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Hypoxi: The Verdict

Hypoxi: The Verdict

If you’ve been following along lately, you will know that I’ve been trialling Hypoxi. No, this isn’t another ‘eye roll’ sponsored post that seemingly promotes a brand without really seeing what it is like. I need to start by sharing with you that this is NOT a sponsored post. I AM NOT being paid to write this review. I DID receive 12 sessions free to trial and share my own, honest experience with my readers. I WAS a total skeptic in the beginning, but I was also curious. I’ve never been a dieter, or someone who has actively tried to lose weight, but since having children, and a hip replacement last year, I’ve been someone who has grown increasingly self conscious of my body. Of ‘that’ tummy and hips that ‘used’ to look toned, but alas no longer resembles it’s former self. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of my body and all it has achieved / given me, but I am just starting to feel a bit ‘bleh’ and yuk about myself, how I was feeling in my clothes and just general post baby body. I wanted to do something about it, when Hypoxi came along. I wondered, what on earth was this Hypoxi business that kept popping up on my social feed?

Since sharing the news that I was going to participate in a month long Hypoxi journey, I’ve been met with many questions:

  • What is Hypoxi?
  • Does it work?
  • Is it a fad?
  • What is involved?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Does it really work?

So today I’m sharing my own experiences of Hypoxi, how it worked, what I did and how I ended up. I Could this work? Would this work? Read on, and find out my verdict!

What is Hypoxi?

In the beginning, I had no idea what Hypoxi was, what it did or how it worked. On my first session I was briefed about the science behind Hypoxi and how the mysterious ‘targeted fat burning’ worked.

HYPOXI is a low-impact exercise method that is up to 3 x more effective at burning stubborn fat than traditional exercise and it significantly reduces cellulite. Through our advanced vacuum and compression technology and healthy nutrition, HYPOXI activates your body’s natural system to burn specific areas of fat and cellulite. HYPOXI targets the stubborn fat stores around the stomach, hips, bottom and thighs that traditional exercise just won’t move easily. You see it’s not necessarily about weight loss, its about loss of cm. Toning the areas that I was self conscious about myself!

How does it work?

In my first session I was measured in several areas: stomach, waist, hips, bottom, upper leg, relaxed leg and knee. These measurements would be tracked approximately every three/four sessions. For best results it is recommended that you attend three sessions a week. Depending on the machines you use, this is approx 1 hour each session.

Step 1: HDC : Hypoxi  Dermology. The first thing you do is jump into what can only described as a wetsuit that sucks in all of the air as you lie down on a bed. Once all the air is sucked out, over 400 pressure chambers located around the stomach, hips and thighs start to lightly massage your body, similar to cupping. It feels like bubble wrap popping, and is oddly really relaxing. The purpose of this suit is to stimulate blood flow in these problem areas. It helps improve skin tone and texture and is great for cellulite. This step lasts for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Hypozi L250 Training. Following the HDC suit you then put on looks like a plastic skirt and a machine that combines an exercise bike with a laying down position. Once you lay down, the hatch is lowered over your stomach to create a sealed vacuum from the waist down. For 30 minutes you peddle at a specific RPM (mine was 55-65 RPM) and the machine applies gentle vaccum pressure to the lower half of your body. This machine targets cellulite and fat on the stomach, bottom and thighs. I found this machine very easy and did not need to use much effort to keep the pace. This is great for anyone of any fitness level. What was a bonus was the fact that I could watch television, whilst exercising, lying down.

Nutrition Rules:

Like any health plan, exercise is not the entire answer. Hypoxi combines low impact exercise with some simple nutritional guidelines to develop results. The rules include:

  • No eating for two hours post each session. Following this, no carbs for a further 2-4 hours.This is because post session your body continues to burn fat, but if you eat, then your body will burn that instead.
  • Balanced diet. Exercise combined with a balanced diet will of course bring about better results. If you don’t change anything about your diet and simply focus on the exercise component then you are wasting your time and money!

