Being The Adult I hoped For

Being the adult I hoped for as a child myself has been one of my biggest drives as a parent. When Eva faced bullying at school I wanted to lose my shit in all honesty. Instead I tried to mediate with the school, agreeing to meetings, emailing back and forth all with little effect on the actual bullying.

I felt lost at this point, I was terrified at the idea of deregistering Eva and ruining her education, knowing school placements are quite limited and with us not having a car again right now, travelling to and from another school would be awkward even if there were suitable placements. I didn’t feel I was up to home ed considering the struggles we had during covid but when Eva and the Mr were followed and he was attacked after Eva had spent months having daily incidents being attacked in all kinds of ways, knew I had to make a decision.

I have been exactly where Eva was, only my mother reacted by screaming at the main culprit (a year 7 boy) in the high street outside of the school, a year 11 girl stepped in to tell her she needed to take it up with the school. When she did this my mother lost it and went for the girl, grabbing and tearing the girls skirt off her. Needless to say I was embarrassed more than I had been being bullied in front of everyone, she was acting no better than the bullies. Obviously the school were less than pleased and it was agreed all round I should deregister and register at another school instead which took months as they didn’t want her anywhere near the school. This definitely wasn’t what I wanted to see Eva go through even if I did feel like going to the school and kicking off.

I decided Eva’s mental health and sense of well being mattered the most, so I informed the school of the incident, declined further meetings and deregistered Eva, notifying the school I planned to home educate with immediate effect. And promptly had a breakdown.

Thankfully with some advice from Martyn, the home ed community and a fantastic tutor willing to try long distance learning with us, so far home ed has been a mostly positive experience. Eva has become a little attached to the Mr and I, which I guess is to be a expected especially after a traumatic event but she has a few friends in the home ed community, works at her own pace, goes shopping, eats out and we plan to start having some educational trips too.

I’m just hoping I’m being the adult I hoped for and Eva is truly happier with how things have worked out! 🤞

Why Is Home-Schooling Increasing?

Do you wonder why is home-schooling increasing rapidly? Surely everyone sends their children to school? It’s the done thing! But what if schooling isn’t right for your child? Your Thurrock reported this week on the increase of home-schooling in Thurrock and unfortunately, I hardly find it surprising at all.

Why Is Home-Schooling Increasing?

When the figures are compared to the rest of the county, the number of children home-schooled in Thurrock in 2017 is equal to 43 percent of the total number of children being home-schooled across the county.

The figures released by the county council show that 750 children are currently being home-schooled in Essex, excluding the unitary authorities of Southend and Thurrock. Your Thurrock

Home-schooling is an option many parents are desperately turning to as a last resort. Parents are seeing their children struggle with the workload, the expectations, the social expectations & being bullied and the effects it has on their children’s mental health.

Mental Health

Mental health is one of the major concerns for parents when it comes to schooling. Often schools are so over-crowded many students struggle to be heard in class when they need help. Many are overlooked for simply behaving well whilst teachers focus on those that aren’t behaving and disrupting the class. This leaves many children feeling lost and unsure with little to no confidence. Often Home-schooling is introduced to help the child build confidence with one to one learning.

The stress and strain of arriving on time, every day, perfectly dressed and homework completed can be too much for some children. Children are feeling more anxious than ever over schooling. Homework is increasing from as early as Reception with Maths, English, Reading and creative homework to fit in weekly. Often children have after-school clubs to attend on top. With little or no downtime for children and so many pressures, this often leads to meltdowns at home, where the child feels comfortable enough to let it all out. Sometimes this can be too much for the family all around. Often leading to the decision that home-schooling may be the best option.

School is overwhelming for many, being cramped in a small classroom with 30 other students chatting, homework demands, keeping track of personal belongings. For some children, it is simply too much to cope with. Eva struggled with headaches when she started in the year, with so many others making noise and so many demands, it was overwhelming her. Even now she often comes home desperate to unwind, and then I have to present homework to her. She loves school and learning but there are times we have seriously considered home-schooling. Eva, like many children, works best with one on one learning and schools just can’t provide this for every child.


