Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Home Schooling Day #3 : No matter how much they beg you don't cut their hair!

Lesson 1 : Research & Report
I wanted to teach the boys about how to research and report on topics so today we started with animals. They chose an animal each then off they went using books, the internet & Alexa to find facts.

It was a lovely activity that they both really enjoyed. They were so proud of each fact the found.

They recorded the facts into note books then used them to write up a report. 

We finished just in time to watch Steve Backshall on his FB Live Q&A the boys were fascinated. 

Lesson 2 : Reading, Writing & Spellings.
Quiet reading time followed by a book report.

If you haven't tried this activity yet I can highly recommend it. The boys love discussing and writing about the books they read.

Finally a spelling test. I'm so proud of how hard they try and give everything a go.

Break time we spent playing catch in the garden. No photos as I forgot my phone but lots of laughter out in the fresh air.

Lesson 3 : P.E. 
We watched a fitness video on YouTube then a Yoga one by cosmic kids yoga which was fantastic! 

Lesson 4 : Gardening & Games
We planted veg seeds & talked about what they needed to grow.

Then we moved up to the kitchen to play boardgames whilst I cooked lunch.

Lunch time we watched a film together & talked about our day so far. Seriously love spending so much time with my boys. I've learnt so much more about them in the past 3 days it's crazy how much I have been missing so focused on work all the time. 

Lesson 5 : was supposed to be science
We had everything ready for a science lesson but changed our minds. We finished up the posters from yesterday and then after days of being pestered to cut their hair I finally gave in! 

I won't show a close up photo of how bad my haircutting was but the boys were happy to have it out their eyes and away from their ears! 

Then we went into the garden for a water fight before jumping in the shower to wash off all the hair! Bubbles & water fights count as science, right?? 

Another day of home schooling complete. No tears today but I am physically and mentally exhausted. I'm falling asleep whilst writing this I'm so tired but the boys are still up playing. They are happy & healthy and I really can't ask for more. They miss their friends & family but they have done really well being housebound. We've chosen not to go for daily walks to avoid all risk instead we are using out little garden more. 

I hope you are all keeping well. Reach out if there is anything I can do to help. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Home Schooling Day #2 | Includes tears, cake & coffee

So another day of home schooling has come to an end and i have to say today i am exhausted. Not because of the kids, they were fantastic, again, but because my anxiety is at an all time high and i'm not dealing well with my emotions.

Last nights announcement from Boris put the UK on what many are calling a LOCKDOWN and i hope that everyone does what they can to follow the guidelines so this can all end soon.

Lesson 1 : Arts & Crafts 
We chose to take this lesson outside. The boys wanted to make posters for the windows to make people smile when out for their daily walk. The boys used pens, pigment powders and water sprays. They had a great time.

Whilst the pictures were drying in the sun we had time for a game of catch. We managed to count to 69 catches before we dropped the ball & then after a few more attempts to beat that we kept dropping it (we blamed the sun in our eyes by that point!)

Lesson 2 : Math 
Seriously, i hate math! I can do the basics no problem but fractions and decimal point systems bla bla bla i really could not understand half of the worksheet my year 4 son was asked to complete. He got really upset as he said he'd never learnt what the sheet was asking of him and yet i downloaded it from the advised site. In the end we just moved on and played math games online including TT Rockstars times tables games and other games from Topmarks. Through the day there were lots of math learning opportunities including measuring, counting out money etc so i wasn't too worried.

During break the boys played ball games and bubbles in the garden. I told them i had a little work to catch up on when in all honesty i went and hid on the stairs crying. How awful is that, i wasted time with my boys to sit and cry! I got over emotional about some work related things and it just all got on top of me. I'm so anxious about everything at the moment and feel more lonely than ever. No adult company is starting to drag me down. I really need to make an effort later to facetime some family or friends and try and snap out of the way i'm feeling.
The boys thankfully didn't seem too bothered, they did walk in on me crying but i just said i didn't feel well which they accepted gave me a hug and got me out in the garden to play ball.

Lesson 3 : Science 
We learnt about the solar system and planets in science which we all enjoyed. We watched a YouTube video about the solar system then used the planet flash cards i downloaded to discuss the facts bout the different planets. We drew a basic layout of the planets, had a mini solar system quiz and then chose a planet each to write about and draw.

