Tutor Doctor Poplar  |    

Serving the Docklands and surrounding areas including Canary Wharf, Isle of Dogs, Poplar, Limehouse, Bow, & Mile End

Tutor Doctor Poplar

Serving the Docklands and surrounding areas including Canary Wharf, Isle of Dogs, Poplar, Limehouse, Bow, & Mile End

Helping your children make New Year’s resolutions

For many of us New Year means it’s time to reflect back on the last 12 months and resolve to do better in certain areas. Whether it’s exercise, diet or getting up earlier, there are lots of ways everyone can benefit from making resolutions. Your children especially can learn a lot about self-discipline and start to see the value in setting resolutions and goals. In fact, lots of kids find it a fun way to start the year. Here’s some ways you can help your children make their New Year’s resolutions for 2018.

Focus on the positives

Instead of focusing on the negatives from last year, try and keep resolution setting positive. For example: “I didn’t do very well at science” or “I could have studied harder” should be avoided. Instead try to encourage your kids to focus on goal setting and positive outcomes. Replace “I could have studied harder” with “I am going to study once a day for at least an hour and get more involved in class discussion.” In fact, there may be several different ways your child can accomplish a positive goal, so get them to mind map their ideas.  We guarantee that this way your kids will be more excited about their resolutions and will stick to them better.

Make suggestions, but let your kids choose

Even though you know your child best and the areas which could use a little improvement, it’s important to offer a few suggestions but ultimately let them decide. New Year’s resolutions should be your child’s own personal commitment – if they don’t feel as though they’re the ones setting the goal, chances are they won’t feel a strong desire to stick to it. Instead, we recommend providing some gentle guidance and encourage them to identify the areas they want to work on on their own.  

Display your resolutions

It’s a great idea for your kids to write down their resolutions and keep them visible. After all, out of sight, usually means out of mind. There’s a ton of creative ideas to choose from if you want to help you kids keep track of their newly set goals. Websites such as Pinterest really offer something for everyone – some parents make sticker charts, others put posters up around the house to stay motivated. Just choose the way that works best for them.

Make it a tradition

The easiest way to teach your children the importance of setting New Year’s resolutions is to make it a family tradition. Each year organise for everyone to sit down together and reflect on the last 12 months. Discuss accomplishments and goals individually but also as a family. We guarantee everyone will have a lot more fun this way, and it’s an added bonus having some accountability partners. You never know when some encouragement will be needed.

Keep the list small

It’s important for your kids to only choose one or two New Year’s resolutions at a time. If your child starts making a super long list, it will only make them feel overwhelmed and hesitant to start working on anything. Keep the list small and achievable so your children can succeed!

Teaching kids to give at Christmas

The festive season is the perfect time of year to teach children and teenagers the spirit of giving. For younger generations, it’s easy to focus on consumer goods and how many gifts are under the tree, missing the true meaning of Christmas. Showing your kids some easy ways they can give to others, especially those who are less fortunate, will make Christmas more meaningful and rewarding. Understanding that giving and being charitable is also an important lesson to learn at a young age and is something you can revisit again and again.

Charity gifts, experiences, and time

It’s so easy for kids to get wrapped up in what they will be receiving for Christmas, so why not try and shift this mentality slightly? Instead, during the festive season encourage each family member to provide an experience or give their time to each other, instead of buying material gifts. This can be as simple as organising a fun family game night or offering to spend the afternoon baking something of your child’s choice. You could also get your kids to ask for charitable gifts from relatives instead of the latest computer game. Oxfam have some fantastic charitable gifts to consider this Christmas.  Ranging from buying a goat for a family in Africa, providing safe drinking water for 100 people, or supporting a refugee, they all make a difference.

Donate to a food bank

According to Love Food Hate Waste every Christmas we throw away the equivalent of 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings and 74 million mince pies. That’s a lot of wasted food! As parents, don’t be afraid of talking about topics like this with your kids – it’s a great way to help them realise the importance of not wasting for the sake of it. Show them that an easy way to help out during the festive season is to donate any spare food to your local food bank. You could even suggest that instead of one of their usual festive gifts they use the money to shop for groceries specifically to give to a food donation point. Find your nearest food bank here.

