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School Run Mum News

The Home Straight

Posted by School Run Mum on 27/06/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageI think something strange happens to time in the final week of term. Each day seems like a week, each morning seems like a day with kids and parents dragging themselves ever more reluctantly out of bed, and each afternoon seems like an endless battle to calm fraying nerves and pacify exhausted children.

There is such a sense of an ending about these last few days. School work starts to come home, school trips and concerts take place and any sense of ... click to read full post & comments


Second Time Around

Posted by School Run Mum on 21/06/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageIt's hard to believe that two years have passed since my eldest son started school. It really has flown by, and next week he will leave the infant class years behind him. Those early drawings of the family with sticks for legs and tree-branches for arms, those carefully traced letters and terribly important news reports of friends going swimming at the weekend will be filed away in the 'Junior and Senior Infants' folder, with a new 'First Class' folder on standby.

But, I am not saying goodbye to infant classes, because my youngest son starts school this September and we start all over again. 

It's funny how most people assume ... click to read full post & comments


On Your Bike!

Posted by School Run Mum on 13/06/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageSo, the summer holidays loom large and the schedule of activities to keep the kids occupied remains worryingly empty. Of course there are plenty of Summer Camps being organised around the country, but they don't always come cheap and there is also the element of being tied to the dates once you book. Sometimes, I prefer to be a little more spontaneous - particularly to be able to take advantage of any rare, sunny days which may be heading our way (finer's crossed). And while I'm sure I will fill up the activity planner with plenty of exciting, adventurous things before the end of June (gulp), in the meantime I do have one fail safe activity ... click to read full post & comments


My News

Posted by School Run Mum on 07/06/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageEach week, my son's class start by writing their 'News'. This is basically a little re-cap of whatever they have been doing over the weekend. I suspect that most 'News' centres around highlights like eating ice creams, dressing up as Iron Man or finding a sticker in the packet of Moshi Monster frubes.

But some weekends are more memorable than others. Like the recent weekend, for example. This was a LONG, long weekend; we were off school from Friday to Tuesday. We filled our days with ... click to read full post & comments


Don't Forget Dad

Posted by School Run Mum on 06/06/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum

text re imageWith Father's Day fast approaching (June 17th), I thought this would be a good time to focus on the Dads out there - or rather, the Dad's-to-be. It still surprises me that so much of the focus of new parents is placed on the mum, with poor Dad hardly getting a sideways glance (other than for useful things like assembling cots and carrying tins of paint around for the new nursery). So, I was pleasantly surprised to see a new book by the founder and Editor of dedicated Dads website dad.ie

Published by The O'Brien Press, David Caren has written the book for the ... click to read full post & comments


Is there an app for that?

Posted by School Run Mum on 01/06/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum

text re imageIn my role as a freelance journalist and blogger, I often get sent press releases about new services and products for children, from food, games, clothing, books and medical products it would seem that there is no end to the 'stuff' that brands can market to us vulnerable, product-hungry parents.

Over the last twelve months, I've been increasingly ... click to read full post & comments


Rainy Days - Go Away!

Posted by School Run Mum on 22/05/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum

text re imageSo, the weather may not have been the, erm, best just recently but are we really surprised? Nah! But aside from the fact that the grey skies and howling wind don't make for the best of moods, it's no joke trying to keep the kids entertained when they can't get outside to run off some of that energy (I have two boys and they have a LOT of energy to get rid of!)

For some parents, a rainy day means retreating quickly to the nearest indoor play centre. And while there is a lot to be said for a well run, clean, organised ... click to read full post & comments


Preparing for school – whose job is it anyway?

Posted by School Run Mum on 09/05/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageIt is that time of year when parents like me, whose child will start school in September, have lots of conversations about this significant milestone. We can’t believe our ‘baby’ is going to school. We can’t believe they have grown up so quickly and we can’t believe that they are ever going to be able to put their straw into their juice box ‘all by themself’ without spilling it everywhere.

Starting school is a big deal – for parent and child. And even if this is your ... click to read full post & comments


Are we nearly there yet?

Posted by School Run Mum on 02/05/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageWith the May Bank Holiday looming, and then the long summer holidays, the prospect of long car journeys with the children may not fill you with joy! We've all been there - setting out full of good intentions for a calm, harmonious journey, only to end up threatening to stop the car, or turn around and go straight back home after 20 minutes.