Lesson 4 : Cooking
Unfortunately my eldest son felt unwell by this lesson, he was flushed and said he had a headache. No CV19 symptoms so far, i personally think he was just feeling over tired. He went for a rest on the sofa so Finley and i got on with the cooking. Fin made banana cakes for us all.

Fin read the instructions, found all the ingredients in the kitchen, weighed them out, mixed them and put the mixture in the oven. He had a great time! 


Whilst the cakes were in the oven we made lunch and enjoyed a film together at lunch time. Goosebumps i think it was called, they enjoyed it. I caught up with some house chores and work emails. After lunch the cakes were ready so we enjoyed them with a side of cream. Reu was feeling much better by this point so joined us in eating the yummy banana cake! 

Lesson 5 : History 

Today we discussed Ancient Egypt, we watched a YouTube video about hieroglyphs and worked together on decoding a worksheet. The boys really enjoyed this activity. Once complete we decided to each design our own hieroglyphs and then write messages to each other using them which we took it in turns to de-code. It was a fantastic lesson we all laughed and had fun.   

Before the end of our 'home school' day we took the time to write another 'review of the day' a little like a diary entry. I ask the boys to do this so i can get an understanding of how they felt the day went, to find out what they enjoyed and didn't enjoy to let them write about things in their own words. It is also good writing practice. I'm pleased to report that they had another good day!

So as i write this the boys are on free time, they are around the house, somewhere, playing games and talking to friends on their phone. I'm so thankful that the house although only a maisonette, is big enough for them to find their own space where each of us can take time for ourselves even in this new lockdown situation.

My mind has been on overdrive all day. Worrying about things out of my control. I wish there was more i could do to help everyone in need but i'm just not strong enough to do anything more than i am right now. I am barely holding myself together enough to home school the boys each day. This probably makes me a terrible person and i expect you will all judge me even more than before now but i want to be honest here on my blog. I want those reading to know that if they are feeling a similar way to me that it is OK, there are others feeling the same.
As a parent all i can do right now is follow the government guidelines and be as strong as i can for my boys.
As a shop owner all i can do is close up, pray and hope that i will be able to survive and come back to it one day without losing my business and my home! 

A list of Seaton independent businesses that are still open and/or delivering

The government have recommended that everyone stay home where possible to help ease the strain on the NHS. Please where possible stay in your own homes and observe the government health guidelines.

*Updated 25.03.2020 - information gathered each morning but subject to change so please contact the business for most up to date information.

If you are in need of anything please try to use our small local businesses who are going to seriously suffer during these challenging times:

Food & Drink including Home Delivery Options:

R Norman - Butchers 
*Still open, from 7am most days. Contact them for up to date info*

Natural Worx - Open but amendmend opening hours, contact for updated info 
Organic food & health supplies
01297 24891

The Shed Steakhouse & Grill - awaiting updated info on if able to continue deliveries. 

Le Pisani - Now completely closed

Ragini - Now completely closed

Pebbles Coffee House - Now completely closed

Passiflora - Now completely closed

Ragini - Now completely closed

Trotters - offering delivery service

The Hat - offering delivery service of real ciders
& ales

Natural Branscombe - offering home delivery
Fresh produce including meat 

Seaton Sweets & Treat - Shop closed / Unsure on delivery options worth contacting them.


All other retail shops:

WhSmith Local & Post Office *Still Open*

Tower Garage *Still Open* 
Fuel & Essentials 

Animal Botanical  *Still Open*
Pet food & Gardening supplies

Jurassic Coast Laundry *Still Open* 
Domestic & Commercial Laundry 

Owl & pyramid
Closed but you can still order books by emailing

Bras & Briefs - Closed
Fore St. 01297 792230

Imagine Design Create & Devon Art Supplies - shop closed - offering local delivery & postal delivery
For all your art & craft supplies, craft kits and wool etc
01297 624246 /

Amber Home of Colour - Shop closed - offering delivery via website
Gifts & home interiors
07845112210 /

So Sophie - Closed - but offering some fantastic personalised stickers via the post. Contact Sophie for info.
Gifts & home interiors

Abbott's *Still available for delivery*
DIY supplies / 01297 20960

Brogan Buzec - Closed
Gifts & Lifestyle

Coastal Craft Collective - Closed
Gifts & Handmade goods
01297 691362 /

Mandy's Must Haves - Closed
Gifts & jewellery

Seaton Print & Design
Printing & design services. Though not offering home delivery are offering their design services

Pebble- Moon Wellbeing - Closed
Wellbeing & Massage, though closed it is worth following them on social media for meditation & yoga content. Also offering over the phone counselling. 

