The Wandering Mother Blog

Covid finally got me: what it really feels like…

After a whole year and a half, I’ve finally contracted covid-19 with two weeks left until my birthday and just starting a new job, it makes perfect timing!

Luckily, I will be out of self-isolation by my birthday but I’m going to have to be extra cautious because I do NOT want to get a second bout of the stuff. Also, I’ve had to cancel all upcoming birthday events and work dates.

Continue reading “Covid finally got me: what it really feels like…”
The Greenwich Mummy | Family Lifestyle & Travel Blog

Twinkl releases free e-book to support children going back to school post-lockdown

Sheffield-based company, Twinkl Educational Publishing has just released an e-book which focuses on the experiences that children may have faced during the lockdown and the emotions they may experience when returning to school next month.

The free e-book called In It Together is aimed at children aged 5-7 years and introduces four characters who demonstrate how their life changed due to the school closures. The simple text and child-friendly illustrations show how the characters lived, learned and loved during the lockdown. They are seen practising social distancing, learning from home, clapping for carers, and missing their friends and family.

The Twinkl team understood that returning to school after lockdown would be a challenging and emotional time for all children. According to Barnardos, 88% of school staff said the pandemic is likely to have a signigicant effect on the mental health and well-being of their pupils.

The Greenwich Mummy | Family Lifestyle & Travel Blog
Photo: Taylor Wilcox via Unsplash

A number of concerned parents and carers had also reached out to Twinkl through its social media groups and customer support, asking for resources to support their children or pupil’s return to class.

Twinkl encourages parents, carers and teachers to use the story to talk to children about COVID-19 and going back to school. The company also offers further free resources and advice on its site. The Twinkl Originals book was written, illustrated, designed and published in a matter of weeks as the team recognised the need to support children as schools re-opened in stages on the 1st June. The children’s story is available (for free) on the Twinkl website and the Twinkl Originals app, which is available for download on the App Store and Google Play.

There is also a reading of the book from a former teacher and team member at Twinkl, available on their YouTube channel. Jonathan Seaton, Co-Founder and CEO at Twinkl, said: “At Twinkl, we understand how extremely challenging the current situation is for parents, teachers and children. We wanted to create a story targeted at young children to support them with their return to school. The team have worked incredibly hard to produce a story which allows children to talk openly about their concerns. We hope that it will encourage conversations and be useful to people at this time.”

Katherine Richardson – a parent and reader said:
“It helped my daughter to show empathy for other children’s circumstances during lockdown and how they might be different to hers. It has given her the reassurance she needed for the next step of this journey.”

Twinkl’s mission is to help those who teach and the company offers over 640,000 teaching and learning materials on its website. All of which, are teacher created and checked. The company has recently created a free Home Learning Hub, full of daily activities and materials, to support parents, teachers and carers during these difficult times. You can access your free account by signing up on their website.


This post has been adapted from a Press Release extract

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

NEW Peppa Pig Loves Doctors and Nurses book | Book Giveaway

The kids love reading but it’s been a while since we sat down together and read a good book. Our lastest book that we read together was “The squirrels who squabbled by Rachel Bright which is such a funny little story about two squirrel friends fighting over the last nut. They both end up in a difficult situation and need each other’s help to get out of it. In the end they’re able to laugh about it with each other.

Peppa loves Doctors and Nurses book

Publishing house, Ladybird have recently launched a new Peppa Pig picture book called  Peppa Loves Doctors and Nurses to help children understand about health and hygiene a little better. In the book, it’s ‘People Who Help Us’ day at Peppa’s playgroup and the children receive a special visit from Dr Brown Bear and Nurse Fox. Peppa and the playgroup learn the importance of washing hands, staying healthy and experience the brilliant work done by all doctors and nurses.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger
Blog Giveaway: New Peppa Pig picture book!

Children have been picking up on the stress, anxiety and challenges faced by their parents and people all over the world. From dealing with the stresses of working-from-home, redundancy or unemployment it’s a very difficult time for parents. However, with school closures, social distancing rules and the uncertainty of the world’s situation, children are also facing their own difficult battles.

