Friday 24 September 2021

The New House

I haven't been blogging as much as we finally moved into the new house at the end of August and it's been a whirlwind of unpacking and signing the boys up to new schools and uniform shopping.

The house is a 400-year-old character-filled joy.
It was originally 3 little cottages now all conjoined into one big house.

It needs a bit of love, such as new double glazed windows, a new shower room and the front needs a bit of TLC but with time we will get them done.
We have already designed and ordered a new kitchen, which will be fitted in the new year.

We still have a few boxes to unpack and we're on our second skip, but I thought I'd share a few snaps of the house.

The first breakfast in the new house, Jon was at work so it was just the children!
We decided to keep the room as just a dining room without a TV or sofa, and it's so nice everyone talks rather than eat mindlessly staring at the TV.
I cannot wait to get the log burner going when it gets cold enough.

The side door.

I've spotted a few gorgeous rose bushes around the garden, in the next week or so ill be getting out there and deadheading them all so they come back even nicer next year.

The younger boys didn't get into the local school due to their year groups being full, so they were given a place at a school in the next village.
I have got them on the waiting list, as I'd love for them to be able to walk to school rather than have to contend with the crazy school run traffic.

Noah started a week late due to there being a bit of a mix up with the council, but he got into the local secondary, which is literally a stone's throw away from the house and he can walk there by himself.
It has a good Ofsted, and is a small school which I think will really benefit him!

Bea's room is really coming along.

This part of the house is possibly my favourite!
I love the bookshelves and the window lets in lovely sunshine and we get to see a lovely sunset through it at the end of the day. It also still has the original shutters on it!

This weekend we are hoping to get the rest of the rubbish cleared and everything finally put away.
Then we can get into the garden and start planning that! Chickens are definitely on the hit list!


A Parents' Guide To GCSES


GCSE exams are taken by pupils at the end of their time at secondary school when they can study particular subjects in more depth than at primary school. They are an important first stepping stone to future career and study options, so choosing the right GCSEs is an important decision. To help you and your child understand what’s involved, here’s a guide from a secondary school in Kildare on choosing GCSEs and getting to grips with them. 


Choosing subjects


When it comes to picking their GCSEs, encourage your child to think carefully about a few things. First, they should consider the subjects they enjoyed at primary school and might like to explore further; it will be hard for them to feel motivated enough to study a subject for a couple of years if they’re not interested in it. Secondly, they should think about what they’re good at; playing to their strengths will increase the chances of progressing well in the subject and getting a good grade. Lastly, prompt them to think about the future and what A levels they’d like to study at college (and which GCSE subjects might be prerequisites for them). If your child is keen to explore an apprentice route instead, they might want to pick a range of subjects to keep their options open. 


Exams and assessment


Your child’s GCSEs will probably be assessed through a mixture of coursework and exams, and possibly practical assessments. If their GCSE requires an exam, this usually takes place in the summer, after a revision period, with results available in August. The grading system for GCSEs changed in 2014, with a numerical system replacing the previous letter-based one. GCSEs are now graded from 1 to 9, with 9 being the highest grade and 1 the lowest. Pupils need a minimum of 4 for a standard pass and 5 for a strong pass. 


After GCSEs


After they’ve completed their GCSEs, your child will have a few options. They can choose to continue studying full-time, usually at college, to complete A-Levels or other equivalent qualifications. Alternatively, they can study for work and job-related courses like NVQs and BTECs. If they’re keen to get a taster of venturing into the world of work, they might prefer to undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship, training to do a specific job while working for an employer - this is great for children who are less academically minded and prefer to develop practical skills for a specific career path. They can also work or volunteer while studying part-time.

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Thursday 23 September 2021

Five Signs Your Child Needs A Tutor.


It can be hard to know whether your child could use some extra support with their learning, especially as they might not be very communicative about any struggles they’re experiencing. They might worry about disappointing you or feel embarrassed about needing more help, so it’s important to reassure your child that needing a little bit more support is nothing to be ashamed of and that everyone finds things difficult sometimes. To help you identify the signs that your child might need a tutor here’s some guidance on what to look for from a private school in Cardiff


They struggle to concentrate in class or with homework


Many children find it hard to focus at school when there’s a lot of noise and distractions, or at home if they don’t have a quiet place to study. Not being able to engage with their studies might lead children to misbehave when they get bored or frustrated. If you’ve noticed your child finding it difficult to concentrate, tutoring can help as your child will be able to learn in different surroundings with someone helping them one-on-one and giving them the attention they need. 


