We’re Hungry Too by Sylvia Green a book with a message. It is for younger readers but I enjoyed reading it and will be sharing with my children as part of our home education journey. I have made the decision that we are not going to limit our reading missing out on the magic of books for younger children particularly as they are so often beautifully illustrated and have moral messages to share.

We're Hungry Too

The story

The story is about a little girl who is staying with her Auntie. Food is relevant both  the meals and treats provided as part of her sleepover but also in other ways as they spend the day together.

The characters

The main characters are Ellie and Auntie Miranda. The book is also filled with animals who really do bring the book to life especially as they speak particularly about their rumbly tummies.

The message

We’re hungry too shows how we don’t always see the full picture in any given situation. It encourages us to be more aware of what is actually going on by observing and communicating. That’s a particularly powerful life lesson right there.

We’re hungry too

Hunger is a big issue and a disturbing one. This book introduces the topic in a accessible way which will not upset young readers. That is great in itself but the book also gives resources so that your family can get involved in the battle against hunger via a variety of good causes listed in the book.

The author

Sylvia said: “I included the organisations at the end of the book as they are all caring organisations which tie in with my motivation for writing the book.  That is, caring for all of creation not just the obvious or more appealing creatures.  Also I wanted to show that you don’t have to be an adult to help animals or people – there is a lot that children can do and the websites featured give good ideas and advice.

 

Sylvia Green is the author of a popular series of Christmas animal stories including The Best Christmas Present Ever (Second edition 2014), The Christmas Wish (2004) and The Christmas Pony (2001), all published by Scholasttic. She lives in Walton-upon-Thames, Surrey with her family and two cats.

 

Read With Me

I am little late sharing my highlights of my week but I seem to have managed to carve out a little time to do so.

I am delighted that my soon to be 18 year old wants to spend his 18th with me. He does not want expensive things but does want me to make him a cake and to go out for a meal with him. How such a chaotic mum has managed to bring up such a bright, sensitive and caring young man I do not know but I am so pleased he is mine.

He is also reaching out mow with my help to volunteering and work experience opportunities largely in the politics and history fields. He is amazing and soon he will realise this when he starts getting feedback from people other than myself.

He is so appreciative too saying how he loves that we have a weekly takeaway night and also a family meal out every week.

My daughter’s main news is that finally we have got her new glasses ordered. Her eyes have not changed much thankfully and very soon she will be getting rid of the Jack Duckworth look. She has picked some super attractive purple frames and the lovely optician made everything super easy. Big shout out to Vision Express in Plymouth who made her feel at ease which is not always easy.

She is working well on mathematics today and got 80 per cent right and quickly worked out where she had gone wrong in the other 20 per cent. She is loving listening to music, reading, writing and designing as ever.

My youngest son is still in post-birthday happiness mode. He had some new games which he is enjoying. He is doing mathematics with enthusiasm both listening to our explanations (because yes Dad is helping too!) and also going off and doing worksheets in his own time.

We had the most lovely Armistice Day with at least 3 nationalities celebrating together showing that however peace is threatened, it can return stronger than ever. We had lovely blue skies too and the special breeze that comes I think when the dead are impressed with us for remembering them. In the afternoon, we visited a really interesting Roman villa followed by a sneaky trip to MacDonalds just because.

Social life is balanced so I was out for my adoption day and then on Thursday too but kept things quiet and snuggly at home on the other nights.

What have you enjoyed in the last week?


R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

As a parent, it’s tempting to let your children enjoy the carefree days of childhood without any real responsibility. We all want our children to be happy, and what’s more enjoyable than playing and creating without any obligation or accountability?

Feelings of accomplishment, self-sufficiency, and independence contribute to a child’s enjoyment and continue to fuel a sense of self-worth and happiness as they grow into adulthood. And children are more than capable of “working” and still enjoying the process and the benefits for their developing minds.

By using chores to teach your children skills that will help them navigate the road to well-adjusted adulthood, you create a strong, reliable foundation for a satisfying life. Starting at an early age and letting your children progressively take on more responsibility will help develop positive habits and develop life skills that will last a lifetime.

Self-Sufficiency

The words “I can” may just be two of the most important words your child will ever say to themselves, especially early in life. Allowing your children to complete household chores on their own helps to develop that all-important grit and “can do” attitude. Merely knowing that they can accomplish a task helps your children trust their abilities and makes them more willing to take on other tasks that may be unfamiliar or appear difficult.