So, what can you do to ease their boredom and ensure you don’t have a ... click to read full post & comments


Very Special Books

Posted by School Run Mum on 30/04/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageI've blogged here before about how shocked I am to read reports and statistics showing that a high percentage of children don't get a bedtime story. I really believe that it is never too early to introduce children to books and to create an interest in books and reading. I grew up on the stories of Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter, with the adventures of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck and Mrs Tiggywinkle all becoming firm, childhood favourites. The Tale of Peter Rabbit is Potter's best-loved story and Peter is, arguably, one of the most enduring characters in children's literature.

To celebrate the 110th anniversary of the first printed publication of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, a ... click to read full post & comments


Sleep – who needs it?

Posted by School Run Mum on 24/04/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageYoung school children – that’s who. But according to recent research, over two-thirds of school children are not getting enough sleep and the average six-year-old doesn’t go to sleep until after 9.30pm.
Reading the article, these two facts alone were enough to shock me into an open-mouthed stare. We usually start making ‘bedtime’ noises at 7.30pm and try to have everyone in bed by 8-8.30pm at the latest (my children are 4 and 6). But perhaps the more shocking piece of information to arise from this recent article in the Irish Independent, is the following ... click to read full post & comments


Big Mother

Posted by School Run Mum on 11/04/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageFor years now, I’ve been warning my kids about ‘The Man’. You know, the one who watches them and will come and arrest them (or something like that) if they throw food in restaurants or climb up, instead of down, the slide in the playground. ‘The Man is watching,’ I whisper, pointing to a Security Guard or someone similarly officially-attired. ‘I’d behave myself, if I were you, or he’ll be coming over to have words.’
The threat of ‘The Man’ generally works. I have also used the ‘eyes in the back of my head’ trick which always seems to impress.

However, a recent report in The Independent, suggests that an extra ... click to read full post & comments


No chocolate please, Mr Bunny

Posted by School Run Mum on 27/03/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageSo, the shops are drowning in Easter Eggs (some have been drowning in them since the week after Christmas, but the less said about that the better). Big ones, small ones, HUGE ones, cartoon character ones – there is pretty much something for everybody. Everybody, that is, who likes chocolate.

My son doesn’t.

Although he would never be prepared to admit it (what child would?), he just doesn’t really like it. He would never refuse a chocolate and will make a very good attempt at ... click to read full post & comments


The unexpected outcome of Lent

Posted by School Run Mum on 20/03/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageSo, we reached a decision a few weeks ago. Daddy would give up chocolate, mummy would give up wine and the children would give up watching cartoons. I didn’t give any of us much hope of lasting more than a week, but as we head towards the home stretch, I have to say we have done remarkably well. Especially the children.

The concept of giving something up for several weeks was one they didn’t really grasp, so perhaps their enthusiastic compliance in the ‘no cartoons’ agreement was ... click to read full post & comments


Junk Food - time to ditch the ads

Posted by School Run Mum on 07/03/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageWe've all experienced those moments in the supermarket when the kids catch sight of something they've seen advertised on TV and start nagging for you to put it in the basket (or just put it in the basket themselves as a surprise for you when you get to the checkout).

It's tough to continually say no. 'No, we can't get that breakfast cereal because it's got CHOCOLATE in it.' 'No, we can't get those because it's not actually chicken.' No, we can't buy that juice because it is practically made of sugar and nothing else.' I definitely come home with more ... click to read full post & comments


Books, Books, Books !

Posted by School Run Mum on 29/02/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageThursday 1st March is World Book Day in Ireland and the UK. World Book day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading and is now celebrated in over 100 countries worldwide. A main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own by redeeming a book voucher for one of eight books which have been selected for World Book Day 2012.

While it is shocking to think that some children don't ... click to read full post & comments(1)


Giving up?

Posted by School Run Mum on 21/02/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageSo, we have somehow already reached Pancake Day and Lent. What’s not to love about Pancake Day – perhaps the only night of the year when I can guarantee that I will have clean plates and the children will have full tummies (we’re going for a record of 7 this year, apparently).

But Lent is a funny one. Obviously, this is interpreted in different ways depending on your beliefs and religious standpoint. For some, it is taken ... click to read full post & comments


And They Call It Puppy Love

Posted by School Run Mum on 31/01/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageThere comes an inevitable time in every parent’s life when they will see their child develop a crush on a member of the opposite sex. At the age of 25 – I’m hoping, and not before!

But, what should a parent do when their Junior and Senior Infants come home declaring their undying love for a boy or girl in their class and announce, over dinner, that they have made up their mind and that they will marry said person and ... click to read full post & comments


How much does the earth weigh?