Bullying is of course now much worse than it has ever been. There is often no escape for children these days thanks to social media and mobile phones. Many children are hounded and harassed at home, school and online, with no escape. Being constantly connected makes it difficult for schools to fully monitor the situation and much is missed. This obviously has an extremely severe impact on a child’s mental health and this stays with them all their life.

As a parent of a child who has been bullied, I can honestly say there was not enough done to improve the situation. Children are left mostly unattended at lunchtime when most of the bullying occurs and often children are too scared to let a teacher know what is going on.

Bullying can cause self-harm and suicidal thoughts which teachers are generally oblivious to. Schools may try to tackle bullying but often it leads to the bullied child having to move school or turn to home-schooling.

Better Education

As I mentioned further up the post, many classes are crowded with 30 or more students. When you have 30 children and maybe 2 or at maximum 3 teachers in that class that’s 10-15 children each. How many of those children get ignored because they are quiet? How many are too shy to ask or help and feel they are bothering the teachers? How many sit through a class completely confused? And how many finish up without completing the work or have a basic understanding of the topic?

Many are turning to home-schooling because they know they can provide a better education for their children. Home-schooling allows one to one support with learning styles tailored to the child, not just a ‘one size fits all’. With that extra support, many children whose education has previously suffered at school have now flourished being home-schooled.

Mr Kitney from Inside Martyns Thoughts home schools his eldest son whose education has flourished where he had previously struggled in a school environment. When you see such a huge change in a child you can genuinely see why home-schooling is increasing rapidly.

Why Is Home-schooling Increasing?

Parents want to provide a good education for their children but not at the risk of their children’s mental health. As parents, we want to know that schools are protecting our children, that they aren’t at risk of being bullied, self-harming, feeling suicidal and struggling. Unfortunately for many, schools just aren’t equipped to ensure that happens. We know the educational system is failing many of our children, this is why more parents are deciding home-schooling is a better option for their child.

What do you think about the increase of home-schooling?

Read With Phonics – Phonics Games App Review

We’ve been using Read With Phonics – Phonics Games, an app available on Google Play Store, the App Store & available at Amazon. Created by teachers, the games are a colourful, interactive way to teach children phonics sounds in a fun way. With Izzy just starting in Reception, we jumped at the chance to try the app for ourselves!

Read with Phonics - Phonics app

Read With Phonics – Phonics Games

This app helps children improve letter and sound recognition. It is a great way to help young children learn to read. Albee the Alien guides little ones on their journey learning phonics sounds through gameplay.

As children work through the Read with Phonics games they unlock new phonics sounds. The games teach children to break words down into sounds to help them learn to read themselves.

This AD-free app includes over 1,200 words and pictures, across more than 100 phonics games, using colourful graphics and great animations.

Starting in the city with ‘A, Ai & Ay’ sounds the fun phonics journey starts with a series of fun games. There are 8 games for each sound.

Some of the games include –

  • Finding the correct sounds in amongst a group of sounds.
  •  Selecting the correct word from several options, containing the phonics you are working on. 
  • Placing letters in the correct place in a given word.
  • Picking the correct word from several options
  • Matching words to images
  • Adding the correct sounds to words
  • Deciding if words are real or not, if not feed them to Albiee the Alien!

Be careful not to get too many answers wrong and lose all 3 alien lives though! If you get one wrong but the next is correct you regain a life though so don’t panic too much.

There are four worlds (stages) containing lots of phonics sounds to unlock and work through. This game is such a fun way to encourage children to recognise sounds, giving them the ability to break down words and learn to read.

Playing Read With Phonics App


This app can be bought in individual stages or as a multipack. Personally, I think the multipack offers the best deal but you may just want to try a stage at a time. 

  • Stages 1 – 3  £2.99 Each
  • Stage 4 – £3.99
  • Multipack – £7.99
Read With Phonics Home Screen

Izzy’s Thoughts

Izzy loves Read With Phonics – Phonics Games, Albee the Alien has her giggling her head off with his funny noises! We’ve attempted phonics quite a bit at home but Izzy loves to pretend she doesn’t know. This app is so much fun she just couldn’t help but play the games properly and quickly sped through the levels! Izzy definitely loves this app and Albee the alien is a fun, encouraging character. 

