Browsing Category

Mamma Musings

Mamma Musings

Top Tips for Setting up a Home Office

This year’s pandemic, has forced many of us to work from home. We’ve had to transform our living rooms, kitchens and even bedrooms into makeshift offices, in order to continue working safely.  Although working from home has its benefits, like no long commutes and working in our pyjamas; home isn’t always the most practical workspace. A makeshift office on your dining room table may work as a temporary measure, but these working conditions can have a negative impact on your productivity and wellbeing in the long run.

To help you stay productive and comfortable when working from home, here are some top tips on how to set up the ideal home office:

Sitting comfortably

laptop

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Whether you have a desk or you are using your dining table, you need to ensure that you are sitting comfortably. Adjust the height of your screen so that it is at your correct eye level. This will help to avoid eyestrain and posture issues. You will also need a comfortable chair. This is really important because you are going to be spending many hours sitting on it. Don’t just settle for a stool or a dining room chair; invest in a proper office chair which can be adjusted to your needs.

Adding the right lighting

Think carefully about the lighting in your home office and choose a room that has a good amount of natural daylight. The right lighting allows for better productivity, so try setting up your work space near a window if possible. If you’re working late into the evening you may also wish to invest in a suitable desk lamp. This will help to reduce eyestrain and keep you focused when you are putting in those extra hours.

Having the right equipment

Have a look at some better equipment options like multi-functional devices. These are an excellent choice for home offices because they include the functionality of numerous devices in a single machine. This not only helps to decrease your carbon footprint, but it will also reduce the amount of space required for printing, scanning, and other document management tasks. 

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

How Does Moving Schools Affect Your Child?

kids at school

Pic Credit: Pixabay

There are plenty of reasons why a child might have to move to a different school. They might be underperforming at their current school or being bullied by another child, or perhaps their parents have to relocate for work. Maybe they are just naturally progressing from a primary to a secondary school. Whatever the reason, the transition can often feel quite daunting for youngsters, especially if they are dealing with challenges in their personal life at the same time. I have teamed up with a prep school in Hertfordshire to explore this in further detail below so that parents can be better equipped to help their child navigate the changes.

Of course, there are lots of changes a child will have to get used to when moving to a new school. There’s the building itself, but your child will also have to adapt to new teachers who may use different methods or follow a slightly different curriculum. If your child is either behind or ahead in their classes, they may start to lose interest in their lessons. With that said, parents and new teachers should really pay close attention to how well the child is or isn’t adapting to their new environment and potentially provide extra tutoring if necessary.

If your child had close friends at their old school, they will probably be quite upset about having to leave them behind, and nervous about meeting new people. If you think that might be the case for your child, try and help them stay in touch with their old friends. If they can’t meet up in person, video calls might be a good option, or you could even encourage your child to go old school and write letters. This will help them feel less alone through the transition. If possible, and age appropriate, you could try and get the contact details of some of the parents at the new school and arrange a play date or two so that your child has an opportunity to make new friends in an environment where they feel more comfortable.

Try and use positive and optimistic language around your child when talking about the transition so that they can feed off of your uplifting energy. Talk to them about the amazing opportunities they’ll have at their new school, like the fantastic playground or amazing sports facilities. If they see that you are confident about the transition, they will adopt the same attitude.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

How Schools Can Prevent the Spread of Germs

cold

Pic Credit: Pixabay

A lot of children are now back at school for the first time in months, and it’s a worrying time for parents. Not only are there the usual worries about homework and whether your child will make friends, there’s also the additional worry about the spread of germs and bacteria.

Your child’s school should be happy to speak with you about the measures that they are taking to keep your child safe. It’s also completely reasonable to ask about the measures that you would hope to see them put in place.

Distancing

When they are in the classroom, children should be seated two meters from one another to minimize the risk of spreading disease through airborne germs. 

Distancing is important not just during class time, but during lunch and break times too. If the school isn’t big enough to facilitate distancing then institutions should be implementing staggered lunch and break times to allow a smaller number of children to be on their break at the same time.

Share carefully

A way that germs can be spread is through touching the same object. Particularly with younger children, it’s not always going to be possible for them not to be touching the same things – for example, toys and games will still need to be shared by the class, as will sports equipment. 

To account for this it’s important that the school have a policy on how often the shared equipment will be disinfected and how this process will be managed.

