Tag Archives: parent

Could you homeschool your children?

A few years ago I had to homeschool my daughter. It was a real steep learning curve for us both, but also a really fun valuable thing to do. When Maria offered me this guest blog I jumped at the chance to feature it, hoping it could provide encouragement to others. So first a bit about Maria.

Maria is part of the community outreach team at Edu Aid. Maria spent over 15 years as a primary school teacher before homeschooling her own children for a number of years. Maria is passionate about ongoing education at all ages, and when isn’t learning new things is a keen walker and cyclist and can be found exploring.

As a parent you may be thinking of tutoring your own child. You might want to tutor your child in a specific subject (such as Math or English) because your child is battling in this subject area. Alternatively you may wish to homeschool your child. You might worry that by tutoring your child you will be changing your relationship with him or her. You may feel anxious about taking on a new role. You may ask yourself how you find the key to successfully tutoring your own children?

Don’t be afraid of taking on the role
Marina Koestler, in her book on tutoring, shares that parents are a child’s best tutor. As a parent you have always showed your child how to cope or manage new tasks. You showed your child how to tie a shoelace, and how to dress or bathe. You probably played board games which involved counting, read to your child or listened to his or her stories. You may have checked homework or assisted your child with cooking. Many of these tasks were enjoyable for both of you and often inspired your child to make progress. It is because of this that Koestler declares that a parent is the very best tutor a child can have.

Prepare a space for tutoring
By creating a set environment which is cool, quiet and comfortable, your children will be able to work without distraction. Try to keep all of your tutoring supplies in one place where your children have easy access. If you will be tutoring more than one child, your goal is to give each child individual attention. Create a space where you can move easily from one child to the next.

Allow your children to guide you
Koestler shares that parents may feel anxious about tutoring because they might not feel knowledgeable in an area of study. However, she explains that the role of tutor is one of facilitator rather than one of teacher. By allowing your child to ask questions, explore answers and search for new information or insights, you will enable them to think, learn, grow, read and explore. All of these skills will offer a great learning opportunity where your children are guided by their own innate curiosity.

Have fun
Maths Insider shares that by having fun with your child, encouraging role playing or offering up exciting rewards, you will make learning an enjoyable process for your child. You can offer up activities such as dividing a cake or finger painting spots on a page (and then adding or multiplying them to find an answer). Older children could act out roles in history books or works of literature in order to explore multiple perspectives. By making learning fun you’ll teach your children that challenges do not have to be approached with fear or anxiety.

Focus on your children’s individual needs

As a tutor, you are able to give your child individual attention. While providing tips for tutoring, The School Run gave an example of a parent who taught a child to trust her own answers and move on. By focusing on decisiveness the child was able to complete her exams on time. Each child will have areas of individual struggle. Some children fear getting an answer wrong, while others rush through the work and make careless mistakes. Listening to your child’s fears or anxieties while patiently guiding new options will assist your child to achieve great results.

Parents are always going to be great tutors to their children. Children trust and look up to their parents and have been learning from them all their lives.

As a parent you’re in a perfect position to guide or tutor your child. Working with patience and empathy will assist your child to develop curiosity, confidence and an enjoyment of learning.

You’ll never guess what happened on Friday!

On Saturday I went along to Mumsnet workfest 2016. I was still very surprised to be going along. Twenty two hours before I did not know I was going! I got a tweet from Barclays to say I’d won a pair of tickets. I looked at the website and was so excited about the line up. Just a quick call to my hubby to chat about childcare and I was all set to go. The Mumsnet workfest looked to be aimed as mums returning to work after maternity leave. I figured there were a couple of seminars that looked really good and it was a great opportunity to network.

The most surprisingCath andMe part of the day was when I met Cath. I arrived early and got chatting to another he. She had an awful lot in common with me. I’m from Bradford, and she lives there now. We both LOVE languages, especially German, so we chatted about that, about our families, and the Lingotastic classes I run. Anyone who has read my blogs, or met me in the flesh will know that family language learning is my passion, so another mum looking to bring more language learning into her family life and maybe run classes like mine is an absolute joy to me. Cath said this was something she’d like to do so discussed my journey and ideas for her to work towards something similar.

The first event was with the keynote panel of Karen Blackett OBE, Jo Whiley, Jess Phillips MP and Kirstie Mackey. It was awesome to hear them share their stories and “How they do it all.”Panel speaking
Karen is a truly inspirational women who has created a culture in her company which includes and celebrates family. Jo Whiley shared how through her radio career she has worked with supportive people who have allowed her to be a mum as well as an employee. The two shining light pearls of wisdom from this session were “One good parent is enough”- Jess, and “Bring the whole of you to work” – Karen. If the day had stopped there, this would have been brilliant already.

