How Make the Family Computer Safe for Children

Computer Safe for Children

Is your family computer safe for children?

The children are back in school. That means they have to do their homework and projects. If you teach your kids at home in Spain or the UK, you might use your computer a lot. But there are things on the internet and even on your own hard drives that might not be right for children. So, here are some tips to make the family computer safe for children in Spain or anywhere else…

Install the Latest OS Releases

The programme that runs your computer is called its operating system, or OS. Windows and macOS are the ones most people use. But there are also different kinds of Linux that you could use. Often, new versions are put out to keep up with what features consumers want. But also to keep safe. For example, the latest version of macOS lets you protect family photo albums. But a new OS can slow down your computer. There are ways to get around this (read more) so you can get the great features of a new OS without putting your computer’s security at risk.

Make the Family Computer Safe for Children with Web Features

Almost 20% of the childrenwho were asked said that they had seen adult content online during lockdown. This number is way too high, as every parent will agree. Most web browsers come with built-in tools that let users control what they see. For example, you can decide which websites your kids can visit on Chrome and how much access they have to certain websites. If “Try to block explicit sites” is turned on in Family Link for your child, Chrome will try to block sites that have been flagged as sexually explicit, violent, or not child-safe in general.

Limit Child Screen Time

As a parent, you can do your part by keeping an eye on how much time your child spends on the PC. By taking an active role in how they use the computer, you can almost stop them from accessing anything that isn’t appropriate. You can also make sure they only use the computer for work and research. You can do this by giving yourself a set amount of time, like three hours, when you get home from school. It’s also a good idea to make sure they don’t spend too much time on social media and the internet at night. Blue light can make it hard to sleep.

Create Individual Accounts

Every operating system has ways to set up individual accounts on a computer. The most powerful account is usually called “Administrator,” and it lets you do everything, including manage other accounts. On a shared computer, it’s always a good idea to set up restricted accounts. This means that you can stop your kids from using certain features, programmes, and websites. By doing this, you make it much less likely that harmful programmes will be installed and protect yourself from cyber security risks like keyloggers, malware, and camera control.

Install Parental Control Apps

Some of the features that come with modern operating systems are great. But there’s only so far they can go. You probably already use fun apps. Installing parental control apps will give you more control over what your children can see and do. Here are some of the best you can get:

  • Qustodio: comes with many features and is best overall.
  • Google Family Link: free for macOS and Android.
  • Bark: great for older kids because of social media monitoring.
  • Canopy: excellent content filters make it the best for younger children.
  • NetNanny: has excellent real-time monitoring features.

Parental control apps let you keep an eye on what your kids are doing on their devices no matter where they are. This is different from a parental control router, which lets you decide what websites your kids can and can’t access when they use your home network.

 

Use Encryption for Important Documents

Of course, not every threat comes from the outside. Because you use a shared computer at work, there could be sensitive files or websites on it. Suppose, for example, you are a private criminal forensics consultant. You wouldn’t want your kids to be able to look at pictures of murders. So it’s best to keep your work and your family life separate. Luckily, this is easy to do by locking certain drives and folders with encryption software. OneDrive from Microsoft is a great free tool. Apps like Secure IT, AxCrypt, and Folder Lock can also be used.

 

Always Logout and Clear History

Make sure you log out so your kids can’t see what you do at work or on sites you often visit as an adult. Some web browsers will keep you logged in to websites and save your history, so you don’t have to log in every time. This will save you time and make things easier for you. This is great, of course, if you have a computer that only you use. But if the family PC is shared, this could be terrible. You wouldn’t want your kids to see the sites you visit as an adult. For example, you might often use shopping or medication websites to buy items of a very personal nature.

 

Make the Family Computer Safe for Children with Kid Browsers

Most likely, you have only heard of a few web browsers. But around 200 are actually available. Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari by Apple, and Opera are the five most popular desktop web browsers. All of these are great, but they don’t have enough safety features for kids. But you can download and install child-friendly browsers that are made with kids in mind and have safety features that are turned on by default. Google made Kiddle, and its search results will only show child-friendly content. Pikluk and Kidoz are two others.

 

Practice Basic PC Security

Lack of cybersecurity is one of the easiest ways for a child to see something they shouldn’t. Also, if you don’t protect your PC, hackers could use your webcam to take pictures of your kids. The good news is that most of the time, basic computer security is enough to keep your family computer safe. Antimalware packages like Malwarebytes are great security solutions that do a lot of things well. Malwarebytes will, for example, block access from the outside, stop access to malicious sites, and scan files and emails regularly. You should also cover your webcam.

 

Summary

There are a lot of dangers online these days. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to make the family computer safe for children. You can start by installing the most recent operating systems, which have better features. You can also use parental control apps to restrict access to explicit sites. And cheap and effective antimalware packages are excellent at making things safer all around.

