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The Benefits Of Yoga for Kids

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CHILD OF THE UNIVERSE MONTESSORI MAG We strongly support and believe in the Maria Montessori Method of teaching and learning, and would like to see as many children as possible be fortunate enough to experience Montessori as a lifestyle. We also believe in the ‘FIRST DO NO HARM’ principle and therefore select our content and advertisers accordingly. We cover topics around Montessori teaching, learning, lifestyle – in the classroom and at home – and much more. We always include links to our articles and encourage you to follow them for loads of insightful Montessori literature. We include a mix of topics relevant to family life, health and well-being. TO SUBSCRIBE Subscription to Child of the Universe digital magazines is free of charge. Simply send an email to with the subject line: Subscribe Montessori Mag and we will email your mag to you monthly. Alternatively you can pop your information onto our website

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by Jennifer Rogers

Why Montessori?

Preaching to the choir A persuasive tone in speech and writing lends an urgent and important feeling to any topic. Then again, talking or writing persuasively about the benefits of a Montessori education before an audience of parents whose children are thriving in Montessori classrooms is a little silly. Parents who attend school meetings and read blog posts are among the best. They are typically people who are already thoughtfully engaged in education and parenting. At every parent meeting, teachers look out into an audience of familiar faces. We notice that the same people also volunteer, ask honest questions in parent-teacher conferences, participate in fund-raisers, and arrive at school on time. We look for their faces in our audiences because the smiles are reassuring, and also because we know our words will make an immediate and lasting difference in the lives of their children. It’s a grand exchange, but asking “Why Montessori?” is a risk. Redundancy is boring, and smart people do not like to be bored. My response to the “Why Montessori?” question is not detailed or exhaustive. It is a broadstrokes personal narrative, loaded with opinions formed in more than two decades of teaching. The arrangements of space, time, and people that I consider essential to an authentic Montessori education are not doctrinal. Others would answer the same question differently, but accurately. I could easily add to the following list, but I could not take anything away.

Diversity The youngest Montessori students gather information through observation and admiration of their older classmates. The oldest students are challenged and often transformed by urgent demands to help and guide their younger peers.

The failure of most public and private schools to incorporate diversity into the formation of classrooms and curriculums has been widely reported. It is an old and persistent problem. The segregation of ages and the standardization of curriculum is a lost opportunity. Standardization and segregation are huge limitations to academic achievement, and to the growth of human understanding. There are children learning in Montessori classrooms from a kaleidoscopic array of ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. They learn as much from each other as they do from formal lessons. Geographically isolated Montessori classrooms can be more homogenous than a school located in a diversely populated urban area, but every authentic Montessori school has a student population of mixed ages and abilities. Montessori students are not differentiated by age or intellect. This diversity is, in my opinion, the single factor that has the most profound and lasting impact on the education of young children. Montessori students demonstrate how much we have to learn from each other as well as how much each of us has to offer our world.

Prepared Environment Furniture in Montessori classrooms is the appropriate size for the children who will use it. This is also true of the tools, utensils, and materials they will hold in their hands. Pictures hang on the wall at the level of the students’ eyes. Every classroom is organized in such a way that the sequence of learning is materially present on the shelves and obvious to the children. The goals of independent decision-making and internal motivation are built into the carefully prepared environment.

Montessori classrooms are as different as the teachers who tend them, but they evince an attention to order and beauty rarely witnessed in education. Most are filled with light, plants, fresh flowers, and an ambiance of grace. Environments affect the quality of the experiences within them. The earliest memories of learning are, for Montessori students, forever associated with the warmth and peace of their first classrooms.

Purposeful Work Maria Montessori was educated and trained as a physician. Throughout her long life, she remained fascinated with her observations of human health. The work she offered her students was always purposeful, and it always involved the coordinated work of mind and body. Montessori understood that a strong mind paired with strong hands led to optimum development of a child’s intelligence. This was true with her first students, and it remains true today.

Students in Montessori classrooms have daily opportunities to select their work. Children may repeat the tasks they select as often as they desire, until the task is mastered. Work chosen independently and repeated without interruption often leads to deep concentration. Montessori’s ability to cultivate and protect the concentration of young children through their purposeful work remains one of her most significant contributions to the education of young people.

Skilled Leadership A traditionally structured classroom usually includes a teacher-directed curriculum. Time and space are marked and organized by the strong, clear voice of a teacher who is trained in an age group or an academic discipline, mathematics, for example, or four-year-olds, or music.

Montessori classrooms are active, creative, and adaptive communities. The teacher’s voice is seldom heard, and she frequently sits beside a child as he or she learns. It might seem that the hierarchical structure of a traditional classroom would require stronger leadership and stricter discipline. Actually, a healthy Montessori community requires a much more intelligent and intuitive style of leadership. Montessori teachers must be skilled in the practice of observation and comfortable with the independent, purposeful movement of young minds at work. Nationally and internationally accredited Montessori teacher training courses are intense and demanding. This is as it should be. Montessori teachers should be experts in the abstract principles and concrete materials that structure the life of a classroom.

Silence Visitors to Montessori classrooms first notice the beauty and order present throughout the environment. They also notice the quiet, especially if they are accustomed to teacher-directed systems of education. There are no bells prompting students to change activities or locations, no intercom, and no video or television instruction. Montessori teachers do gather the entire class for special events, singing, or shared story, but the voice of the teacher does not direct the movements of the children throughout the day. In Montessori classrooms, there are occasions when the classroom is silent, when every child in the community is at work. More often, Montessori environments are characterized by the quiet hum of children at work, moving and talking together about subjects that demand their undivided, uninterrupted attention. In a contemporary culture heavily influenced by the interruptions of technology and the distractions of screens, this is a rare and precious gift.

Why Montessori? If it were possible for a young child to answer “Why Montessori?” in a phrase or sentence that stretched beyond her limited frame of reference and her real gratitude for the fun she had a school that day, she would probably say, “I found myself!” Though their academic accomplishments are remarkable, the greatest achievements of Montessori students are far grander and more lasting.

