Gifting A Generation By Keeping Pastimes Alive

Pastimes aren’t always something that we should place a value on. Not least some kind of inherent moral value as some things seemed to be in the past. However, when you have children, and you see them beginning to form their own views and personalities, it’s a complex conundrum. Children are so innocent and should be left to discover the world on their own. Yet we can’t help ourselves as parents to want to gift them something of our generation. Seeing little parts of your personality in them, makes you wonder could they possibly love what you did when you were growing up? Maybe you could give the gift of passing on pastimes to them and see if they resonate within them.

six children playing on the grass outside

Photo by Kyra Malicse


Sport and physical games

With the advent of modern technology, it seems as though children get more fun out of staying still than they do moving around. A shocking paradox as many parents will know, getting the kids to sit still while at the dentist was once a chore in itself. Now they have games on their smartphones, tablets which are all portable. However growing up in a simpler time might get you looks of sympathy from your kids until they try out the games you once played. Teach them how to play rounders, teach them the classic games of tag, and hide and seek. Get them to a park where they can run around and practice hopscotch, play with other children in a game of capture the flag, jump rope and double dutch. These games that once brought you so much joy playing with friends shouldn’t be lost to the ages.

a victorian dolls house

Image credit Vassil

Virtual to real

Indeed there are virtual game creators that you cannot deny are brilliant, no matter how distracted they make your child. The complex coding alone just for the backgrounds let alone the interactive nature should be respected. No wonder children get lost in video games because they afford them the ability to make something their own. That’s why dollhouses were much loved because they gave you the ability to make the home however you wanted. There were assortments of decor, lots of delicate pieces like lamps, paintings, mirrors, pictures and other finer details. Buying your son or daughter their own dollhouse which you can then both collect and build together will add a new layer to your bond. There are still companies that make dolls house furniture and make them in a more contemporary and traditional type of manner and style. All rooms are supplemented for, kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, even study offices.

Birthday games

It’s harsh to admit, but some kids just won’t want to play the droll old games mum and dad used to play. So you can sneak them in when it’s their birthday. Games like musical chairs, crack the whip, pass the parcel etc. are games that have a ‘last man standing’ trait. The person who can win these games is awarded a prize. It adds a competitive layer to it and thus creates an incentive for kids to drop their video games and get involved.

It truly is a gift of memory when you introduce children to your pastimes. The games create moments of pure joy that when they’re older, they will miss. Hopefully, when we’re gone, our children can pass on the games we taught them to their own children.

Are there any pastimes from your childhood that you have passed on to your children?


Disclosure: collaborative post

My Sunday Photo – 3rd February 2018

my three children sitting on an extra large chair together


Hello, and welcome to my new look blog! I’ve a confession to make, I’ve stolen my Sunday photos this week from my Big Brother. He took them while we were out having a family meal together last week. He took some lovely photos of the kids outside the pub. So in this first one is Star, Boo and the Little Man sitting on a rather uncomfortable looking chair!

two children looking over the back of a very huge chair with trees in the background

This is The Little Man and his niece looking over the back of the chair. Now, let me explain something, the little girl in the photo is a year older than The Little Man. She is actually the daughter of my eldest brother’s son. So, my brother’s son is the Little Man’s cousin, and his daughter is his cousin first removed…or to put it correctly, his niece! Confused yet?  haha, our family does get confusing. I have two much older brothers which means their children are not really that much younger than me, in fact my eldest brother had a son born before my younger brother was born! Then there is me, I have been married before and have two older children who are both old enough to be parents to my younger three. I guess it’s a good job that my older children don’t have children themselves yet, it could get even more confusing.

Now if you are s still with me, one more photo to share of Boo and her niece.

two little girls looking over the back of a huge chair with trees in the background

Boo is a year older than her ‘niece’ and they get on like a house on fire!

The trees in the back ground belong to a local attraction the, Lickey Hills. They are not too far from our home and we have had many fun days exploring the hills and trees. In fact, I’ve lived around here most of my life and spent a lot of my childhood in those hills too.

We don’t have any plans this Sunday but I do hope that we get to go out with the family for lunch again sometime soon, it was such a lovely day. I even bumped into my niece (actual niece, not cousin first removed) that I haven’t seen for over 20 years.

I hope you have a lovely Sunday, see you next week.





Sunday Snap


The Qualities Of A Good Educator For Preschool

Studying hard certainly prepares you to be a good preschool educator, but there are a number of inherent characteristics that will ensure you are a sensational teacher. For instance, you can certainly learn how to create a warm classroom or teach the preschool program, but exuding enthusiasm for the education of your students is something that can only come from the heart.
With that in mind, here are more important qualities that make a great educator for pre-schoolers.

1. Passion

Do you have an intense desire to really make a different in young children’s lives? Passion is arguably one of the most important qualities for any teacher. There will be those days when teaching preschool will be difficult, whether it’s because your salary isn’t what you thought it would be, the parents seem ungrateful, or the kids are acting up, getting through those low points can be overwhelming. But, when you have a burning passion for education, it is your drive and determination that will get you through.

