Posted in Au Pairing, writing

The book writing continues…

Writing didn’t go well for a while, but since I’ve decided to carry the book in my handbag it’s been going a little better. I’ve written every day for a whole week now and finally feeling like I’m making some progress. I’m having trouble planning an overview of all the things I want to include in my book. If anyone has some practical advice, please share!

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Posted in Au Pairing

Water warriors video

The girls and I live in South Africa and our region is experiencing one of the worst droughts ever! At the moment our municipality has level 6b water restrictions in place, which means we have to limit our water consumption to under 50l per person per day.

With that in mind, the girls’ school has been running a campaign to encourage the children to create awareness about ways to save water and limit water usage. They can do this in various such as a poem, rap, poster, or video clip.

The girls, who every now and then try to get me to create a YouTube channel, decided to make a video clip. I wrote the script which thankfully they liked first time, and they practiced their lines for a day and a half before they were ready to film. Armed with my phone, we started filming! We had do-overs, lots of laughs, and learnt a lot about video editing!! There was a time-crunch so in the end it was a bit of a rush but all things considered, not a poor effort at all.

I’m looking forward to the feedback from the school. The girls worked really hard and I hope positive feedback will encourage them to do more projects like this.

Posted in Au Pairing, writing

Making writing a habit

I love writing and thankfully the girls are into it to. When they were younger one of their favourite things to do was to create books. They’d narrate while I wrote and then we’d illustrate the story.

Late last year we decided to start writing a book about us, a career as an au pair, and how to be awesome at it. We haven’t added to it this year yet, with all the new school work, activities and and and… Writing definitely hasn’t been a priority. It’s always in the back of my mind though. Who knows, one day I might actually finish the book and get it published. 🙂

So, the plan for now is to write 50 words a day (small gains are better than none) and to encourage the girls to work on it to. Here’s to hard work and building habits! What habits are you building?

Posted in Au Pairing

A little down time…

Wow, what a crazy couple of weeks!! The girls and I, both together and apart, have been busy with various activities that wouldn’t normally form part of our weekly routine. From me encountering some serious issues on the websites I administrate, to the girls’ school athletics events, settling into grade 4, and birthday party preparations, life has really seemed like a whirlwind that’s just tugging us along.

It’s difficult to feel like that as an adult and even worse as a child since many of the things that happen to you as a child are not in your control. And the stress is still very much real!

In the past weeks I’ve tried hard to listen to their feelings and concerns and empathize with them. Which I usually do anyway, but it’s been even more important recently because we’ve been so busy.

It’s so important to make children feel heard (which is not the same as letting them get their own way) because it’s empowering to be taken seriously. And I think it helps them feel like they have some control over what happens in their lives and can also build resilience when things don’t go as planned.

I’m going to leave this article as is for now, but I’m definitely open to comments and discussions. Please let me know what you think in the comments section…

Posted in Au Pairing

First day back and our new afternoon routine

I didn’t post yesterday because I was absolutely finished by the time I got home from au pairing!

The girls enjoyed their first day back and relished in the fact that they each have 11 books that need to be covered! Eleven! We spent yesterday afternoon getting into a new routine and looking for pictures for the covers of the books.

Here’s a rundown of the afternoon routine:

  • Arrive home and take a break. This includes having a snack, chatting, etc. – 30 min
  • Refill water bottles, sort school clothes, and pack sports things for the following day. – 15 min
  • Start and complete homework. – 1 h
  • Revision – 45 min

I don’t have specific times because our afternoons differ. Also, the times we’ve allocated may differ; specifically the homework and revision times. But that’s part of planning: having a routine that’s adaptable if it’s not working. After all, routines are supposed to make your life easier, not feel stressed and restricted!

Yesterday, we also did some planning, which always makes me happy! I’m so thankful that the girls love being organised (almost) as much as I do! They came home with the school’s term plan so we wrote relevant events in our diaries.

A busy term ahead and I think we’re all up to the challenge!

Posted in Au Pairing

‘‘Twas the day before the start of the school year…

And I think I’m more excited than the girls! They’re going to Grade 4 and I’m really looking forward to seeing how they embrace the new subjects and work load.

I’m studying a Bachelor of Education (Intermediate and Senior Phase) Degree through Unisa, so they’re entering my realm of expertise. 🙂 Might sound weird, but I can’t wait to supervise homework and help them build kick-ass study skills from early on. I could’ve done a lot better in school if I had had someone to show me how to study properly right from the beginning. I feel privileged to be able to pass on some of my knowledge to them!

This afternoon we went to the library and got a couple of reading and puzzle books. We also played in the pool and played some LEGO too. I love that the girls enjoy the same activities I used to as a child!