Christmas Shoe Box

Teaching your children to be charitable is a great gift for them to learn and can be extremely rewarding. During the festive season it’s a fantastic idea for your kids to put together a Christmas box for the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. Just a small shoe box can have a really big impact and often change another child’s life. There’s even a whole collection of videos you can watch showing the journey of a shoe box and how children react when they receive one. For ideas of what to include in your box, check here. Alternatively, you can pack a shoe box online for £20.

Why family time is important for your kids

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Why kids should learn coding

In today’s digital world, coding is quickly becoming a fundamental skill alongside maths and reading. However, many children still don’t have the opportunity to learn to program as it’s rarely taught in schools or at home. With technology rapidly advancing, knowing the basics of coding will not only benefit your kids, but give them a real advantage in every aspect of their lives. Here’s just a few reasons why kids should learn to code and some ways they can get started today.

Great career prospects

In most jobs technology plays an extremely important role. Simply knowing the basics of coding will provide your kids with a set of skills that’s useful in almost every industry and give them a real advantage over those who don’t. Recent studies have also revealed that 71% of all new STEM jobs are in computing.

Advanced skill set

Learning to code will allow your child to be an innovator, embrace their creativity and explore technology. It also fosters critical thinking and helps kids to think logically and solve problems efficiently.

Rewarding

Even though coding can be challenging to practice, it’s also extremely rewarding.  Alongside helping kids to build their confidence levels, it can often translate to success in other subjects such as maths, reading and science. It can even be empowering for children, as they’re able to create projects and show them off to their family and friends.

How can my kids get started?

There are so many websites, apps and games available, designed specifically to help kids learn to code. As it’s similar to learning a second language, the younger your child starts the easier it will be for them to grasp basic concepts. We recommend an hour a week, however, as children have busy schedules, just half an hour on a regular basis will still be beneficial.  

Scratch

From a young age kids can utlilise the free MIT app, Scratch. It allows children to program interactive stories, games and animations, then share them with an online community.

Tynker

Tynker is a learning system that teaches kids to code. They can begin with visual blocks and progress to JavaScript and Python to design games, build apps and make creative projects.

Kodable

Kodable is a code-writing system that allows teachers, tutors and parents’ guide children through the fundamentals of coding.  There’s over 70 lessons to choose from. Each breaks down computer science into the basic concepts kids need for a strong foundation.

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Helping kids through big transitions

Many children struggle with big changes, such as moving house, changing school or siblings moving out. Often these situations can trigger unwanted behaviour, tears, fear, anxiety and can even affect your child’s academic performance. If you are aware your child is struggling, we’ve found some simple tools and techniques you can use to help them have an easier time with challenging transitions.

Prepare

Give your child lots of time to process the transition and provide them with age appropriate information. The longer they have to understand what’s happening may help them feel more prepared and it will also give them time to ask any questions, especially if something is worrying them. Depending on the transition, try and provide them with some information. This might be a picture of their new room if you’re moving or visiting a park near their new school before term starts.

Encourage expression

With big changes, comes new emotions and feelings, which may be difficult for your child to process or put into words. Make sure they have an outlet to express themselves. This can be drawing, writing a story, modelling with clay or play dough, or writing in a diary. An alternative option would be finding a book in the library about a child dealing with a similar situation. 

Talk about it

With big changes, it’s important to try and create normalcy around the situation. Start making it part of everyday conversation, which will get help your child gradually get used to the impending transition. We also recommend asking questions and talking openly together, as this will also help your child open up, especially if they’re feeling worried.

Find positives

If you notice your child is feeling negative about a big change happening, try and find the positives together. For example, they may be sad about leaving their primary school, however, remind them about the opportunity to make new friends and their new school is near a big library. Finding the positives will always help the transition seem more exciting rather than being dreaded.  

Practice coping skills

Finally, create a list of calming and coping strategies and practice them with your child as often as you can. This can range from breathing techniques, counting to 10 or just finding someone to talk to. Role-playing situations together can also help make kids feel more confident about the impending changes and provides them with options of how to deal with the event in real life.

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