Learning during a Pandemic with Reading Fairy York

AD/GIFTED Classes* If you’d have said to me at the start of 2020 ” You’re going to be in lockdown due to a Pandemic at the end of March and have to survive WFH full time and parenting as well as being pregnant!”, I would have definitely thought you were having me on.

When things got bad and the reality of parenting and WFH started to become a reality, I found my days were becoming more of a struggle in terms of having structure with Freya. We started well with an activity every day but quickly she lost interest and just wanted to be lazy and watch TV.

When I was offered the chance to join a term of Reading Fairy York classes with the lovely Gemma, to say I bit the hand off of Kate at Avocado Events would be an understatement. Freya and I had done no classes together other than swimming every other week since I went back to work in October 2018 so I was intrigued to see what she would be like.

If you’ve not heard about Reading Fairy before the here’s a snippet from their website:

Reading Fairy classes are designed to develop the crucial building blocks for reading and language development from 1-5 years. We believe in learning through play and nurturing a love of reading. Activities will be introduced by Reading Fairy and her four lovable friends; Phonic Fox, Music Mouse, Chat Cat and Book Bear. Each session includes: sensory and performance story telling, songs and rhymes, first words and fun phonics games and picture book time.

Our classes are progressive and are split into age groups:

Book Babies (Age 1+) -encourages early language and literacy

Toddler Tales (Age 18 months +) -active early language and literacy

Story Stars (Age 2+) -introduces letters and sounds for early reading fun

Reading Recruits (Ages 3 and 4) -develops skills for reading to prepare your child for reading at school.

Having never used Zoom before, I was a little nervous when I agreed to do the classes however Gemma provides a full information sheet ahead of each weeks class including meeting/pass codes and what the theme of the week ahead is. Alongside each theme is a list of items your child may want to have for the class as well as some amazing printouts to enjoy.

At the start of each class, Gemma lets you into the meeting and greets your child. Freya was definitely a little apprehensive at first but most recently, she has come out of her shell and enjoyed the classes more. Throughout the class there are stories, singing and lots of phonics something that Freya has started to pick up on after each class. She has enjoyed singing the songs, especially the ones she recognises from nursery and the different characters we are introduced to each week.

The brilliant thing about Gemma is she is completely understanding of children that are not feeling the camera one day or disappear out of sight during the call. I’ve regularly had Freya run off to find more toys, run to the potty or even just ask for our camera to be switched off and just enjoyed watching and listening instead. Gemma is great at engaging with the children due to her background in education and Early Years, it’s really easy to see why all the kids love her during the class.

If you’re looking for some classes in York that focus on reading and phonics then I would highly recommend Gemma.

Laura x

*Gifted Classes for a term*

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The one about the house clean

No this is not some very odd episode of Friends, although it could honestly be an episode dedicated to Monica starting a cleaning business/cleaning a very messy house. And no this is also not me declaring that my house is in dire need of a “proper good” clean.

I haven’t always loved cleaning and I know some people absolutely get their kicks off buying cleaning products and adopting the “Mrs Hinch” way of life, and after a brief moment where I actually tried it out, I knew it wasn’t for me. That being said, I 100% know that I have to clean my house or it will end up as a pig-sty so that’s where a bit of organisation comes in.

With working full time, (I work a normal working week compressed into 4 longer days), being the best mum possible, having quality time as a couple and having a social life, it’s very easy to put cleaning to the back of my mind. One thing I did learn from the “Mrs Hinch” way was tackling a room at a time and not trying to do everything in one go.

Every day I aim to squeeze in room clean and when that’s being worked around my normal job, I try to tackle tasks such as loading the washing machine/tumble dryer and filling the dishwasher. That means when I have to tackle the bigger rooms like the kitchen/bathroom cleans, I can focus on these at the weekend.

Now that I have a toddler running around and the constant reminder of tackling climate change niggling in my head, I have also tried to be more conscientious about the cleaning products I am using and not using ridiculously overpowering scents etc.

A great brand for cleaning products that can be bought both individually or wholesale is Jangro. One of my favourite arms of Jangro is the Jangro Enviro brand. When researching environmentally friendly cleaning products, their range really stood out for me. The packaging used on the cleaning products is made from recycled materials and reduces emissions to the air, water and land. The cleaning solutions themselves also come in both bottle and sachet format meaning if you are struggling for storage space at home, there are alternative options available to you.

2020 is definitely the year I become super organised in life whether it be finding fun family activities for us all, or managing to balance everything else and keep my house looking vaguely presentable and washing/ironing piles under control. I am going to make changes wherever possible to swap our usual products for more environmentally friendly options as well and can’t wait to embrace the changes.

Laura x

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Getting organised for 2020

For the first time since we moved out of our parents homes and into our own (3.5 years and 2 properties later to be exact), we finally own a wall calendar.

When Boxclever Press got in touch to offer us one of their gorgeous 2020 Family Weekly Planners, it couldn’t have been better timed as it coincided with us starting swimming lessons with Freya.

*Gifted Item*

I vowed at the end of 2019 to get really organised with our time together as a family; planning in swimming lessons and days out at the weekend when we can fit them in. Now having this family planner, I can plan make note of each family members routine whether it be work or downtime.

I also love that there is 2 perforated sections; 1 for a shopping list and the other for Things to do. I started adding things to do straight away as we had a child free night on Saturday and made the most of the time by running a ton of errands.

I put our new weekly calendar up in the hallway so we walk past it everyday and I have to say, it has made me really utilise it and add things to it as I go along. It was great for adding bits and pieces that I needed to grab from the shops and then crossing off items as they were bought.

Finally I decided to use one of the columns as a daily meal planner. The bonus of using the wipeable feature is that if you want to chop and change your meal plan each day, you can wipe them away and re-write them.

With us deciding to really improve our eating habits in 2020, this has been a real life saver and keeping us on track and minimising food waste.

2020 is going to be a really busy year for us with weddings, working away, 30th birthdays for both of us and a 3rd birthday to plan for Freya.

I can’t wait to fill it in more over the coming year and have definitely found a family planner that works for us.

Laura x

*Planner gifted in exchange for a review*

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