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Supporting A Dyslexic Child: Advice For Homeschooling Parents

Do you homeschool your children? If so, you’re probably eager to provide them with the best education possible. Homeschooling is tough enough. But when you have children with special educational needs, the task can become even more difficult. If you have a child with dyslexia, here is some advice, which may prove useful.


Identifying dyslexia in children

Dyslexia is one of the most types of learning difficulty. It affects your ability to read, write, and spell. Signs of dyslexia usually become apparent when a child starts to take part in learning activities at school. They may struggle to write coherently, read words and spell. It may become evident that they’re not progressing as quickly as other children, and they may be finding tasks much more difficult.

Children with dyslexia often spell words by putting the letters in the wrong order and write letters the wrong way round. It’s common to confuse the letters ‘b’ and ‘d’, for example. Children may also find it hard to interpret written instructions, even if they normally respond to verbal prompts swiftly.

Unlike other types of learning difficulty, dyslexia does not affect intelligence. However, it can make life much tougher during both childhood and adulthood.

If you think your child may have dyslexia, it’s important to seek advice. Tests can be used to make a diagnosis, and there is additional support available for children and adults.

Supporting a child with dyslexia at home

Dyslexia is one of the most common barriers to learning. It can be tough for children to concentrate and maintain effort when they find tasks much harder than other children. They may also get frustrated and disheartened. If your child has dyslexia, here are some tips to help you improve their confidence and help them with reading, writing, and spelling.


Daily reading is highly recommended for dyslexic children. When you read together, encourage them to practice forming the words aloud, and encourage them constantly. Make sure they know that you are there to assist, but let them try to overcome obstacles independently. Write down new words they have learned, and read to them so that they expand their vocabulary. Choose books that are a suitable level. If you go for something too complex, this can knock a child’s confidence.


Many children learn to print words before they attempt joined-up writing. For dyslexic children, learning two types of handwriting can be tough. Instead, encourage your child to learn a continuous style from day one. Practice writing exercises as part of your daily regime. You’ll find an amazing wealth of resources online.


There are certain methods you can use to make spelling easier. Practice always makes perfect, and teaching children phonics can also help children to form words. Go through spelling lists on a daily basis. Keep the lists relatively short, and make sure your child masters one set before moving on to the next. Once you’ve learned spellings, use the words in different contexts. You can combine writing, spelling, and reading tasks.

Dyslexia affects many children. Although it has no bearing on intelligence, it can have a very significant impact on learning. If you have a child with dyslexia, these tips will hopefully help you to reassure and support them in their learning and development.

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Can You Just Smell Clean for a Minute?

A little song I penned to be sung to the music of the classic Nirvana song ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.

Roll up your sleeves, and bend your knees

Prepare to change another nappy

It’s gonna leak, it’s so absurd 

That there’s another dirty turd 

Bend low, bend low, bend low for a clean bum hole

Bend low, bend low, bend low for a clean bum hole

Bend low, bend low, bend low for a clean bum hole

With the lights out, it’s more dangerous

In the darkness, the smell’s contagious 

Grab the iPad, to entertainment us

As you plop, and then you’d better flush

A baby grow

Soiled, oh no

Here we go

There’s poo on my toe

Yeah, hey, yay

I’m worst at changing number twos

But I’ve changed more than Daddy will ever do

Your face turns red, you start to strain

We toss a coin, here we go again

Oh no, oh no, oh no we were too slow

Oh no, oh no, oh no we were too slow

Oh no, oh no, oh no we’re always too slow

Now the lights are on, we can see the mess 

How did it get there, on your Minions dress?

I’m so stupid, when will I learn?

When it comes to poo, it’s always my turn

Want a nappy?

For a wee?

Let it hang out

Let him roam free

Yeah, hey, yay

And I forget, it can look like paste

Smeared on jeans, oh what a waste

I’d sing about sh*t, but I’m not that kind

Oh no, no wait, oh never mind 

Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go to the shops we go

Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go to the shops we go

Let’s go, let’s go for some new clothes at Tesco

If the lights are out, it smells just as bad

It’s a bloody good job, you’re cute my lad

You think I’m stupid, but you’re singing along

What’s essentially just a poo song

A log one

A pebble one

A squashed one

Sat on by my son

Just don’t get piles, don’t get piles, please don’t get piles, you’ll poo for miles, don’t get piles…

One we caught earlier that was actually bigger than my son!


Parenting Rapped Up!

