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How to Raise a Science Lover

All parents want the best for their children, especially where their education is concerned. With that said, it’s a good idea to help your child find an interest in a range of different subjects, including science, from a young age. Excellent grades in science might help your child secure a successful career in a variety of superb industries, from medicine to astronomy. It’s also a subject that can help young people develop fantastic personal skills, like problem solving, communication and research. An independent boys’ school in Marylebone have shared the following advice on how to raise a science lover.  

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Start by showing your child how normal science is and how present it is in our everyday lives. You can do this by making it a topic that is discussed regularly in your home. For example, when you’re all sitting at the dinner table for your evening meal, you could discuss a severe weather reports in a foreign country or a medical breakthrough you’ve read about in the news earlier in the day. Next time you’re out for a drive, ask your child if they know what makes the car move or how the engine works. If a relative has recently recovered from an illness, you could discuss the immune system and how it works, as well as the foods we can eat to help boost it.

Younger children love experiments and exploration, so you could plan a scavenger hunt next time you go to the park, encouraging them to look out for different plant and wildlife. Next time they have a bath, take along some different objects and investigate whether they sink or float, or whether they are absorbent. Even watching a science-related film or documentary is a great way to help your children explore the subject and start learning more about the world around them. 

Don’t be afraid to contact your child’s school for some more advice regarding science-based activities you could do at home. They will be able to recommend some suitable learning resources or even online games that your child could play in their spare time, making science feel more fun. What’s more, they’ll be able to talk to you about the curriculum so that you can understand what topics your child will be covering in school, giving you an opportunity to complement these themes with your home activities. 

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Exploring Mindfulness with Your Child

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It’s a great idea for parents to promote mindfulness within their family unit, to improve their child’s ability to stay present and avoid anxious thoughts. Mindfulness is a form of meditation that is becoming increasingly more popular, as it allows a person to feel less stressed and cope with problems more efficiently. A pre-school in New York have put together the following advice to help parents explore mindfulness with their children.

It’s actually a lot easier than it sounds; mindfulness can be practised with almost everything we do, from taking a shower to eating an apple. The idea behind it is to pay closer attention to the present moment as it is happening, rather than letting our experiences flash by with the blink of an eye. Encourage your child to think and talk about their experiences by asking them questions about how they are feeling in that moment. Which of their senses are being stimulated? Would they like to repeat the experience in the future or avoid it? Why do they think it made them feel the way it did? This applies to both physical and mental responses to a situation, both positive and negative.

As an example, you could go out for a walk in the park and talk to your child about what they can see, feel, hear, smell or even taste. Encourage them by suggesting some examples, like the leaves crunching beneath your feet, the cool breeze on your skin or the birds singing in the distance. 

Help your child recognise negative thoughts, like when they’re nervous or anxious. Ask them if feeling that way has prompted any physical changes in their body, like increased heart rate, sweaty palms or shaking. Encourage them to come back to the present by asking them “Are you in any danger right at this very moment?” or “Will this problem still be a problem in an hours’ time or tomorrow?” This will help bring them back to the safety and comfort of the present moment, which isn’t usually as bad as it first seems. 

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Setting Up the Perfect Study Space for Your Child

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A child’s study space plays an important role in their ability to learn at home and complete their homework efficiently, so it’s crucial for parents to help prepare this space with functionality in mind. There are lots of factors to consider, from the layout to the lighting. I have teamed up with a preparatory school in Richmond to offer you some tips on how to set up the perfect study space for your child.

First of all, it’s absolutely vital that your child’s study environment is free from distractions, like the TV or any other digital devices. If your child can see their PlayStation in the corner of their eye whilst studying, it will be so much harder for them to focus. Consider setting up the study space in an environment that is as far away from any distractions as possible. 

A messy environment can also be quite distracting and will make it difficult for your child to find the appropriate books and other study equipment. With that said, make sure that the space is neat and tidy by investing in some shelving or even just some storage boxes, to keep everything as organised as possible. 

Try to make use of natural light, if possible, by setting up the desk near a window. Of course, natural light isn’t always available, especially after school in the winter months, so make sure there are other appropriate lighting options in the room. For instance, a desk lamp will brighten up your child’s books so that they can read properly. Inadequate lighting in this sort of environment can lead to eye strain and headaches, which will obviously drastically reduce motivation and productivity. 

Speaking of aches and pains; make sure your child’s desk and chair are comfortable and adjustable, so that they don’t have to slouch or bend their wrists in strange positions. This can result in all sorts of problems, like repetitive strain injury or issues with posture. 

