Friday, 7 November 2008

UKFamily.co.uk

As a newly-minted 'stay-at-home-dad' (albeit with one fledgling child already) I've been keen to keep up-to-date with childcare developments. I was sure, in the ten years since Sally was an infant, things would have changed and I was keen to find the latest childcare news. I've bought all the magazines; I've surfed the web voraciously. So when the above site was launched recently, I signed up straight-away. Now, as a rider, I must point out that (a) I've done this kind of thing before (and been disappointed) and (b) they've asked me to review their site. Most sites of this kind seem content to either peddle myths or act as vehicles for baby-product manufacturers. And although this site comes with the endorsement of the Disney Corporation, it appears at first-glance to be neither of those things. I was impressed enough to sign up, anyway. It can be difficult for a dad to find out all he needs to know about weaning, potty-training, when to cease breast-feeding (not a problem personally, although I have been close) and the like. Most books (and every magazine I've so far seen) seem geared to women, naturally enough. So the UK family web-site, with its easy 'Ages & Stages' links and 'Lifestyle' sections, has been something of a revelation. In terms of web-sites, I'm a BBC man; I like things plain and simple. And this site is ideal as a home-page, allowing easy browsing in and out of every kind of useful article and link. And it's interactive, too. Registered users can comment on the site, adding information to the growing database. The 'Education' section, for example, features items on the full range of issues, from bullying, to relationships with teachers, to homeschooling (with impressive technicalities, especially on the latter). To say I've been impressed is something of an understatement; there may be other sites 'out there' as good as this which I've yet to discover. But if you're looking, you could do a lot worse than start here.

18 comments:

  1. Cool. It's always good to 'big up' people who are 'doing it right'. I'm sure if I'd been on the internet when my two were tiddlers, I'd have liked that site too. x

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  2. You're right, Kitty. The internet was only in its infancy when Sally was first born. It's getting better and better all the time.

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  3. The unremitting virtualness of the Intenet scares me a bit though. I use it to have conversations with intelligent people, but it'd be so much better if they lived round the corner!

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  4. I find it hard to think of life before internet. What did I do all day long?

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  5. Gosh, if blogging was around when my first son was born, I'm pretty sure I could have multi-tasked - balancing laptop on knee whilst breastfeeding!

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  6. I'll take a look - all recommendations (good ones) gratefully received! P.S. The Magic Roundabout (re:your last post) - unmissable. I still have the film: Dougal and The Blue Cat. I still watch it. Sad but true.

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  7. It can be a bit creepy, Gadjo, but I can't imagine life without the internet now.

    I don't know what we used to do, DD. Read newspapers, perhaps? (I never bother these days.)

    The problem with multi-tasking, AM, is that lap-tops are remarkably attractive to babies. I blame Charlie for all my typos!

    It's amazing, Hadriana, watching Magic Roundabout again, years later, what hidden layers of meaning were revealed. How did they get away with it?

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  8. The kids always need the internet for school projects...I'd be lost...Sometimes i have to look up thing just to help them with their homework.

    Thanks for your kind words on my blog...

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  9. God i couldnt imagine life without the internet.

    I live a fairly isolated life because of my daughters disablity and with the net ive managed to find many friends and friends in similar situations too.

    It's where i go if i need some advice from parents in similar situations or just for a chat.

    Haha yes it's a must have for my older sons homework help and of course I do my Tescos shopping online too.

    As long as children are helped to use the internet responsibly there should be no problems.xx

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  10. Apologies - the links haven't been working, but they're fixed now!

    Couldn't agree more, Caroline, about the importance of the internet for learning. Research just took too long before, and books aren't necessarily reliable. But it's got to be used responsibly, as you say Halo. There's too much 'out there' that could lead a child astray.

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  11. Hi Tim, if you are still interested in being part of my book project could you send me an e-mail to
    bookproject2009-coauthor[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]uk
    Obviously change the "at" and "dot" to the normal symbols.
    This is address is just temporary to keep our real e-mail addresses away from the public domain and spammers. I'll then send you direct my real e-mail address.

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  12. I think I'll go and have a look at that...cheers!
    Can I pick your brains? I'm collecting quotes from fathers about having children. The book is aimed at dads to be so I'm looking for something about how it was for you. I'd need to put names and ages but you can make them up if you want it to be annonymous. The quote would read something like this:
    Having children gave me a new prespective on life. Greg, dad to Adam (8) and Kelly (4)
    No pressure, but if you'd like to offer one I'd be extremely grateful! MH

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  13. No problem, MH - I can given you as many quotes as you like. (I've got plenty to say!) When/where would you like them?

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  14. Thankyou! As many as you like! My email is millenniumhousewife@yahoo.co.uk
    MH xx

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  15. I totally agree Tim. I was really pleasantly surprised at the amount of information on this site. It's good to know that it's equally appropriate for Dads too as I think you often get overlooked in these things. Great site here by the way. :D

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  16. Thanks, Jo. You know, I'm not sure I'd have started it if something like the UKfamily site had bee up and running at the time.

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  17. UKfamily looks like a site to remember for the future. Don't intend on having children for about 5 years, but maybe some advanced reading would be a good idea?!
    Do they have a similar site for naughty kittens?!

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  18. You can never start your prep too early, Katy. Maybe that should have applied to the kittens too, eh?

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