The Verdict

So did it work? I must admit that I’m super nervous about sharing photos of my results with you. Nervous, not because if the program, but because of putting myself out there and sharing an image of my body when I’m feeling pretty self conscious.  However I know that the best way to show if something works is by providing you with proof. Proof that is unbiased and objective. So to cut to the chase, below you will find a photo of my body before and after: for and a half weeks later.S o please be kind!

Hypoxi
Before and Four Weeks After. My stomach and thighs were much more toned and I felt so much better about myself!

So did it work? Yes. It did! Over the past 4 1/2 weeks, I have participated in 14 sessions (extended due to one session being cancelled because of a faulty machine).  Whilst I didn’t lose any weight (this is quite normal), I lost 28.5 cm across all of my measurements. The best areas were my stomach and thighs. From the above photo you can see that my stomach is indeed more toned. I purposely wore the same clothes and stood in the same position to ensure that I giving you a real picture of my body. It’s far from perfect, but I have to say that I’m pretty proud of this achievement in a month. I feel better in my clothes and it has really kick started my urge to get my body in better shape.

Tips and Tricks : is it for you?

Each person that completes Hypoxi finds themselves getting into a rhythm. You find parts of the program that are easy, and parts that are challenging. So to summarise my experience, I thought I would share with you some of the things that I would recommend doing if you want jump on board yourself!

  • Do it at night. As I got into the program I fast realised that I struggled with the nutrition component. Especially if you do your session in the late morning, it means that you feel really hungry through the day. The absolute best way to do it is at night. I did most of my sessions at 8pm. After dinner and my hubby put the kids to bed. This meant thatI could exercise and then simply go home to bed. No need to feel hungry!
  • Pre book your sessions in advance. I found that if I had already booked my sessions, it felt like an appointment that I had to keep. You really need to do 3 sessions a week to get results!
  • Drink loads of water. The more the better.
  • Don’t get obsessed with the weight. For me it was about cm. I achieved that goal! Many do lose wight too, but this isn’t the focus.

So is it for you? I would absolutely recommend Hypoxi for those who want to kick start their goal to improving the health of their body. It is great for Mums who are busy, but able to exercise at night, or super early in the morning. It is great for people of all fitness levels, especially for those who are recovering from surgery. It is wonderful for those who have a big event in their life, a wedding or a big holiday. Whilst it isn’t the cheapest form of exercise on the planet, you can get fantastic sale deals if you keep your eyes out!  It essentially is a great way to start yourself on the road to better health.

If you are interested, Hypoxi offers everyone a FREE TRIAL. With centres in loads of locations, you are sure to find one near you.

 

 

Product Review: Custom by Bobux

Product Review: Custom by Bobux

Aw my gawd. These were the words that spilled our of my daughter’s mouth when she saw the new shoes before her eyes. Custom by Bobux are literally those shoes that every child has dreamed of. Shoes that they can colour in. Shoes that reflect who they are, their personality, their love of colour. Bobux have always been known for creating beautiful shoes that are the best quality. Recommended by Podiatrists, they fit well, move well and last well. They are always made of the best quality fabrics to support little, growing feet. This time, however, they’ve taken it to the next level.

Creativity is something that I believe is one of the most important things that we should nourish in our children. The ability to use their imagination. Think beyond the square. Question, wonder, discover. These custom shoes also allow each and every child to nurture their unique, individual personality. To make their very own pair of shoes that are their own, different and special. Then, they can rub off their work and start all over again! The design allows children to colour in but also to create their own shapes and ideas.

Featuring:

  • High quality coated leather upper –
    colour in with pens provided & wipe off with water
  • Breathable cotton lining
  • Comes with a set of 5 pens in reusable pouch
  • Velcro strap fastening which allows for greater adjustability
  • Built on a specialist Kid+ last, which has been anatomically
    designed to fit children at this stage of development.

Ella has simply love, love, loved the chance to colour her own pair of shoes, and could not wait to wear then to kinder today!

Custom Bobux

Custom Bobux

Custom Bobux

So if you want your very own custom pair for your child, then best head to their website STAT!!! 