Montessori students do have a confident, comfortable understanding of the academic concepts they will rely upon for the rest of their lives. They are academically strong not just for the short-term, but for a lifetime of learning. They also have a realistic understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and talents. They can identify times and places when they should lead, as well as occasions when they should ask for help. The experience of working in an intelligent community helps children understand both that there are some tasks we must do alone, and that we need each other to achieve our goals. Even our youngest students know how to reach inward and outward. The inner teacher of a healthy Montessori child is more reliable than any methodology or even the guidance of a talented teacher. Our students know how to work toward a goal, how to persevere when challenged, and how to connect in meaningful ways to the people in their home and school communities. Why Montessori? Because a strong Montessori community is a group of people working together to help each person become the best version of him or herself. The gift of a Montessori classroom is that children begin their education with strong bodies and strong minds working alongside friends who know and love them almost as well as they know themselves.

Jennifer Rogers has been a Montessori teacher for 20 years. She is a primary teacher and the mother of three children growing up in Montessori classrooms at Wheaton Montessori School, in Wheaton, Illinois. She is AMI trained at the Assistants to Infancy and Primary levels, and completed the NAMTA adolescent orientation. She has also completed Orton Gillingham training at the comprehensive and advanced levels.

Why we choose Natural Materials over Plastic

I was at a baby shower recently with my mom when another woman showed up with her grandkids and a small plastic children's computer game. We began talking and she asked if we had a similar toy. Before I could answer, my mom replied "No! She's a weirdo that won't let her kids have plastic!" Now, I don't mean to throw my mother under the bus for an off hand comment, but I think this is a common misconception for people looking at the Montessori community. So, let me explain why we choose natural materials over plastic and when we don't. First, I want to say, my children have plenty of plastic toys and materials. There are times, even, when I prefer plastic. One example, is animal figurines. I strive to give my children realistic representations and plastic is simply the best way to do this. Magnatiles and Legos also make my plastic list! But, in many situations, I do strive to provide natural materials -- like wood, metal, fabric or glass - when I can.

What's the deal with no plastic? I have a few reasons that I prefer natural materials over man-made ones. First, there is the environmental factor. There's BPA concerns and chemical concerns and its effect on our health and the environment. While, this is a concern, it's not a huge worry for me but I am aware of this issue. Maybe it should be something I worry more about, but it's not something I've done a lot of research into. More important to me are the strictly Montessori concerns. First, I as a Montessori parent, I want to create an environment that is as beautiful as possible. I want to create spaces that show my children that they are valued. Montessori believes that children not only deserve beautiful spaces, they excel in them. Natural products are an important part in making our space beautiful. Their understated nature and beauty provide something to an environment that cheaper plastic alternatives don't. Some plastic toys can provide the same effect, but they are harder to find. Natural materials teach natural consequences. If you drop a plastic cup, you drop a plastic cup. There's no need to be careful. No need to learn to respect the material. However, if you drop a glass cup, you get a very different story. Watching a glass break, or a toy even, teaches a child to be more exact and careful. But, it also teaches children to respect their materials and environment. To take ownership over it and to care for it.

Natural materials connect a person to nature. My children live in the city. Our natural interactions are more limited than others. By touching a wooden toy, they get to feel the warmth of the wood. They feel the grain, they feel the weight. It's just a connection that cold, hard plastic cannot provide. Also, when I hand a child a beautiful natural material, I hand my child my respect and trust. I am showing them they are important enough to give them something real. I'm not giving them some baby-proofed version of a real tool. I'm teaching them to use a real one. I'm trusting in their abilities, I'm respecting their whole self as a very capable person. I'm also giving them the opportunity to make a mistake. To learn from that mistake. When a plate shatters, there is a lot to be learned. When a toy breaks, there is a lot to be learned. I'm giving them the space and the trust to handle disappointment, mistake and error. So, that's why we limit plastic in our home. If that makes me weird, I'm cool with that! What is your plastic policy? Have you seen any difference with your child's interest in non-plastic verses plastic materials?

Keep Calm and ‘Carrot On’ There’s a lot that can go on in the kitchen when a recipe is made. Working on just one ingredient with your child gives them the chance to learn about just one small piece of the puzzle, without overwhelming them. If chopped carrots are a required part of your evening dish or family soup tonight, why not invite your child to participate with the food prep? It will engage their sensorial learning and promote independence, as well as allow them to feel like a valued household contributor.

Since a blade will be involved, it’s helpful for you to create a designated workspace where your child can clearly and comfortably handle the materials. By modeling how to use the blade safely, with two hands securely gripping the handle, you set an important standard at the outset. If carrots are a critical part of the dish you’re making, be aware that you may end up sacrificing a few pieces due to the possibility of unexpected snacking! Remember not to worry and to allow them to enjoy the experience; participation is the goal here!

The key is to simply set up the activity ahead of time and prepare your child for the experience. Find out how this everyday task easily becomes a productive and joyful growth opportunity. by Jeanne Marie Paynel: Voila Montessori

by Elizabeth Vice You know your kids are Montessori when your oldest will be graduating from the college of his dreams at 20 years old. His college offers a four-year bachelor’s degree in timber framing and a full progress of traditional historic preservation major class. And he’s at the top of his trades classes because of his work ethic. Head and Hands: check.

You know your kids are Montessori when they both graduate high school (at 17 and 15 years old) and have their sophomore year completed though a community college at the same time. (We are very grateful to SC Whitmore School for being a mastery based, on-line high school and willing to let our children take the majority of their core classes through the local community college with AP credit.)

You know your kids are Montessori when your 18-year-old is heading to “uni” in England because he wants to immerse himself in a different culture and thinks England is a good launching point for visits to Europe “and then the rest of the world.” And, yes, he was obsessed with maps at five years of age.

You know your kids are Montessori when your child decides that he can’t buy a pair of shoes because the suede will get messed up and he would be bothered by the lack of order. (This is not the other child. He loves his suede shoes, and they are blue.)

