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Help in Choosing Your

Montessori School For Next Year Being


10 Outdoor Rules to Teach your Children

Montessori – What It Is & What It Is NOT!


‘Forever Home’

What To Expect

When You Are Expecting 3 Simple Tips

To Become

Great Parents

The Benefits of Kids Yoga



ed’s letter Greetings Montessori Teachers, Parents, Grand Parents, family and friends ABOUT US ER 2Luni Media EDITOR Linda Navon 071 346 8138 OUR “Little Boss” Carmen Ché Jardim SUB-EDITORI & MARKETING MANAGER Cj Stott Matticks 082 900 1010 NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Clinton Stebbing 076 657 4139 DISTRIBUTION & RESEARCH Lee Coulter CONTACT NUMBERS TEL: (011) 462-2900 0110 262 643 0110 468 737 DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the editor, advertisers or endorsers. While every effort has been made to ensure that the contents of this publication are both accurate and truthful, the publisher and editor accept no responsibility for inaccurate or misleading information that may be contained herein.


October has been a very sad month for many of us, and it is with huge sadness that we have to say Goodbye to Heather Picton who passed away earlier this month. Many of our readers will have been taught by Heather at some stage, or read her books regarding ADHD for your own children. Our condolences go out to her family – she will live on through our magazines. We have already started with ‘silly season’ it seems. There are decorations going up in shopping malls, which excites the children, and makes us parents groan in despair… how could this year have passed by so quickly. We have included a couple of snippets on Halloween as our kids do so enjoy the fun of dressing up – even though it’s not a traditional South African pass-time. Good luck with all the sweets and the kids climbing the walls for a few days after the event! Personally, I will be in hiding and not encouraging my grand daughter to go ‘trick ‘n treating’. Friends, please start making arrangements with your neighbours or local kennels if you are going away over the festive season. Last year the shelters were overflowing with pets who had been left at home to fend for themselves. There is always someone who will take care of your animals, and if you are stuck for ideas – please call us. Our magazines are usually published by the second week of each month, reason being that, once again, we are not conventional. We like to delight our readers with something fresh and insightful to read once you have gotten over the month end rush, and can put your feet up with a nice ‘cuppa’ tea, and consciously relax with us. Till next month – be well. Much Love


contributing team & experts





SINEAD HAMILL Rhyme Time Education



CHRISTINE O’LEARY Ultimate Montessori Parent Guide




MARNIE CRAYCROFT Carrots are Orange

MAREN SCHMIDT All About Learning


ALISON GOPNIK Professor of Psychology

NICOLETTE ROUX Powerful Mothering

Nienhuis Montessori materials Nienhuis Montessori materials meet the demands of Montessori education regarding spontaneous learning. Our high quality products enable children to become independent and critical thinkers. Our products are based on Montessori education principles and stimulate children's desire to learn. They promote imagination, increase insight and create a desire for quality. Children can develop without predetermined rules, but they do need individual guidance and supportive educational materials. We believe in personal growth and offer the necessary tools to support this.


Have you chosen your Montessori School for next year> Here are some questions you should be asking… SAMA – Indexed member schools across SA Montessori Answers to Everyday Questions What Montessori IS, and what Montessori IS NOT Mindfulness in a Busy World


It’s HOT – be Sun Smart 10 Outdoor Rules to Teach your Children The Child’s Love of Place


What to Expect when you are Expecting (Besides a baby of course!!)


Inspiring kids to be more Grateful Age Appropriate Chores for your Children The Benefits of Kids Yoga 3 Simple Tips to Become Great Parents Thriving by Reducing Stress When Nightmares become Reality


All good Yummy stuff – help Mom & Dad in the Kitchen Some Halloween Treats


Just what does your pet eat? Doggies and Kitties looking for loving homes….adopt, don’t buy


Hope begins wit you – Kids with Leukaemia


Shows, beach and fun in the sun

2017 is the start of schooling for many children. I’ve been asked this question often in recent weeks: how do I choose a Montessori school? How do I know if a school is ‘real’ Montessori? It’s a great question. Dr Montessori didn’t trademark her theories or her schools and, as a result, literally any school can put out a ‘Montessori’ shingle and call themselves the real deal. The fact is, while there are thousands of Montessori schools around the world, they still make up a very small percentage of the global education footprint and while the number of pseudo Montessori schools is not known, based on anecdotal evidence alone, they are prevalent – and in some countries more than others. It really is up to us parents to educate ourselves about what Montessori is (and what it isn’t) and to do our own research on the schools we are considering for our children to make sure we make the right decision. And before you even start asking any questions, you should also ask for an opportunity to observe the classroom for a period during the school day. If you don’t see Montessori materials on open shelves accessible to the children, child-sized furniture and children moving around the room independently – AND guides speaking to children with grace and respect – run, don’t walk to the nearest exit! OK, assuming it LOOKS like a Montessori school – materials are clean and the classroom looks organised – it’s time to ask the right questions before you even think of enrolling your child. So here’s my list of 9 questions (at least – I’m sure you’ll have more!) that you should ask:

1. What ages do you have in each class? Multi-age classes are a fundamental aspect of a Montessori environment. Having children of varying ages (usually at least a three year age span, sometimes six years or more) allows children to teach and learn from each other. It also provides opportunities for older children to mentor younger ones. 2. What training and qualifications do your guides have? Is this school affiliated with any Montessori organisation? It’s a hotly debated topic in Montessori circles as to which Montessori training is the ‘real’ training and which is not. Essentially, though, you want to hear that your guides are AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) or AMS (American Montessori Society) trained. Most training centres require a bachelor’s degree for admission. There are many, many training organisations around the world that claim to train Montessori guides. I’ve seen eight week courses, online courses – you name it. While that is fine for us parents who want to know more about Montessori to provide our children with the best support a home, the training that a Montessori guide undertakes is a completely different ball game. It’s in person, it’s intense, it’s taught over many months (usually up to 10 months straight or an equivalent amount of concentrated time, broken up into several weeks or months at a time) and it is hands on. If the answer you get is that the guides at the school have done a correspondence course or equivalent, your alarm bells should be ringing. There should be at least one AMI or AMS trained guide in each classroom. 3. What freedoms do children have? Are children free to move around the classroom and choose materials (provided they have had a lesson on using that material)? Do they need to ask permission to eat a snack or go to the toilet? Do they have freedom to collaborate, interact and teach one another?

4. What opportunities are there for learning in context? Dr Montessori said: “Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” In a Montessori school, learning is in context and where possible is based on real world experiences, rather than abstract concepts such as from a text book or a teacher speaking. So children should be involved in activities like cleaning the classroom, researching a real-life project that is of interest to them, growing vegetables in the garden and perhaps even selling them to parents or the community. They actually do these things, they don’t just write about it. 5. Does this school offer 3-hour work cycles? Three hour work cycles are a fundamental part of a Montessori environment and is in stark contrast to other more traditional school settings where there are often 40 minute lessons and then a quick changeover. In some traditional early years’ environments, it is often assumed that children can only concentrate for 15 or 20 minutes, however these quick changeovers actually shorten a child’s attention span. The 3-hour uninterrupted work cycles in Montessori classrooms build deep concentration and any guide you speak to will tell you that this time is actually considered quite sacred. 6. Do you offer rewards such as gold stars or certificates when children do well? Dr Montessori believed that children have an innate desire to learn and that intrinsic motivation is a key driver of a child. External rewards are discouraged in a Montessori classroom as a child’s sense of achievement when completing a task is reward enough. Competition – the ranking of children against one other – is also avoided as collaboration is preferred. These external rewards and comparisons – along with the 3-hour uninterrupted work cycles – are often hardest for traditional schools to step away from, even if they are operating under the name ‘Montessori’. If the response you receive to this question is not satisfactory to you – or you can see for yourself that external rewards are being used with reward stickers or charts to track progress or compare children – this could definitely be a sign that you need to investigate this further.

