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Living in Switzerland is refreshing, there is no homework and they spend 2 years focused on giving children the skills and competency for life. The social, interaction and motor skills.
My daughter just finished her 2 years at kindergarten so I was expecting that she would take a step up, but the the letter arrived through the door.
- Three days a week she finished at 11.00 rather than 11.50
- Five days a week she started at 8.20 rather than 8.15
- She has one extra long day where she finished at 11.50, comes home for lunch and then goes back for 13.30 to 15.05
So rather than put you through the maths, of course I spreadsheeted it. She has a whole 1hr and 25 minutes less in the school than when she was in kindergarten. I of course asked was there something special we were doing than other Kantons, why are their less hours. The teacher pointed that there were more lessons, but you can't misdirect from the facts on the spreadsheet.
Now Switzerland for its greatness, also has its flaws and one of them is mothers working. As an entrepreneur and a working mother I am one of the few, the challenges and solutions can be found from previous blogs.
This was a new one to me. So again I am sharing what I have found useful, as I have kids that are thirsty to learn. I turned to homeschooling, not because I am taking them out of school, they love school and we are truly integrated.
If you are also looking for a supplement here is some of what I found, and I opted for Moving Beyond the Page.
Moving Beyond the Page - The material is in age relevant curriculum, which engages children in critical thinking and fun without them realising they are learning. You don't need to prepare, you can print off the lessons and all the materials come. I also ordered the maths and reading. This gives myself and our Nanny a structure to navigate with the children. There are projects which the kids love, and we even extended on one to make a video of all the animals and habitats from the birds nest my daughter found to the zoo. The downside is if you buy the online version for some reason they limit it to a 90 day access. This is a little silly but compared to the other packages was the most engaging curriculum.
k12 - This curriculum is following the US system, so it depends perhaps on a preference as an expat, perhaps there is a need or wish to align to the schooling system, It is a complete, integrated curriculum that has tool, exercises, assessment and support. It is less innovative that Moving Beyond the Page on the softer skills and cortical thinking as it is more a traditional schooling system.
Oak Meadow - this approach was again imaginative focusing on learning through arts. I considered this as my kids have a lot of imagination. This is worth a consideration and knowing your child, may be the right mix. It delivers age appropriate curriculum from kindergarten to high school on an approach that enters around the child, with an emphasis on creative arts: drawing, painting, music, and handwork.
On our Saturday Share we went live on Facebook again in our community group, for anyone that missed to share handy tips. One in our house is felt tips. The kids tidy up but one of those annoying things is the lids on pens, and instead of throwing the pens out you can save them, or as my daughter said bring them back to life.
- Sort the pens and lids out dead or alive, this teaches them a bit of a lesson as to how many are potentially no good
- Find the water based ones (these are usually kids pens)
- Get a bowl of warm water
- Hold them in the water for 2 to 5 minutes
- Dab off the excess water and test them on the paper
On the 17th October we are launching three of the the first mothers rock interviews that we are publishing in our members magazine and via our you tube live channel accessible via our community.
So as a prelude to our channel and magazine which will raise up and inspire with unplugged interviews with mothers, here are 10 TED Talks from mothers that inspire.
You know that feeling after you bring a child into the world, that your life will never be the same. At the same time everything prior to that point almost becomes meaningless. You actually start to reassess the world.
In one sense when my first child was born I became brave. In another I had to redefine who I was. I was not the same 30 something me.
What am I doing? Does what I do mean anything? Am I even making a difference in this world? Is it worth it?
Suddenly there is something bigger than you, that little person that you are responsible for; you want them to be the best they can be, to live in a world full of potential that is safe and sustainable. I had these big thoughts of how I could impact my daughter’s future world, and at the same time I was learning to be a mother. In addition to this new role, I continued to be: wife, lover, friend, and work colleague. The new role had an impact on all the others. If I did not take a step back I would lose me!
That’s when I transformed, having a child changed me, I knew it was an opportunity to take that energy, that power that you have as a mother and know as you want your children to know ‘I can do anything’.
I started to define just what that was to each one of my roles. As a mother being home for dinner and doing plays (not macbeth but magic rabbits, princesses, car races and dragons), and reading each night. To challenging my brain in my doctorate, which helped me to develop technology that automates chores saving mothers time, and research that understands what in people’s childhood makes them successful, and happy! The both aligned to giving me, and other mothers more time with our children, with our future and to have more memories than do administration and chores.
I transformed into the best version of me I could be at each of the roles, but realised we cannot do everything. So the key was to align the roles to what I truly loved, what I was passionate about. To stop doing things that detracted from that, and to start and continue the things that aligned to what I loved in this world most.
It sounds easy, but it was a journey to break down the mind set for example of ‘guilt’ and to accept help. I started to say ‘yes’ to outsourcing chores and ‘no’ to things that served no purpose or were meaningless.
This transformation was broken down over 4 steps, a framework which allowed me to redefine my life, and make sure I was Living Life Authentically. I am now true to who ‘I’ am as a mother, wife, lover, friend and work colleague. I learnt that you can have that authenticity as a mother, where you give to each part of you.
You have to be brave enough to take the step back. To admit I am not that same person as I was before kids, and take the opportunity to redefine you.
I want to share this framework with other mothers so that can live a life that is authentic to them. To talk them through the framework and provide printable tools, that supports them. There is very little for mothers. This now changes Sign Up for your Living Authentically Webinar and Kit.
I am building a community, tools and technology that is there for Mums.
If Work Life Balance - 'balance' is defined as "an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady" then frankly there is no such thing. It is a myth. A Mother Working Balance is "dividing yourself between multiple things, with unequal distribution" because the focus is #1 Mother and #2 Life. That's our real life every day. [video width="854" height="480" mp4="http://www.whatifihadapa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/powtoon-fqCTXknReBA.mp4"][/video]
So with 12 people over for Xmas we are getting ready for board games. We already had: Pictionary, Cranium, Scrabble, Monopoly and Catan. I wanted review and add a new one to the collection, so here is my share of my research so you can enjoy board games over the Xmas.