Posted in Alphabet activities, Family Life, Parenting, preschool, preschoolers

Are you raising a sharer or a meanie?

Sitting with Hamish after his first week of school, we were going over the class photos and I was asking him questions to learn more about his first week’s experience at his new preschool.

Laughingly he couldn’t remember the kids names, aside from the 3 or 4 he obviously connected with and he spoke me through the activities they had done with his new teacher.

I was impressed at the gentleness that he described his teachers and the new songs and games he had learnt.

The we spoke about the kids and what being a good friend was. Very aware that some kids can be more dominating in a class I asked who played nicely.

When in conversation I try to not give him the words but to let him express himself fully in his words and experience and so the general question of who plays nicely allows him to relate his experience within his peer group.

Sharers

He rattled off about the kids who play with him, pointing them out to me.

He spoke about the cars and the animals and the little girl who shared the frogs.

Then

He said but mommy there some children who aren’t sharers.

I asked what he meant.

He explained that some of the children did not share the toys and said things like “I don’t want to play with you.”

My heart fell to my feet and I looked at him honestly and said are they meanies?

Meanies

Meanies is our word for children who hurt others, use their words to intentionally upset someone or break things.

We use this word instead of bully, as Bully is a strong word to use for preschoolers who may not yet have learnt the social cues to play with others.

He thought for a moment and honestly answered…

” No they not meanies, they just not sharers!”

And so we carried on talking about why sharing with our friends is important. How sharing is how we show kindness and love and lastly what to do if someone doesn’t want to share with you.

I feel strongly that giving him the opportunity to express himself, the ability to convey how he feels and the coping skills to overcome the effects and interactions with children who may not behave as he does is important for him to be able to integrate into his class, now and in future schools and to not be affected by bullies later on in his school career.

Raising kids who share

For me it has always been so important that my children be the ‘Kind Child’

That they are inclusive, gentle and share with their peers.

But how do you raise a child who will share?

You can read many books, you can pick more gentleness parenting styles and you can introduce as many games as you like but the first and most important way to raise a child who is inclusive and who shares is to model that behaviour in your daily life.

You are your child’s first teacher and the most important influence on their personality and character.

If you use gentle words, share with those around you and are non discriminate and inclusive, it is probable that your child will be too.

In short ….to raise a child who shares, you need to be an adult who shares.

Posted in Education

Sense education introduce a refferal program for online learning classes

Are you a parent looking for quality online lessons for your foundation phase child ?

Then look no further than Sense Education.

Who are Sense education?

Sense Education was created to assist Grade R to Grade 3 learners flourish in Mathematics, English and Afrikaans First Additional Language by enriching their understanding through small, fun and interactive classes.Through these classes children can be exposed to concepts taught at school, helping to fill in the gaps and achieve higher academic results.

Through these classes children can be exposed to concepts taught at school, helping to fill in the gaps and achieve higher academic results.

Sense education currently teach online lessons and in-class lessons at selected schools.

Why you should invest in Sense Education Online Classes.

  • Sense education support children in the Foundation Phase, which is where the foundation for all future learning occurs Sense education focus on learning in a fun environment by playing educational games

    • Each lesson revolves around a PowerPoint lesson which captures their attention
    • Teachers build relationships with the children and get to know what type of learning they need and how to individually help them achieve results
    • Sense education offer the benefit of small group learning and a fixed schedule through a regular timeslot every week
    • Children’s confidence gets a boost, when they realise they can do the challenging tasks
    • Sense Education only have qualified teachers with full four year degrees
    • The children get to interact with others, laugh (we like to do this), ask questions and be themselves in a very small group
    • Since it is online, parents get to work whilst teachers teach.

About the online classes

There is a choice between English, Mathematics, Afrikaans First Additional Language (FAL) or multiple subjects.

The Mathematics and English program consists of two 40 minutes lessons via Zoom per subject per week.

The Afrikaans FAL program consists of one 40 minute lesson per week.

There are no more than four children in a class. (It should be noted that these classes are an extension on what the children are learning, and does not replace their usual schooling. It can be seen as an academic extra-mural.)

Investment and Enrolment

The investment into furthering your child’s education is R160 per lesson. Working on a first come first serve basis, as there are limited spots available and these slots fill up very quickly.

If you would like to enrol all you need to do is fill in the enrolment form and send it back to tamsyn@sense-education.co.za

Earn a refferal fee

Sense education are now offering a 5% of the terms fee as a refferal fee if you recommend their services to your friends and family.