7. Does your school participate in standardised testing and do children sit tests and exams and do homework? Here in Australia, every school that receives government funding is required to participate in a federal standardised testing system and I expect the situation might be the same in other countries. However, beyond this requirement tests and grades are not a part of everyday life in a Montessori classroom – your child should not be coming home with papers covered in red marks, corrections and a score out of 10. With testing of children at traditional schools escalating at an alarming rate in recent years, it might pay to listen very carefully to the answer to this question as a school that is not ‘true’ Montessori is perhaps quite likely to fall prey to what is, unfortunately, becoming a cultural norm in mainstream schooling. And if homework is set on a regular basis before high school you may have a problem. 8. What rules are in place in the classroom and how are they communicated to the children? In a Montessori classroom there are usually as few rules as possible. Often they relate to care and respect for self, for others and for the environment. Children learn to manage their own classroom community within these parameters and excessive rules are avoided. If your school has an unending list of ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ plastered on walls and doors, that could be another sign that this school is not as ‘Montessori’ as you might like. 9. How are life skills taught at this school – so skills outside of academics? What you’re hoping for here is a reference to character education and practical life activities including self-care, care of the environment and grace and courtesy instruction which are all core aspects of the Montessori curriculum. Do guides eat with the children? Are children encouraged to care for their environment themselves with appropriate, child-sized tools to do the job? How are conflicts resolved? Observe how guides greet children in the morning and farewell them in the afternoon. Eye contact and a handshake is often the norm, but not always. It’s more about how the guide makes the child feel as he enters the classroom, that the child is welcomed warmly and with respect.

The list of questions you could ask is endless – and I encourage you to ask as many as you need to, to feel comfortable with your decision. My guess is that a ‘real’ Montessori school won’t tire of your questions. It is in the school’s best interest as much as yours to make sure your family is a good fit – so another aspect to be aware of is how open the school is to your enquiries. If they seem edgy or hesitant – and certainly if you’re not allowed to observe a classroom during a school day – it could be sign as in my experience, Montessori schools are only too happy to accommodate an enquiring and passionate parent! And a final tip from me. Spend some time at the school at pickup times in the afternoon. Look carefully at the children as they leave the school gate. If they look happy, organised, they are carrying their own bag and lunchbox and they have a light in their eyes – you just might be in the right place.

Chris A proud Montessori parent to two beautiful boys, Cooper and Mitchell, and wife of Richard, I live and breathe the Montessori philosophy and want to bring you everything I’ve learned – Montessori parent to Montessori parent.




SAMA MEMBER SCHOOLS & TRAINING CENTRES IN SOUTH AFRICA Eastern & Southern Cape KwaZulu Natal Limpopo Mpumalanga Namibia North Gauteng (PTA) South Gauteng (JHB) Western Cape Swaziland Seychelles SAMA TRAINING INSTITUTIONS

Montessori Answers to Every-day Questions Can you summarize the Montessori Philosophy in one sentence ? A sentence using the latest educational catch phrases: Montessori education is scientifically based, multi-modality, data-driven differentiated instruction using small flexible groupings for explicit instruction and individualized practiced during an extended global access time to insure that each student is working at their maximum plane of development while addressing the state's mandatory standards.'

A sentence using everyday terms: Montessori education is based on the belief that children are individuals with their own strengths, needs, likes and learning styles, therefore the teacher needs to guide each child through the learning process by using materials that fit their specific needs and pace.

I've been told that Montessori is "unstructured". Is this is true? How do the children learn in such an environment? How does a teacher know that every child is learning if every child isn't doing the exact thing at the exact same time? There is a lot of structure in a Montessori classroom! It's just a different type of structure than in the traditional classroom. In many traditional classrooms since all the children do pretty much the same thing at the same time, the "structure" is in keeping them focused and quiet. In a Montessori classroom where the children are all working at their "maximum plane of development" and therefore doing different things, the "structure" revolves around rules and procedures so that they can all be doing those different things, but still learn. For example, since most of the work is initially done with manipulatives, a "structure" needs to be in place as to how to share the materials, work with them, and put them away. There is also a "structure" in place to make sure all the children are working. In our program each child has a written work plan with a list of jobs that they specifically need to complete. During work time, as the jobs are finished, the children record it on the plan. Written work is placed in a folder for the teacher to correct, while manipulative work is left on mats for the teacher to review.

As the teacher corrects and reviews the work, she marks off which jobs have been done in her grade book. In her observation book she then records information about each child's understanding and progress on the concepts. Simple mistakes are corrected with the child either on the spot, or the next day. While deeper misconceptions that require a review of the concept or a different material, is recorded in the lesson plan book. Additionally, the need for a more advance lesson or new topic is also recorded. New lessons usually presented the next work period.

No textbooks, no grades ! Someone explain this to me because it does not make any sense! Montessorians see text books as limiting. "It is the third day of the fourth month so everybody turn to page 64." Instead we believe in giving children the information they need in a multitude of ways. We teach them the concepts through manipulating objects, color, movement, matching, comparing, researching and so on. Additionally we feel that simply going to a text book for information doesn't teach a child how to learn. When they are older and have a question, but aren't in a classroom setting, children who are taught to rely on textbooks won't know how or where to get the answer. But a child who is taught to use the library, the internet, newspapers, as well as to gather information from their surroundings, use prior knowledge, analyze and extrapolate will.

As far as grades go, in Montessori we work towards mastery- the complete understanding of a concept. In a grade focused classroom people often work on learning tricks to pass the test. This may get them a good grade, but they often have very little understanding of the concept. In the future, when the concept is studied in more depth, they can't relate or apply their knowledge to the new concept. For example, when focusing purely on getting children to pass a test on adding fractions with like denominators, a teacher might say something like, " Add the top number, keep the bottom number". This little trick works like magic and they get a great grade on the fractions part of the test. But the next year when learning to add fractions with different denominators they are floundering. Another problem with being grade orientated is that some children will do enough just to slide by. "Well I passed." Is what I usually hear from them. When we focus on mastering a topic instead of just getting a grade, these children have no way to "just squeak by". The lack of grades can also refer to the fact that children in a Montessori classroom aren't limited to the work for the grade in which they are in. A Child's progress is not dictated by a textbook or a grade level, but by their own innate ability. Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have about Montessori, and I'll do my best to answer them:

So what is Montessori exactly? Montessori is a method of education developed by Dr Maria Montessori more than 100 years ago An Italian physician and educator, Dr Montessori was a pioneer – driving education reform that had the interest of the child at its core. The child-centered approach goes far beyond educating children in all of the usual subjects you would expect, it is about the development of the whole child. Dr Montessori’s approach is based on her deep understanding of the developing brain, and her scientific observations of children, and is backed by modern neuropsychological research.