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5 Benefits of Continuing Education Online as a Parent

Being a parent is a wonderful experience that changes many aspects of your life. Something you may have considered since having a child is changing your career path in order to better your family and lifestyle. One of the best ways to do so is by gaining a new qualification. This will open up many doors and will make it easier to transition into a new career. Many parents are choosing to study an online course rather than a traditional one. Online learning does come with a number of benefits that suit parent life. Today, we will be taking a look at five benefits of continuing education online as a parent. 

Plenty of Options 

If you are interested in a specific field, there are multiple topics and courses that you can choose from. You won’t have to relocate and can study in your own time. This means you can finally learn skills to get into something that you enjoy and will benefit your future. Fresno Pacific University has a wide range of options available, from workshops to professional education. Learn more at https://ce.fresno.edu/.

More Cost Effective 

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Once you do your research into online courses, you will notice how cost effective they are compared to traditional methods of learning. This is due to the reduced time and resources required for training. You will also save money on learning materials, accommodation and travel, which shows how economical e-learning is – and you surely know that saving money is necessary when you have kids. 

They Are Flexible 

Looking after children, taking care of yourself and staying on top of other responsibilities can be tough and hectic, especially if you have classes to attend. However, with an online degree, you will be able to complete your study in your own time. This flexible and convenient schedule makes online learning programs perfect for parents who want to continue their education or follow a new career path. 

Earn and Learn 

A flexible schedule also means you can earn while you learn. When you have a family to look after, you will need a stable income in order to support them. This can put many people off changing their career. Fortunately, when you study online, you will be able to continue working and study in your free time. Courses are also easily accessible, so if you have spare time at work or on your commute, you can use it to study. 

Develops Valuable Skills 

As well as learning all of the relevant information associated with your online degree, you will also develop a wide range of valuable skills that will be useful at home and in the workplace. Even though you can study in your own time and at your own pace, you will have to meet deadlines. This will teach you self-discipline and responsibility, as well as how to manage your time and stay motivated. 

Online education has its pros and cons. Most of the benefits make it a perfect option for parents, but you need to make sure you are well aware of the disadvantages before you commit to a course. 

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Decisions You Should Make Before Investing Any Of Your Hard-Earned Money

If it were easy to make money from investing, everyone would be doing it. As it turns out, that’s not the case. In fact, a lot of retail customers can find themselves in severe trouble when they fail to observe prudent investing advice. They jump in at the deep end, hoping for the best, without really understanding how the financial world works. It’s a disaster. 

In this post, we take a look at some of the critical decisions you should make before investing any of your money. 

Mix Your Investments

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While some investors like Warren Buffet and Peter Thiel can make a killing on a small handful of companies, they are very much the exception to the rule. They’re like the Mozarts and the Shakespeares of the financial world, able to see hidden trends that nobody else can perceive way ahead of time. 

In that regard, though, they are very much ahead of the curve. The average person simply can’t emulate their success. It would be foolish even to try. 

If you’re just a regular investor, your best bet is to build a mix of assets. That way, you’re eliminating a lot of your risk in one fell swoop. If some of the underlying assets go down, it won’t matter as much because you’ll make gains on others. 

Maintain An Emergency Fund

We all saw what happened in the markets earlier in the year. The Dow fell by over 30 percent from its peak, bottoming out around 19,000 following the dire news about COVID-19. And a lot of people lost their money. 

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Equity markets are always going to go through cycles of joy and despair. While the stock market is a rising tide that lifts all boats, there are serious problems associated with it too. You don’t want to be the person who has to pull money out of the market while it is crashing just to meet your day-to-day expenses.

The trick here is to have an emergency fund in cash that is ready to go so that you don’t have to pull your funds from the market when it is down. In other words, emergency funds let you avoid real losses. 

Use Derivatives To Your Advantage

You no longer have to buy stocks directly anymore to make money on the markets. You can also buy derivatives – financial instruments like CFD options that link to the underlying equity. 

You can often make a lot of money using these instruments, especially when the market is volatile. What’s more, you can enrich yourself regardless of whether the market is going up or down, which isn’t usually the case for direct equity ownership. 

Rebalance Your Portfolio Over Time

Even if your investment goals don’t change, the types of companies you need in your portfolio will. Remember, a lot can change in ten years. In 2010, GoPro was one of the hottest stocks on the market. Now people barely talk about it. 

Rebalancing your portfolio simply means ensuring that it continues to serve your purposes. 

 

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Is My Child Ready for Nursery?