I’m self employed, so the break out session on The Key to building your business was just what I wanted to hear. It was so great to hear others stories. I heard what I know now to be true, “Starting your own business is not the easy option”. I also had the time to reflect on how lucky I am to have a hubby who has let me run a selfie2business which did not make any money for the first two years.
For the second breakout session I walked in, and the lovely Esther Stanhope was bouncing around with excitement. It was titled “How to network when you hate small talk” There were lots of brilliant little tips I could quickly put into practice. We had to break into pairs and speed network. I found out that Katie loves Bradford (where I’m from) and writing and blogging. I was so excited I took a silly selfie. She confessed that prior to this she was a selfie virgin!

Lunch was delicious restaurant quality food and great chance to network. I chatted with a bilingual Russian & English mum about what they do at home, and she said advice and support would make a massive difference to her as her daughter grows. This was a massive encouragement to me and something I am considering I how to work in practice.

 

I went along to the self esteem workshop with Kim Morgan from Barefoot Coaching. The room was pretty full. It was a high speed session including many ideas and a couple of group exercises. I came away with a revelation that as women we all struggle with similar issues which was a real eyeopener to me. Her book The Coach’s Casebook looked a good way to follow up on the session.

We were so fortunate to be able to find out “What we did next”-inspiring stories with five awesome women who were inspired to launch their own business by Workfest 2015.

I was so excited that the guest speaker this year was Matthew Syed. My hubby has been reading his book “Bounce”, so I was excited I could hear him speak. He presented so clearly. This was a real lightbulb moment, to see my own growth mindset and fixed mindset. It was a real eyeopener as a mum, to help me to encourage my own children to see that if things go wrong, failure is not final, and though failing we learn how to do it better next time.
MattSyed If you want to buy his books Black box thinking and Bounce for yourself, click through.

It was an awesome day and I came away feeling comfortable in my own skin and that I’m not doing a bad job as a mum. Not bad at all for an event I’d not heard about before the Friday.

This blog is the first in a monthly series celebrating women in business and the workplace. I believe that if something is not celebrated it can die, so I want to take the chance to celebrate some awesome women. If you’d like to write a guest blog for us get in touch.

Learn languages and make friends with a GIVEAWAY from Chatterbags

Multilingual

picture credit: earlylearninghq.co.uk

I’m starting to realise I may be a bit of a language nerd. I’ve been thinking recently as to why people learn a language. I think for me the greatest reason is that it gives me the chance to make friends. I’m a really relational person and language learning is great for this. As Nelson Mandela said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language it goes to his heart”

The inspired guys at Chatterbags thought up the idea of Chatterbags so that people can tell at a glance what languages you speak. At Lingotastic we were really impressed with this idea. Chatterbags have been kind enough to offer Lingotastic visitors a chance to get a chatterbag for free. To take part in this giveaway from Chatterbags you need to enter with the rafflecopter form at the end.

As I walk my children in to school I often say good morning in about four languages to the other parents and children. Dzień dobry, Bună dimineața, Jó reggelt, As- Salàmu ’Alaykum, доброе утро, Dobrý deň, Guten Morgan, Zăo sháng hăo!

At my children’s school, there are parents and children whose main language is, Polish, Hungarian, Mandarin, Russian, German, Romanian, Slovak, Urdu, Arabic, Ukrainian and French.

In September, my daughter returned to school, after the summer holidays. She had three children in her class who’d just arrived in the country and spoke no English. The children taught each other to say “good morning” in their own languages. I was really impressed by this mutual language teaching at age 7 and also the way the new children were welcomed into the class. I decided I could do this too, and learn to say at least good morning or simple greeting in these languages.

Chatterbags

Chatterbag

I started to chat the new families and learn how to say good morning. I thought language learning would be a great way to get to know other families in the school. It’s been a fun journey. I’ve spoken the wrong language to people a few times and sometime pronounced so badly they did not know what I was saying! The Urdu and Arabic speaking mummies automatically respond to me with “Wa ’Alaykum us Salam” then realise it’s me speaking and look a bit confused or giggle! In time they’ve got used to it though!

On the whole people have been really pleased to teach me a few words of their language and laughed with me as I stumble over the new words. It empowers them and builds their confidence as they are the expert in this area. Some of the mums are new to the country, learning English, and like the fact I take the time to talk with them and understand what they are saying. I, myself have struggled with communication in other languages so I’m patient!

I’m enjoying building my own language skills and making friends too. Do you have anyone you can get to know better by learning their language? I’d love to know how it goes! Let us know in the comments box below.

bagsThere are ten Chatterbags on offer as part of our giveaway from Chatterbags, kindly supplied by the guys at Chatterbags. To win your very own Chatterbag to get you talking, enter with the Rafflecopter link below! We’d like to see you out and about with it so please tweet us a picture of yourself with your bag.

a Rafflecopter giveaway