Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Resilience is a skill that we hear about a lot. It’s imperative to work on with children as it helps them to be strong minded and develop the will power to get back on their feet after setbacks. It’s not as easy as that though, they will need to first believe in themselves and once they do and do well, they will build self-confidence to tackle whatever challenge comes their way. To give you an idea as to how you can help build your child’s resilience, we’ve included some advice that was shared with us by a private secondary school in London.

Facing Difficulty
One way that you can help your child to develop resilience is through letting them face challenges and hardship. It's not until they are in a situation themselves that they will practise resilience and deal with the emotions that come along with failure. As tempting as it may be to step in and offer help, it can be a real learning experience and give them a sense of independence.

Failure is Okay
What we’re not sometimes taught is that it’s okay to fail. Setting high expectations for your children can often do more harm than good. While yes, it can help motivate them, the prospect of failure can equally be terrifying and scare them off wanting to try again. Instead, it’s important to create “freedom to fail”, where they can see setbacks as an opportunity to learn and grow. You will find that they're more willing to put themselves forward.

Rebuilding Their Confidence
What can happen when things don’t go as planned is a knock to their confidence. They decide to give up as they’ve lost all hope. It’s not impossible to rebuild though. You can help your child to regain their confidence by offering encouragement and words of praise.

Art is beneficial for children in that it helps them to explore their creativity and become better thinkers. They are encouraged to think originally to create their own concepts and designs. There’s also the fact that it’s an enjoyable activity. It can help children to destress as studies have found that when creating art, dopamine is stimulated (a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy). Aside from these benefits, there are many more reasons as to why you should encourage your child to take up an art. Below are some that were shared with us by a performing arts school in London.

1. Self-Expression
Art is a funnel for children to express themselves. They have the power to create what they like and can use it as an outlet to express their thoughts and feelings.

2. History and Culture
The arts also teach us about our culture. Whether you’re looking at music or theatre, it’s changed through the decades which can give children an insight into what life was once like and strengthen their history knowledge.

3. Talents
Art is also a way for children to explore their talents. With the help of their teachers, they can work at them and improve their skills.

4. Fine Motor Skills
Children develop what are known as fine motor skills whilst they are young and strengthen them through regular practice. They are the skills needed to pinch, grip and hold, etc and require the smaller muscle tissues of the body. As art requires a steady hand, they are able to build upon their hand-eye coordination.

If your children’s passionate about art, they may benefit from attending a performing arts school. They will have the opportunity to work alongside children with similar aspirations and learn from those with real industry experience who can guide them. This is not to say that they’re shutting the door on their other talents and opportunities. At a stage school they will be able to learn a broad range of subjects that they would typically at a traditional school whilst specialising in their chosen area.

You’re in a situation where you need to go out but there’s no one to watch the kids - what do you do? You wouldn’t be the first parent to consider leaving your child at home alone. There’s so much to juggle as a parent (especially when it’s solely your responsibility), but it’s something that we urge you to think about carefully. Below is some guidance from an independent school in Bucks to help you make the call.

Babies and Toddlers
Babies and toddlers must never be left alone and for no longer than 15 minutes without supervision. That also means leaving to go to another room. They are vulnerable and completely dependent on you which is why they require your full attention. In the space of that time, they might choke on something hazardous and as they are so small, they’re unable to help themselves.

Primary Aged Children
At this age, your child may struggle to walk home alone, take care of themselves and potential siblings. They may not be able to also fully comprehend situations and problem solve.

Secondary School
Children that are older and of secondary school age may have more understanding of the world around them and some level of maturity but are children nonetheless. They may get scared when left alone and feel overwhelmed if an accident were to happen. If you are in a situation where you must leave them at home, you must consult with them and establish ground rules so that they feel comfortable and are safe being left at home alone.

To wrap up, it’s important that you think through any decisions about your child’s welfare carefully. Whilst there aren’t any set rules around leaving children home alone, it is neglectful to put them in danger. So, whether your child’s 6 or 16 years old, it’s something that you must think carefully about. Are they able to take care of themselves and handle a potential emergency? If the answer is no, then we advise that you look for alternative childcare. Perhaps a relative or friend if you aren’t able to organise arrangements with your usual childminder.

Moving school can be hard, or any sort of change for that matter. It can take time to adjust to your surroundings and make friends. If your child’s in a similar situation, you may be able to help. While it may be awkward at first, reassure them that it’s okay to feel shy and nervous. It’s likely that those that they’re meeting feel exactly the same. It’s an exciting opportunity for them to make new friends and learn from those around them. Below we have some tips from a boarding school in Wales to help.

If your little one’s feeling stressed or suffers from anxiety, you may want to consider mindfulness. It's a set of methods that help shift focus when feeling overwhelmed and bring attention back to the present moment. They commonly involve breathing exercises and there are many more that you can experiment with to see which work.

Dealing with Different Types of Characters
They won’t always meet people that they get along with and vice versa. It’s okay and is a part of life. What’s important is that they are true to themselves. What sometimes happens is that children get wrapped up in the need to fit in and make friends that they lose sight of this.

Ask Questions
Once they’ve plucked up the courage to introduce themselves, they will need to make conversation. This can be tricky when talking to complete strangers, but the key is to listen and learn. Encourage them to ask questions and pay an interest. That way they will be able to see whether they will get along or not and form a basis for their friendship.

A good place to start would be to get socialising within their existing social circle. Arrange for playdates with friends and family so that they’re able to learn how to interact with others and have practice before starting school.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Egypt is one of the most famous travel destinations in the world with the amazing pyramids in Giza to the longest river on earth, the Nile River. Here are some important things you need to know before you travel to Egypt in 2023.

