Monday, 5 October 2020

Meet the Artists Curriculum Review

I am a very creative person so I love to do arts and crafts with my children but one thing that was missing from my own education was an appreciation and knowledge of great works of art. I know of a few artists, but not many, and I don't know much about their lives and inspiration. Because of my lack of knowledge, I wasn't sure how to start teaching my own children about this subject. Therefore, I was delighted to be sent a copy of this brand new art curriculum, Meet the Artists, to review.

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Friday, 11 September 2020

The Importance of Play


The start of a new homeschool year normally causes me to reflect. I reflect on the last year and I also reflect on the year to come, thinking about how I want it to be. I ponder our homeschool environment and what I want learning to look like. One thing I always come back to is play. I am truly grateful that homeschooling allows my children to play, both indoor and out, and learn as they go. Play is such an important part of early childhood that Sue Palmer, states in her latest book, 'Upstart', "Love and play are the greatest gifts any generation can hand on to the next". Furthermore, she claims that there is no doubt that play is a vital factor in childhood health and wellbeing, but why is that?
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Thursday, 27 August 2020

A Liturgy of Love Morning Time Curriculum Review



Morning Time is a concept developed by homeschool mum of 9, Cindy Rollins over the last 30 years. It is a time for the family to come together and connect while reading, singing, learning and worshipping. It is the gentle way to start the day before moving on to more structured lessons or learning activities.

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Monday, 17 August 2020

Is Screen Time the Biggest Cause of Speech and Language Delay?





Early language skills are so important and research studies have shown how language ability at two years of age predicts later life outcomes. You may wonder how this is possible but we know that the first two years of a child's life is extremely important. Over the course of the first two years, the brain grows rapidly, more rapidly than at any other stage of life. In the first year it doubles in size and by the age of two, it is 85% of adult size. During this time, a child's brain is building structural and functional connections, wiring up the neural networks as the child experiences new things and gains new skills and abilities. Screens can impact on this early development, often in a negative way. In this article I describe the ways screen time can affect speech and language development.

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Monday, 3 August 2020

How Husbands Can Support Breastfeeding


Multicultural motherhood


I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding. I breastfed all four of my babies; the eldest for about a year and the other three for about 2 years. I loved it. I loved the bond it created between my babies and I, I loved how convenient it was and I loved how it gave my babies the best nutrition that was just right for them at each stage of their early development. According to WHO, "Breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life. It delivers health, nutritional and emotional benefits to both children and mothers. And it forms part of a sustainable food system. But while breastfeeding is a natural process, it is not always easy. Mothers need support – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding." Now that isn't to say that it will be right for every family. I know that it is not possible for every baby to be breastfed, but if you are able to, it is wonderful.

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Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Top 50+ Hajj Activities For Kids



Today was the start of Dhul al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month of the Islamic year. It is a special time of year for Muslims and is marked by the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. This pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam so every Muslim must aim to go on Hajj at least once in their lifetime, if they are able to. 
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Saturday, 2 May 2020

Homeschooling Tips and Resources for EAL Families


School closures mean that everyone is now temporarily homeschooling and many parents are anxious about this. It is perhaps even more worrying for families who have English as an additional language. Parents may be feeling overwhelmed with the workload being sent to their children and with the thought that they may have to help their children complete it in English.

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Monday, 6 April 2020

Which Language Should I Homeschool in?


The coronavirus pandemic has caused many countries to go into lockdown and this means that schools have closed. Because of this, a lot of families are finding themselves homeschooling for the first time. This raises a dilemma for multilingual families: which language should they homeschool in?

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Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Why You Don't Need to Replicate School at Home During the Coronavirus Crisis


We are living in uncertain times due to the coronavirus pandemic. The world is going into lockdown to try to prevent the spread of the virus. Schools are closing and that means that many parents are having to think about homeschooling their children for the first time.

I look on social media and I see many parents panicking about how to teach their children at home. They worry that they will not be able to teach their children and that their children will be missing out on their education. Well, as a homeschooling mother, let me reassure you that you do NOT have to replicate school at home. Here’s why:
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Tuesday, 3 March 2020

We're Going on a Bear Hunt Sensory Story Time


World Book Day 2020 is just around the corner so we have been spending lots of time reading books and doing activities related to our favourites. One of our favourite children's books is 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' by Michael Rosen. This is a story that has enchanted children for generations. I was read it by my parents when I was small and now I read it to my own children, in Turkish as well as English! The book has been translated into many languages and it can be really fun to learn the vocabulary, especially the sound words (swishy, squelch, hoo woo etc.) in another language!

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Monday, 24 February 2020

Raising Bilingual Kids When OPOL Doesn't Work


         
The one parent, one language approach is one of the most widely used language strategies for bilingual families. I have previously written about different bilingual language strategies and how it is best to speak to your child in the language you are most proficient in. This may not necessarily be your first language, or mother tongue. For example, you may have stopped speaking your first language once you started school and not picked it back up again. You may have moved to another country and started speaking a different language and now you feel more comfortable speaking, and are more proficient in, this new language. There may be other reasons for it too. You may be equally proficient in more than one language and, therefore, you can choose which language you would like to speak to your child. 

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Sunday, 16 February 2020

Emergent Literacy and Beyond - Online Course


Literacy is one of the most important skills humans can learn. According to the National Literacy Trust, 'Lacking vital literacy skills holds a person back at every stage of their life.' Without the ability to read and write, children will struggle at school and in the work place. As parents, they will struggle to facilitate their own children's learning. The National Literacy Trust has carried out a lot of research into literacy and a person's ability to read and write has been shown to affect life outcomes and even life expectancy! The National Literacy Trust found that life expectancy can be shortened by 26 years for those living in areas with poorest literacy skills. So, having good literacy skills is highly important for learning throughout life and improving life chances.

