Is It The Right Time To Go Back To School?

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I can't actually believe we are now in our 10th week of lockdown. Sometimes it feels like we have been safe at home for months and months whilst other times it feels so much shorter.  John and I are both key workers and have been trying to juggle working from home whilst socially distancing from our family and friends, home schooling little J and just trying to stay as positive as possible. Like most we have just been plodding along trying to do our best and I think in our minds we were prepared to live like this until September when we thought the boys would return to school however it seems that date has been pushed forward a few months with schools and businesses hoping to return in June. The one question on my mind is constantly the same - Is it the right time to go back to school?

This week would have been half term for the boys and although they would never admit it they both would have been looking forward to returning to school on the 1st of June knowing that there was only one more half term left till Summer. They should have been enjoying their final days in school, little J as an infant before he heads to the juniors in September and big J leaving school for good before University. 

As June 1st gets closer I can feel myself getting more anxious than I ever have in my entire life. As I said earlier John and I are key workers and have managed to stay safe at home during the last 10 weeks and we know how lucky we are that we didn't have to send the boys to school to be cared for, others haven't had this privilege. Neither school was a 'hub' however they are opening back up next week to initially care for those of key workers. The infection rate in the North is a lot higher than elsewhere so for now it will just be key worker children attending however we have had lots of correspondence from the school on how the new school day will look and it's changed massively and I'm not sure little J could cope with such a change. 

I am constantly reading online and social media the different thoughts and opinions about the kids returning to school, some saying it's too soon whilst others saying their children are ready to go back. I don't let others opinions affect my decision as I think it's a very personal choice depending on a families personal circumstances whether they are sending their children back or not. I am nervous and I am anxious and I've read all the facts about how Covid-19 doesn't affect younger ones as much as adults and I am constantly checking the daily updates about the R rate and it's facts, to help us make our decision.  John and I are in agreement that little J won't be returning in June. We don't want to risk it for the sake of a few weeks before they break up for Summer anyway. Although both boys have just adapted to this new 'normal' so well we both know that returning to school and being socially distanced from his friends would do little J more harm than good. 

I honestly wish that both boys could see out this school year before their big changes in September but I know deep down that keeping them safe at home is the right thing for our family.

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Useful Money Lessons for Kids in Everyday Life

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Disclosure - This is collaborative post
piles of coins with a tree growing out of themMany grown adults become poor money managers largely because they mimicked the behaviour of their parents and lacked any sound teachings about money. Even in our school systems, while mathematics has a strong focus, it’s usually not given a practical basis by balancing a cheque book, learning to use a smartphone app on personal finance, or understanding a bank statement.  To set your child or children up for success, here are a few useful money lessons.

Earned Money, Not Pocket Money
Let your kids learn that they do not rely on handouts. Instead, let them perform small chores around the house. That might be tidying up their room for the younger kids and mowing the lawn and cutting the shrubs for the teenagers. Make sure they perform these chores safely, and make the earned money proportional to both their efforts and their age.

Encourage Kids to Save
Having them set aside a percentage of what they earn through their chores teaches them about:
The usefulness of percentages
The value of savings
Delayed gratification

Delayed gratification is particularly important. They may wish to save up for a special toy or a bicycle, in which case they’ll need to save part of their pocket money and put off some other purchases to do so. This will be difficult at first, but it will make them want the item they’re saving for even more.

Teach About Budgets
Budgets are particularly important. They help balance the income with the expenses to avoid overspending.

childs hands opened holding coinsBudgeting and Saving Allow for Fun Purchases
Having a sensible budget and keeping spending in check allows a person to save money. When wanting large purchases like a trip away, a car, or a home, the ability to manage a budget and save from their income will be useful life lessons.

Give Each Child Responsibility for Some of the Family Budget
Let your children each have responsibility for small segments of the family budget. For younger children, that could be vegetable or fruit shopping. Set them up with a budget and the instruction to purchase as much as possible within that budget. Then walk them through the process.
With older children, expand the responsibility little by little and give them exposure to different types of spending and different decisions that need to be made.

Include the Kid(s) in the Money Decision Process
When they’re old enough to compare one price to another, give them the chance to look at how you decide about insurance.

Explain that you purchase insurance to protect against damage to the house, the car, and other valuable things. For a relatively small amount, the insurance will cover a reasonable amount of the value should something go wrong. Once this is done, let them compare insurance to see what you should decide to do.

Also, help them to understand that a trustworthy brand is good and to not always choose the cheapest price. A strong company matters too, so the insurance company pays out.

Many parents make the mistake of treating money as a taboo subject never to be spoken about. However, this leaves each child with an at arm’s length understanding of financial matters which stands them in poor stead for their future. Instead, build their knowledge over the years, so they’re comfortable and knowledgeable about the subject of money.

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