To be rapped loudly to the theme tune of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ (the unedited version.)

Now this is a story all about me,

How my house became a mess and why I’m always grubby,

And I’ll like to take a minute just sit right there,

‘Cos I’ll show you how to master the CBeebies blank stare.

In lovely West Yorkshire, I spend most of my days,

Cleaning, not sleeping and dozing in soft plays,

No chilling or relaxing, it’s taxing, not cool,

Wading knee deep in ball pools, I look like a fool.

Then a couple of mums see me stuck on the slide.

“Scootch on down!” they say, but it’s no good I’ve tried.

I managed one sip of tea before my kid got scared,

He got stuck in a net and shouted at anyone who cared.

Soft play hell – don’t forget your socks!

My daughter begs and pleads for something every single day,

For toys and sweets and her own goddamn way.

She shouts and screams so she gives me no choice,

Out come the big guns: my loud teacher voice.

She cries and on my cheeks she’s suddenly a kissing, 

I grab my keys to the car and ask her which Barbie she’s missing.

She’s crying because she is lost…in a maze!

I praise those mommas who have braved having a third,

Just how many more years do you want covered in turd?

Some mornings I wake and think I could do it again.

But then I think nah forget it, I prefer myself sane.

I pull up to my house about seven or eight,

I’ve been at parents’ evening and you’re telling me they’re still bloody awake!

But, then I look over at my babies and I love them to their bones 

Now please go to bed so I can watch ‘Game of Thrones’!

My babies




The Rushed Hour – How to Nail the School Run.

7.26am and a call comes from downstairs.

“Right, I’m off.  I’ll see you all tonight,” Teaching Dad shouts.

With only one foot pulled into a pair of black tights, I quickly look up and scan my surroundings.  Zooming in, I clock that my girl still has un-brushed hair, no shoes on and is currently glued to the tattered and cracked thing that once upon a time resembled an iPad; my boy is heaving in a corner filling a new nappy with the good stuff holding firmly onto his second Fruit Shoot of the day.

What are you doing in that corner, love?

“Can you just…”

What?  Quick.  You only have a few seconds.  Put the towels in the washer, take the dirty nappy downstairs, make me a sandwich, wash up, help me dress the kids, help dress me. Something. Quick.  Anything.

“Can you just…”

The door slams.  Damn.  The moment is gone.

Once again, I survey my surroundings.  I figure I have twenty minutes before I have to leave the house and in that time I can:

Dress, change the boy’s bum, re-dress him, drag a brush through my girl’s hair, brush their teeth, put a wash on, transfer some washing to the dryer, take the collection of empty Fruit Shoot bottles downstairs, pack bags, run up and down stairs three times to check hair straighteners are turned off and eat something…(usually discarded toast from the boy.)

Come on! We have to go! Please, at least acknowledge me.

At 7.47am, I leave the house and I am running late.

My physical being needs to be at my school desk at 8.30am.

I notice snot hanging from my boy’s nose and because I don’t want to hand over a snotty child to the ladies at nursery, I dash back into the house for tissue.  Running back out, I lock the door and head to my car.  As soon as I turn the ignition on, I have no recollection of locking the door, so I run off to check the front door again.  It’s locked.  I wonder, once again, if my straighteners are switched off even though I know I moved them from my room into the spare room.  Who knows?  Perhaps plugs can fall from beds into plug sockets…back into the house I go.

7.53am and we arrive at nursery. Despite being very content at nursery, the boy usually cries and clings to some body part of mine. This morning, however, a small miracle occurred when he allowed me to put him down and he waddled off towards the breakfast table.

I wanted to kiss him goodbye.

In a millisecond, that feeling vanished.

“Quick!” I turned to my girl.  “Go go go!  Get out before he notices.”

We run out of the door, down the path to school, where we wait in line for Breakfast Club to open at 8am.

This is where it starts to get interesting.  And when I mean interesting, I mean this is where the adrenaline kicks in because there is only thirty minutes left of The Rushed Hour and I am still in possession of one child.

8.02am and the gate is opened by the most pleasant man.

“Good morning!” he greets everyone as we enter.

I smile politely at him whilst at the same time realising that despite being second in the queue this morning, three children and a parent have slipped in in front of us.

Damn-it!  I dropped the ball when I passed the time of day with the nice man at the gate.

