The 4th of July celebrates the date American colonists declared independence from Great Britain in 1776. Also called Independence Day, the 4th of July is commemorated throughout the USA with fireworks, parades, concerts, family gatherings, and cookouts.
As the nation’s capital, Washington, DC, is the perfect place to celebrate this truly American holiday. Here are just a few of the many celebrations in DC: Continue reading →
The Folklife Festival will take place June 27-July 1 and July 4-8.
The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an international exhibition of living cultural heritage. Attracting more than one million visitors yearly, the two-week long celebration is the largest annual cultural event in the United States.
The Festival is held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the Smithsonian museums. There is no admission charge. Visitors should dress for hot and humid weather. Parking around the Mall is extremely limited, so visitors are advised to use public transportation. L’Enfant Plaza is the closest Metro station to the Festival site. National Archives, Smithsonian, and Federal Center stations are within a half-mile. For assistance planning how to get around, visit www.goDCgo.com. For general Smithsonian visitor information, http://www.si.edu/Visit or call 202.633.1000 (voice).
Festival hours are 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., with special events taking place most evenings beginning at 6:30 p.m. View the schedule here.
The DC Public Library is the place to check out books and other materials for free for both yourself and your host kids. There are many branches located throughout the city. Also, there are more than 15 million free online movies, eBooks, music, and more available online for cardholders.
The DC Public Library offers loads of free classes for kids and adults including yoga, adult coloring, ESL conversation circles, kid crafts and many special seasonal activities. (They offer a lot more kid-friendly activities during the summer when kids are on vacation.) Check out the library event calendar for classes throughout the city. And don’t forget- they’re free!
March 20th is the first official day of Spring, and the city is alive with so much to do. Take advantage of longer days and warmer temperatures to get outside and explore the city with your host kids. From cherry blossoms on the Potomac to Easter egg hunts at Hillwood or even Madame Tussauds, there truly is something for children of all ages.
DCC Au Pairs having St. Patrick’s Day fun! (Photo: Scott Montgomery)
St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17th and has been celebrated in the US since 1737. St. Patrick is said to have given a sermon from a hilltop that drove all the snakes from Ireland. Traditional icons of the day are the shamrock, leprechaun, the color green and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Ireland on the Wharf: Celebrate the beauty and tradition of the Emerald Isle with bagpipers, Irish dancers, live music, and plenty of family-friendly activities on March 10 at DC’s Southwest Waterfront
Take your picture in front of a green fountain! The White House was designed by Irish architect James Hoban. Traditionally, the White House fountain has been dyed green on March 17th in celebration of the holiday.
On March 15, 2018, the fountain on the South Lawn of the White House turned green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
Do you know how many total classroom hours you need to complete in your first year?
Image: Alan Cleaver (Flickr)
Au pairs are required to earn at least six academic credits during their year by completing classes/courses at accredited US post-secondary colleges and universities.
6 academic credits = approximately 8 CEUs = approximately 80 classroom hours
(The absolute minimum accepted is 72 hours.)
Certain combinations of classes can leave you just a few hours short of the requirement. Here are several options for completing those last few hours. Information listed is correct as of February 28, 2018, and is subject to change. Consult the university websites for full information.
Grammar Tune-Up is a special weekend course for au pairs and is designed to target common errors made by intermediate to advanced-level English learners. Students will gain confidence facing their trouble spots in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.
During the last weeks of December, many host kids will have between ten days to two weeks off from school for winter vacation. The thought of having the kids home for multiple days during the winter can send even the most seasoned childcare giver into a panic. Cold weather, shorter days, extra sugar, later bedtimes, and visiting relatives can be a challenge, but with some pre-planning, you can provide your host kids with a vacation to remember.
Winter has finally arrived in DC. It’s important to dress for cold weather and to make sure that your host children are dressed warmly too. If this is your first experience with really cold weather, ask your host parents for advice on staying warm. For more info, read this blog post from October: It’s Cold Out There! A 2017 Guide to DC Winter Weather.
Help the kids organize their toys and rooms with these suggestions. With mom and dad’s permission, perhaps your host kids can donate some of the toys they have outgrown. This will create more room for the new toys from Santa.
Looking for a fun baking activity? Gingerbread is a delicious way to celebrate the season!
Tip #4: Make a Date
Playdates can be a great way for kids to socialize and work on the important skills necessary to being a good friend. Talk with your host family about planning a playdate over winter vacation. With their permission, you can use our cluster list to find an au pair who lives near you and has host kids who are compatible ages with your host kids. If hosting doesn’t work, you can also make plans to meet up at the library for a free story hour or crafting session.
Brr! In need of some ideas to keep the kids entertained this winter? Here’s a roundup of several great local blogs full of suggestions for spending the day exploring DC both before and after the holidays. Continue reading →