You know your kids are Montessori when the oldest isn’t particularly adept at bubble tests or algebra but still get the “Math” award from their high school because he aced the state algebra test after being out of the algebra class for six months. (Mom and Dad were blown away because we both are horrid at math.)

You know your kids are Montessori when a friend explains that you encourage your teenaged students to carry their knives to school. You know your kids are Montessori when an older one gets ready to tell the younger ones to pipe down. He closes his mouth midsentence because he sees that they have a moment of joyous discovery.

You know your kids are Montessori when one spends a half-hour watching the birds in the yard and one week researching all of them. You know your kids are Montessori when they plaster polite smiles on their faces as older adults praise them on their ability to sit still through “such boring lectures that you all couldn’t possibly understand.” (They vented later.) You know your kids are Montessori when during a medical crisis at work, one turns and walks to the nearest stairwell and once in it races up the stairs to locate additional help, never panicking. “I didn’t want to panic the patrons,” they said. You know your kids are Montessori when trying on glasses takes twice as long because he feels that it is only right to polish the lenses in between each pair he dons. You know your kids are Montessori when given the usual Public School writing prompt and “just take 15 minutes to think it over” takes two days to research the history and figure out the geography of the creative writing assignment. He then starts writing. You know your kids are Montessori when one begins to spontaneously organize the magazine shelves at the barber shop. “It just bothered me.” You know your kids are Montessori when one comes barreling through the room saying, “I’ve got to hold the number in my head! I don’t want to re-do my problem – 84,84,84.” He was on the way to the bathroom and didn’t want to forget his partial product in cross multiplication. You know your kids are Montessori when one comes in to say they might need a little bit of help, and you walk outside to see three kids on the roof and one in the tree. They are hatching a plan and want to vet the physics of it.

You know your kids are Montessori when they strike up a conversation with a lady at the meat counter and discuss their learning life, getting into a discussion of how Montessori is different and better for them. (Mom was lurking behind the bread display.) You know your kids are Montessori when they disassemble an old joy stick, figure out how it works, and then put it back together. You know your kids are Montessori when you leave them home alone for an hour, and when you come back they have made Creme Anglaise and cleaned the kitchen. You know your kids are Montessori when one of them takes a project to a college professor to find out if it is good enough to sit in on his college cellular biology class and the professor thinks it is. You know your kids are Montessori when they grab their nature journal to sketch the “snot” coming from corals. You know your kids are Montessori when you go to the County Fair and they won’t race from one ride across the midway to another ride. They methodically move down the row riding rides (even again and again) until they have “completed” that ride.

You know your kids are Montessori when you kids can’t do just a “written science project”. It has to involve history, science, geography, linguistics, and art. You know your kids are Montessori when your son insists his birthday cupcakes go to “Mike, the Glass Guy” and his staff. Then when he is offering them round, he insists that the customers be included, too. Grace and courtesy are still ingrained in an 11 year old. Yes!

You know your kids are Montessori when an afternoon at the park playing involves no play equipment or the ball field but a mound of sand, a mound of dirt, several turtle eggs, a garter snake, and a toad. You know your kids are Montessori when they finish the roof sweeping job and announce their work is done, but that they are not done working. What was their new work? Laying on the roof to watch the tree branches and the clouds. They stayed there 15 minutes or more. You know your kids are Montessori when they spend seven minutes making order from the chaos of the name tag table after church. (No we were not talking with anyone. We were waiting.) You know your kids are Montessori when they spend three hours working on a fused glass project to say: “I don’t want to go to lunch. I have not completed my work.” You know your kids are Montessori when they take an old (yet clean) oval bath mat and make a cell work out of it. They’ve been calling it the “Pink Amoeba” and pretending it is encircling them to digest their legs.

Elizabeth Vice is certified as a Directress in Casa and Elementary. She also holds a 3 to 6 certification in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Her sons attended Montessori schools from Casa onward through age 13 and 11 when they began to be home schooled with a Montessori cooperative and began online high school at the ages of 15 and 14. They are now 20 and 18. Elizabeth consults with parents and tutors students as well as writes specialized curricula for schools and churches of all stripes. She spends her spare time weaving.

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South Africa's leading provider of children's yoga classes and children's yoga teacher trainings, Yoga4Kids has been successfully spreading children's yoga and life skills throughout South Africa since 2003. We offer classes for YogaTots (ages 3 – 7), YogaKids (ages 8 – 12) and YogaTeens (ages 13 - 18). The Yoga4Kids curriculum offers an age-appropriate mind, body and heart balance to children through exercises, breathing techniques and relaxation skills. The curriculum is based on yoga practice, mindfulness practice, and the life skills and wellbeing workshops developed by Yoga4Kids. We have also been running internationally accredited children’s yoga teacher trainings endorsed by the Yoga Teachers Fellowship nationwide since 2005. The non-profit arm of the brand, the WHOLEY Child Foundation, runs free weekly classes at child and youth care centres around Cape Town. Our outreach classes currently cater to approximately 40 children, all of whom have been removed from their home situations for various reasons and are now in foster care at the centres we visit. The children range from ages 4 to 12, and are from all over Cape Town. Yoga4Kids trainees and teachers are encouraged to use their new skills to give back to the community through this worthy seva project, which we will soon be expanding across the rest of South Africa.

Yoga4Kids Team

Yoga4Kids is represented nationally, with teachers in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Suzie Manson, the Founder of Yoga4Kids South Africa and an experienced children’s yoga teacher trainer, studied under one of the forerunners of children’s yoga, Fenella Lindsell, in London. She is accredited with the Art of Health & Yoga Institute in Britain and the Yoga Fellowship in South Africa.

Contact Information for Yoga4Kids Suzie Manson: 083 299 6555 Email: Cheryl Herda: 073 509 4294 Email: For information on the Yoga4Kids Teacher Trainings, please contact Suzie Manson as per above.