Core principles Some of the core principles of Montessori are: 1. Children are eager to learn. The understanding that children are naturally eager for knowledge and are capable of initiating their own learning in the right environment. Montessori nurtures that positive attitude toward learning. 2. Children need independence. As parents, and educators, our role is to control the environment – not control the child. We provide a thoughtfully prepared learning environment (including thoughtful and prepared adults!) and our children will thrive. They have freedom within limits to choose the learning path that is right for them at any given moment. 3. Children can lead their own learning. Montessori is flexible enough to cater for any and every child. Children grow and learn at different rates and have different interests – it is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The interests and development stages of our children are catered for – which is why children are so engaged. They are provided the exact right tool at the exact right time for them.

4. Children learn life skills. Montessori helps children develop life skills far beyond what is taught in a traditional classroom. Creativity, problem solving, social skills, time management skills, life skills such as empathy and respect for themselves and others, mindfulness and self-awareness are all explicitly taught in a Montessori classroom. 5. Children learn respect. Montessori guides respect children and talk to them with the respect of the adult they will one day become. Grace and courtesies are modeled by the guides, and explicitly taught, which, in turn, is reflected in the interactions between guides and children.

It’s far more than the materials on the shelf… Montessori is far more than the materials you see on the shelves in a Montessori classroom. It is a mindful way of life that requires a shift in thinking for Montessori parents and a set of ‘tools’ to help us parents to understand Montessori and ensure we are providing our children with consistency between home and school. We need to step back a little and let our children do for themselves what they can. We need to step away from the idea that we need to watch them constantly, entertain them, or to teach them at every opportunity.

We need to understand the philosophy and we need to adopt it ourselves in our home and family life.

What Montessori is not There are a lot of myths about Montessori. Some people believe it is only for gifted children, or only for children with a learning disability or that Montessori children can run around and do whatever they want. None of that is true! It is just as easy to describe what Montessori is not. It is not rote learning, teaching to tests, conformity, hours of homework every night, competition, sitting still at stationary desks and chairs, grades, ‘averages’, gold stars, student of the week certificates, or the transmitting of information from one teacher to many students at the same time. It is often very different to our own experiences at school, but with an open mind we can discover that our children have an opportunity for personal growth at a time in their lives where they can most benefit from it. You will be amazed at the difference when your child has a Montessori lifestyle at home as well as at school. If you’re considering Montessori for your children, or your children already attend a Montessori school, the better you understand it yourself, the better off you will be. You can enjoy a happy and calm family life and your children will be supported in their learning. I believe everyone can benefit from adopting the Montessori philosophy into their lives. I am deeply grateful that I have had the opportunity to do so, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with other Montessori parents around the world. I welcome you, wherever you may be on your Montessori journey. It is a fascinating and enlightening ride.

By Susanne van Niekerk

Having recently embarked on a course of Mindfulness training to try and find sense in this forever busy and frenetic world, I am struck again and again by the links between our ideal Montessori practice and being mindful. Mindfulness in itself is generally defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. Mindfulness is also defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. Consider the first definition - the quality or state of being conscious. The shift in the child from unconscious to conscious learning at the start of the social embryonic stage gives rise to a new dimension of being ‘conscious’ that applies to both the child and the adult. For the child, the increasing awareness of control of body and mind, and the development of the will and selfdiscipline comes with purposeful and mindful activity within a favourable environment. Anyone observing a three-year-old child working with an activity of everyday living will see the child’s total engagement not just in the activity itself, but also in this present moment. What we as adults see as the analysis of movement (something we were taught to do in teacher training college), the child savours by being totally present in that very moment.

This is the core of mindfulness training!

The child at the moment of purposeful engagement, mindfully engages hand and mind for the purpose of the process. Not the product. The process. No wonder that this ‘work’ releases within the child such peace and calm. The characteristics of the normalised child are very much the characteristics of the state of mindfulness too – the focus of one’s awareness on the present moment, calmly accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. It is fitting therefore that Montessori stated implicitly that the role of the adult included being the guardian angel of the concentrating (engaging) child’s soul!

Montessori also speaks constantly of the spiritual preparation needed by the adult working with children. This is also a form of mindfulness. If we are to be in the present moment, acknowledging and accepting our feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, what do we need to do? The Montessori adult needs to firstly be aware. We need to be aware of ourselves. Who are we? What do we believe in? Where does this belief come from? Are we secure in who and what we actually are, and stand for? Hand in hand with this comes an awareness of others in our environment. Children, parents, peers… This awareness needs to include the awareness of the fact that each of these beings has their own set of beliefs, morals, and traditions. Our awareness of who we are should therefore allow us to see and accept others for who and what they are without having the need to try and change these persons to be who or what we want them to be. This also does not mean that we necessarily need to change who we are. If improvements to the original can be made, then by all means, we should make them. But, what is more important, is that we are conscious. We need to be conscious of who and what we are. We need to be conscious of our prejudices, of stereotyping, and most certainly of discriminating. By being aware and conscious, the Montessori adult is better equipped to allow the child to be. There is no word missing in the previous sentence – we need to allow the child to BE.

The child comes into the world relatively useless (physically), unintelligent (mentally) and unsympathetic (socially). The child also comes into the world armed with innate ‘tools’ that allow her/him to adapt to the world. As the Montessori adults we therefore need awareness of how this transition happens. We need awareness of the planes of development, sensitive parenting, child development, the importance of play and of supporting the child’s human tendencies and sensitive periods. Only with this awareness can we be truly conscious in being part of the child’s moment. Only with this awareness can we consciously be truly present.

As the end of 2016 approaches, in the midst of country and world turmoil, let us all aim to be more mindful – for ourselves, for the child, and for the Earth. If You Would Grow - Shine the Light of Loving Self-Care on Yourself If you would grow to your best self Be patient, not demanding Accepting, not condemning Nurturing, not withholding Self-marveling, not belittling Gently guiding, not pushing and punishing For you are more sensitive than you know Mankind is as tough as war yet delicate as flowers We can endure agonies but we open fully only to warmth and light And our need to grow Is as fragile as a fragrance dispersed by storms of will To return only when those storm are still So, accept, respect, and attend your sensitivity A flower cannot be opened with a hammer. (Daniel F. Mead)

What it Means to Play Safe in the Sun… It’s so important to know the dangers of exposure to the sun and also how to reduce the risk of skin cancer which is the result of skin cell damage that begins in the lower part of the epidermis (the top layer of the skin). At least 80% of sun-induced skin damage occurs before the age of 18 and only manifests later in life.

Reducing the Risk The good news is that the risk of skin cancer can be reduced by respecting the sun and following these tips: • Avoid direct sunlight between 10 am and 3 pm. Stay in the shade or under an umbrella as much as possible • Wear protective clothing; wide brimmed hats and UV protective clothes / swimsuits • Wear sunglasses with a UV protection rating of minimum UV400 • Always apply sunscreen regularly (SPF of 20 – 50) according to skin type. Anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of race, age or sex. People with fair skin have a higher chance of getting skin cancer while dark-skinned people are still at risk. • Avoid Sunbeds and Sunlamps • Spot-the-spot: Check your skin carefully every month (follow A, B, C, D, E rules) – find more info here…

Screening CANSA has five mole-mapping dermoscope devices called the FotoFinder used to examine moles and help reduce the risk. Every client with suspicious skin damage is referred for an intensive skin evaluation. Examinations are available at some CANSA Care Centres. People with albinism are the most vulnerable for damage by ultraviolet radiation. CANSA successfully lobbied and helped to ensure that the government now supplies approved sunscreen (aligned to the CANSA Seal of Recognition standards) at adequate levels of supply at public hospitals.

