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On the 11th March 2020, The World Health Organisation (WHO) categorised COVID-19 as a pandemic, with Europe declared as the new epicentre of the outbreak. As a result of this, counties across the world, including here in the UK, are experiencing closures to their schools and workplaces. Since these drastic closures have never been experienced before, the majority are understandably left worried about the impact this pandemic will have upon their child’s education. With school cancelled for the foreseeable future and uncertainty ahead, it is important to maintain normality and routine to your child’s education as much as possible. But the question remains, how can we ensure the well being and education of our children are not compromised? 
According to a recent survey carried out on behalf of the music streaming company ROXI, children are spending 23 hours per week on smartphones and other gadgets, equating to twice as much time as they spend conversing with their parents. 
What is home schooling? 
 
Although the clue is in the name, home schooling is often misperceived as set structure of a parent teaching their own child, in their own home. In fact, home schooling is the term used to explain the education of a child anywhere other than ‘school’. A child may be home educated at home, and/or in several different places, such as tuition centres and local home education centres. In many instances it is the parent who takes on the role of teacher; however, a tutor or an online teacher may also be involved in a home educated child’s learning. 
All throughout September to December children have a plethora of exciting celebrations to enjoy. First comes Halloween and Bonfire Night, then the whole of the Festive Season, which brings freedom from school, later bedtimes and the sweetest of all diets! However, to children this period of excitement seems to be over in the blink of an eye and it’s back to school in January already. Without another celebration in sight, all that’s left is two months of cold, dark and miserable weather. Sounding familiar to you? Yes, that’s right, children can suffer from the, very common, January Blues too. Therefore, it is important we help our children ease into ‘back-to-school’ life as smoothly as possible. Here at Marvellous Minds, we understand how difficult the transition back to school can be, so we have put together a short guide to help your children thrive this New Year! 
Deciding which toys are most valuable to buy can be daunting and above all confusing! The best gifts for children are those that withstand the test of time, that they will continue to enjoy long after boxing day. We believe the best toys are those which are aesthetically pleasing to children, are robust and durable and above all inspire creativity and learning. 
 
We have selected a few of our favourite educational Christmas gifts of 2019, which we believe promote both creativity and learning in the three core subjects, Maths, English and Science. All of the below are STEAM toys/ activities, meaning they combine aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths. Your little learners will love these specially selected gifts. 
For those who celebrate Christmas, it is perhaps the most exciting time of year for children. A break from school, the excitement of all the festive cheer and quality time spent with friends and family. Most children do not want to think about their Maths homework, or the English essay that is due the first day back to school! Not to mention the children who have their 11+, or mock GCSE exams in January! And who can blame them? We all want to relax and have fun at this time of year. So, is it possible to educate your children and allow them to enjoy Christmas in full, at the same time? 
In 2019 we send texts and emails to communicate, use our smart phones as personal diaries and rely on our computers to type out our work. As such, we are losing touch with the art of handwriting and spelling. As our children increasingly rely on technology for their education, it becomes ever more important to ensure that they efficiently develop their handwriting and spelling skills. 
I remember experiencing the intense preparation for the entrance exams to, what used to be called, Bedford High School (now Bedford Girls School). The verbal reasoning part of the exam was particularly challenging. Preparation and practice was key, and I still remember finding out that I had been offered a place at the school – I was so excited and happy. Although 11+ preparation can be very challenging, with the right tips you can succeed and do really well in these exams. 
With one in four secondary school students now accessing tuition it can be hard to decide which route to take for your child. Do you choose small group tuition, or one to one support? Both have benefits, but which one is really better? 
One to one tuition involves a student and a teacher and provides an individualised way of teaching. Even though this gives your child the maximum attention it also lacks in many aspects when compared to small group tuition. 
 
 

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