The Yard on Third wants to keep the passion in horse riding alive. We love horses as much as you do and want you to continue to love riding and caring for your horses. We have seven beautiful and unique school horses for all age groups to enjoy our lessons. We promote the art of horsemanship and teach our riders to care for their horses, this includes everything from cleaning out a stable to jumping in your very first horse show. We also offer fun and exciting training shows that are open to the whole family to enjoy, these take place every two months. We also offer pony camps, outrides, outings and day clinics to all of our riders. Join our mailing list to be sure you are up to date on the shows that take place at the Yard and come experience for yourself the passion and love that is radiating from our Yard, to our riders and especially to the horses.

Understanding Self-Discipline It has been said that the only true discipline is self-discipline. With self-discipline we take ownership of our own behavior. We take responsibility for our lives. by Maren Schmidt

As we discipline our children we might consider that our goals should include these objectives of helping our children take ownership of their behavior and responsibility for their lives. Too often discipline is delivered as punishment that creates feelings of intimidation, humiliation or embarrassment. If we want our children to learn to own their behavior and take responsibility we need to find a way to encourage our children, not discourage our children. The word discipline has its roots in the word ”disciple,” meaning ”pupil” in Latin. As parents we are the teachers, and our children are our students. The relationship of teacher/student, parent/child and leader/disciple must be based on respect and trust. Our children must know that they can learn from us in a safe, secure and consistent environment, free from intimidation, humiliation and embarrassment. When we react in a crisisoriented manner trying to help our children learn to be responsible, respectful and resourceful, we often display the very behaviors that we wish to stop in our children. If we are harsh in our reactions to situations, belittle our children or set arbitrary or inconsistent standards, our teaching can create an angry and frustrated response in our children, leading to distrust and disrespect. Our challenge as leaders of our young disciples is to guide the whole child–body, mind, heart and spirit. We must model the self-discipline, the vision, the passion and the conscience we wish our children to develop. Any worthy challenge requires mindfulness and compassion for a successful end. We need to be mindful of our thoughts and our actions. Do our ideas and deeds lead our children to take ownership of their behavior and responsibility for their lives? Can we bring our passion and our love to every aspect of this essential work of guiding our children?

Take a few minutes to think of the strengths of character you wish to instill in your children. How can you lead to those ends with selfdiscipline, vision, passion and conscience? Positive psychologists have identified six types of core virtues that appear in all cultures–wisdom and knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence–comprised of twenty-four character strengths:

1. Wisdom and Knowledge: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning and 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

perspective. Courage: bravery, persistence, integrity and vitality. Humanity: love, kindness and social intelligence. Justice: citizenship, fairness and leadership. Temperance: forgiveness and mercy, humility and modesty, prudence and self-regulation. Transcendence: appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humor and spirituality.

I encourage you to make a list of these twenty-four character strengths and brainstorm how you can help your children use these strengths to become responsible for their own behavior and their own lives using body, mind, heart and spirit. That is the nature of true self-discipline.

Cuban Beans and Rice Cuban Beans and Rice Beans and rice can be a simple, satisfying meal for the entire family. In Cuba, beans are often cooked with a seasoning mixture called sofrito, made from garlic, onion, bell pepper, tomato, cumin, and oregano. Try combining this version of Cuban beans and rice with a crisp green salad of lettuce, cabbage, and tomatoes. Add a little sweetness with fresh pineapple and banana. Serves 4 - 6. Ingredients


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Make the beans

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Cuban Beans 3tbsp vegetable oil ½ red onion cut into ¼-inch pieces 4 garlic cloves minced 1 green or red bell pepper cut into ¼inch pieces 2 tomatoes cut into ½-inch pieces ¾tsp ground cumin ¾tsp dried oregano ¾tsp salt ¼tsp black pepper 3cans (15 oz. ea.) black beans rinsed and drained 1can (15 oz.) red beans rinsed and drained 1cup water 1whole bay leaf ¼cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped lime wedges(optional) Yellow Rice 1tbsp vegetable or olive oil ½tsp turmeric 1½cups long grain white rice 3cups water ½tsp salt

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and bell pepper and continue to cook, stirring often, for several minutes more. Add the tomatoes and cook until softened. Stir in the cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beans, water, and bay leaf, stirring to combine. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro.

Make the rice In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turmeric and rice and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Do not stir the rice. Let the rice sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

To serve Spoon the beans over the yellow rice and serve with a wedge of fresh lime. Serve pineapplebanana salad and green salad on the side.

Breadsticks Breadsticks It is believed that breadsticks were first made in medieval times. The Italian word for breadsticks is grissini. These crispy breadsticks are fun and easy to make. Makes 32 breadsticks. Course Side Dish



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Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, combine the water and yeast. Let sit for 2 minutes, until the yeast is dissolved. Add the olive oil, honey, rosemary or peppercorns, salt, and whole wheat flour, stirring well. Add the white flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring until a stiff dough forms. On a clean, lightly floured work surface knead the dough for 3 to 5 minutes, until smooth.

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1¼cups warm water 2tsp baking yeast 2tbsp olive oil 1tbsp honey 1tsp dried rosemary or ½ tsp cracked black peppercorns 1cup whole wheat flour 2½ cups white flour Additional olive oil and kosher salt

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a circle about 3 inches in diameter. Now divide each piece into 4 equal pieces. You will have 32 pieces in all. Roll each piece of dough into a cylinder about 8 inches long and place on baking sheet. Lightly brush the breadsticks with olive oil and sprinkle with salt as desired. Bake the breadsticks for about 15 to 18 minutes, turning once during the baking, until lightly browned and almost crisp. Let the breadsticks cool before serving.

The Best Brains Require Good Nutrition by Maren Schmidt Are our children getting the right kinds of food for maximum brain development and health? Most parents believe their children are getting adequate nutrition, but data shows otherwise. Peeking into a few lunch boxes gives some indications and insights into the issue. Recent research is showing that a high level of highfructose sugar contributes to obesity and Type 2 diabetes in children. High blood sugar levels affect the function of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that helps organize memory. Children need a diet of complex carbohydrates versus a diet of sugar and foods that have a high glycemic index such as potatoes, white rice, white flour and white sugar. Data shows that 25 percent of children under the age of six eat French fried potatoes every day. One nutritionist recommends avoiding any food that’s white because those foods act like sugar to the brain. Current research is showing that certain diseases and conditions have their roots in poor childhood nutrition. For example, the low intake of calcium rich foods–milk, cheese, broccoli, spinach and other green leafy vegetables–during the first 18 years of life may predispose women to osteoporosis.

Fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains take longer to digest but offer important nutrition that may not be found in the empty calories from the refined carbohydrates in soda and processed foods. For the young child under age six, certain foods should be avoided, and perhaps we all should avoid them. Two big two no-no’s seem to be sodas and foods that list sugar in the first five ingredients. For sodas, their sugar content is too high, and the active ingredients in soda work against bone development. Soda drink consumption has risen to over 60 gallons per person annually in the United States. In a study of teenage boys, ages 13 to 18, about 60 percent reported drinking two sodas or more per day, with over 95 percent reporting that they drank soda regularly. In teenagers, over 25 percent of daily calories may be from sodas. The teenage habits begin before the age of six. Water is the best liquid for our children to drink as effective brain growth and functioning is dependent on the brain being well hydrated, since the brain is over 90 percent water.

The second no-no: foods that list sugar as one of the first five ingredients include breakfast cereals, breakfast toaster pastries and more. High sugar consumption is linked to tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other ailments. Serve fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains to satisfy a sweet tooth. Make sure that a child’s diet provides adequate protein. Too much protein can be as bad as too little, but inadequate protein affects brain development and overall health. Children from one to three years need about 1,300 calories per day with 16 grams of protein. Four- to six-year-olds need about 1,800 calories per day with 24 grams of protein. Seven- to ten-year-olds require around 2,000 calories with 28 grams of protein. Common protein-rich foods include milk, soy milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, lean meats, fish, poultry, beans, tofu, lentils, grains, nuts and seeds. Another nutritionist recommends only shopping the perimeter of your grocery store, as all the nutritious and fresh food is there, and you won’t be tempted by all the fancy packaged processed food in the center aisles. As my Granddad used to say, pay the grocer or pay the doctor. Yes, I’d much rather spend my money on blueberries than meeting my medical insurance deductible. It tastes so much better, and my brain loves it.

Conscious Life Magazine


Is your pet ready for Spring? At last Spring is here and the furkids are wagging their tails with delight! The long, cold winter days are over and they can finally romp around outdoors in the sunshine. Now that hibernation season is behind us, it's time to give your pet a 'spring clean' and prepare them for the new season ahead. Here are 6 tips to ensure optimal well-being for your pet.

#1 Allergies Just like humans, our furkids also suffer from seasonal allergies. However, unlike humans who sneeze and sniffle, the first sign your pet is suffering from an allergy is skin irritation. Pets who are experiencing allergic reactions tend to have dry, itchy skin and break out in rashes. If you notice an increase in your pets scratching, licking or rubbing itself this may be a sign that they are suffering from seasonal allergies. To alleviate symptoms, use supplementary products. You could also try a special Hypo-Allergenic shampoo.

#2 Insects and Parasites As the weather gets warmer, the activity of insects and parasites such as fleas, ticks, worms and flies dramatically increases. This, unfortunately, means a higher risk of your pet being affected by these nasties. To steer your pet clear of irritation and multiple diseases, ensure that you get them appropriately medicated. There are specialised products for ticks and fleas for dogs and cats. There is also an excellent solution for getting rid of worms, and try a repellent ointment for those pesky flies. Sorted.

#3 Weight-control Diet Most pets (and humans) need to shed the weight they put on in winter as a result of inactivity. Get your pet back in tip-top shape by improving their diet and level of activity or exercise. There are many weight-control foods one can purchase to assist with getting your pet's weight back to normal. These foods are generally lower in carbs and richer in protein to promote lean muscle mass.

#4 Exercise Following on the previous point, along with a healthier diet, an increase in exercise will also assist your pet with shedding excess winter weight. Pets generally tend to spend a lot more time indoors during the cold winter months but Spring brings warmth, sunshine and the perfect conditions to get outdoors and active! Have fun in the sun by walking in the park or entertaining your dog or cat with an awesome toy.

#5 Water With the increase in temperature, your pets will need to hydrate more frequently. Make use of a pet water dispenser to ensure that there is always enough fresh, cool water for them to drink.

#6 Moulting Spring means hair, hair and more hair! As every pet owner already knows, spring brings shedding! Brushing your pet regularly not only dramatically decreases the amount of hair that ends up all over your home, but also keeps your pet cooler. Use a harder grooming brush for dogs, and a smaller, softer brush for cats.

All your necessary products are available from Pet Heaven. Get 10% OFF your first order with Pet Heaven. Apply coupon code COTU9 in Cart Code expires 30 September 2017 CONTACT US PHONE: 0861 017 431

People have varying amounts of tolerance to pain and the same is true of their pets. Some dogs may yelp and cry at the least discomfort, whilst another my not limp on an injured leg until it’s extremely damaged. Cats are notorious for being stoic and not showing that they are in pain. Knowing your pet and his habits and behaviour is often the trigger to realizing he is hurting. You need to know what is normal for your pet, to be able to tell what is abnormal for them. The skill of observing with a critical eye can be learned by anyone, and it starts with a genuine love and interest in your pet, his behaviour, posture and habits. There are symptoms to watch for but often the first sign of pain in a family pet is the feeling of the owner that “something isn’t right”. When that impression remains for several days, a trip to the vet for a check-up is a good idea. Symptoms of Pain: Vocalizing Your dog may whine when he rises from a sitting position or yelp when he jumps down from a chair. He may whimper when you massage a shoulder or make moaning or groaning sounds when at rest. Your cat’s purring may actually increase, or he may be meowing incessantly or differently. Panting is normal for dogs but constant panting in the absence of exercise or heat is unusual. Cats in pain may have a faster and more shallow breathing pattern than normal. They may also even pant. Montessori Magazine

Posture Know your pet’s normal posture at rest, as well as his normal gait. Sometimes postural changes may be very obvious e.g. our dog may limp with one leg or may appear to walk in an awkward, hunched position holding his front end and back end at uneven heights, or your horse may stand with his head in a lowered position. (When he stands with his head lower than his knees, it should set-off major alarm bells). If you know your pet’s “body language” , it will be easier to see when there is a deviation from the normal pattern.

