I’ve just had a baby, so I know how hard it can be to homeschool during pregnancy!
As if homeschooling wasn’t challenging enough; and then add in nausea, exhaustion and the mood swings (oh boy those mood swings!) and it can seem almost impossible.
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But my experience with four pregnancies has taught me some “hacks” that can sustain your homeschool during pregnancy, ensuring that your children’s education doesn’t suffer and neither do you!
In Episode 16 of the Raising Mums, I share some amazing ideas will maintain the momentum in your children’s learning experience, whilst being easy and gentle on mum (that’s you!); and isn’t that what every pregnant mum needs?!
Whether you’re pregnant now, or worried about how having more children will impact on your homeschool, I’m speaking to you in this episode…
Remember, there is no homeschool without a homeschool mum!
If you don’t take care of yourself during this time, there may be no homeschool to come back to after the pregnancy is over. It may be necessary to rest during pregnancy, or take some time off from homeschooling, to maintain your own health and wellness…and that’s ok!
Get more Homeschool bang for your buck!
Incorporate different subjects into one lesson. What does that mean? Let me explain!
For example after reading a work of literature, have your child:
Write out a passage for hand-writing
Practice spelling some of the words
Learn new vocabulary from the passage
Narrate what they just heard for English composition
Writing down their narration will also teach spelling and grammar too
Have them read the next page for reading practice
Choose a book that is set in a historical time period to include History
Perhaps there is a way to involve Science or Maths into the lesson too!
Maybe you can find a way to bring maths into a science lesson, or maybe even English or History!
This doesn’t mean creating complicated unit-studies, but just using what you already have planned and see if your children can learn anything more from it!
Simplify homeschooling when pregnant!
Unless it brings you joy, cut back on complicated art projects, hands-on activities or field trips.
Instead, use resources that give you “more bang for your buck!” (see explanation above).
Use Open and Go Homeschool Curricula
Open-and-go curricula are generally not something I would use. They do not fit well with the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education, however for those really hard days (or weeks) during pregnancy, open-and-go curricula are a life-saver!
All that is required is to open the book or login into the online programme, and work through the next lesson.
Reading Eggs – Online reading programme for children aged 2-11. 30-Day FREE Trial!
Don’t forget AUDIOBOOKS!
Pregnancy is a great time to catch up on reading, and let you kids feast on the plethora of excellent quality audiobooks that are out there. We get our audiobooks from:
Audible – Choose from the world’s largest selection of audiobooks including best sellers, new releases, sci-fi, romances, mysteries, classics, and more. 30-Day FREE TRIAL! Get One free audiobook of your choice – yours to keep, even if you cancel! Prime customers receive two audiobooks in your trial.
Quantum Chronicles – a collection of Islamic audio series including the Life of the Prophet (saw) and Maryam, the mother of Eesa (AS). Use DISCOUNT CODE: OMHomeschool 15 for 15% OFF!
You might also like:
You might also like these episodes of Raising Mums all about Time Management!
A big thank you to WordUnited for sponsoring this episode. Check out their Free Resources Hub with 100s of free resources to download, print and share, and their Blogthat includes many videos with lots of ideas and links to free printables to make learning fun. Explore free resources for maths, English, languages including Arabic and French, science, history, geography, arts and crafts, fine motor skills and resources for children with special needs.
A BIG THANK YOU to our sponsor, WordUnited! The one-stop destination for 1000s of fun learning resources, including hard-to-find resources, books and educational toys for children from birth to 11 years old. WordUnited is the fastest growing educational toys and books supplier in the UK. Delivery is fast and customers can receive free delivery over £40, free gift wrapping and even free batteries if requested.
I’ll be back LIVE again next week, Sunday 19th January 2020 at 10am GMT, with another episode of Raising Mums on my Facebook and Instagram accounts insha’Allah.
Next week we’ll be discussing…
Homeschooling during Pregnancy!
I hope I’ll see you there!
Peace and Love,
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It can be disappointing, maybe even heart-breaking, when your child won’t read. Many families have at least one reluctant reader who just doesn’t enjoy reading. But don’t worry, there are many ways you can encourage your child to read at home, and enjoy it!