Best Family App: 5 of The Most Useful and Fun-Filled Options

best family app

 

There are so many apps available today that it can be difficult to know which is the best family app for your own family. With such a wide variety of choices, how can you be sure that you’re picking the right app for your needs? Fear not – we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we will discuss five of the best family app and outline why each one is so useful. So whether you’re looking for an educational app, a game to keep the kids entertained, or a tool to help with organization and productivity, we’ve got you covered.

 

OurPact

This app is a must-have for any family with young children. It allows you to block apps and internet access on your child’s devices, set screen time limits, and even track their location. OurPact is the perfect tool for parents who want to make sure their kids are staying safe online and limiting their screen time. With this app, you can easily monitor your child’s activity and ensure that they’re not spending too much time on their devices. Plus, OurPact also offers a premium subscription that gives you even more features, such as the ability to schedule device usage and set bedtime limits.

Cozi

Cozi is a great app for families who want to be more organized and productive. It helps you manage your family’s schedule, create shopping lists, and even set reminders. Cozi is perfect for busy families who need help staying organized. With this app, you can easily keep track of everyone’s schedule in one place and make sure that no important tasks are forgotten. You can also use Cozi to plan meals, share grocery lists, and set reminders for important events. In addition, Cozi offers a premium subscription that gives you additional features, such as the ability to sync your calendar with Google Calendar or Outlook.

ChoreMonster

ChoreMonster is a fun and rewarding app that motivates kids to do their chores. With this app, you can assign chores to your children and give them rewards for completing them. ChoreMonster is a great way to get your kids excited about doing their chores. With this app, they can earn points and redeem them for prizes, such as video games or gift cards. Plus, you can use ChoreMonster to track your child’s progress and ensure that they’re actually doing their chores. There is also a premium subscription available that gives you additional features, such as the ability to create custom chore charts and set up weekly allowances.

Toca Hair Salon

Toca Hair Salon is a fun and interactive app that allows kids to experiment with different hairstyles. With this app, they can cut, color, and style hair in any way they want. Toca Hair Salon is an excellent way for kids to express their creativity. With this app, they can try out different hairstyles and colors without having to make any permanent changes. Plus, it’s an excellent way for them to learn about different hairstyles and how to take care of them. There is also a Toca Hair Salon: Styling Kit available that includes real scissors, combs, and other styling tools.

Device Cleaner Apps

There are many different device cleaner apps available, but our favorite is CCleaner. This app helps you clean up your device’s storage and clear out junk files. CCleaner is a great way to free up space on your device and improve its performance. With this app, you can delete unwanted files, clear your cache, and even uninstall unnecessary apps. Plus, CCleaner can help you improve your battery life by stopping background processes that use up a lot of power. However, if you are a Mac user, many cool apps are available such as DaisyDisk, CleanMyMac X, or MacPilot.

 

There are many different apps available that can be useful for families. Whether you’re looking for an app to help with organization, productivity, or entertainment, there’s sure to be an app that meets your needs. What do you think is the best family app? Share your ideas with us …

Stay Motivated to Exercise And Keeping Cool In The Spanish Heat

Methods for Staying Motivated to Exercise And Keeping Cool In The Spanish Heat

 

As summer approaches, many individuals set goals to exercise more and get fit and healthy in order to look nice during the warmer months. Typically, these ambitions are abandoned, and individuals return to their daily routines. The only way to make exercise a part of your daily routine is to disprove yourself and make it a habit. We are made up of our habits, and if we have excellent habits in our routines, we don’t need to continually push ourselves to exercise all the time. Here are a few ideas to keep you inspired to exercise in the Summer and beyond. It is important to think about exercise as something to incorporate into your life as a permanent healthy habit, you can take it seriously by getting all the gear from places like EcoGearFX and exploring to find the right exercise for you. That could be anything from Yoga to hiking or even kayaking.

 

Joining a sports team is an excellent approach to keeping oneself motivated and devoted to exercising. Joining sports teams is not only good for your health, but it also gives you a feeling of community and is a fantastic way to keep in shape. There are sports teams for almost anything, so there will be something you love nearby. 

 

If you wish to exercise on a regular basis, treat it like a doctor’s visit or a meeting. Put it in your calendar and always keep the appointments to go to the gym and workout, to that class, or even if you’re doing one at home. By committing to it, I’m not cancelling it, you will gradually get more attracted to exercise, love it more, and stick to it without being able to easily talk yourself out of it. 

 

When the temperature rises, be cautious whether you’re sprinting, playing pickup basketball, or taking a power stroll. Use these simple precautions to avoid heat-related diseases if you exercise outside in hot weather. Exercising in hot conditions throws your body under additional strain. You risk serious illness if you don’t take precautions when exercising in the heat. Your core body temperature can be raised by both the exercise and the atmospheric temperature and humidity. 

 

Your body sends extra blood to circulate through your skin to assist cool itself. This means your muscles get less blood, which raises your heart rate. Because sweat does not readily drain from your skin when the humidity is high, your body is put under additional stress. As a result, your body temperature rises even more.