“Cats in pain may have a faster and more shallow breathing pattern” Level of Activity Owners accustomed to a pet who follows them from room to room may notice the animal staying in one place instead. The dog may lay down, get up, circle and lay down again repeatedly trying to find a comfortable position and may have difficulty getting up after laying down. Cats experiencing pain often move around less. But depending on what hurts, they may still move around the same amount, just differently. They may move with a limp, or go more slowly up or down the stairs. Horses may show a decrease in activity or be reluctant to move, or may lag behind the rest of the group.

Heart and Pulse Change Animals in pain will often have an increased heart/pulse rate. The rate often noticeably speeds up when the painful area is touched or moved. You can enrol in a pet’s first aid course, or ask your veterinarian or veterinary nurse to show you how to check and measure your pet’s pulse rate. Behavioural Changes Your pet may avoid social contact, or growl or snap when you touch part of his body or manipulate a joint. He may withdraw from petting and be reluctant to participate in play activity. Some dogs may become more needy than usual and seem to be asking for constant attention. Incessant licking, scratching or chewing of one part of the body is a visible indication of itching or pain and an increase in drooling is another sign of a problem. Be aware of changes in your horse’s behaviour in his turn-out group. Very often bad behaviour in horses have been attributed to them having a nasty character, but these unwanted behaviour patterns – swishing of the tail if you pass to close to their hind quarter, bucking, or dropping of the shoulder may be due to the fact that they are in pain. Cats in pain are more likely to bite and scratch. This is true even with their owners and other familiar people. This is particularly true when a person touches or moves the painful area, or if the cat anticipates you touching or moving the painful area. Cat’s may have a decrease in self-grooming when ill, or may groom excessively in an area with a wound. If your cat suddenly hides under beds or in cupboards it is s sure sign that he is in pain. Should your cat start to urinate or defecate outside his litter box it may be a sign of back/joint pain. They will struggle to get in and out of the litter box and

also with the posture needed to defecate, and as a result may become constipated. Feeding changes Animals may lose their appetite when they are in pain or appear unusually tired or lethargic. Be aware of their feeding habits and pay attention to their feeding routine and changes to these routines. When they do go and eat and experience some pain in their mouth or the cause of their pain is related to their teeth, then they may drop food/water out of their mouth whilst eating/drinking. Appearance Animals display facial expressions that their human companion recognize as part of the personality of their pet. A change in expression or physical appearance may be an indicator of a pet who is in pain. Ears laid back may be unusual for the animal and a vacant stare that replaces the attentive look, or eyes that seem constantly tired and sleepy may be subtle clues of a joint that is aching or an injury that needs treatment. Strained, tense nostrils, mouth and prominent chewing muscles, flattening of the horse’s profile, as well as tension seen above the eye area is a sure sign that your horse needs the vet or blacksmith or some dentistry. Treatment for Pain Relief: Seek advice from your vet as soon as you notice your pet is in pain to determine the cause of pain. Prompt treatment can halt the progression of serious illness and relieve discomfort quickly. Finding the cause of the discomfort can often lead to treatments with pet medicines that will control or even eliminate pain for the animal. Please do not self-medicate your pet. Many fatalities have occurred with caring pet owners medicating their pets with human medicine. You can cause your pet severe

Montessori Magazine

distress and even death by giving your pet medicine meant for human beings. Natural Medicines: Eco-Vet has a portfolio of registered natural medicine designed for treating various painful conditions. Eco-Heal is a must in your fist aid kit for pain and sudden onset injuries, while EcoJoint has been created for the treatment of animals with acute and chronic joint strains associated with mainly soft tissue injuries. May be effectively used before hard exercise to protect from work induced injuries. Is an effective remedy for use immediately after hard exercise as an aid to recovery. Eco-Arth is a natural remedy for the treatment of animals with chronic joint problems associated with degenerative disease, and had seen many animals regaining their mobility.

Montessori Magazine

DOES YOUR PET SUFFER FROM STRESS AND ANXIETY? Our lives can often be very stressful and our pets are not excluded from this byproduct of our modern lifestyle. Some of the common causes of fear and stress in animals are: Unusual noises (thunder), unknown places (relocation), travelling, unusual places (visit to the vet or dog parlour), unusual odours, crowding, extreme temperatures, inconsistent handling, absence of their owner, excessive feeding etc. ECO-FEAR and ECO-TRAVEL have been lovingly designed to assist your furry friend when they are faced with anxious and fearful situations. It is completely natural and have not side-effects because we love animals, Naturally.

ITCHING & SCRATCHING? There is no doubt that dogs in particular have huge problems in relation to skin disease. There are many reasons why this is so. Some dogs have allergies to colorants and other additives in dog food; including the expensive brands, some have specific allergies to gluten, in particular, which is found in many cereals. Some dogs such as Staffies and Bull terriers have such a fine skin with very little hair to offer them as protection against external irritants including grasses, shampoos and the sun, that they are more seriously affected than many other breeds. Eco-Vet has a range of products that deal with various skin conditions. Please visit our website to see our full range, varying from skin conditioners to heart medication. Email us and we can assist you with choosing the right medicine for his condition. 0860 326 838

Conscious Life Magazine

PUPPY AND KITTEN STARTER PACKS We know that bringing a baby furkid into the family is the beginning of an amazing journey - albeit a little overwhelming at first. What are all the essentials needed to keep your new furkid happy? Which brands should you buy? What are you able to afford with your budget? These are all very important questions to consider when getting a puppy or kitten and the good news is - we've got you covered for all your pet’s needs!