Get to Know the Lingo… Knowing your skin is important, but knowing what terms like SPF, UV, UPF and spot-the-spot means, is just as important – especially when it comes to staying safe in the sun. • SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and is usually found on sunscreen bottles – it’s a measure of how well it protects your skin against UV rays and indicates how long you could spend in the sun before burning when protected by sunscreen, compared to when you have no sunscreen on. CANSA encourages the use of SPF 20-50 according to skin type. • UV refers to ultraviolet light emitted by the sun. UV rays have disruptive effects on skin cells, which cause sunburn, and can result in skin cancer. • UPF is similar to the SPF indication on sunscreen, but UPF is usually found on clothing. It indicates the Ultraviolet Protection Factor of clothing, sunglasses and hats, to protect you against the UV rays of the sun. • Spot-the-spot is a term to encourage you to do self-examinations on your skin. It’s important to keep a track of marks, moles and spots on your skin and to make note of any changes. Make sure to follow the ABCDE rules when doing these selfexams.

Skin Cancer Common in SA South Africa has the 2nd highest incidence of skin cancer in the world after Australia, as far as Caucasians are concerned. Myths •

• • • •

The sun is only dangerous in summer or on a hot day Sunscreen will protect me completely from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays One or two cases of sunburn won’t result in skin cancer People with darker skins are not at risk for getting skin cancer Sunbeds are a safer alternate to obtain a tan

The Truth About Tanning There is no such thing as a healthy tan – even a sunless tan… In recent years there has been a considerable increase in the use of sunless and self-tanning products such as sprays, mousses, gels, pills, nasal sprays & injections called Melanotan 1 and 11. Melanotan 11 has serious side effects, and may induce malignant melanoma. CANSA warns against this product.

Tips: Sunscreen & Protective Garments

Although some self-tanning products contain sunscreen, it offers minimal ultraviolet radiation protection. It does not provide protection from the ultraviolet rays of the sun and CANSA strongly discourages individuals to use any form of tanning product.

With credit to TED-Ed. Original video at Why do we have to wear sunscreen – Kevin P. Boyd

FOLLOW THESE TIPS 1. Use an Effective Sunscreen


• We have raised our Seal of Recognition standards & requirements for sunscreens. In addition to current SA standards, as of 1 April 2013, sunscreens bearing our Seal need to comply with the European Colipa Standards. • Our new CANSA Seal of Recognition logo (CSOR) appears on approved sunscreen products and is a guarantee that the manufacturers of these UV protective products have complied with CANSA’s strict set of criteria – see new logo to the right. • See list of CANSA’s SunSmart Sunscreen Partners… • Be sure to use a sunscreen with an SPF of between 20 and 50 & 30 and 50 for fair to very fair skin. • Products usually expire two years after manufacture – don’t use a product that has been opened and used after a year has passed.

2. Apply Sunscreen Correctly • It’s important to know the best SPF for your skintype • Always apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside and re-apply at least every two to three hours

3. Wear Protective Clothing • Wear sunglasses with a UV protection rating of UV400 • Wear protective clothing & swimsuits and thicklywoven fabric hats with wide brims – avoid caps where the neck & ears are exposed • Buy SunSmart garments & apparel… – look out for CANSA’s swing tags (right) & SunSmart Choice logo (top right) on clothing, hats & summer fun accessories.

Hey Gorgeous Gorgeously Natural Sunscreen R175 Or

Educate & Protect Children • Our youth should take special precaution when spending time in the sun – two blistering burns before the age of 18, can dramatically increase the risk of getting skin cancer later in life. • Parents and schools need to play an increasingly important role in educating our youth re being SunSmart. Unfortunately a recent study shows that most schools are not SunSmart. Read more…

Article courtesy of CANSA

Tel: 0800 22 66 22

Yes, every day. Better yet begin and end the day with fresh air. The best way to wake up and to unwind from the day. Do Not be Afraid Get dirty. Be welcoming of critters. When I heard one of my Montessori instructors say “in order to create a sense of awe and wonder in children, you need to hold back your fears”, my journey to embracing and loving every thing about the outdoors began. I could no longer say, “oh, gross,” or jump when I saw a spider, or explain my irrational dislike of raccoons in front of my children, at least when they are first discovering the natural world. Embracing and become aware of my own fears of the natural world has changed the way I explore the outdoor environment. I am definitely less afraid myself. So it is easy for me to project that onto my children.

Question & Research When I did discover these fears of mine, I took it as an opportunity to learn more about the critters. So, I was never really a fan of slugs. I held back, though, and decided, instead to accept that these creatures must exist for a reason and human should easily be able to co-exist with them. Sure enough, I was right. As I learned more about slugs and taught my children about slugs, I came to respect their existence on this great earth.

Respect & Be Kind to ALL Living Things I used to, without hesitation, stomp my foot down on spiders, beetles, and insects of all kinds. Plants were trampled upon without a second thought. Once I began learning about insects and plants, you truly do begin to respect them. You want to be kind to them, respect their place on this great earth, care for them, and make space for them. Butterflies and caterpillars are easy to accept. Bees, though, not so much. So, take five minutes to learn about the amazingness of honeybees and you will soon do all you can to make certain these insects live a healthy and prosperous life.

Explore without Hesitation, Not without Knowledge The short way of explaining this one is: don’t eat plants you don’t recognize. Exploring without boundaries is a romantic notion but let’s be honest a little education goes a long way. Understand the area. Learn about the plants and the animals living in the environment. Then you can be prepared to be safe, to explore with some security and to treat the area in a way that it needs to be treated, naturally.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take a Wilderness Survival Class I have not taken a wilderness class myself. Perhaps some day I will do so. For my boys, though, learning “survival” and other outdoor skills is a priority and will be a part of their childhood through nature immersion camps, outdoor education and the boy scouts. This learning is not so much about making sure my boys can survive if they are stranded or lost in the woods. More so, by learning these skills, they gain valuable emotional and problem solving life skills. How to stay calm. How to think outside the box. They build confidence and security in knowing they can fend for themselves, that they are truly self sufficient.

Read about Environmental Stewards and Pioneers Who were they? What inspired them? Why did they have such passion about the environment? There is so much to learn from history and others’ journeys. Let their paths inspire you to want to learn more and to be with the outdoors more.

Learn Something New Every Day We’ve all heard this one but apply it specifically to the outdoor environment whether that something new is a type of bird, a plant in your neighborhood or a vegetable you want to protect in your garden this year. Maybe even explore a new area of your region.

Teach Others One of the most satisfying and gratifying ways to appreciate and to love nature is to teach others in your life. I have witnessed my son explain to a friend what insect skates on top of the pond water, then how you can tell how old a tree is by the number of rings in its trunk. There is joy in his teaching. He sees the face of his friend light up, the eyes of his friend squint with thought and questions.