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Tuesday, 11 February 2020

The Trouble With Phonics


In 2006, British schools were told to teach children to read using a method known as systematic synthetic phonics. Prior to this, phonics was not used across the board and other methods, such as the whole word method, were used too.

If you have been following me on social media for some time, you will know about my dislike of systematic synthetic phonics as a method for teaching young children to read and write English. Let me tell you why.

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Friday, 31 January 2020

Barnes Brothers Book Reveiws


I am thrilled to be taking part in Multicultural Children's Book Day for the third year running! Multicultural Children's Book Day is a great initiative that aims to promote and celebrate diverse children's books as well as get more of these books into libraries and schools.

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Sunday, 26 January 2020

10 Outdoor Activities For Kids in Winter

 

Getting out and about in winter can definitely be a challenge. When we look out of the window and see the bleak, winter sky or frost on the grass, it can seem easier to stay indoors in the warm. However, bad weather always looks worse through the window and once you get out in it it really won't be so bad! 

Motivation to get outdoors


Feeling motivated to get outdoors in the winter is all about your mindset. You need to believe that going out will be enjoyable and that it will be a fun thing to do for the whole family. Therefore, I am going to share my favourite outdoor quotes to inspire and motivate you!

"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without." - Charlotte Mason

"Once get in touch with nature and a habit will be formed which will be a source of delight through life." - Charlotte Mason

"We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his own degree, and it in inexcusable to live in a world so full of marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things." - Charlotte Mason

"The sense of beauty comes from early contact with nature." - Charlotte Mason

"When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength." - Maria Montessori

"The land is where are roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth." - Maria Montessori

"There is no description, no image in any book capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all the life to be found around them." - Maria Montessori

"A child, more than anyone else, is a spontaneous observer of nature." - Maria Montessori

Now that you feel inspired, I would like to share my top 10 outdoor activities for kids to do in winter.


10 outdoor activities for kids in winter


1) Go on a winter scavenger hunt. Put together a list of things for your children to find outside and then go out and search for them. You can even get a FREE printable scavenger hunt HERE.

2) Look out for winter plants and animals. You may think of winter as a time when a lot of plants and animals are dormant but there are plenty of signs of life if you look closely! Try looking out for different winter plants and animals next time you go on a nature walk.

3) Explore ice. Playing with ice will offer children lots of fun learning experiences. You can talk about how ice is formed and watch it melt using different methods. See if you can spot some ice in frizen puddles when you go out and about or create ice by leaving trays of water outdoors over night.

4) Make patterns in frosty grass. I did not know how exciting frost is for children until we went on a nature walk recently. There were large expanses of frosty grass and the children spent a long time running through it, listening to it crunch under their feet and creating beautiful patterns. Perhaps your children will enjoy this simple activity too!

5) Build a fire and toast marshmallows. When it all gets a bit too cold, you can always light a fire and toast some marshmallows or other treats. Building a fire and doing some backwoods cooking is one of my children's favourite outdoor activities.


6) Draw winter trees. Many trees lose their leaves in winter so you can see their trunks and branches clearly. They can look quite impressive against the winter sky. Take some paper and sketching or painting materials outdoors and create pictures of the winter trees.

7) Make bird feeders for the birds. In winter food is scarce so making some bird feeders for the birds is a great thing to do. Bird feeders are simple to make. Try putting lard or peanut butter on a pine cone and rolling it around in some bird seed. Then tie it to a tree with some string. Alternatively you can thread multigrain hoop cereal onto a pipe cleaner or piece of string and hang those up for the birds. This make a great fine motor activity for littel ones!

8) Learn about snowflakes. I didn't know how interesting snow was until I read the book 'The Secret Life of a Snowflake' by Kenneth Libbrecht. This book is brilliant for teaching children all about snowflakes; how they are formed and what shape they take. It also includes stunning pictures of snowflakes close up. I highly recommend it!

 

9) Record the weather. The weather may be cold and wet but there may be some interesting things to record. Apart from temperature, record things such as frost, fog, snow, ice, rain and cloud formation. See if you can predict the weather from the types of clouds you see.

10) Have fun in the snow! Unfortunately we do not get much snow here in the UK but if you are lucky enough to live somewhere with snow, you are sure to have a lot of fun. Go sledging, build snowmen and have snowball fights!

What are your favourite things to do outdoors in winter? Let me know in the comments below! 





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Saturday, 25 January 2020

Creating a Phenology Wheel


A phenology wheel is a lovely way to record your nature observations each month. It is a perfect, visual memoir to look back on the seasonal changes that occured in your local area over the last year and a wonderful activity to add to your nature study.

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Monday, 13 January 2020

Goals for 2020


At the start of the year I like to do what most people do and set myself some goals for the year. These are things that I would like to work on and improve over the coming year or something new that I would like to do. Sometimes I stick to the goals and my life feels better for it. Other times I fail miserably and that's ok. The point is to try your best and see how it goes, remembering not to be too hard on yourself if what you planned to do doesn't materialise.

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Monday, 6 January 2020

Best of Multicultural Motherhood Blog 2019

 

At the end of each year I like to do a round up of my most popular blog posts of the year. In the last year I did not blog nearly as much as I did in the previous year and this was mainly due to the amount of time I spent creating and running my brand new parenting courses. However, I did write some very popular blog posts and here they are; the best of Multicultural Motherhood 2019!

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