Handwashing

Frequent hand washing is the most effective weapon against the spread of germs. Not only does it stop your child from passing any germs that they may have onto others, it means that if they inadvertently pick up germs from a surface they are less likely to infect themselves by rubbing their eyes, nose or mouth.

hand washing

Pic Credit: Pixabay

At a minimum hand washing should take place:

  • Before eating
  • After going to the bathroom
  • When coming inside from playing outdoors
  • After sneezing or coughing

Schools should also be encouraging children to routinely wash their hands outside of these times to minimize the risk of infection.

Hand sanitizer

It’s important that hand sanitizer is made readily available to children in schools to use at times when they are unable to wash their hands.

For example, you might place hand sanitizer in a prominent place in the classroom so that children may clean their hands after handling shared items, without having to disrupt the lesson by leaving to go to the bathroom.

If possible, it’s better to use a dispenser from Touch Free Hand Sanitiser as this further minimizes the spread of germs because there is no risk of transmission through a pump or lever.

Cleaning

The rooms in the school should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at the end of each day, paying particular attention to bathrooms and the children’s desks.

Cleaning and disinfection are slightly different terms. According to this cleaning guide resource page, cleaning, often using a mixture of soap and water, merely removes the dirt, germs, and any other impurities on surfaces or objects. If you want to thoroughly get rid of harmful pathogens and viruses that cause disease, you need to disinfect with a disinfecting agent, often in the form of sprays or wipes.

Food preparation areas should also be cleaned thoroughly after use with hot soapy water.

Some germs can actually thrive until they are wiped away, so as well as cleaning surfaces they should be dried thoroughly with paper towels.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

The Benefits of Extra-Curricular Activities for Children

Extra-curricular activities offer numerous benefits to children. For example, they can help your child to meet new friends, they encourage your child to stay active and most importantly they are fun! 

To highlight the importance of extra-curricular activities, an independent school in Somerset shares more of their benefits below…

Health

child playing tennis

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Extra-curricular activities can help to improve your child’s health in a number of ways. This is because many extra-curricular activities are physical; such as sports or dancing. These types of activities will not only help to keep your children fit and healthy, but keeping active has also been proven to support mental health.

Confidence

One of the biggest benefits of extra-curricular activities is how they can help to build your child’s self-confidence. This is because they provide an opportunity for your child to meet new people, gain new skills and explore a new environment. By taking part in a new creative hobby, your child will also be able to develop their own style. Art classes and drama groups are both great ways for your child to be creative and express themselves.

Personal skills

Taking part in extra-curricular activities can also help your child to develop many personal skills and gain more experience. Your child will have a chance to develop their communication, problem solving and teamwork skills, which will all contribute greatly to their future career. Furthermore, your child will learn how to plan ahead and manage their time more efficiently with a regular hobby.

Career prospects

Finally, participating in extra-curricular activities is the perfect way for your child to build an impressive CV. This will help your son or daughter to stand out from the competition when applying for jobs. Your child will be able to show an employer their personal interests and what achievements they have gained outside of school.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post

 

Mamma Musings

Top Tips for Helping Your Child with their Social Skills

Being able to interact with other people successfully is an important aspect of a child’s personal and academic development. Unfortunately, not every single child is naturally sociable; it’s often a skill that parents need to help them to improve, using various methods. Here are some top tips from a senior school in Surrey.

Pic Credit: Pixabay

There are lots of things you can do to help your child with their social skills, as soon as they enter the world. Try and familiarise them with social situations as much as possible by introducing them to lots of different people, both adults and children. You could consider joining a Mother and Toddler group in your local area where your child will be able to meet other little girls and boys and play with them in a structured environment, with you close-by.

As they get older, talk to your child about manners and elements of a healthy conversation. Teach them that listening is often just as important as talking and that it’s rude to interrupt. Lots of people struggle to initiate conversations with new people, so this is something you could work on at home too. Teach your child that questions and compliments often work well when starting a conversation, like “Did you have a nice evening? What did you get up to?” or “I like your dress, where did you get it?”. 

You could encourage your child to join an extra-curricular club, which will allow them to build relationships, as well as countless new skills. This will help their confidence and allow them to feel more comfortable in social situations. Having a hobby will also give them something to talk about with friends and relatives.