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Children who read do better at school , opens up world of opportunities There are many little ways to enlarge your world. Love of books is the best of all.”
– Jacqueline Kennedy
In Episode fourteen of the Raising Mums podcast, I discuss a variety of different ways you can encourage your reluctant reader to start reading!
Using a morning basket can simplify your homeschool, whilst at the same time adding an abundance of riches to your children’s education.
Morning baskets, filled with living books, add depth and meaning to your homeschool days in a way that is easy for you to implement. There are no faddish curriculum or clever gimmicks here! Just a basket filled with beautiful books to nourish your children.
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Homeschooling can be expensive. Whether you’re looking for something to supplement your existing homeschool curriculum, or hoping to homeschool on a budget, you’ll want to look through this list of free homeschool resources.
Many families, whose children would benefit immensely from a home-education, are put off from homeschooling due to a belief that they cannot afford to do so.
In the U.K., as well as many other parts of the world, home-educators are offered no financial support from the government, bearing the cost of homeschooling themselves.
However, in the age we live in, we have been blessed with the internet! The internet allows homeschoolers to have access to thousands of high-quality resources, many of which are free.
Homeschooling has never been so accessible and more possible for families on a small budget.
After much research and thought, I have put together a list of Free Homeschool Resources that I believe every homeschoolers should know about!
Sign up for our FREE Resources Library!
You’ll get access to HUNDREDS of FREE Educational Resources to use with your family!
The list below includes online educational resources that are great quality and genuinely free! They have been included because I would (and probably already do) use these resources with my own children.
Ambleside Online : A free homeschool curriculum that uses Charlotte Mason’s classically-based principles. It aims to prepare children for a life of rich relationships with everything around them: God, humanity, and the natural world. It provides detailed schedules, time-tested methods, and extensive teacher resources.
Khan Academy : Provides courses and lessons for children aged preschool to high school. Also offers lessons in college application and exam preparation.
Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool : A complete curriculum for children aged from preschool to 8th grade (Year 9). Although designed for the Christian homeschooler, this free homeschool curriculum can be adapted and enjoyed by families of any faith.
Librivox : A huge collection of free audiobooks read by volunteers
Duolingo :Your children can learn a foreign language for free with this online programme that personalises their learning experience to their needs. Languages on offer include all popular European languages, as well as Arabic, Hindi, Latin and more!
Memrise : Learn a new language with this app by watching and listening to native speakers!
CK-12 Foundation : High quality classes in Maths and Science for children of all ages.
Discover K12 : Discovery K12 offers a traditional, non-Common Core, secular, homeschool curriculum. Reading classic literature, writing essays, creating presentations, and conducting research are important aspects to the program.
CBBC Newsround : Your children can keep to date with the U.K.’s current affairs here!
Google Earth : Inspire your children’s geographical interests with Google earth. This incredible website allows users to see anywhere on the earth…and beyond!
Twinkl : A favourite amongst U.K. homeschoolers, this website offers a HUGE collection of worksheets and other downloadable resources. Some of the site requires paid membership. However there is a substantial mount of free content.
Teachers Pay Teachers : Designed by teachers, this site offers a variety of downloads to use in your homeschool lessons.
EventBrite : Find free local events at the museum, library, educational centre, amongst others.
NASA for students: Inspire your students with lessons in STEM, aeronautics, and space exploration.
Steve Spangler Science : Ideal for those days you’re looking for an experiment to go along with your science lesson.
How to Smile : Over 3,500 of the amazing science and math activities to choose from.
Homeschooling requires a lot of motivation. Whether it’s just getting up early to start school, preparing lessons, or dealing with the ever changing emotions of your children; you need to stay motivated when you homeschool!
In the latest episode of Raising Mums I share the reasons why homeschoolers need sustained motivation. I also share with you ways to generate and protect your existing motivation.
Many of us dream that our children will memorise the Quran.
We hope that etching those noble words into their hearts will help to shape them as they grow up; that the Quran they learnt as children is never forgotten but is a source of support and guidance for them throughout their adult lives. We hope that memorising the Quran will raise their rank, and ours, in the next world. Ameen
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“The one who recites the Quran and learns it by heart, will be with the noble righteous scribes (in Heaven) and the one who exerts himself to learn the Quran by heart and recites it with great difficulty, will have a double reward.”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4653; Muslim, 798)
This inspiring story is from one of our readers, Sr. Sarwat Hussain, who has kindly allowed us to share her wisdom and advice on how you can help your children to memorise the Quran fast. inshallah.