Local Legend: Lou from Honey and Co Club

Local Legend: Lou from Honey and Co Club

God knows I love stuff that helps Mums stay sane. What I love even more is stuff that keeps kids engaged and occupied, using their little brains to think, play and create. Businesses that can combine the two are, in my eyes, the best businesses on the planet. Happy Kids = Happy Mums.

This year I have come to know some fantastic monthly subscription services that send wonderful ideas for kids’ play, straight to your door. No need to head to the shops, find activities and spend your cash whilst wrangling kids in tow. No no. If you are yet to jump on the subscription train, then this blog post, my friends is for you.

This month I share the story of Lou from  Honey & Co. Her clever little business sends out monthly subscription kits to children aged 0-5 years of age.  Each month is a surprise and has a different theme but always inspired by Play. They  include quality wooden toys, books, puzzles, craft or outdoor activities – all presented in exclusive printed canvas pouches. These canvas bags are proving to be super popular with Mums as they have so many uses after their little one enjoys the goodies inside, and each month is a different colour or design.

What’s more is her subscription service can literally be the best gift your could give to another child. Popular with grandparents and aunts & uncles as a ‘gift that keeps on giving’. I love the fact that Lou told be that they really wanted to get children excited again about the touch and feel reality of the letterbox, just like the good old days! In this world full of technology for our little ones, they ‘think it’s important to have that balance’.

Here are a few snaps of my children enjoying two of their monthly kits that included some gorgeous board books, puzzles, organic fruity toothpaste from JackNJill, Pop Out Woodland animals from PetitCollage and possibly the cutest glasses from Tiger Tribe.

Honey and Co Club
Ella loves Sally!
Honey and Co Club
The kids love putting these cardboard animals together!
Ella loves her little Owl
Pretty proud of her efforts!
Honey and Co Club
How cool are these glasses?
Honey and Co Club
Toothpaste!
It was great to chat with Lou and find out how it all started!

Tell us a bit about your business, your dream, your story

My name is Lou and I’m a Mum to one and our fur baby, Honey the Labrador.

My background is in the major events industry, particularly within the hiring and styling sector. After having my little girl, it soon became apparent that the major events lifestyle was going to be a difficult balance with being a new mum. I decided, this was my opportunity to create my own business and flexible working hours.

As a new mum, I would sometimes be sitting on our front porch with my one year old and Honey and watched as my daughter played with the letterbox. As months went on, I watched the thrill she got when something was in there, albeit the local takeaway pamphlet! I also have family in country Victoria, so they would often send her a little parcel of sticker or hair clips. She was so, so excited, I got to thinking that I would love for her to receive mail, ‘the old fashioned way’… and maybe other children all over Australia would too.

Magic: What is the most magical thing that has happened to you as a small business owner?

You know what, actually having those first few subscribers that joined the Honey & Co Club, that weren’t friends or family. These amazing subscribers entrusted me to send quality parcels to their children, that to me was pretty magic. Also, having the beautiful Kate Ritchie post a photo of our product on social and then for her to take the time to come and meet me at One Fine Baby show last year, because I love her so much, that was also pretty magic.

Mayhem: What has been your greatest challenge, moment of mayhem?

Christmas last year, knowing 4 weeks out we were going to sell out, I quickly had to devise a plan to get all our suppliers to make more bags and acquire more stock with a 2 week turnaround deadline. A moment of mayhem and panic, but we got there in the end. The greatest challenge I think is being ‘all hands’. When you run your own business and are building this up from the start up phase, you really are all hands and the ‘do-er’ of everything.

Milestone: What has been your greatest achievement, milestone?

A great achievement was partnering with Australia Post last year on their small business campaign. This was incredible for Honey & Co Club as we like to see ourselves often promoting the post, sending letters and receiving parcels. When Australia Post contacted us to make a short video on our business, it was a fabulous achievement to get noticed by such a big corporate all within our first year of business.

Pay it Forward: Who do you love? What small business are you lusting over right now?

@hipetalmelbourne Seriously have the Insta feed you need to brighten up your day. They deliver beautiful posies in jars and I have used them on numerous occasions for friends and clients. It’s such a treat to receive pretty flowers and these guys do it so well.

