Education · Homeschooling

Homeschooling and its Advantages

Homeschooling and its Advantages
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Some of you may know that since the pandemic started, we’ve been homeschooling both kids on a full-time basis. Sausage was realy unhappy at her school so it was an easy decision, and while BB is adamant that she’s going back to her school as soon as it’s safe to do so, for now, she’s attending Crammond College! Although homeschooling can be hard work (especially when Husband and I also both work from home) there have been a numbe rof advantages that we’ve noticed, so I thought I’d share some of them here, in case it’s something you’re considering:

Cheaper Holidays

Going on holiday isn’t something we’re ready for yet as we’re still pretty much living in lockdown conditions, but once we feel it’s safe, we’ll be able to take holidays during term time, which is SO MUCH cheaper! We’ve also said we’d love to buy a new motorhome when we can afford it, which means we’ll be able to pack all of us, including Maureen, up and go away whenever we feel like it, which sounds blissful to me.

Write Your Own Timetable

You don’t need to follow the national curriculum if you don’t want to. You definitely don’t need to follow a school day. This means you can be led by your child, which means more efficient learning. If your child is particularly interested in something after seeing a film or reading a book, you can learn about that, which will lead into lots of other things. If your child is more receptive from 3pm to 6pm, that’s when you can target lessons.

Individuality

If there’s one thing that can be said for my daughters its that they tend to plough their own furrow and avoid trends. BB has currently got one side of her head shaved and Sausage has had dip dyes in pink, blue and purple in recent years, none of which would be allowed at their respective schools. Wearing a uniform and following appearance rules doesn’t allow for individuality whereas they can look exactly how they want in homeschool.

Curriculum

While there are obvious parts of the curriculum which we will stick to, such as maths and science, there are certain parts of the National Curriculum which we feel are largely redundant (or severely lacking). The beauty of homeschooling is that we can pick our own curriculum, which means leaving out the parts we don’t find useful and including things that get left out at mainstream schools.

Emotional Wellbeing

Research into how homeschoolers turn out as adults was conducted by Dr. Ray in 2003. He found that 5,000 out of a group of 7,300 adults had been homeschooled for more than 7 years. They were much more active in community and social life than their public school counterparts. A much higher number also went on to higher education and they also scored higher on the happiness scale. In 1999, Stanford University accepted twice as many homeschoolers compared to publicly and privately educated students.

Holidays · Travel

Things to Do in and Around Richmond, Yorkshire

Richmond CastleAs I’ve said before, while I’m not in any hurry to get out amongst the germy masses and expose the kids to COVID, I am looking forward to get out on some day trips and short breaks, once things are safe again. Before lockdown, my Mum and I were actually talking about getting us all away on holiday together and renting somewhere for us four, my Mum and Dad and my sister and her fiance.

One of the places I found while I was looking was The Green Door Holiday Cottage in Richmond, which is a luxury cottage in Yorkshire. Usually, we’d head for the south coast for family holidays to places like Cornwall and Devon, but the thought of taking our travels north actually really appeals to me. With this in mind, I started looking at some things to do, in and around Richmord, for when we eventually get to take our trip.

Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle is an English Heritage site, right in the heart of Richmond and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Dales. Even better, if you’re an English Heritage member, you and anyone included in your membership will get in for free, so you’ll be able to enjoy a lovely educational day out for very little outlay.

Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve

According to TripAdvisor, “Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve covers 100 acres of moorland edge adjacent to Cambrai Lines at Catterick and has a remarkable mix of habitats and species. The reserve contains semi-natural woodland, heathland, flower-rich grassland, streams, ponds, a lake, willow and Alder carr, coniferous woodlands and wet meadows. The patchwork of habitats across Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve is home to more than 2440 species. At the heart of the reserve is a modern, purpose-designed Field Centre, a great place to start your visit and learn more about the wildlife of Foxglove Covert.” Sounds like a wonderful place for a walk and a picnic!

The Forbidden Corner

The Forbidden Corner was originally a private folly. However, after popular demand, the site has been opened up to the public with four acres of all-out weird! Discover a unique labyrinth of pathways, tunnels, chambers and galleries throughout the woods. They’ll present a barrage of tricky challenges, including the occasional spray of water! Just keep your eyes peeled for the secret brass circles which reveal hidden markings and direct you on your mission. There’s also a lovely picnic area for when you need a break from the fantasy.

Health

Five Reasons to See a Private Doctor

Five Reasons to See a Private DoctorHere in the UK, we’re extremely lucky to have the NHS to help us to manage our health, However, the current pandemic means that our health service is under tremendous pressure at the moment and lots of non-urgent appointments are having to be postponed, due to a lack of resources. Many people have chosen to opt for private treatment, and lots of private ENT doctors have been busier than ever. Here are some reasons that you might want to opt for a private ENT consultation:

Faster Referrals

As mentioned above, the NHS is struggling right now and many referals can take up to a year. Once you’ve got a referal letter from your GP, finding an appointment with a private clinic, such as Harley Street ENT Clinic can be as simple as making a phone call and being seen within days. Knowing that you can get such prompt treatment can be a huge relief for some.

