Xander Blog

Xander Mom: Sharon Van Wyk

  This week’s Xander mom balances work and family well and hosts an awesome parenting/ lifestyle blog. Meet Sharon Van Wyk of The Blessed Barrenness.   Tell us about yourself? Hey everyone, my name is Sharon and I’m a 44-year-old working mom of two precious little girls,...

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Xander Mom: Melissa Delacroix

  Meet Xander Mom Melissa Delacroix from George. She spoke to us about her blog, parenting and her growing family.   Tell us about yourself? My name is Melissa, I am 27 years old and live in the lovely town of George. I am a busy...

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Learn to spell with Xander

There has been a fair amount of work going on behind the scenes at the Xander office. New apps and new language translations coming. We are very proud to have been approached by the WOW Programme in partnership with the University of Stellenbosch to develop and...

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Xander Mom: Julie Kynaston

  This week’s Xander Mom is Julie. She took some time out to share some awesome mom/ blogger knowledge and tips with us.   Tell us about yourself. I’m Mom to three of the best kids in Cape Town – Ilan (5), Kira (2.5) and Judah...

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Xander Mom: Hayley Malan

  Meet our latest Xander Mom, Hayley Malan. She chatted to us about her blog, Hayley’s Joys, her family, balancing a busy life and shared some tips with us too.   Tell us about yourself? My name is Hayley Malan. I’m a financial services professional by...

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Xander Dad: Craig Lotter

  Meet Craig, our awesome Xander Dad who chatted to us about his two gorgeous girls, technology and dad stuff.   Tell us about yourself? My name is Craig Lotter, I’m 36 years old, and I’m a senior software developer at Touchwork. I’m happily married, live...

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Xander Mom: Lindi Mogale

  Say hi to another awesome blogger we love here at Xander. We spoke to Lindi Mogale from A Well Heeled Woman about life, family and blogging.   Tell us about yourself? I am a wife and mom of 2 boys. During the day I work...

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Xander Mom: Heather Step

  Our latest Xander Mom has more than one blog, a full time job as a Montessori teacher and a 3 year old. Meet Heather Step of One Step at a Time and SA Mom Blogs.   Tell us about yourself? My name is Heather, I’m...

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Xander Mom: Cindy Alfino

  Cindy is another one of our amazing Xander Moms. Read all about herself, her family and her award-winning blog. Tell us about yourself? Hello! I’m Cindy, although I don’t often hear anyone call me that anymore. Right now I only answer to “Mooooooom”, sometimes even if...

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Xander Mom: Belinda Mountain

  Our fourth Xander Mom is Belinda Mountain from Cape Town. She tells us about managing a family, her favourite things about South Africa and her blog. Tell us about yourself? I’m a writer, business owner and mother who lives in Cape Town, South Africa. I...

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KamCare: a RE bale

We spoke to Monica Hammes from the KamCare a RE bale programme in Pretoria about their programme and the learners they serve. Tell us about your Programme? Our programme, sometimes known as a RE bale, is an English reading programme using the Reading Eggs software, sponsored by...

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Xander Mom: Angie Batis

Meet another Xander Mom, Angie Batis. She told us a bit about herself, her blog, her family and parenting choices.   Tell us about about yourself? Hi my name is Angie, I’m a mom, a wife, a photographer, a blogger, I co-own Mr Big Stuff Diner in Braamfontein...

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Three Reasons Every Child Should Fly a Drone

Last month in Mediatech (our library-based tech center), I did something rather insane. I set up a drone flying station. The idea was that anybody — young or old — could try to take off and land a toy drone on a large platform. From a...

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Xander Mom: Elsabe Van Der Colff

  We’re doing a series of reviews on some of our favourite mommy bloggers and women who form part of our Xander Moms programme. This week we spoke to Elsabe Van Der Colff from the lovely little town of Montague in the Western Cape. Tell us about yourself? A...

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Aitsa: Dwarsriver Valley Initiative

  What is Aitsa? On the 15th of January 2014 the Dwarsriver Valley Initiative opened an after care centre in the small village of Kylemore just outside Stellenbosch for 25 children. This year the Aitsa! After Care centre caters for 105 children, ages 5 to 8, every...

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MRP Foundation: TechED

For the last two years the MRP Foundation has been running its technology-based education programme, TechEd in KwaZulu Natal and working closely with local and global partners. Read more about what they are doing here.  

How We Learn

I was watching one of the teachers at my daughter’s little school yesterday. She patiently held out the bottom part of a tower for my almost-three-year-old to attach the remaining part. This experience was riddled with frustration for my daughter and exhibited ultimate patience by the...

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The funny things kids say

Image courtesy of Cafemom It was World Read Aloud Day on the 24th, in which people are encouraged to participate in the promotion and enjoyment of reading out loud. But what happens when the youngsters are old enough to read themselves, or at least attempt to...

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International Mother Language Day (21 Feb 2016)

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela We’re still talking about all the things we love in February. And how...

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Kids and Pets

Images courtesy of Petco February is the month of love, and what love is sweeter than that between a child and their first pet? We automatically think of kids and dogs playing in the garden, but there are a number of other, smaller and more interesting...

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Showing love to your children

Not leaving: an act of trust and love, often deciphered by children” ― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief Image courtesy of Jay Blessed In February every year we are surrounded by the images and sounds of romantic love, from heart-shaped balloons in the checkout aisle to boxes...

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Remembering Madiba

“Today I learnt a lot about the way Mr Mandela grew up: (his childhood) is just like mine and yours. I admire him for the fact that he was prepared to die for freedom. When I grow up I want to be just like him.” –...

