Holidays/Dates to Remember
6 -Labor Day
11- September 11
12- National Grandparents Day
18-Yom Kippur –
22- Fall begins
Childcare focus – Baby Safety Month
Enroll in an infant/child CPR and first aid class. This will be a valuable investment of your time. Ask your counselor for details or visit http://aupairinamerica.com/resources/life_in_the_us/insurance.asp
Driving- no talking or texting while driving
Education- The au pair requirement
Au pairs are required to complete 6 semester hours of academic credit or the equivalent. EduCare Companions must complete twice the requirement of au pairs, and year2 au pairs are expected to take an additional 3 credits for a 6-month extension and 6 credits for a 9- or 12-month extension.
Your counselor will be able to advise you on what is possible in your area. You can also review education options for your state on the Au Pair in America website at http://aupairinamerica.com/state/index.asp
Healthy eating- Variety
Try to eat fruits and vegetables of many different colors. This will help you get many vitamins and other nutrients important to your health.
Hints for success – Homesickness/Culture Shock
Almost everyone experiences culture shock when they come to a completely new environment. Everything is different: the language, the food, and the people. If you are feeling homesick or house-bound, call an au pair in your cluster and invite her to go for coffee, she understands exactly how you feel.
Internet use- Make sure that anything you put in an email is something that you are comfortable having other people see. Your email might be forwarded without you knowing it.
Better Breakfast Month – With the start of school it’s easy to rush out the door and forget to eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast. Remember that children need a balanced diet including milk, meat, vegetables, fruit and grain. Breakfast can include at least three of those groups.
Classical Music Month – Children of any age will find classical music soothing. Try playing music at mealtimes, before nap, when children are playing quietly or drawing or even in the car.
Baby Safety Month – There are many safety tips on the Au Pair in America website http://aupairinamerica.com/
In honor of Baby Safety Month, here are some more specific baby tips:
- Check condition and sturdiness of toys. Discard any with sharp edges or are broken or falling apart.
- Check children’s clothing for loose buttons and strings.
- Is baby’s pacifier still in good condition? If not, toss it. Never use strings to attach the pacifier to baby’s clothes or crib.
- Where do you set baby’s carrier when she’s in it? Not on the counter, or any high surface. Babies can wiggle and tip themselves over.
- Walkers can be dangerous (especially old ones that don’t meet today’s safety standards), they allow baby to move very quickly and reach things they normally can’t. Never use around stairs.
- Stroller check. If your stroller is collapsible, be sure latches are secure before putting baby in. Always check that your child’s arms are out of the way when reversing handle directions so they won’t get pinched. Be sure to use that safety strap. Don’t hang overloaded or heavy bags on the handle of the stroller; this may cause it to tip over.
- Can you name the 12 most common choking foods for kids under five? Popcorn, hot dogs, chunks of meat, raisins, ice cubes, chunky peanut butter, nuts of any kind, hard candy, grapes, raw carrots, potato chips and corn chips. Don’t leave toddlers alone while eating; if they begin to choke you need to be nearby to assist.
- Get a piggy bank: this is a great place to put coins so they don’t end up on the floor, in the couch cushions and then baby’s mouth.
- Never leave your child unattended in the bathtub. If the phone rings, let the machine get it.
Library Card Sign-up Month – Most libraries will give a child a card to borrow books as soon as the child can write his or her own name. Check out the neighborhood library this month. Be sure to return the borrowed books before the due dates as this part of using the library is a grown-up responsibility.
National Sewing Month – Children as young as two and a half have fun stringing beads, Cheerios/Fruit Loops or round pasta to make necklaces or bracelets. This can be an “introduction to sewing”.
Honey Month – Honey is one of nature’s delicious foods, but never give honey to a child under one year of age. It can cause a serious disease. For older children serve toast with honey for breakfast.
Good Manners Month – Children usually learn manners by example, but they may need some help. Start by always saying “please”, “thank you” and “you are welcome”.
Emergency Car Care Month – Do you have first aid supplies in the car?
Football season kicks off this month
Visit http://aupairinamerica.com/resources/life_in_the_us/football.asp for the full rules of American Football.
American Football Simplified
A football field is 100 yards long. There is a Goal Post at each end of the field, in the End Zone, one for each team. A Football Game is made up of 60 minutes of play time. The 60 minutes is divided into four Quarters of 15 minutes each. At the end of two Quarters, there is a break called Half Time. On the Scoreboard you can see the minutes and seconds running out. The team with the most points at the end of four Quarters wins.
Each team has an Offense and a Defense. If the Offense has the ball and tries to score by getting it across the Goal Line – the line where the playing field and the End Zone meet. The Defense tries to stop them.
The Offense gets four tries to move the ball 10 yards toward their own goal post. These are called Downs. If they make the 10 yards or more, they get another four tries to move the ball another 10 yards. If they don’t move the ball 10 yards in four tries, the ball goes to the other team, or the team “loses the ball.”
The Super Bowl is the final game of the Football season when two teams play each other for the championship. The game takes place in late January or early February. For some people the TV commercials are the best part of the Super Bowl.
Date sensitive posts
September 3. Skyscraper Day
Take out the blocks and see how tall you can build a skyscraper.
To make your own large size blocks:
1 Wash the inside of half-gallon size cardboard milk or juice containers
2 Carefully cut off the folding top portion of each container
3 Put one container completely inside the other with the two closed ends facing out. These are strong enough to stand on!