Bells - 1MM.240 Set of 13 pairs of movable brass bells that make up the chromatic scale starting with the middle C (do) as follows : a) 13 bells with natural wood bases b) 13 bells with decreasing diameters and black or white wooden bases to correspond to the piano keyboard; c) two wooden mallets for striking the bells; d) one wooden damper Mallet - 1MM.240.1 Individual wooden mallet for bells Damper - 1MM.240.2 Individual wooden damper for bells

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Bell Baseboard - 1MM.241 Set of two wooden boards with grey and white rectangular spaces corresponding to the bases of the bells

“Education should be a social and human endeavor of interest to all.” ~Maria Montessori “We want to go see Ms. Maren,” was the request of three of my former preschool students. Their mother, Pat, made arrangements for the boys to visit after school. The day arrived, and the boys came through the door, gave me a hug, then selected work off the classroom shelves. Pat and I visited over a pot of tea in the kitchen alcove. I waited for the boys to come “see” me, but they worked away and didn’t say a word. Two hours passed and it was time for them to leave. “Thank you, Ms. Maren. I love you,” each boy told me, but I felt a little like a girl who’s been taken to the prom and never asked to dance. It didn’t seem like the boys wanted to visit me at all.

The next day their father called and told me how much the boys had talked at dinner about visiting me. That is when I discovered the child’s point of view. To a child the adult in the environment and the environment are perceived as one and the same. To the boys, I was my classroom and every activity in the classroom was me. The child’s love of the adults in his or her life extends to the surroundings that include those adults. We are given, just by being present, our children’s love and trust. Children, by nature of being human, love and trust the adults in their lives, and everything around those adults. Being at grandma’s feels a lot like being with grandma.

It is this encompassing love that allows us as parents and grandparents to be powerful teachers, even if we are unaware of children learning from us. For those of us who choose to teach, we need to be fully aware of this magnificent gift of love the child offers us. On summer days, the music from the neighborhood ice cream truck brings bring back memories of my childhood: long shadows in the afternoon sun, the Oklahoma blue sky filled with cotton candy cumulus clouds, the scent of the mimosa tree, the houses across the street, my father’s aqua 1958 Fiat in the driveway. Because these memories were created by a child’s intense love of place, or the love that surrounds family, they are vivid and fresh. As an extension of the love I have for my family, these remembrances remain intact after more than fifty years. All of us, from the driver of the ice cream truck to a neighbor a block way, create a child’s sense of place, a place where love will be directed, attention will be focused, and life will be lived. Each of us plays a vital role, whether we are aware of it or not, in creating a child’s love of the world. The part we play in a child’s life, conscious or unconscious, large or small, should compel us to be the best we can be.

by Maren Schmidt

What to expect when you’re expecting: 9 tips for 9 months For some people, being pregnant may sound like a scary prospect – having the responsibility of creating a new human being and keeping them as healthy as possible. The truth is, being pregnant is not scary at all. It is a beautiful, natural process that every woman should treasure. However, even though pregnancy is natural, you still need to look after yourself, and your unborn child, which is why we have compiled a list of healthy things to do during your pregnancy – one tip for every month you are preggers. 1. Eat healthy Eating well during your pregnancy can help you to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Try not to miss any meals throughout the day, especially breakfast, as this is probably the most important meal of the day. Try to avoid foods that are uncooked such as raw fish and meat and even soft cheeses and start increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables and other healthy snacks. You should also decrease how much caffeine you eat and drink per day so less coffee and chocolate and more water!

2. Carry on exercising Don’t believe the old myths that exercising while you are pregnant can be harmful for your baby. Now we aren’t saying that you can do an intense weights session or cardio class, however exercising is one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy. There are so many classes that you can take that are specially for pregnant women such as preggibellies, preggy Pilates and preggy yoga. And if you don’t feel like partaking in one of these, a simple 15-20 minute walk, or even a quick swim when it’s hot, will do.

3. Read as much as possible and stay informed If you are pregnant for the first time, our best advice to you is to read, read, read. Not only are there hundreds of books out there, but there are many pregnancy blogs that you can read online as well. The more information you have, the less scary things may seem. Don’t forget though that your pregnancy is important to others too so don’t be afraid to ask other mothers, including your own, as many questions as you need to.

4. Take your vitamins Take a prenatal vitamin every day that contains iron and folic acid. Iron helps keep your blood healthy while folic acid helps prevent any birth defects. Speak to your doctor and pharmacist to find out which vitamin is best for you.

5. Stick to your doctor appointments There is a reason that gynecologists want to see their pregnant patients at numerous stages during their pregnancies so make sure you don’t miss them. Each appointment checks the progress of the pregnancy, making sure that both mom and baby are healthy and well. By not sticking to your appointments, you may run the risk of missing something important. And above all, don’t you want to watch the progress of your new addition?

6. Relax The best thing you can do for both yourself and your baby is to relax as much as possible. We know that it is not always easy, especially if you have a full time job and a family to look after, but did you know that stress releases toxins into your body, which may become harmful to your baby – you don’t want to risk going into early labour because you forgot to relax. Meditation and yoga can help to calm your mind and keep you stress-free.

7. Speak to your partner Don’t forget that even though you are the one carrying a baby, there were two people involved in getting you pregnant. It is important for you to share with your partner what you are going through and how you are feeling because they are left in the dark. They don’t know what it feels like when you feel your baby kick for the first time or why you are so uncomfortable near the end of your pregnancy. Communication is key as during this time, you and your partner will start forming a new type of bond.

8. Cut out unhealthy habits Smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs and taking certain medication while pregnant is without a doubt one of the most harmful things you can do to your unborn child. Not only can the toxins found in alcohol, over-the-counter medications, drugs and tobacco can cause birth defects for your child, but if you take drugs or drink while pregnant, there is a likelihood that your child will be born with an addiction.

9. Create memories Finally, one of the most special things you can do during your pregnancy is to create memories. Keep a journal and jot down all your feelings throughout the nine months – this is something that you can keep forever and maybe even one-day share with your child. You can also record your progress by taking monthly pictures of your growing belly, which you can stick into your journal.

How do we inspire our kids to be more grateful? By Rebecca Wolthers So, in today’s modern world, how do you inspire children to grow up with an attitude of gratitude instead of an “attitude”, if you know what I mean? Many psychologists have studied gratitude and its effects on our well being. People who are more grateful seem to lead more satisfying lives and are more resilient in a crisis or under pressure. I for one definitely want that for my whole family! Rudolf Steiner, known for creating Waldorf Education, said this “Gratitude is the basis for love. When children deepen their appreciation for the natural world, they deepen their love for all of creation.” An easy way to start is to simply as your kids, “What are three things you are grateful for today?” Or, for younger ones, try a rhyme or a song that appeals to you. Giving thanks before a meal is another powerful way to inspire gratitude. Here’s a sweet one for the younger kiddos:

The eagle gives thanks for the mountains,

The fish gives thanks for the sea We give our blessings for the food we are about to receive.