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The worst gifts ever

“A re-gifted ‘free hug’ coupon.”  – Devin W.   Most of us have spent weeks planning, budgeting and making gift lists for the festive season. But while we were planning to buy or make something totally appropriate and spot-on, somebody out there has been eyeing the...

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Get ready for the school holiday

“In the summer, the days were long, stretching into each other. Out of school, everything was on pause and yet happening at the same time, this collection of weeks when anything was possible.”―Sarah Dessen, Along for the Ride Although the children might be looking forward to...

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Gifts for teachers.

Of all the hard jobs around, one of the hardest is being a good teacher. – Maggie Gallagher If you’re lucky enough, your child loves their teacher, and wants nothing more than to show it with a special year-end gift. We’ve done some research online and found...

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The art of giving

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ― Winston S. Churchill We’ve been hearing ‘Jingle Bells’ on repeat in the supermarket since November, when stores started counting down the shopping days ‘till Christmas.  It’s so easy to...

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Help your young child prepare for the exams

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.” – Dr. Seuss Testing starts at a young age It...

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Why play is so important for your child’s development

Physical competence is fundamental to cognitive development during early childhood. -Maria Montessori-   How physical activity encourages cognitive development. From the first days of life, children begin using their bodies to learn about the world around them. Developing and mastering certain motor skills allows children greater...

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The symbolism and psychology of colour

Colors speak all languages. -Joseph Addison- Have you ever wondered why girls (at least in Western Culture) wear pink, and boys blue? Or why you love that particular shade of green, but yellow leaves you cold? Those that study the psychology of colour have an interesting...

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How to raise a culturally aware child.

  What children learn during the preschool years from family members, caregivers and other adults in their life will greatly impact how they will come to value, accept, and comfortably interact with diverse people. (From Scanva.org) Sometimes we are reluctant to raise the subject of differences...

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The value and role of sport

Sport has a unique power to attract, mobilize and inspire. By its very nature, sport is about participation. It is about inclusion and citizenship. It stands for human values such as respect for the opponent, acceptance of binding rules, teamwork and fairness, all of which are...

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Communicating in a culturally diverse country

“Recognising that our beliefs and values are not the only way of seeing or doing things opens us up to learning about other perspectives.” From Kidsmatter.edu.au Image courtesy of Pexels.com Being able to communicate across cultural and language differences, is often a challenge worldwide, and one...

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Getting Organised: Tips and Shortcuts for the busy family

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Benjamin Franklin Image Courtesy of Kaboompics Often it feels as if there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done, especially for parents of young and school-going children. Here are some sensible tips and...

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Housework and chores

Spring has finally arrived, and many of us are thinking about cleaning the house, throwing out the clothes that are outgrown, and generally shaking things up. We think it’s a good idea to involve the whole family in cleaning and spring cleaning, even the youngest children....

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White Lies

“My flatmate grew up on a farm and was told by her parents that their TV only worked when it rained.” Image Courtesy of Kaboompics We’ve all lied to our kids. Shocking thought, I know, but quite true. And we’re not even talking the most popular...

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Wonder Woman as a role model

“Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world.”  Dr. William Moulton Marston, original creator of the Wonder Woman character. During Women’s Month, we consider the role of women in all areas of modern life. One...

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The history of apps and their place in our lives

“App”: noun, Computers, Informal. 1. an application, typically a small, specialized program downloaded onto mobile devices. Image courtesy of Pexels   We’ve all heard the catchphrase – ‘There’s an app for that’. Well, with the number of apps being developed on a daily basis, this might...

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Raising girls to be powerful women

“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney As we start Women’s Month 2015 let us not forget that all women start out as little girls. It’s up to us as...

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Mother tongue learning – A bridge to multilingualism

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock “Educationally, a child cannot learn the facts and ideas of what is been communicated unless he has an understanding of the language of instruction.” – European Journal of Social Science, 2009 At Xander Apps we are passionate about the importance of mother...

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Tantrums and Tears

Image courtesy of http://www.freeimages.com/ There is nothing more embarrassing than being that family – the one with the red-faced toddler throwing the mother of all tantrums in a restaurant. Or at the checkout aisle of the supermarket, or the car park. Anywhere, really. Every parent dreads...

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Xander Xhosa Apps turn one on Mandela Day 2015

We can hardly believe that our Xander Xhosa apps are one year old on Mandela Day.  What started as one entrepreneurial idea has turned into a suite of 18 educational Apps for children in five African Languages. Sibella Knott-Craig’s vision was to create an opportunity for...

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Role Models in the Media: Who do your children look up to?

“In today’s 24/7 media environment, in which kids may be spending more time with media than they are with their parents, choosing positive role models is more important than ever.” Commonsense Media Image courtesy of Public Domain Images We all know the child in preschool who...

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Basic Computer Skills for Kids

“Teaching in the Internet age means we must teach tomorrow’s skills today.” – Jennifer Fleming The world is moving impossibly fast, and it can be intimidating to prepare and equip your children properly. But one thing we do know, is that computers and the internet are...

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Can children still just be children today?

I was privileged enough to grow up on a farm, where we literally had stones that we pushed around in lieu of toy cars, while making excited revving noises. Not for a minute did I feel that I was missing out, or that my life was...

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#XanderMoms winter recipes

We’ve previously asked our #XanderMoms how they use and manage technology in their lives. Now that the days are shorter and we are spending more time indoors, we thought we would ask them to share some of their favourite go-to recipes with us. We’re keen to...

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