Posted by School Run Mum on 24/01/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageMost parents have been stumped at least once, and in my case many, many times by a tricky question produced by the inquiring minds of their children. The ‘but why’ phase seems to start around the age of three and, as far as I can tell so far, probably never stops.
Taking a simple car journey to the shops can result in the most profound conversations as question after question is thrown at you such as how the rain is made, why the moon is out in the day, what a rainbow is made of and what those big pipes at the side of the road are used for. As we attempt to drive, change CDs, ignore our ringing phone and pass drinks and a snack into the back seat, it isn't always that easy to come up with ... click to read full post & comments


Thinking outside the lunchbox

Posted by School Run Mum on 18/01/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageI will never forget the day when I popped into the local Spar for a loaf of bread. It was lunchtime, I was a new mum on maternity leave and I thought this would take a couple of minutes. It didn’t. It took FOREVER because I hadn’t factored in the deluge of kids from the local secondary school who had just descended en masse to buy their wedges and sausage rolls and crisps and pop and sweets for their lunch. I now know to avoid any of the shops at lunchtime!
The fact that dinners are not provided in Irish schools was a shock to me ... click to read full post & comments


Back to life – back to reality

Posted by School Run Mum on 10/01/2012.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imagePhew! We made it. Four months of Christmas holidays, over. It was four months wasn’t it? Or was it five? I think it was four – it certainly felt like it.

Yes, yes, I know, it’s all wonderful and lovely and Christmas was, well, Christmas but it’s the bit afterwards that gets me. Unlike in the UK, where they started their Christmas holidays a week before The Big Day, meaning that there’s an opportunity to get involved in loads of pre-Christmas activities and get in the mood, most of our break was spent in that awful no-man’s land of ‘after Christmas’ – a place where nobody really wants to hang out.

So, we sat amid the remnants of selection boxes and ... click to read full post & comments


Modern Languages in Primary Schools Initiative

Posted by School Run Mum on 21/12/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Education And Politics Parenting

text re imageIn the recent budget, a proposal was announced to abolish the Modern Languages in Primary Schools Initiative with immediate effect. This incredibly worthwhile initiative supports modern languages in over 550 schools nationally with a core team of just 6 people, providing training, resources and school-based support as well as funding 300 visiting teachers who deliver the language programme in schools nationwide, all within a budget of under €2 million.
 
The proposal to abolish the initiative comes at a time when ... click to read full post & comments


The gift of giving

Posted by School Run Mum on 14/12/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageI saw a Christmas advert recently which made me laugh, albeit sarcastically. It’s the John Lewis one set to the song, ‘Please, please, please let me get what I want.’ In the ad, we are led to believe that the little boy is thinking about all the presents he’s going to get on Christmas morning, but when he wakes up he just steps over the pile of presents at the bottom of his bed and goes straight into his parents’ room with ... click to read full post & comments


In search of Santa

Posted by School Run Mum on 06/12/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum

text re imageFor a man who is supposed to be as elusive as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, Santa seems to be making an awful lot of public appearances this year. He’s here, he’s there, he’s everywhere – well, at least he is according to the latest edition of Primary Times which came home in my son’s school bag recently.

For a man who is supposed to be ... click to read full post & comments


Gifts for the teacher

Posted by School Run Mum on 30/11/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting Teachers

text re imageSomehow or other, December is upon us and as the Christmas lights start to flicker and flash in streets and houses across the country, my thoughts turn, once again, to Christmas gifts for teachers.

I had a conversation with a teacher about this at the end of the last school year, proudly telling her all about the lovely homemade bouquets of tissue-paper flowers which my children had taken in for their teachers and the homemade biscuits they’d painstakingly decorated at Christmas. She laughed and told me how funny it is that parents think the teachers will prefer a cute little homemade gift, but actually, all they really want is a nice bottle of wine or anything in a Brown Thomas bag.

I left the conversation feeling ... click to read full post & comments(11)


Duvet Days for the kids?

Posted by School Run Mum on 22/11/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageWe’ve all had that awful, sinking feeling on a cold, dark, winter’s morning – oh no…….work. You know, those mornings where you just cannot face work and just want to turn off the alarm, roll over and go back to sleep. And, of course, it’s the same for the children. They wake up groggy, grumpy and just don’t want to go to school.

For adults, the concept of ‘duvet days’ was developed for those days when you just can’t face the office, and rather than faking a terrible illness and coughing uncontrollably down the phone, the duvet day (or mental health day as it is sometimes called) allows employees to have that quiet time at home you desperately need to get back on track.

