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Study Successfully: How To Help Our Kids Learn Better

Study Successfully: How To Help Our Kids Learn Better

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Seeing your child develop in school comes with many surprises, but one of the biggest shocks that we can all experience is when our children are not necessarily able to learn certain things or learn in certain ways. Studying is one of those things that our children don’t want to do, but this is why we’ve got to instil study habits. Studying can be difficult for children for a number of reasons; maybe they’re not getting enough sleep, or there are too many extracurricular activities, so let’s have a look at some of the best ways to help your child study.

Setting Reading Alternatives 

For many children, the notion of studying and sitting down to read a book means that they can easily get distracted. Instead, you can start to think about different ways to learn information. You can do things like design flashcards or look for online videos, but you can also get out into the real world. This can help your child in a subject, such as Geography, where they have to interact with something. The fact is that many schools offer Geography field trips, and English departments offer trips to the theatre as a way to interact with the subject. When you start to think about how your child interacts with the subject, it is going to make a big difference in how they retain the information.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

It’s not just about the internet, but it’s about using the right online resources. If your child is struggling in a certain subject a lot of resources can come in handy. Something like maths is incredibly overwhelming for children if they just don’t have the ability, but a game such as The Prodigy Math game can make a big difference here. There are a wide variety of apps and technology your child can use, but it’s just about making sure they have the right ones.

Setting Regular Breaks

It is impossible to study for 60 minutes straight as a grown-up, so imagine what it’s like as a child! This is where something like the Pomodoro technique could be very useful. Every 25 minutes, your child can take a 5-minute break, and this allows them to do something more useful with their time, such as stretching or going for a walk. The most important thing is to set a time to return to work.

Set Fixed Times to learn

It’s all about habits. Some children don’t head straight home after school, but have band practice, dinner, or family time. It may take a while to get into the habit, but set a start and end time, including breaks, but also give them time to adjust to the new schedule. Breaks are so important, especially if your child is already doing so much, but learning these time management tools can do a lot to help your child in the long run, not just in school, but in life.

Studying is one of those things that we all have a fraught relationship with. Getting the right tactics and tools in place will make a big difference.


Ways to help your child through their exams

Ways to help your child through their exams

Ways to help your child through their exams

As a parent of three boys, two of which have already experienced GCSE stress and worry and our youngest currently sitting his. We know all too well how demanding they are. We also know how much stress they can cause – both parent and child.

Naturally as a parent we want to help our children through in any way we can.

Here are a few tips on how we as parents can help our child:

  • It is very important to keep an eye out for any symptoms of stress or worry. Stress can affect people in many ways. Keep a close eye on your child’s behavior. If you notice any signs of stress or worry then try and get them to open up to you about what is worrying them so you can deal with it together.
  • Help them to be organised, they have a lot going on at this important time that things can easily be forgotten.
  • Make sure they are getting enough sleep. A good nights sleep works wonders. They will then be ready to tackle those dreaded exams with a clearer head.
  • Encourage time-out. This will help them to switch off for a little while. It will help reduce the stress levels. You could have some quality time together. Go for a meal out somewhere, enjoy some fresh air together for a while. Anything for time-out and a break away from it all for a bit. Let them have a friend sleep over to have a night off from worrying and studying. They can then re-visit the studying feeling refreshed.
  • Try and encourage them to drink plenty of water and cut down on the fizzy drinks.
  • Stress and worry can play havoc with your appetite. Make sure they are eating, even if little and often. Make them up a plate of finger foods to pick at whilst studying.

Ways to help your child through their exams

  • Make sure they have the space, peace and quiet to study. Having loads of noise and distractions can be hard when trying to study.
  • Offer to help, perhaps you can do some printing, photocopying, run some questions past them or even let them question you on a few things. We did that and it lifted the mood when we couldn’t answer the question – well at least it made them laugh!
  • Give them a break – their bedroom might be a mess but they have more important things going on at the moment.
  • Make sure they have all the essentials needed. Revision notes, resources, books, stationary etc.
  • Make sure that when they say they are studying they actually are. Some kids can be crafty and will actually be in their room on their phone. Perhaps try and encourage them to leave their phone with you to save any distractions, or do regular checks on them to see how they are getting on.
  • If study leave is given try and be home to offer support and to make sure they are taking regular breaks.
  • Work together with your child, perhaps draw up a revision timetable together that both agree on.

Ways to help your child through their exams

  • Try and motivate your child, get them talking about their goals in life and how they hope to achieve them.
  • Talk to them about their feelings and explain being nervous about the exams is normal. Perhaps ask the teacher to see if your child can look at past papers so they can see what they look like.
  • A reward at the end of it all can also help a great deal. If they sit every exam and try their best in each then an allowance set for a treat of their choice can help keep them motivated.
  • Give them plenty of hugs and reassurance. A hug can work wonders when we are all feeling stressed and worried.