If you are trying to decide whether your child is ready to go to nursery, but you need a bit more information before you make up your mind, then hopefully this blog will help.

Some parents choose to send their child to nursery because of work commitments and some simply want their child to start developing their social and learning skills, before starting school.
Whatever your reason, deciding when is the right time to start nursery is always difficult for parents.

To help give you some guidance, here is some helpful advice from Riverside Nursery Schools

What is the right age for nursery?

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Most nurseries accept children from the age of three months to five years, however some pre-schools or playgroups, may require children to be over two. It is best to check the admission requirements with your local nurseries. Trust your instincts when deciding the right age. If your child has started to try things on their own, become more curious and developed an interest in other children, then these are all good signs that your child is ready to start nursery.

How do I choose a nursery?

When to begin nursery is very much down to your individual circumstances, however it is important that you make plenty of visits to find the nursery most suited to your child’s needs. Before you visit, make a list of all the things that are important to you and any questions you may have. It is also a good idea to take your child along to see how they interact in this new environment.

What questions should I ask the nursery?

To understand exactly what a typical day looks like at the nursey, be sure to ask about meal times, activities and nap times (if required). This will help you to determine if their schedule will suit your child’s current routine. You may also wish to ask questions about what is provided by the nursey, for example, will food and drink be included or will you need to provide a packed lunch? What about nappies or a potty?

What if I am still unsure?

If you are still unsure, but would like to test the waters, you could look into local parent and baby groups. These groups will provide an opportunity for your child to socialise with other children and learn through activities such as music and dance, while you are still close by.

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The Importance of Pastoral Care in Schools

Pastoral care helps to support the physical and emotional welfare of each student. This is why pastoral care is one of the most important responsibilities within a school.  Pastoral care duties are usually shared between school staff and teachers, but it should extend to the whole school.

An effective pastoral care programme ensures the success and personal development of all children, so they can thrive academically and socially. It should also encourage pupils to respect each other and celebrate diversity.

To get a better understanding of why pastoral care is so important, an independent school in London   has shared the following information…

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Pastoral care practices are often integrated into lessons. For example, children are taught about bullying, mental health and sex education, as well as road safety and online safety. Many schools have their own Pastoral Care Manager who is in charge of monitoring and supporting children’s emotional and behavioural needs, as well as assisting with learning difficulties.

From playground injuries to sickness bugs, pastoral care covers the many procedures schools need to deal with accidents and illnesses. If your child’s school offers immunisation programmes, this would also fall under a pastoral care duty. A Pastoral Care Manager is also responsible for liaising with parents and carers to ensure that children are protected from neglect, abuse and exploitation.

Ensuring the school premises are safe and secure also comes under the pastoral care system. This is usually assigned to a caretaker to oversee. They will check all school boundaries are secure and that the fire alarm system is tested regularly. School security also ensures that everyone visiting the school is signed in and closely monitored.

Pastoral care at boarding school is supervised by the boarding staff. They need to be on-hand to provide additional support for children staying away from home. These children may need additional help with certain household duties, transport or making arrangements for cultural and religious celebrations.

 

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Exploring Moral Values with Your Child

Morals help children to understand the difference between right and wrong behaviour, which is why it is so important for parents to role model honesty, kindness, good manners and respect. 

Exploring morality will also help children to understand how to treat other people and allow them to develop key social and communication skills for their future.

To help you explore moral values with your child, here are some great tips from an independent girl’s school in Buckinghamshire

Setting a good example

Children learn from their parents, which is why it is so important to be a good role model.  Show kindness to others, be aware of how you talk to people and always demonstrate good manners for your child to replicate. 

Listening to others

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Teach your child to be polite and explain the importance of listening to others, especially when they are speaking. This is particularly important in the classroom. Help your child to understand that it is respectful to listen to their teacher and follow their instructions.

Showing kindness

Teach your children to always be kind and to value other people’s ideas and opinions. Encourage the idea of treating others as they wish to be treated and helping those in need.

Acknowledging mistakes

Give your child space to work things out alone. Disputes with friends are common at school and learning how to resolve these issues is an important life-skill. Furthermore, if you make a mistake or have a disagreement with your child, be sure to apologise. This will show that you value and respect their thoughts and feelings. By apologising to your child you will also be teaching them how to treat others and how to accept responsibility.

Valuing school

Finally, try to encourage your children to value their own learning and success. They can demonstrate this by being on time to school, working to the best of their ability, completing homework and being polite to their teachers. If your child’s school has a list of core values, it can be helpful to read this together with your child.