Keep in mind that completing a task or chore alone is enough; their attempts don’t need to be perfect or even well done. The sense of self-sufficiency comes from achieving something, regardless of how well it’s done. While it’s okay to guide them and help when necessary, just knowing that you have faith in their abilities to get the job done is the critical part at this stage of their development.

Responsibility

That sense of belonging that is so important to your children is strengthened by giving them responsibility. A child who is given a chore to complete will naturally feel that their contribution is valued and that their help is necessary as a part of the family.

Think of a job where you weren’t given any responsibility. You’ll know exactly how children feel when they aren’t given a chance to contribute and be a part of the “team.”

That sense of responsibility you are helping to develop spills over into many other aspects of your children’s wellbeing. When you give your child responsibility for accomplishing something, you are nourishing their self-worth, sense of reliability and other parts of their psyche. Above all else, you are telling them that you know you can count on them and that they are needed.

Teamwork

While it’s important to allow young children to complete chores without additional help, that doesn’t mean you can’t “work” side-by-side and instill a sense of self-sufficiency. Developing an understanding of inter-dependency in your children is just as important as creating a sense of independence. This ability to understand the necessity of relying on others will give them the skills they need to build healthy relationships as they mature.

The benefits of doing chores with your children are numerous. Not only do you get the chance to guide them in developing their skills for completing chores well, but you also enjoy that sometimes elusive “quality time” that is so critical for you and your child. You get the opportunity to teach them that working together can often result in a more desirable outcome and get the job done quicker!

Routine and Structure

Children need structure, and they feel most comfortable when their lives follow a familiar routine. Consistently helping out with chores around the house, especially with a somewhat regular schedule, gives your children a sense of structure.

Your children will quickly learn how developing a routine helps them more easily accomplish things that are their responsibility. As your children become more proficient in completing their chores, their sense of accomplishment will continue to grow.

Work Ethic

As your children become accustomed to routine chores, they will naturally begin to understand the relationship between hard work and accomplishment. The simple correlation between scrubbing harder and a cleaner floor and the general sense of wellbeing they get from putting forth a little extra effort will go a long way to developing a strong work ethic.

Time Management

As your children get older, they will find that their progressively fuller schedule will no longer allow them to focus exclusively on one routine or task. Getting things done on a regular basis becomes more difficult. Juggling homework, their social life, and chores around the house will be difficult. Your children will need to develop new skills to handle the increasing demands on their time.

With older children, it may be tempting for you to take some of the responsibilities off of your child’s plate to allow them to focus more on pressing things like academics. After all, no parent wants to watch their child struggle to keep up with their responsibilities or fall behind in their studies. However, giving in to this natural desire to keep your children from feeling overwhelmed means missing the chance to help them gain critical time management skills that will be essential in adulthood. Your children are perfectly capable of developing the coping skills needed to get through trying times.

By using chores to teach your children essential skills and life lessons, you are taking advantage of the most formative years in their life. When you help them develop the strong foundation these valuable life skills create, you are giving them the tools they’ll need to grow into well-adjusted and dependable adults.

Thank you to The Maids for providing this content.

Using Chores To Teach Your Children Valuable Life Skills

My Random Musings

When you have a family, it is important that you are spending as much time together as possible. There are many ways that you can bring your family together such as going on days out, playing games together or eating together. Family dinners have seemed to go out of fashion in recent years, but we think that they are very important. Here, we are going to give you some reasons why you should try out family dinners and bring them back. Keep reading to find out more.

Encourage Healthy Eating

The first reason that you should bring back family dinners is the fact that it can actually encourage healthy eating. If your teenagers are cooking their own meals, then it is unlikely that they will be making something healthy. On top of this, by cooking one meal that is shared amongst the family at the dinner table will encourage younger children to eat it. You might find that if you have separate meal times, your kids won’t be able to see the example that you are setting and might be unwilling to eat healthy meals. Make sure to cook a lot of fruit and vegetables and have a big jug of water on the table rather than bottles of fizzy juice. Improve your habits and your kids’ habits will soon follow.

Improve Relationships

Having a good relationship with your family members is very important and having regular family dinners can really encourage that. When you all sit down at the dinner table, you can talk about your day and your plans for the week. This is a great way of getting to know your kids more and ensuring that they are staying safe when out without you. Of course, not everyone has time to have regular family dinners due to differing schedules but if you can organise one or two per week then you will find that communication improves in your family.