For more information :

Sense Education Website:

Posted in Education

Guns -what you need to know

Guns are most likely one of the most controversial subjects in any home.

Whilst they serve their purpose to protect you should you be faced with a life or death situation there are also numerous accounts of toddlers and young children accidentally getting hold of parents gun and shooting themselves or a friend.

Personal experience

As a young girl I remember living on a big wide open farm and being taught to shoot a pellet gun rifle. The hard butt of the gun against my shoulder, I pulled the trigger and instantly reeled back with the effect. The noise ringing in my ears.

It scared me. I don’t remember trying again although I do remember my father teaching us the safety around both handling the gun and storing it.

I also recall watching him as he pulled each piece of the gun out and explained how to clean it and how it worked.

Many years later I also stood in a lounge where my father wielded a hand gun in a vicious attack against my mother.

That day I vowed I would never own a gun.

What changed

As a young mom, because of my own trauma with guns, I hardly allowed my four sons to play with guns. The images of the hurt they can inflict far too vivid in my mind.

But, boys have a natural way of gravitating to all things action and it wasn’t long before they were using sticks as guns and building their own Lego rifles.

I finally gave in and took them shopping, careful to only choose bright coloured toy guns that did not resemble a real gun at all, other than shape.

By the time they were teens they were buying their own B.B guns and my many hours of gun safety talks began.

Am I against guns?

I’m not against guns, they are needed by many for protection but I do believe :

  • They need to be stored in a safe away from children
  • A child should never handle a gun
  • You need a licence and this licence should take your mental state into account and be evaluated every year.
  • If you have children in a home where there is a gun, regular conversations about gun safety should be taken into consideration.
  • If your teenager wants to learn to shoot, it should be at a shooting range amidst professionals.
  • You should be a member of the Gun owners Association.

What are the reasons people own guns?

In South Africa, self protection is one of the largest reasons for people to own a gun.

From hijackings, muggings, home invasions and farm murders … there is need for personal safety.

According to the Small Arms survey there are approximately *5 350 000 guns in personal possession in South Africa. (* 2020)

Of this number, only *3 000 000 were legally registered.

What are the laws when owning a gun?

We, in South Africa need to follow strict rules before applying for a gun licence, unlike in some countries.

Here you will need to :

  • Be trained at an accredited training provider
  • Obtain a competency certificate
  • Apply for fire arm licence from the South African Police Force ( SAPS)

You also need to meet the following requirements :

  • Be a South African citizen or permanent resident of South Arfrica
  • Be 21 years or older
  • Be mentally stable and fit
  • Pass a background check
  • Not have a criminal record
  • Not be an addict to either alcohol or drugs

A fire arm licence is valid for 5 years and needs to be renewed 90 days before the previous one expires.

A hunting fire arm licence is valid for 10 years.

How many guns can I own ?

The law is incredibly strict on how many guns you may own.

For personal safety – 1

For hunting/ shooting sports – a maximum of 4 but limits on only 1 handgun, rifle or shot gun. If however you are a member of a reputable hunting or sporting organisation and can prove your membership and can prove your need for more guns you may have more.

Business- For security companies and those who use guns in their business like a shooting range, there is no limit.

What do I need if I own a gun for personal safety?

The number one requirement for owning a gun would be a safe space to keep them. A wall safe with combination lock away from children.

A gun case for transporting your gun. This too needs to be secure and would be wisest with a combination lock.

A gun cleaning kit to keep the gun free of dust and from rusting.

A gun holster, should you wear the gun on your body, like the quality gun holsters from We The People Holsters

Spare ammunition.

Final notes

A gun can be a tool for survival but South Africa has many laws that even should a person break into your home you may not just shoot them.

It is wise to familiarize yourself fully with the law before deciding to buy a gun.

It is also wise to have open conversations with your children about gun safety.

These resources can help:

Molly’s mischief– a gun safety message from McGruff the Crime dog ( age 3 -9)

Not cool kyle– a gun saftey message from McGruff the crime safety dog. ( age 3-12)

Eddie Eagle gun safe activity book ( preschool to grade 4)

Posted in Book Reviews, Brands we love, Education, Family Life

Storybook stars personalised books make your child the star of the story

Hamish recieved this absolutely gorgeous personalised story book from Storybook Stars.

I’m a huge fan of anything personalised and an even bigger fan of books so this is a huge win in our home.

