Today, we had another day in the garden. Some chill time and lots of fun with an #activity or two! Happy Sunday.

Daddy and I moved the old patio and rubble (which will have to live in our garden until the recycling centres open back up) and I think we’ve hidden it rather well. If you spot it I’ll be most impressed.

Where the rubble had been is now where you can see the outdoor dining area. It’s been out of action all winter, which we wouldn’t have used in any case. It’s opened the garden up even more now we’ve cleaned it all! It’s amazing how much space this garden has.

When we bought the house, the garden was full of stuff: rockery, pond, vege patch, pagoda and a 10ft greenhouse. It made the garden feel quite small, it’s amazing what a bit of hard work and a little vision can achieve. I knew this garden had the potential to be a perfect family space.

I cut the grass, tidied up some more of the bushes and watered everything. Whilst the kiddies played this game... they love it. But they do get rather competitive!

What activities have you been up to today?

#mummyphotoaday

Today, we had another day...

We made the most of the day today and it feels good! Whilst Daddy finished off the final 13 patio slabs (which look incredible), I sorted the garden.

I pruned all the bushes, weeded the flower beds, got rid of a lot of thorny weedyness, painted the potting shed door and filled an entire green bin. 😂 I even trimmed the grass edge with grass scissors.

I am loving the garden more and more. I hope that the sun keeps on shining so that we can get it looking how we want before Summer. Making the most of #lockdown. It was lovely as our neighbours on either side, both over 60, offered advice and help today. Deano nearly ran out of sand and one neighbour dropped some over the fence. It’s nice to have a sense of community even though we are all in our homes.

We’re looking forward to playing in the garden tomorrow and making the most of this space.

#mummyphotoaday 
#myhousethismonth #mygardenthismonth

We made the most of...

We have joined the rest of the country and made a #rainbow design in our living room window. The kids have drawn one on a piece of paper and also used window felt pens to design a 🌈 on the pane itself. It looks pretty. The kiddies are very happy with them. They lit up when the neighbours asked for them to make them rainbows for the window.

I love this part of the front garden, you can just see the flowers are about to bloom any day now. Daffodils are hiding in amongst the tulips, hyacinths full of a deep purple, the Heather has come up a nice reddy purple too. By the front door there is a sea of purple from the aster (I think that’s what they are). Can you see the beautiful Camellia to the left of the kiddies too? It’s about to bloom with its bright pink flowers. The yellow Jasmine is just starting to grow on the right side of the kiddies, can you see it climbing up the wall?

There’s so much going on. It looks beautiful. I don’t remember it looking this pretty last Spring. Maybe I didn’t pay much attention. Or maybe these things have grown from random seeds I planted last year and forgot about. I can’t remember what I planted though 🤦🏼‍♀️ Does anyone else do that?

Have you seen many rainbows in the window of people’s homes?

#mummyphotoaday

We have joined the rest...

A very happy birthday to my first furbaby, Rambo. He is 13 today. I can’t believe he’s been in my life for 13 years, we’ve done so much and seen so many places. It’s gone so quickly.

He is so good, his temperament is just perfect. He’s not a yappy dog. He barks to mark his territory but that’s it. When the kids were toddlers, they would pull his fur out in clumps and he would just lay there. He cleans the other pets in the house and always makes sure the kids are safe at night time. It’s so cute. He’s such a loving, fatherly dog.

This little man is my follower at the moment; more so than normal. He follows me everywhere. If I’m on the loo, he will sit at the bathroom door staring at me. When I’m in the bath, he pushes the door open and sits next to me and stares. Right now, he’s currently snuggling under the duvet.

Let’s hope we can go and explore somewhere new in the summer, with amazing views and miles of countryside. Our favourite.

Thanks for all the adventures Rambo 🐾 and the snuggles! We love you lots.

A very happy birthday to...

I wonder what is going through their tiny minds right now? Do you think they consider things like we do? Do you think they #dream of what’s going on? The kids seem to be taking it all in their stride and albeit they are sad they can’t see their friends, they seem to be just getting on with it.

Whereas, I go through waves of different feelings. I’ve discovered I’m at my best when I just take each day as it comes. When I start to think about things globally, or the time period of lockdowns and when the kids are going back to school... that’s when I start to feel worried and glum.

I worry that my employer will soon say “sorry Sonia we’re not paying you anymore as you’re homeschooling”, or the worry that I’m not teaching my kids correctly and they’re missing too much of their education. Or the impact of isolation on the kiddies at this age, making friendships and building rapport with people.

I hope these are worries over nothing. And I know all of the kiddies in the world are in the same boat. But, as a parent you can’t help but worry.

So for now I’m trying not to think negatively. Trying not to think more than 1 day ahead (except maybe planning Easter Sunday dinner) and I’m trying to keep smiling. So my babies keep smiling.

Keep calm and carry on. Isn’t that the saying!

#mummyphotoaday

I wonder what is going...

This afternoons activity with Daddy looked like lots of fun: they gathered sticks and the kiddies built their own pile of firewood for a camp fire. They then sat around the fire pit to test whose camp fire would flame up the best!

Isla created a very structured camp fire, logical and a pattern to where she placed her sticks. Noahs looked more sporadic but covered a wider area.

Neither camp fires took fire, it was quite windy. So the kiddies enjoyed a hot chocolate and marshmallow around their piles of sticks.

