Monday, 25 August 2014

It's not your birthday song...

Birthday's are a time for celebrations, parties, presents and apparently immense sibling rivalry and jealousy.

"How many presents did I get for my birthday Mummy? How many cards?"
How many people came to my party?"
"Can I have something today too?"

These are just a sample of the questions that burst forth from our six year olds mouth when it was his younger brothers birthday a couple of weeks ago.

This is obviously completely natural and somewhat expected but we did feel that this year the oldest is old enough to take a joke. We therefore decided to make up a song to remind the boy that it was not his birthday that day. A little bit like the Mad Hatters 'un birthday' song but far less tuneful and rather slightly more insane.

He tried to look grumpy about it but couldn't surpress a grin and then giggles as we continuously took the mick out of him throughout the day.

You might think this sounds like cruel parenting but we were on holiday so usual parenting standards were completely out of the window....

The big lad ended having just as many treats as his little bro. Oh well if you can't spoil your children who can you spoil?

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Gold Stars

These are the latest Gold Stars activity workbooks from Parragon Books...

Recently Parragon released research statistics which suggested that almost half (47%) of parents in the UK are worried that their childrens' education will suffer over the six week break from school.

This research got me thinking. I personally believe this worry most likely doesn't occur until they are at exam stage. Our oldest is too young for us to worry about him falling behind at school over the summer holiday. However, there is the worry that such a lengthy break from school will have an effect on his ability to settle back into the classroom environment. 

The research also suggested that almost a quarter of parents (23%) admit to feeling under pressure to spend lots of money during the summer. I don't know how convinced I am that the figures quoted in the research (£228 on the average child) are related to purely educational pursuits. I think it depends what you class as educational. A family holiday for example will most likely always be educational in some way. Whether it be how not to navigate the directions to your location correctly, or how not to spend an extended period of time together in perfect family harmony. Seriously though there is pressure to spend money entertaining the children and educating them at the same time is an added bonus.

First impressions of the Gold Stars Work Books from the boys are that they are fun which is the best reaction from young children to get them interested in something.

The pages of gold stars at the beginning of the books for the children to rewards themselves after completing each page is very appealing.

"It should be borne in mind that children do need a break from more formal learning as imagination and creativity depend on it. The 'Summer With Gold Stars Challenge' allows for structured learning alongside a full and fun summer holiday. Parents can rest easy in the knowledge their children are continuing to learn and develop, whilst having fun, enjoying the long summer break." This is a quote from an educational consultant at Parragon Books. 

If the boys enjoy the workbooks then they will want to learn and at the same time they will be entertained for a while. Win win.