Should I tell them that there was a line?  Should I try to trip one of them up?  No?  I’ll just say: “Urgh!  Mummy’s going to be late again,” really loudly.  It falls on deaf ears.  Already a pro at this, the school mum has no time to hear my complaints as she has her eyes on the target: the sign in and payment desk.

Upon reaching the desk, she then decides to have a conversation.  I know!  What on earth is wrong with people these days?  They actually want to pass the time of day with an actual human being.  Do they not know that in…argh…twenty six minutes I have a computer to switch on?

“Yes, well I used to have a security guard follow me around Tesco because my daughter used to scream that loud,” I hear her saying.

I begin to tap my foot loudly behind her because, you know, every little helps.

It doesn’t help.

“You’re going to have to go and pick your breakfast yourself babe because Mummy is going to have to leave straightaway.”

The mum and children wander off and it’s our turn.

“It’s £2 for today please,”

I hand over a ten pound note and start to explain that I need some change in return because my lovely and kind colleague bought me fish and chips last night at Open Evening and I have to pay him back.

Is that someone’s foot tapping behind me?

I pocket my change and together we go to pick some cereal and toast.  My girl sits down next to her friend, I grab her bag and coat and go to hang it up.  I stop.  I turn back and go and kiss her.  One child is going to get a kiss goodbye from me today.  I then go and drop her bag off in her cute little classroom, which makes me remember how untidy I left mine yesterday.

Another morning, another Fruit Shoot fuelled meltdown

I run to the car.


8.08am and I am driving to work.  I can make it with time to spare in twenty-two minutes…if I drive at 50mph…and am the only car on the road…

So, my journey plays out something like this:

“Don’t let him out!  Don’t let him out!  Don’t let him…oh.  Why’d you let him out?”

A few minutes pass and I am making good time until I reach the dreaded right turn onto a busy road.

There’s a few cars at the junction ahead of me.

“Don’t be turning right.  Don’t be turning right!”

There’s a learner driver waiting patiently in the car in front.

I put on some rock music to calm me down.  Unsurprisingly, it does quite the opposite, but at least the poor learner driver will think I am singing loudly rather than swearing profusely.

“Don’t turn right!”

They are wanting to turn right.  Eventually, they make it out of the junction and I turn to pull out straight behind them looking like I am being towed by an invisible tow rope.  I now need to take a left.

“Don’t you dare turn left.  Please don’t turn left.  Ooh pub.”

Yes!  They don’t turn left.

And, I am on it again.

Zooming up a hill and I can almost smell the scent of education in the air.

Then suddenly, a huge Eddie Stobart lorry pulls out a few cars in front of me and the pace slows to 10mph.  10mph!  Is that even a thing?

I finally reach another junction and, while in stand still traffic, I text my boss.  Stuck behind a lorry, I tell her.  I want to punch someone, I tell her. (I have never punched anyone or anything in my life, so I very much doubt that with five minutes left to get to school, I would actually get out of my car and go punch anyone – let alone a man driving a huge lorry…)

I receive a text back and she assures me not to worry and to drive safe!  God, love her!

By now, I am in the vicinity of my school and I can see pupils walking with their uniforms on and shirts hanging out.

“Get your shirts tucked in!” I yell.  After all, it’s 8.26am, so I am almost on the clock; I figure I might as well start doing some work.

Luckily, the sounds of Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ probably (hopefully) drown me out.

Turning into the gates, I park my car, listen to the opening three chords of the next song, turn off the engine and climb out.  I rush through the door and into my classroom, change into my work shoes and switch on the computer.  At 8.29am, I saunter out into the corridor and walk calmly down to the staff room for our morning meeting.

It’s as if I have been here for hours.

Except, in my chest my heart is beating as fast as a Tre Cool drum solo.

The School Run: Nailed It!

Have you ever considered this, Mum? Why not stop taking pictures of me in my uniform and you might get to work in good time.





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Why Sport Is Good For Your Children’s Social Development


We are constantly told how important sport is for our kids’ physical health. Hundreds of thousands has been poured into raising awareness of an active lifestyle and healthy eating. This is all great. Exercise is a necessary part of your child’s physical well being. Without sport, they will face serious health issues, such as obesity. Without a proper exercise regime, they will also grow physically weak. However, the physical aspects of exercise aren’t the only positive part of sports for your children. Sport also teaches them so much more about themselves and others. It is important for their mental development too. This is often left unmentioned or disregarded. So here’s how sport can help your children’s social development.

