Why is Reading so Important for Children?

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All subjects at school require reading. Your child will need the skill to research as well as understand and attempt exam questions. There’s also more to its importance as it can help children with their creative thinking and vocabulary which is why it’s recommended that they spend at least 20 to 30 minutes a day reading. Below are some more facts which were shared by a boys’ senior school in Tooting.

Books introduce children to ideas that are different from their own, encouraging them to consider new perspectives and ways of thinking. Through the author's writing, they can connect with the characters and develop empathy for how they feel.

Increased Knowledge
They also give children an insight into the world around them. Regardless of whether their reading material is fiction or not, they can learn new concepts and broaden their understanding.

Keeps The Brain Active
Reading keeps the brain active and can be useful during long periods away from school where learning loss is typically felt. This can help to keep it healthy and reduce the risk of developing diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Creative Thinking
Also, unlike a film or a TV show, books have very few pictures. This leaves the rest to the imagination, helping children to explore their creative thinking.

Children can get distracted easily, making it difficult for them to gain their full concentration. Reading is an activity that relies on it as you must piece bits of information together in order to follow storylines and anticipate what’s going to happen next. This practice can help to build their attention span, helping them in the classroom.

As there’s such a variety of different books, they can explore a wide range of things and form their own passions and interests.

Top Tips for Supporting Your Child's Mental Health

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Child mental health has become a growing concern for parents and educators. Over recent years, the number of children aged between 6 and 16 suffering with a probable condition has risen by 17%. This can be attributed to many reasons such as the rise of social media and screen time. For advice and guidance on how you can support your child with their mental health, we’ve included some guidance below from a school in London.

What Is Mental Health and how can I help?
Mental health is something that we all have. The issues can be just as debilitating as physical health problems as they can affect your motivation to want to do things, overall mood, and sleep.

1. Make Yourself Available
Being more outwardly available to speak to your child can make it easier for them to come to you with their problems. Speaking can tremendously help those with mental health issues as they are able to rationalise their thoughts by conferring with others.

2. Be Understanding
It can be easy to get frustrated with your children as a parent. After asking them to tidy their room for the hundredth time, you may lose your rag. This, however, may not be something in their control as they suffer with their mental health. Instead, try taking a more sympathetic approach to get to the root of the problem and see how you can help.

3. Know The Signs
Mental health is like a spectrum. Some days will be better than others. Recognising what a bad day looks like for your child can help you to support them in the best way possible as you will know what they need.

4. Look After Your Own
Children like to replicate the behaviour that they see displayed around them by their parents and other influential people in their lives. By making an effort to take care of yours, you may be able to encourage your child to do the same.

5 Educational Activities for the Summer Holidays

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Learning loss is something that concerns both parents and teachers while children are off school. There is a prolonged period of time where their brains aren’t active which can affect their progress once they get back to school. To avoid this, teachers set homework while parents try to keep all other elements of their day-to-day the same by sending their child to a holiday club or homeschooling. There are other ways in which you can minimise the effect of learning loss as a school in Halstead shares.

Fixing the garden together as a family not only frees you some time but it teaches children about nature and how to nurture the things that are a part of it. They can learn about areas of science in the process such as plant biology and develop a green finger.

Visit a Local Farm
A farm is an example of another place that can teach your child about the natural world and help them to develop a connection with it. They can see animals in real life, and learn about what they are and where our food comes from.

Visit Family
There is no better time to travel and visit family that live further afield than the holidays. You don’t need to worry about interference with their school schedule and can make full use of the time. While it's a social cause and helps to strengthen family bonds, it can educate children about the importance of family and taking care of them.

Visit Museums
They are great places for inspiration and can give children the opportunity to come face to face with the things that they have learned about at school, enriching their learning.

Why not help your child to pick up a new skill during the holidays? Cooking is a vital life skill and can help children with their education as maths and science are involved.

