Education · Family

Leicester – A City for Families

Five Reasons Why Leicester is Great for Families
Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Every now and again, Husband and I get a bit of wanderlust when it comes to where we live and we start to look at other places in the country which would be more suited to us than the South East. As it stands, our first choice would probably be Liverpool, but recently we’ve been reading about Leicester and all of the ways in which it’s a great place to raise a family. With this in mind, i thought I’d share some of those with you today:

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Education

Simple Ways To Help Your Children With Their Education

Starting school is never an easy experience for a child, as it’s a totally new environment with different people and rules that they have never had to follow previously. This can make it awfully tricky to settle in, which in turn can impact upon the quality of their general education, so it’s vital that you can take some responsibility as a parent by stepping in to offer a helping hand. Thankfully, assisting your children with their education doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might initially imagine, as there are just a few simple steps that you can make the most of that will have an almost immediate impact on their learning! So, if you’re interested in finding out more, then read on.

Simple Ways To Help Your Children With Their Education

Image Source – Pexels

Find The Most Suitable School

First and foremost, one of the most important steps that you need to follow if you want your children to have a positive learning experience is to find the most suitable school for their unique needs. There’s likely to be several different school options both in your local area and further afield, whether they’re public schools that don’t require payment or private schools that come with a term-by-term fee. Taking the time to visit and assess each of your options is essential, as you need to get a true feel for the place by looking at classrooms and speaking with teachers before you decide to send your child there. Bear in mind that your little one will spend a huge portion of their life at school, so it needs to be a positive environment that promotes great education and care. Lots of parents will also choose to leave reviews too, so you can take the opportunity to read through these to get a more honest look into the quality of the service and surroundings. Your child can’t choose their own school, but even if they could they would not know what to look for – it has to be you as a parent, so spend a little time looking around to make sure you can locate their ideal match.

Always Show An Interest

Picking your children up from school only to transport them home and sit them down in front of the television without doing so much as ask a single question is one of the worst decisions that you can make when attempting to support their education, as you need to make an effort to show an interest in their daily education if you want to be of benefit. Simply asking your children how their day at school has been is enough to encourage them to recap the events and lessons learnt, so this can be a brilliant way to ensure they remember what they’ve been taught by recalling it again to explain it to you. Additionally, showing an interest also proves to your children that learning is important, otherwise you would have no need to ask such questions – they need to be able to recognise that being able to access education is a real blessing that should never be taken for granted. A great way to show an interest in a productive way is by sitting down with them to go through any homework they might have been given to complete, as this way you can check up on their skills, offer help or guidance and make sure that they’re on the right track toward success.

Provide Them With The Best Equipment

Sending your child to school with nothing but a pencil to their name is another terrible decision to make, as your little ones need access to all of the best equipment if you want them to take their education seriously. It’s your responsibility to purchase the relevant materials that your children need to take to school, otherwise they will have to try and borrow from another student or teacher who may not have what they need. Being left out and unable to partake fully in a lesson can have a knock-on effect on your child’s education, leaving them feeling lost and without confidence while other children don’t have the same struggles. Invest in a pencil case that’s filled with both writing and coloured pencils, erasers, ball point pens and an array of mathematical equipment like rulers and a mini calculator – these are the basics that your little one will likely need at least once during an average school day. Teachers may also advise of extra equipment needs when specific activities or events are taking place, so be sure to source whatever you’re advised to buy if you want your children to have the best shot of reaching their full potential.

Recognise Their Struggle

If you notice that your child doesn’t seem to enjoy or understand their school work, then you need to recognise their struggle and step in so that you can offer some kind of resolution. Any problems to do with isolation or bullying need to be discussed with your child’s teacher, but learning related issues can be tackled at home! For example, learning that your little one doesn’t have the best confidence in their STEM subjects should trigger you to source some kind of maths and physics online tutoring, as this way they’ll be able to use s new approach to learn the lessons they previously struggled with. You can even take the opportunity to print off extra worksheets and encourage them to complete these at home, as practice makes perfect and they’ll be highly motivated to show you that they finally understand. If you’re finding it hard to see where they might need a little extra support then just think back to your own schooling experience – did you feel left behind in class? Did the teacher have enough time to give you the education you needed?