Pet Heaven makes pet parenting easy! We deliver pet products nationwide and specialise in automatic, scheduled deliveries that provide ultimate convenience. Never forget to buy pet supplies again! Shop our extensive range of your favourite pet brands.

Get 10% OFF your first order with Pet Heaven! Apply code COTU9 in cart. Code expires 30 September 2017. CONTACT US 0861 017 431

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Drumming for Horses Hosted by Harmonics 22 September at 19:00–21:00 We invite you to come drumming with us and the horses as we connect with one another and enjoy the changing of the seasons. Our fun filled evening will be around a big bonfire lighting up the evening to the beat of the drums, led by the highly skilled Harmonics team. This exciting drumming interactive will last for 90min with entertaining games and easy to follow rhythms leading the group into a euphoric state of bliss. No musical experience required, drums will be provided; discounts will be given to those who have their own drums. Kids welcome! Venue: The earth centre (SARDA Gauteng) 125 Peter Rd, Ruimsig Time: 6:30pm for 7pm start Cost: R150 per person > R130 for pensioners and under 13s All prices include drum hire R20 discount if brining own drum


Didgeridoo workshop Hosted by Harmonics We are super excited to be running one of many collaborative Didgeridoo workshops with some of South Africa’s top makers and players. This first collaborative will be hosted by Harmonics, centrally located between Pretoria and Johannesburg. Your facilitators are Kevin Fish from Didgeridoo’s for Africa, Andries Bruyns (GodfatherDidge) from Klistsgrass Drumming and Paul Boyter from Harmonics. All 3 have over 20 years experience in playing and making didgeridoo’s. This packed session includes a fun jam session, didgeridoo making process with displayed example, tips and tricks on making your wind instrument a fun soulful companion as well as a guide book for those who wish to further their skills. There will be didgeridoo’s for sale or you can arrange to have one custom made.

Harmonics 20 Albertyn st Vorna Valley Midrand, Johannesburg, Gauteng Mobile: 084 446 8746 Booking is essential:

The Antbear Drakensberg Lodge is a thatched, whitewashed lodge built high on a natural platform overlooking the Bushman's River and Giants Castle. Antbear Drakensberg Lodge offers various Drakensberg accommodation options in en suite double rooms, luxury suites, family units and also boasts a luxury cave too. Antbear Drakensberg Lodge is one of those smaller intimate kind places which has been lovingly put together. The natural setting of the accommodation is stunning and we have managed to encase all this beauty with an atmosphere of comfort and ease. The cottages are smartly appointed and individually designed and the fact that we are a small place makes for an intimate and personal accommodation experience. Each of the accommodation units are different and are decorated with uniquely eccentric and artistic wooden furniture. It is a bit off the beaten track and is more of an insider tip than just another bed and breakfast. We cater for small intimate groups and never have more than 45 guests at a time. It's a laid back, lovingly cared for kind of place where you feel a sense of happiness and peace. Honeymoon stays turn into anniversary commemorations just as guests become friends. Even foreign tourists return for a second and third taste.

Attractions Drakensburg Hiking Trails Bushman Rock Art Giant’s Castle Kamberg Weenen Game Reserve Royal Natal National Park Drakensburg Boys Choir

Horse Trails Injasuti Nature Reserve Monks Cowl Natal Midlands Tugela Falls Sani Pass Fly Fishing

Retreats The Antbear Drakensberg Lodge is the ideal retreat venue where we can provide all the services and accommodation for your retreat. Situated 4 hours from Johannesburg and 2 hours from Durban with easy access from the N3 Antbear Lodge is easy to get to but has the feeling of being far from the madding crowd. This wonderful place for group retreats offers spectacular views, vast spaces, wild winds, rain, sunshine, clouds and rainbows and in all of this – silence and peace. Retreat groups can book the whole lodge for their exclusive use. The Lodge can accommodate 44 persons in 15 separate accommodation units Antbear Drakensberg Lodge has a spacious dining room with a wood-burning fireplace, a comfortable lounge with a fireplace and spectacular views, a breakaway meeting room, a large veranda and a large meeting room for retreat, team building or training activities. We provide excellent meals and will fit our menu to your expectations.

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Because food is an important part of your stay Meals are part of the real surprises that the Antbear Lodge has to offer where home grown cooking is part of the deal. We like to use our own home grown organic vegetables and if we haven’t got, then we lean heavily on those local providers with similar attitudes to our own. Conny and Andrew both like cooking and are up to changing just about anything to suit tastes or philosophies. Our cooking experience is in part a journal, a record of events and memories expressed in recipes. In the course of our travels we have filed away many recipes and with them images of people and places and their lives. How food tastes has much to do with the associations we make and if you would like to hear the tales of our meals we would love to tell them.

Sustainable & responsible tourism is our social responsibility and what we do to give something back to our community and environment We believe in sustainable tourism and social responsibility. We live is a spectacularly beautiful place called the Drakensberg and our standard of living here is exceptional. But around us lie contrasts of poverty and lack of development. If we are to keep our way of life then it surely follows that we must do everything in our power to contribute to the upliftment and prosperity of this rural area. We believe that the future of South Africa is linked to the prosperity of the people, and that upliftment is linked to education. And as such we have chosen to support our local primary school called Vulakani Primary School.

Pet friendly accommodation Drakensberg One of the few pet-friendly places in the Drakensberg. Beautiful, vast views of the Drakensberg with plenty of ground for my dogs to roam. Walk for hours. Your dogs will be happy with lots of dams to swim in and horses to discover. One of the accommodation units at Antbear Lodge is fenced in so its really easy to leave your dog behind if you would like to explore some of the sights where pets are not that welcome. If country life is for you and you would love to take your pet with you then Antbear Lodge is a great accommodation choice. Your hosts will advise you on all the activities available. Antbear Lodge prides itself on being both family-friendly and petfriendly.