So head on over and take a look at Lou’s gorgeous business!

 https://honeyandcoclub.com.au

Celebrating Winter in beautiful Ballarat

Celebrating Winter in beautiful Ballarat

This weekend we escaped the city and headed to beautiful Ballarat. Known for none other than being the gold epicentre of Victoria, the region has this year decided to embrace the cold and welcome us all with their huge Winter Festival. I’ve been to Ballarat countless times as a teacher, but this was my first time as a Mum with Ella and Hudson. Given the fact that we are in the thick of packing, moving and renovating, my Hubby stayed home and we took Mum (aka Nanna) along for the ride. As guest of Ballarat Tourism we were lucky enough to be heading up the freeway to experience a jam packed couple of days, with the best of Ballarat on offer. I was keen to see how the town would capture the imagination of my little ones, and have them experience the wonder of this beautiful old town.

Stop 1. Mercure Hotel Ballarat and Convention Centre

Literally a stones through away from Sovereign Hill, this sprawling complex is hospitality at its best. We were delighted to be welcomed by the team and found our way to a gorgeous two bedroom apartment. Perfect for families, it has everything you would want for a weekend stay. Full size lounge and dining, kitchen, upstairs with two large bedrooms (one with a King bed), Bathroom (including bath), seperate shower, washer and dryer. I must admit that we were delighted to be staying in an apartment, as the standard hotel room can sometimes insight cabin fever, and doesn’t really set the tone for a relaxing weekend. The apartments surround a beautiful enclosed garden with tables and chairs, ready for a gorgeous afternoon outside. A short walk away is a beautiful lake with ducks and fish to see. The main building overlooks this beautiful space and honestly is such a beautiful place to stay.

What makes it even more fabulous is the on sight restaurant Billy’s Bar and Bistro.  Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there is nothing better than being able to eat and walk directly to your room. The food was delicious and my kids ate everything, which is saying something!

My Tips: Get an apartment with two bedrooms. You won’t regret it!

Mercure Hotel Ballarat

Stop 2. Sovereign Hill

Arguably Ballarat’s most well known tourist attraction, a Victorian child hood is not complete without a family visit to Sovereign Hill. Stepping back in time into our colonial Gold Rush history, children can experience what it truly meant to live in the early 1800’s. What’s wonderful is the fact that most of the town actually work or volunteer here at some stage during their life. Children and adults are not only dressed in iconic dress, but speak as though they are living 200 years ago! Whether your kids want to pan for gold (literally…..all my children could think about!), ride the old coach, see real gold being poured or purchasing some traditional boiled lollies from the best shop in the world, the kids are sure to have a ball.

It is extremely family friendly with all aspects covered. From wheelchair / pram access, to changing facilities, it’s all there.

Here are some of our favourite moments!

Found some!
Looking to strike it rich!

Waiting for the coach
Red!

Sovereign Hill
So much to see!
Sovereign Hill
The best lolly shop in the world!
Sovereign Hill
Main Street Fun
Sovereign Hill
Is this where people lived Mum? Where’s the toilet?
Sovereign Hill
Exploring with Nanna
Sovereign Hill
Arriving at Sovereign Hill! First time as a Mum, no heads to count as a teacher!

My Tips: If you are heading to the winter wonderlights then my tip would be head to Sovereign Hill around 1/2pm. Explore for a few hours then duck home for a rest!

Stop 3. Winter Wonderlights @ Sovereign Hill

After heading back to the hotel to change our clothes and have a bit of a rest, we headed back to Sovereign Hill at 6pm to see what is honestly the best lights spectacular I have ever seen. Winer Wonderlights celebrates all things Christmas in July. Making the most of our winter mid year, every part of the town is lit up in beautiful projections and fairy lights. Christmas music is playing, fires are lit and snow magically fills the air. The projections are truly mesmorising as you walk through the enchanting main street. Ella and Huddy literally tried to catch the snow falling. The upper street is littered with literally thousands of white fairy lights. The trees and houses are decorated beautifully and are a true inspiration for anyone wanting to create a bit of Griswold Christmas! My tip would be to arrive at 5.45 to watch the lights appear through dusk!

