Olivia’s First Term At Sounds Right Phonics

I pay for all of Olivia’s classes with my own money. I have not been asked to write this post.

Something I am passionate about when it comes to my children is education. You can never start their education too early and we are always encouraging our children to learn more. Alongside school, Jack uses educational websites such as Reading Eggs and I was looking for something to help me aid Olivia in her learning.

My prayers were answered when I found out a lady called Hana was starting phonics classes in our village. As part of the Sounds Right franchise, I decided to head along to the trial class to see what it was all about and whether we would want to sign up for the term. Olivia absolutely adored it so we signed up for the term – and have now signed up for the next term after the summer holidays too!

What I love about these classes is that the kids really don’t feel like they’re learning – they do lots of fun activities with Playdoh and music as well as the letters we are doing that week. We usually recap on the previous letters too and it always amazes me just how much Olivia remembers.

Olivia can be a little cheeky and sometimes runs off in the other direction but it is clear that she is still listening as she always remembers the letters and the songs. She has already learned so many letters – S, A, P, C, K, N, R, T, H and I. We even popped to a local pre school fun day where Hana was doing a little class and Olivia learned U too. She is always singing the songs at home and doing the actions and she even gets Jack involved in the actions too!

Something – or should I say someone – she really does adore is Robot Reg. He is a great mascot for the business and is so much fun! Olivia loved getting her certificate and having a cuddle with him on the last day of her first term!

Overall, Sounds Right Phonics is super fun and very educational and I am very impressed with how much Olivia has already learned in such a short amount of time. I can’t wait to see how she gets on from September and I know she will definitely be missing her class over the summer holidays.

Do you do anything educational (apart from school) with your children?

The Benefits Of Chess For Development

I have been compensated with a complimentary chess set for publication of this post. Use the code rebdisoff to get discount off a chess set at Kaoori.

Learning chess has many benefits for children, ranging from improvements in their social skills to their cognitive abilities as well as their overall mental development. Purchasing chess sets for children is one of the best gifts you can give them due to the many ways they will benefit from playing chess regularly as they grow up. If you want to know more about the benefits of learning chess on development, take a closer look at these significant social and mental benefits that chess has to offer.

Chess improves children’s IQ

Playing chess regularly has been shown to increase children’s IQ, especially when it is played regularly over a long period of time, such as at regular intervals as part of a chess club or daily hobby. If you want to help children increase their IQ, buy them a chess set to get them started on a great hobby that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

It improves problem solving skills

Problem solving skills are a crucial part of children’s development. Regularly playing chess strengthen children’s problem solving skills which will help them in school, life and later on, in their working lives. Problem solving skills have long range benefits that extend far beyond a child’s ability to play chess, so this particular development improvement is definitely one of the best benefits of playing chess.

Val Vesa

Chess improves children’s memory

Chess is an excellent game for improving memory and studies have shown that children who regularity play chess have stronger memories, both as children and later on on in their adult years. The development of a strong memory is crucial to a child’s mental and social development as they age and will have long lasting and far-reaching benefits.

Chess improves a child’s creative development

Children who play chess are more creative than children who don’t; this may be due to the fact that chess exercises both sides of the brain on a regular basis. When children play chess as part of a hobby, club or with friends and family for fun, they will have a higher aptitude for creativity than children who don’t partake in chess. Creativity is a crucial part of development that will play a strong role in children’s ability to imagine, problem solve, and function in school, work and society as a whole.

Chess improves concentration

One of the most notable benefits of chess is its ability to improve concentration in children. Concentration is essential for learning in school as well as many aspects of our everyday lives, and this particular benefit is known to help children improve their grades and overall success in school as a whole.

If you have been considering buying your children or young relatives a gift, make it a chess set! They will benefit for years to come from the many ways that chess benefits and improves upon children’s mental and social development skills.

Summer Essentials For Busy Mums

This is a collaborative post.

I don’t know about you but I am always busy doing something. I work from home – juggling a lot of different working hats too (blogger, freelance writer, virtual assistant, proofreader), I am also the main person at home doing the housework as Steve is out of the house a lot of the day. I also have Olivia at home all day (as she is too young for her free hours yet and I don’t really have the finances to put her in childcare) and so I am the main person taking her to her different groups, doing the school run with Jack and taking him to and from his groups.

As you can imagine, I don’t get much time to stop and actually relax. I actually went to bed for a lie down yesterday about 8pm for thirty minutes (I had so much to do but didn’t feel 100%) and woke up this morning instead – this very rarely happens and was very much needed!

With me being on the go all the time, I thought I’d talk about the essentials I am going to be needing this summer. What are your summer essentials?

First of all – and perhaps one of the most important summer essentials for everyone – a good sun cream. I can guarantee I will be out in the sun a lot this summer so I definitely need to ensure I’ve always got some suncream on hand.