2. Patience

Besides your passion for education, you need lots of patience. Each class, such as those in Guardian child care centres in Sydney, has children with a variety of developmental skills. When it comes to pre-schoolers, constant reminders about protocol, manners, and hygiene are all part of a normal school day. From behaviour difficulties to learning difficulties, it takes a great deal of patience to keep your classroom in order. What’s more, working with difficult parents, teachers, and administrators means you need to be patient outside the classroom, too. A great teacher knows how to keep his or her cool under varying degrees of pressure.

3. Creativity

Being creative in the classroom involves more than making projects. You may have to work in a restricted environment with limited resources, and your classroom may be a melee of children from different backgrounds and cultures. So, you need to be able to draw from your creativity to make decisions in the best interest of your class.

4. Flexibility

Even when you have every detail of each lesson planned, unexpected turns can arise. A great educator is one that is flexible in dealing with change. Whether it’s as straight forward as having a back up plan for rainy days or amending the entire plan to accommodate for budget cuts, your fine-tuning skills and flexibility will help you tackle challenges with grace.

5. Dedication

Finally, excellent preschool teachers are those who are dedicated to their career and their learners. They stand up for their beliefs and educational values, and for their student’s needs. What’s more, these educators are dedicated to education and continue to inspire students to continue learning. At preschool level, creating a fun learning environment can resonate with children for the rest of their life.
Along with these 5 important qualities, a great educator will also form part of a supportive teaching community. Many teachers find even more inspiration by aligning themselves with professional associations.
Above all, exceptional preschool educators are those teachers that continue to work on their craft and personal development to continue growing.

Disclosure: Collaborative Post

The A Word and Ticking Boxes

As you may already know, I am a big fan of the BBC drama, The A Word all about a family dealing with their little boy’s autism.

As an autism family myself I like to use the drama to reflect how it has represented my experiences with Autism. I’ve not written for a few weeks, partly because the drama has followed so many different paths to the autism one and partly because I’ve not really had the time to analyse the episodes. I have decided to write this post though as I now have another reason to write about it. All will be revealed in a moment.

I’ve chosen the title ticking boxes because any parent of a child with autism or any disabilities or learning difficulties will know the relevance. In the A Word we see the family struggling to fill in a form for their autistic boy Joe’s new school. Form filling is something we special needs parents know all about, whether it’s for schools, for assessments or even for benefits for our children. There are forms galore and many of them pages and pages long. It doesn’t stop either. In a later episode we see an older autistic boy, Mark, filling in a form for college. He read out a part of the form he’d written himself, about himself and it made me cry. A small insight into how an autistic teenager feels about trying to fit in with others.

When your child is first expected to have autism then it’s forms that come first. Tick the boxes, fit the structure, get the diagnosis. Only, it’s not so easy, what if your child doesn’t fit? What if you can’t tick the boxes?

This is the situation I find myself in right now, yet again, for the third time. My youngest, my Little Man has been having problems at school and after a meeting with his teacher the other day, she has suggested that we see about getting him assessed for autism.

I can’t say I’ve never thought about it but he just doesn’t tick the boxes. But, no autistic child is the same so even though I have two already it’s still possible to have a third that’s totally different. The thing is, in my heart, I really don’t think he has autism, I think maybe he has an Attention Deficit Disorder. I guess the only way to find out is to get him assessed and that’s probably what we need to get started on.

Both my eldest and Star were different from birth, they didn’t sleep, they didn’t settle, they were mostly unhappy. Then they didn’t fit in with other children, they didn’t play the same way. They were both vocal but difficult to converse with. They both had echolia and vacant episodes. They both had trouble at school which led to them being assessed. They both ticked many of the boxes for autism…yet, they are not very much alike, they are very different characters.

The Little Man was a quiet baby, but clingy. He didn’t like being apart from me or his Dad. He was very floppy and instead being played with he preferred to lie flat on our laps. He didn’t even like sitting up. He did sleep okay but that’s probably because we co-shared our bed with him. We were in a much smaller house with a baby we hadn’t planned for and all our space was taken up, so we had no choice but to share with him. (When we moved house he took the transition to his own bedroom really well!)

He didn’t walk until he was nearly two years old and then he just ran everywhere, the phrase ‘you can’t run until you can walk’ had little meaning to him. He was also a slow speaker. The health visitor suggested that we sent him to a pre-school group for two and half days a week. He was only two and would be all day for two days, meaning he had lunch there as well. It was a difficult decision for me as I’d cared for all my children until they were old enough for nursery, he was still a baby to me. But, it did him good, he soon caught up with all his peers and he even toilet trained while there.

Despite his slow start he has come along really well and is bright, lively and very loving. He cares about everyone and loves to cuddle. Something my older autistic children have never been keen to do. (Although my eldest does have his own way of hugging me and does so frequently.) He’s always had loads of friends and everyone has seemed to like him….until recently.

