Kitchen School Day 2

Facebook Post 24th March 2020

The Kitchen School – Day 2.

Started off with some PE courtesy of Joe Wicks (Get in!!) and children ready and willing to learn but the tech is currently letting us down. Struggling to get onto the DL website to access their resources so looks like I need to print them off to stop the frustration. Good job we stocked up on printer ink.

A slight meltdown with youngest – because he wanted one iPad instead of another but CBeebies Island game has now calmed him down.

I think a walk around the garden looking at the mud will be needed later.

Kitchen School – Day 1

Facebook Post 23rd March 2020

 

Kitchen School – Day 1!

So this morning has been fairly productive.

Got up at the usual time, breakfasted and dressed ready to go to our hospital appointment. Benjamin’s blood pressure is all good so his dose has been doubled to help him continue developing with his ADHD under control.

Got to the dairy for milk and yoghurt, the pharmacist for the new prescription and home…..only to find the internet playing up!!! Argh!!!

No panic….

rebooted and all children quietly sitting doing school work at the moment apart from Fran who is currently under the watchful eye of the baby-sitter known as Winnie the Pooh.

I am really impressed with them so far….so far.

Covid 19 Lockdown – First Weekend

So the weekend is over and the reality hits.

Good luck….

To all of you for who facilitating home Education was never in your remit.

To the self employed friends of mine who used the time their children were at school to do their admin.

To those who used the time their children were at school as downtime.

To those of you with preschoolers who demand attention that you would normally be directing elsewhere.

To those of you with children who being at school and actually learning is such a massive part of their life that they are in tears at the thought of not being able to achieve it.

To those with children who really don’t want to work from home but you know need to.

To carers of children with special needs that need the routine of a day in school.

To those of you with loved ones who are key workers who can’t isolate and go in day in and day out into the lion’s den.

To those who are scared they are going to make a right hash of it.

To those struggling with the fear of catching COVID – more so because they or loved ones are in the high risk groups.

To those of you who are key workers who are heading into the lion’s den to help feed us, nurse us and look after the children who are still at school.

To everyone who needs it.

It is all very well saying don’t stress too much about the education side of it….when you have polar ends of the scale the needs of all need to be balanced. Good luck with it. Xxxx

Covid-19 Crisis Management

Facebook Post 18 March 2020

I said recently crisis management was where my strength lies – as in when in a crisis as opposed to doing it as a job.

If I get too much with my crisis stuff just wind me in but I need to be doing stuff to stop me fretting.

With this in mind I have prepped an email for all our clients, discussed how we will home school if the schools go into lock down, prepped a lot of stuff ready to go and find if/when it happens.

Set up a cyber cafe because we need a place away from the time line full of covid-19 related stuff….which is great in terms of all the support groups but acts as a constant reminder of the fear and uncertainty we all face at the moment.

Dealt with some scouts issues and have a head full of ideas moving forward!

All I ask – when this is all over – just check on me because I know that its when I will crash!

It’s the small things!

Facebook Post 28th May 2019 – Sometimes it is the small things that make the difference!

 

This deserves its very own picture posting……look at our front door! Ok…so I know it isn’t to everyone’s taste but ohemgeeeee!

Both hubby and I played in the design a door app on the Solidor website. We didn’t look at each other’s and then we compared…..we had designed exactly the same door! The only difference was I deliberately chose grey although I adored the blue. I didn’t want people to think the only reason we had blue was for him  to keep me happy…..his was blue….. “oh well….go on then!” I have a TARDIS type front door! 😍😍😍😍😍

I know…small things please small minds but….TARDIS BLUE!

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Make Leicester British – and other such hate-mongering drivel

Last night I lowered my standards. Last night I watched a Channel 4 “documentary” which I knew before it started was going to be inflammatory yet I still watched it.

And within the first few minutes I was angry. After a few minutes more I was berating the programme and a few minutes later I turned it off as I like my television and didn’t want to throw anything at it. But why should I be so upset about it? I knew it was designed to inflame so why put myself in the situation of watching it?

Simply because I am fearful. I am fearful that if no-one starts to stand up to these media bullies that our country will become even more damaged than it currently is. However – to be able to stand up and say “this is wrong” I had to have a bit of a peek to see what at was all about.