You might also consider hiring a personal trainer. They will be able to teach you the benefits of being healthy and coach you through the proper kind of exercise to ensure that you are not injuring yourself in any way and are staying cool in the heat, and they are all about keeping you motivated and devoted to your goal. They are specialists in their business, so they know what they’re talking about and how to get you where you want to go.

If you are looking for a new sport in Spain … why not try padel 😉

 

Celebrating a Birthday in Spain? Here Are Some Ideas to Make it a Memorable one ….

birthday in Spain

 

The best birthdays in Spain as in any country are the ones that are memorable. You want to make sure that your loved one has a birthday they will never forget. There are many ways to do this in Spain, and we will focus on a few aspects you will have to consider to make it memorable for your loved one.

 

Try To Identify Their Favourite Spanish Activity Or Interest

If your loved one enjoys a certain activity, try to make their birthday revolve around that. For example, if they love Spanish food, then take them out for an authentic Spanish meal. Or if they love going to the beach, spend the day at one of Spain’s beautiful beaches. This will make the day more special for them if it is something they enjoy doing.

You could find some help by asking other people they’re close to for ideas.

You’ll have to actively listen to your loved ones throughout the year to understand what they like. That is why planning ahead is essential to make sure their birthday is extra special.

Do Multiple Things To Make Their Day Memorable

Doing one thing for their birthday is great, but if you want to make it even more special, try doing multiple things. This could include getting them a cake and presents, taking them out for lunch or dinner, and maybe even going out for drinks afterwards.

You could also get creative and do something unique that they will remember forever. For example, you could organise a treasure hunt around the city or write them a heartfelt letter expressing your love for them.

The sky is the limit when it comes to making someone’s birthday memorable. It just takes a little bit of creativity and planning on your part.

Relocating To Spain

Getting Them The Ideal Present

A lot of the time, people think that the most important part of a birthday is getting the perfect present. While presents are great, they are not always necessary. What is more important is that you put thought into what you get them.

It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, but it should be something that they will appreciate and remember. For example, if they love reading, get them a book by their favourite author or if they love art, get them a painting from their favourite artist or of their favourite Spanish landscape.

The key is to get them something that shows you know them and care about them. This will make the day even more special for them.

If you’re out of ideas, doing research online can be a great help for some inspiration. For example, you can read blog posts like “The 33 Best Gifts For New Parents In 2022” or “How To Make A Birthday In Spain Extra Special”.

Don’t Forget The Cake

A birthday cake is a must when it comes to birthdays. It is a tradition that has been around for centuries and is still going strong today. There are many different cake recipes out there, so you can find one that your loved one will enjoy.

You could also get creative with the design of the cake. For example, you could make a Spanish flag cake or a castle cake if they love history. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making a birthday cake. You could find some inspiration by researching which cakes are popular in Spain.

The most important thing is that you enjoy making it and that your loved one enjoys eating it! Remember to sing them a happy birthday song. If you’re up for it, consider learning the happy birthday song in Spanish too!

Make A Birthday Video

One of the best ways to make a birthday special is to create a birthday video. This can be a montage of pictures and videos from throughout their life set to music, or it could be a funny video you made yourself.

Videos are a great way to capture memories, and they will be able to look back on them for years to come. If you’re not sure how to make one, there are plenty of tutorials online that can help you out.

Making a birthday video is a great way to show your loved ones how much you care about them, and it will make their day even more special.

Secondary Education in Spain

Remember To Take Photos On The Day

Another way to make a birthday special is to take lots of photos on the day. This way, they will have memories to look back on for years to come. Make sure to get photos of every activity and location you visit on the day.

If you’re not sure how to take good photos, there are plenty of resources online that can help you out. You could even hire a professional photographer if you want to make sure the photos are perfect.

Taking photos is a great way to capture memories, and it will help your loved ones remember their birthday for years to come.

There are many ways to make a birthday special for your loved one. It just takes a little bit of creativity and planning on your part. The most important thing is that you enjoy making it and that your loved one enjoys their day.

How to Keep Fit in Spain: A Guide for People Who Are Moving to Spain

If a relocation to Spain is on the cards for you, there will undoubtedly be many questions you will need to answer regarding the new change of lifestyle and the logistics of doing things you previously took for granted, such as shopping, commuting, and getting around your day-to-day life. 

buying property abroad

 

An important consideration is how you can still stay healthy while living in Spain. The Mediterranean diet is often classed as one of the best ways to eat and can help you get everything you need daily while still being delicious. Exercise, on the other hand, can be trickier. With over half of Spaniards surveyed saying they don’t participate in regular exercise, you can be forgiven for thinking there aren’t many options available. But this post looks at some ways you can stay fit in Spain.

 

Outdoor Gym

You can find some outdoor gyms right in the middle of the city, and they offer a variety of different equipment. For example, if you want to do some weightlifting while you’re working out, there are outdoor gyms that will have free weights and machines available. There are also outdoor gyms that offer other classes besides just weightlifting like boxing or yoga.

