Prising free of my own perfectionism

My very nearly eight-year-old played Flounder in an amateur kids’ production of The Little Mermaid musical this weekend. I expected to be emotional (lots of welling up and wiping away tears: check!), proud (heart wildly drumming seeing her so confident and happy on stage: check!) and tired (check: it’s been months leading up to this, four performances in one weekend and I wasn’t even the one that involved!). What I didn’t expect was to be revisited by my lifelong frenemy, perfectionism. Perfectionism snuck up on me as I found myself assessing her and weighing up whether I felt this was…

View Post

Shifting gears: home education and “having it all”

I’ve been doing a lot of multi-tasking recently. Anyone who knows me well, knows that this just means there’s even more background noise than usual. On paper it looks like I’m attempting to have it all. I’m continuing to build my freelance writing business, increasing my voluntary work, sharing in home educating our children, attempting to cooperate in keeping the house reasonable and the people in it fed and, somehow, getting ready to perform a collection of my poetry at Penzance Literary Festival in a couple of months. And that’s just the stuff on the surface, the things I’m able…

View Post

How do we share our faith with our children respectfully?

Here at the grand crescendo of the Christian calendar, Easter, I thought I’d talk about how we communicate our spiritual beliefs, and perhaps our religious traditions, in ways that respect our children’s autonomy. In the past, when I’ve mentioned that we read Bible stories or that we go to church, I’ve been asked by various people whether I was worried about indoctrination. If you’re one of those people, this post truly isn’t aimed at you and there have been quite of few of you. If I bristled when you asked, it was because you touched a nerve. I’ve been on…

View Post

And if the garden is all we have: Ideas for nature play at home

When we talk about connecting with nature, getting ourselves and our children outdoors, we often imagine wild swims in hidden natural pools, challenging hikes along stunning coastline or, at the very least, a run around a National Trust property. But there are many reasons why people might find it difficult to get out like this. They may not have the time or funds, their location might make it difficult, their health may limit their mobility or their families may need to work up to spending more time outside. This week I’ve been collaborating with Multicultural Motherhood on the #7daysofoutdoorplay challenge…

View Post

Creating meaningful birthday traditions for children

Last month we celebrated Ophelia’s fifth birthday. I am in no way used to her being 5 yet. She just yesterday started saying the “L” sound instead of replacing it with the “Y” sound. I’m going to miss all those “yions” and “yetters”, and I may not be able to quite cope with her being able to accurately pronounce all the names in our family. How have I noticed we have a theme of L’s in our names now that she can say them? In the lead up to her birthday, I began making her birthday crown, sharing the progress…

View Post

Jackson Reece compostable wet wipes and green skincare – review and giveaway

Jackson Reece have sent me products for the purpose of this review and are supplying prizes for this giveaway Disposable wipes are realistically part of most parents’ lives. Even though I use cloth wipes, I still find it useful to have a packet of disposables with me when on the go. I only began to seriously wonder about them when talk of the government banning wet wipes to protect marine life hit the news last year and I reckon so many of us would welcome a valid alternative to wipes that don’t break down for hundreds of years, putting more…

View Post

Home educated children are not missing education or invisible

Like so many home educators in England, I watched the much discussed episode of Channel 4’s Dispatches, “Skipping School: Britain’s Invisible Kids” earlier this week. The episode itself I didn’t find compelling viewing – a bizarre soup of tenuously related issues thrown together, overwritten with repetitive commentary, meant both to get the audience worked up and force some meaning on this mess. However, I know that many watching the programme won’t see it this way. The Children’s Commissioner’s report referenced in this documentary is part of a bigger conversation around home education that has become difficult, and even dangerous, for…

View Post