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Mummy Wars…. Time for a Truce

This week the government thought it was doing a fab thing by helping working mothers with child care costs. I know the UK has the highest child care costs in Europe, and I also know many mothers end up working to pay for the cost of childcare… there is an obvious problem here. However, this greatly annoyed stay-at-home mothers, who also wanted government recognition for the work they do, by way of some sort of hand out. Their annoyance turned to outright rage when a government spokesman implied that stay at home mothers are not aspirational, and that they don’t “work hard and get on”. Now I do think Mr Cameron ought to consider some research about the detrimental effects of full time nursery care on the development of very young children, and the fact (to the annoyance of feminists) research points to the fact being cared for by a primary care giver is better for a child up to the age of three than full time day care… not everything can be measured as GDP. However, this whole mess is more evidence of the tasty, catty attitudes surrounding motherhood. The mere thought that you are not doing the best for your child send women into hysterics. From the point of conception parenthood is like a competition, and you feel every decision you make regarding your child is being judged. For example, mention breastfeeding to a mixed group of mothers with babies… watch the feathers fly! Why can we not accept people raise their kids differently, and for different reasons. Some working mothers beleive they are doing their children a service by working- they teach their child (particularly their daughters) that they are capable independent women, and in doing give them a role model. I can understand that, but I don’t fully agree. And that is fine. As mothers we are all totally devoted to our children, and it causes deep pain to think other people think we are failing them. Many of the issues which cause much of the fighting and offence in women are those issues which create in us personal guilt and doubt: like breastfeeding, working- or not, child care, educational choices, the list goes on and on. Is it not time mothers realised we are all trying our best, and support each other in these decisions… parenthood is hard enough has it is. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Why are Jigsaw Puzzles Important for Preschoolers

I always remember reading “Puzzles, Puzzles, Puzzles,” in an articles about teaching preschoolers. We have all heard that jigsaws are good educational toys for young children, but why? Jigsaw puzzles are great for reading readiness. Children who are good at puzzles are generally quicker at reading. This is because of the brain skills developed by doing puzzles. These skills involve spatial recognition, spatial co-ordination, and matching. When a child learns to read he must firstly decipher the letters, letters are no more than complex shapes. A jigsaw is a selection of complex shapes, which the child has to work with to build a picture. The child is also looking for the relationships between the different pieces to work out which bit goes where. Therefore by doing a puzzle the child is giving his brain a workout, developing those skills he will employ later when he starts to read. so if you’re stuck for ideas for your preschooler: Puzzles, Puzzles, Puzzles… Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

5 Ideas to do with Preschoolers

When homeschooling multiple ages it is easy to forget about the preschooler- after all those older kids have real work to do like long division, learning the planets of the solar system, mastering past perfect tenses, etc etc… However, there is a wealth of studies highlighting the importance of preschool education. But regardless of the educational and developmental benefits of investing in preschool/nursery activities, ensuring your little learners are catered for will make the homeschool day go more smoothly. So here are 5 simple ideas you can do- one each day! 1. Playdough It’s simple, but young kids love it. The tactile nature of playdough has been shown to help relax young children, and the use of tools helps strengthen muscles in the hand for writing later. It also develops fine motor neurone skills. Receipe: 2 cups flour 1 cup salt 1 tablespoon cooking oil ½- 1 cup water Mix the flour and salt, then add the water and oil. Only add a little water at a time, so the mixture isn’t too wet. Knead the dough until smooth. Add food colourings of your choice. 2. Painting Painting is very versatile. We use poster paint, it is think and easy to apply for young children. You can paint with a brush, you can use sponges to print, it can be watered down and blown with straws. 3. Cutting Again young children love to cut up pieces of paper. You can give them lines to cut along, old magazines to cut out. This also strengthen the muscles of the hand, and improves fine motor neurone skills… all essential for preparation for writing. 4. Gluing Creating from bits of junk fires the imagination. We have a large box with bits and bobs that can be used for gluing. We keep toilet roll tubes, old cardboard boxes, chocolate wrappers. I also have a small box with shiny paper, foil, scraps of material etc basically little interesting things. These I use for small gluing activities, like gluing on a paper plate- better if you want less mess to clear up! 5. Baking Baking brings in a lot of skills: for example listening to instructions, measuring… It is also tactile and again strengthens little hands. Baking activities that involve the child rubbing the ingredients, rolling, kneading, mixing are perfect for a little baker… and you get to eat the end product! Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Colour Recognition Activity

I made up this simple nursery/toddler activity to help with simple colour recognition. I painted four paper bowls: red, green, blue and yellow. Then I printed off a sheet of coloured circles. The idea is you put the right colour circle in the matching bowl. Here is a free printable of the coloured circles for this activity. coloured circles This was one of the first “school” activities I gave the Knight Boy, and it made him feel 6-foot tall! Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Preschool Cutting Activity: Free Worksheet

Young Children LOVE cutting things- my three year old will sit for ages cutting up bits of paper. As soon as they are able to use scissors that’s them! A great idea, for a young child, whilst you are teaching older children is to give them old magazines to cut up. I’ve also made an easy sheet to help a nursery age child’s fine motor skills. The child cuts along the lines. This has a few benefits: It strengthens their hands Improves control Is a step towards preparing the child for handwriting later on Preschool Cutting Worksheet easy Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...
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