The local currency is the Egyptian Pound. As a rule, the best exchange rates are found once you've arrived in Egypt - US Dollars, British Pounds and Euros are the easiest currencies to convert, and you can take cash out at the majority of ATMs.

British passport holders travelling to Egypt normally need a visa. You can either buy it online from the official visa2egypt portal before you travel or you can pay on arrival which is 25 USD in cash.

If you wanting to drink alcohol whilst in Egypt it's best to buy it at Duty Free as it is hard to source. As Egypt is a majority Islamic country, most people do not drink. So you will need to go to expat areas or super touristy areas such as cruise ships/ resort areas to buy if you are not staying at a hotel.

You will also be able to buy alcohol at almost all the high end restaurants, check out Drinkies which is an alcohol delivery service.

The cuisine is very vegan and vegetarian friendly. For Vegan options ask for Seyami foods, which is what Coptic Egyptians eat during their fast which is Vegan (with the exception of fish). In Egypt, drinking water from the tap is not recommended. So make sure you use bottled water to drink and brush your teeth.

Be prepared to tip
You are expected to tip after every service given, for example if someone just took a photo for you. If you are staying at a hotel the workers prefer USD or GBP as it is easier for them to exchange. Generally, in Egypt, you should tip between 10 and 15%.

Dress modesty
Light fabrics like linen, cotton and athletic clothing are ideal for the heat. Just remember to cover up from your shoulders to below the knee, especially at religious sites. While women are expected to dress more conservatively than men, even the guys should try and dress modesty as well.

Get a tour guide
Travelling in a new country can be very daunting, so finding a guide could be a godsend. Typically most tour operators come with a driver, and it will save you lots of stress, time, and money. If you are travelling in a group a tour operator can showcase the best Egypt has to offer. Hurghada excursions are great for making the most of your trip to Egypt.

Learn a few sayings
If you are wanting to explore the country it is ideal learn a few saying. "La Shukran" means No thank you if you want to politely want to tell someone in the market that you do not want to buy their goods. "Sabah al-khair" means Good morning and "Yalla" means lets go!.

Best time to Visit
The best time to visit Egypt is between October and April, temperatures are cooler but you are still guaranteed sun, ideal if you are wanting to spend Christmas in the sunshine. The cheapest time to visit is in May

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Retirement is an exciting part of life that lets you stop and slow down for a while. It's vital that you pick the right area for retirement, or you could find yourself living in an area that doesn't match your needs.

Texas is a vast state with countless types of cities to suit anyone's wishes! If you're eager to move somewhere fresh and aren't sure where to land: consider retiring in one of these areas.

If you love live music and want to live somewhere that feels like paradise, it's time to head to Austin! This fantastic city has everything from incredible music venues to the best food in the state. Although it's a younger crowd, this is a wonderful place to retire if you want to stay young at heart.

Not only are the roads walkable, but there's so much to do and see here that you'll never run out of fun and interesting activities. This is the best destination for anyone who still feels like they're in their 20s or 30s!

El Paso
Not only is El Paso houses for sale the most affordable on this list, but this community is such a perfect mix of a big city and small town that anyone could fall in love with it! As a border town, El Paso has a wonderful blend of American and Mexican cultures that lets you feel like you live in some third different country somewhere in the middle.

There's a lot to see and do here, and the locals are always welcoming and excited to meet some fresh faces. The low air-moisture content will ensure your joints are a lot nicer to you as well.

Houston should be considered because of how many older and retiree groups there are! Countless people retiree here and enjoy the year-round golf courses, the incredible views, and the short two-hour drive to the beach.

Houston is also one of the most affordable cities on this list! Here you can really dive into the arts or enjoy watching the Astros play live! There's so much to do and see here that you'll never want to leave once you land.

Just a couple of minutes outside of Dallas, Arlington gets the charm of big-city living without all of the terrible traffic. This city is home to the Dallas Cowboys and their cheerleaders! Here you can enjoy the great local walks through history, the fantastic trails for biking and hiking, and the fantastic sense of community amongst local retired people!

San Antonio
With the oldest average age in Texas, San Antonio has been a hotspot for retirees for ages! This city offers individuals the opportunity to escape into a community of like-minded people who are the same age and get to feel like they're the norm. Here you can connect with plenty of elderly and retiree communities, and you'll feel like you belong!

Texas is a Retiree’s Dream

Whether you want to live in a metropolitan area or you're more into the idea of a rural town, any of the cities in Texas will pleasantly surprise you! Consider moving to the Lone Star State soon!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

School trips aren’t just a fun day off school for children, they are actually very beneficial for a range of reasons. They can begin as early as nursery level and take students on a range of amazing adventures they’ll never forget. I’ve teamed up with a private school in Surrey to explore the benefits of school trips in further detail below.

Helps Children and Teachers to Bond
Spending time outside of the classroom together is a great way for children to bond with their peers and get to know their teachers a little better. By improving these relationships, children are in a better position to enjoy classroom learning more, because they are doing so with people they have connected with.

Encourages Independence
Depending on the child’s age, school trips are great for helping youngsters become more independent. They have to take care of their belongings and manage money, amongst other things, without their parents there to tell them what to do. What’s more, they might have to speak to strangers to ask for directions or any number of other reasons, which will help them become more confident being away from home and out of their comfort zone.

Heightens Learning

Not all students learn well by reading from a textbook. Experiencing things in real life is a great way to bring learning to life and makes it more memorable. It will be far easier for students to recall information in their exams if that information is attached to a fond memory of a school trip.

Inspires Good Behaviour
If children have a school trip to look forward to, they might feel more motivated to work hard and behave well in class. This is a great way for teachers to keep their class in check!

As well as the benefits listed above, school trips are great fun for kids. After months of studying, it’s nice for them to let their hair down and enjoy themselves outside of the four walls of their usual classroom.

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