It’s not always easy to talk to your child/children about the pandemic, the uncertain times we’re in and general health hygiene so this book might be an excellent conversation starter for you or anyone who looks after, or cares for child/children. It gives you a chance to speak to them about the changes in the world around them in a light, positive, caring and reassuring way.

Peppa Pig Doctors & Nurses Book Giveaway!

ONE lucky winner will get their hands on the new Peppa Pig loves Doctors and Nurses book. If you want to be in with a chance of winning, simply click on the button below to head over to Rafflecopter website to enter.*

For more UK giveaways, I’ve linked up with SuperLucky.me

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways

 

*This competition has now closed.

If you missed the giveaway, you can purchase your own copy of the book on AmazonWaterstones and other leading bookseller stores.


10% of the RRP print sales go directly to The Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, run by NHS Charities Together (reg charity no. 1186569). 

The Greenwich Mummy | Family Lifestyle & Travel Blog

Tech and Homeschooling – yay or nay?

The closure of schools in response to the Coronavirus pandemic has meant millions of parents are having to play the role of ‘full-time teacher’ to their already busy work schedule. Murray Morrison, founder of learning program Tassomai and ex-supertutor explains why it’s more than OK to lean on technology for support.

Article by Murray Morrison

Let’s get one thing straight right from the start: it is not your job to replace your child’s teacher for the duration of the school closure. Parents all over the country are piling on way too much pressure to meet their own expectations of what homeschooling “should” be, while also trying to maintain their day-to-day job. Be under no illusions that your main obligation should be to your own work – you are not a teacher, and that’s fine.

Give yourself a break – and remember school will cover everything

When school resumes, the first thing that will happen is that teachers will run over everything from last year, and teach everything that had been planned for teaching during the “lost term”. There is no new learning that is meant to happen now that won’t be taught – so there is no pressure on families to exclusively cover this new content.

That said, getting your children to read what the school sends, and spend time practising, reading around the subject (and making notes where they can) will be positive – it means that when the material is taught in class, it will be easier to absorb. That’s going to be useful when the teaching next year is necessarily compressed.

Find things to occupy them so you can do your stuff

Self-directed learning will be a great stand-by: not only does it make for better, longer-lasting learning for your child, but also it gives you time to focus on your own work. The key thing is to make sure that work is done in a structured way with tangible outcomes that you can check periodically. Don’t let them just “read some notes”; instead ask them to make flashcards, make a video or write an essay. Technology comes in very useful here – especially if there is interactivity: Tassomai helps students practise knowledge through personalised quizzing while parents can see exactly how much has been done; other softwares teach through videos that track engagement.

EdTech can really be your friend when it comes to getting your children studying under their own steam: BBC Bitesize has fantastic learning games for all age groups, and a few minutes browsing YouTube will yield plenty of excellent learning channels for occasional use through the day.

Make the time you spend together happy, enriching, positive time that school cannot offer

When it comes to working one-to-one with your children, if you can take a few hours off for it, I’d recommend parents spend their time doing activities that schools cannot provide. There are a wealth of “enrichment” activities that schools struggle to support, but parents can do fairly easily. There are obvious options like craft projects, story-writing and baking which allow you to be creative and discuss words, ideas, maths and science. But you could also try some gardening projects or – with just a few materials like cardboard and tape – tackle some STEM projects like making beautiful 3D shapes, building bridges or constructing gliders.

Use technology where you can to make learning effective and powerful

My advice to parents is to spend a little time seeing what technology platforms are best-suited to solving your most pressing needs as parents: you want education technology that occupies your child’s attention so you have time to do your own work; you also want products that have a solid evidence base underpinning them, so you can be confident that their use will be beneficial.

Check sites like Edtech Impact and Edtech Evidence Group to see which products can be trusted to have a real learning impact so that you can focus on your work and make the time you spend learning with your children as wonderful as possible.


This is a contribution post written by Murray Morrison for The Expert Agency with consent to be shared on this blog.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

Axel Scheffler illustrates Coronavirus explanation book for kids (free download)

*This article was extracted from: Sky News*

A free children’s book about the coronavirus illustrated by the award-winning Gruffalo artist Axel Scheffler has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.

Coronavirus: A Book for Children is aimed at five to nine-year-olds and hopes to simply answer key questions they may be asking their parents or carers about the COVID-19 outbreak.