Utilising just a few of these easy ideas can help your children massively with their education, allowing them to make the most of each and every day in no time at all – school should never be taken for granted, so implement the steps described above to support your kids now.

Childcare · Education · Family

Things to Look for in a Childcare Centre

If you decide to put your child in a childcare center, you surely know how important it is to choose the right childcare center. Hopefully, this is where your child will spend the next few years – you certainly don’t want to confuse them by moving them to a new childcare too regularly. This is where they’ll make friends, learn skills, and start to develop their personalities. But how do you know when you’ve found the right childcare center? What should you look for? Keep reading as we discuss just this.

Location

It’s no help finding the perfect childcare center if it’s a few hours away. You need to find a childcare center close to where you live and work. Firstly, because it will save you many hours in traffic. Secondly, and most importantly, because it will allow you to reach the school quickly if there’s an emergency. Finally, this will allow you and your child to get used to the area and get to know people who live there. You should look at centers closest to you before searching for ones further out. For example, if you live in Sydney, start by looking at centers in Sydney.

Safety

Most parents agree that safety is the most important aspect of a childcare center. You might be wondering how exactly to know if a center is safe. Start by looking at the physical aspects: is there decent fencing? Are the playgrounds and classrooms child-proof? Then look at things like how they monitor who enters – do parents get keycards, or can anyone just walk in? Finally, if you know any parents whose kids are in that childcare center, talk to them about their experience. This is likely to get you the most accurate information.

Resources

Look, a childcare center doesn’t need a bunch of fancy, high-tech equipment and toys in order to teach your child. That being said, they should have a variety of methods of teaching, as children learn in different ways, and they require various methods of mental and physical stimulation. You can also ask them about field trips and what a normal daily schedule would look like so that you can ensure that your child is getting a well-rounded education. Also be sure to ask about what meals they serve each day – if possible, you should choose a center that offers nutritional meals.

The Teachers

Your child will spend a lot of time at their childcare center, meaning they will spend a lot of time with their teachers. It is therefore important to make sure that you trust them. Feel free to ask about their qualifications or experience. You can also ask them what they would do in a specific situation. The last thing you want is to reprimand your child for something, only to have them say, “But my teacher says it’s okay!”. A good teacher can make a huge, positive difference in your child’s life. Similarly, a bad teacher can have a severe negative impact.

Education · Kids

How to Keep Your Kids Entertained and Educated at Home

The recent life-changing social distancing measures that have been introduced mean that for the first time, many of us are facing the challenge of home-schooling our kids. In addition, we are needing to support our kids, who will be unsettled by the disruption to their routine and upset by the events going on around them. However, there are simple steps that we can take to help keep kids education on track and ensure that they are entertained while at staying at home.

Providing a structured routine

Ensuring that your kids have a structure to their day is vital for keeping them motivated and productive. Continuing with your usual meal times and bedtime routine is also recommended to bring your kids some normality.

Plan the day using a timetable

The classic timetable is ideal for kids of all ages to use, as it provides predictability to the day and ensures they complete all of their school work. By also including meal and snack times it can help stop kids developing any unhealthy eating habits during their time at home. Get your kids involved with writing their timetable, as there are many excellent skills they can develop at the same time.

To do lists

If you are struggling to keep your kids entertained and motivated throughout the day, then try writing a to-do list filled with activities to keep any bored kids occupied. A to-do list is a perfect opportunity to get kids helping out around the house, as you could include daily chores or even get them involved with preparing meals.

Online exercise inspiration

It can be challenging to think of exercise ideas for kids outside of their regular sports and activity groups. However, to inspire you, there are many online activities for kids that will help keep them fit and active.

Try contacting your child’s current sports and activity groups, as many have created online fitness sessions that may also allow your family to join in. Otherwise, there are a great variety of exercise, yoga and dance videos on YouTube that kids can enjoy participating in. Online workouts make perfect fitness sessions for everyone who is at home with the kids that will get the whole family moving.

Online educational resources

When undertaking home teaching, the support from kids’ educational websites is invaluable. These resources ensure that any work you do with your kids follows their school curriculum and is at the correct level for your child’s learning ability

STEM Learning

The STEM Learning website provides many exciting and stimulating learning activities for kids of all ages, so if you are stuck for fun things to do then, this is a great website to visit. There are even wildlife spotter sheets and fun plant project ideas that are perfect for encouraging time in the garden. For more STEM play options, there are many suitable educational toys for 6 year olds and above that are ideal to use in combination with these projects.