The Original Factory Shop - Closed
Home & Lifestyle

The Cloth Shop Seaton - Closed
Fabric & Textiles

If you have a business in Seaton you'd like added here please comment with your details and I'll add it!

Monday, 23 March 2020

A list of Seaton businesses offering home delivery

*see the newer blog post for up to date information*

The government have recommended that everyone stay home where possible to help ease the strain on the NHS. Please where possible stay in your own homes and observe the government health guidelines.

Most businesses in Seaton have acted responsibly by closing their shop fronts and are instead offering local delivery.

If you are in need of anything please try to use our small local businesses who are going to seriously suffer during these challenging times. The below businesses are offering FREE local delivery. (Whilst the government allows, obviously if/ when advised to completely shut  down and stop deliveries we will all have to)   contact information for each business below:

Food & Drink Home Delivery:
(Since March 23rd announcement many of these have completely closed. However please contact them if you'd like to double check)

Le Pisiani

Ragini - Now completely close

Pebbles Coffee House - Now completely close

Passiflora - Now completely closed

Ragini - Now completely closed

***update: 23.03.2020 9pm - most of these businesses following the new guidelines will no longer be able to deliver***

All other shops:

Animal Botanical  *Still Open*

Imagine Design Create & Devon Art Supplies
For all your art & craft supplies, craft kits and wool etc
01297 624246 /

Amber Home of Colour
Gifts & home interiors
07845112210 /

So Sophie
Gifts & home interiors

DIY supplies / 01297 20960

Natural Worx
Organic food & health supplies
01297 24891

Brogan Buzec
Gifts & Lifestyle

Coastal Craft Collective
Gifts & Handmade goods
01297 691362 /

Mandy's Must Haves
Gifts & jewellery

Seaton Print & Design
Printing & design services. Though not offering home delivery are offering their services.

If you have a business in Seaton you'd like added here please comment with your details and I'll add it!

Homeschooling Day #1 | Sharing my experience as a single working mum | Stay home and help protect the NHS

As you should be aware all schools in the UK closed Friday 20th March 2020, this was government issued in the hope that as many families as possible would stay home to help slow the spread of Coronavirus. Those with parents who are keyworkers are able to continue going to school if needed but the recommendation is that where possible children stay home.

**Disclaimer, i have no idea if i'm doing this home schooling right! This is all new to me, i'm just doing it the way that works for us as a family!**

Today was day #1 of home schooling. None of us have been hit by the virus (that we are aware of) so far so we are all fit and well. I'll be honest and admit that i was terrified at first of the prospect of trying to home school and also juggle running my business.
After much research and talks with friends, family and fellow business owners i decided that the most responsible thing to do for our safety and that of everyone else was to close the shop down until the government advise us that it is safe to re-open. (people can still click or call & collect so i still have to keep an eye on things!) I already know my insurance isn't going to cover this so as you can imagine i'm worried and stressed beyond belief but i can't dwell as i have kids to teach!

So what was involved in day #1 of home school for us?

Lesson 1: Maths
Literally my worst nightmare! I hated math as a child and i still do. Strangely my children love math so they were happy to get on with it. I used some printed worksheets that i downloaded from the links the school sent me. They did ask me a few questions about fractions and decimal points (which i'll be honest i quickly googled!!)
They did the worksheets then played some math games. 

We made sure to have lots of short breaks and went out in the garden for fresh air. We have a tiny courtyard garden which makes running around a challenge but the boys made up their own games including the one pictured below using old plant pots and a ball! You can see them explain their game here on their YouTube channel. 

Lesson 2: Reading, Writing and Spellings.
We began with book reviews, i downloaded the review sheet from Twinkl which is a fantastic resource for home schooling, at the moment you can download lots of content for FREE! They had both read 'Hot Dog' recently so chose to review the same book. They really enjoyed this activity! 

