Don't kid yourself about BA degrees

Don't kid yourself about BA degrees

Prof. Jonathan Jansen


"So what's the difference between a BA degree and a large pizza?" one of my student leaders recently asked a large group of parents inquiring about sending their child to university. "A large pizza can feed a family of four," she joked. I laughed, then cried, said Prof. Jansen

Laughed, because of the obvious wit of the comparison. Cried, because this is one of the most misleading pieces of information about BAs in South Africa today.

It was not that I had not overheard "BA jokes". At my previous university, there was rampant talk among female students of a "BA man-soek" specialisation (BA find-a-husband). After all, what other reason could you have for doing a BA than to prowl the campus for a life mate?

Sadly, many parents buy into this myth about the uselessness of a BA. The actuarial science degree gets you a specific job, as do degrees in marketing, optometry or accountancy. With this common-sense, though often wrong understanding of a degree, parents guide their children away from a BA towards "something more practical" or "something that can get you a job".

The truth is I have seen as many BA students get good jobs as I have seen BComm Accounting students without jobs. In fact, I would argue that a BA from a good university is likelier to get you different kinds of jobs - not a bad option in an economic recession - than a single-career job that comes with a degree in physiotherapy or in law.

Why is that? A good BA qualification from a good university would have taught you generic competencies seldom learnt in narrow occupational degrees. A good BA would have given you the foundations of learning across disciplines like sociology, psychology, politics, anthropology and languages. A good BA would have given you access to critical thinking skills, appreciation of literature, understanding of cultures, the uses of power, the mysteries of the mind, the organisation of societies, the complexities of leadership, the art of communication and the problem of change. A good BA would have taught you something about the human condition, and so something about yourself. In short, a good BA degree would have given you a solid education that forms the basis for workplace training.

The head of Johannesburg's Stock Exchange, a gentle man called Russell Loubser, taught me a valuable lesson the other day. I was talking to this astute businessman about the training function of universities when he gently chided me, the education man, with timeless wisdom. "No professor," he said, "you educate them. I train them."

This is where the American colleges get it right when they talk about a liberal arts education in the undergraduate years. There is more than enough time for the occupational training that comes later and is best done in the workplace.

What we fail to do at South African universities is educate young minds broadly in ethics, values, reasoning, appreciation, problem solving, argumentation and logic. Locked into single-discipline thinking, our young people fail to learn that the most complex social and human problems cannot be solved except through interdisciplinary thinking that crosses these disciplinary boundaries.

Anyone who thought HIV/Aids was simply an immunological problem is the victim of the kind of narrow training restricted to the biomedical sciences. The syndrome is as much a sociological, economic, political and cultural problem as it might be a problem of virology. Do not get me wrong: HIV causes Aids, period. What I am arguing is that its resolution will take more than an injection, and that is the broader value that a BA degree can offer a well-educated youngster.

So the next time you hear people make jokes about a worthless BA degree, tell them about Bobby Godsell (the BA graduate who served as the CEO of AngloGold Ashanti), Vincent Maphai (the BA graduate who rose to serve as chairman of BHP Billiton), Clem Sunter (the famous scenario planner and former chairman of the Anglo American Chairman's Fund), Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (the former deputy president of South Africa) or Saki Macozoma (the chairman of Stanlib and Liberty Life).

The list of highly successful graduates with BAs, or equivalent degrees, is endless.

Then go out and buy your family a large pizza!!

Artcle by: Prof Jonathan Jansen, on 09 June 2016

Milestones for Child Development

Milestones of child development (Birth to 5 years)

Your baby is growing up: first smile; first steps; first words. All babies develop on their own timelines but what are the milestones to look out for? There's more to tracking your baby's development than logging height and weight. You can look for signs of emerging motor and language skills in the very first months of your baby's life.

We have compiled an overview of childhood development from birth to five years of age. This information is presented to help parents understand what to expect from their child. It's a good idea for parents to watch for these early childhood milestones, along with the more obvious "firsts" such as walking and talking. Just be careful about comparing your child with peers or older siblings.