About Storybook Stars

Storybook stars will personalise a book for your child from the choice of two stories to draw your child into a world of adventure and develop a love of books and reading .

The adventures you can choose are :

-bushveld
-under the sea

How it works

You will also be given the option after choosing your story and personalizing the character ( skin, hair and eyes), of previewing the story before paying.

The process is easy and you choose from the 90 possible features options to represent your child.

Delivery was prompt and the books arrive in a sealed box via courier.

The character

Hamish immediately identified the star of the story character as himself with red hair and blue eyes.

I chose the under the sea book for him as he loves the aquarium and sea creatures.

About the story we chose

This is a beautiful story of a whale that loses his colours and an adventure to find thd colours. Hamish travels with a friendly turtle and meets a lot of different creatures along the way.

The book is well written and the characters are fun and engaging.

The illustrations are lovely and open up for further vocabulary building and conversation starters as you explore all the objects on the pages.

The books retail at R375 for a soft cover and R570 for a hard cover.

Other options

You have the option to add an activity book and poster to match your story. These both have your child’s personalised character on.

The activity book retails at R 130 each
The poster retails at R50 eachFor more information www.storybookstars.co.za

Posted in easy science experiments, Education, preschool, preschool curriculum

Science for kids – fishing for paper clips

Children love science experiments.

The mystery and magic holds even the most busy child captivated.

This little experiment is a nice learning through play idea to teach children about magnets and the metals that attract to them.

Fishing for magnets

You will need

  • Glass or jar ( use a clear plastic container for smaller children)
  • Paper clips
  • Fridge magnet

Method:

Let your child place the magnets into the glass.

Give them the magnet and show them that the paper clips attract to the magnet.

Allow them to continue fishing for paper clips.

You can also turn this into a game by taking turns and see who catches the most at each turn or by giving a group 9f children each a glass and set a timer, who will finish collecting all their paper clips first?

Video

I absolutely loved Hamish’s reaction to this. You can see how he enjoyed catching his paper clip fish in this video.

Why do magnets attract paper clips ?

The magnetic field from a magnet creates a magnetic force, attracting other ferromagnetic materials.

Paper clips are usually made from steel wire. The steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. Iron is a ferromagnetic material and that will make the paper clip attract to the magnet.

I’d love to hear if your children enjoyed this experiment. Let me know in the comments.

Posted in Family Life, Fun mamma Rainbiw kids club, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

A spring scavanger hunt

September brings the first day of spring and although Cape Town was certainly not showing any signs of spring weather in early September, I compiled a spring scavanger hunt to keep Hamish busy.

The hunt is designed to use on a walk about your neighbourhood but you could also use this inside your garden.

Scavanger hunt.

Look at your garden/park or beach and draw or write a list of things for your child to find.

We started nature walks and hunts when Hamish was about a year old and would collect things onto his pram.

Give each child a copy of the hunt and a pencil to mark off what they find.

I’ve found that this activity works well for smaller children if you attach your print out to a clipboard. This makes it easier for them to carry around and ensures the wind does not blow it away.

You could also give younger children stickers to stick on to mark off what they find instead of a marker.

If you know that you will do the hunt on a regular basis, you can save paper by laminating the print out and use a white board marker to cross off as white board markers will just wipe off the laminating.

Things to find

I put together a list of 20 easy to find items in nature.

  • Bird
  • Thorn
  • Ant
  • Spiders web
  • Leaf
  • Pine cone
  • Flower
  • Log
  • Rock
  • Mushroom
  • Cloud
  • Dandelion
  • Grass
  • Bug
  • Stick
  • Mole hill
  • Earth worm
  • Tree
  • Sand
  • Caterpillar
  • Bark

Happy hunting ….

Posted in Crafts, Education, Fun mamma Rainbiw kids club, preschool, preschool curriculum, preschoolers, Toddlers

How to make a set of nature inspired number flash cards and counting poster for your homeschool classroom

Every springtime the Western Cape show cases the most gorgeous blanket of little wild flowers.

Every open field has huge spreads of whites or yellows or orange daisy and we are blessed to live very close to one of these areas.

Nature appreciation

Not only are these flowers beautiful they also hold an abundance of life in their little ecosystems.

Little ants that scurry about, earthworms underground, bees, dragonfly, bumblebee and beetles all gathering nectar….these can often be missed as we focus on the flowers.