We then did a spelling test, i had to make sure they moved apart so there was no cheating! It was a challenge with them being in different years (yr 3 & 4) but they both gave it their all and i'm so proud of them! We checked the spellings together and looked at those they got wrong and learnt about the correct spellings.

Lastly for this lesson they had some quiet reading time, they already love books so this was good for them. It also gave me time to get the washing folded and the dishwasher on!

Spent skipping, playing catching and dancing around to music.

Lesson 3: Art & Craft.
Now this is my JAM! I had so many ideas of what we could do but thought that actually it would be better to let them choose. They opted for a mixed media activity creating large Easter eggs. They have filmed a short video to show you their creations here on their YouTube channel.  Yes it was messy and yes i let them take control rather than 'teaching' them like i would in my normal art lessons but i want them to enjoy home schooling.

Lesson 4: Gardening & Games 
We did a variety of things in this lesson, we talked about different plants and their names. We drew the plants and labelled them as you can see in this short video (please ignore the state of me! I'm aware i look a mess and that my camera work is appalling today!) 

We got the bubble machine out and made a bubble solution from washing up liquid after finding out there was no bubble liquid in the house! They really enjoyed this, it involved exercise & sunshine. 

We made noodles with veg sticks for lunch, eating together at lunch time was lovely. It was odd not having 'what happened at school today' to talk about but we discussed ideas for future lessons. I have a list of requests now of activities they would like to do. 

Lesson 5: Science 
I had to do a little research in order to find ideas suitable for yr 3 & 4 science projects. I came across this site  where i found ideas and downloads. We did a 'Liquids & Solids' lesson using items from around the home and discussing which category they fell in. We sorted through facts about liquids and solids, they guessed first then we check the facts using the downloaded chart. Next they wrote (and drew) which items (as seen on the table) were liquids and which were solids.

If you feel like a giggle take a look at this video review of the day (and of the teacher) by Reuben & Finley. 

There was lots of washing hands, cleaning surfaces with anti bac, music, dancing around, laughing, hugging the dogs and enjoying each others company. Oh and coffee, lots of coffee! (for me obviously!)

I have a new found respect for home educators, coming up with ideas isn't easy!

Overall i feel like we had a great day. There was no arguing, no shouting and no stress. I actually really enjoyed having them home! (i bet i won't be typing this on day 5!!) I managed to get a very tiny amount of work done during their lunch break but my MA studies have taken a back seat. I expect i'll have to do that in the evenings! I took lots of photos and some videos to record these days as memories for us, not unhappy ones but ones spent together feeling positive and happy about life despite everything going on out in the big wide world. 

Yes the sun is shining and we wish we could be at the beach or the park but right now that isn't the best thing to do for the safety of us or of others so we are doing our bit to help the NHS by staying home. Please please do the same. Staying home really isn't as boring as it sounds, there is so much you can do on a tight budget even if you only have a tiny garden space.

I don't know if i will feel up to writing a full blog of the day every day after home schooling them but i thought i would today just to share with you some of the things we did. I will let you know how the week progresses though! Don't forger to subscribe to both mine and the boys YouTube channels where we will share our experiences and activities.

I hope you are all enjoying home schooling. 
Don't forget to take time to have fun and enjoy each others company.
Just remember you are lucky to get to stay home with your children, some NHS staff are having to isolate away from their own children in order to be able to continue working and look after the public. I've watched some heart break videos by NHS staff. Please STAY HOME& STAY SAFE. 

Below is the routine we created together, i found having a routine helped us but this style of home schooling won't suit everyone. Some like to 'go with the flow'. I found that with my boys having a set routine and them knowing when lessons started and finished helped them to keep focused and on task without any question of 'when can we finish'  or 'when is it break time' 

Thursday, 19 March 2020

FREE Creative Kids packs for families in need

Today I have been putting together creative kids packs for families in need.

These kits are FREE to families in SEATON who are in financial struggles and are concerned about how to entertain the children when the schools close on Friday. Hopefully these kits will help with creative activities. 