A decent pair of shoes is my next choice. I spend a lot of time in flats during the summer but they can get worn out very easily – I do a lot of walking in the summer and this wears my shoes down quicker than I would normally do. I’ve been thinking about investing in some loafers or moccasins for the summer – perhaps some of these pairs from Damart – as they look very comfy, good quality and will wear better than a pair of ballet flats.

Thirdly, I will definitely be needing some maxi dresses. I mentioned in a recent post that I tend to wear leggings a lot – and my outfits can often be all black – which is not ideal in the summer and I can overheat. Maxi dresses are both stylish and light enough to be the perfect outfit option in the warmer months.

My final choice – and perhaps a weird one – is hairbands. I usually get my hair cut quite short in the summer – not pixie cut short but above my chin slightly. However, my hair grows incredibly quickly and I often end up with quite long hair by the end of summer. In the heat, I hate having my hair draped down my back, getting in my way and making my neck unbearably hot so I always like to put my hair up in a ponytail or a bun.

What summer essentials are on your list this year?

 

Mum Time – The Importance Of Making Time For Yourself As A Mother

Written in collaboration with Mary Davis

In today’s world women juggle a career, relationships, family, a household, activities and many do so all while being mums as well. The question is therefore, are women making enough time for themselves while trying to do everything? It is extremely important to make time for yourself and do things that contribute to your overall wellbeing.

THE BENEFITS OF MUM TIME

Mums, especially ones with small children are always on the go, running around after their children, doing errands and taking care of everyone in the family. While taking care of family always remains a priority, it is also important to factor in a bit of “mum time”. Alone time is important because it reminds women that they are not only mums, but also women who have interests and activities outside the house and who enjoy doing more grown up thing from time to times.

Regularly taking time for you has proven beneficial for mums and the whole family, as it shows children how important it is to have personal interests and it encourages them to find an activity or passion of their own. A bit of mum time is also beneficial for mental health and recharging while taking a step back from stressful and overwhelming situations. Mum time is also great practice for a future in which the kids grow up and no longer need assistance 24/7, it allows mums to prepare for the free time they will slowly start gaining back as their children prepare to leave the nest.

HOW TO ENJOY YOUR ALONE TIME

A few activities perfect for taking some mum time range from catching up on a favorite tv shows or books, to getting a fresh haircut and manicure as well as getting out of the house for a relaxing walk or fun activity. Mum time can be the perfect time to catch up and watch any new and recent movies. Streaming platforms like CHILI for example are perfect for this, as they offer a lot of up-to-date content from which to choose from. Mum time is also a great chance to catch up on reading and finishing that book that has been left untouched for quite some time. Taking a nice long bath can also be a great way to relax, wind down and pamper yourself. Getting a new haircut or simply getting a blow-out can be enjoyable and the perfect way to prepare for a nice dinner out without the kids. Going to the gym for example is also a great way to work off any stress an feel better in your own skin. Catching up with friends over a glass of wine or lunch is also a fantastic way of hitting pause on mum duties.

While it can certainly seem difficult to put yourself first when juggling children, a family and a million other things, even a few hours a week of some alone time or in the company of someone not inside the household can be extremely beneficial for a mother’s mental health. Understanding the importance of taking some time off can also make you a better parent, also by showing children that they must always take care of their health and happiness.

Are You Saving Enough For Your Child’s Future?

This is a sponsored post.

Saving money for my children has always been a big thing for me – and for other members of my family. Jack was very lucky when he was born to be gifted quite a bit of money from family and friends and always gets some across birthdays and Christmas. Olivia, being the second child, didn’t get gifted quite as much but still receives some each birthday and Christmas too – although she is of the age that people tend to buy her clothes and toys!

They both have their very own savings accounts where they are saving their money for whatever they want it for in the future. We chose the bank they are using specifically for the benefits they get and can’t wait to see their final figure when they reach 18. But what I wanted to ask today is are you saving enough for your child’s future?

This infographic from Shepherds Friendly reveals some data they’ve collated – what are your thoughts?

Are You Saving Enough?Are you saving enough?

Survey results from 2,000 parents showed that only 43% of parents said they would consider opening a savings plan for a child – something I found very shocking!, 65% said they would only pay in between £10-£50 a month (not shocked by this, everyone has different budgets) and 32.8% are saving towards a housing deposit for their child.

We aren’t saving for anything specifically with our two children – we put money into their accounts, they put birthday and Christmas money in if they wish to save it and other family members put money into their accounts too – but what they do with it when they are older is completely up to them. Of course, we will encourage them to use it on something sensible such as a house deposit or a car but at the end of the day, it will be their money to do what they want with.

We are currently happy with the level of savings they have and what we are contributing however we do take a regular look at it to see if we can add more. Once we are completely debt free and our own savings accounts are looking a little more healthy, we hope to be able to contribute more but we are currently satisfied with what both the children have.

Are you saving enough for your child’s future? Do you believe in saving for your children or letting them save? I’d love to hear your thoughts!