For most parents, when the kids try the ‘I don’t want to go to school’ routine, they are ... click to read full post & comments(1)


Board Games - teaching us all a lesson

Posted by School Run Mum on 16/11/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageI read an interesting piece in the Irish Independent this week about the educational benefits of traditional family board games. It caught my attention because we have recently had two birthday's in the house and a number of board games were given as presents. We've had great fun on an evening playing these games together as a family (rather than watching TV) and with most of the games being old favourites which we played ourselves as children (Connect 4, Guess Who, Operation), it's been a fun trip down memory lane also.

For Junior and Senior Infant level children, board games can help to teach many valuable skills, such as colour recognition, number recognition, counting skills, letter recognition, problem solving and the invaluable lessons of taking turns and understanding the rules of the game. Of course, the concept of 'It's not the winning, it's the taking part,' is a tricky one to ... click to read full post & comments


A simple thank you

Posted by School Run Mum on 08/11/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageStraight after school today (well, after homework and fending off requests for TV and snacks), I will be sitting down with my six-year-old to help him with a stack of thank you letters for the birthday presents he received recently.

It will take a while (he got a lot of presents), but I really believe it is something important and therefore ... click to read full post & comments(1)


The Trouble With Halloween

Posted by School Run Mum on 26/10/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageIs it just me or has Halloween gone a bit mad? The word 'Halloween' is actually an abbreviation of ‘All Hallows Eve’ i.e. the evening before All Hallows Day (or All Saints Day as it is now known, November 1st). But witches have been staring at me since the start of October. With the kids waiting desperately for their stash of 'Trick or Treat' sweets and more flashing lights outside the shops and houses than at Christmas time, I'm starting to wonder if we've forgotten what this occasion is all about with very little ... click to read full post & comments


Switching Off

Posted by School Run Mum on 20/10/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageI saw something on Twitter recently which provoked a bit of a reaction in me. ‘Can anyone recommend a DS Lite game suitable for a 4 yr old?’ the person tweeted. I resisted the temptation to reply with something along the lines of, ‘There are none. DS Lite games are NOT suitable for 4 year olds. Try a ... click to read full post & comments


Give me a break - from the ads

Posted by School Run Mum on 12/10/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageChildren’s TV worries me. It’s always being debated in the media as to how little TV is acceptable for children to watch before they turn into zombies - it's hard to know what to do for the best, We have always had a policy of ‘less is more’  when it comes to ‘the telly’ in our house.

It started out with a bit of harmless Teletubbies fun on CBeebies. From there we developed a love/hate relationship with ‘In The Night Garden’ and have really loved some of the more innocent little programmes like ’64 Zoo Lane’, ‘3rd and Bird’ and ‘Bob The Builder’ (ofcourse). I liked the CBeebies channel because the programmes were very age-appropriate for my then tiny tots, but I liked it most because there were ... click to read full post & comments(1)


Is social networking becoming too social?

Posted by School Run Mum on 05/10/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re image Whether you are an active participant or not, the popularity of social networking is pretty hard to ignore. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and the most recent Google Plus have captured the ... click to read full post & comments


Feeling Crafty

Posted by School Run Mum on 27/09/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageI love this time of year. The start of October, to me, means that it is now perfectly acceptable to get out the winter coats and put the sandpit back into the shed. No more hoping for a late summer - it's gone people, gone!

I also like autumn weather - blustery, windy days when all the kids seem to go a little bit crazy, bright sunny days to wrap up and go and kick some leaves and even the cold, rainy days are the prefect excuse to dig those neglected jigsaws out of the back of the toy box and spend some ... click to read full post & comments


Culture Vultures

Posted by School Run Mum on 21/09/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageI like to think that I am giving my children a rounded education and varied experiences in life  - even if most of it does appear to be Lego shaped at the moment (it’s a phase – right?).

We do various sporting activities pretty regularly. We’ve done hip hop dancing. We bake. We have an eclectic mix of music on the iPhone and Santa even brought a guitar to the house last Christmas (even though he did have to take it back to the toy shop in January for a refund -  but fleetingly, we had a guitar in the house).  When it comes to ‘the arts’ though, we’re not all that great. We’ve flirted with ... click to read full post & comments


Junior Cert - Results and Repercussions

Posted by School Run Mum on 13/09/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting Education And Politic

text re imageWith Junior Cert results out this Wednesday, there will inevitably be a lot of anxious students and parents in households around the country. Waiting for exam results is always a challenging, difficult time, whatever stage the exams are at and emotions can run very high.
With the media poised to cover the outcome of the results in schools across the country, the week will no doubt be accompanied by a number of news stories of individual success and failure, and not only in relation to the exam results themselves.
With Junior Cert results day comes Junior Cert results night and the inevitable anxieties for parents about the manner in which their children will mark the occasion – whether to celebrate or commiserate. Every year, ... click to read full post & comments(1)


The Price of Education

Posted by School Run Mum on 07/09/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting Education And Politic Teachers

text re imageLast week, my eldest child started Senior Infants. One of the discussions taking place among parents at the school gate was whether we had enrolled our children for secondary schools. Some had, I hadn’t and a mild panic set in when I was advised to get onto it straight away, otherwise my, now six-year-old, might not get a place in our preferred school when the time comes.

