The Inverteign Family Learning Centre was set up more than ten years ago, to provide training to parents of pupils at Teignmouth Community School and the wider local community. They provide free maths, english and ICT training, and even have a free creche for parents with younger children. It is a really friendly community centre, providing a much needed service for many parents.
We went up to the centre this Thursday to do an Easter bunting workshop with some of the Mums that use the centre, and to introduce the services that Opportunity Plus South West and Flexi-Mum can offer.
Emma Jones and her partner decided to leave their jobs and take some time out to travel. After ten months travelling, they found out that they would be having a baby! Returning home with no jobs, nowhere to live, and their savings spent on travelling was a struggle (to say the least!), but they have both stuck to their guns and not returned to their previous jobs, which they didn’t enjoy.
Emma is training to be a Personal Trainer and will finish her qualification in May. In the meantime, she runs Mummy Active Buggy Fitness classes and Hola Bebe Spanish classes for young children and their parents.
Emma is half Columbian and was brought up bilingual. She believes that introducing children to other languages from an early age will help them develop into a well rounded individual who has respect for other cultures. It will also make it a lot easier for them to learn other languages fluently when they are older. As most primary schools now teach some form of modern foreign languages, Hola Bebe could give children a real advantage at school.
We have just attended a three week trial of Emma’s Hola Bebe classes and thought they were fantastic for both my nearly 4 year old, and my 18 month old. As well as being a fun and interesting class, it gives a great introduction to the language for both Mum and baby, Emma will be starting a ten week course in Exeter in April, but can also run group sessions in your home. Get in touch with her to find out more.
My very own (Flexi)Mum went to university when I was 8 and trained as a teacher. At the time she was a Mealtime Assistant at my primary school – she is now the Assistant Headteacher of the same school (which incidently is the school I’m hoping my little man will be starting this September).
Some years ago, at the grand old age of 33, I decided it was time I got a proper job! I had worked in pubs and shops and offices but felt unfulfilled; I could be heard to say that I didn’t want to have “Here Lies Unfulfilled Potential” written on my tombstone. I was really the only person that could ensure that that didn’t happen.
I was the single Mum of two lovely children, both of whom were now at school. This was my time!
I embarked on a Return to Learn course, which led onto an Access course and then a teaching degree at Exeter University – in total a five year project! Five years in which I sometimes felt out of my depth, and wondered who I was kidding to think I was capable of a degree; however, it was also five years in which I felt enlivened, excited and energised – I realised I did have a brain and that I loved delving into literature and its hidden meanings, and I also learned that I could “feel the fear but do it anyway” to paraphrase a well known saying!
I am now in my 13th year of teaching – having gone from Mealtime Assistant to Assistant Head Teacher – and I can honestly say I never feel unfulfilled!
I believe that there are often unintended consequences of our actions – I think my children saw a good role model – and so did some of my friends – 3 of them have gone onto study at university – one to PHd level, after watching me and seeing anything is possible if you put your mind to it!
If you are remotely tempted to make a change, take a leap of faith, give it a go – what have you got to lose? …..Oh, and Good Luck!
Tomorrow is the deadline for applying for primary schools. My little boy is due to start school this September so we have already applied for our places and are now anxiously waiting for the end of April when we will hear where he’s going.
I’m really looking forward to him starting school, I think he will absolutely love it being with his friends all day and learning about the world. However, I just cannot get my head around the logistics of getting one child to school, another to nursery, and getting myself to work on time! Not to mention having to pick him up again in the afternoon! I know that Mums manage this every day, and that once we get into the swing of things it will become easy, but right now I just can’t bear to think about it!!
The other big issue with starting school is of course sorting out childcare during the school holidays. At the moment both my boys carry on at nursery throughout the holidays, so it has only just occurred to me that I will need to arrange alternative childcare during the holidays! Luckily my Mum is a teacher and lives down the road, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for us. But with so many of us living away from our families, and with our Mums continuing to work full time for longer, relying on family support isn’t as easy as it used to be.
Are your children already at school? How do you manage the school drop off and school holidays? Please comment with your tips/experience.