Sovereign Hill Winter wonderlights
Amazing projections
Sovereign Hill Winter wonderlights
The entire town is lit up with spectacular lights
Sovereign Hill Winter wonderlights
Twinkling fairy lights
Sovereign Hill Winter wonderlights
Hudson and the Nutcracker
Sovereign Hill Winter wonderlights
I see you!
Sovereign Hill Winter wonderlights
A night to remember

My Tips: Firstly rug up! Head over at about 5.45 to see dusk turn into darkness. I also bought my kids two little torches to help guide them through. They loved it!

Stop 4: Iceskating in town

Ballarat has really turned up the heat and embraced the cold! The whole town has so much to offer over the next month, with heaps of great activities. You can’t really celebrate snow without ice skating. Right in the heart of town, next to the Town Hall, you can find a Pop Up skate rink. What’s best is the little ones can get around on special ice shoes that help their little toes grip to the ice. I was actually super impressed by how Ella and Huddy went, even after falling!

After this we headed across the road to the ice slide and dome!

Ballarat Winter Festival
Ice Skating for the first time

Ballarat Winter Festival
Was super impressed by this one’s efforts!

Next was a stop at the Winter Forest. Another dazzling tunnel of lights that the kids adored!

Ballarat Winter Festival
Winter Forest

My Tips: Prepurchase your tickets here!

Stop 5: Ballarat Wildlife Park

This wildlife park was the most surprising part of our trip. I’ve been to a few zoos in my time, but honestly, this one is up there with the best. Featuring Australian Wildlife, this wildlife park is just beautiful. Kangaroos and Emus roam freely and children are encouraged to feed and pat them with care. Dingos, reptiles, Koalas, penguins, Tassie devils just to name a few. Nestled on a sprawling estate, the unique feature of being so close to the animals captivated my children. A treat was being able to toast marshmallows by the fire. I honestly was so surprised and would tell any family to make sure that they stop by whilst in Ballarat!

Ballarat Wildlife Park
Toasting Marshmallows

Ballarat Wildlife Park
Feeding the Kangaroos

My Tip: Allow a couple of hours to explore as it is AMAZING!

Stop 6: Kitteltys Cafe

We finished our trip with a visit to this gorgeous cafe in the centre of town, right out front of the Ballarat Gallery. Welcoming us with love and warmth we feasted on scones, vegetable tarts and milkshakes. This beautiful cafe is clearly a local favourite and is adorned with unique crockery, old fashioned spoons and gorgeous table ware. With loads of local produce for sale, it was the perfect way to round out our trip!

Honestly, there is nothing better than escaping the city for a weekend, and you will be blown away by the sheer variety of things to do in Ballarat. Experience their Winter Festival from July 1-3! For more information, visit their Tourism Information Site here!

 

 

 

 

Product Review: Wantu App

Product Review: Wantu App

As you know, I’m always, always on the look out for great products that are pitched at families dealing with young kids. In my house right now, Ella is the Queen of art and craft. She is forever searching for activities to do that are creative and involve her imagination. Even though I am a Primary Teacher, I find it hard to find just the right activities to keep her happy and engaged. Sometimes they involve me, and some times they don’t. So when I came across Wantu, I was hooked. Much like we all struggle to think of what to cook each night, we also struggle to think of activities for our children. There are so many apps that help us to find great recipes that are quick and healthy for our families. Wantu is a mobile app designed to help parents find customised ideas for fun and interactive activities to do together with their 2 to 7 year olds. Whether you have just 15 or 30 minutes to spare, they’ve got your back!

Wantu is currently in free-beta, which means you can be the first to check it out, give feedback and be a part of their process to launch a more awesome app to keep helping parents find fun, learning centric activities to do with their kids.

For busy parents, this app is a must have that not only helps our brains, but also helps us spend quality time with our kids.

