Teen Education. Think Outside of the Box (2 Min Read)

Routes to take for teenage education.

  • School, yes school! If you find the right school for your child then they can do very well taking the traditional route of GCSEs. Look for independent academies that don’t have catchment areas to have more choice.
  • Distance Learning, recommend Oxfordhomeschooling
  • Treehouse, this site is the most amazing online up to date resource to study Web Design, Coding and App Development. For a small fee or a free trial, your child can start to build skills and network links that will see them into a career. Not just aimed at kids, I’m studying with Treehouse myself, so it’s something that I strongly recommend.
  • Flexi Schooling, This is becoming more and more popular, find a Head that agrees to it and you can arrange for your child to attend school or college part time sitting a few subjects rather than the usual 11 or 12 GCSEs.
  • Local College from 14. Contact your local LEA and college for details, funding is available for 14-year-olds to study core subjects. It does depend on your location, though.

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Raising Teen Boys. (2 Min Read)

Why the title? Why not just “Raising Teens”? Well mostly because I only have boys and also because men and women are different. Teenage boys have to deal with a rush of testosterone which causes anger, aggressive behaviour and a need to try and be alpha. As well as the rapid growth and deep voices our boys are struggling with all kinds of emotions they didn’t have before. They don’t know what to do with these raging hormones and are often overwhelmed, understandable really.

As a woman, I have a lot of ideas about raising girls too but that’s another article altogether!

Thank God I’ve survived raising three boys into men or rather I’ve supported three men to adulthood. Through the stubbornness, anger and moods and happy times, it’s not all doom and gloom. Now with the internet and social media is very important to monitor their activity, I don’t like to do this in a big brother kind of way but we do have monitoring software on the computer, porn blocks on the home wifi and we regularly ask our teens to talk about what they are doing online.

Here are my top tips.


  • Listen to them, read between the lines, boys are not as keen as us females to share their feelings when they do speak be sure to listen.
  • Try to remember what it was like to be a teenager yourself. The moods and just how incredibly difficult the whole time can be. Did you enjoy being in the midst of puberty?
  • Encourage their interests, they won’t be the same as yours, as these people find who they are, support what they want to do. So if your teenage son tells you he wants to be an (insert horrifically inappropriate career choice here) be supportive, if you react negatively you can be sure they’ll be more inclined towards it.
  • Set clear boundaries
  • Don’t argue with them, for some reason my teens go through a phase of goading me into a row, sometimes this goes on for years and puts a real strain on our relationship. I’m working on this one!
  • Have fun together, do something together that isn’t work related that you both enjoy.
  • Get them into a sport, from 16  gym membership is a great idea!
  • Forgive. Move on.
  • Be positive.
  • Love them, even when they are not very lovable.
  • Religion, don’t force it, simply teach it and let them find their way. Their relationship with God is for life, make sure it starts well.

Why do boys need to be alpha? Genetics I suppose, but it’s exhausting trying to coax them into everything, so I just leave them to it. A man of 16 can decide when he needs to do things, organise his time and work. He’s old enough to know the consequences if he doesn’t uphold his responsibilities. Let him deal with the outcome if he does mess up. It’s so important to treat them as adults or else you will have a 20 something child on your hands!

Give children responsibility from a young age, all my children have chores or jobs to do around the house, as they get older these jobs get bigger and more important. They are not nominal and nor are they to “earn pocket money” they are important parts of running the house. Praise them when they do well, praise them for trying when they don’t. No one wants their shoddy work put down. But we all like praise don’t we?

Help them make choices but don’t tell them what to do. I was dictated to as a child, teen and adult by my parents, you can be sure that whatever they decided I should be doing, I did the opposite. Not just to rebel but to carve my own way in the world.

I can’t imagine going back to my teenage self and given the chance I’d tell myself one thing

“It will get better”

What would you tell your teenage self? What’s your experience of raising teenage boys?

Selfish Mothers.

So the new trend at the moment is mothers loudly declaring that –

“I Love my daughter, I wish I’d never had her”

Guardian Weekend Magazine 11/02/17

Yesterday I didn’t get a chance to read the entire article,  Today I’ve read it, researched the whole movement and yes it’s a thing, bloggers, writers, Instagrammers everywhere online there are a few of these regretful parents.

I feel deep sadness reading these quotes, real anger and a need to go and hug one of my children.

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Clean Eating v’s Dirty Eating.

Surprise, the whole, dairy free, gluten free, carb free, fat-free diet trends of the last decade or so are being exposed as maybe not as healthy as they look! psst, let’s see how long the coconut milk lattes exist in Starbucks shall we, they taste awful in my opinion.

BBC have launched several programs looking into the latest health trends, hinting that some of our favourite Instagram health gurus might be suffering from their own issues, how healthy is it to photograph every meal and document all your fitness routines anyway? cough anorexia cough…

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My Secret to Time Management

Every day is busy, even weekends are a whirlwind of swimming, family events, shopping and household chores.

I’m naturally an early bird, though I’m up with the sun I’m flagging at 9 pm.
So I nap, I have a scheduled, completely adult nap most afternoons. Not just for toddlers or your grandma.
Napping is underrated in the west. You can double your productivity by simply scheduling a sleep in your day.

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Confessions of a Home Educating Mum.

Every parent, if totally honest could probably fill a book with their misdemeanours. We’ve all hid in the cupboard to eat a chocolate snack in peace without sharing, took 15 mins longer in the bathroom to read a few pages of the novel you’ve not had a chance to pick up for days.

This one’s for the home-schoolers, my home educating ‘mumfessions

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How Not To Freelance…

We have all been there, we try our best at making life better for ourselves and our families but it’s only later down the line with great hindsight that we can truly appreciate our almighty mistakes and erratic decisions.

  • Quit your day job, bonus points if your wife does so as well, special badge if you’re also expecting a baby.
  • Level up if you’ve also pulled your children out of school to home educate them, you can work at the kitchen table with constant interruptions. Wouldn’t want to waste money on office space.
  • Register as a business with the Tax Office even though you’ve not yet secured any clients, this helps with the next point.

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