But, I’ve always tried to teach my children the importance of nature, show her beauty and have them understand our role to protect and look after the world around us from ant to whale.

And so before we even started our activity, Hamish and I, first admired the flowers and sat along the side of the path watching the insect and bird life that danced amidst them.

Using nature to learn

Knowing how important it is for me that my children appreciate the natural world around them, I incorporate nature studies and the use of natural materials in our home classroom.

We count out sticks, print with leaves, have sensory play with mud and build with stones.

If we learnt flower parts we did so outside with real flowers. Shapes and patterns were identified in the garden and what better way to learn about the ocean than to be there?

A Pinterest idea comes to life

Somewhere along my late night Pinterest scrolling sessions, I saw a number freeze made by forming numbers with stones and leaves.

I knew I wanted to make this.

But, the stones and leaves looked dull against the grass background …what if we used flowers?

And so Hamish and I took a walk down the road and gathered several little white flowers to start our new project.

Counting flowers

As soon as we got home, I let Hamish cut the stems off the flowers and we started arranging flowers on the grass in the shape of numbers to photograph.

These number photographs have become the posters and flashcards we use in our classroom.

How to make a set of nature inspired flash cards and counting poster

To make your own you will need:

  • Wild flowers ( but you could do this with any natural item- shells, stones, sticks, leaves)
  • Scissors to cut the flowers
  • A container to gather the flowers in
  • A camera ( your cell phone camera will work just fine)
  • A grass background ( although you may want to use a wooden background, sandy beach, mud, ect)
  • Printer or printing facility
  • Laminator or laminating facility

To make:

  • First gather all your flowers. We used about 20 flowers and made two numbers at a time. Reusing the flowers for the other numbers so that we didnt have to cut that many flowers.
  • Next arrange the flowers into the number shapes.
  • Photograph each number.
  • Edit your photographs until you are happy.
  • Have each photo printed. I printed A4 to make the number freeze and printed 2 images on an A4 piece of card to cut into A5 sized flash cards.
  • Have your posters laminated and display.
  • Cut your flash cards in half and store neatly.

Posted in easy science experiments, preschool, preschool curriculum

Preschool science … Fizzy lemons

We had so much fun with just these two ingredients this morning ….

Hamish and I decided to start the week with an easy science experiment and we made some fizzing lemons.

The bicarb, which is the base, mixes with the lemon, which is a acid, it starts a bubbling reaction, which is carbon dioxide that is fun to watch.

To make your own:

You need –

  • Lemon
  • Bicarb
  • Food colouring ( optional)

Method

Cut your lemon in half.
( I poked mine with a knife and squeezed it a bit so the lemon juice was quite oozy)

If you are using food colouring add a drop or two to the lemon.

Put 2 or 3 spoons of bicarb onto the lemon.

It should start to react straight away.

Just like magic!

Posted in Brands we love, Education, preschool

Meet the Brand – Learning through wood

Last week I showed a lovely set of magnetic learning cards gifted to Hamish and many of you have asked where he got the set.

Today I’d like to introduce you to Ferhensha the dedicated, passionate teacher behind the educational range at Learning through Wood.

Meet the brand

Learning through wood

Instagram @Learning_through_wood

Tell us a bit about your brand

Learning with wood was created to introduce young minds to long lasting and mostly resources made from wood which allow for self teaching and autonomous learning.

With an attempt at marrying structured play and free play or to create a symbiotic relationship between the two, where the resources, through play will teach the child a variety of lessons.

I also wanted for the resources to stimulate on more than one skill at a time.

A set of number pegs will allow for fine motor, cognitive, imaginative, gross motor, listening and a few other skills comprehensively.

What was your inspiration to start your business.

I used to believe I was born to teach to educate young minds, but when I began teaching, I realised that I was actually here to learn and create!

I have learnt so much about children and their ways, I have seen in my almost 13 years of nursery life learning, ‘my’ children learnt and retained lessons the best when they did it through ‘play’ or pretend play of teaching each other, but structured learning is necessary and they need it too.

So all they needed was the right resources to be used during these times and then they would thrive wholly.

I have always made such resources for my classes and now with being in lockdown and what our world is facing, especially with parents having to juggle so much, I thought that this is an excellent way for the children to keep learning on their own with as minimum input from parents as possible.

Homework isn’t important, the understanding of the concepts is.

