Museums and Galleries with little ones

I loved this post from the lovely Liubov about enjoying galleries and museums with little ones. Thank you Liubov for these excellent tips. I wholeheartedly agree about starting them young – and feel sad when I hear people saying their children are ‘too young’ and ‘won’t enjoy it’! It’s precisely because they are young that you should start taking them! Museums and galleries are perfect places for just wandering around, having a look, and enjoying something outside of the everyday. Museums are so interesting to children, just as everything else is interesting to them (the inside of the kitchen cupboard, a piece of moss on the patio, a burst balloon…). In fact, the part of museums that I enjoy least is always the ‘children’s section’, with toys and dress ups and other trivialities – because I think there is so much wonder to be had in the museum itself, why do we need to dumb it down to the level of ‘entertainment’, for fear our children will get bored? In our family, we love museums for their collections of random objects that we don’t encounter in the day-to-day, because they are a springboard for the imagination.


Happy New Year!

Many of us are making resolutions and hoping to try new things as we plan for 2018. One thing I was reflecting on as I looked back on last term was that museum trips and art exhibitions were real highlights in our homeschooling life. The children love being out and about exploring. So much history and art was brought to life as we saw an Egyptian mummy or a Fra Angelico painting up close, and so I’m intending to go more often this year.


Museums are one of the main reasons why we love living in central Oxford. We have an amazing variety within a 10 minute walk, from the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.  It is a real privilege.

But museums and art galleries can be intimidating places with little ones in tow, especially as I…

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Picture Book Round Up | December 2017

We love reading picture books in our home and homeschool. Every day we read at least a couple in the morning, two or three or four after lunch, and some more whilst dinner is cooking. Oh and bedtime stories! My children have many familiar favourites on our shelves, but we also like to raid our small but excellent local library about once or twice a fortnight.

I thought I’d share a few we’ve enjoyed recently. I might even make it a regular feature for the blog. That way, I’ll be able to remember what that really good book was that we were reading way back when… 🙂


The Paper Dragon, by Marguerite W. Davol


The Story of Holly and Ivy, by Rumer Godden



Pattan’s Pumpkin, by Chitra Soundar


The Nutcracker, by Jane Ray


The Miracle of the First Poinsettia, by Joanne Oppenheim


The Story of Christmas, by Jane Ray


The Selfish Giant, by Oscar Wilde (retold by Alexis Deacon)


The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, by Susan Wojciechowski


Saint George and the Dragon, by Margaret Hodges


Beauty and the Beast: Stories Around the World, by Cari Meister


Babushka, by Dawn Casey

Advent derailed, Christmas derobed

‘You can’t burn a candle at both ends, Laura.’

That’s what my mum used to tell me during my teenage years.

Even now, even though I’ve doubled my years, my husband tells me the exact same thing.

I haven’t changed.

I’ve always been a person that does. Ruled by my to do list, wanting to get things done. Legalistic. Perfectionist. Performance-driven. Productivity-driven.

I have sensed it for a while, but in the last few days before Christmas I knew it, as I finished writing this post in the dying embers of the year I knew it: God is changing my heart.

Since posting about our plans for Advent back at the beginning of December, I’ve been on a journey. I’ve felt overwhelmed. I’ve felt confused. I’ve felt like I could do it all. I’ve felt like I could do none of it. I’ve felt empty. I’ve had to let things go.

In the early days of December, I was certain I was capable. My plans for the season were in place. I even wrote lists, lists of crafts to make with the children, lists of ideas for how to go the extra mile in serving others this Advent season.

But all the while, there was a quiet whisper of something, a growing whisper that was telling me to slow down.

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