk about nursery at home so they know what will happen.’

Jenni from The Bear and the Fox: ‘We found that reading books together about nursery beforehand really helped. I shared some of our favourites here…http://www.thebearandthefox.com/2017/09/books-starting-nursery-pre-school/’

Michelle from Seeing Rainbows: ‘All I did was encourage to draw, colour and know/write their name. I also took them to playgroup from very young to encourage socialisation and attempt to avoid shyness. But of course none of this is necessary, every child is different and nursery will encourage all these things anyway!’

Emma from Bubba Blue and Me: ‘I didnt prepare him because he’s been in day nursery from a year old. So socially and psychologically it was just another step for him the same as going to school. At home we just did normal things through play. Lots of communication, singing and activities that helped with motor control. He wasn’t interested in phonics or writing even though they did it at nursery. I just made sure there were plenty of books and drawing things available for when he wanted to use them.’

Sinead from Sinead Latham: ‘We spoke a lot about exploring a new school (nursery), making new friends and having a teacher just for them. They had a good 2 weeks settling in period so when they went full time all the kids were ready. 
As for EYFS at home. We focus on play, imagination and encouraging his love of books. He’s too little for extra ‘teaching’ at home, he’s got enough of that ahead of him.’

Pete from Household Money Saving: ‘We took are daughter out to quite a few groups. One was a music group near to us that was run by the local library. A lot of the time, they would need to sit quietly in a circle and listen to the lady explain. We thought this was great leading up to nursery, and something she would never have learned at home.’

Jade from Thrifty Yorkshire Mum: ‘Our local nursery used to run ‘stay and play’ sessions, essentially a playgroup where we stayed with him. This got my son used to the environment, and members of staff. I also spent a lot of time explaining what he’d be doing etc. He’s a sensitive little boy but thankfully settled in very quickly.’

 

Thankyou to everyone who took the time to contribute to this post!

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Kick Start your Career: Inspire – Blogging for Beginners eBook

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