Your child will learn a lot of their behaviour from watching you, so always try and be a good role model. When talking to someone within earshot of your child, demonstrate respect and good manners, as well as the correct balance of talking and listening. Your child will be able to replicate your behaviour when faced with social situations of their own.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

How to Be More Involved in Your Child’s Education

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Children who have a supportive home environment are more likely to succeed in school. They might try harder to impress you if they know you have a keen interest in their education and knowing that they have you to fall back on if things don’t go their way will encourage them to take risks they might otherwise be afraid of. With this is mind, I have teamed up with a senior school in Hampshire to offer parents the following advice on how they can be more involved in their child’s education and support their academic journey.

Chat to your child each day about school but try and mix up the questions so they don’t become mundane conversations. You should also aim to ask open-ended questions so that your child can’t just give you a blunt yes or no answer. For instance, you could ask which of their lessons they enjoyed the most that day and why, who they spent their lunch break with and whether or not there are any events or extra-curricular activities they’d like to be involved in. It might be worth giving them some space straight after school and having these conversations a little later in the evening, so they can relax a little bit before going back into “school mode”. 

Be sure to attend parents’ evening and try and communicate with teachers throughout the school year so that you can monitor your child’s progress and find ways to help them with any problem areas. The teachers will be able to recommend age-appropriate learning resources to look into, if necessary. You should also attend other events at the school, like school plays and sports day, to show your child that you care.

You might not be able to sit with your child each evening and help them with their homework, as other commitments can get in the way. However, you can still support your child’s home learning by providing with a suitable study space to do their work. This space should be well-lit, free from distractions and stocked with all of the appropriate equipment, like stationery and books.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

Exploring Internet Safety with Your Child

The internet is great for helping young people stay connected with their friends and access learning resources online, especially during the pandemic, but it can also be quite a dark and dangerous place if not used responsibly. With that said, it’s important for parents to sit down with their children and talk about internet safety on a regular basis. Here’s some advice from an independent school in West Sussex.

Pic Credit: Pixabay

It’s important to have some strict rules in place when it comes to using the internet within your family, both to limit screen time and to keep your child safe from harm. For instance, they should never share personal information online, they should never meet up with someone they’ve only ever met on the internet and they should think carefully before posting anything, as it can never truly be deleted. Some parents don’t allow their children to use the internet unsupervised/with the door closed, but that’s entirely up to you and dependent on your child’s age and how much you trust them.

You might not want to go into full detail about paedophiles, scammers and other horrors of the world with your young child, but it’s important that they know that there are people on the internet who sometimes pretend to be someone they’re not to inflict harm on others. With that said, your child should be weary of who they’re speaking to online.

Do some research into the different websites and apps that your child uses and find out if they are age appropriate and if there are any parental controls that you can set-up. For instance, some online games have the option to switch off the chat function so that your child cannot talk to strangers. Check in with your child regularly to ensure everything is ok and make sure they know to report any bullying incidents they have spotted online.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

The Benefits of School Uniform for Children

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Lots of kids aren’t particularly fond of school uniform, but they actually provide many benefits that you may not have even considered. They create a sense of identity for the school, by demonstrating that each student is part of a wider whole, which helps them feel like they belong somewhere. As a result, students can feel a sense of pride. I have teamed up with an independent school in London to explore the benefits of school uniform in further detail.

Parents may begrudge having to spend a lot of money on school uniform at the start of term, but it actually works out much cheaper than having to fill your child’s wardrobe with different outfits for each day, especially if they want to keep up with the latest trends and designer fashion. School uniform shops often have payment systems in place to help spread the cost over a few months so that it doesn’t seem as dear. 

Tip: Sew name tags into your child’s uniform so that if anything is misplaced, your child has more of a chance of getting it back.

Tip: Purchase the uniform in a slightly bigger size so that your child has room to grow.

School uniform makes it easier for teachers to ensure all students are dressed in a smart manner so that they represent the school with pride. If each child was wearing something different, it would be much harder to monitor what they were all wearing and enforce rules about what’s acceptable. Wearing a uniform at school will also help prepare your child for the future when they may have to wear a uniform for work. 

One of the most important benefits of school uniform is that it reduces bullying and peer pressure amongst students. If children had to wear their own clothes to school, they might feel anxious that they’re not “cool” enough or worry what their friends are going to say. A child cannot be judged or harassed about what they’re wearing if they are all wearing the same thing. What’s more, school uniform will be far less distracting, allowing children to focus on their schoolwork.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

Running A Virtual Business: A Guide To The Essentials For Success

laptop

Pic Credit: Pixabay

If you’ve decided to launch a virtual business you might be wondering what it takes to actually see success from your venture. Whether you’re selling a product or offering a service, if you are going to ensure that your business is a success, you need to make sure that you’re clued up about the essentials. Yes, you can run your business how you like, but if you want to increase your chances of success, you need to be willing to take advice on board and implement it in your business strategy. 