Outdoor gyms in Spain are free to use; all you need is to get some suitable footwear, find appropriate sports t-shirts and loose-fitting bottoms, put on some sunscreen, and you’re good to go!

hiking in spain

Hiking

The top 10 lists of the most popular hikes across Spain will give you plenty of options. As well as some good old fashioned walking, hiking is an excellent way to burn calories and get your heart rate up. It also boosts your mood and has been known to help people with depression. You can do many different hikes in Spain, from coastal walks with gorgeous views over the mediterranean sea or inland high mountain routes for more experienced hikers.

 

Walks or Runs On The Beach

The beach is a great place to start your day. This can be especially true if you’re lucky enough to live near the beach. There are many benefits to starting your day with a walk on the beach. First, it’s a beautiful way to get fresh air and exercise in a scenic setting. The clear air will provide ample opportunities for deep breathing and reduce any stress you might have before starting the day. And, of course, there’s the added benefit of having an active ocean view as you stroll along with the waves crashing in front of you! You’ll also have the opportunity to see new things and meet new people.

 

Swimming In The Sea

One of the most popular ways to stay fit in Spain is swimming in the sea. The Mediterranean diet and the saltwater will work wonders for your skin while you get your daily dose of exercise all at once.

Swimming is a great way to keep in shape while living in Spain. You can take advantage of the country’s many beaches and seaside towns and have a swim whenever it suits you. It has been said that this activity also helps with weight management while giving you a full-body workout.

 

Family Life in Spain

Dancing

If there is one thing they know how to do in Spain, it is dancing. There are so many different styles of dance you can learn in Spain. At one point, there were over 200 different styles of traditional Spanish dancing. These days, there are far fewer. However, dancing remains widespread, and you can find dance classes in any region of the country.Now sure what style to pick? Why not try a range of dances to what still you prefer before committing to any classes.

You can choose from:  Flamenco, Fandango, Pasodoble, Bolero, Zambra, to name a few.

 

Football

If you are looking to play a sport and join one of the country’s favourite pastimes, you need to enter a football club. Football is king in Spain, and they take their games seriously. 

Over 29,000 football clubs are registered in Spain, and around 23 clubs are classed as professionals. You can find a team pretty much anywhere, or you can even get to know your new neighbours and join a local team for fun to keep you fit.

 

In conclusion, there are so many ways you can get out and about and join in with different exercise styles or even make healthier lifestyle choices – did you know there are nap clubs you can head out in Spain for an afternoon siesta? Naps are taken seriously and are a great way to recharge and avoid the midday heat. So make the most of your move, get outside and explore everything Spain offers.

Don´t forget Padel 😉 Read more here!

 

Moving to Spain: 4 Simple Ways to Help Your Child Cope

Before moving to Spain with your family, it is essential to know how best to help your child dig in and transition. This guide will provide you with four simple ways that will help ensure that your child is happy and prosperous in their new life in Spain.

moving to spain with kids

Discuss with your Children About the Move

It is essential to let your child know you will move to Spain. You want them to know that the new home they will move into is unique for everyone. It would help if you discussed the reasons for the move, so your children can feel at ease. A more straightforward way of describing it is by saying that you are on an adventure. Your children will benefit from this information as it helps them understand why things may seem different.

Pack and Ship Before You Move

You will want to ensure that your child’s room has plenty of their belongings, but you will also want to make sure you don’t pack everything until they arrive. Pack and ship most of your child’s belongings to Spain before you arrive. It helps your child feel like they already have many things with them when they get here. It can frustrate a child if their clothes and toys are still in boxes even after they’ve moved into a new house.

Give your Child New Exploring Opportunities

When you arrive in Spain, please encourage your child to explore their new home and surroundings. When they are out exploring, have a map of the area so your child can become familiar with their surroundings and to help them easily find their way back home.

Since it is a new area, take all precautions necessary to ensure that they are safe. You may choose to appoint someone to accompany them as they explore the new location. Better yet, to be safe, you can track your child’s cell phone without having to install any tracking app; you can read the guide here.

Language Classes

Once you arrive and settle, get your child involved in language classes. These language classes will give them the tools to continue to learn and pick up additional phrases and vocabulary about Spain and themselves.

The teacher can also be constructive in this process as they will try to decipher how your child learns. It is helpful because they will find a method to help your child keep learning and comprehending things better.

Conclusion

When you take these steps to help your child adjust to their new home in Spain, they will feel right at home. Your child will feel like they belong wherever you live, and it will show in their behavior and lifestyle.

You want them to flourish in this new environment, so the extra time and effort you put into getting them to acclimate to the new location are worth it. As a parent, you want them to thrive wherever they are. Spain is great for kids to live and grow up in, so make it work for your family.