These Are the Chores Your Child Should Be Doing This Year Based on Their Age by ALESSIA SANTORO

If you're a mama who feels like she's doing literally everything around the house, including picking up after your very capable kids, we know how you feel. It makes some parents feel guilty to give their children mundane responsibilities like taking out the garbage, and some moms follow the "if I do it, it'll get done faster and better" mode of thinking. But the truth is, our children can — and probably should — handle more than we think. We're not suggesting you turn your child into a regular Mrs. Doubtfire, but there are a bunch of tasks around the house that can be completed by children based on their age. If you're looking to set your kiddos up with a chore chart to help them learn about hard work and having responsibilities, there's something every child can help with.

Ages 2-3 At this age, chores are a kind of code for being held accountable in the smallest way. While your kiddo is young, it's important to not do every little thing for them so that getting them to help out when they're older isn't a losing battle. Here are some things they can help you or their older siblings with: • • • • •

Put laundry in the hamper/washer. Put their toys away. Put books on the bookshelf. Help feed the family pet. Throw diapers into trash.

Ages 4-7

Ages 8-10

As your child gets a bit older, their ability to do a few small chores independently increases, especially if they were helping out with little things before their fourth birthday. As they make their way through preschool and into grade school, here are a few things they can manage: • Help set the table. • Make their bed. • Water plants/the garden. • Help put away groceries. • Put non-breakable (and not sharp) items in the dishwasher. • Switch laundry from the washer to dryer. • Help clear the dinner table. • Pack up their backpack for school. • Sort silverware. • Sweep floors.

Once they reach the higher grades of elementary school, their chore list will start snowballing from the previous age lists. Things they helped with before can likely be done by them independently now, and responsibilities can extend from things that affect just them to things that help the entire family (like setting the table for dinner). Here are a few things you can get on your 8- to 10-year-old's chore chart: • Clean their room. • Set the table. • Vacuum. • Feed the family pet. • Help wash the car. • Take out the trash. • Rake leaves. • Help cook dinner or pack lunches. • Empty/load the dishwasher. • Put away groceries. • Bring in the mail. • Fold laundry and put it away.

Age 11 and Older

By the time your child hits middle school, they're going to be asking for more and more independence in terms of social life and schoolwork, so they should be able to handle doing larger-scale chores by themselves. All kids develop differently, but as your child ages from 11 and on, chores like doing laundry and packing lunches are things your tween and teen should be capable of in time. Here some other chores to consider for kids 11 and above:

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Clean their bathroom. Help clean the kitchen. Wash dishes. Clear the table and put dishes in the dishwasher. Mow the lawn. Shovel snow. Do laundry. Pack their school lunch. Garden. Wash the car. Walk the dog. Bake/cook with limited supervision. Watch younger siblings for short periods of time (depending on state law).

So many kids today are living in 'virtual reality' and sedentary lifestyles. Yoga is an option for very young children that connects them with all living things, fosters a calmer, more emotionally stable, higher selfesteemed and more focused child and adolescent. An alternative that empowers children, rather than numbing them. Yoga is gentle, centering, calming, and can be practiced at an early age and last a lifetime. Yoga provides a gentle physical activity that helps kids to regulate their emotions and manage stress by being more centered and calm. Yoga is especially important during a child’s formative years of development. Yoga contributes to a healthier body and greater self-esteem.

We love it when we find a great source of interesting and helpful links, and we want to be one of ‘those places.’ We also think it’s helpful when you can see a brief description of WHY you should make the effort to ‘click-through.’ We’re hoping you agree!

Conscious Life Magazine

Conscious Life Magazine

By Hanna Kok How stressed are you? And how is it affecting your health, relationships, sleeping pattern, your overall sense of well-being? The higher your stress levels, the more you are just surviving. If we can understand what causes stress, then we can do something about it and we can actually reduce the stress in your life so that you thrive more and more each day.

What causes stress? The desire that our life (past, present or future) would be different. Let's explore a few examples.

Example 1: Studying For Exams Exam time is coming up and you are stressing. Maybe you don't know the material that well. You desire that the exams, were not on your doorstep, that you studied more or something else. You might be worried that you are going to fail and you desire that you will pass. Stress is caused by "fighting" with what is, instead of accepting what is and making the best of it.

How to reduce stress in exam time: Instead of worrying about the exams, it is important to accept that the exams are on your doorstep. Then you focus on what you can do.

Conscious Life Magazine

You can start with making sure you can to study as effectively as possible. One way to do that is to ensure your whole brain is "switched-on" for learning. Did you know that when you are stressed, large parts of the brain switch off up to 86%, including your frontal lobes. This is where your higher thinking is located, which you really need for problem solving, creative thinking etc. You cannot afford studying and writing exams without these frontal lobes supporting you. Did you know that whole brain functions better that than the sum of the different sections together? When all parts work in unison, we get Creative Listening, Serf-actualized communication, My Rhythm, Language with meaning and more.

Conscious Life Magazine

WHEN BECOME REALITY Growing up I can remember watching movies on the Lifetime Channel. I could watch them because all of the plots seemed so bizarre and foreign to me. Except for the one where a mother was killed by falling logs during a logging truck accident. Ever since that movie, I've had nightmares about logging trucks and am petrified of them. Ask my husband. And then one day, while pregnant with Dino, there was a logging truck accident right in front of my house. We lived on the main highway. Every ounce of my being shook, as I called my husband at work. I couldn't begin to describe how I felt in that moment, when my nightmares became reality. Little did I know, that the logging truck incident was just the beginning of a long list of Lifetime movies that would play out in my life. After Bulldo was born, I was told by my doctors, not to have anymore children. I was okay with that then. There were always other options like adoption. When Bulldo was six months old we felt the impression that a little girl was waiting to come to our family. We researched all of our options. In the end, we felt inspired to adopt through the foster care system.

The process to become certified foster parents took about nine months. And then the waiting began. I would be cleaning or putting the boys down to nap, when I'd be hit with these overwhelming feelings of sorrow and anxiety.

What was happening to my little girl, so that she could eventually come to our family? I was overcome with emotion every time. In my head, I couldn't begin to imagine what she was enduring, nor did I want to. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. I wept and grieved, praying fervently for her. Things I had only known as nightmares were reality for my daughter, and I could do absolutely nothing to stop them from happening. And then she arrived as a foster baby. Her mother surrendered her rights quickly. She was safe and she was ours. But it wasn't that simple. Permanent damage had been done before she came to us.

Our daughter had Reactive Attachment Disorder and PTSD. Adjusting to life as a parent of a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder was very difficult for me. Looking back, those first few years were the darkest times I can remember. Her screaming never stopped. She experienced night terrors. Every day seemed like a constant battle, with her refusal to let me care for her.

When I'm stressed, I don't sleep.

Parenting a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder is the most stressful thing I've ever done. Sleep was not happening. My daughter eventually grew from an infant to a toddler, and I thought times would get better. I still had hope they would anyway. But as her speech improved, she could communicate. And with communication came descriptions of flashbacks and memories of incidents from the past.

One wouldn't think a child so young would remember. But they do. Always. Every time she spoke and shared more information about what happened to her, I lost it. Since when do nightmares become reality in our home? How can this be? This isn't happening! But it was. There was no escape.