Make Use Of Your Dining Room

Many people have a dining room in their house that they never get around to using. This is a good reason to bring back family dinners and have your family sit together in your nicely decorated room. If you are going to have regular family dinners, then you’ll need to have a good quality dining table that will fit everyone that needs to be there. Be sure to check out the following guide by Fishpools on how to choose the right dining room table: https://www.fishpools.co.uk/blog/2018/08/rectangular-round-dining-tables-decide/ –  this will help ensure that you are ready for bringing back those family dinners.

Save Money

Do you find that you are spending a lot of money on takeaways or on separate ingredients for the different meals that you are making? This is a good reason to start having family dinners where everyone eats the same thing, and nothing is wasted each week. You don’t need to get rid of takeaways entirely as these can still be eaten at the dinner table, but you should make sure to cut down on them if you want to save money. Plan your meals for the week and only buy the ingredients that you need for each meal. You will see how much money you can save in the long run if you avoid making a lot of meals and having a lot of wasted ingredients. Sit down with your family to eat a few times a week and you should be able to cut costs in the future.

Explore New Foods

The final reason that you should think about bringing back family dinners in your home is the fact that you can encourage your kids to explore new foods. If you are always cooking a separate meal for your kids, then you might find that you are sticking to the same recipes because you know they like them. When you eat as a family, you can cook meals that they might not have tried before that will suit you as well. When your kids see their siblings or parents trying new foods, they might be more willing to try them. This is a great way of getting your kids into new world foods and improving the flavours that they are trying.

Final Verdict

Many families rarely see each other because of after-school clubs, parents working long hours and many more reasons. If your family are struggling to communicate with each other then you might find that making them all sit down to a family meal a few times a week could really help. Try to make time for these meals and you should find that they can really improve relationships. On top of this, you’ll save money, so it will be worth making this change in the end.

 

 

 

5 Reasons To Bring Back Family Dinners

My Random Musings

 

The Teenage Girls’ Survival Bible has a title that grabs your attention. It is true that teenage girls are facing more pressures than every before. The social  media networks drives them to tweak themselves into something they may not be. News and campaigns let them know that there are bad people in the world who really are out to abuse them. So I was keen to review The Teenage Girl’s Survival Bible.

Teenage Girls' Survival Bible

The Teenage Girls’ Survival Bible

Make-up artist to the stars, Jane Bradley has written  an illustrated guide for girls navigating their tricky teenage years. It is full of tips, tricks and cautions from make-up and looking good to big issues like sex, drugs and booze.

What my teenage daughter thought

My daughter was keen to look at the book and spent good hour or more reading it immediately. From time to time, she  would giggle and quote from the advice given. It wasn’t long before she was taking it to her bedroom for further reading. It certainly got her reading and took her away from her screens and her artwork.

What is covered in the book

The author writes about  boys and break-ups, friendships and love, bullying and panic attacks, depression and self-esteem. There’s tonnes of advice about your body too; from bad breath to B.O., periods, contraception and pregnancy. Going out? You’ll need to be ‘Streetwise’. Considering a tattoo or body piercing? Experimenting with drugs? Online dating? I smiled a little as I thought some older women including myself could learn from some of the tips given.

As a make-up artist to the stars, author Jane Bradley also shares her years of insider knowledge on make-up, skincare, hair care and style.

What I thought about the book

I liked the informal and conversational style. It was easy to read and get through quickly or to dip in and out of from time to time. Readers could just go to the sections that interested them most at the time. However, in the end for me it was heavily focused on image and seemed to send a bit of a mixed message. On the one hand, it was encouraging girls to be themselves but then spent a lot of time telling them how to make themselves different and attractive to boys. It did seem this book was aimed at heterosexual girls. I also thought there was not a firm enough message about the sense in not taking drugs or using alcohol only in very good moderation. Probably the bits I liked most as a mum were the quite random parts on washing label instructions and on quick fix meals.

Conclusion

If you have a teenage girl who wants to know how to put on make-up and make herself acceptable to boys, this is the book for you. My daughter was brought up by a mum who rarely if ever wears make-up and believes every woman is beautiful in her own right. So my daughter says she does not think she is gorgeous, she knows she is! Having said that, she enjoyed the book so perhaps buy it and make up your own mind.

ISBN: 9781789014464 Price: £15.99

The Teenage Girls' Survival Guide

 

 

 

 

My Random Musings