My Thoughts

Having played Read with phonics several times, Izzy is quickly picking up how to break words down into sounds. We’ve tried a few simple books too and she is able to sound out most 3/4 letter words and I’m absolutely certain by the time she completes the entire app she will be a phonics pro! 

I have nothing negative to say about this app at all or even a suggestion for improvement, which I think says a lot! This app is perfect, available on every platform makes it easy to use at home, school or on the go. I wish I had discovered this when we introduced Eva to phonics as it is a fantastic app. I can see Izzy’s confidence grow with every game play and that says it all really!

Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit – Review

Eva received the Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit to review this week. She loves her Camryn Coyle Doll she reviewed earlier this week & was ecstatic to receive the Ultimate Lab Kit too. Project Mc2 is a Netflix series aimed at encouraging girls to enjoy S.T.E.A.M based activities. S.T.E.A.M stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths. Definitely a good choice for girls Eva’s age!


Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit

Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit

The fab Ultimate Lab Kit comes in a handy zip up plastic bag which opens up to reveal fantastic storage & science apparatus. Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit is suitable from 6 years & requires adult supervision with several experiments. The set comes with safety goggles, a Microscope, glass slides, test tubes with a stand, funnel, beaker, 3 lab bottles, PH strips, pipette, petri dish, safety goggles. The Ultimate lab kit also comes with a fashionable Mc2 ring & 2 sticker sheets & a book full of fun experiments to try.

Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit Contents

This fantastic lab kit comes with all the basics to get started with some fun experiments & a booklet to help you out with 30 experiments to try! Each experiment requires household ingredients you may already have or can be easily found in supermarkets. This fun lab kit really does encourage girls to enjoy experimenting & having fun, Project Mc2 is definitely a new favourite here!

Having checked out the contents of this fab kit & tried on the safety goggles & Mc2 ring, we took a look through the book of experiments to see if we had any ingredients to help us get started.

Cloud In A Jar Experiment

The Cloud in a jar experiment is the first experiment we found in the helpful booklet full of experiments. It seemed simple enough & we had all the items needed.  For this experiment, you will need an aerosol Ice Cubes & Boiling Water & the Project Mc2 beaker. We ended up making a cloud in a jar twice, the first time didn’t work out too well. Our hairspray may have sat in the cupboard a little too long, oops!

Creating A Cloud In A Jar



Trying again with my Sure spray we sprayed a little into the boiling water. We then sat the lid upside down with ice cubes on top & waited to see what happened. This experiment shows how a cloud forms, using boiling water which creates lots of warm water vapour.

Watching Our Cloud In A Jar Form


Cloud In A Jar Experiment

As the ice quickly cools it forms tiny water droplets AKA clouds! The aerosol spray gives water molecules something to hold on to which they need to do as they cool down. Our second attempt turned out a little bitter but our cloud definitely preferred to stay in the jar!

Eva really enjoyed this experiment & is writing a shopping list of ingredients for our next experiment. The Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit is fantastic for getting girls excited about science & encouraging them to experiment. We try to encourage the girls to do things like this at home & having the Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab kit is definitely going to make that easier!

What do you think of the Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit?


Project Mc2 Experiment Doll – Camryn’s Nail Polish – Review

Eva received a Project Mc2 Experiment Doll – Camryn’s Nail Polish to review this week. Project Mc2 is a series on Netflix showing smart is the new cool with a team of 4 super smart, seriously cool girls. Each Project Mc2 Experiment doll comes with an experiment for you to complete at home with the help of S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths).

Project Mc2 Experiment Doll - Camryn's Nail varnish

Project Mc2 Experiment Doll – Camryn’s Nail Polish

Camryn Coyle is the construction queen & this fab 12″ doll comes dressed in an off the shoulder ball dress with detachable dragon wings & mask. Camryn also comes with a mini hammer, excavator & funnel to help you with your Nail Polish experiment.