Oh, how I wanted to sleep. I wanted to enjoy the innocence of sweat dreams. But there was no innocence left. Nightmares weren't even nightmares anymore. Nightmares had become reality. And so I stayed awake. There was only one thing that could ease my mind, and that was watching medical dramas on TV. The only thing I could think of that was worse than what my daughter was telling me, was medical trauma. I would watch episode after episode of Grey's Anatomy until my eyes literally fell shut, receiving a maximum of about 4 hours of sleep each night. This went on for years. And it wasn't just me. It was her too. Every time she'd close her eyes, she'd have these vivid dreams of what was, or worse, what might happen again. We began to see paranoia in our daughter. She worried all the time and was developing OCD tendencies. She wouldn't sleep, It was too scary. In her case, medicinal intervention was necessary.

In my case, we had to stop living the drama that came with being foster parents. Because not only were we hearing about past accounts from our daughter, we were living them every day with foster children we were caring for. Until you live that lifestyle, you have no idea how many of your nightmares are reality for so many innocent children. It took two years to recover from those experiences, before I was able to sleep at night. I had to simplify life in as many ways as I could. I'd like to say the stress lessens over time, and nightmares go back to being nightmares, but it just gets worse. Except now different nightmares become reality. These new ones involve the safety of our family because of Reactive Attachment Disorder. The only thing that helps me endure it all is love. I love my daughter. If it takes every fiber of my being to help her overcome these nightmares that are reality, I'll do it. It's also that love that helps me sleep at night, even on the worst days. I need the courage and the strength to get up and do it all over again tomorrow. Without sleep, I don't have that.

I can't watch Lifetime movies anymore. Heck, I can't watch a lot of movies anymore. They're too much of a reminder of when nightmares became reality. But I can finally sleep, and so can she. We'll take the progress!

Cheesy Green Fritters Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • • • •

3 cups broccoli florets and stems, roughly chopped into 2cm (about 1 medium head of broccoli) 2 T coconut oil 1 garlic clove, minced ½ cup plain / whole-wheat flour ¼ cup grated parmesan 1 egg 2 T milk (any) ½ t salt Black pepper ¼ cup plain yoghurt 2 t lemon juice Salt and pepper

Method: • Microwave broccoli in sealed casserole dish with drizzle of water until tender - roughly 3 minutes on high. • Pop into blender and blitz until chunky. • Combine the yoghurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper and set aside as your dip. • Lightly beat egg in a bowl then add in the remaining ingredients and mix until combined. The batter will be thick before adding the broccoli. • Add the broccoli and mix to evenly disperse throughout the batter. • Heat 1 T of oil in a frying pan over medium heat, scoop the batter into the pan and cook each side for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. • Serve with the yoghurt sauce and extra lemon wedges, if desired. NOTES This recipe also works great with cauliflower.

Conscious Life Magazine

Quinoa Loaf Ingredients: • • • • • • • •

300g whole uncooked Quinoa (soaked in plenty of cold water for a few hours) 60g chia seeds (soaked in ½ cup water until gel-like for a few hours, stir a few times before using) ½ cup water 60ml olive oil ½ t bicarbonate of soda ½ t Himalayan rock salt ½ T xylitol / honey Juice from ½ lemon

Method: • Preheat oven to 160° Celsius. • Drain Quinoa and rinse thoroughly. • Place the Quinoa into a food processor followed by chia gel, water, olive oil, bicarbonate of soda, salt, sweetener and lemon juice. Mix for 3 minutes. • The batter should be fairly thick with some whole Quinoa still left in the mix. • Spoon mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper. • Bake for 1 ½ hours or until bread is firm to touch and bounces back when pressed with your fingers. • Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes in the tin, then remove it and cool completely before eating.

Conscious Life Magazine

It’s about making a difference one meal at a time! Eat green! By pledging to eat plant-based meals every Monday you will be munching your way towards a healthier body, a more sustainable planet and a more conscientious approach to eating. Love your veg and they’ll love you back! Green Monday is a global initiative promoted by Humane Society International (HSI). Watch this quick video explaining why you’re onto a good thing when you support GreenMondaySA.

Goodbye Blue Mondays! Start your week by pledging green! Get your friends, family and colleagues to get on board too.

Sign Green Monday’s pledge to eat green every Monday and help save the planet

No Bake Macaroni & “Cheese” Recipe Credit: Nikki Botha for Green Monday SA

Ingredients: • • • • •

500 g 180 ml 110 g 875 ml 12 g

Macaroni Sunflower oil All-purpose flour Soy milk Crushed garlic

• • • •

20 g 16 g 4g 10 ml

Onion powder Tomato paste Salt Lemon juice

Instructions: • • • •

Mix oil and flour in to a smooth paste. Add the soy milk and whisk until smooth. Add all the other ingredients and whisk until well incorporated. Put on a stove top and cook until sauce is smooth and thick and flour has cooked off. Do not stop stirring as your sauce will become lumpy. • In a separate pot, boil your macaroni. Do not add oil to the water as it will prevent the sauce. from properly adhering to the pasta. • When the sauce is cooked, fold in to the pasta. • Serve hot. Photo credit: House of Vizion

The pomegranate is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and was cultivated over the whole Mediterranean region since ancient times. This nutrient dense, antioxidant rich fruit has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life. A compound called punicalagin found only in pomegranates shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. Punicalagin is the major component responsible for pomegranate’s antioxidant and health benefits. It not only lowers cholesterol, but also lowers blood pressure and increases the speed at which heart blockages melt away

More Benefits Of Eating Pomegranates Stomach Disorders Pomegranate peel, bark and leaves are used to calm disorders of the stomach or the diarrhea caused by any kind of digestive problems. Drinking tea made from the leaves of this fruit also helps in curing your digestive problems. Pomegranate juice is also used for handling problems like dysentery and cholera.

Cancer The antioxidants present in pomegranate helps in the combination process of free radicals inside body. So it gives protection against breast cancer and protest cancer, the nutritional benefits of pomegranate works by preventing the body from cancer disease.

Anemia Healthy blood flow can be maintained in the body by consuming this fruit in any form. Pomegranate supplies iron to the blood, thus helping to reduce symptoms of anemia, including exhaustion, dizziness, weakness, and hearing loss.

Diabetes For diabetic patients, drinking pomegranate juice can reduce the risk of various coronary diseases. Along with this, there is a reduction in the hardening of the arteries, which can inhibit the development of various heart diseases.

Witches Hat Treats for Halloween Ingredients ice cream cones chocolate biscuits (digestives work well) melted chocolate sweets for decoration Dip the cone bottom in the chocolate and stick them to the biscuits. Then leave for a bit to stick. Dribble the cone in chocolate. It doesn’t matter if they get a bit messy. You could also use black icing. Decorate with the sweets, using green and orange smarties and little stars. They look really good for a Halloween party.



? By Ilse Makowka

So much has changed in the last 50 odd years. We’ve seen racial segregation, political and traditional family structures erode and evolve under the influence of civil rights, women’s liberation, the sexual revolution, financial deregulation, and creation of the Internet. Faced with the devastating consequences blind pillaging of our natural resources brought, we are slowly exploring sustainable alternatives. Why do things change? Because someone starts questioning why we do what we do. The time has come to question why we feed our pets the way we do.

So we end up with a bowl of dehydrated, starch based, processed non-food, but are assured that it provides everything our pets need – scientifically speaking ‘nogal.’

