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Archive for the ‘summer holidays’ Category

Checking in…

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One of our boys pushes against routines and longs for free time with no structure. So the summer holidays are his idea of heaven, or so he thinks. In reality though, he’s not sure how to handle the lack of structure and we’ve learned over the years that putting in a bit of a framework, chunking up the day into blocks of time and giving him options for what to do when, gives us all an easier time.

As he gets older and more independent, playing out with friends has become a big part of the holidays. He’d happily disappear for the whole day but too much time away can see him disconnecting from us. You can almost see him putting a bit of distance between us… a bit of bravado, bad language and attitude all helps keep everyone at arms length.

stop clockSo we’ve built in an invisible checking in system – giving him a 2hr check in time – either in person or by phone. So he can still play with friends and feel like he has the freedom that the rest of his peers have. The end result is that things don’t unravel so quickly and we keep a better connection even with more freedom.

What strategies help you keep the balance over the holidays?

Related posts:
surviving the summer holidays
a weekend away

Coming soon… Adoption summercamp – a weekly programme to help you keep your sanity over the holiday season… email fiona@adoptresources.co.uk for more details

Written by adoptresources

July 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Back to school…

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It doesn’t seem that long since my summer holiday post and now we’re into our second week back at school with the novelty of getting organised for school fast wearing off…

School requires a whole host of skills – social skills, the ability to listen and concentrate, language processing, talking and communicating. Then there’s taking care of yourself physically, eating the right things at the right time and being able to organise yourself for different classes/lessons.

Even writing, which can seem like second nature to most of us, requires so many individual skills for someone in the early learning stages…

  • the ability to hold a pen or a pencil
  • how to form the shape of the letter
  • what the letter represents
  • how it fits with other letters to spell a word
  • how words fit together to make up a sentence

So it’s not surprising that going to school can send some children’s stress levels sky high, in turn affecting relationships at home. The tasks involved in the  journey from bed to breakfast to school and from school to home/activity, mealtime and bed can provide various opportunities for stand-offs throughout the day for children who find school difficult.

Top tips for helping ease back into the school term…

  • the all important routine, keeping things predictable and following the same format to get ready for school and for afterschool activities and homework
  • pay attention to basic physical needs like sleep and diet – it’s amazing the impact of being tired and low energy levels
  • time healthy snacks for the return from school so that energy dips don’t affect homework/activity time
  • ask your child about school, notice things and offer help if you think it’s needed. It’s  important to be aware of any specific things that might be troubling your child – bullying, learning difficulties etc and act to find solutions or support early on
  • use calenders and planners to map out the week so that kids know where they are going and when – visual cues are helpful especially if things can change from week to week – I like the Organised Mum weekly planner (you can win one by entering the prize draw below).

None of these tips are rocket science but they can make the transition from holidays to school a bit easier. I’d love to hear your tips for making term time easier…

To win a fab weekly planner leave a comment or email info@adoptresources.co.uk.

Written by adoptresources

August 24, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Surviving the summer holidays…

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This article features in my Summer newsletter, but just in case you’ve not signed up to receive the newsletter, I thought I’d post it here too…

Summertime… We’re now in the middle of our school holidays, some of you might be just at the beginning… I like the fact that we don’t have to be quite so organised during the holidays but they can also be a bit of a challenge in terms of keeping everyone occupied without spending a fortune and also mediating/refereeing with family members for more hours of the day than usual!!

For some children, not having the structure of the school day can be unsettling, especially if they have a poor grasp of the concept of time – something a lot of adopted and fostered children have problems with. It is often the children that crave freedom that need the structure put in place for them… If this is your child, planning ahead or building a regular structure into the day can help.

You don’t need to be too rigid but just giving a framework to the day by splitting it into chunks can help. Visual planners are good for this, especially when your child finds it difficult to remember lots of information. There’s loads around, I spotted this online planner via a @netmums tweet, you can print it off and display it where the family can see it. Involving the family in the planning can help too.

Also worth a look… Naomi Richards aka the kid’s coach (another twitter connection) has written a fab blog on top tips for the summer holidays.

Enjoy the summer, whatever you’ve planned…

Written by adoptresources

July 30, 2010 at 11:02 am