Remember that each child is an individual and there's a wide range for when children achieve a particular milestone. For example, children walk as early as 9 months or as late as 14 months. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range.

Spotting Development Delays

So, how can you tell the difference between a child who is just taking his or her time and one who has a true developmental delay? A developmental delay is when a child does not reach a milestone by the upper range of normal. Even though babies develop at their own pace, every child should do certain tasks by a certain age. These tasks fall into five main categories:

  • Gross motor skills, such as crawling and walking.

  • Fine motor skills, such as stacking blocks or colouring.

  • Language skills.

  • Thinking skills.

  • Social interaction.

    Remember, a child can stray from this timeline and still be within the range of normality, but it's best to always discuss any concerns with your paediatrician.





Birth to 1 Month

Can make basic distinctions in vision, hearing, smelling, tasting, touch, temperature, and perception of pain.

2 Months to 3 Months

Smiles at the sound of your voice and can control eye muscles – baby follows you with their eyes as you move around in a room. Raises head and chest when lying on stomach. Grasps objects. Smiles at other people and visually fixates at a face, may be soothed by rocking.

4 Months to 6 Months

Can control steady head and arm movements, babbles, laughs, and tries to imitate sounds. Recognizes his mother. Distinguishes between familiar persons and strangers, no longer smiles indiscriminately. Expects feeding, dressing, and bathing. Rolls from back to stomach and stomach to back. Moves objects from hand to hand.

7 Months to 9 Months

Finds partially hidden objects. Protests separation from mother. Enjoys “peek-a-boo”. Control of upper body and hands, sits without support, crawls about, babbles "mama" and "dada".

10 Months to 1 Year

Control of legs and feet, stands, creeps, apposition of thumb and fore-finger. Walks with or without support. Says one or two words, enjoys imitating sounds and people. Responds to simple commands like giving and taking objects, and responds to own name. Waves bye-bye and understands “No!”

1 Year to 1 ½ Years

Walks independently and creeps up stairs. Shows interest in feeding themselves and drinks from a cup. Obeys limited commands and can say at least 15 words. Interested in his mirror image and points to body parts. Can make lines on paper with crayon.

1 ½ Years to 2 Years

Runs and jumps and kicks a ball. Speaks in two-word sentences and has vocabulary of more than 200 words. Follows simple instructions. Begins make-believe play. Capable of bowel and bladder control.

2 Years to 3 Years

Climbs well, jumps off a step, rides a tricycle and uses crayons. Speaks in multiword sentences and uses “I” “me” “you”. Copies parents’ actions and has a fear of separation from parents which can be seen through dependent, clinging behaviour. Resists parental demand and gives orders. Rigid insistence on sameness of routine. Inability to make decisions. Sorts objects by shape and colour. Possessive about toys, enjoys playing alongside another child.

3 Years to 4 Years

Gets along with people outside the family, and imitated parents. Draws circles and squares and rides a tricycle, stands on one leg, jumps up and down, draws a circle and a cross. Likes to share, uses “we” and will cooperate with other children while playing. Beginning of identification with same-sex parent, practices gender-role activities. Intense curiosity & interest in other children’s bodies.

4 Years to 5 Years

Mature motor control, skips, broad jumps, dresses themselves, copies a square and a triangle. Tells name and address. Talks clearly, uses adult speech sounds, has mastered basic grammar, relates a story, knows over 2,000 words and counts 10 or more objects. Prefers to play with other children, becomes competitive & prefers gender-appropriate activities.

If Your Child Seems Behind

If your child doesn't match up to the timeline, don't panic. More often than not, these are minor problems, often there's not even a delay. Sometimes a parent just isn't giving the child opportunities. For example, a baby may not sit alone because he's always being held, rather than having time on the floor.

If there is a more serious reason for the delay, early intervention not only improves the child's functioning, but improves the relationship between parent and child and the parent's understanding of the condition. All in all, it appears that when an intervention is in place there are benefits to the child and society in the long term, such as better performance in school.