They’re stuck on a particular subject


If your child is struggling, chances are they’re finding a particular subject difficult, perhaps because it doesn’t suit their learning style and the way they understand and retain the information; for example, maths can be a tricky subject for children who find it hard to follow logic. In this case, a tutor can help them focus on a certain subject, overcome any blocks they have around the topic, and work through their difficulties with one-on-one teaching. Their tutor will be able to explain concepts in various different ways until they find a method they understand, which teachers in the classroom often don’t have time to do. 


They’re excelling in a certain subject


Conversely, your child might be thriving in a particular subject and they may have developed a deep interest in it which they want to explore further. A tutor can help them hone their strengths and nurture their passion for the topic, and having this extra support will ensure they can concentrate on the subject away from any distractions at school. 


You find it hard to help them with homework


You might find that your child’s homework is difficult even for you and that your child has questions that you can’t answer for them. In this case, a tutor will help answer those questions and plug the gap so that your child gets the most out of their learning. 


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Tuesday 21 September 2021



Children all learn differently and it’s important to bear this in mind when it comes to supporting your child’s education. Identifying how your child best absorbs and retains information, and the learning methods that suit them will allow you to support their education in the most effective way. Here a senior school in London outlines the three main learning styles, and how you can identify the signs of them in your child and apply this knowledge to help them learn effectively. 


Visual learners


Visual learners like to see what they’re learning, so they respond best to visual representations of information, such as charts, pictures, diagrams and videos. Often these types of learners are good at remembering what they’ve seen, so they might recognise faces and places easily. You can support a visual learner by relaying information visually wherever possible and letting them draw their own representations of what they’re learning. They might also be drawn to screens, so letting them watch educational TV programmes or play computer games that cover particular topics will help your child understand and retain information in the most effective way. 


Auditory learners


These learners prefer to have the information explained to them verbally because they like to listen in order to understand. They also like to talk things through and read text aloud rather than in their head. You can help auditory learners by giving them verbal instructions and directions when possible, and facilitating conversations about topics. This will help your child remember key details they’ve heard. They might struggle a bit when it comes to reading in their head, so you can support them by initiating a discussion about what they’ve read afterwards. 


Kinaesthetic learners


Kinaesthetic learners are hands-on and like to touch and feel what they’re learning in order to understand it. They like moving around and using their body to facilitate their learning. You might notice your child using hand gestures a lot and finding it hard to sit still. They might like walking around a lot and participating in activities like sport or dance. For this type of learner, you can help them understand information by including some form of movement in their learning, such as making up dances or hand movements to help them remember key details. 


You’ll probably find that your child’s learning style is a mixture of these three main types, but one is probably more dominant than the other; knowing which one will help you support their learning efficiently at home and relay this information to their teachers so they’re supported adequately at school as well. 

Tuesday 14 September 2021


It can be hard as a parent to watch our children struggling with something or facing disappointment, but such challenges are opportunities for learning and growth which we have a responsibility to guide them through. It’s our job to give our kids the tools they need to work through problems and move on from setbacks so they’re not afraid to try new things and reach for their goals, despite any hardships they might face along the way. 

Here’s some guidance from a nursery in Hampshire on how you can help your child overcome obstacles. 


Take the lead


Children learn a lot from watching how their parents and caregivers approach the world and how they face challenges and disappointments, so it’s important to set a good example. If your child sees you frustrated or angry about a difficult situation, they might learn to react the same way, so try to ensure they see you approach obstacles with positivity and without being intimidated or giving up easily. 

When you face setbacks or problems, get your child involved in helping you find the learning opportunities and finding positive solutions - that way they’ll learn that difficulties can be worked through and aren’t necessarily a sign to give up. 


Keep a sense of perspective


Encourage your child to keep the bigger picture in mind when they’re frustrated by something in the moment or when they’ve had disappointing news. If they’re feeling a little defeated by a tough homework assignment, or finding it a struggle to make new friends, remind them that situations like these don’t last forever, and aren’t necessarily a big deal in the grand scheme of life. 

Of course, you don’t want to belittle their feelings, but reminding them that they can work through problems and break things down into smaller steps to achieve their goal will help them keep a sense of perspective. 


Help them handle difficult emotions


Your child will experience a variety of different emotions as they grow and mature, and they won’t always know how to deal with them. As their parent, you can help by explaining the emotions and providing suggestions for how they can channel them in healthy ways; for example, teach them deep breathing or counting techniques to call on when they’re feeling angry or frustrated, or give them a journal to write in to express feelings of sadness or disappointment. 

Knowing that their feelings are normal, and how to handle them, will help your child face future obstacles with positivity and resilience. 

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