Obviously these are limited to the amount of stock I have available so please reach out ASAP if you'd like one made up. I'll just need the name & age to aim it at. or 01297 624246 

The supplies inside are a mixture of new & part used items from my art lessons & workshops stash. Items such as:
Paper, glue, scissors, foam, felt, glitter, sequins, stickers, cards, bookmarks, tape, ribbon & more. Optional paint pack available too.  

I have created a group on Facebook where I'll be adding creative ideas and videos to daily. Fine us on Facebook 'Create & Educate Children in Seaton' 


I have since putting this out to the public been asked by families to create packs that they'd like to pay for. I'm happy to do this and any donations recieved towards these packs will be used to make more packs for families in need. (Families have been donating £5 for arty packs so far but any donation welcome) 

Important information about caring for and educating children when the schools close this Friday

Due to the current global pandemic times are unsettled and worrying for all. The government announced yesterday (18th March 2020) that all schools in the UK will close on Friday 20th March 2020 'until further notice'. Children who have parents that are 'KEY WORKERS' will be able to continue attending schools, the information on how this is going to work will be released today, i'll do my best to add it to this post when i can.

Please reach out NOW to any parents you feel might need a little extra support when the schools close. Give them your contact information so you can stay in touch.

- Read the official information from the government here. 

I wanted to share some important information to remember when caring for and educating children from home:

- DO NOT leave children with elderly or vulnerable relatives and friends so that you can go to work. This is so important as it would be putting them at risk.

- DO NOT think that you suddenly have to be the best teacher in the world. No one is expecting you to suddenly become an expert educator.

- DO NOT head to the park all day in large gatherings. This isn't going to help the situation. You can go to the park but ensure to follow social distancing as best you can.

- DO get outside, go for long walks, explore nature, do some gardening and if you have pets walk them. Schools being closed doesn't mean you have to stay at home (unless you are self isolating) you can still go out but you must adhere to the government social distancing guidelines.

- DO try to set a routine if you can, routine is good for children and for parents. creating a routine together is a good idea as it makes the children feel involved.

- DO reach out to fellow parents online and via the phone. Ask for help, support and advice when needed.

- DO remember to create variety in the educational content you put together. Children can bore easily so variety will help keep them interested and focused.

- DO NOT feel bad about using technology to educate and entertain your children. It is there to help us and there is so much good content online. Used well and in a sensible supervised way technology can be a great tool.

- DO eat healthy foods and keep hydrated through the day. Cooking is educational, why not get the children involved in making the meals.

- DO make sure you all have breaks from learning, breaks are so important for you and the children.

- DO continue to follow government health guidelines including regularly washing your hands.

Most importantly, DO enjoy your time with your children. They need you right now to be strong and to support them through this challenging and unsettling time.

Remember that children in most cases will be anxious and unsettled by the current situation and will need you to show them that they will be ok. That you love them and will care for them.

The main lesson you can teach your children through this is how to face up to difficult situations and overcome them.

There is so much educational content online, you've probably all seen the links but just in case you haven't here are a few:

Sumdog - Free content. 

Create & Educate - a group i created for those local looking for creative ways to entertain children. 

Arty YouTube - this is my arty YouTube, i'll be uploading new content daily for as long as i can. 

TWINKL - offering FREE content 

Here is a list put together by a fellow blogger of education content online. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

How Seaton is working together through this pandemic

During these very uncertain times it is really comforting to see so many people working together online to help and support each other. I have always said that Seaton has an amazing community, just look at how we as a town have responded to this global pandemic, online groups are being formed, helpful advice and content s being shared and virtual support is being given to everyone in need.

If you are able please continue to support the small businesses in the High Street, all are already facing difficult times and with this new pandemic the situation is for many getting worse daily. Many of the businesses are offering FREE local delivery so give them a call and see what they can do for you if you are unable to leave your house. Take a look here and a list of some Seaton businesses who are offering FREE local delivery. 

There are lots of ways you can support small local businesses without spending money too, take a look here. 

Take a look here at some more helpful support and information i have found...

A group has been formed on Facebook where people can help look after each other called Pandemic Support - East Devon 

A NEW Seaton Town Council page has been set up which aims to bring together those able to help each other during these very difficult time, you can find the page here 

Advice on how to help look after the elderly and vulnerable can be found here. 

Government guidelines and advice can be found here 

NHS advice can be found here