Team Sport

Team sports require clear, honest communication. For a team to succeed, everyone must be heard. Everyone will have to be flexible and accept what is best for the team, not necessarily their own ego. There also has to be good communication among members when coming up with strategies to succeed. These skills will benefit your child within the team. It will see the team prosper and them win matches and maybe even leagues. But this positive, effective communication will spread to other areas of your child’s life. They’ll be able to talk to their teachers, their siblings and others with a sense of respect and confidence.


A sense of competition among children is positive. But this doesn’t mean petty quarrelling between siblings. Competition is most beneficial when your child displays their best talents and good performance. Sports aren’t easy. To win you have to be inspired, confident in yourself and willing to work for the results at the end. If there aren’t regular competitions in your local, you can set up your own for children in the local vicinity. You can purchase good quality trophies and awards from sites such as http://www.premiertrophies.co.uk/golf-trophies.html. This will create a social event for your children and others’ to attend. It will also give all participants something to take home and show off.


Kids don’t always have a lot to talk about. But having a hobby is good for them. Showing a keen interest in something and rejoicing in telling others about it will see your child’s popularity and self-confidence soar. Having a passion for a sport can be the start of a whole host of passions in your child’s life. The more areas and activities they explore, the better their view of the world will be. A deep investment in something is essential to happiness later in life. Give them a kick-start by helping them find a true passion from an early age.

Be proud of your child’s achievements. However, it is important to not be too pushy. Don’t expect your child to win everything they enter. Tell them how good it is to participate at all. Pushy parents can actually damage their child’s social development and self esteem. If you are harsh on your child’s achievements or dismiss something that seems important to them, then they will lose self confidence. They will be less willing to talk. They will be less invested in their achievements in sport and other areas of their life.


To the Boy in the Corner.

I saw you today.

Don’t worry.

I saw the other boys too.

Don’t fret.

I don’t think you did fret at all actually and that’s what I really admired.  I also admired the fact that you stuck up for yourself in the situation I unknowingly put you in.  You see, it was partially my fault.  I didn’t seat you in a good place in my classroom because I was rushed, so for that I apologise.  Teaching four back to back lessons today, meant that you didn’t quite get the attention you deserved when you walked into my classroom for only the second time since you started at school three weeks ago.

I am sorry that I flipped when I saw one boy point and snigger at you.

That was my trigger point and I probably didn’t help the situation when my anger boiled over.  I am not usually a shouter you see.  You’ll probably learn that in time when you get to know me better as your teacher.  But, what I am is a mother and in that split second I saw someone potentially laughing and pointing at my own son or daughter in ten years time and my instinct to protect those who are perhaps a little more vulnerable than others just kicked in.

“One thing I won’t stand for is bullying!” I yelled.  “In my classroom, no one will ever be made to feel worthless.” The boys I kept behind flinched at my voice and denied everything.

“If you don’t like each other, then that is fine, but you accept and respect each other’s differences.”

I may have stumbled on my words a little (did I mention I am not a shouter?), but the boys and you all caught onto my gist.

Everyone eventually apologised – even you.  Because you weren’t innocent in all of this.  I told you more than once to stay focused on your own work and not wind the other boys up.

I think you were trying to make amends; make them laugh perhaps, but they didn’t ‘get’ you, just as you didn’t ‘get’ them.  The most satisfying part of my job is working with young people like yourself.  Your personalities are infectious and unique and that’s an amazing thing, but unfortunately, it sometimes means that not everyone will want to be your friend while at the same time, you might not want to be theirs.  And that is fine. It’s totally fine.

“Are you okay?” I asked when the other boys had left my room.

“Yes,” you chirped.  “I didn’t see them laughing and pointing.”

Should I have left it then?  Should I have turned my back on someone laughing at you because you didn’t notice?  Your feelings were not hurt and you’re fine – you told me so.

Was I wrong to try and help?

“Don’t ever change,” I told you as you left my classroom.  “Don’t let others tell you who you should be.”  You looked at me, smiled and then sauntered away to your next lesson.

I imagine that everything I said to both you and the boys vanished from your minds within the hour.

But, with me it lingered because I fear I made a mistake.  Perhaps a quiet word with the perpetrators would have been the better solution, but the idea of someone being bullied in my class caused me to lose my cool, if only for a moment.

Please be assured that the next time you all enter my class, everything will be forgotten. I’ll sit you in a seat better suited to your needs and I will teach, talk to and laugh with the others who may or may not have laughed at you because with each new lesson comes a new start, a new learning focus and a new way of earning mutual respect for one another.