Trouble is, we don’t really know which is our preferred school. As parents who were both educated in ... click to read full post & comments


The politics of making friends

Posted by School Run Mum on 31/08/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageGoing back to school this week brings with it many emotions: excitement, uncertainty, fear and joy – every child will react in their own way whether they are just starting school or getting back into the school routine after the summer break. It’s a rollercoaster ride for us all.

For many parents, particularly those of younger children, the school term brings with it a number of concerns and anxieties, and they are not all to do with academic ability. In fact, most parents are quite probably more concerned about ... click to read full post & comments(4)


Is it really 'Back to School' time already?

Posted by School Run Mum on 25/08/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageIt only seems like yesterday that I was unpacking the lunch box and school bag and throwing it into a corner of the kitchen. "Yippee, see you in September," I cried, with perhaps just too much glee. All those frantic mornings, cramming the best part of '5-a-day' into the Toy Story lunchbox could be forgotten about for eight whole weeks......bliss.

But all too soon, those eight weeks (which back on 1st July seemed like eight months) have flown past and I now find myself ... click to read full post & comments


The Waiting Game - Leaving Cert Results!

Posted by School Run Mum on 15/08/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageSo, the waiting is nearly over as the much anticipated/dreaded Leaving Cert results are announced this week. Just a couple more sleepless nights to toss and turn through and the remnants of any remaining finger nails to nibble before the big ‘reveal’.

It’s a tough time for the students who have worked so hard and for whom so much of their future depends on the results – will they have the number of points they need for their chosen third level course, will all the hard work have paid off?

While, at this stage, we all know that there is nothing that can be done now to change the outcome on results day, it’s still worth ... click to read full post & comments


Homework in the holidays?

Posted by School Run Mum on 10/08/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum

text re imageMy son was given a spelling exercise book from his aunt recently while we were staying with her and other members of the family. “For rainy days,” she announced. She’s a teacher – I forgave her.

He actually seemed quite excited about it and flicked through the pages straight away, although I couldn’t help noticing a distinct look of envy when he saw the prehistoric animals book his brother had been given.

Well, we actually did have a rainy day (quelle surprise!), ... click to read full post & comments


The ‘Kids Menu’ love it or hate it?

Posted by School Run Mum on 28/07/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum

text re imageWith the onset of the summer comes days out, holidays, and ‘kids menus’. Now a firm part of the ‘dining-out-with-the-kids’ experience, kids menus cause me a bit of a dilemma. A dilemma, you say. Why? Well, here’s why.

Throughout my parenting life (and with a six year old and a four year old I reckon that gives me at least ten years combined experience), I have been desperately trying to ... click to read full post & comments(1)


Eight Weeks pleasure or pain?

Posted by School Run Mum on 27/07/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum Parenting

text re imageI was having a quick snoop around Twitter the other day and read a tweet from a mum who blogs in the UK. The UK schools were just breaking up for the summer holidays and her tweet said: ‘Very sad listening to all the mums at the school gate today saying ‘roll on September.’ And a bit of a Twitter debate started about how parents approach the onset of the summer holidays – should we be delighted at the prospect of spending eight weeks with our children, or is it acceptable to ... click to read full post & comments


The School Report - a lesson in itself

Posted by School Run Mum on 19/07/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum

text re imageWe recently received the first of our 'official' school reports. Generally delighted (and relieved) with how the first year of school had gone, I suppose I was lucky to see the envelope land on the doorstep and not instantly dread it or reach for the whiskey before opening it. We hadn't had any real problems to deal with and I could only anticipate good things in the report.


But still, I surprised myself at my reaction to what I read. For some reason, I was anticipating ... click to read full post & comments


Outside In

Posted by School Run Mum on 13/07/2011.
Tags: School Run Mum

text re imageI am sure I look back on my own childhood through very rose-tinted glasses, but I do have some great memories of school summer holidays spent roaming around in friend’s gardens, going for endless bike
rides, paddling in streams and generally being outside.

Perhaps everyone is on a beach somewhere and forgot to invite me, but the streets around where I live are deserted – and it’s actually sunny this week. Where are all the kids, I ask myself?

It would seem that the school summer holidays are now almost ... click to read full post & comments