The idea is simple:

  1. you create a profile for each of your children,
  2. select whether you want a quick activity, or one that lasts a little longer
  3. select whether it is an indoor our outdoor activity
  4. select a few possibilities from a generated list, to help the app understand your child’s interests
  5. BAM! Do the activity!

Today, Ella and I created snowflakes from a simple piece of paper…

 

You can add each child as a profile to the app!
The Wantu app selected ‘Snowwflakes as our activity’
Step by step instructions…
Having fun together!!

With the school holidays coming up, you are sure to want something simple and fun to turn to, to help keep your little ones happy!

Download the app here and enjoy the endless fun. Best of all…its FREE!!! To find out more…check out the video below!

#sponsored #ad

Prepped for Prep: Schools these days

Prepped for Prep: Schools these days

Schools are not the same places they used to be. For many, school has not been a place that they have visited since they left school. That may well be thirty years ago.  Since those times, the world has changed dramatically. Advances in technology, communication, transportation, medicine. Education is no different. Education has, in most schools, changed in a number of ways over the last couple of decades. It can come as a shock to parents who, when sending their first child to school, expect to see and experience a classroom similar to what they remember, but are actually faced with a system that resembles nothing that they recall. In my conversations with parents who have children starting school, their first impressions are of surprise and wonder. They can’t believe how different Primary Schools are. In small ways and in big ones. This post today is dedicated to revealing the top tens ways in which (most) Primary schools these days, are different to years gone by.

Education is personalised: not one size fits all.

In the past, children received a one size fits all curriculum. We would all move to a new grade, all be given the same worksheet, same page number, same text book, same test. Everyone was taught (but didn’t necessarily learn) the same thing. The teachers essentially taught ‘the class’  and focussed solely on the curriculum for that year level. The problem is, kids..are not the same. If you yourself have more than one child, then you would know that brothers and sisters are often polars apart. Mine are basically unrelated. So it would make sense then to understand that children learn in different ways, at different rates. Children are not robots who can be programmed to behave and learn in the same way.  Some children learn by doing. Others learn by reading. Others by watching, listening, drawing, modelling, dancing and so on. Much like a road map, there are different ways to get to the same destination. Some routes take longer. Some are shorter. Some involve pit stops. However if we all take our own road, we will get there in the end. A teacher’s role in schools these days is to facilitate learning in a way that helps children learn best. Teachers personalise learning based on a child’s need. Often children are grouped together in like abilities, and other times they are in mixed abilities. Teachers create learning opportunities that fit a variety of needs in their class. You’ll see different children dong different things and different times.

Often there is up to eight years of range in a classroom, so teachers need to understand the curriculum not only at their level, but around it. Every class of children can be plotted on a bell curve, and education ‘needs’ to reflect that.

Classrooms are no longer four walls

Classrooms are now often called learning spaces. Spaces that can move beyond the traditional four walled classroom. Because, well learning does indeed happen outside school, and our learning spaces need to reflect that. Spaces can be open and closed depending on the school, and depending on the environment. You may hear the term ‘open plan’. These spaces are flexible and provide children with a variety of nooks and break out spaces where they can work in smaller groups or on their own.

Children may have more than one teacher

In many schools, teachers have shared responsibility of the children in that year level. Your child may or may not have more than one teacher, but they will certainly encounter more than one teacher throughout their learning. The saying that ‘may hands make light work’ can also be applied to teaching. They still may have a ‘home’ teacher, but together, with combined knowledge and skill, teams of teachers can work to help your children grow and thrive by planning for the specific needs of a variety of children.

Children no longer sit in rows of desks facing the front

In years gone by, children sat at desks facing the front. At the front stood the teacher. The teacher was the all ending source of knowledge. Except teachers actually DONT know everything. No one does. In this day and age children are invited in to the learning process beside the teachers. Teachers can be experts, but so can children. Teachers facilitate and help children to learn and find the answers together. It is important that teachers model making mistakes, and the process of finding solutions to problems, even if they too don’t know what they are! Classrooms are often now organised in groups of tables to help children learn how to work together. Children often now choose where they want to sit, and when, depending on the task. The days of sitting in the same spot for a term are long gone!