They had fun though and that’s the main thing. I’m loving all of these practical tasks they’re doing with Daddy.

I’ve been waiting, all day, for someone to tell me it’s all a dream and we are still going to Dubai. But, unfortunately, no one jumped out screaming April #fool and alas, we are still at home. I’m gutted.

Lots to look forward to though and right now it’s about focussing on our main objective: stay at home at all times, unless to buy essential food & walk the dogs! I have actually loved being at home everyday. It’s my favourite place.

#mummyphotoaday

This afternoons activity with Daddy...

“We are very excited to try out this new food from Forthglade, it smells woofing delicious” 🐾 Straight from the doggies mouth!

I am very excited to announce that I am a new ambassador for @forthglade. What does that mean? Well, I get to try out the products and tell you all how good they are and get special offers and discounts for my followers too!

It’s such a strange time with lockdown, however finding out about Forthglade couldn’t have come at a better time. When I went to get our usual dog foods in the supermarket it had all sold out. So, resorting to online orders seemed a very natural thing to do to ensure our furbabies are fed.

This food is a minimum of 75% meat or fish and is free from junk. With Snoopy, he has a tummy condition which means we have to be careful what he eats, it’s perfect. We will keep you posted on what they thought! 🐾 #gifted

“We are very excited to...

🌼 April is here and along with it comes another set of photo keywords for #MummyPhotoADay photo challenge.

We should have been flying to Dubai today, so my insta squares would have been very different to what they now will be. I’m expecting to see lots of Spring colours and stay at home families instead this month.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #mummyphotoaday so I can comment and share my favourites throughout the month.

Does anyone have any creative stay at home plans for April?

🌼 April is here and...

Useful online resources for children whilst homeschooling

UPDATED 31 March 2020: I have found some incredible online resources from various sources and a lot of Googling last night. Perfect to keep your little ones entertained whilst homeschooling and working from home. We are going to try and keep the kiddies in their school routine as much as possible, just with different activities. We also have to juggle working from home, so some of these resources may mean that whilst they are concentrating on something for an hour, I get an extra hour of work done. Anything is going to help over the foreseeable. I am still in shock I think, I haven’t cried yet, although I have felt it a few times.

My kiddies are both in Primary school so the resources I have highlighted are for their age range, these are to help with homeschooling and break the day up (and have a little fun):

Websites for resources

White Rose Maths – Each day there is an activity for the kiddies to do and a video that explains the answers. This has been set by Isla’s teacher and it is a really great resource.

Corbett Maths Primary – they have a cool 5 a day section which allows you to print out maths questions for your little ones (they have the answers too). They have lots of worksheets and videos too.

Twinkl – I love this resource, I use it quite a lot. I managed to find some KS2 resources that they have put together especially for the school closures. I have printed out the packs and will be working through these worksheets with the kiddies as of next week.

BBC Bitesize – I love this site, they have also put together some special help for parents as schools are closing. They break the Primary section into subjects, so it is easier to find things.

Mathletics – This is a great website that offers maths learning games and learning through fun activities. It is a brilliant idea. The kids should have a log in from school if the school subscribes.

BrainPOP – A great resource for helping kids understand their world. They are offering free access whilst the schools are closed.

Discovery education – They have a selection of free resources for Primary school children. There is a daily challenge and video tutorials.

TT Rock stars – Times Tables Rock Stars is a great site for of fun and learning. Your child should have an account from their school.

Learning Resources – They have added some free resources on their blog: downloadable activity books for maths, science/STEM, language and reading support, animals and geography plus printable worksheets, activity sheets and play-based learning ideas to keep children busy indoors.

Hopster – They have filled the app with educational fun games and videos, they are aimed at younger children, but great for lighthearted fun for our kiddies too. They have extended the free trial from 7 days to 30 days whilst we are all stuck at home.

YouTube channels

Crash Course Kids – They cover Earth, Habitats, Space, Chemical Reactions, Engineering.

SciShow Kids – They explore the “why” topics that kids always ask about.

National Geographic kids – Lots of videos about our world. From weird and wacky, to cool science.

Twinkl – They have a YouTube channel too! Paper crafts, book reading and drawing tutorials.

BBC Teach – This is a great resource, history, geography and lots of learning resources.

Horrible Histories – The kiddies love this. Lots of videos, that make them laugh, about historic figures and eras.

Printers

If you are wanting to print out worksheets for your little ones, or work for yourself then you will need a printer. I received an email with a list of the top 10 printers and next day delivery for them too. I thought this was a great idea, as we do not have a printer at the moment. Out of the 10, I chose this Canon PIXMA and we are buying it to see us through this challenging time. We are used to PIXMA printers and know they are great little machines. (Not an ad).

printer

Workspace for homeschooling

Set up a space where the kiddies can work and they are not too close together, separate them into different rooms if necessary. Mine bicker a lot so I will play it by ear. I am planning on having break time at 10:30am, where they will be on the trampoline bouncing out some energy with each other and I am hoping that will help. We created a little story corner for the kids to have quiet reading time. Lots of fun ideas for tuck shops and leaving resources on the table. All great ideas.

We can do this homeschooling malarkey. I did want to be a teacher when I was younger, so this is giving me a little taste of what life could have been like! If you have any other tips then please add them in the comments below, we are all in this together and I thought this list of resources would be helpful for parents.

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Useful online resources for children whilst homeschooling

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