This evening, my daughter told me that a big girl was mean to her today at school.  In only her third week at school, my heart ached a little for her.  I don’t quite think she fully understands the term bullying (and I don’t think she is being bullied), but she recognised the fact that being called a ‘weirdo’ is not right or acceptable.  I asked her to talk me through what happened.

It was during Breakfast Club and I think she was struggling pick up her empty bowl and cup to return to the adults who were serving the food and drink.  I think she asked one of the older pupils to help and she was ignored.  Later, she told me, the same pupil pushed into her and called her a ‘weirdo’.  I am not naive in the fact that what my four year daughter told me may not be entirely true, so rather than tell her to retaliate or tell a teacher, I simply told my girl to ignore and stay away from the said pupil.

“Next time she does it Mummy, I’ll just shout ‘No, that’s naughty!'” she said.

As much as I wanted to fist bump her and yell ‘yeah, you go girl!’ I feared that this would only provoke the pupil into calling her a name again, or heaven forbid, laugh at my girl’s feeble attempt at sticking up for herself.

Was my daughter fazed by allegedly being called ‘weird’?  No, of course she wasn’t.  In fact, if I were to mention it to her again in the morning, she would probably deny all knowledge of having said it in the first place – such is the sieve like memory of a four year old recalling a school day. (She remembers every single day for a year that she wants jelly maker for her birthday, but can’t remember anything she does at school – heaven help me when she is fourteen.)

However, if (and it is a big IF), if my daughter is wronged again by this pupil, or by any child, then this defence mechanism of loudly saying ‘no that’s naughty’ she seems so eager to try might just draw the attention of some caring teacher who will not stand for any bullying in his or her classroom. And whether my girl wants the teacher’s attention to be drawn to her or not, the bullying, the name calling, the pushing, the being called out for being different has to stop.


Therefore, to the boy in the corner.  Let me apologise for perhaps drawing some unwanted attention to you.  But, I won’t apologise for highlighting yours and many others’ plight.

I won’t stand for bullying in my classroom.

Not now.

Not ever.

Being true to yourself is cool as is enjoying and working hard at school! 😊





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Essentials To Remember When Home Schooling Seems Tough

There are plenty of reasons why we choose to homeschool a child, and they vary from parent to parent. Some parents want to raise their kid in a specific faith environment, while others just don’t have good schools nearby. Some parents have children who have special needs, and others are worried about bullying. Whatever the reasons, homeschooling has been shown to have positive results for kids.

Of course, the fact we need to bear in mind is that there are as many different ways to approach homeschooling as there are people who do it. The way you choose to do it may be different from the way I do, and so on. And as long as you raise a well-adjusted, clever kid with options for the future, it’s a success. But I can say you’ll have doubts about whether you’re doing it right. Why? Because every parent who home schools their kid does. And every parent who doesn’t, too.

Image Credit: Pixainsecurity-1306280_1280-1


Why Would You Have Doubts?

Simply put, you get one shot at every decision you make in life, and the road not traveled will always be there in the back of your mind. If your kid struggles with math, you’ll wonder if a school teacher would have made it easier. If your child’s friends are on a field trip, and he or she wants to go, you’ll wonder. Because you could have done it differently, you’ll wonder if you should have. And similarly, those choices exist between different choices you can make in homeschooling.

What Can You Do About Those Doubts?

Not much, you’ll still have them even if your kid goes on to become President. But you have those doubts because you care. Allow them to guide you to the right decision. It’s good that you have them – you love your kid! If you feel you can’t get them where they need to be in Chemistry or any other subject that passes you by, there are home tuition options that will give them a better chance. You don’t have to do it all on your own!

Do Parents Who Send Their Kids To School Have This Problem?

Absolutely they do! And a few more besides. The right decision for your child is the one you’re most comfortable with, and for those parents; that’s what suits them. But on the other hand, they have to worry about bullies – no school is without them. They have to worry about their child being overlooked – class sizes mean it can be unavoidable. You don’t have to worry about these things.

At times, of course, it’s going to feel like you’re not getting the right results. You may not feel like you want to send your child to school, but you’ll wonder if you’re doing it right. And sometimes you’ll need to change things. That’s what parenting is all about, in the end.

You’re only ever failing as a parent if your child has reason to doubt that you love them and want the best for them. Making the right decisions for their education is a sure sign that you do both.