How Parents Can Help

Parents can follow the following tips to encourage your child's development:

Gross Motor Skills

  • Place infants on their tummies while awake to develop neck and back muscles.

  • Create a safe home environment and put babies on the floor to explore.

  • Give older children time outside where they can run and jump.

    Fine Motor Skills

  • Provide toys with different textures that encourage babies to explore with their fingers.

  • Provide age-appropriate puzzles, blocks, paper and crayons.

  • Encourage babies to feed themselves.

    Language Skills

  • Play music for newborns to stimulate hearing.

  • Talk to your child.

  • Read to your child.

  • Name objectsas you point to pictures in a book.

    Social Interaction

  • Laugh and smile with your baby.

  • Limit television - rather play with your child.

    Social interaction is more important than we've realised in the past. Don't leave children by themselves. Being engaged with your child on a daily basis is very important


Artcle by: INTERCARE Newsletter, Issue 10, on 02 April 2015

Developing Fine Motor Skills

Developing Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills can be defined as small muscle movements: those that occur in the finger, in coordination with the eyes. Teaching fine motor skills is similar to teaching other skills because the instructor must always try to be patient and understanding. Fine motor skills won't develop over-night, but with time and practice. Here are some suggestions for developing fine motor skills, and some activities to use to practice them:

A. Cutting
Use a thick black line to guide cutting the following:

  1. A fringe from a piece of paper
  2. Cut off corners of a piece of paper
  3. Cut along curved lines
  4. Cut lines with a variety of angles
  5. Cut figures with curves and angles
  6. Cut clay with blunt scissors

B. Placing and Pasting

Place a variety of forms (eg. blocks, felt, paper, string, yarn, cereal, cotton) on outlines

  1. Match shapes, color, or pictures to a page and paste them within the outlines

C. Tracing and Coloring

Use a thick black line if needed

  1. Trace and then color shapes, increasing the size and complexity gradually

D. Self-Care Skills (not listed in order of difficulty)

  1. Buttoning
  2. Lacing
  3. Tying
  4. Fastening Snaps
  5. Zipping
  6. Carrying
  7. Using a screwdriver
  8. Locking and unlocking a door
  9. Winding a clock
  10. Opening and closing jars
  11. Vacuuming a rug
  12. Rolling out dough or other simple cooking activities
  13. Washing plastic dishes
  14. Sweeping the floor
  15. Dressing
  16. Bathing

E. Finger Tracing

Many times when a child is unable to do a worksheet, it helps to trace the pattern with his finger before he tries it with a pencil.

  1. Have the child trace a pattern in sand, cornmeal, finger paint, etc. The textures give the child kinesthetic feedback.

F. Pre-Writing

  1. Dot-to-dot drawings of pictures, objects, shapes, numbers, letters, etc.
  2. Typing exercises
  3. Tile and mosaic work
  4. Folding activities
  5. Fine coloring
  6. Have the child do repetitive strokes (with an increasingly smaller writing tool) similar to those found in manuscript or cursive letters. Emphasize accuracy, spacing and flow or rhythm. Sometimes doing it to music helps.

G. Writing

  1. Have the child write in the air and in front of his eyes (arm outstretched) with his finger.
  2. To increase his tactile awareness, have him trace over letters on textured surfaces. Have him manipulate 3-dimensional letters when blindfolded.
  3. When a writing tool is introduced, letters which involve similar strokes should be taught first (moving simple to complex). Next, combinations of letters in short words, sentences and finally spontaneous writing. (Remember to use words which are within the child's reading vocabulary).

Things to remember:

Upright working surfaces promote fine motor skills. Examples of these are: vertical chalkboards; easels for painting; flannel boards; lite bright; magnet boards (or fridge); windows and mirrors; white boards, etc. Kids can also make sticker pictures; do rubber ink-stamping; use reuseable vinyl stickers to make pictures; complete puzzles with thick knobs; use magna-doodle and etch-a-sketch as well. The benefits for these include: having the child's wrist positioned to develop good thumb movements; they help develop good fine motor muscles; the child is using the arm and shoulder muscles.

