Here comes summer
…At last! And there's no better time to get out and about and meet new people. We've recently introduced lots of new groups in Richmond, Barnes, Brook Green, Streatham and Balham, to name a few! Please do tell anyone you know who may be about to start maternity leave or is at home with a baby that we offer a very tailored yet affordable way to connect with like-minded local mums.
New members' benefits and great new services for mums
We've also been catching up with some great new partners and I'm delighted to tell you a bit about them, I hope you'll find them useful food for thought.
Firstly, we recently connected with The Baby Store, one of the country's largest specialist nursery stores. They sell everything you might need for your new arrival from prams to car seats and furniture, and they have a very helpful and committed team who can help you through the minefield of products and advice at this exciting time. We know our members love a discount so the Baby Store have very kindly provided a 10% discount on all orders over £100 - they are already really well priced so this could be a great saving off the big-ticket items you need for your new arrival. As usual the voucher code can be found in our members' area, along with discounts at other retailers and services from JoJo Maman Bébé to Hello Mums and Neighbourhood Midwives and loads more.
Secondly we wanted to share details of a new launch with you from some hard-working entrepreneurs: Bump & Bliss are on a mission to give parents and parents-to-be more of their time back with access to all of the services they need in one place. From prenatal Pilates classes to local night nannies, the Bump & Bliss website has more options than you can shake a rattle at. It's so much more than another directory as you can find detailed information and connect with a specialist directly and it is totally free to use (in fact even better some of the listings offer a discount). Worth adding to your favourites!
If you are keen to get fit this summer
…but finding it hard to fit in around a baby or a toddler, we've found something that could be just the answer. Our friends at Beez Kneez fitness have launched an e-book, ‘7 exercises to tone your Mummy Tummy you can do in your pyjamas’.
No fitness clothing required and no equipment, making it very easy for a busy mum who is sleep-deprived but wants to flatten her Mummy Tummy.
It also gives advice on why these exercises are far better than the standard stomach crunches, plank and other general gym exercises.
And the best thing... it is totally free! Members can download it here and don't forget to check out the links with discounts to other services from Beez Kneez over in our members' area.
As usual we end our newsletter with a guest post and this one is from Role Models, a company I will definitely be using for my own family later this summer for ad-hoc childcare. Lots of you aren't quite at this stage yet as it is aimed at older children but I think it is worth saving the link for future reference. The idea that instead of childcare that 'just' looks after your children, Role Models will send approved and experienced nannies and 'mannies' who also happen to be musicians, artists, actors, sports professionals - so they might inspire your kids or give them some fresh stimulation. Genius!
Speaking of geniuses, I'll leave you to read a guest post that starts with an Einstein quote. Hugo from Role Models explains how understanding the multiple ways a young child might learn can aid their well-being. Hope you find it interesting.
Until next month, have a good one...
Is Imagination more important than Knowledge?
by Hugo Shephard, founder of Role Models
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein
For those of you reading this with very young children, worrying about school exam results might seem like a distant concern. But in a society that values the holy ‘A*’ as a symbol of the highest intelligence, it would seem obvious to start a style of learning that favours literal and logical results from a young age.
Of course high grades are great – they are an affirmation of knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge which is an undeniably vital life skill. Yet there is also immense value to be found in other areas of learning; areas that because of their seeming intangibility often go neglected.
The Harvard professor, Howard Gardner’s theory (1991) is that we have seven key areas of intelligence: music-rhythmic, visual-spacial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinaesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal – and that our current assessment of intelligence is weighted in favour of linguistics and mathematics. And yet we all have friends and colleagues whose interpersonal skills (not their linguistic or mathematical ability) are what have allowed them to forge rich and successful careers and relationships. Even from a very young age, encouraging your child to interact with others, pay attention to their inner feelings, ask questions about the world, and use their imagination are far more important in the long run than their ability to count to ten before their classmates. The rewards from this kind of learning don’t come on a piece of paper, but rather contribute to something we are all striving for: a sense of well-being.
Well-being is defined by the Government Office for Science Foresight Report as a ‘dynamic state, in which the individual is able to develop their potential, work productively and creatively, build strong relationships with others…It is enhanced when an individual is able to fulfil their personal and social goals’.
This sounds like an ideal state to be in and it does seem limiting that there is such a focus on academia. Encouraging your child to learn in a broad number of styles will broaden their horizons. They will become a well-rounded human being with the skills to adapt to many of life’s situations.
Recognising your child’s intelligence strength also helps to tailor their learning tools. For example, visual-spatial children will learn more effectively from charts or models than they will from lectures. Equally, musical children may learn better with background music than bodily-kinaesthetic children: the beauty is in that all children are unique and learn differently.
The good news is that some schools are catching on and developing their curriculum to ensure a more holistic education. And even if schools and exams are still far off, it is always worth allowing your child to explore the world in varied and sometimes abstract ways if it could contribute to that invaluable sense of well-being; something we are all worthy of whatever our age.