Camryn's Nail Varnish Experiment Doll

Eva’s Nail Polish Experiment

Crushing Eyeshadow

Eyeshadow is usually made from a mixture of talc powder and coloured pigments which is pressed into a palette. Crushed eyeshadow can be dissolved in nail polish which is usually made from ‘Ethyl Acetate’. Scientists call this a ‘Non-Polar Solvent’ which allows you to add colour to your clear nail polish.

Firstly, Eva broke up the eyeshadow by smashing it up with the hammer.

Scooping Eyeshadow into Nail Varnish

Once the eyeshadow was crushed up, Eva began scooping the loosened powder into the funnel. We sat the funnel on top of the clear nail polish bottle. Then she closed the bottle up and shook it up until well mixed, creating a pearly pink colour.


As you can see, Eva was really pleased she had made her very own pink nail polish. Eva can’t wait to try out some more experiments & can’t wait to check out the rest of the Project Mc2 dolls. We then tried out her nail polish out to see how well it had turned out, she was really pleased with the result! Eva said it was a super fun experiment.

Pink Nail Varnish

What do you think of Project Mc2 Experiment Doll – Camryn’s Nail Polish? Have you seen the Netflix series?

Country-Themed Fun With Our Little Globe

We’ve been having Country-themed fun with Our Little Globe subscription box. This fun box was created to encourage children to explore and spread the message that #DifferentIsBrilliant! I loved the idea of Our Little Globe when I first heard of it. We love trying out subscription boxes & have a 20% code for our readers! Use code: PURPLE20 at checkout which will entitle you to 20% off the entirety of your subscription!

Country-Themed fun with our little globe


Country-Themed Fun

Our Little Globe subscription boxes encourage children to read, craft and cook as they learn about other cultures whilst having fun. Spreading the important message of acceptance and tolerance through fun activities through this subscription box. The girls have a keen interest to learn about the world around them and this fab subscription definitely encourages that.


Our little globe suitcase


Our Little Globe

We opened our fun little suitcase to discover a range of items inside. These included a letter, a craft, a passport, world map, spice, recipe cards, stickers and a picture scene. Our boxes theme is Spain. The girls were really excited to find out more about Spain. Eva has a friend who is Spanish and she regularly looks up words to help talk to her in class so she hoped to learn more from Our Little Globe box.

Our Little Globe letter

Eva read out the letter which was filled with fun facts about Spain, with the picture showing them the monkeys in Gibraltar. The girls found out about Las Tomatatos, where the whole town comes together to throw tomatoes at each other! Of course, the girls said they would love to try that out.


Our Little Globe country-themed fun craft activities are designed for children to do independently. This means they can build confidence and skills in problem-solving through creative play.

Our little globe craft


Our country-themed craft was decorating a Salamander which the girls really enjoyed. With all the items provided for the craft, it took no time at all for the girls to get stuck in making their colourful Salamander.

Salamander craft

Family Cooking Fun

Recipe cards provided by Our Little Globe are designed to help foster quality time with family that results in home-cooked meals that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Our little globe recipe card & spice

With all the ingredients on the card and the bag of paprika to add to our dish, Eva set off cooking Chicken Paella for dinner. The instructions were on the back of the card to help you along.

Eva cooking chicken paella

After a little while, Eva was happy to announce dinner was done and we all sat down to try out the Spanish dish, chicken paella.

Chicken Paella

Our Spanish themed recipe cards including Chicken or Seafood Paella with a sachet of Smoked paprika provided. Eva helped to cook the Paella with us opting for Chicken. The dish was quick and simple enough.




Our Little Globe offers a Monthly, 6-month or 12-month subscription with a different country-themed fun activity box at the end of each month. Each country-themed fun subscription includes free delivery.

The prices for these subscriptions are:

Monthly – £9.95
6 Monthly – £54.95
12 Monthly – £99.95

What do you think of Our Little Globe?

Our Favourite Printable Resource Sites

Our favourite printable resource sites have kept us busy this half term with lots of fun, printed activities. Sharing them seemed a good idea and a way to keep track ourselves. Keeping the girls busy with printed sheets is something I have really enjoyed being able to do again. We have found some fantastic website for all kind of printables from masks, colouring, counting, cutting & making.