Choice

When you’re seen through the NHS, you don’t often get the choice of which doctor you see and although you’re still likely to see some of the best in their field through the NHS, seeing a private doctor does afford you the element of choice with the physician you see. Many private doctors have profiles online showing their exact education, experience and specialisms, allowing you to be very specific about who you choose.

Smaller Hospitals

Private hospitals and clinics are usually smaller and more intimate, and can feel a little nicer than visiting a huge general hospital. Waiting areas are smaller and parking is often easier to find. Many private hospitals also have facitilites in their waiting areas to allow you to have free hot drinks while you wait! It’s the little touches that make the difference.

Faster Testing

Many conditions will require a consultation, followed by testst such as blood tests, x-rays, MRIs or something else, and then another appointment to assess the results. This can be a really lengthy process through the NHS, but the timeframe can be reduced MASSIVELY with a private doctor. When I was trying to get a diagnosis of a trapped nerve in my neck a couple of hears back, the wait for an NHS was over three months, whereas our private cover helped me to get a diagnosis and treatment in a fortnight.

Newer Technology

Because of the funding available to private doctors through their patients fees, private hospitals are often equipped with newer technology and have doctors who are trained in the most up to date surgical procedures. That’s not to say that our National Health service isn’t one of the best in the world, but the private sector often attracts people with more advanced skills because they can earn more.

Health

Tinnitus – Five Ways to Manage Your Condition

Ways to Cope with TinnitusAlmost everyone gets a bit of ringing in their ears from time to time, but chronic tinnitus can be incredibly difficult to cope with. There are medical treatments available for tinnitus and some excellent VIP Hearing Solutions which can help to make life with tinnitus more bearable, but there are also things that you can do on a day to day basis which will make your life easier. Here’s a few of them:

Avoid Stress

Sometimes worrying about tinnitus can make it more noticeable, so learning to relax can help provide relief. Slowing down the rate of breathing and relaxing your muscles are examples of simple relaxation exercises you can try. Yoga or pilates can also be a great help at getting your whole body to relax, as well as meditation and guided breating, which can all be done at home.

Avoid Silence

Believe it or not, tinnitus can often be worse when you’re in a completely silent space. Some people find that having the TV or radio on, providing some background noise, can help to tune out the ringing in their ears, and some people even invest in white noise generators so that they can have gentle noise like whale song or rainfall to help them to get to sleep.

Stay Generally Healthy

Obviously, being as healthy as possible is good for your general well being. If you find certain foods or drinks or activities seem to aggravate your tinnitus, consider reducing them. There are several therapies available now which have been shown to provide long-term and consistent relief from tinnitus. You should seek help from a tinnitus specialist who may be able to provide one of these therapies or help you choose a hearing device which can provide relief from tinnitus.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Many tinnitus sufferers find that their condition is worse when they haven’t had good sleep, so creating a good bedtime routine can be invaluable to dealing with it. Ensure you avoid caffeine for at least three hours before bed, avoid too much blue light from mobile phone or tablet screens, and try to actually get into bed to sleep in a darkened room at a certain time, rather than falling asleep on the couch while watching TV!

Avoid Loud Environments

Just as total silence can make tinnitus worse, so can extremely loud noises. Try to avoid very loud places like nightclubs and concerts, or if you simply cannot miss out, try to use earplugs or sound-blocking ear defenders to protect your ears. This also goes for very loud work environments like factories or building sites.

Health

Protecting the Health of Your Ears

Protecting Your Ear Health
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

For many people, ear health is not something they think about on a regular basis.  But if you want to maintain good levels of hearing into your old age and avoid the risk of needing to use hearing aids, there are a few proactive things that you can do to protect your ears. Here are five ways that you can get proactive about your ear health:

Avoid Cotton Buds

Cotton buds may be sold as a way to clean your ears but ENT surgeons strongly advise against using them to clean your inner ear. Aside from the fact that they can actually push wa further into your ear canal and cause blockages, jabbing at your eardrum is never a good idea. Opting for earwax removal through microsuction is a much healthier way to keep your ears clean and will protect the life of your hearing.

Watch Your Volumes

Spending time in very loud environments is one of the worst things that you can do your ears, but sometimes its unavoidable. Obviously, no-one epects you to wear ear-defenders to a nightclub or live gig, but if you also work in a loud envorinment then investing in some good sound blockers will go a long way to protecting your ears.

Limit Headphone Use

Listening to loud music through earphones and headphones is one of the biggest dangers to your hearing. To help avoid damaging your hearing, use noise-cancelling earphones or headphones – do not just turn the volume up to cover up outside noise and turn the volume up just enough so you can hear your music comfortably, but no higher. You should also try to never listen to music at more than 60% of the maximum volume – some devices have settings you can use to limit the volume automatically.

Get your Hearing Tested

Get a hearing test as soon as possible if you’re worried you might be losing your hearing. The earlier hearing loss is picked up, the earlier something can be done about it. You might also want to consider having regular hearing checks (once a year, say) if you’re at a higher risk of noise-induced hearing loss, for example, if you’re a musician or work in noisy environments.

Give Your Ears Time to Recover

If you are exposed to loud noises for a prolonged period of time, like at a concert or a bar, your ears need time to recover. If you can, step outside for five minutes every so often in order to let them rest. Research shows that your ears need an average of 16 hours of quiet to recover from one loud night out! Seems like a good excuse to stay in bed for the day!