Want to lead preschool learning at home? We asked one of our Boogie Mites Online Club members, Zoe Newsom, what she thought of our online support for parents throughout lockdown. Zoe is a new mum and a speech and language therapist, and you can discover her plans to continue using the group beyond the lockdown period in her featured blog post…
IN ZOE NEWSOM’S WORDS:
Almost a year ago, I gave birth to my little girl. I’m a parent but I’m also a speech and language therapist and 6 months into my parenting journey became a babysign teacher.
Lockdown presented many challenges and suddenly I found my signing classes thrown into a new online existence. Like many small companies, it was a world of unknowns and I have been so grateful for the many families that have supported me through this time.
Boogie Mites have been one company which have provided us with entertainment all through lockdown. Like many parents suddenly finding myself at home all the time with my little one presented new demands and uncertainties about their development – was I doing enough? did she have enough toys? what if I got it wrong?
When lockdown first happened I felt a surge of guilt about all the experiences that my little one was now going to miss out on. I therefore threw myself into every single class or activity I could find to do. I didn’t want to fail her by not giving her opportunities and so I would then feel incredibly bad if we missed a class. Ridiculous, I know, but I am certain I wasn’t on my own.
As time passed by (and hasn’t it gone quick) I relished in finding classes and activities that my little one loved rather than filling every minute. One of the early key skills to develop is joint attention and I have found singing, signing, rhythm and instruments to be a unique and amazing way to initiate this skill.
Developing this is so vital in supporting communication and I have found Boogie Mites sessions to be particularly brilliant at this.
The use of props, animals, noises and repetition keeps my now 11 month old completely engrossed and she loves using anything she can to shake, bang or clap. Repetition helps promote learning but also anticipation and it is so fun to see her learning the songs, getting excited as they come on and joining in with more of the actions. We have also incorporated our signing into the classes and her signing and speech have come on no end in the last few months. Joining the online subscription group in June (Boogie Mites Online Music Club) has been a great way of continuing these classes – a variety of teachers, new music and the possibility to do as many classes as you want, whenever you can in the week.
I have been particularly amazed at how adaptable children are in these unprecedented times. Like a sponge they soak up every opportunity you provide them with. You don’t need expensive toys or to allocate ‘learning’ time as actually they find new skills in what we find mundane – going out in the rain, shaking pasta in a bottle, banging toys together, picking up crumbs on the floor (yes my house has lots of those)! Rather than being a problem, I have actually found this time to be an opportunity. Classes such as Boogie Mites have been priceless in providing ideas and music for us to use throughout our day. My little one, in her dynamic and beautifully interactive way, helps my unimaginative brain come alive with exciting songs about the pea on her plate or the sock on her foot whilst banging our two plastic spoons together.
More importantly though, without even knowing it we are learning – attention, phonological awareness, social interaction, speech and language – and also having a lot of fun!
You can follow Zoe:
Zoe Newsom – babysignbournemouth @babysignbournemouth on Facebook
Join Zoe and enjoy preschool learning at home, throughout and beyond lockdown:
- Support your child’s development at home with music
- Boost physical, language and maths skills
- New exciting theme every month
- 8 music and movement sessions live online every week
- Plus! Each month get access to five songs, lyrics, parent notes and fun videos worth £7.50
- Enjoy the magical benefits of music – Join the club!
For enquiries, please email Sue Newman, Boogie Mites Director, or call her on: 023 92 817274.