Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. This is a leading question and I am sure one that many parents will have debated over the years. I make no secret of the fact that I am actually a big fan of tutoring and have done this for both of my girls at different points in their education journey.

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    My reasoning behind this is simple. If I send my daughter to gymnastics classes, she doesn’t expect me to know how to safely or knowledgably do a back hand spring, so why should I be expected convey the best ways to handle quadratic equations. Making sure that my girls have the best possible teachers available to them is both important and much less stressful for me.

    So I asked my youngest daughter if she wanted to try some online maths tutoring (with her Year 2 SATS coming up, I thought this would be good practice) and as she is a home bird, this appealed to her. Matr gives primary school-aged children in the UK online one-to-one maths tuition. Their tutors are maths experts trained to teach KS2 national curriculum to 7 to 11 year-olds, so it was a perfect partnership for us.

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    Prior to the agreed set lessons, children are encouraged to do some “test” sets to establish their ability levels. I don’t think we took full advantage of this as our first lesson was quite basic but this also gave us a chance to get used to the system and how it worked. 

    Unfortunately in our case, my daughter didn’t connect well with the tutor and found them difficult to understand during the session however Matr were keen to react to this and swiftly arranged another tutor for our next session.

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    Because of this initial “blip” I did question with Matr as to how they recruit their tutors and it is interesting to note they have a global network of tutors which enables them to hire maths specialists and provide the best support possible for each child. All tutors are maths specialists by degree or training, and many are STEM graduates … so definitely qualified. 

    Our next session had a new tutor who was extremely encouraging and adds little smiley face stickers on the screen when they are rewarding good work. My daughter loved this feature and ended up awarding the tutor some smiley face stickers of her own!

    The next question is always cost and as parents we have so much to budget for each month so having an affordable solution is necessary. Matr have easy, affordable, monthly or weekly payments from as low as £9.25 per week. The additional benefit is that you are not tied into a long term agreement and you can cancel anytime.

    So I started this post with the title saying “Should I get a tutor for my child” and for me, there are 5 good reasons to!

    1. One to One Learning
    2. Builds Confidence
    3. Test / Exam Revision
    4.  You can maintain over the holidays
    5. No more homework wars!!

     Maths tuition is no longer just the privilege of the wealthy. Online tuition companies like Matr now make maths fun and affordable for all primary aged kids. 

  2. I read this week that following a recent survey carried out by Citizens Advice, findings have shown that more than a quarter of parents are having to borrow the money needed for school uniforms due to rising costs. This is crazy!!

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    The average cost of a school uniform now exceeds £300 per year per child and many families on low incomes or with more than one child are finding it a real struggle to finance the items that their child need to comply with the rules of the school they attend.

    My eldest daughters school already has a strict uniform policy and we have had further notification that there are new restrictions from September on footwear, due to the financial pressures that parents are feeling over "branded footwear".

    How to save money on school uniform

    So how do you save money on the rising cost of school uniforms? Here are our top tips!

    • Buy big and hope that it lasts for a couple of years 
    • Don't think that buying cheaper is more cost effective. Sometimes buying a slightly more expensive (and better quality) will last much longer.
    • Shop out of season. Shop the sales. Buy quality for less at any opportunity.
    • Label EVERYTHING so that less gets lost! Trust me we have lost a lot of uniform over the years.
    • Keep an eye out for the pre term deals. Marks and Spencers and the supermarket chains often have 10-20% off weekends

    You can't put a price on eductation but saving money on uniform is possible with a little planning.

    Good luck!

     

  3. Before I met my husband and had our daughter, I have to admit I was a little ignorant to allergies, eczema and asthma. I had never really been around anyone that suffered with allergies but amazingly, one in every five children in the UK is affected by eczema at some stage, and although Allergy  Awareness Week (29 April – 3 May 2019) is this week, we all know that skin allergies can cause all-year-round problems.  Finding the right products to soothe babies suffering from eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and cradle cap is key to protecting and healing dry, sore and irritated skin.