Learning through craft

Staying at home is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some quality family time together and try some craft ideas. There is plenty of inspiration available on social media sites, and most activities only require items from around the home. Craft activities are a great way of recycling everyday household items such as cardboard tubes and plastic bottles. However, if you need to increase your craft range, then there are many great craft inspired educational toys for 7 year olds and below to enjoy.

Educational play

Providing kids with time to play with toys is an essential part of learning. There are many great educational toys available, so you will be able to find the perfect toys for occupying every child. For inspiration, take a look at https://www.starwalkkids.com where you can discover exciting toys for all ages.

30 days of Lego play

Lego sets come in a range of themes, making them perfect educational toys for 8 year olds and above that bring out every kid’s creativity. They are perfect for entertaining kids for hours and allow kids to design new and exciting masterpieces. If your child loves Lego, then they are sure to enjoy the 30 day Lego calendar, which sets a different Lego challenge every day for kids to complete.

Minecraft educational resources

Minecraft is the latest video game craze, which all kids love playing, and with many educational toys for 10-year-olds featuring this popular game, it can be challenging to get kids to think of anything else.

If you are struggling to get your kids to focus on their school work as they constantly want to be playing this game, then there is a compromise, as Minecraft has produced an excellent range of educational resources. Kids can choose a wide variety of lessons, including many science, history, and language topics, so you can be sure that your child will learn a lot while exploring the Minecraft website.

Adulting

Helping Your Child Get Organised for Life in College

When your child has accepted their place at college, your next step will be organisation. It takes a lot of preparation to get someone ready for life at college and the sooner you can start, the better. Here are some of the things you should think about if you need to help your child get organised for their college experience.

Insurance

College can be rough without the proper protection. Your child’s laptop is likely to be their lifeline. They will use it to communicate with you and complete all their coursework. They could turn their back on it for a moment in the library only to have someone swipe it.

An easy way to protect it is to take out a student renters insurance policy. This is great as it won’t just protect their electronics when they are out and about but it will also protect their items in their dorm or student apartment. From pranks gone wrong to someone simply attempting theft, anything can go wrong. A student renters insurance policy will help keep there things right.

Storage

A dorm room has limited space. There are some storage facilities that every student has but you need to make sure that your child is making the most of their space. No matter where they end up at college, they are likely to go through several seasons and that requires clothes. On top of this, you need to account for books and other personal effects.

Under-the-bed storage will be key here. From any store, you should be able to find plastic boxes with lids and wheels. The lids will keep the contents dust-free while the wheels will allow the boxes to be pulled in and out easily. These are a great way for your child to maximise their storage despite any limitations on the space they have in their dorm. Don’t forget about separators or hanging shelves to go inside any built-in storage. If possible, try to scope out the dorm room before you buy things. This should make it easier to find items that work well with the room instead of buying superfluous items.

Cooking

If your child can’t cook, teach them how to make some simple dishes before they leave home. Even if they are headed to a dorm with a canteen, teaching them how to cook will help them get ahead. They can make friends and impress acquaintances with a whole range of different dishes.

None of the dishes have to be that complicated. A roast chicken recipe, a dessert like brownies, and a one-pot wonder like chilli might be the perfect collection for them to be able to impress anyone they like. Make sure they have the utensils they need and have them practice each dish a few times to ensure everything is perfect.

Budgeting

College is likely to be one of the first times your child will have to manage their own money. You need to make sure that they are going to know how to handle their money without running out each month. Whether they are making a go of it by themselves or juggling a job alongside their studies, they need to know how to make their money last.

Why not get them to help out with some simple exercises like the weekly shop? This will be a great way for you to teach them some life-long budgeting skills. Give them a set amount to spend and ask them to buy enough food for a set number of meals. It will help them plan their week’s money once they are at college. You could also tie this in with the cooking by having them fully budget, plan, and make a few meals that week. Not only will you get to assess their skills, but you or your partner can take a break from meal planning yourselves.

Letting your child go to college can be a big step for both of you. As a parent, you need to prepare them for adult living as best as you can. Whether you are teaching them about budgets or finding them the perfect storage for their room, you will soon make sure that they are perfectly ready for college.