CONTACT Mobile 076 441 2362 Email: Web:


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Call 012 430 7775 Lines open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In South Africa and around the world, we work every day to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. When crisis strikes, and children are most vulnerable, we are always among the first to respond and the last to leave. We ensure children’s unique needs are met and their voices are heard. We deliver lasting results for millions of children, including those hardest to reach. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.

We need your help to ensure that no child is left behind. In a tough funding environment, we have ensured we have multiple avenues of funding and are proud to have 11,000 generous individual donors contributing monthly. We will continue to be innovative in securing funding to enable us to reach more children and will work on increasing unrestricted and consistent funding streams. You can help us make a difference. Even just by becoming aware of our work by reading our annual report. To download and read the full annual report, click here.

Help us do whatever it takes to save the children.

Thank You Gugulethu Ndebele CEO

Education The quality of education in the foundation years has a lasting impact and we are working hard to ensure that every child receives quality basic education.

Child Protection South Africa is marked by high levels of violence and exploitation of children in places where they should be safe. All children should thrive in a safe environment.

Health & Nutrition No child under the age of 5 should die from preventable disease and all our children deserve long-term good health.

Children’s Rights Insufficient recources prevent children from achieving their rights as enshrined in the South African Constitution. We are campaigning for a strengthened childrights system

One in Every Four Children Being Robbed of Their Childhood One in every four children being robbed of their childhood, new report from Save the Children finds One quarter of the world's children are being denied a childhood, a new report from Save the Children has revealed. The report includes a global index ranking the places where childhood is most and least threatened. Launched to coincide with International Children's Day, the Stolen Childhoods report has found that at least 700 million children—and possibly hundreds of millions more—have had the promise of a full childhood brought to an early end.

The reasons vary from extreme violence and conflict, often driving families from their homes; early marriage and pregnancy; child labour, poor health and not being able to go to school. In South Africa, the high levels of child homicide and extreme violence against children is the most concerning indicator.

Read: Save the Children to the rescue to take street kids under its wing

Enough is Enough - Ending Violence Against Children In allowing our children to be harmed we allow the entire country’s future to be harmed. Violence Against Children is a serious issue. At Save the Children South Africa, we are working around the clock to educate the public on the effects of violence, creating a type of awareness that stops the crime before it happens. We believe in speaking out – but not after the fact. The solution begins with YOU – you hold the power to make a difference. Watch our video and get involved now. Make the difference that others only speak about. Save the Children South Africa Every child deserves a future... Find out more on Follow @SaveChildrenSA on Twitter: Like us on Facebook: Join us on Instagram: Subscribe to our YouTube channel:

SMS "dog" to 40733 to Donate R20

WOODROCK ANIMAL RESCUE PROUDLY RESCUE, REHABILITATE, REHOME.​ We are a non - profit, pro - life, rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing facility in Gauteng, South Africa.

​Our motto is ACTA NON VERBA – Action not Words. Woodrock Animal Rescue provides assistance to unfortunate, homeless, abused, neglected, stray, injured, ill, geriatric and unwanted animals (predominantly canines) that would otherwise have miserable lives and premature deaths. Animals who have no voice of their own! Woodrock Animal Rescue are one of the oldest independent domestic animal rescue centres in South Africa. Woodrock Animal Rescue was founded in 1992 by Nicholas and Estelle (Stella) Meldau, whose focus, passion and drive afforded their animal rescue vision to become a reality. The rescue centre originated in the suburban area of Woodmead and Khyber Rock, hence the name Woodrock. We are now based on 8.5 hectares in the beautiful Hennops River Valley, 25 minutes north from Fourways Johannesburg on the R511 Hartbeespoort Road.

We Change Lives ​Woodrock Animal Rescue have over 130 animals

(mostly dogs) who are looking for homes. Click here to view our available adoptions. We are open Tuesday to Sunday. We offer advice on the animals and match your requirements with the most suitable pet who will fit into your home. Home checks, background checks and legitimate vet care checks are performed prior to an animal being re-homed. We have been facilitating homeless animals for many years; we strive to re-home as many animals as possible! ​

Help Us Make A Difference to Rescue Animals Lives For more information on how you can make a difference, visit our How to Help page. ​ Click here to see our awesome animals available for ADOPTION. ​

Grace-rescue, rehab, rehome or retirement of abused, abandoned, ill/elderly animals. We believe in eradication through education CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!!!! đ&#x;šŤ đ&#x;šŤ đ&#x;šŤ đ&#x;šŤ đ&#x;šŤ đ&#x;šŤ đ&#x;šŤ đ&#x;šŤ đ&#x;šŤ đ&#x;šŤ đ&#x;šŤ đ&#x;šŤ đ&#x;šŤ The Police are now saying if you see a dog locked in a car in hot weather, take a picture of the dog and the car. If someone is with you, get them to bring up the weather for your area on their phone so you can screen shot the temp, then break the car window. This way, you will not be charged with criminal damage and it gives the police photo evidence to take the dog owners to court.

CONTACT DETAILS Call Caron: 072 844 0250 Email:

8 October at 8:00 LITTLE PAWS BIG HEARTS Lake Umuzi, 1 Kiewiet Street, Secunda We strive to improve the life of every dog and cat we come across in rural communities around Secunda! Mobile: 082 777 6671

Blue Sky News is a kids friendly newsletter (A3 folded to A4 full colour) distributing (personally by each franchisee) on a monthly basis to over 300 schools into school bags, in the Gauteng area. We currently have franchises covering Midrand/Centurion/Fourways/Houghton/Sandton 40000 copies collectively. If you interested in becoming part of our team OR if parents/kids/families are your target market & you would be interested in advertising with us OR would like to distribute or subscribe to our newsletters then check out our website and/or Facebook page Contact for more info, we would love to hear from you!

with much appreciation to our advertisers, contributors, endorsers and our readers namaste

Child of the Universe Montessori mag ed 38 september  

Montessori is South Africa, follow the Child said Maria Montessori - but they move SO fast.

Child of the Universe Montessori mag ed 38 september  

Montessori is South Africa, follow the Child said Maria Montessori - but they move SO fast.