Excuse me, I’m having a moment. A ‘where am I going? ‘what’s next?’ ‘how old is middle-age?’ type of moment. Yesterday I blew out the candles, Lady Y’s perfectly chocolate birthday cake has already been polished off and I’m that inevitable year older (than 42). So here I am left having some sort of moment.
On a morbid mission, I found myself turning to Google questioning: life expectancy for women in the UK and the search engine (which practically sang happy birthday to me yesterday…) today spat out some awful age younger than my very sprightly parents. Wikipedia was no better, informing me that ‘middle age is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age.’ Now, no one can honestly persuade me that I’m still in young adulthood. Surely that time passes when your tiny toddlers don’t sleep and, to be honest, anyone who partied their way through ‘young adulthood’ will know that that morning after feeling signifies when this period of your life is well and truly over.
As I dug further, I found that various attempts had been made to define middle age for all those having a moment. Is this because we are all desperate to fight its onslaught? Or would all those 60 year olds KILL to be middle aged again?
One particular source advised that we should divide our predicted life span into thirds. But I’m not sure that this is the answer. From what I can remember, the first third was spent wanting to grow up. The second I spent clearly oblivious that I had indeed grown up. And the third… oh dear… is absolutely why I am now having this moment…
Children are taught 1 + 1 = 2, reading, and writing, for an equal start in life. But where and how they are taught is far from equal and varies greatly on the school they attend.
The notion that a university education ensures more success in life is quite ingrained in society, education being fundamental to prosperity. So how do you provide your children with the opportunities to excel and fulfil their potential?
Catherine Stoker is an Education Consultant who advises parents how to choose a school best suited to each child’s personality and ability. “Their educational focus is not just on academic excellence, but on offering pupils diverse opportunities to develop their capabilities in Sport, Music, Art and Design, or The Arts.”
The right school may not always be the best private institution money can buy, “…as a shy child may need to build their confidence through the small, nurturing environment of a private school, while a sibling may be out-going and confident, so attending the right state school may suit them just as well,” she suggests.
Another avenue to consider is joining an after-school or weekend club. A US study from Brigham University reports, “...teenagers who take part in extracurricular activities with students who achieve good grades, have double the chance of going to university”.
It reinforces the notion that peer groups do have an impact on behaviour, both positive and the not so desirable.
“Students who mix with bright students are more motivated and do achieve more highly. They will be mixing with kids with high aspirations and talking about university as a given, opening up a whole range of possibilities”.
Apparently the club or activity does not need to necessarily be academic to improve school grades, as the focus is to “hang out” in chess club, ballet classes, tennis coaching, or even art lessons with the smart kids. If your child is interested in coin/stamp collection or astronomy, the internet is a good place to start to find other like-minded enthusiasts, and maybe start your own club.
“Children who are with other high achievers will always tend to achieve higher because they are aware it’s possible and that they too can do it,” says the co-author Lance Erickson.
It may take more time and energy in your day to help motivate your children or simply drive them to and fro, and Mr Erickson warns that if you don’t “… they are more likely to end up living at your house because they won’t be going to university”.
Tags: achieve, brigham university, children, clever, club, education, extra curricular, nanny knows best, nanny v, smart, university
What scares you? I’ve decided that the oddest things scare me. Losing my house keys, forgetting to pick up the Smalls from school and a packed-up washing machine are up there in my fear list. But the eblola virus? I’m just not sure that this is quite keeping me awake at night.
Someone sneezed in the Post Office queue this morning and within seconds a Daily Mail-purist granny in front of me began her ‘West African we’re all going to die’ rant. But she’s not the only one. Many a mum has questioned my thoughts on the killer virus and we even got a letter from the headmistress detailing Mini’s school protocol.
Of course, it’s not pleasant. It’s beyond hideous and it is dangerous too. But is it close enough to actually scare me? It seems that the Boston Emirates passengers are not necessarily contaminated and so this news story is likely to be yet another (thank god) false alarm. So, my views here are simple – let’s not over-hype the epidemic. Health professionals and scientists are doing all they can to work out how to control and cure the virus and, while they do, perhaps don’t book that family holiday to Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, there’s a HUGE spider in my downstairs toilet…