Channel 4  have a history of creating “fly on the wall” documentaries but they are very clever with it. They pick the characters who will cause the most mayhem. The characters who will give them the most media coverage and draw the most Neanderthal people into their web of manipulative deceit. They did it with Benefits Street and they have done it again with this programme.

Their “cross representation” of Leicestershire people was so misrepresentative of the majority of us here that it was laughable. Put them altogether in a  house where there aren’t enough bedrooms to give them privacy and what do you get? Wife swap!

The likes of the Britain First followers have field days after programmes like this – get them all out, send them all home put them on a ship and let the Royal Navy have target practice. Channel 4 seem to thrive on the mayhem and disharmony they cause and then go on to find the next vicious thing to do. But why??

I have a conspiracy theory on this….

Keep the lower classes fighting against each other. Keep feeding the bonfire of discontent that is drawing in so many low paid, maybe less educated, stressed and  disheartened people and watch them turn on each other because whilst they are doing this we are missing the important things that are occurring. The stealth privatisation of the NHS, the sneaking in of the TTIP, the changes in the fracking guidelines that allow them to dump ANYTHING under our houses with no consequences, the tax evasion of huge corporates such as Amazon and Starbucks, and many more important issues that are being snuck in whilst the lower classes are fed lies and horror stories to keep them bickering. The powers that be, the media and the bankers must be sipping their expenses-paid champagne and laughing as they watch us tear each other apart.

Leicester is British. It does have its problems – what city doesn’t – but in general we get along. As for integration….. we, as a country, have been doing that since the Vikings and Romans and every other culture that has popped over to say hello. We are British and I am proud to be British despite the problems we face.

Ratios: Safety or Savings?

As many of you know I am a mum of three young children (although sometimes the way Alex acts you would think she was a mother herself) and I struggle to keep them all entertained and happy. I am sure it is this way for many people who have young children and it has been this way for me ever since Benjamin was born – when I had three children under 4 years old.

I am telling you this because I have been watching the news today with growing concern.

The current ratios for childminders in England is currently as follows:

  • a maximum of six children under the age of 8;
  • of these six children, a maximum of three may be young children*, (a child is defined as a “young child” up until 1st September following his/her 5th birthday).
  • no more than one child may be under the age of 1.

In all circumstances the maximum number of children under 8 being cared for must not exceed six. *1

So, as things stand in the current state of play – up until Alex reached 5 I had maximum occupancy if I were a childminder.

Elizabeth Truss, the early Years Minister, is suggesting that childminders have this restriction lifted – to four children with an option for two under a year old. This is in an attempt to make childcare more affordable.

She is also proposing that nurseries be allowed to relax their ratios when qualified staff are present, so that instead of one staff member to four children aged two, the number would rise to one staff member to six children. In the case of one-year-olds, the permitted staff to child ratios would rise from the current one-to-three, to one-to-four. *2

Now, having been in the situation that many childminders are in I am really concerned about the implications this may have. It is bad enough trying to keep our eyes on the number currently in place but an extra one? That to me is the first ingredient in a recipe to disaster

I’m also not sure how it will save money? Is the proposal that, because the CM can look after more children they should do it for less money per hour? If so is she suggesting that they work harder for the same or just a slightly increased income?

And with regards to the proposed nursery and pre-school changes – are they expecting the same thing? That the people who work in them do so for less per hour for more work?

Her next sweeping statement was that she had “seen too many chaotic settings, where children are running around” and that “In an interview with the Daily Mail, she said many nurseries were filled with toddlers ‘running around with no sense of purpose’.” *2

Her proposal was to follow the French system more closely where graduate level teachers supervise children from as young as two.

So – please correct me if I am reading this incorrectly……

she wants to increase the number of children that CMs and EYFS carers can look after to cut costs yet she wants the EYFS carers to be post-graduates or fully qualified EYFS teachers. Now – if you have spent all that money going through university to become a post graduate are you really going to be happy trying to pay off your student loans on the rates of pay that nurseries and pre-schools pay? Isn’t that going to push the costs up again? Has she also forgotten that many of them are keyworkers and have to do paperwork outside of their hours that they are open as a pre-school?