Historically we’ve been conditioned to accept processed pet non-food (kibble) as the norm. More recent efforts to improve the offering were entirely focused on supplements – with marketing drives punting ‘balance’ and ‘complete meal’. For whose benefit are these statements made?

Let’s consider human food for a moment. We now know that processed, fast food don’t do us any good, nutritionally speaking. Why would this be different for animals? A thought that must have occurred to more and more people, culminating into the cage rattling Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (“BARF”) diet debate in the early 2000’s.

Founded by Australian veterinary surgeon, Dr Ian Billinghurst, the BARF diet finally presented an approach that made sense. (And thank goodness he’s a vet.) At its core, BARF purports a species appropriate diet for dogs and especially cats, based on meat combined with the appropriate veg & fruit ratio – no grains, preservatives, or flavourings. The food is fed raw to ensure no nutrients and living enzymes (aiding digestion) are killed during the manufacturing process; optimizing absorption of these nutrients by the body. Understandably this idea upsets the kibble applecart and pro lobbyists are adamant in their objections, citing the ‘scientific’, ‘hygienic’ and ‘balanced/complete meal’ properties dry pet food annexed. For us it’s a simple test of logic: On the one hand, we have dehydrated, grain based, biologically inappropriate, processed pellets containing supplements, flavourants and preservatives. On the other, a fresh meal made with real meat and veg/fruit, bursting with nutrients in a form that the body can easily process and absorb.

It’s certainly not rocket science. As with anything, however, we need to be discerning in the consumer choices we make. Do your own research around BARF principles, the importance of raw, meaty bones and fasting (for dogs). When choosing a raw food brand, carefully scrutinize ingredients, including meat source and meat/veg/fruit ratios.

Feed your pets real food and watch them thrive!

HALLOWEEN Are you celebrating Halloween? I found 10 yard decorations you and the kids can make!

By Nicolette Roux

Do you celebrate Halloween? Do you decorate your backyard? Let the kids help with all these fun kid-made backyard decoration ideas for Halloween! Click here for ideas and many more crafts:

Monsters and magic can help kids through tough times. Here’s how.

(istockphoto) By Kate Milford and Fran Wilde

In fiction, dystopias come and go, but magic and monsters are forever. During times of real-world upheaval, tales of fantasy can provide a useful escape into wonder. But can these stories also provide real, useful coping mechanisms to kids muddling through difficult times?

We say, emphatically, yes.

Last March, one of us (Fran) spent a day at Ridge Elementary in Richmond, Va., teaching a writing workshop to 80 fifth graders, soon after some pretty scary world events. The school’s theme that year was Superheroes and Ridge Elementary’s hallways and library were filled with bright Bam! and Pow! posters. Even a library mascot, a horse, wore a red super-cape. Fran walked into the library and the students were waiting, wondering what the heck a fantasy author had to do with superheroes, the challenges they were facing at home, at school, and what was happening in the world. (Fran notes: I have to admit I was wondering about that, too …) ‘Superheroes! Pretty great right?’ she said. She got nods all around, some smiles. A few kids played with their pencils and elbowed each other. Then she asked, ‘You guys want to make some monsters?’ You could hear a pencil drop. From the back, she heard a whispered, ‘YESSSSS.’ And for the next hour, they walked through how Fran built monsters in her books by taking a familiar thing, mixing it with something scary, figuring out its weaknesses and fears, then setting it loose. At the end, students shared their monsters: from flying washing machines, impervious to everything except blackouts; to lots of giant spiders, variously armored; a clown with flames for hair; and a basketball with teeth. The students talked about why their monsters were the scariest, and then they all set out to see if they might overcome the monsters together. That’s when the room got really interactive, with kids helping each other solve problems related to defending against the monsters they’d built out of things that scared them. Monster building is a great way to talk with young students and our own children about the creative process. It’s also a problem-solving exercise that helps with real-world fears: If you can imagine how to make a monster, you can figure out how to disassemble one, too..

The world is confusing, especially right now. Even though both of us have been adults for some time now we still look at the world outside our own walls and feel confusion, if not actual fear, at what we see. It’s impossible for our kids not to be affected by tensions in the world around them: media is everywhere and by the time kids are in middle school, they are, if anything, more connected to it than adults. They’re living with the same confusion and fears these days that we are, and they have fewer tools for understanding and coping with it.

Reading about and making up monsters can help kids build realworld problem-solving skills to address those fears. So can magic, in very similar ways, by teaching about complex systems and how to use them. Writers often start the work of creating a magical world by putting together a logical system with consistent rules to govern it. For a reader, part of the work of enjoying these books is learning the rules of the system, often alongside the characters as they figure out how to make that system work for them. Just like with the monster workshop, this kind of engagement involves problem-solving and creative thinking. It involves figuring out how to function in a place that is much bigger than one small person, and how to survive there until you can figure out how to thrive there, or to change it for the better. And here’s the important part: the magic, and the monsters, too, are never fully the point of the stories. Often it isn’t magic that ultimately wins the day, and the monsters are rarely the end of the world. Instead, it’s the characters who solve problems using real life skills that win and save the day. Magic is secondary, for instance, at the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. In reality, it is athleticism that aids Harry in catching the key, strategic thinking that leads Ron to a win at wizard chess, and logic that helps Hermione work out which potions will move Harry forward to the showdown and her backward to safety. Athleticism, strategy, logic: things that are within reach to many kids in one form or another, and that can be applied in their real-world lives.

Magic enchants readers while underscoring the fact that heroes can win by using tools that we, too, possess. Monsters teach similar things.

When engaging with magic and monsters, young readers (and young writers too) are studying some really important stuff: how to persevere and solve problems, even when the world seems unfamiliar and scary or strange.

Selected (and not at all finite) Book Suggestions (in somewhat ageascending order): Ed Emberly — Go Away, Big Green Monster Maurice Sendak — Where the Wild Things Are Grace Lin — Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky J.K. Rowling — The Harry Potter Series Lewis Carroll, — Through the Looking Glass, Alice in Wonderland Diana Wynne Jones — (everything but especially …) Howl’s Moving Castle, The Dalemark Quartet Lloyd Alexander’s — The Chronicles of Prydain C.S. Lewis — The Chronicles of Narnia Tracey Baptiste — The Jumbies E. Nesbitt — The Enchanted Castle Bruce Coville — A Magic Shop series Shaun Tan — The Arrival L. Frank Baum — The Wonderful Wizard of Oz J. R. R Tolkien — The Hobbit Susan Cooper — The Dark Is Rising Series Patrick Ness — A Monster Calls Jonathan Auxier — The Night Gardener Cindy Pon — Serpentine


Conscious Life Magazine

Delicious Hamper of the awesomely healthy new My T Iced. The latest creation from our friends at My T Chai, these iced teas are filled with goodness, delicious natural flavours to cool you down this Summer. We are hooked and we know that you and your friends will be too!! To enter email your addresses and your phone number to Subject: Subscribe. T’s & C’s: Only open to SA Residents, Competition Closes 10 November

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Child of the Universe Montessori Mag-Nificence Oct 2016 ed 28  

In this edition we help you choose the right Montessori school for your child for next year, and what questions to ask the schools. The Mont...

Child of the Universe Montessori Mag-Nificence Oct 2016 ed 28  

In this edition we help you choose the right Montessori school for your child for next year, and what questions to ask the schools. The Mont...