If Your Child is Struggling at School

One of the big worries for parents comes about if their child is struggling at school.  Our school system often favours the more academic children, the ones who are unfazed by exams, or perhaps just better able to cope with the stress they are under.
We try to help with extra tuition or coaching, but beyond the stereotype of the ‘pushy parent’, what can you do to help your child? And how can we parents learn to celebrate the road that our children take, even it’s not the one we’d hoped they’d chose. We spoke to Emily, whose unconventional choices led her to march to a different drummer.

Life Skills – Understanding Debt

During the discussions about our #LifeSkills article,  one of the members of our Facebook Group wrote about children, debt and money management. Understanding debt, not demonising it, is the way to ensure that kids stay safe, Gwen wrote. With her permission, we are sharing her thoughts here.

Dumbing Down Language For Kids

How should we speak to our children? A question that comes up again and again. Should we use baby talk, words like din-dins for a meal and so on, when they are very small? Should we simplify matters during their childhood and avoid longer words and certain types of vocabulary that we regard as more advanced and therefore more complicated? Is one word enough to convey a meaning, or should we use synonyms? Does dumbing down language for kids help or hinder their development?

When Parents Read Text Messages

“My Mum reads my texts”, is the digital age version of “My mum reads my diary”. Did you write a diary when you were younger? If you did, you may remember the fear of your parents reading it, finding out all those private thoughts, spying on you.

Then the similarity between the diary and the smartphone ends, because a diary is kept private, while social media and text updates are shared with others.

Bringing up a Child in a Non-Native Language

Is it possible to bring up a child speaking a language that is non-native to either parent?
The global population is becoming increasingly mobile, and it’s not unusual for a family to consist of parents speaking two languages, sometimes even living in a country where a third language is spoken. Sometimes it might even be the wish for a child to learn a third language, that the parents feel will be beneficial to their development and future career.
Let’s take an example – one parent is from Germany, the other parent from Venezuela. They meet and fall in love in Paris, but don’t speak each other’s language, so talk to each other in English, even though neither of them are native speakers. What language should they speak to their child? Or consider the case of a couple from Slovenia. Both are Slovenian, the native language of both is Slovenian, but one speaks English to a very high standard. They decide to bring up their child speaking English.
I spoke to Millie Slavidou, Jump! writer, linguist and mother of bilingual children to find out what she thinks about bringing up a child in a non-native language.

#PrettyCurious Workshop at the Science Museum

On Thursday 15th October, the basement of the Science Museum in London was filled with 15 and 16 year olds competently assembling circuits, designing smart gadgets and using laser cutters and 3D printers to bring their creations to life. The atmosphere was buzzing, filled with the excited voices of young engineers as they traded ideas and competed to see who could build the most impressive device. This was the first #PrettyCurious workshop, and all the teenagers were young women.