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The new year will come, whether you’re ready for it or not.

I know, I know, the world is drowning in New Year New Start New Decade!!! messages of all the varieties. Here’s the thing… it’s just a day on the calendar. A pin on the page where someone decided ‘let’s start counting again there’. It doesn’t even quite match the obvious natural marker of the solstice.  Don’t get me wrong, the new year can be a handy point to look back and reflect, and there’s lots of good can come from that. And making plans, I’m told, helps you achieve them. Personally, I’m still stuck in the ‘but how do you…

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Having trouble figuring out your goals? Don’t sweat it

’Tis the time of year for everyone to be talking about goal setting. What do you want to be and do in the new year? What are your goals and how are you going to achieve them? And that’s kinda fun – it’s always nice to imagine all the possibilities of a brand new year. But kinda also a bit stressful. What if you just don’t know what you want to do? There’s a lot of talk out there about following your dreams and setting yourself the big goals that slightly scare you and working all out to get there.…

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What do you want to see here?

Ahem. Time for a blog reboot. I have many posts I’ve been pondering and I hereby give notice that they’re on the way! Here’s a sneak preview of some of the things I’m thinking on… 5 awesome ways to learn… that didn’t work for us What we have found works How kids learn to cook when you can’t face baking with them A series of stories of different educational paths Astronomy GCSE resources and reviews Maths resources round-up (UK focused) Book recommendations for different home education approaches Favourite blog and podcast resources Running a home education group Group activity ideas…

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When you’re in the midst of chaos and it feels like you’re failing everyone

Sometimes it’s the crazy half hour before dinner – when you’re already running late, and your cranky toddler Won’t Stop Shouting, the baby missed a nap, and your older one just smashed a glass of the reddest smoothie you’ve ever seen all over the kitchen. Sometimes it’s when you thought you’d had a great day, then without warning you find a minor disagreement over dinner turns into your tweens both in the midst of a major meltdown because of ongoing issues between them and you can’t talk to one without the other starting up the fight again. Sometimes it’s a…

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Rosie Reads: Stargirl

‘She laughed when there was no joke. She danced when there was no music. She had no friends, yet she was the friendliest person in school. In her answers in class, she often spoke of sea horses and stars, but she did not know what a football was. She said there was no television in her house. She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to…

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The Importance of Emotions in Education

‘Emotion, then, is a basic form of decision making, a repertoire of knowhow and actions that allows people to respond appropriately in different situations. The more advanced cognition becomes, the more high-level reasoning supports the customisation of these responses, both in thought and in action. With evolution and development, the specifications of conditions to which people respond, and the modes of response at their disposal, become increasingly nuanced. The more people develop and educate themselves, the more they refine their behavioural and cognitive options. In fact, one could argue that the chief purpose of education is to cultivate children’s building…

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How experience changes the structure of the brain

‘A massive proliferation of synapses occurs during the first years of life. These connections are shaped by genes and chance as well as experience, with some aspects of ourselves being less amenable to the influence of experience than others. Our temperament, for example, has a nonexperiential basis; it is determined in large part by genes and by chance. For instance, we may have a robust approach to novelty and love to explore new things, or we may tend to hang back in response to new situations, needing to “warm up” before we can overcome our initial shyness. Such neural propensities…

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