Your Garden in Spain: Tips for Tidying Up

One of the chores that you should have on your list right now is the one where you clear out your garden in preparation for the season ahead. It may still be a place to capture winter sun, but plants in Spain still go through cycles in temperature. A seasonal cleanup is always good for your garden, and whether you call in an expert or you do it yourself, your cleanup is going to be a great thing to do to keep your plants and your lawns healthy.

Garden clean-ups prevent pests from building up, weeds from strangling your good plants and it makes your home look tidy – which is exactly what you want. You can clear out the garden and enjoy a newly blooming space, because you’ve taken the time to clear up. If you need some new parts for your garden tools, you can get those replaced before you wrap your things up into the garage or shed for the season. Clearing out the garden shouldn’t be a huge issue but it should be done so that you don’t have to worry about it anymore! Let’s take a look at the tips you need to get it right.

your garden in spain

Image Source: Pexels

 

Steps for tidying up your garden in Spain:

  1. Removing the pests. Disease and pests can eat through your garden and make it look awful, kill your plants and cause infestations you really could do without. The first tip for cleaning out the garden is to sort your pest issues out and call in an exterminator for those pesky bugs that just won’t let go! 
  2. Maintain your compost pile. You don’t want to have any issues when it comes to your compost, so make sure that you prevent mold growth and seeds from blooming in your compost bin. Re-line the bin and make sure that the lid stays firmly closed. You can spread the compost over your perennial plants and feed them nutrients along the way. It protects from weed growth, too!
  3. Clear up the vegetable patch in your garden if you have the chance. You want to know that your vegetables can thrive and grow without being strangled by weeds and that means raking, pulling back, and clearing off dead leaves. The compost can keep them looking good for springtime, and that’s what you want for your plants.

Back to School 2020: Coronavirus, ignorance, doubts and conflicting emotions.

What will happen with back to school 2020 in Spain?

 

back to school 2020

 

What are your thoughts? How are you feeling? What do you know? What do you wish you knew?

By now, most parents are longing for the “vuelta al cole”, after the seemingly endless (although, these days we wish they were longer) summer holidays we enjoy in Spain. However, this year we are clouded in incertitude. The future is currently clouded by the continuing presence and threat of Coronavirus.

As I write this post, Friday, August 21st 2020, I am anxiously awaiting an email from our children’s school. On Monday this week, we received an email advising, amongst other things, that today we would be explained how “back to school 2020” would be organised.

I must tell you that I am not too concerned about our children going back to school, I am confident that their school will take all the necessary precautions and that our children are old enough and wise enough to take the necessary precautions. However, I am unhappy that our children are returning to school earlier than usual and that there is a possibility they will be expected to attend a school trip at the start of the term. Can you imagine? Around 200 students in a camp together, having been so careful for so long. It is my nightmare!

I am also concerned about the long term health effects, catching the virus may cause our children to suffer.

However, as new measures are currently being imposed across Spain due to a new spike in cases, I am hoping that the school’s plan will be changed. I am hoping that by the time I post my ramblings here that I will be able to tell you the outcome!

And about the spike in cases in Spain … can anybody tell me why Spain is portrayed so badly in newspapers, online portals and TV programmes all around the world? What have they done so wrong? Or is it really a scaremongering tactic? And if so, to what avail?

Yes, there are more cases being detected. Yes, there are lots more tests being carried out. Yes, the track and trace system is tight. Yes, strict measures are put in place in an attempt to slow the spread. And yes there are much fewer hospitalizations and deaths. But how long will this last …

 

covid spain back to school 2020

 

 

I asked on social media for parent’s thoughts about back to school 2020 in Spain. Here are some comments:

 

 

I’ve seen letters being published by some of the local AMPAs with their demands but can’t help hoping that plans are being worked upon and we have to have a little faith in those to whom we entrust our children who also have a vested interest in keeping the children and themselves safe. Either that or my head is well and truly buried in the sand!

 

Hey Lisa, I’m going back to teaching this year after a 5 year break and in answer to your question – we don’t know what is going on. There are plans for all 3 scenarios – all virtual, semi-presencial and all in person. Our daughter would be starting nursery at the same school as a 2 year old and we are planning to keep her home at least the first few weeks if need be to see if it’s actually safe and how things go. I don’t feel like things are under control – too many questions and variables – if I have a fever (for some other cold or run of the mill illness, does my whole class and their families quarantine? Will the 20 child bubble group I’m meant to teach actually be a bubble – how can that be controlled on weekends with extended families and the inevitable Sunday lunches? Too many questions and lots of anxiety.

 

Hi ?? here there is no news yet, the mommies I know don’t know either. My kids are in infantil, primaria and ESO. We live in Castilla y Leon. For me, I really hope the kids go back to school as it has been a real struggle to keep up with their homeworks and projects from home, even though they were in contact with their teachers and class online on a daily basis ( the child in primaria ) but most importantly for their social skills and their interactions with school kids and teachers. Of coarse safety is a top priority, and if it is decided that going to school is high risk, then that is that.

