The school years are a great opportunity to enjoy playing a musical instrument. To get the most out of it, your child will benefit from your support. But do you know what you’re in for? I’ve divided up our experiences into six stages, to look at more closely. 1. School Recorder or Ukelele Although the ukelele is becoming more popular it’s still common for primary children to learn recorder in groups. It makes a fantastic squeak when you blow too hard on it. The novelty will probably wear off – stay hopeful! Mastering “three blind mice” on the recorder can…

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From my own very British experience I have discovered 8 ways to not cope with rain on holiday. Get very cross Fail to bring the right coats and shoes Have no backup plans of things to do Fail to make the most of the gaps between the rain Have nowhere to dry out Have nothing else to enjoy about the holiday other than the outdoors Plan nothing else to look forward to after the holiday Spend too much time being cold We’ve just had a camping weekend in the Lake District with some extended family. It was a great weekend,…

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#21 in the Judging a Photograph Series . This is the second blog in a series of two faith blogs for this week. We’ve always looked down our noses at Father’s Day because it was invented by Hallmark Cards – or that’s the allegation, anyway. I have no evidence this is true. If it really was invented by a greetings card company then somehow it seems cheesy and not authentic. Compare it to Mothering Sunday, which is an actual part of the church calendar in Lent. And as it’s a man’s world, do Fathers really need a day? These sneering dismissals…

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My husband and two daughters (ages 12 and 15) are all enthusiastic builders of models and sets. They are even making an elaborate N-gauge model railway. When Arckit got in touch to say they are launching a Kickstarter – and offered us the chance to review their architectural model building kit – I knew my family would be keen. Arckit in a nutshell It’s tempting to describe Arckit by saying what it is not. It is not Lego; it is not Playmobil; it is not an Airfix model kit or anything like that, and yet it has a lot of the same appeal. You…

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At nearly 12 years old my youngest daughter finally asked for makeup to experiment with. She’s waited until she is quite old to let me know she is interested. If she practices over time she can learn to apply it neatly. But if she thinks she can wear a ton of black eye-liner to go shopping in town with her friends, I will have something to say about it! I’m sure that won’t happen. Why do I think my opinion on my child’s makeup matters? After all, we have to pick our battles and there are bigger issues like homework. I can’t…

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