Studying is important but it is also important not to overload our children with it all.  All we can really do is encourage, listen and support them the best we can. Let them know we are here to help in whatever way they need us to be.

Sending you all lots of luck


Education, Lifestyle, teenager, Travel

National Citizen Service – Bradley’s adventure

National Citizen Service - Bradley's adventure

National Citizen Service – Bradley’s adventure

Have you heard of The National Citizen Service? no me neither. Bradley came home a few weeks back now begging to go away with what he called “NCS”. Back then we hadn’t a clue what he was on about if we are honest. Since then we done some research and our first thoughts was “wow” – we was amazed at what they offer for teenaged children.

National Citizen Service - Bradley's adventure

We sat talking, and then started to think how we don’t recall anything like this being on offer when we was younger. The National Citizen Service is a government backed programme established in 2011 to help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society. By bringing together young people from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience, NCS helps them to become better individuals, and turn into better citizens.

National Citizen Service - Bradley's adventure

Once we had seen what an amazing experience was on offer for him how could we refuse him to go. Bradley will be doing his GCSE exams over the next few weeks and this experience will follow on from that, so he now has something to look forward to at the end of his very important exams.

Such as:

  • Outdoor team-building exercises
  • A residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’
  • A series of challenging activities to help him develop his strength of character
  • He will be helped to develop leadership skills necessary to succeed in the workplace
  • The experience enables young people to connect with their communities through a social action-packed project
  • For every £1 spent, NCS 2016 summer programme delivered between £1.15 and £2.42 of benefits back into society
  • There is also an end of programme celebration event

How amazing does all that sound? our teens today are so lucky.

National Citizen Service - Bradley's adventure

Almost 400,000 young people have taken part in this amazing experience and more than seven million hours of community action have been completed. How amazing is that? in fact this summer more than 100,000 teenagers from different backgrounds will be taking part in NCS. That means one in six of the cohort of 16 year olds will live together, develop skills together and build community projects together.

National Citizen Service - Bradley's adventure

Bradley is so looking forward to his time with NCS in July. The programme cost us just £50, that is including food, travel and also his accommodation for the few weeks with them which is just amazing value for money. Bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is also on offer for children with additional needs.

We wasn’t sure if Bradley would be able to attend NCS at first as we have a family holiday in July that had been booked up for months, but chatting with NCS and they helped us work around it to ensure that Bradley could still attend. If you have a child that may like to attend the experience but are worried due to commitments already booked, NCS are very helpful in working around booked commitments.

Do you have a child in year 11? or know someone who has that may like to join this amazing experience? you can find out more over on the >>NCS website<< Bradley is really looking forward to a summer of fun living away from home whilst making new friends, taking on new challenges, building his confidence, self beliefs and learning life skills that can’t be taught in a classroom.  He has told us he hopes come home at the end of July an even stronger, better, more confident unstoppable person. We as parents are so excited for him, this just looks and sounds amazing.

What an amazing way to end his toughest year in school.

If you would like to follow The National Citizen Service on social media to show your support, you can do so by following them on >Facebook< >Twitter< >Instagram<


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Education, kids

What a lot of parents don’t expect about school

What a lot of parents don't expect about school

What a lot of parents don’t expect about school

When your kids are already at school, it can be hard to remember just how big a change to the dynamic of family life is. However, you need to jump in with both feet just like your kids do. If you want them to get the best experience at school they can and develop into the best young adults they can, here are a few things worth expecting.

What a lot of parents don't expect about school

It can cost a lot

There’s no getting around the fact you have to spend money on school. You can get around the costs of lunchboxes and uniforms with some of the budget options on the market for sure. But then there are unexpected costs that can pop-up. You might need to start identifying the extra cash you can grab, like local funds or guaranteed loans, to pay for some of them. It might seem like the school is asking too much sometimes, but these costs include things like after-school lessons or school trips. They can be important to seeing that your child gets out of their education what their peers are.

It doesn’t take care of their whole education

When they are younger, you are the primary source of their education, helping them explore their interests and gain some intellectual curiosity. That shouldn’t stop when they get in school. Start with discussions before dinner on what they’re covering and go over their homework and their notes with them. See if you can help them understand anything they might have missed and get a better understanding of how they’re doing.

What a lot of parents don't expect about school

Everyone has to make sacrifices

Your child might be feeling the most put-upon by the sacrifices of time they have to make for school. You should make those sacrifices with them if they’re to see any fairness in it. Take a positive attitude to their education and the changes around it. If they need less TV time to focus on homework, then turn off the TV completely. Help them explore the topics they cover at school in a way personalised to them, too.