What is your vision/ mission with your brand

If I can save parents and children from hundreds of photocopied worksheets, more play time and repetition of activities just to allow a child to gain understanding then my mission would be complete and I would have made a big difference with a little resource.

What is your favourite product in your range and why?

The numeracy set. It just offers so much.

A few being:

  • number recognition
  • Rote counting
  • Number conservation
  • Number name recognition
  • Number name writing
  • Number writing
  • Imaginative play
  • Mathematics concepts
  • Less than and more than

Yes, I love this one.

Tell us a bit about yourself- the person behind the brand.

I am in my early 30s, ECD qualified nursery school teacher with a year of psychology.

I’m also a stay at home mum of two little hearts, a 3 year old and an 8 month old.

I have a passion for education in every way you can possibly think it can be used. Education in everything for everyone in the most simplest ways where it is never seen as a task but merely a life experience and one where you’ve received enrichment for your whole self.

What is your favourite quote.

I can’t possibly choose one! But I will share just 2 that have spoken to my life a few times.

Of course I absolute adore Dr. Seuss.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

And

“I don’t think that we’re meant to understand it all the time. I think that sometimes we just have to have faith.”

Nicholas sparks from A walk to remember.

What message would you give a brand just starting out.

Reach out to all your friends and loved ones for help and advice, don’t think you can do it all on your own and have a schedule, don’t let it consume you in those first few months.

Posted in Education, Giving back, Press releases

Educo Solutions provides free online accredited SETA courses

Educo Solutions, the organisation that supplies free, accredited education to our country’s youth, has fast-tracked its digital services, launching Educo Academy in an attempt to counter the negative impact Covid-19 is having on the educational environment.

The online learning portal allows all Educo students to conduct their courses remotely and for free, helping them to continue progressing during lockdown.

Educo Academy won’t replace the existing learning centres situated in Alex Mall, Protea Glen Shopping Mall, Diepkloof Library and the newest addition in the Libridge Building, Braamfontein. It is, instead, an easy-to-access tool for students to keep learning whilst locked down, one that they will continue to use at their respective centres when they return to class.

The launch of Educo Academy means Educo is also not limiting its services to the physical learning centres in Gauteng.

“Since we announced Educo Academy last week on social media, we have had dozens of registration requests from potential students all over the country,” says Ayanda Makwanazi. “This bodes well for a mobile platform that aims to provide South Africa’s qualifying youth with much-needed opportunities to up-skill themselves through education, no matter where they live.”

“With Educo Academy, all a student needs is a device to connect to the site,” explains Ayanda Mankwanazi, Educo’s Head of Academics and Facilitation. “This innovation in remote learning opens up our services to the nation. Our existing students can continue their studies uninterrupted, and many more now have the opportunity to join our programme and better themselves.”

In addition to the Q&A function on Educo Academy, each student is assigned to a facilitator who offers support on WhatsApp, either to their group or on a one-on-one basis.

Educo Academy is a positive development that aims to alleviate the stress and uncertainty of these difficult and testing times. It is easy to use and, most importantly, the data is zero-rated, with Educo Solutions picking up all the data costs involved. For the thousands of students currently stuck at home, it offers enormous benefits and hope.

Educo Solutions began registering new students immediately after the launch of Educo Academy, and is encouraging all qualifying South Africans to register and apply for their new 3 -month Digital Business Skills Program.

The course covers a wide variety of skills including Microsoft office and business communication to, and very relevant right now, dealing with HIV and Pandemics in the workplace.

Students will receive a certificate of completion after their 3-month Digital Business Skills programme, as well as earning Unit Standard credits towards a 12 Month National Certificate should they wish to continue their studies.

With youth unemployment on the rise, South Africa’s younger generation are in desperate need of skills that set them apart and enable them to gain access to the labour market.

Educo Solutions is directly addressing the country’s educational and skills gap by providing free, quality NQF and SETA-accredited education to unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 28. And with the launch of Educo Academy any qualifying individual can do this course from their mobile phone free of charge and reap the benefits.

On completion of a 12-month course contract focusing on relevant skills like end-user computing and business communication, these up-skilled graduates find themselves in an ideal position to enter the formal job market and apply for jobs like secretaries, data capturers, admin staff and customer service agents.

To qualify

  • one must be South African
  • unemployed
  • and between the age of 18 and 28.

For interested individuals, you can register at this link:https://bit.ly/EducoDigital
Or email:Hello@educosolutions.co.za

For more information:www.educosolutions.co.za