Also, what happens in the meantime to all those people currently working in childcare? Do we just sweep them aside when the next batch of post-grads qualifies in the summer? Does experience working with children count for nothing?

As for her generalised sweeping comments about unruly behaviour I would love her to come and see the Pre-school that Benjamin is in. It is a fabulous establishment where they have some brilliant ideas and they have a lovely set of children who know what their routine is each day and the majority of the little people do it without too much complaint – and they have been like this ever since Jack went there 2 years ago. Yes, in September, there are a coupe of unruly weeks as the new (especially younger) members find their feet but many of these are just two years old – please show me a 2 year old who doesn’t have moments of random unruliness – but they do very quickly settle into the routine.

Please don’t get me wrong – I know that there are good and there are bad placements just as there is good and bad in everything – but clubbing everyone together in that huge sweeping statement makes me quite cross.

I don’t normally blog about politics as it is a kettle of worms that I delve into occasionally on Facebook but not here however this particular subject has me concerned that safety is being jeopardised in an effort to save money that I don’t understand how they can save in the proposed way. I sincerely hope that a child doesn’t suffer if these proposals go through.

If anyone can enlighten me then please feel free – nicely.

*1  – http://www.pacey.org.uk

*2 The Guardin newspaper

Soundtrack Of My Life

Some songs have stuck with me for a number of reasons. These songs mean something to me – as well as being awesome tunes. So – in no particular order…..

  • Seasons In The Sun – Terry Jacks.

There is something in the simplicity of this song that has always grabbed my heart strings. I first heard it on “DLT’s Picture Show” which put new videos to old songs The video was of a soldier dying and reliving his life and it made me cry. One of the first things ever to make me cry. One of the next was when Westlife murdered it.

  • Angels – Robbie Williams

This has been a developing soundtrack for me. Played loads of times when I lost my Beannie but it developed from a sad tune into a happier one when I met my, now, husband. He runs a company called Angelic and he was my angel. He still is.

  • Something Inside So Strong – Labi Siffre

A beautiful song about passion and belief. A song that stopped me from turning my car into the central reservation at 70mph. I used to use it at the end of my karaoke and discos and I had a booking the day I hit rock bottom. I started singing it over and over to get me through that journey home because I didn’t want to let the people who had booked me down. It was the penultimate song of my wedding night disco to Richard and the song that kept me alive.

  • Search For The Hero – M People

My self-esteem is shot. Has been ever since I was a victim of childhood abuse and this song used to give me hope. That maybe, just maybe, I was okay and there would be hope for me at the end of the journey. I’m still searching.

  • Get Here – Oleta Adams

A gorgeous song about dedication. No matter what hardship you put in my way I will get to you. I will overcome all to be with you. A song that Richard and I used to dedicate to each other on the radio when we were across the Midlands from each other. It was our first dance when we got married. To my Angel from your Dragon.

  • If You’re Looking For a Way Out – Odyssey

My ex-husband, Phil, introduced me to this song. He asked me to believe the words and follow them, regardless of the reasons, if I ever needed to move on. I played it several times before we went on holiday in April 2004 which was where we decided that things had changed since his assault and we parted company. I needed to listen to it all those times to help me find the answer.

  • I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

Not all of the words are relevant but the title says it all.

  • You To Me Are Everything – The Real Thing
  • You Are My Sunshine – Jimmie Davies

Both of these songs were frequently sung to all my babies as a means of getting them to sleep – especially You Are My Sunshine. It still gets used if any of them are feeling poorly.

  • Is Nothing Sacred Any More – Meat Loaf

This covers both of my “failures” – my baby and my first marriage, It still makes me cry now. If love can’t hold you near me then what else is there. As you know, if you have read my previous blog entries, I have never stopped and will never stop loving Beannie. I never stopped loving my ex-husband but the person he was died the day he was assaulted. In his words “Phil is dead. Long live Phil”. After his recovery we were both different people and it wasn’t to be.

That’s my top ten all time songs. Some depressing, some inspirational but all full of meaning and pent up emotion.