 

Nothing yet here in Mijas Costa. My son is due to go back to school on the 10th September. It’s pretty shocking that we have had no updates from the school but they got their school fees ??‍♀️Definitely would hate to hear home schooling again ?

 

Hi! My son’s 4 and due to my start Reception soon after preschool. He needs it and he’s so excited. They’re going to be in preschool for the first two weeks to get them used to being back in school and then onto “big school”! I’m excited for him to go to, he’s an only child and it’s just me, him and my Mom so he’s going to learn so much more being around his friends again.

 

In Sotogrande on September 8th. We just received today (18 August) a thorough and complete re-opening document with Covid-19 health and safety measures. All parents must read and sign this before children return. How do I feel about it? Cautiously happy. Social interaction is crucial for our students well being. However, the policing of their distance to one another, (no hugging, no touching, no high-fives) is very sad to imagine, but not impossible. I taught in Japan for two years and they all bow to one another and there really isn’t any touching, so we will adapt to other ways of showing our affection. We must make that a key component of returning to school.

 

 

Here is an extract from the initial email from our children’s school about back to school 2020 plans:

 

in spite of everything that is happening, we continue to work with hope instead of fear of the unknown because we know that far beyond the security of certainties, human beings need the security of a community, of belonging to a group linked by bonds of commitment and affection (especially during moments of uncertainty and adversity). This is how we have evolved as a species over time and this is how, this year too, we will give the best of ourselves and create learning conditions in which our children feel that, whatever happens, they will never walk alone.

 

As a parent, I do value the social interaction going to school provides our children. Mixing with and learning in the presence of children of their age is an integral part of growing up. It is part of what helps them develop. However, we also need to weigh up risks and rewards. It is easier for me to say this as our children are now 13 and almost 16 years old. I do feel that parents of younger children are dealing with a much bigger challenge.  How do you cope? What do you feel?

During the initial lockdown in Spain, our children received a minimum of 3 to 4 hours, online classes in the morning each day of the week. Classes were taught by their usual teachers, all students were present and joint tasks and projects were set for later in the day. Despite the expected initial hiccups and technical challenges (by some students and a couple of teachers!) classes ran smoothly and the sense of routine made the whole experience a lot more bearable for us all.

Based on this, I am preparing us for the possibility of returning to online classes. Even if this does not happen initially, I expect it may happen at some point. Some parts of Spain are already preparing for a mix of presential and online classes.

This is our school’s comment on online vs presential classes:

 

With regards to Technophobia and Technophilia” which divides, sometimes excessively the state of opinion between those who advocate the advantages of classroom-based and online education, the truth is that during the last months of the previous academic year it became clear that there is good and bad online education, as there is also good and bad classroom-based education. We have been and are, without the slightest doubt, in the first group of both and we firmly believe that the two complement each other and offer advantages.

However, in the current situation it is not a question of arguing in favour or against, but rather being aware that in the circumstance of uncertainty both are necessary as part of a routine or habit that allows a transition to one extreme or the other in the event that the health authorities consider it necessary.

No matter what, a decision needs to be made and soon. Tension is rising in many parts of Spain. Both teachers and parents need to be reassured that the education, health and safety of the children are the priority. Articles like this one published in El Pais in English is not what we all need right now.

back to school 2020 spain

Like many times during this pandemic, fingers are pointed, people search for blame. We are all fighting this together. Surely, cohesion and teamwork is better than fragmentation and fighting … or am I still living in my bubble?

UPDATE: At 10 pm we finally received the 29-page document from the school. I am disappointed to say that they are still insisting on taking around 200 children to an activity camp from August 29th. How crazy is that? Or am I crazy for not agreeing with it?

To be continued …

Things To Know Before Going To Spain

When people think about going to Spain, they often think about packing their sunglasses, making sure they have a hat, and the number of beaches they’re going to enjoy. But actually, Spain has much more to it than just beaches and balmy evenings. There are several things that you should know before you head to Spain. 

swimming pool mijas

Of course, you want to plan your hot look with gorgeous sunglasses, a beautiful summer dress or some cool linen shorts, but like everything is better when you’re prepared.

 

Learn some Spanish

Like almost all countries, many people speak some (or fluent) English, however, learning a few key phrases is just proper etiquette. You’re going to want to be able to ask some questions like Donde Esta…? Where is…? And some simple greetings like Buenos Dias or Hola. And yes, you’re going to want to finish with gracias, because it’s just nice

What is important to note, is that Spanish is not the only language; in fact, some regions have a second official language like Catalan, Basque, or Galicia. And while you don’t need to learn these extra languages, as almost everyone will speak Spanish, it wouldn’t hurt either.

Here you can learn some basic Spanish phrases: 67 Essential Spanish Phrases

Water

Many people who visit quite a few European countries still don’t know that you can actually drink the tap water. Big cities like Barcelona and Madrid both have very safe tap water to drink. In fact, in Madrid, it comes fresh from the Guadarrama mountain range – if you like cool facts. So you’ll be much better off bringing a reusable water bottle, then you will keep buying bottles of water in the local stores. It will save you money in the long run.