All Praise is due to Allah, the most merciful and beneficent.
Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu, I am Sarwat Hussain.
Alhamdulillah I am blessed with two kids, Maryam and Ibrahim. Maryam is 8 and Ibrahim is 7. Maryam started memorizing the Quran at 6 and completed at 8, Alahamdulillah. It was a great journey. My both kids are homeschooled.
The first time I noticed Maryam’s interest in Quran was when she was sitting next to me holding the Quran. She started saying Subhanallah. She was just 18 months old!
1. HOW DO OUR CHILDREN MEMORISE THE QURAN?
Alhamdulaiilah, we just got more organized. We just made sure all necessary duties were taken care of so we could sit with Maryam without any interruptions.
With our support, she spent 3.5-4 hours a day memorising the Quran.
Maryam also used to attend the local masjid for the hifz classes three days a week. Our local Imam kindly offered us classes online too.
She use to listen Imam Misri Al Afasy audio to correct her tajweed. We established the rule to repeat every new Ayah at least TEN times before moving onto the next one.
As parents, we always try to teach them that Islam is not separate from our daily life. Islam is not just about performing Salah or reading the Quran. It is a way of life. You practice it in everything. We always teach them to be good with neighbors and respect the others from the different belief systems.
3. HOW DO WE KEEP IT GOING?
It is not an easy journey. We turned to Allah for the guidance and make dua for them whenever we face the challenges and always tell them that “You are very special, Allah likes you lot and bestowed his blessings to memorize his book, Al Quran Kareem”. We try to talk about the Angels, Jannah and the shaytaan.
May Allah make them among the most righteous of Muslims. Ameen. Ya Rabbul Alameen.
Alhamdulillah, Maryam started learning Arabic language. Inshallah, it will help her to understand the Quran with detail so that she can teach the importance of the Quran to the young generation. Inshallah, this will help to motivate and inspire them to learn and memorize the Quran.
We would love to provide some tips to the parents who are planning to choose this path.
What an inspirational story! With the dedication of her parents, she memorised the whole Quran in just two years and at only 8 years-old! mashAllah!
If you are a homeschooling mother and have an inspirational story that you would like to share with our readers, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you and we would all love to hear your story!
Have your children memorised the Quran? What advice would you offer other parents whose children are hoping do the same? Leave me your tips in the comments below!
I’m so grateful you stopped by!
Peace and Love,
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It enables us to provide our children with a true education. Education is the ordering of a child’s affection – meaning that they love that with is good, and hate that which is bad. Educating our children at homes helps us to ensure that this will be the focus of their education.
I Love it! A successful homeschool depends upon the happiness and contentment of the mother (assuming she is the primary educator). Make sure you do what you need to do to find joy in your homeschool day, and your children will reap the benefits.
Are you thinking homeschooling your family? Here are a list of books that you’ll want to read to help you make that big decision.
If you’re thinking about homeschooling your children, the first place you’ll want to go, for reliable and complete information, are books.
From my experience, families who are considering home education for their children, often feel overwhelmed with books that are heavy on detail or educational philosophy.
Instead, what I’d recommend is that you read books that paint a picture of what homeschooling could look like for you. Rather than bogging you down in details, the books I recommend allow you to draw inspiration and take ideas that suit your family dynamic and belief system.
Primarily the books I’ve included in this list of books to read when you’re considering homeschooling, are memoirs of homeschooling families (real and fictitious) and a few others with a similar approach.
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Books to Read when you’re Considering Homeschooling
Ross Mountney is an ex-teacher from the U.K., who many years ago left the mainstream educational system to home educate her two daughters. In this memoir of their homeschool experience together, Ross Mountney shows the reader what homeschooling really looks like! It’s moving, hilarious and forces the reader to question what education can look like.
A Funny Kind of Education is one of the first books I ever read about home-education and is the one that inspired me to truly consider beginning our homeschooling journey.