It has been written by staff at the publishing house Nosy Crow, with expert input from Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and advice from two headteachers and a child.

The book is aimed at 5-9 year olds

The opening page reads:

“There’s a new word you might have heard. You might hear people talking about it or you might hear it on the news.

This word is the reason that you’re not going to school. It is the reason you can’t go outside very often or visit your friends … But what is it and why is everyone talking about it?

The word is coronavirus.”

In just the first 24 hours the digital book was accessed over 100,000 times directly from the publisher’s website and hundreds of thousands of times further from other hosts.

Scheffler, who worked with author Julia Donaldson to illustrate The Gruffalo and many other books, said: “I asked myself what I could do as a children’s illustrator to inform, as well as entertain, my readers here and abroad. So I was glad when my publisher, Nosy Crow, asked me to illustrate this question-and-answer book about the coronavirus.”

It answers key questions in a simple way

“I think it is extremely important for children and families to have access to good and reliable information in this unprecedented crisis, and I hope that the popularity of the books I’ve done with Julia Donaldson will ensure that this digital book will reach many children who are now slightly older, but might still remember our picture books.”

It is available for free

Demand for the book means it has already been translated into 17 languages. Kate Wilson, managing director of Nosy Crow, said: “We have just been overwhelmed with the response to our book.”

Professor Medley added: “This pandemic is changing children’s lives across the globe and will have a lasting impact on us all. Helping children understand what is going on is an important step in helping them cope and making them part of the story – this is something that we are all going through, not something being done to them. This book puts children IN the picture rather just watching it happen, and in a way that makes the scary parts easier to cope with.”


Click below to download your free digital copy:
Coronavirus: A book for children, illustrated by Axel Scheffler (PDF format)


 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Coronavirus & Me: My experiences as an Asian Londoner

Coronavirus & me: my experiences as an Asian Londoner

*warning: ranting post*

It’s been hard to write this post as I don’t want to be negative but from the energy I can feel around me when I’m and about… I can’t brush it off and ignore it.

The first cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) hit our British shores in late January. We are now approaching mid-March and the situation has not changed much in terms of case numbers and fatalities as compared to other European countries. However, the mentality and behaviour of people in the capital has become less welcoming… well, according to my own experiences anyway.

As a Vietnamese woman, I am Asian. I look Chinese. Over the years I have learnt to become comfortable in my own skin but I won’t lie to you – these past few weeks and especially last two days have tested me. It’s made me doubt myself and left me feeling paranoid and anxious to say the least.

On the underground, some people avoid being too close to me, for fear that they will catch coronavirus – even though I am not sick nor coughing nor feverish. Others make sly comments when I’m passing by or near them… here are some examples of what I’ve experienced so far; a young child in IKEA shouting “coronavirus” to his sister as they both passed me down the aisle. A man and his friend sniggering whilst looking at me and saying “oh shit, coronavirus… we’re in for it now!” And the latest one which I overheard in a conversation between the bartender and a woman when he mentioned about the outbreak in Italy, “well, who do you think brought it there?” It seems that Chinese people are being blamed for the coronavirus spreading worldwide.

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I feel like I want to just hide away in a corner or stay at home and not go outside. When I board an empty train carriage, I find solace in its silence and can feel at ease with myself. It also gives me time to reflect on myself and my thoughts.

My friends would normally tell you that I am one of the happiest and bubbliest person that they know. I’m usually always smiling, happily greeting those who I pass by but these past few days I’ve retreated inwards, keeping my head down and just keeping it moving. It’s not been easy and certainly not as welcoming as it was pre-coronavirus.

Luckily in my little town, everyone is more inclusive. There is more sense of a community in which my family and I are accepted and treated without stereotyping or prejudice. I used to think that a city as diverse as London would always be so welcoming, inclusive and non-judgmental but in light of recent events, I’m now starting to doubt that.

I’d like to think that things will get better soon but I’m not sure how. I would like to believe that the passive aggressive comments and racial comments will stop – but I don’t think they will anytime soon. I would also like to think that people will stop stockpiling household items like toilet roll but I don’t think that will either. Who knows what the near future will look like for London but with all these talks about lockdowns and cancelled flights etc, it doesn’t look like it’ll be a fun summer.