September 6 -Labor Day – Labor Day is the first Monday in September and was first celebrated in the United States on September 5, 1882 as a trade union holiday. Now Labor Day is seen as the end of summer and the beginning of school for many students. The day is often celebrated with picnics, sporting events and reunions.
September 9-Rosh Hashanah – Rosh Hashanah starts at sundown and is a solemn celebration of the beginning of the Jewish year. Synagogue services are held on Rosh Hashanah. During the services, the shofar, a ram’s horn, is sounded. During Rosh Hashanah special dishes are prepared. Many of the dishes contain honey which symbolizes the desire for a sweet year. The round-shaped bread served represents the fullness of the year.
September 11 – 911 Day – dialing 911 on the phone will connect you with an operator trained to handle and dispatch emergency services. It is used all across the country. School-aged children should know to call 911 also – discuss when it would be appropriate such as fire (but don’t call from the house that is burning!) or when someone seems to be seriously hurt and there is no adult to help.
September 11 Take a moment to day to remember victims of the 2001 September 11 attacks, often referred to as 9/11 (pronounced nine-eleven) On this day, hijackers intentionally crashed two airplanes in to the World Trade Center in New York City causing them to collapse. Hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. The fourth plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania, after some of its passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane.
September 12- National Grandparents Day
Grandparents Day is celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day. This is not a widely celebrated holiday, but most grandparents would still appreciate being remembered and would particularly enjoy a homemade gift or card. Work with your children to create a simple but special surprise. Use a photo of the child or the child and the grandparent to make it even more special.
September 18-Yom Kippur – Beginning at sunset, Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. The observance is also known as the Day of Atonement since the events of Yom Kippur focus on asking and granting forgiveness. Many Jews attend services at a synagogue or temple on the eve and day of Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur, many Jews perform no work and abstain from food and drink for 24 hours.
September 19 – National Farm Animal Awareness week: Children are fascinated by animals. Is there a farm nearby where you can visit to see them up close, or a local county fair? Farm animals often make the news too – check the newspaper in your area for stories about animals.
September 22- Fall begins As the weather cools and the leaves start to change color it is apple-picking season in most parts of the United States. Try these simple apple recipes, no matter where you get your apples:
- Applesauce is very simple to make. Remove the core and quarter the apples. If you leave the peel on during cooking it will give the applesauce a pink color. When the apples are very soft, remove any peel that is left, mash the pulp or put it through a sieve. Add sugar if needed.
- Try making Dried Apple Rings. They can be used as a nutritious snack. Peel, core and slice apples into 1/8 inch rings (Macintosh or Golden Delicious apples work best). Dip each ring into a mixture of lemon juice and water to help the apples keep their color. Pull a piece of string through the center of each ring and hang in a dry, warm place. They take 1-2 weeks to dry and become chewy.
September 22 – Elephant Appreciation Day
Elephants are the largest land animals. There are Asian (or Indian) and African elephants – the two look slightly different. Younger children may enjoy reading books with elephants in the story such as the classic “Babar” series by Jean de Brunhoff or “But No Elephants” by Jerry Smath. Older children (ages 6 and older) would be interested in facts about elephants and learning about conservation of the endangered Indian elephant. Finish off the day with Elephant Ears, a sweet pastry available at many bakeries. If you like to bake you can try these at home, but ask your host family first as it involves deep frying.
3 egg yolks
1 egg white
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
About 3 cups sifted flour
Shortening or vegetable oil for deep frying
Beat egg yolks and white and combine with water, milk and, cardamom. Gradually stir in enough flour to make soft dough, turn dough out on a lightly floured board, and knead until firm, smooth, and glossy. Cover and let stand for 2 hours. Divide into balls the size of small walnuts. Then with a rolling pin roll each ball out as thin as possible, 3 inches in diameter and cut into rounds. With the fingers gather one side of the round and press dough together into a tiny handle 1/3 inch in length and thickness. The remainder of the circle should flare out like an elephant’s ear. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet and keep them covered with a towel to prevent them from drying. When all the dough is ready, heat oil, to a depth of about 1 inch in a shallow frying pan to 375 degrees. Fry the cookies a few at a time in the hot oil for about 30 seconds on one side, then turn and fry the other. They should not be allowed to brown much. Remove and drain on absorbent paper. While still warm, sprinkle generously with confectioners’ sugar. Store in a tightly closed container in a dry place.
September 23-Sukkot – is a joyous Jewish holiday that lasts for seven days and remembers the time that Israelites wandered in the desert during their journey to the Promised Land. It is observed by the building of a temporary dwelling (a sukkah) decorated with fruits and other symbols of the harvest.
Who’s in Charge?
Full article can be found here http://aupairinamerica.com/resources/host_family_tips/whos_in_charge.asp
Au pairs and host parents are most often together with the children at the most stressful times of the day- the morning and at the end of the day.
Getting through the stressful times of the day is best done with a consistent approach. Planning ahead about division of labor and delegation of responsibility, as well as developing routines that both the au pair and the parents will adhere to, is essential.
Another particularly challenging time of day is when the transition is made from parent to au pair or from au pair to parent. Focusing the transition on a particular activity and consistently following that procedure may ease the confusion for the children. For example, Mommy will help you get dressed; then you will go downstairs and the au pair will give you breakfast while Mommy gets ready for her day; or the au pair will give you a bath, and when you are done, she will say goodnight and Daddy will read you a story before bed.
The children will benefit when the au pair and parents remember to work cooperatively, keep communication open and exercise authority when necessary.