Over the years, there is one book that I come back to again and again. That book is“Mere Motherhood”by Cindy Rollins
Cindy Rollins began her homeschooling journey in U.S.A. in the 1980’s, and 9 children later (yes…that’s 8 boys!) she tells us all about her family’s experience home-educating.
The book is written so honestly, and with such a heart-felt message, that you can’t help but fall in love with their story. The author, after decades of homeschooling and facing the ups-and-downs of life, gives the reader perspective and consider what homeschooling could mean to them in the long-run.
If you’re looking for a book to show you what a true education is meant to be, then you’ll want to read For the Children’s Sakeby Susan Schaeffer Macaulay.
After years of research and personal experience, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay wrote this beautiful book. Based around principles set out by Charlotte Mason, the author forces the reader to consider what is education, and how can we provide that in our home.
Some sections of this book contain Christian rhetoric, and readers of other faiths may choose to skip over those parts.
This is the book that inspired me to begin learning more about the Charlotte Mason philosophy, and is the book I always recommend to families who want to know more about the CM method without being inundated with the finer details.
Pocketful of Pinecones is a fictitious account of a homeschooling family, which was written to inspire mothers through hard times. Karen Andreola, the author, is an experienced homeschooler herself, and pours into this story the lessons she learnt along the way.
It’s written as the diary of one mother’s year of teaching her children at home, with a focus on nature study.
It’s a deligthful book to read, and will help readers to better understand their role as a homeschooling mother, as well as give some insight into what a Charlotte Mason homeschool day might look like.
This list would not be complete without something from the legend that was John Taylor Gatto.
If you have ever struggled to justify home education to yourself, or others, this book will help. From years of working in education, and his extensive research, Dumbing Us Down outlines many deeply rooted problems in mainstream education.
This book is eye-opening and will soften the heart even the biggest cynic to homeschooling!
I hope this has helped those of you who were unsure where to begin with their homeschooling research. Memoirs and personal accounts provide insight and inspiration, as well as information on “how-to” do it!
If you have any questions, pop them in the comments below.
Peace and Love,
P.s. Did you know I have a PODCAST, where I answer a lot of your questions about homeschooling? Make sure you check it out!
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You’ll get access to HUNDREDS of FREE Educational Resources to use with your family!
When your baby cries, you learn early on how to be attuned to the sound of that cry.
You become adamant in the knowing, so as to understand what your baby is crying out for. It has a tune, that you are able to discern almost immediately; once you begin tuning into your baby.
The sound of hunger, the breaking tone of discomfort, or the close todeathaffectionate tone of wanting to justbe held. If you ignore your babies cries, they get louder and louder. After much trial and error you were able to master the answering of that cry, and soon after there would be something new or more challenging to tug at you.
Each time you either; held space for the cries because of your willingness to learn and eagerness for your baby to adapt, or perhaps you may fall short at times by giving in and solving it by feeding your baby.
Covering up something you felt you couldn’t resolve by finding a temporary solution.
The truth of the matter is, the latter is how you manage yourself daily. You tell yourself you’ll deal with your struggles, you’ll sort it out but often by feeding it a temporary solution.
It works, but does it solve the issue at hand?
When you do not give yourself enough time to cry, so as to understand yourself, you are covering up your underlying needs by suppressing them. These needs are not met- not only by yourself, but you will come to know that they’re also needs that haven’t been met in your childhood by your caregiver(s).
Not to say, that many parents didn’t do their best with the knowledgethey had, through what they were taught. Rather it is coming to an awareness that you’re simply continuing on a generational chain of patterns and habits.
Most habits are observations you took from your environment as a child, that found a place in your subconscious mind where habits developed, memories stored and energy is re-played. We usually act out of our subconscious mind and it is a programming that acts as a lens whereby one see the world and perceives it.
You make your everyday decisions out of this part of your mind, you react out of it. Your beliefs and values are stored there about yourself (who you believe you are)- usually beliefs given to you from the responses you received earlier on in your life. You create images of the world you live in from this part of the brain, which dictates to you, your chosen path. It is a boat that you are sailing on, that is stirring your life without your realising it.