Image courtesy of http://www.indesignlive.com/projects/Learning-Centre-at-Marian-College#axzz1raZS28u


Children set their own goals

Your children are the ones learning, and they too are often the ones setting learning goals for themselves! Sure the teachers are involved, but it’s important that our children know and understand where they have been, where they are and where they are going. For themselves and their own learning!

Parents are an essential part of the learning process

I often hear parents making comments like – ‘when my kids are at school things will be easier’. In some ways yes, but on other ways no. The fact is that parents need to be part of the learning process. Whether helping their children at home to read each night, or helping in the classroom (if they can), or being experts in a field of work to help kids learn about how the world works. Be prepare to be a part of your child’s learning. Even if you just read with them at home, each and every night. YOU are their first teacher, and nothing will change!

Access to learning is anywhere, any time

Schools are becoming more and more like google. You can access learning in any space, place and at any time. Often children are using online learning management systems like Google Apps that allow them to access their learning on any device. This means that if they are away from school for various reasons, they can still participate in the learning.

Homework is often a waste of time

Yep. The verdict is in. Research states that homework in it’s current form is a waste of time in Primary School. Aside from reading each night, homework has little benefit. Schools are refining their homework policies to reflect the needs of their individual communities. The fact is that schools cannot control what happens at home. Many children do not have parental support to help them do their homework, and thus are being set up for failure. Children need time to play, rest and be with their families. Yes, there are important aspects of revision including reading and number work, but often the pressures of homework do more harm than good in Primary school. Just be open minded to the fact that children do in fact learn from activities they access at home, and simple things like household chores and being outdoors can be the best classroom of all.

You don’t just get two reports a year

Learning is also shared with parents in a variety of ways. Your child’s school may use an app like SeeSaw or Story Park to share samples of learning and track growth. Parents should also be in constant contact with their child’s teacher, whether in person or via email. Reporting will be ongoing and in time.

Education is much more than the three R’s

The most important skill we all need in the work place is the ability to work with others. The ability to work interdependently. The Victorian Curriculum in this state, reflects this importance. Education these days values the foundations of literacy and numeracy, but also other important skills relating to dispositions and skills needed in real life. Heaven knows that our children need to learn to manage themselves, their tantrums and their tears!  It is also important that schools value all aspects of learning including the arts, physical education, science, media etc etc. The world needs a variety of people with a variety of skills. Schools are a place that help children find what they are passionate about. We should help our children flourish and feel good about themselves. Sure, it is important that they can read, write and count, but it is vital that they know how to problem solve, be resilient, talk to others, bounce back when they make mistakes and think flexibly. Code is also fast becoming King. Many of the jobs that our children will have in the future have not been ‘invented’ yet. Vocations including ‘social media manager’ were not around twenty years ago. Schools need to equip our children with the skills they will need for their future. A future that is open to vast opportunities, many of which, we can’t even predict!

 

So….are you ready for school? They, in all of their forms are glorious places. Just keep an open mind knowing that every school and system is different, but they all house teachers who are passionate about helping our children grow and learn!

Next week I will share a blog post that explores the basic skills your children will need before they start school! Got a question you need answering? Feel free to email me at happyellaafter@gmail.com! In the mean time, if you want to watch something that will help you make sense of why schools need to ensure that they innovate and strive to cater for our children’s needs then watch this video by Sir Ken Robinson. A TED talk focussing on ‘The Learning Revolution’. Happy Watching!

Prepped for Prep – Preparing parents for school, again.

Prepped for Prep – Preparing parents for school, again.

Parenting. It is the hardest job in the world. Whilst it can bring us endless amounts of joy and happiness, it can also bring out the crazy side. Sometimes we can lose ourselves in the exhaustion. In the confusion, the frustration and the worry. The endless worry that sometimes brings out the inner alter ego who we ALL try to keep hidden. That side that we know can rear its head at any time, but desperately hope it doesn’t. We never want to be THAT parent. That parent who loses it at the supermarket whilst their child has an epic tantrum on the floor. The parent who loses it on the phone because they have been on hold for 30 minutes whilst trying to occupy small children from spilling Coco Pops, all over the floor. The parent who cries when they get to work because they haven’t slept all night.