In general, it is more fun to learn while you play. Keep that in mind when teaching fine motor skills. Try to incorporate activities like dress-up to teach zipping and buttons; card creations to practice writing or tracing skills; cutting and pasting to make a creation other than just a plain piece of paper, etc.

Be creative and have fun!

Artcle by: Compiled by Loubina Buxamusa, on 01 April 2015

The Piano Lesson



Wishing to encourage her young son’s progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert.  After they were seated, the mother spotted an old friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. 

Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked “NO ADMITTANCE”.

When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing.  Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on the stage. 

In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.

At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy’s ear: “Don’t quit.  Keep playing”.  Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part.  Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato.  Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience.  The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn’t recall what else the master played.  Only the classic “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.

Perhaps that’s the way it is with God.  What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results are not always graceful, flowing music.  However, with the hand of the Master, our life’s work can truly be beautiful. 

The next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully.  You may hear the voice of the Master whispering in your hear: “Don’t quit.  Keep playing”.  May you feel His arms around you and know that His hands are there, helping you turn your feeble attempts into true master pieces.

 Remember, God doesn’t call the equipped; rather, He equips the called ! 

Life is more accurately measured by the lives one touches, than by the things you acquire.

Artcle by: Anonymous, on 21 May 2014



It was written by an 8-year-old   named Danny Dutton, who lives in  Chula Vista  ,  CA . He   wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to 'explain God.' I wonder if any   of us could have done as well? 

(and he had such an assignment,   in  California  , and someone published it, I guess miracles do   happen!)


'One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace  the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are   smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable   time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and  fathers.'

'God's  second most important job is listening to prayers An awful lot of this goes  on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.'

'God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's   head asking for something they said you couldn't have.'

   'Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church.'

'Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said 'O.K.' And God did not let Jesus stay in the grave, but raised him from the dead.
   'His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in   heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.'

   'You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.'
   'You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God!
   Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noonanyway.'

   'If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely,   because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.'

   ' shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.
   And...that's why I believe in God.'

Artcle by: Danny Dutton, on 26 August 2013

What is a crockodile?

What is a crocodile? (RSA pupil's answer). 

This is a real life exam answer of a grade 5 (Std 3) primary school pupil's 2nd
term exam.

Write an essay on the following: "What is a crocodile?" 

Use block letters and write legibly.

Name : Christiaan Janse van Vuuren

Date : Maandag 


The crokodile is a specially built so long because the flatter the better

At the front of the crokodile is the head. The head exists almost only of

Behind the crokodile the tail grows. 

Between the head and the tail is the crokodile. 

A crokodile without a tail is called a rotweiler.

A crokodiles body is civered with handbag material. 

He can throw his tail off if he gets a fright but it doesn't happen much
because a crokodile is scared of nothing.

A crokodile stays under the water because if you were so ugly, you would also
stay under the water. 

It is good that a crokodile stays under the water because a person gets such a
big fright if a crokodile catches you that he first has to rinse you off before
he can eat you.

A crokodile isn't hardly as dangerous as people say he is, except if he catches

The longer he bites you, the more it hurts. 

Very old crokodiles suck their people and buck that they catch dead.

If you eat him, he is a crokosatie. 

A crokodile did not learn to swim with his arms so he uses his tail. 

The little brother of a crokodile is a lizard.

The slow sister of the crokodile is a chamelon. 

The gay brother of the crokodile is a dafodil, and the crokodil also has a dead
brother, he is a frikadel.

Artcle by: Anonymous, on 23 August 2013

Brief van 'n ouer...

29 Julie 2013


Liewe Mev Pauwels,


Ek wil ‘n omblik vat om vir julle te vertel van my dogtertjie Michaela Basson se rapport.

Vandat sy die Lees program(Academics) daagliks gebruik, het haar lees verbeter en haar punte met plus minus 10% opgegaan.

