Home education review: Reading Chest

Talitha’s been trying out and thoroughly enjoying a levelled book subscription service called Reading Chest. The idea is that your child receives books in the post and when they finished reading them, they put them in supplied envelopes and pop them in a post box to receive more. She’s actually a proficient reader now so she doesn’t need levelled readers. She’s just finished reading The Railway Children, borrowed from the library, for instance. However, she’s enjoying the Reading Chest’s “Extended Readers Book Band”. They’re fun, quick reads and I like that they often raise interesting points for conversation, especially if…

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On punishing myself as a parent

“You should never leave someone alone if they don’t want to be alone!” my six year old appealed to me. Laurence had been gone for a couple of days. The twenty month old was doing early mornings with the change of seasons and I was running on a deficit of sleep. After a particularly tiring day where every transition had been a struggle for my four year old, I just felt done. Now she wasn’t ready to get out of the bath and all I wanted to do was put the baby to sleep so I could sleep. So, feeling…

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Eight reasons we home educate

I started this post on a day that took it out of me. I’d texted a friend earlier admitting that I was finding everything too hard, that school looked like an attractive option. And actually, come September, I could have two kids in school since Ophelia would be reception-aged. Almost as soon as I’d offloaded and she’d empathised, though, I knew that I didn’t mean it, as is often the way. The reasons we homeschool run deep, our third year in. Every now and then someone asks why we home educate. I wrote a little bit about it back when…

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Rediscovering intuition, wildness and sisterhood

I’ve experienced culture shock twice. The first time I was nineteen. I’d just moved to Brighton from Trinidad to study English Lit at university. There wasn’t a language barrier (much – there still managed to be a lot I didn’t understand or couldn’t make understood easily) but just about everything else was unfamiliar, from the sense of humour to the cultural markers to the public transport. But I was fortunate to fall into a lot of fast friendships that sustained me through those years and many of those people remain close friends today. In a way, the second culture shock…

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Choosing the best floor for your family

This post is brought to you by Luxury Flooring Delilah is now seventeen months and I’m open to the possibility that she could be pottying soon. Nappy changes are becoming gymnastic feats and she is so communicative about everything. When I mentioned it to Laurence tonight, we got on to the topic of what flooring works best for family life. After all, a big part of the reason I never managed to stick it out with elimination communication was that I psychologically couldn’t cope with the mess. Our last house was mostly carpeted, a constant frustration to me. That carpet…

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Don’t wait to talk to your kids about sex

My six year old asked me the other day whether men’s bodies store sperm or make it continually. She qualified the question by pointing out that she knew baby girls were born with all their eggs. As we talked we got on to the subject of what happens once a month when an egg isn’t fertilised, how you insert a menstrual cup and why I’m not menstruating at the moment (ie lactational amenorrhea). She wandered off, seamlessly losing interest and moving on to something else but I paused, grateful that we’re able to have conversations like these. I’m also aware…

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Ten tips to keep your home safer this winter

This post is brought to you by Newview. You never think your house is going to get broken into until it happens. Both Laurence and I know too many people amongst our families and friends who’ve been burgled to be cavalier and yet we could certainly do with giving it more thought. I’ve thrown together a few ideas here, which may be especially useful for those going away over Christmas and New Year’s. Leave a light on When away for a weekend or longer, leaving a light on can be a simple deterrent to potential burglars. If someone is taking…

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