Home Education: One Scottish Mum’s first-hand experience

Jenny Eaves is a mummy of two small, delightfully energetic boys – five and two – and blogs at Monkey and Mouse. Based in Scotland, she started Monkey and Mouse in February 2015 as a way to share her daily adventures and family play ideas with others. She loves writing about travelling and days out, enjoying the countryside and many places of interest, both in the UK and abroad. Jenny gives us an interesting insight into what can be a controversial aspect of education.

How did you make the decision to home educate?

When my eldest was a year old I had begun to have thoughts about schooling and whether it would be right for our family.  I met a local home education group when he was 18 months old and decided there and then that home education would be the way forward for us. read more

Come out and play on National Children’s Day!

National Children’s Day UK (NCDUK) is all about the importance of a healthy childhood and how we need to protect the rights and freedoms of children in order to ensure that they can grow into happy, healthy adults. Children’s Day was originally established in 1954 by the UN General Assembly, and was intended as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. NCDUK was launched by the Save Childhood Movement in 2013, and since then they have run yearly campaigns each with a different theme.

NCDUK’s 2015 campaign focused on the ‘Science and Magic of Play’, highlighting the benefits of play and outlining some factors that have reduced children’s ability to play such as hurried lifestyles, a more risk-averse society and an increased focus on academic attainment. This year’s theme is particularly highlighting just how important the wellbeing of adults is to this process. read more

5 ways to unleash their creativity

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Creativity is defined as ‘the use of imagination or original ideas to create something’ and is an essential part of a child’s development. From painting and sculpting to drawing and building, creative play is a process that encourages children to explore all possibilities and try out new ideas.

Creating an environment rich with materials that inspire play will provide a safe place for children to unleash their imagination and creativity.  The Early Years Foundation Stage state ‘Expressive arts and Design’ as a specific area of a child’s learning development. This learning area is broken down into ‘exploring and using media and materials’ and ‘being imaginative’ encouraging experimentation with colour, design, texture, form and function. read more

The Magic of Imaginative Play

What is Imaginative Play?

Imaginative play see’s young learners take on the role of inventors and decision-makers, creating their own world where they are free to express their feelings and experiment with narratives. The Early Years Foundation Stage highlights Expressive Arts and Design as a specific area of learning and development, breaking it down into ‘being imaginative’ and ‘exploring and using media and materials’. Children often draw upon their own experiences and observations to represent their ideas through mediums such as art, dance, music, small world, pretend play and storytelling.

 

Why is it important?

Imaginative play is a key component of learning. It enables children to make sense of the world around them and to develop essential skills from problem solving to emotional intelligence. Here are some examples: read more

Five learning skills that can be developed at family game night!

As the evenings get darker and the countdown to Christmas is underway what better time to have a cosy night in and host a family game night? Gather the family together and escape the hustle and bustle that December brings; family games provide enjoyable quality time that boosts little learner’s self-esteem as they take on new challenges.

Board games and strategy games not only provide fun group activities, they also help children to make sense of social constructs such as rules and how to follow them, problem solving and how to deal with losing a game without being deterred from ever playing again. read more