Sy het altyd gesê: “Ek hou van lees maar ek kan nie lees nie”.

Nou lees sy elke dag vir haar baba sussie of vir my.

Sy geniet die program vreeslik baie – sy sal vir ure daarop wees en elke oefening oor en oor doen.

Met ouer- aand het haar Juffrou gesê dat Michaela se lees is puik en sy verstaan beter.

Ek wil baie dankie sê vir julle programme en dat julle die kinders daar buite help om ‘n beter toekoms te kan hê.



Zarnè de Lange

Artcle by: Zarne de Lange, on 29 July 2013


"Logic will get you from A tp B.   Imagination will take you everywhere!"

Artcle by: Albert Einstein, on 10 June 2013

Talking on a plane

An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane.

He turned to her and said, "Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."

The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, "What would you want to talk about?"

"Oh, I don't know," said the atheist. "How about why there is no God, or no heaven or hell, or no life after death?" and he smiled smugly.

"Okay," she said. "Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?"

The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."

To which the little girl replied, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss God, heaven and hell, or life after death, when you don't know poo?"

And then she went back to reading her book.

Artcle by: Anonymous, on 24 May 2013



Just for this morning, I am going to
smile when I  see your face and laugh
when I feel like crying.

Just for this morning, I will let you
choose what  you want to wear,
and smile and say how perfect it is. 

Just for this morning, I am going to step
over the laundry and pick you up and take you to
the  park to play.

Just for this morning, I will leave  the
dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to  put
that puzzle of yours together.

Just for  this afternoon, I will unplug
the telephone and keep the  computer off, and sit with
you in the backyard and blow  bubbles.

Just for this afternoon, I will not yell 
once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and
whine  for the ice cream truck, and I will buy you one
if he comes  by.

Just for this afternoon, I won't worry
about what  you are going to be when you grow up, or
second guess every decision I have made where you are

Just for this afternoon, I will let you
help me  bake cookies, and I won't stand over you
trying to fix  them.

Just for this afternoon, I will take us 
to McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can 
have both toys

Just for this evening, I will  hold you in
my arms and tell you a story about how you were 
born and how much I love you.

Just for this  evening, I will let you
splash in the tub and not get angry. 
Just for this evening, I will let you
stay up  late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars. 

Just for this evening, I will snuggle
beside  you for hours, and miss my favourite TV shows.

Just for  this evening when I run my
finger through your hair as you  pray, I will simply be
grateful that God has given me the  greatest gift ever given.

I will think about the mothers  and
fathers who are searching for their missing children,  the
mothers and fathers who are visiting their children's 
graves instead of their bedrooms. The mothers
and  fathers who are in hospital rooms
watching their  children suffer senselessly and screaming
inside that little  body

And  when I kiss you good night I will hold
you a little tighter,  a little longer. It is then,
that I will thank God for you,  and ask him for
nothing, except one more  day..............

Artcle by: A Dad from Zimbabwe, on 18 May 2013

Seven things that kids with special needs can teach the world...

1. Forgive quickly – move on with life.

            People may not understand me all the time. That’s OK. I have too many other important things to do than to worry about that. I’ll choose to leave them in God’s hands.

2. Love unconditionally.

            This is the real kind of love that shines to all around you. The pure kind of love; The really powerful kind of love; People tell me it’s contagious.

3. Don’t judge people by how they look or by what’s on the outside.

            There could be a wonderful heart inside, and sometimes you may miss it, if you don’t take the time to look a little deeper.

4. Be a warrior and celebrate your victories.

            Fight hard to achieve, even though it may not seem so important to the world. It’s “big” to me, it took a long time for me to get there. Celebrate every milestone of success.

            In fact, we celebrate a lot.

5. Slow down. I may not move as fast as you.

            Sometimes you’re too busy, sometimes you’re too fast. Take the time to know me. I’m really cool. Get on my level. Look in my eyes. Listen to me. I have a lot to say even     though my language may sound a little different from yours. I speak with my heart.