Wondering what some of the business essentials are for making a success of your virtual business? Below is a guide to all of the ins and outs of what it takes to make a success of a virtual business! 

Get your communication tools right 

When it comes to seeing success from your venture, it’s essential that you get your communication tools right. The last thing that you want is for your customers to feel like it’s hard for them to communicate with you; that’s why it’s so vital that you think carefully about the communication methods that you offer. When it comes to customer communication, the more options available, the better. For instance, a lot of businesses are now opting to take advantage of chat services – to learn more about live chat answering services, click here – to offer customers instance support as and when they need it. What it’s important to consider is the kind of support that your customers need you to provide for them. 

Set up a virtual team

If you are going to make a success of your virtual business, you need to think about how you are going to manage all aspects of your business yourself. The chances are that you’re not going to be able to manage everything on your own, which is why it might be a good idea to consider setting up a virtual team of support staff to help you – or simply hiring a virtual assistant in the first instance. When managing a virtual team, make sure to implement the right team support software, such as Trello, Asana, and Slack, to make managing your team members as easy as possible. 

Hone your marketing 

When it comes to making a success out of your business, you need to make sure that people actually know about it – that’s where marketing comes into it. If you are going to give your venture a chance of achieving success, you need to ensure that you take your marketing needs seriously from the start. If you fail to market your business and no one knows about it, it has an extremely low chance of success. So, make sure to get your marketing efforts right. 

The truth is that launching a virtual business can be a great way to actually start something of your own as the overheads are minimal. However, it’s important not to underestimate the amount of hard work it takes to get a small business off of the ground. Hopefully, the tips and advice above will help you to ensure that you get your virtual business off the ground successfully. 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

Craft ideas to try with your kids this autumn

Arts and crafts have been growing in popularity for years thanks to the increasing ease of access to materials and kits, the variety of options for crafting, and the multitude of benefits they’ve been shown to bring. It’s also a lot of fun! 

painting

Pic Credit: Pixabay

If you’re looking for some ideas of constructive activities you can do at home with your children, why not give crafting a go? There are so many different styles out there; you’re sure to find something that the whole family can enjoy, however old they are. Read on for some interesting and unique autumn-themed project ideas!

Benefits of crafting

It’s widely known that crafting can have a positive effect on our mental and physical health, and this is true for both adults and children of all ages. Here are a few of the benefits you can all hope to enjoy as you create:

  • Reduced stress and increased relaxation – similar to meditation, when you become immersed in art and creativity, your mind is better able to move away from worries and anxious thoughts
  • Improved motor skills – by working on hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity
  • Increased confidence – from both completing projects, and learning that it’s ok to experiment and make mistakes
  • Better mental agility – encouraging your brain to think in new ways and try new things helps keep it in top shape
  • Boosted creativity – the more you use your creativity, the more it will grow, and it’s a skill that is useful in all areas of our lives

If this has piqued your interest, you’ll be glad to know that it’s very easy to get started with arts and crafts. The internet is full of how-to videos and articles, and you can get all the supplies that you need online from websites like reallymaria.com

Autumnal craft ideas to try

  • Autumn leaf suncatchers: this simple craft project is ideal for younger children, and makes for a lovely and colorful addition to your window
  • Pinecone owls: these are perfect for getting your kids out in nature, and the resulting owls (or other animals) are adorable
  • Pom pom pumpkins: these fluffy pumpkins only need wool, scissors and a stick, but the result is a fabulously unique Halloween decoration
  • Paper ball bats: another great choice for Halloween, these cute bats are quick and easy to create with kids of all ages
  • Autumn leaf bookmarks: these easy-to-make creations encourage both creativity and reading – what’s not to like?
  • Back-to-school bag tags: help your kids personalize their school bags with these DIY charms, that they can customize however they like
  • Fairy leaf puppets: great for older children, these fairies are a bit more complex to make and full of enchantment
  • Autumn leaf dinosaurs: yes, there’s a lot you can do with leaves! This creation is perfect for kids who love Jurassic Park 
  • Painted acorns: this also gets the kids outside, and the result is genuinely pretty
  • Simple black cat papercraft: this is as easy to make as the name suggests, and is great for Halloween or all year round if you’re a cat lover
Note: This is a collaborative post