Hospitality

Spain is famous for its Tapas culture. This means when you order a drink in almost all cases, it’s going to arrive with a small bite to eat. Sometimes it’s potato chips/crisps other times its olives. It may even be ham or cheese, depending on where you are. 

This is a polite gesture and is an indicator of how hospitable Spain can be. This free and tasty snack is simply meant to be enjoyed alongside your drink.

Goodbye Siesta

The siesta was historically common throughout Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, and even in mainland China. That traditional daytime nap has been put to bed. It has been reported in previous years that Spaniards actually work some of the longest hours in Europe, making a siesta something that most of them are not likely to see. 

However, if you’re there on holiday, or have a very generous working schedule, you can feel free to nap. But you’re unlikely to see people taking a siesta. 

Fashion

When you arrive in Spain, whether it be for a holiday or for a relocation you’re going to notice the Spaniards are pretty snappy dressers. And you can spot a tourist a mile away with flip-flops and jogging bottoms. 

Choose lightweight fabrics and you too can deal with the heat while looking fabulous. 

Midday shopping

It’s not uncommon to find that many shops and businesses will close for a couple of hours in the middle of the day. So ideally try not to plan to have anything done between 1pm – 4pm while you are on holiday; other than enjoying the fact that you are on holiday. 

Many people enjoy long lunch breaks, especially when the midday heat is so hot. In the bigger cities, supermarkets and larger stores are often open, but you can’t guarantee that you’re going to find a smaller shop open in the middle of the day if you live in a village. 

Although you will find the shops do stay open later in the evening. And many people, especially people who enjoy shopping, enjoy the fact that Barcelona and Madrid usually stay open until around 10 pm in the evening.

Ditch the Sangria

Unless you really love Sangria, then it’s quite a tourist drink. Most locals instead enjoy a Tinto de Verano, which is a summer wine. It consists of red wine and lemonade mixer. 

Ideal for those long warm evenings. If you’d rather blend in with the locals than tourists and avoid paying a premium for that overpriced Sangria, go for the Tinto de Verano.

Meat Eaters

If you are a meat-eater, there is something that you simply cannot leave Spain without sampling. You will find it on most menus because it is one of the most beloved foods, called Jamon. Jamon is cured ham, and the most likely one you’ll find is Jamon Iberico. This is the best quality that you can get, and that comes from Blackhoofed Iberian pigs. 

These pigs are quite luxurious and are fed extensively on acorns, which gives them their unique flavor.

Public Transport

Public transport is efficient and fast. The Spanish train system is ideal for getting between major cities, however in the south of Spain and certainly, towards some of the smaller cities, there aren’t always those connections. Here buses are equally fast and efficient and certainly are the best option if you’re going off the beaten path. 

It should be noted that the train can be the most expensive option for public transport.

Eating Time

When the shops are closed, lunch is on. This means you will enjoy a wonderful lunch between 2 and 3:30 pm, but that pushes evening meal hours to much later in the day, typically from 9 pm till 10.30 pm. So you have to plan trips accordingly or take snacks in your bag if you can’t get with the schedule. 

Tipping isn’t required and isn’t expected, it’s really something that you should just do anyway. Outstanding service or service, in general, should always be respected. 

Indulge in the Culture

Many people when they get to Spain want to eat as much paella and drink as much Sangria as possible. And while that’s fun for many, there is a better way to enjoy Spanish culture. You will notice that the Spanish culture is much more about taking your time, enjoying the people in your family that you are spending time with, and the scenery. Relaxing and enjoying life. Go with the flow rather and fall into the tourist traps. 

worst cities in spain

Rest on a Sunday

You are unlikely to find anything that is open on a Sunday, this is a designated day to get lunch with friends, visit family, relax and unwind. So if you’re planning on being in Spain for a Sunday, or you really want to make the most of that Spanish culture while you’re integrating; then plan Sunday as simply to be a day of family, food, and fun. 

Big Cities and Little Villages

Large Spanish cities are busy and modern and filled with people from all over the world. They’re exciting and have a lot to do. It will give you a considerable taste of Spanish culture, but there are many tourist traps to keep an eye out for. 

The smaller villages remain a space for century-old traditions that can still be found to this day. Spain is known as a country of traditions and culture. But to understand all of the different facets of that, try a few days in the city followed by a few days in smaller villages.

 

Spain is exhilarating and welcoming, with a rich history and the lives of culture. If you like spending time with family and friends and indulging in wonderful food, then it might be just time that you spent a little bit longer in Spain.

 

Inland Costa del Sol – A different way of living!

When it comes to quality of life, southern Spain tops the charts in just about every category that relates to health, gastronomy, comfort and happiness with its endless sunshine, over 320 days per year! It’s no wonder Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world.