Our Favourite Printable Resource Sites


Educational Resources

We love educational resource sites as they have some fantastic activities. We currently have free accounts for Ichild & Twinkl resources but have a full account with Mrs Mactivity. The girls really enjoy finding fun new educational resources, especially seasonal ones during school holidays. 

  1. Mrs Mactivity – A newly launched Printable Resource site, Mrs Mactivity has a collection of fun printables. From handwriting, math, mindful colouring, dot-to-dot and seasonal hunt checklists, there are new resources added regularly.
  2. Ichild –  A huge range of resources for all age groups. We previously shared their Handwriting sheets Izzy had been using in our Printable Activities -Fun For Kids post. We love that there is everything on this site including science
  3. Twinkl – Perfect for school work, Twinkl has some great resources that have helped Eva enjoy her work even more. They have some great writing sheets and activities. We recently Printed Mary Anning Page borders for work Eva had been asked to re-write for display.

Colouring Fun

As well as handwriting and math we love to colour and I’ve been printing mindful colouring sheets for the girls. They love a range of characters and we have found several great, free printable sites.

  1. Crayola – Crayola has quite a few colouring pages & activities which I hadn’t realised until recently. They have a great selection of well-loved characters to be printed out and coloured.
  2. Nick Jr – They have some fantastic colouring pages with all the girl’s favourite characters they love printing out Paw Patrol and Shimmer & Shine sheets.
  3. The Purple Pumpkin Blog– I have to admit The Purple Pumpkin Blog has some AMAZING printables which the girls love! Admittedly the purple name did draw me in but the printables are fab and we always have a browse when we need something new.

What sites are your favourite printable resource sites?  Do you use any of these sites too?

Chinese New Year Resources From Mrs Mactivity

Looking for fun Chinese New Year Resources to keep the kids busy? We love finding sites for new resources to us at home, especially during half term to stop the boredom.

Mrs Mactivity

Mrs Mactivity is a freshly launched resource site for parents and teachers in its early stages. Having left teaching due to the high workload and stresses and strains Mrs Mactivity decided to devote her time and energy helping teachers who are in the same position she was as a teacher. Knowing parents can find it difficult to know how to help their children at home too Mrs Mactivity was created. Free membership is available with limited access to resources, as you can see below there is also a Trial package or a 12-month package. At just £9.97 for a full year of access, this is an affordable site for resources to use.

Mrs Mactivity Pricing

Chinese New Year Resources

With the Chinese New Year approaching I looked through the categories to see what was currently available on Mrs Mactivity’s site for something to do. This Chinese New Year is the Year of the Dog. Each year it changes, I was born in the year of the horse! 


Mindfulness Colouring

We came across these fantastic Year of the Dog Mindfulness colouring pages which both girls wanted to colour first. Children love colouring in and it is such a calming activity to do. We quickly got a few sheets printed off to colour in.

Chinese New Year Colouring & Word Trace

Next, we printed out Chinese New Year animals with traceable names finished with Happy New Year in Chinese. Izzy loved these as we have been practising writing for a while now, she can do most of the alphabet with a little reminder and these sheets are fab. She kept quiet colouring and writing for almost an hour!

Chinese New Year Resources From Mrs Mactivity



Dot to Dot Activities

Eva loves dot to dot activities so we ask Mrs Mactivity if she could create some for the Chinese New Year. As you can see these turned out great and kept Eva happily busy this morning. Being KS2 Eva found the sheets Izzy loved a little too ‘babyish’ but these dot to dot activities were right up her street. She was over the moon her suggestion had been taken on board and a brand new Chinese New Year resource was created.

STEM Activities

There’s a fab page full of STEM Chinese New Year Resources which the girls loved! All the activities are simple to make without instructions. Most involve Lego which the girls really enjoy including the Great Wall of China & Pagodas. We love the idea of the egg box Chinese dragon, we will be giving that a go over the weekend when we finish out Mount Merapi make!

Do you love these Chinese New Year Resources as much as we do? Make sure to check out Mrs Mactivity as it grows to find new and fun resources for children.

DIY Daddy