6. Be kind with your words.

            People tell me I’m amazing. People tell me I’m special. God tells me that all that time. I like that. There are other words that aren’t OK. Words that make kids with special needs feel bad. Words that make our parents feel sad. If we all stopped using those words, the world would be a happier place - for all of us.

7. Just be you. That’s it. It’s simple.

            It’s OK to just be who you are. Whom you were created to be. God tells me that He can do great things through little things. Look at me. I’m little. And God is doing big things through me. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to try to be someone else. God made me perfectly and He doesn’t make mistakes. And God made you perfectly too. Sometimes you’re too hard on yourself. Say God’s words to your heart, “you are awesome, you are valuable, you are special, you have purpose, you are not a mistake, you are amazing, you have my blessings, you will do great things.”

I look at this list, and it still seems inadequate, so abbreviated. It could be much longer. There is much to learn from watching kids who know what it is to have constant challenges in life, who understand the struggle to achieve. But what seems to be the common bond in all of these things, amidst the reality of obstacles in life, is simply this – it communicates the very heart of God.

God shines on them. His heart is within them. He has indeed blessed them – to see differently than the world sees. He has given them a great gift. That is a treasure we can glean from.

Learn from the special needs families in your life. Love them. Value them. Cheer for them. Fight for them. Support them. Encourage them.

It is guaranteed – your life will be greatly enriched. You will begin to see things differently – through the eyes of a special child.

A child who has the very heart of God…

Artcle by: FaceBook Group - Autism Moms, on 09 May 2013


The 'Middle Wife' by an anonymous 2nd year teacher

I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second year classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually,  show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that.  And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her jumper.

She holds up a photo of an infant. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday.'

'First, Mum and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mum's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.'

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

'Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mum starts saying and going, 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. 'She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)

'My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mum to lie down in bed like this.' (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

'And then, pop!  My Mum had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!' (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands mimicking water flowing away. It was too much!)

'Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe'.
They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-centre, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there.'

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat.

I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another ' Middle Wife' comes along.

Artcle by: From a Teacher, on 22 April 2013

What a shame that so many teachers now a days can't make this claim...

From A School Principal's speech at a graduation...
He said:

"Doctor wants his child to become a doctor.........
Engineer wants his child to become an engineer......
Businessman wants his ward to become CEO.....
BUT a teacher also wants his child to become one of them...!!!!
Nobody wants to become a teacher BY CHOICE.

Very sad but that's the truth.....!!!

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.
One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued,
"What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

To stress his point he said to another guest;
"You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"

Teacher Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied,
"You want to know what I make?
(She paused for a second, then began...)

"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor winner.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 min. without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.

You want to know what I make?
(She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table)

I make kids wonder.

I make them question.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.

I teach them how to write and then I make them write.
Keyboarding isn't everything.

I make them read, read, read.

I make them show all their work in math.
They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.

I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about English while preserving their unique cultural identity.

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.

( Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)

Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant.

You want to know what I make?


What do you make Mr. CEO?

His jaw dropped; he went silent.

Artcle by: Anonymous, on 05 April 2013

Prosper Study System

Some of the queries we receive from parents on a daily basis are:

1. Why is my child not doing well?

2. My child needs help with his/her studies. What do you suggest?

3. My child has ADD and does not relax or switch off. What can we do?

4. Our child does not sleep well and this seems to affect their schooling.

5. How can my child improve his/her marks?

6. Our child does not concentrate whilst studying.

7. As working parents, we don't have time to assist our children with their studies. Any suggestions? 

And many, many more queries.

The Prosper Study System is geared to assist in overcoming many of these "obstacles".


We have started advertising the Study System at some of our Universities. Many of the students entering university for the first time are not able to cope with the huge volumes of study material they are suddenly faced with. Our education department has not equipped them with the necessary "tools" to handle the pressures at university once they leave Matric....

Artcle by: Willy Nel, on 02 April 2013

Why God made MUMS...?