    We have collaborated with Organic Babies to help raise awareness and what makes their products so special is that all the ingredients are carefully selected to protect, soothe, nourish and calm even the most sensitive skin.  Using ingredients that are certified organic means they cannot contain any harsh synthetic chemicals, which is why they are especially suited to allergy prone skin. The calendula, chamomile, rosehip oil and shea butter found in Organic Babies products have been specifically sourced and help ease the symptoms of skin allergies in babies and toddlers. 

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    They have a range of products such as:

    Soothing Baby Salve - RRP £11.50

    Nourishing shea butter is rich in vitamins A & E and essential fatty acids to provide protective, healing properties for use on dry, sore skin affected by eczema or psoriasis.  

    Baby Wash & Shampoo - RRP £8.50

    This wash and shampoo product is SLS-free and contains natural key plant actives aloe vera, chamomile and yucca to heal, soothe and moisturise.  

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    Calming Nappy Cream - £11.00

    Containing 95% certified organic plant ingredients including hemp, calendula, and chamomile to soothe skin, the cream, rich in zinc oxide and Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids, aids healing.  

    Softening Baby Lotion – RRP £11.50

    This lovely light scent free lotion nourishes and moisturises your baby’s skin and helps protect against dryness and irritation. 

    Mum & Baby Rescue Balm £11.50

    Perfect for soothing eczema, nappy rash and inflamed skin, the Mum & Baby Rescue Balm provides all the nourishment and care your baby needs for their skin 

    Nurturing Baby Oil - RRP 12.00

    This silky soft oil is ideal for baby massage while the extract of pomegranate oil soothes and calms due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

    Baby Massage

    We (and some eczema prone friends) have been testing out the range and it has got a big thumbs up. The products are easy to apply, feel great on your skin and mess free. The bonus is that my hands feel less dry too!

    So we are delighted to be able to give our readers the chance to win the Organic Babies Newborn Collection from Green People. All you need to do is enter below. 

     Organic Babies Newborn Gift Set

    The Prize: Organic Babies Newborn Collection Set
    The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Gleam and notified within 7 working days by email
    There is no monetary equivalent.
    Little Lilypad Co take no /responsibility for loss or damage in the despatch of prizes
    If the prize is unclaimed within 7 days we reserve the right to redraw the winner.
    UK Entrants Only
    End Date 05/05/2019 at 12am
    This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook. 

  4. A friend and I were talking today about how we love our teenagers going out and creating memories but we don't love how much it costs us. We are sure that the girls think there is a money tree growing in our garden so there is a growing need for part-time jobs or side hustles, especially for mothers who are unable to work full-time because they have childcare duties to handle. This is one of the reasons that has been raised in the current discussions surrounding the gender pay gap and why women generally earn less pay when compared to men. But that is a whole other discussion and not one for today.

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    Part-time work also comes with it’s set of challenges if you are going to include other expenses such as nursery and travel fees. Some mums are lucky to be able to tweak their working hours such that they are able to work from home, but many employers aren’t so accommodating to the idea of working remotely. If you are one of those hard working mums trying to earn more money, this might just be for you! We are going to discuss doing voice-overs, a part-time job that pays really well.

    For mums who are learning about who a voice-over artist is for the first time, here is a brief explanation of what it is about. A voice-over artist is someone who records their voice while reading a script of a show or movie provided by the client.

    You may have come across this many times but you may not know it as a voice-over. The voice is usually not necessarily a part of the television or radio production. It is a job that remains in high demand considering there is a high number of productions in theatre, television, radio, and other forms of presentation.

    There is usually a little bit of acting involved, you need to be able to convey the script as though you were acting in front of a camera. It has to come off natural and believable. In many cases, you are basically voicing a presentation to English or to another language. If you have watched an episode or two of Mexican telenovelas with English audio, then you know what a voice-over artist does.

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    If this sounds like something that you can do while juggling other mummy duties at home, then you are making the right move. Doing voice-over part-time can actually become your major source of income. Not only do you have enough time to be a mummy, but you also get to spend a lot of time on yourself doing the things that you love. If you are looking for more info about doing voice-over part-time, you can find all the information that you need at voquent.com .... although I am still not sure that my distinctive Brummie accent is what they might be looking for, maybe I need to use my posh telephone voice!