Wednesday 31 August 2016

Back To School

I Just Love It Back to School

This time last year I was preparing to send my baby boy off to his very first day at school, in the months that followed that initial day in the school environment he settled, he made friends and began to enjoy his time away from me. That first year was not without it's struggles though, Leo has found school life pretty difficult and as we prepared for a new school year, we took all of Leo's needs into consideration so that we can help him adjust back into the school setting for a brand new academic year as a student in Year 1.

As we have been preparing to get everything ready for September 5th, Leo has begun to realise that the Summer holiday's are drawing to a close, and this prompted him to talk to me about his concerns about returning to school. 'Mummy year 1 is going to be really tricky. I find the work hard'. Hearing my little guy worrying about returning to school melted my heart, it was heartbreaking hearing him worrying about the impending work load and how difficult he finds school.

I told Leo that we were all going to do absolutely everything that we possibly could to help him learn to read and write, and that he is going to need to help us so that we can help him. That means that every night after school we will be sitting down to read before absolutely anything else, we will practice our writing and our numbers, but Leo needs to co-operate so that we can get the most out of our time together in an evening. I have made a pact with Leo, and if he co-operates and lets me help him, when we get him reading I will buy him a treat, a big treat that will be the perfect incentive for him to knuckle down.

I Just Love It Back to School

Over the Summer Leo and I moved into our own little home, and I am really hoping that our own space and new routine is going to really aid Leo's development and drive. It's quiet, and with it being just the two of us all of the distractions that have plagued us for so long have been removed from the scenario, which gives us a fantastic opportunity. One of my biggest priorities has been Leo's bedroom, my ultimate goal is to provide Leo with a clutter free space that he can use to work when he needs to, and play when the hard stuff has been completed together. I have ordered Leo a new high rise bed that is complete with a desk, and we have also been putting the Venturer BravoWin through it's paces.

Venturer BravoWin

The Venturer BravoWin is the perfect starter product when it comes to computer needs, making it a great tech addition for children starting to use computers for their school work. It's a tablet and laptop in one handy package, it can access the world wide web and also be used for word documents and everything else that Leo will need in his early school years. Leo started using this a few weeks ago and initially began it for gaming, which was a great way for him to get used to the controls and learn how to navigate his way around. Now he's more familiar with it, we have been using it a lot on the Teach Your Monster to read website, which is a great learning aid for children who are looking to learn their letters and start to put words together. As the Venturer is also a tablet, it means you can remove the keyboard entirely. and use it like any other tablet. I love the ease of being able to switch between the tablet and laptop mode which makes sitting down and completing Leo's school pieces that much easier as we can do it at his desk, or in the comfort of the lounge. 

I will be writing a full review on the Venturer BravoWin in the coming weeks once Leo's new bed has arrived and we have his new room up and running. We will be putting together a Vlog so that you can see how Leo gets on with the laptop and so that he can talk to you himself about his new gadget.

Last year I think it is fair to say that Leo and I were both a little un-prepared on the school front, neither of us really knowing what to expect and the whole things pretty much catching us off guard, before it threw us completely out of our comfort zones. This year I have promised myself that this won't happen again, and I am approaching this new school year with what I hope to be military precision (Or my very best attempt at it!) so let's have a look at the kit that Leo will be sporting in our back to school operation:

Lunch Box

Leo ordinarily has a cooked school lunch, but on those days where a school trip crops up I always find myself playing 'hunt the lunch box'. Now this shouldn't be such a mission now that we have moved into our new home and there aren't other people moving things without us realising... But I always feel like it is good to have two lunch boxes so that in the instance one has gone walkabout, you can still look overly prepared in front of the other parents (because there is nothing worse than being the parent who always forgets and misplaces things!).

Smiggle Camo Double Decker Lunch Box

Leo is returning to school with 2 brand new lunch boxes, the first one is the Smiggle Camo Double Decker Lunch Box which is an incredibly fun design that Leo just loves (and it also fits in with my new military mindset!). It's such a great size and the two tiers mean that I can pack it strategically without squishing the sandwiches or spoiling the fruit. It has a carry handle and each tier has it's own zipper so that you can keep food seperate, and can even fit your drinks bottle in one which is super. There is even a space for you to write your name so that it can be easily identified as yours if you happen to misplace it (which always happens at school right?)

We have decided to use this lunch box for those days at school when he isn't have a school dinner, which always seems to be the most incredible treat for Leo and he gets so excited the night before!

I Just Love It Back to School

Leo's second lunch box is the Personalised Space Adventure Lunch Box from I Just Love It. Now for me my favourite part of this lunch box is that you can add your childs name to the front when you order it. I am always forgetting to add Leo's name to these things when I buy them, so this was such a convenient addition for me, and Leo loves that his name is featured on the front.

Leo's new bedroom is a space theme, and when I saw this lunch box I fell in love with it's space adventure theme, and the fact that it had a matching back pack and water bottle should you choose to add these to your basket too (More on these further down!). This lunch box is going to be fantastic on future school trips and Leo is already looking forward to being able to use it with the set when that time rolls around!

Pencil Case

Smiggle Kick It Hard Top Pencil Case

Smiggle Kick It Hard Top Pencil Case

For the reception year Leo didn't require a pencil case as the school provided everything that he needed, for Year 1 I wanted to supply Leo with the essentials because there is something exciting and grown up about having your own case and of course pens and pencils! Leo has returned to school with the Smiggle Kick It Hard Top Pencil Case, which for a football lover may just be the best pencil case in existence!

The pencil case is a great size for everything Leo needs, granted I am not filling it completely at this stage as I am allowing for the fact that Leo may loose bits and pieces, so just sending in the essentials seems to be the best option at this stage. What's really fun about this pencil case is that it comes with 2 sets of football legs, 2 goal posts and 2 football erasers. I have had to take these out for school purposes as I didn't want to distract Leo from his school work (it has to be noted that Leo is easily distracted!) and these will be kept on his new desk at home.

Water Bottle

I Just Love It Back to School

The school gave Leo a water bottle last year and it really helped in getting him to drink more water. Unfortunately this bottle soon disappeared as all of the other children had that exact same bottle, so this year Leo is using the Personalised Space Adventure Water Bottle from I Just Love It. The bottle matches his lunch box and school bag, and even comes with his name, so there is definitely no confusing his bottle with anyone else's!

School Bag 

I Just Love It Back to School

Another area we lacked last year was having a school bag that was big enough to fit everything Leo needed inside, so poor old Leo often had to take canvas bags that I had accumulated at blogging events throughout the year (At least he knows how to answer people when they ask him about BritMums Live now!). So this year Leo is really excited about his brand new Personalised Space Adventure Backpack from I Just Love it!

The bag is such a generous size and can fit absolutely everything that he needs inside for a day out with school. The lunch box fits perfectly inside the front pocket along with his water bottle, and he even has space in the main bag compartment for everything else that he might need for the day, like his winter coat, rain coat and even sun cream, The shoulder caps are padded and he has informed me that it is comfortable to wear, and the straps can be adjusted to the child for a snug fit.

The Summer Holiday's have really flown by, and I cannot believe my boy is already heading back to school, and he is already starting his second school year. This year we are setting some serious goals, with the new house and space behind us, we are really taking full advantage and intend on smashing some new goals. I for one am really looking forward to putting these new learning aids in place for Leo and watching him enjoy the new academic year.

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