Answers given by  Gr. 2 children to the following questions.

Why did God make mothers?

1. She's the only one who knows where the selotape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic, plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my mum just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mum?

1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mum like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mum?

1. My mum has always been my mum and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mum need to know about dad before she married him?

1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least 1 million a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mum marry your dad?

1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mum eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that mum didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?

1. Mum doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such an idiot.
2. Mum. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess mum is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between mums and dads?

1. Mums work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Mums know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller and stronger, but mums have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
4. Mums have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mum do in her spare time?

1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mum perfect?

1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mum, what would it be?

1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mum smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Artcle by: Anonymous, on 12 March 2013

Busting the "I don't have the patience to homeschool" myth.

(This article was published by “The Berean Call” – please refer to the “Acknowledgement” at the end of the article for contact information)

There were several reasons I said I’d never homeschool. Teach a kid math? Are you serious? And what about the time commitment involved in homeschooling? How was a mom to get anything else done? Besides, (and please pardon my past ignorance here,) why on earth would I devote years to educating my children when there were good schools available everywhere for just that purpose?

But this was my favorite excuse. If anyone managed to derail my other defenses, I could always fall back on this one. It was, after all, at the core of all my other objections: “Me, homeschool? No way! I don’t have the patience for that.”

Yes, it was a copout, but it also perfectly reflected the attitude of society at large. When the subject of homeschooling comes up now, without fail someone will raise the patience issue. And moms bewildered by my decision to homeschool, by the fact I actually choose to keep my four children home with me all hours of the day, will often add things like, “You must be a saint,” or, “You are Superwoman!”

Now the vain side of me would love to revel in such compliments, but I’m far more troubled by statements like that than I am flattered by them. For one, I know I’m far from super or saintly! But I’m also a bit befuddled as to why a mom who does what moms have done from the dawn of time should be considered superhuman for it.

Our culture has a sadly negative view of children and it’s naïve of us to believe those attitudes can’t affect us. In subtle and often not-so-subtle ways society teaches that children are an incredible inconvenience. They drain our pocketbooks, over-expend our energy, limit our abilities, and stifle our dreams. If we’re to believe what the culture implies, children are a source of great physical, mental, and emotional stress and the sooner they can be shipped off to someone else’s care, the better.

Of course, isn’t it ironic that the same society that tells us we can’t manage our own children also assures us that perfect strangers can! Mom, you can’t deal with you own child, but a school teacher or day care worker who barely knows their name can handle them and 29 others without a glitch!


TBC Staff - EN. Busting the "I don't have the patience to homeschool" myth. The Berean Call. August 27, 2012. Available at Accessed February 27, 2013.

Artcle by: Love2Learn Curriculum Newsletter - February 2013, on 01 March 2013

Little Boy's Explanation of God !

It was written by an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista, CA.  He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to 'explain God.'  I wonder if any of us could have done as well?

(and he had such an assignment in California, and someone published it, I guess miracles do happen!)


'One of God's main jobs is making people.  He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth.  He doesn't make grownups, just babies.  I think because they are smaller and easier to make.  That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk.  He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.'

'God's second most important job is listening to prayers.  An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime.  God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this.  Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.'

'God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy.  So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.'

'Atheists are people who don't believe in God.  I don't think there are any in Chula Vista.  At least there aren't any who come to our church.'

'Jesus is God's Son.  He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him.  But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.'

'His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore.  He could stay in heaven.  So he did.  And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God.  Like a secretary, only more important.'

'You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.' 

'You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God!

Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach.  This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.'

'If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can.  It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.'

'But. . .you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you.  I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.

And...that's why I believe in God.'

Artcle by: Unknown, on 20 February 2013

Top Kwaliteit Terapeute & Diens leweraars

Goeie more ouers,

Indien u bewus is van TOP KWALITEIT terapeute & diensleweraars wat ons kan koppel na die Webtuiste 'Directory list', stuur dit asb vir my aan sodat ons die inligting aan ander ouers ook beskikbaar stel!!

