I cannot believe that my boys go back to school today. The school holidays have flown past; my boys will be going into year five and six and in the next few weeks we have to go and look around senior schools for Maxi!
I love reading and I am so pleased to have been able to pass that love of reading on to my boys. Mini has always been a ferocious reader, but Maxi was a reluctant reader up until the last year or so. One of the things to remember as a parent is that reading doesn’t always have to equal books and comics are a great way to encourage readers. So here are our current top comics for ten year old boys.
This parenting lark is hard work. Just when I think I am doing well, something comes along that gets me questioning what we are doing or how we are doing it. As a woman I find the fact that I am the mother to two boys something of a challenge and a huge responsibility. Now before I continue I just want to say this is not about whether or not it is harder to parent boys or girls.
We have so many books in the Mad House that we had to buy a new book case for Mini’s bedroom last week. Not that I am complaining. I love that he is a book worm and I really wish that Maxi would have the same relationship with books that iIni does. Both the boys really love “fact” books and they are great for encouraging boys, who can often be reluctant readers. We are fans of Miles Kelly Publishers and have received and bought books from them before and they sent is the new Discovery Channel Discover the Savage World book to review and also set us a couple of challenges more »
LEGO Club Magazine – Free, quarterly
A free quality childrens magazine, yes I did say free. The boys love their LEGO magazines and are glue to them from the minute they pop through the letter box. There is a Junior magazine for under sevens and it really is filled with hours of fun. It gives you ideas of things to build with your LEGO, stories, comic strips and puzzles too. There is also an interactive version of the magazine too.
Anorak – £6 per addition, quarterly
Anorak is “the ‘happy mag for kids’ is aimed at boys and girls aged between 6 and 12 years old” and it is a beautiful magazine. Printed on recycled paper with vegetable inks, the pages are matt and it has a wonderful book smell. It isn’t a throwaway publication. Just like much loved children’s magazines and annuals of the past, it is designed to be collected and kept. In fact it is in the front of our bookcase and the boys go back to their previous copies on a regular basis.
The Phoenix – £2.99, weekly
This is a 32 page weekly comic, which is aimed at children aged 8 to 12 years old it features 7 or more exciting story strips, a puzzle competition and a new non-fiction strip every week of the year. If you have an avid reader then this is the comic for you. It is fun, full of quality stories and delivered every week. Both the boys love The Phoenix, but it is too regular for us. We would prefer it on a monthly basis as when they are busy they just pile up and you need to read them in order as some of the stories are longer than one week. If you have a very reluctant reader then The Phoenix is available on the IPad.
As you know we are currently on holiday enjoying all the unusually wonderful English weather and all that Butlins has to offer. So it is perfect timing to do a holiday clothes for boys update. One of the things I hate is for my boys to look like the rest of the children on the holiday park, si I tend to shop around for their clothes. I am not a fan of slogans or sludgy colours. With one children that is just “noise with muck on” things need to be versatile and washable. K and Co Online have a fab range of boy’s clothes. They are great quality and are not worn by everyone, which means my more »
With the onslaught of electronics in todays lifestyle writing can sometimes take a backseat and I for one am keep to encouraging writing in my boys. I think the fact that Maxi is both a reluctant reader and writer makes me more determined to find ways to encourage this skill. Mini who is nearly seven loves to read and write and can often be found with a notebook and pencil in hand and is keen to improve his handwriting as he wants to get awarded a handwriting pen at school.
Over the summer holidays last year we focussed a lot on writing and pen skills including making our own books, creating a writing centre and making memory stones.
One of the things that I discovered was that good quality writing equipment was key in helping both the boys Triangular and wide pencils were easier for them to grip[ and paper with lines on made it easier too. Good quality paper that they can press on without ripping is essential. I also found that providing them with notebooks and letter writing stationery or their own choice helped to encourage them.
Now the boys are a little older (eight and nearly seven) we have moved on and they are currently filling in a Q&A a day for children journal each night before bed. These are brilliant journals, which asks a simple question each night and your child completes it. It is only a sentence, so fast and simple to do before bed. I want the boys to get in to the habit of writing and feel this is a fantastic way to do that,m plus a good way of recording how their answers change each year.
Maxi is also putting together a scrapbook style journal of our recent trip to Orlando (more about that in the near future).
Both the boys also have a penpal that they write too. This is a great way of encouraging writing, penmanship and also communication skills. They choose their own stationery and learn the joy of sending and receiving letters. We have even been collecting stamps to make a display with. I know that the boys are excited to use the special edition Dr Who Royal Mail stamps (released to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who this year) on their next letters.
I have two boys aged seven and very nearly six and I remember when they were very small having a conversation with MadDad about the fact that I wasn’t going to allow toy guns in to my home. I was determined that they would grow up in an environment that didn’t promote fighting, death, anger or shooting. For the first two years of Maxi’s life, he didn’t even know what a gun was, let alone how to use them, but we got to a point where anything and every thing became a weapon. He would use sticks as arrows and swords, duplo was fashioned in to guns and imaginative play revolved around cops and robbers.
As time went on the boys toys included Playmobil knights, castles and dragons, LEGO police and Toy Story little green army men and I realised that I was trying to swim upstream against my refusal to have these thigs in our home. The final straw being when the boys were given Nerf guns and I realised that we all had a ball with them.
I was invited to the Spring Summer preview by Next as I am part of their Bloggers Network a couple of weeks ago. Before we went Next gave the boys £50 between them to buy an outfit, so off we headed to our nearest Next store. Now one of the things I used to have to do was make a beeline for any clothes that I didn’t think appropriate. Now what do I mean by that? No slogans is the main issue for me. I do not like children in slogan clothing. So I was pleasurably surprised to find that there was nothing that I considered completely in appropriate and the more »