Back to Back Issues Page
The Whole Child, Issue #055 - On Safari in South Africa
October 19, 2008


The Whole Child e-zine brings you free preschool activities each week to maximize your child's potential, build skills and parent-child relationships in just a few minutes per day. Useful tips, quotes, resources, opportunities and articles will be added for extra value!

If you enjoy this e-zine, please pay it forward and send it to a friend.
If you received THE WHOLE CHILD from a friend and you would like to subscribe, please sign up at Shirley's Preschool Activities.

October 2008, Issue #055

Site Build It!

1. Hello from Shirley

Hi From Shirley

This ezine is WAY overdue because I have been having fun instead of working! First I had my parents visiting our hometown for 3 weeks. Then, we took our family on a 6000+km educational tour of South Africa. It included star-gazing through powerful telescopes, playing with week-old lion cubs, gold-panning, walking with elephants and more! Read about it and see some pics here.

It’s taken a week for me to catch up on business as usual and now we are heading into our last 7 weeks of our academic school year, here in South Africa. Hooray, our warmer spring weather has finally arrived.

2. Take a look at Shirleys Preschool Activities

You can join us on a story-book journey around South Africa, by using this South African Preschool Theme.

For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, take a look at the Fall Preschool Theme for easy ideas to enjoy this season!

Every year when I publish this link about Halloween Preschool Activities, I get emails complaining and a few people choosing to unsubscribe from this newsletter because they don’t share my beliefs! However, since some USA moms on our preschool egroup reported that their children were terrified by ghouls on display in chain stores they visited recently, I feel it is really necessary to think carefully about this horrible holiday.

Feel free to differ with my views!

What’s new?

"My kids have bad attitudes." "I can't teach Math." "My parents won't approve." "I can't afford it." These are just some of the fears, doubts and myths that prospective homeschoolers must face. This article is an attempt to do some myth-busting, dispel the fears and disqualify the anti-homeschooling excuses that prevent many parents from the awesome experience of homeschooling their families.

Click here to read Ten Myths About Homeschooling and Anti-Homeschooling Excuses

Special SiteSell Promotion

3. Quote

The test of character is how you’re willing to treat someone when you are absolutely certain you are right.

(Wayne Jacobsen)

4. Tips

1. Don’t feel threatened when your children challenge your authority or push their boundaries. Don’t just condemn them for their bad behaviour either but rather use these opportunities to calmly explain to them the reason and purpose behind the discipline and rules for your family.

Take the time to turn the incident into a relationship-building moment. Discipline is not just punishment, but instructing and explaining too - to reach the your child’s heart and win him/her over to self-imposed obedience.

2. Keep wet-wipes in the car. You never know when you’ll need them, but you will!

5. Book Reviews

To go along with the South African Safari Theme, check out these lovely books. We own them and my children have loved them! They’ll make great gifts – so plan ahead!

Adventures of Riley--Safari in South Africa by Amanda Lumry
Nine-year-old Riley travels to South Africa to help his Uncle Max, a conservation biologist, track and count wild animals. They see wild African animals like baboon, cheetah, giraffe, and others.

The stunning double-page spreads combine colour photos of the bush, good close-up shots of specific animals as well as cartoon illustrations of Riley and the guides in the jeep. There are also boxed insets with facts combining science with the adventure.

Adventures of Riley--Mission to Madagascar by Amanda Lumry
Riley and his cousin Alice join Uncle Max, Aunt Martha and a film crew as they creep along this mysterious land at night in search of the illusive lemur. In this book you will learn all the wonderful traits of this incredible little animal, along with facts of other wild life that inhabit this land.

Want to know about the Hissing Cockroach and what the Painted Mantella Frog is? How about a tree that looks as if it is growing upside down called a Baobab Tree. In the same colourful format as the other Riley books, science and adventure meet yet again.

One Child One Seed by Kathryn Cave
This beautiful book, with full colour photos throughout is written on three levels.

Firstly, it is a South African counting book. Secondly, it is a strory about a child who plants a seed and reaps the pumpkin that grows. Thirdly, it gives factual information about life in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury: Picture Books and Stories to Read Aloud by Janet Schulman

This is a collection of over 40 classic chidren's picture books, all in one colourful volume. They are divided into categories to suit 3 different age groups, so you can start with the easy stories and read the more complex ones when your children have matured a little.

This is an investment that you will read over and over in the years to come. Some favourites that are included are Make Way for the Ducklings, Freight Train, The Story of Ferdinand, Avocado Baby, Goodnight Moon, Mister Magnolia etc.

If you are South African, you can buy books and CD's online at and

WAHM Masters Course

6. Readiness Activities

The following activities are aimed at ages 2-3. For older children, adapt the activity to their ability or alternatively repeat the activities previously suggested for ages 3-5 in the Backissues of The Whole Child publication. To download the activities in a printable pdf, click here.

You will need to have Adobe Reader installed. It’s a free download. Repeat these activities often - with your own variations too!


1. Gross motor skills

Balance: Let your child climb stairs alone!

2. Fine motor skills

Manual Dexterity: Encourage your child to master eating with a knife and fork.

3. Visual skills

Colour perception: Using wooden blocks or construction blocks, place two different coloured ones on a table and ask your child to copy your pattern. You can repeat the activity and add more blocks as he progresses.

4. Auditory skills

Play some rhythmic songs to your child and ask her to clap or drum in time to the music. Drumming also develops fine motor skills and co-ordination.

5. Mathematical skills

Dimensions: Compare the sizes of various household items such as pencils, jars, plastic containers, boxes etc. and help your child understand the concepts of large and small.

6. Language skills

Have a conversation with your child and ask her about her daily routines. Ask questions such as:

What do you do before you go to bed? --- I say “Goodnight” to Daddy
What do you do before you bath? ---I get undressed.
What do you do before you eat? –-- I wash my hands

7. Faith-building

Remind your child that the Lord promises never to leave us or forsake us in Joshua 1:5. We can always call upon Him and be comforted because He watches over us.

Greetings until next month
About Shirley

Home l Preschool Themes l l Ideas by Subject l Preschool Curriculum l Homeschool Help l Free Kids Games l ABC Fun & 1-2-3l Free Printables

Back to Back Issues Page