Living in Spain is a dream for many. If you visit inland Costa del Sol, up in the mountains, you will discover the authentic Spanish whitewashed villages with charming cobblestoned narrow streets, lovely shady squares with flamenco music playing in the background, and a great choice of local cafes and fabulous restaurants.

inland costa del sol

More and more foreigners seem to be moving to inland Costa del Sol. Although many people like the fabulous beaches and nightlife that the coast has to offer, if you move slightly more inland, up into the hills, you get to discovery and enjoy the real Spain, you will seek a way of life that seems almost untouched by tourism, it’s like taking a step back in time.

The valleys scenery is spectacular in all directions. As roads wind their way up the mountains, the views get better and better. The Guadalhorce Valley includes 8 municipalities; Alhaurin de la Torre, Alhaurin el Grande, Almogía, Álora, Cártama, Coín, Pizarra and Valle del Abdalajís. All are within a 30/40 minute drive from the coast, so really not far at all and the road infrastructure is very good making a journey by car a relaxing and enjoyable experience. If you want to be a little bit more adventurous you can branch off from the main road and take any of the many dirt tracks and you will quickly come across herds of goats and sheep and often mules ploughing between the olive trees.

inland costa del sol

The lifestyle that this part of Spain will offer you is incredibly rewarding in so many ways.

For one, the opportunity to get to know and live within an entirely different culture is something most people never get to experience.

inland costa del sol

You can spend a lifetime exploring this natural habitat either on foot, bicycle or horseback.

You will be amazed by the quality of life and how cheap it is to live well in this part of Spain.

inland costa del sol

Water costs are very low, particularly in the inland areas. Homeowners pay a municipal tax that is a fraction of the rate that you would pay in other European countries. Other expenses such as home and car insurance are also much lower.

Eating out is very reasonable.  The average price for a full menu del dia (menu of the day), is between 8-10€ available in nearly all bars and restaurants.

In local bars, you pay no more than 1-1.50 € for a beer, glass of wine or a cup of coffee. And for groceries there is a wide choice of supermarkets. The local markets offer cheap fresh produce and a wide range of household necessities.

inland costa del sol

Another very important factor to take into consideration is the crime rate which is low in this part of Spain. When you compare the crime numbers to other countries, we are quite fortunate to have a lower crime problem.

Aside from the wonderful weather, there is also less pollution in this part of Spain. The major industries are mainly located in the north of the country. This part of Spain relies mainly on agriculture and tourism.

Life here in the mountains runs at a much slower pace. This is something that most foreigners would find strange at first, but this kind of lifestyle is certainly welcomed. This can have a huge impact on your health, as it can significantly reduce stress levels.

inland costa del sol

Spain prides itself as having a very diverse and rich culture. In these old towns and villages there are a lot of activities that not only serve as a form of entertainment, but also as a means of conserving old traditions and practices. Fiestas and festivals are the perfect example. Residents continue to practice old customs.

For years, the warmth of the people have made it a wonderful tourist attraction. The regions wonderful personality makes visitors feel immediately at home, integrating them into their culture. This joy permeates in the streets, especially in summer and that energy can be contagious. A typical Andalusian is a helpful person, willing to help others, especially visitors, making southern Spain a favourite destination for foreign visitors for years.

Andalucía is the best place in the world for the good life according to The Telegraph and this is not the first time it’s been granted such a popular destination.

Another bonus for people living inland from the Costa del Sol are the seasons. In this part of Spain you can really appreciate the changes of vegetation and enjoy the four seasons of the year and what they have to offer.

inland costa del sol

Although the climate in Andalucia is characterised by hot and dry summers and mild winters, between seasons you can enjoy the changes in flora and fauna. You will see snow-covered mountain peaks in the winter and lush green pastures in the spring covered with almond blossom and bright yellow endless fields of sunflowers. Autumn brings a palette of dark ochre and green colours that paint the landscapes of Andalucia.

The Natural Park, ‘Sierra de las Nieves’, is one of those destinations worth discovering with its authentic white villages and its beautiful natural spaces. It is one of the areas of Malaga, as the name implies, where it can snow in winter.

inland costa del sol

The villages in the Sierra, with its highest peak Torrecilla of 1.919m, are surrounded by extensive fields of almond trees that are a delight when in pink blossom.

The Guadalhorce Valley, also known as the orchard of Málaga, is where you will find endless fields packed with fruit trees.

inland costa del sol

No wonder so many northern Europeans travel south in search of their Mediterranean dream home.

If you have not yet visited this part of Spain…what are you waiting for!?

Inland Costa del Sol is waiting for you!

 

This article was written by Kelly Summerelle of Mediterranean Homes a local family run business. We have worked with Kelly for many years.

 

If you are thinking of moving to the Malaga area, renting or purchasing a property,

Contact us

and, together with Kelly, we will find you your ideal inland Costa del Sol property!

 

mediterranean homes spain

 

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