Nothing brings out THAT side of parenting than the adventure that next year, we are about to tackle for the first time. School. Next year our daughter Ella, starts prep. It’s exciting, its nerve wracking, it’s scary, and it’s amazing. However, school is not new for me. I’ve been a Primary Teacher for 14 years. For the last eight, I’ve actually managed our Prep Transition and worked  our new parents to help them navigate the ups and downs of preparing for school. Preparing for school, for their children and for themselves.

However this time they are experiencing school from a different angle. Many parents have not stepped foot inside a school for decades. Many, since they too left school. Primary School education has changed a lot in recent decades. It is actually very different from when we went to school in the 80s. It’s amazing. It’s innovative. It’s inspiring. It’s a place of endless knowledge and potential, where our children can find and discover parts of themselves that both they, and we never knew existed. School is not the four walled classroom with one teacher that we all knew. It know often consists of open planned classrooms, often with more than one teacher. It’s not the ‘one size fits all’ delivery of curriculum that we experiences. Often there is NOT rows of desks, but rather occasional furniture where children can choose where and when to sit, or stand, together in groups or on their own – depending on what they need for their learning, and when. Schools now personalise curriculum for their students. It’s incredibly detailed and dynamic.

Whether it’s the focus on how curriculum caters for your child, or the uniform they need to wear, or the expecations on ‘what they need to know before they start’, school transition can be very daunting for parents. From my own experience, it’s not only children who need help transitioning to school. Parents too need to be prepped for Prep too.

Ella’s first day of Kinder at Daycare last year.

My first day of Prep in 1985

My last day of school in 1997. My Dad always shook our hands.
Starting school can be a time of mixed emotions. It can be exciting and extruciatinly stressful at the same time. Everyone has varying expectations and experiences, and no one person is the same. Nor should we expect them to be. To some degree, everyone feels that they ‘know about school’ because they have an experience with it. Being a parent however, is very different from being a student. Being a student is very different from being a teacher. As parents, we bring our own memories of school to the table. If you loved school, then you want your child to have the same experience. If you hated school then you want to do everything you can to protect them and help them to have the complete opposite. Sometimes though, we have to stop, take a deep breath and remember that they are in good hands.  I know that with the right support, everyone can be fine.

Whilst I’m confident and sure of my ability as a teacher to help parents through the experience of starting school, the problem is, that next year I will be one of those parents, and I’m petrified. I’m petrified of myself.  Of the Mother and parent, that may rear its crazy head. Perhaps not publicly, but certainly privately. I don’t want to be that parent who:

  • stresses too much.
  • worries too much.
  • thinks too much.

The problem is, when it is your child, all sanity, rationality and common sense can go out the window. Sometimes you just lose it, and often unintentionally can make things worse. It may not be openly towards other people, but it may be inside your own head as your anxiety escalates. Next year Ella is starting school at what we already know is a caring and nurturing place. She won’t know anyone however, and being very sensitive (like her Mum), I know she will struggle a little. So in my efforts to try to not be THAT parent, and listen to my own professional advice (ie. struggling can actually be a good thing to build resilience), I’m going to write a new series of blog posts. Advice to myself, and parents like me. Those who worry too much about what people think. Those who know that everything will be ok, but they just can’t seem to stop stressing. Those parents who have gone a little crazy going back to school again.

So I need a little favour from you. As a teacher, I know what parents need to know from a school perspective. However on the flip side, what things do YOU want to know. As someone on both sides of the fence, I would really love to know what aspects about transition and schooling that stress you the most. It also may be something that you wish you had have known years ago, before your child starts school.

Either leave a comment below on this post, leave a comment on FB , email me at happyellaafter@gmail.com or leave a DM on my Instagram account.

I want this series of blog posts to make a difference to us all. To help us all be prepped for Prep.

So what advice to you need as a parent to be Prepped for Prep?