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How to Take Control of Family Finances

If your finances have taken a bit of a battering over recent months, you’re certainly not alone. Belt tightening has almost become a national pastime. One we hope won’t go on for too much longer.

On the positive side, it’s first class motivation for finally sitting down and sorting out your money: where’s it coming from, where’s it going, and how you can keep hold of it a bit longer.

No Complicated Tech Needed

It doesn’t come much simpler than a pen and notebook. Armed with a recent bank statement (one for each of your accounts if you have more than one bank account) you can start right now getting to grips with spending and saving. Unless you’re a whizz at mental arithmetic, a calculator might come in handy too.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop you firing up the computer and opening a spreadsheet if that’s how you like getting things done. But, if you use a small notebook you can carry it around with you and jot down purchases as you make them.

Whichever method you choose, you’ll need five columns with these headers for the information they’ll contain:

  1. Date: The date the transaction took place. It might be a cash or debit card purchase or a direct debit or standing order. If you run a credit card, make a separate sheet for this, then note down the repayments to that card on this main sheet that’s tallying your main bank account.

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  2. Item: What you bought, be it grocery shopping or coffee and cake with friends.
  3. Income: Record where income came from. Salary, for example.
  4. Cost: How much was it?
  5. Balance: At the very top of this column, write your current bank balance from your up-to-date bank statement. Now each time you make a purchase, subtract the amount from the current balance and write the new balance in the column. When you’re recording income, add it to the balance.

You can have a new page every week or create a fresh page at the start of every month. Write your bank balance from the previous month or week at the top of your balance column to get started. Don’t forget to add direct debits or it’s easy to think your running balance is bigger than it is.

 

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Is online learning the future of education?

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The world of education—like so many aspects of life—has completely transformed over the last 20 years. With the emergence of mobile devices, improved connection speeds, and increasingly smart artificial intelligence (AI) applications, the world in 2020 is almost unrecognizable from that back in 2000.

The virtual worlds allowed by computers and technology are increasingly merging with the real world, and are providing a vastly enhanced user experience and considerable advantages to most areas of life. Here are a few reasons why online learning might replace traditional practices.

Technology and education 

Education, too, has seen considerable changes over the last two decades. Where once computers were a rarity in classrooms and lecture halls, these days, laptops and tablets are an everyday part of learning. 

However, it’s the developing world of online learning that holds the most intriguing promise. Purely online courses, such as those provided by https://online.bankstreet.edu/, offer the perfect mix of convenience and affordability that is simply not possible in traditional learning experiences. 

Online learning has proven so successful over recent years that there is convincing evidence to suggest the future of education may move fully online sooner than we think.   

Online education is cheaper than its real-world counterpart

In almost all cases, learning online is cheaper than attending real-world classes—and is always considerably less expensive than one-to-one learning. By structuring lessons online, course designers can think about featuring reusable content that can be used repeatedly to achieve the same goals (for example, pre-recorded tutorials or interactive assignments). These considerable cost savings can then be passed on to the student.

Also, real-world learning comes with an inherent cost overhead—the price of the lecturer’s time, rent and rates for space, utility bills for lighting and heating, etc. In addition, students will also likely incur travel costs to get to college or university. With online learning, everything becomes considerably cheaper.  

There is a vast range of courses available

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Partly because of the reduced overhead—partly because of the diverse nature of the internet itself—there is a far wider range of course subjects available online. As well as online versions of existing courses, there are also programs designed specifically for web-based students—everything from music creation to astrology or quantum physics. If you search hard enough, you’ll likely find the course you’re looking for already exists. 

Online education is flexible

Traditional, fixed lesson times simply can’t compete with the flexibility offered by online learning. For many people, taking further education is a juggling act trying to fit study around existing family, social life, and work responsibilities. With online learning, both students and teachers can schedule lessons at a time that suits both. Furthermore, many classes and assignments are pre-recorded, meaning learners can view them anytime, anywhere. Students are far more likely to engage positively (and learn more) when they can work at a pace and time that suits them. 

Learning online is more immersive and collaborative

Learning online means having access to the internet’s vast library of media and resources including photos, maps, videos, 3D models, Google Earth, etc. Moreover, improved connection speeds and technology can mean students can take part in virtual debates with fellow class members—or work on projects together using collaborative work platforms. 

Online course content is customizable

As most courses are built in digestible modules or sections, students can mix and match the particular skills they want to learn. Moreover, entirely new classes can be constructed that are aimed at specific levels of ability or the individual skills needed for particular vocations. Real-world learning simply can’t compete on the same level in terms of customization. 

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