Monday 21 February 2011


This is probably one of the most important decisions your will ever have to make for your child. Their school days are vital to their development, both socially and academically. Here are a few tips to help you.

1. By the time your child reaches the age of three, it is important to start thinking about schooling because these days one has to register the child at your chosen  school early. You might even decide to choose two schools to be on the safe side.

2. Start by looking in your immediate geographical area. Consider the routes to the school and the distance from home.

3. Then make an appointment during school hours, to pay a visit to the school.  Meet with the head teacher, or someone else in a senior position. Ask to be shown round the school. Take particular note of the noise volume; the general cleanliness; state of  the toilets; the facilities offered (e.g. a well equipped library;     computer rooms; music facilities; a gym; sports fields; a swimming pool; tuck shop and what they sell there; after school care, should you need it, etc.)

4. Ask for any year books; brochures; or other literature about the school.

5. If possible, have a good look at staff members. Are they relaxed and happy, or do they look harassed?   If you come across any of the children, do they greet you politely, or do they push passed you rudely?

6. How much are the school fees, if any and where does one purchase school  uniforms? How much will one be expected to outlay for those?
7. If you are thinking about a private school as opposed to a state school, once you  have determined the cost per term, including books, stationery and extra-murals; ask yourself whether this outlay is within your financial means.  One has to bear in mind that there will always be extra costs, too, for school outings; for the     upgrade of certain facilities, and also for end of term plays, which will include costumes, and even props, to be paid for by the parents.

This is becoming quite a popular way to educate one’s child / children, providing that you have the time,     not only to teach but also for the preparation of lessons.
This can be great fun and is very satisfying for certain children. In many countries there are home-school      organizations, which can be found on the internet. It is very important to get in touch with one in your  area, as this will help in many ways, e.g sharing of ideas and materials; obtaining the curriculum; socializing; educational outings; etc

For sport, see the local school in your area. Some schools are very happy to include a home schooled      child in their extramural programme. This is great way for your child to meet other children with similar 

A final word on this subject:  Do make use of the internet. There are some excellent teachers out there, who have produced up to date and exciting teaching material for almost every subject including worksheets; projects; mathematics; creative activities, etc, much of it is free of charge, surprisingly enough! One can just down-load it.

Best wishes to you all for joyful and successful schooling.

Rosemary Kahn


Rosemary Kahn is a highly skilled and professional teacher with many years teachign experience. She is also a published authoress. If you would like a consultation via email or skype regarding the educational needs of your child, you are welcome to email her or her secretary to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday 8 February 2011

What Has Happened to our Polite Society?

  What happened to good old fashioned "Service with a Smile"?

I think the beginning of this Century will go down in History as the age of Rudeness.  

Matters seem to get worse by the day. P's and Q's hardly exist and has anyone recently received a Thank you note from any young person to whom you have sent a card or gift. There are a few exceptions, of course, but as a general rule, you are lucky if you get a one line email.

Just this week I have been ignored yet again when trying to pay for purchases at the check-out counter in my local supermarket, because the "lady" at the till happened to be having a long conversation with her friend at the next till. She could not be bothered to return my cheerful greeting, or to make eye contact with me. Not until I had said very loudly,  "Are you going to serve me, or should I call the manager?", did she deign to ring up the few items I had placed on the counter. She took my cash and handed me my change whilst starting up another conversation, this time with a packer.  I believe that this sort of behaviour is not uncommon. Many people on talk radio shows have commented on it.

Last week I had an appointment to see a doctor in a fairly large hospital. I arrived a little early, knowing I would have the usual forms to fill in as a new patient. On entering Reception, one lady behind the counter was eating a sandwich and had a mug of coffee in her hand, which she used, without a word, to point me towards the opposite counter.  The lady there was sucking a red lollipop, which she did not remove from her mouth for the entire time it took her to take my name and give me the necessary forms; to ask for my I.D. Book and Medical Aid card, which she took away to photocopy. She handed the items back to me with a "lollipop-in-mouth" smile, stick bobbing up and down and that, as the saying goes, was that.

Two weeks ago I was in a long queue at the Post Office. I counted 21 people, all waiting to be served.

There were five empty counters. One elderly lady asked whether there was a strike on, or if  their staff were off "sick"?  "No," came the reply, from the one and only person trying to get through all the customers, "They are all on tea".

"How can this be allowed? Where was the postmaster?", someone else asked.

"Gone out". Was the curt reply. And with that three of us walked out.

Have you noticed how no one returns calls these days?
How one is kept holding on for ages, only to be told that the person you need to speak to urgently, is in a meeting?
Is that all anyone does these days? Attend meetings and then NEVER return calls?

Shopping is no longer the  treat or a pleasant experience it was when I was young.  There is no one around to help you and if you should be lucky enough to find someone eventually, they are so disinterested, you almost feel sorry to have bothered them.

I could go on and on - rude drivers; inconsiderate cyclists; etc; etc. Perhaps I should end with one last piece.

On a recent trip to the Cinema, I asked for two seats near the back on the aisle.

"Sorry, I can't do that," said the young man serving me." I can give you 5 rows down."

I sighed and took the tickets, only to find, as the lights went down, that there were only 3 other patrons besides us, in the whole place! Takes the cake, doesn't it?

Rosemary Kahn


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