As life pushes your buttons, you have this subconscious that literally speaks for you. It is a fixedway of receiving, giving, reacting, responding (to name a few)that isn’t completely your authentic state but it has become so habitual that it feels safe and natural. These ways are programmes instilled in you from your caregivers, the education system, society at large. You developed a way to filter out anything unfamiliar and continued to absorb information\ways of being similar to that which you received in your childhood and adolescent years. Anything new – good – or even great is rejected by your subconscious because you’ve developed a way of ‘being’ in the world. Unique to the way you were raised.
So in tune, your cries and struggles are unique to the way you were raised. Everyone you see, though you may feel isn’t struggling with what you are. Has a different and unique cry. Your cry as a mother is important.
The good thing is, the parenting you received were learnt ways of being. You are able to gain control of your life and completely recreate emotions, beliefs, values and ways of being. So, if you are feeling frustrated, angry, in denial, stuck. It is not your fault and you have to believe that there are ways of breaking the cycle for yourself, your children and generations to come.
As you may have noticed by now, many of the Motheringstruggles you are fighting are not yours. However it is your responsibility as a Mother to Heal those cries and nurture yourself; so to better take care of your baby or children and their cries.
I want you to pause and take a moment and truly ponder on what cries YOUhave buried beneath the frustration, tiredness, anger or hopelessness.
Have you ever thought about Mothering or (Re) Parenting yourself as a form of Self Care?
I personally believe one of the major things we as Mothers need to learn is how to care for ourselves. I never quite understood this, because I always assumed it was just physical maintenance;
because physical maintenance is a task and it requires a lot of effort when you have very small children. Often, I would try my best to care for my outer self because I knew it helped me somewhat feel better about the chaos inside of me.
As a young mother I realised I was not taking care of myself emotionally. I didn’t even realise my need for emotional care. I don’t think it is something most of us learn at home. I know for sure, I was taught the importance of maintaining my home by being given chores that I excelled in because I was taught that this was somehow going to serve me later in life when I had a family of my own. Except, I became too focussed on serving. I didn’t know when enough was enough.
I couldn’t accept that I could ‘burnout’ when I did become a mother. I was living out of my subconscious and serving to me meant that not only was my home in tip-top condition but as a result I would be appreciated.
My Self Worth was tied to serving and being a pleasing to those around me, not realising that this was going to hurt me and my children. I never thought about the Mothering for the ‘long run’.
So as you may have gathered, I was walking around seeking validation for being subservient in detriment to my physical and emotional health.
What we often forget is that, there are ways around it and perhaps my ONE example may not resonate but I am sure you can think of many ways you unconsciously ignore your needs daily.
I would like to share some really important and life altering ways that have helped me in meeting my personal unmet needs. I didn’t come to it easily. It actually required me to lose people, possessions and status but it was perhaps the greatest gift I could give myself. Although at times, I still question, I still wonder however what I do have now is a clear understanding of my priorities. I invite you to do the same.
Self Care is Setting Boundaries
The first Self Care act comes in the form of Setting Boundarieswhich has helped me greatly in regulating myself emotionally. Becoming better able to understand what I can and cannot tolerate from others has helped me make better decisions.
To achieve this you must protect yourself. Protect the energy and the treatment you are exposed to and surrounded by. This will require you to re-evaluate yourself on a whole, the boundaries you currently have or lack thereof; especially in close relationships.
Once you are aware of the patterns in people who drain you and do not serve you, then you will be better at limiting and protecting what you allow into your energy space on a day-to-day basis. This requires you to speak clearly on what matters to you.
And if ever, you feel rejected, shamed, misunderstood, isolated, ostracised, abandoned by anyone, not matter how dear to you. You must understand it is not your fault, nor an issue within you. You have every right to set a boundary with the most dear of people. If theytruly are dear, they’ll welcome the change you need.
Your life is in your hands. The best thing you can do, is listen to your gut by changing anything that feels uncomfortable, repetitive, toxic, manipulative and that simply doesn’t serve your well-being.
A Mother who protects herself, protects her children because she knows anything she experiences or is subjected to; directly affects her children and the programmes or the subconscious ‘ways’ they will develop and act out from, later in life.
Now back to your cries, do you ever notice how you feel if you skip a meal? or if you don’t drink enough water that day? Does it make you feel weak, tired, angry, sluggish, agitated? reactive?