Nasionale dekking...

Artcle by: Linda Pauwels, on 18 February 2013

Top Quality Therapists & Service Providers

Good morning parents,

If you are aware of TOP QUALITY therapists & service providers that we can link to our Website Directory list, please send me the info so that we can share with other parents!!

This can be all over the country...

Artcle by: Linda Pauwels, on 18 February 2013


When you stand on the shoulders of a friend, more is visible...

When you stand back to back, there is less to fear...

When you stand shoulder to shoulder, the load is lighter...

And when you gaze upward together, the grandeur of the sky is breathtaking.

Artcle by: Friendship Therapy, on 14 February 2013



The human vision system is designed to be at rest when viewing a distant image, but when we view a closer image the lens inside the eye adjusts to focus on the nearer image. Near vision requires a high degree of coordination and energy output.

With increased dependence on technology, the demands on our visual systems have changed, and our eyes are forced to focus on near images more often and for longer periods of time. As a result, many people experience eye fatigue or computer vision strain, a common but annoying condition, which is expected to increase as we progress through the digital age. Research shows that people hold digital devices closer to their eyes than they hold books, causing the eyes to have to work harder to focus.

Symptoms of eye fatigue

Symptoms of eye fatigue include difficulty maintaining clear focus on the screen image or double vision, "shimmering" image, blurred distance vision after looking at the monitor, burning and/or itching of the eyes, dry, sandy feeling, aching and tension in the brow, forehead or neck area, headache, or a significant change in vision.

Although usually not serious, these symptoms are uncomfortable, and often affect day to day functioning and productivity at work.

Causes of Eye Fatigue

Any activity that requires intense use of the eyes over extended periods of time can cause eye fatigue. However, there are a number of specific factors that contribute to computer related eye strain. These include the distance from your eyes to the monitor, the angle of the monitor, the brightness of the image on the screen, the contrast of the image on the screen, the size of the image, the colour of the image in relation to the colour of the background, and the quality of the image. Other factors include seating position and the lighting in the room. Dry eyes may be caused by air conditioning and infrequent blinking; people tend to blink about half as often when using a computer as they do normally, thus refreshing the eyes less often.

Management of Eye Fatigue

By making some common sense simple changes to the environment and working habits, eye fatigue and computer eye strain can be significantly reduced or even prevented.

Changes to work space:

  • Make sure the monitor is a      comfortable distance away from you
  • Use an adjustable chair, to      ensure that you are sitting at the correct height
  • Adjust the size of the image      on the screen
  • Adjust the angle of the      monitor so that you are not straining to see the image
  • Set the contrast and      brightness of the image to a comfortable level
  • Clean off fingerprints and      smudges regularly, to prevent problems with reflections
  • Make sure the screen colour      works well for you; black on white suits most people, but some prefer      other colours
  • Ensure that the ambient      lighting is not a problem; fluorescent lights often create a glare and      flicker which puts strain on the eyes
  • If necessary, use a filter      on your computer monitor to control glare
  • Monitors with the most      stable images and the least flicker are easiest on the eyes.
  • Remember to check the screen      focus
  • Use a humidifier to add      moisture to the air and reduce problems with dry eyes.

Change working habits:

  • Rest your eyes periodically;      try the 20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, look about 6 metres ahead of you      for 20 seconds to refocus your eyes
  • Change your body position      regularly, move away from the computer, stretch your back and neck
  • Consciously increase your      blink rate and, if necessary use artificial tears to prevent the symptoms      of dry eyes

Glasses for Computer Use

If you do experience eye fatigue or computer eye strain, schedule an appointment with your optometrist, to discuss the new advanced technology in lens design specifically for computer users.

Artcle by: DYNAMIC VISION - Kenridge Optomotrists, on 06 February 2013


It is with great excitement to BLESS this new website & declare it open to the public :-)

"Do not go where the path may lead... Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail..."

(R. Waldo Emmerson)

Artcle by: Linda Pauwels, on 03 February 2013