Your child will face their own problems

Someday your child is going to come back red-faced and sobbing because something happened at school. It won’t necessarily be bullying or anything as terrible, but a schoolyard argument or being told off by a teacher can be new to both of you. You should expect to help them cope with these unfamiliar traumas. Listen, be supportive, and be cautious about when to start talking to the teacher and the school. If you’re concerned that playground arguments involve physicality, or that disputes between your child and the teacher are chronic, more than a one-time occurrence, then it might be time to arrange a visit.

What a lot of parents don't expect about school

Schools need parents

Then again, you don’t necessarily need an altercation to motivate a visit to the school. Rather, getting involved in helping the school can be much better for all sides. You become known to teachers and staff, rather than a concerned and potentially hostile parent. You learn more about what the school offers and volunteer to help it get and properly use the resources that contribute to a better education for your child.

School is demanding. Monetarily, time-wise, with your attention, you are going to be making a lot of concessions to it. However, your involvement is crucial in not only your child’s success but your school’s success.

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Education, sport

Dream chaser

about us

Dream chaser

Lee has become a dream chaser and we couldn’t be more proud of him. Since early on in his toddler years he has always shown an interest in football. This has not changed one bit now he’s in his teen years. It has been a hobby that he has always enjoyed very much.

This is a hobby that is enjoyed by Lee on a daily basis. To become a footballer would be a dream come true for Lee. We are always encouraging our teens and talking about chasing our dreams and Lee is certainly doing that.

Lee is a huge spurs fan, anyone who knows Lee personally will know he is always talking spurs and going to as many home games as he can, he is also on the season ticket holder list and has a Spurs membership. We live five minutes from their training grounds and this is where Lee can often be found. He tends to know when the players are there and goes in hope to grab an autograph or photo opportunity to add to his already huge collection of old and new players signatures and photos.

dream chaser
Lee’s favourite photo and favourite player.
Harry Kane.

We have toured many of football stadiums over the years with Lee (Lee has toured them more than once with friends) in and out of the UK, Barcelona being our latest. We toured Barcelona with Lee as a 16th birthday gift from us. We toured the stadium and the museum. Lee really enjoys looking at the memorabilia and reading the history in football.

How Lee is turning his hobby into a career

Lee’s hobby is fastly turning into a career, a career that he is very much enjoying. He is currently studying to get a diploma in sport. This will open up many of exciting opportunities for him. This course will lead him to the right path in elite sports.  With the course he has been enjoying since September he has assessments, both formative and summative, with continuous practical assessments throughout the year. Lee is currently being assessed on his academic ability and also his practical performance in fitness testing and sporting performance.

Lee is continually assessed, this is done in various different ways, anything from a written report, practical activity to a presentation. A majority of his assessments are all down to his personal performance whilst participating in squad events.

If Lee is successful in this course he will then be able to forward his career – following a structured sports programme he can then move his career to a higher level and study sports science ending with possibilities of a scholarship or employment opportunities.

Lee has chosen a very exciting career path and we are so excited for him. We have had a long chat with Lee and he is fully aware that there is a lot of hard work to do and lots of studying to be had but he isn’t at all fazed by it as he is doing what he has chosen and enjoys. Lee certainly is a dream chaser and we are very proud of him.

dream chaser

Lee has always been a sporty child and has always tried to build his knowledge the best he can. All that leaves now is for Lee to build his future the best he can in a career he loves and live his dream.

career, Education, footbball skill., sport

Career Decisions

career decisions

My Career Decisions

Last week I attended open day with mum at our local college, we chatted with tutors and career advisors about the best path to take for my chosen career. It felt really strange talking about and making career decisions, I knew I wanted something sport related but I didn’t know what was on offer.

My career choice is to do something sporty, preferably something football related. I wrote down questions that I was wanting to ask and we headed off to the college for a chat with the right people. I currently play in a football team and enjoy playing, I have always enjoyed football for as far back as I can remember. My dream job would be to become a footballer – pro of course!

So we attended the college open day and got chatting, discussing my options and the courses available that will best suit my career decisions. There was a few options open to me and I found one that I think will suit my choices. The course I had chosen is an educational football development course. This course looks best suited to my interests and offers rather a lot!

It offers me:

  1. Academic development through BTEC sport level 3 courses.
  2. Level 2 coaching badges.
  3. First aid.
  4. Child protection.
  5. Presentation evenings at my all time favorite stadium – White Heart Lane.
  6. Opportunities to play against selected UK/International sides.
  7. Allocated use of Tottenham Hotspur first team training facility.
  8. Elite training sessions delivered by FA/UEFA qualified coaches.
  9. Allocated stadium tours.
  10. Chosen squad to compete in midweek british college leagues.

As you can see for someone like myself who enjoy’s football this is a fantastic course and opportunity – I have applied and I am just waiting now to see if my application gets accepted.

All I can do now while I wait is work hard to get the best grades possible. This course will help me progress academically whilst being part of an elite football programme receiving coaching from highly qualified and experienced coaches who will push me to the top of my ability.

Fingers crossed!