If you’ve got this far into this Blog, I’m assuming YES, YES AND YES!!
Self Care is Self Parenting
The second Self Care practise is Self parenting …To Mother yourself. Yes, you read correctly!
This has to be my favourite Self Care approach of all. Although I will remind you, without the First self-care practise (establishing boundaries), Self Parenting will be a challenge.
Self parenting is taking this ‘Self Care’ wavethat is happening today all around you, especially on Social Media and remodelling it by giving it a different meaning. The mental images of lush Epsom Salt Baths, the lavender diffuser diffusing on a Sunday, or even ‘Netflix and chill’ midweek. Taking these examples and tailoring it to YOU, by asking yourself as a ‘Mother’, What does self-care look like to me? What does it feel like? How can I mother myself?
I did this firstly by becoming more attuned to my needs on a moment to moment basis, like a Mother would her child. To check in often, to listen to my cues; especially in the presence of my children when I suddenly feel the need to react.
I personally started with food, feeding myself nourishing foods that would sustain me throughout my day. For example, one of the needs I found was that I was Iron deficient. It is a good idea to start with your health requirements.
I then started to practise writing my sporadic thoughts onto paper so as to reflect and understand my needs better. I started to prioritize myself a little more each day by simply stopping to breathe through challenging moments. The learning of changing old habits and instead, serve yourself first is a crucial part of self parenting. Checking in takes time, if you listen carefully and long enough you’ll know what to do.
Below are some easy questions you can ask yourself. Getting into the habit of questioningyourself is a great way to cultivate introspection.
Do I need a glass of water right now? Serve yourself.
What one thing could I eateverydaythat would better my health?
Do I need space? Leave the environment, go to my room and catch a few breaths or a 10 minute stretch.
How can I be kinder to myself today?
Do I need support? Ask for it, or search for paid services.
What could I do to welcome how I am feeling?
Do I need a hobby? Spend time reflecting and cultivating a new hobby.
Where can I delegate tasks?
Do I need to get outside? Health is an investment.
I do understand that Self Care can be difficult to begin with, and that’s OK. Self Care doesn’t look the same from person to person either. However, taking this Self Mothering approach is going to teach you to become more attuned to yourself and learn how to do that through becoming Self Serving.
Just like you as a mother would prepare ahead for your child on a trip, a sick day, a day that requires low impact activities. Prepare rituals for yourself that you can fall easily into as a way to mother yourself. Be tender, compassionate, responsive, and think ahead.
At the beginning of this Blog, we spoke of the time it took for you to become attuned to your baby. The more attuned you were to his\her cues, on a moment to moment bases the better you were able to fulfil the need accordingly. Fulfilling a need requires you to be present in the moment.
The more you are willing to listen to yourself and your momentary needs, the increase in your Self Worth, Self Validation and Self Regulation.
Self Care is Healing
The last Self Care act I’d like to leave you with is to Self Care through Healingyourself. A Mother who awakens to her own subconscious, becomes aware of her patterns, thoughts and behaviours.
Healing herself is the greatest gift she can give her children. Reading on the matter is a beneficial way to achieve that. Being aware and open to healing is the best type of self-care you’ll be exposing yourself to. Parents who Self Care in this way, model healthy ways of being in the world to their children, otherwise we are all walking projections of pain and fear.
Healing requires deep introspection, and mistakes through trail and error. Just as a new motherfeels, it’ll be scary and exciting all at the same time!
These are all the things I wish I knew before I had children and I sincerely hope this Blog was of benefit to you, and I ask Allah the Al mighty to give us understanding and beneficial acts to follow.
My name is Ilham. I am a mother of 3 Alhamdulilah. Divorced. Studied Sociology at City Uni London. I’m from West London, however I’ve been living abroad the last decade. I currently live in Cologne, Germany. I taught English as a second language to pre school children ages 3 to 6 before becoming a parent.
I’m preparing to go back to work soon, holding off for as long as I can doing small jobs from home while school isn’t compulsory before age 6 where I live. I have a Blog and a Youtube channel where I share my some of my experiences and tips on healing, growth, self care and mothering. http://www.fruittofruition.wordpress.comYoutube: FruitToFruition