Is My Child Old Enough to Be Left at Home Alone

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As a parent, you may be stretched from time to time. Having to manage your errands etc whilst having children isn’t the easiest and sometimes you may find yourself struggling to find childcare. You may be left with no other option but to consider leaving your child at home alone. Whether it’s for 15 minutes or a few hours, it’s not a decision that you should take lightly. You should think about your child, where they are in their development, and how old they are to evaluate whether or not it’s a safe call to make. An independent school has shared some guidance to help parents make this judgement.

The Law
While there is no legal age to leave your child at home unsupervised, it is illegal to put them in any sort of danger and at risk. It is deemed as neglectful behaviour which can be prosecuted for.

Young Children
It goes without saying that young children and babies should never be left home alone. They are unable to take care of themselves and have little to no understanding of the world around them. Despite whether they are clever for their age, if a situation were to arise, they would not know how to respond and deal with it accordingly.

Children Aged (6 to 12)
Primary-aged children between these ages usually cannot walk home by themselves, babysit and cook. They lack the maturity to deal with such situations and therefore should not be left alone for long periods.

Secondary Aged Children (12 to 18)
While your child may display signs that they are mature enough and wise enough to be left at home, you should speak to them to gauge how they feel about it. If you are considering doing so, set some ground rules surrounding issues like who to open the door to and how to deal with hazards. If your child has special needs, you should also take them into consideration as it may prevent them from getting the help that they need in the event of an emergency like a fire.

Home Improvements: Tips & Tricks for 2022

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No matter where you live, your home is your sanctuary. It can be tricky to manage our spaces well, though, especially nowadays when many of us are working, studying and relaxing at home. As things slowly get back to normal, we have a great opportunity to spruce up our spaces with some basic home improvements. These four simple steps from FBD Insurance will help you make the most of your house, turning it into the warm and inviting home you and your family deserve.

1. Take back your space
Some homeowners and renters are lucky enough to have walk-in wardrobes, floored attics and adjoining garages. For the rest of us, storage is an ongoing challenge, with overflowing drawers, piles of papers and boxes of toys dotted around the house. Installing built-in wardrobes and smart storage solutions is one way to deal with this problem, but there are simple, less expensive options too. IKEA has a large range of bookcases, shelving units, cabinets and cupboards, along with smart tips, display ideas and detailed instructions for those of us who aren’t handy with a screwdriver (www.ikea.com). Their Circular Hub has lots of ex-display products, discontinued furniture and preloved items – helping to reduce waste, and your shopping bills too!

2. Upgrade your garden
We’re spending more time in the fresh air than we’ve ever done before, so why not make it a comfortable experience? There are lots of home improvements we can do outside that don’t require a big budget or major renovation skills. One simple solution is to add colour with trees, plants, flowers or a carefully-managed lawn. Speak to the experts at your local garden centre if you’re unsure what will grow well in your area. If you have a small space, try planting vertically, with wall trellises or hanging flower pots. Wooden pallets, old ladders or even forgotten furniture like dressing tables offer a cool and quirky way to upcycle rather than buy. Add extra comfort with outdoor rugs, cushions and blankets and build or buy a waterproof chest to store them in.

3. Bring the great outdoors inside
If you don’t have exterior space, there are still lots of ways to bring the outdoors inside. Introducing natural products and textiles to our homes can be a great way to borrow a little of the sense of calm and relaxation that we get from being immersed in the natural environment. You could start simply, with a couple of indoor plants or a vase of seasonal flowers. If you don’t fancy a regular watering and tending routine, there are great quality fake versions available nowadays that offer colour and cheer without any need for maintenance. Sheepskin cushions, seagrass rugs or leather seats all remind us of nature, adding interest as well as comfort. Reclaimed timbers and distressed materials lend character to furniture, particularly when used in centrepiece coffee or dining room tables. If you feel like getting creative, keep an eye out for interesting pieces of driftwood at the beach or a curiously-shaped fallen branch in your local forest – these are great ways to add unique style to your home.