Suddenly the children he has been at school with for the last four years have turned against him. His friendship list has dwindled massively. A couple of his close friends have now moved to different schools which may have started the disruption but it’s hard to tell, he doesn’t tell us much. He has started being very naughty in class, drawing on walls, desks and chairs, tripping up other children, flooding the toilets and more. Has has zero patience and limited concentration. This continues at home which is why I think he has ADD.

However, he is also a child in a different kind of home with autistic siblings and a disabled mother. He has very limited memories of when I could walk. It must all be very tough on a seven year old.

I really don’t think he ticks the boxes, but let’s bring it on. I’m ready for more forms.

Another point that was brought up in The A Word was whether you would change an autistic child, or wish for them to not be autistic anymore. I don’t mean a cure, but just wish they hadn’t been born that way. This is such a tricky subject and I’m so glad they were brave enough to mention it. Their little boy is different from other children and they face a future with him that they didn’t expect and one that no-one would really wish for. But, if they took away the autism would the child be the same child or would it be like swapping them for a different child? There is so much about autism that is not bad, an autistic person can be very loyal and truthful. The autism becomes part of their personality and with all the awareness these days I’m sure life will be better for them in the future. I can see autistic people fitting into jobs, marriages and leading a relatively normal life, in fact many have already. Then there are those that are on the higher end of the spectrum that will never lead a ‘normal’ life. It’s so difficult, because taking away the autism is taking away part of the child. No-one wants an autistic child, but once they are in the family everything changes and whether it’s for better or worse the only thing I know for sure is that everyone is different.

School Runs and Shopping Trolleys
Debs Random Writings

Reflections From Me

Learning Success – Review and Competition.

The Learning Success System is a simple method parents can use to help children overcome learning difficulties. It simplifies the process and enables a parent to work at home with their child.

The Learning Success System is convenient for both children and parents.
It minimises high costs of learning centres.
It uses cutting edge neuroscience research.

The strategy for learning is divided into three parts,

  1. calm the emotions
  2. incorporate the body
  3. build up the fundamental skills off learning

The site offers a learning difficulty analysis which is really useful. You could discover that it’s just one micro-skill that your child needs to make learning easier.

The system helps children with specific problems such as ADD/ADHD, Autism, Dyscalculia and
Dysgraphia. It’s also helpful for children who just find learning difficult. they may be struggling with a specific problem, or falling behind their class mates.

On starting learning success you are introduced to the Key Tenets, or the philosophy of learning success. It’s very detailed and includes such things as micro skill, grit, emotions, nutrition and multi-sensory approaches.

The program is customisable to your needs but the suggestions are that you start out with some exercise for your child. There is a short video which explains why this is important. It’s something that is being realised a lot more these days, even my kid’s school are experimenting with an little exercise before learning.

Then you need to do a cross-lateral exercise and a micro skill exercise. These exercises are explained in detail as you work through the process and you can choose which ones to do with your child.

As you continue with the course you add more micro-skills until you are doing enough to fulfil your allotted time commitment. You decide at the beginning how much time you are going to spend each day following Learning Success.

You are also asked to journal the learning Success journey. This keeps you on track and focused. I spent a little time with my child each day recording what we had done.

You will soon develop a routine but it’s good to break it up once in a while, play a game or listen to an audio book. We are learning Spanish by reading and listening to audio books. We do this activity once a week, it’s different and fun.

I love that the rules are not set in stone because everyone is different. You make your commitment which suits you and your child, this can be 15 minutes a day, 3 times a week, 15 minutes a day, 5 times a week, or 30 minutes twice a week…you get the idea. Commit to something you know you can do.

Each day you will receive an e-mail with a link to the day’s exercise(s) There are little videos each day which don’t take up much time. The content is varied and interesting for both parent and child. You can access all of the lessons all of the time in your member area. This is why it is so customisable.

I have found the  Learning Success system easy to use and very helpful. It’s nothing like any learning system I’ve seen before. There are also forums for you to connect with other parents and ask questions or share your experiences.

The Learning Success Blog is filled with brilliant posts about learning difficulties and ways of looking at them which are probably very different to ways that have been looked at before.

Would you like to try Learning Success for yourself? I’ve been given one account to give to one of my readers and all you have to do is fill in the rafflecopter widget. Please read Terms and Conditions below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

2. Giveaway closes 11.59pm  27th May 2017
3. Entries will be validated according to the rules of entry
4. There is 1 prize of a Learning Success Subscription
5. The data of anyone that enters won’t be passed on to any third parties or used for any unsolicited marketing communications.
6. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook or any other social media.
7. The winner will be randomly chosen, and will be shown on this post, with further notifications may be shared on social media.
8. The winner will be notified via email, and will need to respond within 4 weeks otherwise a further winner will be drawn.
9. Prize will be arranged by Learning Success

Disclosure: Learning Success allowed me access to an account in return for my review and competition. All opinions formed are my own.

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.