4. Freshen up your kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of most homes: there’s always plenty of warmth, comfort and craic to be had there. As a result, they’re often busy places, filled with food, serving ware and family flotsam and jetsam. One great way to clear some space is to add hooks to the ceiling or cabinet undersides, using them to hang herbs and store the bigger pots and pans that mightn’t get used every day. Pouring cereal, rice and pasta into clear glass jars adds a sense of sophistication to the space while changing out the hardware (knobs, handles and taps) is a simple and often inexpensive way to freshen up your design, adding a splash of colour or a sleek new look. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, a first-time buyer or an apartment-dweller, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the right home insurance for you. Find a great value quote from FBD Insurance now to get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is protected.

5 Ways to Show Gratitude to Your Teachers and Make Them Feel Special

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Teachers play an important role in your life, they help you learn more and mould you to be a better person. However, they aren’t appreciated enough by many people, and yet continue to work hard and make your life better. Therefore, it’s time for you to show some love to your teachers by planning something special for them. You can surprise them with something nice and make her day better.

To help you out, we’ve created a list of ways you can show your teacher how much you appreciate them for working day in and day out. After all, they work hard to make sure you receive the best time in your school or college.

1. Send Special Cards and Candy to Your Teacher
Everyone loves to have a sweet surprise and teachers are no exception. You should purchase a beautiful thank you teacher card and attach it with some of their favourite sweets, so they can open their mailboxes with a delightful smile. Of course, you can add some clever puns related to their favourite candy on the card for them to have a good laugh. If you don’t get access to mailboxes, you can simply place them on the teacher’s table during their session, and you can witness their reaction to your wonderful gift.

2. Help Your Teacher During Their Sessions
Teachers have a lot on their table, especially in the middle of the semester, when they have to teach multiple lessons to you. As a result, one of the best ways to show appreciation to your teachers is to help them during their sessions, and take something off their plates. You can create tests and quizzes to keep the class busy or get other students involved to make their job easier. To help her feel less stressed, you can decorate your classroom to lighten the mood during lectures. If you can’t volunteer, you can help add some flair to your teacher’s organisation system or table and fill them with useful supplies like markers, dusters, and more!

3. Decorate the Teacher’s Lounge with Notes
Those looking to make something memorable that your teachers will appreciate for a long time are to show their thanks by decorating the teacher's lounge. You should create a wonderful bulletin board and tell your classmates to decorate it with colourful notes filled with words of encouragement. Try to create something that doesn’t look like a mess and bothers your teachers too much. The primary objective of creating a bulletin board is to make sure your teachers can look at it and have a good laugh. Such decorations will remind teachers why they love to teach students like you, making them appreciate your class even more.

4. Organize a Lunch Party for Your Teachers
If you would love to have a party, should try to convince your principal to organise a special lunch session for your teachers during the day. During your class, you can sneak out and organise the teacher’s lunch area with decorations and some delicious meals. However, you need to schedule this at least a week before, and you will need to get some staff members involved to organise this lunch session. You can keep it a surprise or tell your teachers in advance, so they can look forward to it all week long.

5. Get Personalised Gifts for Every Teacher
There’s nothing that makes a teacher feel more special when they receive gifts made just for them. You can collaborate with other students and come with a sheet mentioning their teacher’s favourite things like candy, colours, food, and books. After talking with your class and getting the gift, you can surprise your teacher at the end of the day. The extra time and effort you put into these customised gifts will be seen clearly by your teacher, and she will truly cherish it.

To Sum Up
There are countless creative ideas that you can use to show some love and appreciation to your teacher. Regardless of what you choose, they will truly appreciate you by seeing how much effort you put into making their day better.

Being a teacher is tough, as they have to deal with multiple kids and get their work done quickly. That’s why showing your thankfulness through gifts and little acts can mean so much to them. Now, don’t hesitate to plan something amazing to make your teacher feel special!