Stand up to bullies

Remember last week we were talking about how bad bullies are and, even worse, how terrible it is to be bullied?

Here are some things that you can do if you are being targeted by a bully.

  • Get away as soon as possible and move to a safe please where there are other kids and adults.
  • Avoid places where you are alone – hang out with other people. Even if you are not friends with them – hang out near them anyway.
  • Act as if the bullying has no power over you. Look calm and confident (even if you are terrified). You can do this by standing up straight and tall – put your shoulders back and push your chest forward. (Practise this in the mirror at home – you never know when you might need to stand tall.)
  • Stand up for yourself – act as though the bullying is really boring and answer back with things like – So? Yup? Really? And…? Whatever you say! Who cares?
  • Get help from an adult you trust. Tell them what has happened to you and ask for their support. If one person does not listen – go to somebody else.
  • Keep in mind that bullying is about the person who is doing the bullying. Although they are targeting you and it affects your life – it’s not really about you – it says something about the person who is doing the bullying. Never forget that. It is not your fault.
  • Tell yourself that you are awesome, brave, lovable, worthy of respect and belonging. Nobody can take that away from you. Own it. Say it often. Remind yourself all the time that you are fabulous.

If you see somebody being bullied it is NOT cool to just walk away and not get involved either. YOUR SILENCE ENCOURAGES THE BULLY!

This is what you can do.

  • Don’t laugh and don’t encourage the bully in any other way.
  • Tell others not to join in on the bullying either. You can make a difference by encouraging others to do the same.
  • Help the victim any way you can – speak directly to them and say something like “Let’s get out of here.”
  • Show the victim that you are empathetic – say “I would feel sad and angry too” or “I’m sorry this is happening to you.”
  • Encourage the victim to tell an adult and offer to go with them.

Stand up for what is right – even if you are standing alone!

Sibo

xxx

Smarty Pants

I read some stuff about being smart the other day – with exams coming  up we could all probably use a little extra smarts!

English is a strange language because “smart” has four different meanings.

It can mean a person is clever and quick in thought or action. For example, Mpho is really smart – she passed all her exams.

It could also mean that a person is well-dressed. For example, Mpho looked really smart in her new outfit.

Another meaning is to feel a sharp, stinging pain. For example, Mpho’s arm smarted for ages after the wasp stung her.

Lastly, it can mean that you feel annoyed or resentful after being insulted. For example, Mpho smarted for the whole of break time after Sandile said she was fat.

We are talking about the first one… here are some ways to help make us smarter.

  • Ask questions. It really is good to ask if we don’t know or understand something.
  • Get some exercise. This is a no-brainer – we know we feel better when we get out into the fresh air and start moving. Cycle, jog, walk briskly, hula hoop…
  • Eat healthy. Crunch apples and carrots instead of chips or sweets for snacks.
  • Keep a journal. It’s good to sit at the end of the day and reflect on all that has happened. It makes your memory work a bit harder too.
  • Learn a new skill. It does not have to be anything fancy – learn to knit, to code, or maybe how to bake – go nuts and try something new. Nothing ventured nothing gained!
  • Hang out with other smart people. This is so true – if we spend time with people who are interesting and interested – we feel smarter too.
  • Challenge your brain. Do crossword puzzles or Sudoku’s. Play memory games.
  • Change your routine. Try not to do things the same old boring way every single day – vary the order in which you do things, or eat lunch outside instead of inside. Sit in a different spot at school break. As the saying goes… a change is as good as a holiday.
  • Get enough sleep. Do it! Go to sleep at a decent hour our bodies need time to recover from a busy day.
  • Read more. Join a library or swap books with friends. There are also plenty of eBooks free on the internet that are available to read on cell phones too.

Think smart peeps!

Sibo

 

Consider a career in Science!

The 16th of February was International Day of Science for Women and Children. People tend to think that science is only for clever people – but actually – it is all around us and we are all doing some sort of science in one way or another each and every single day. In honour of this day – you can read “Sibo Mixes Things Up” – my story book about chemistry – it will be free to read on the website until the end of the month.

Nowadays girls are actively encouraged to pursue careers in science and technology. There are so very many interesting fields that you can go into, it is almost mind boggling.

We’ve been talking about planning, imagination and initiative over the past few weeks and you are going to need all of these things if you want to go into the science field.

SAASTA Observatory in Johannesburg also offers cool programmes for learners, teachers and members of the public. They have all sorts of exciting things to make you look at Physics in a completely different way. Check out their website for more information.

Nanotechnology is the way of the future as well.  I bet many people don’t even know what nanotechnology is. “Sibo Sizes Things Up” is all about nano – one of these days we’ll make that a free read on the website too! Stay tuned!

Remember – a safe bet is to always take maths as one of your subjects. Maths is one of those things that you sometimes feel like dropping because it seems a bit hard or not really necessary. In fact – it’s very necessary for lots of careers. If you don’t have matric maths there are some doors that are so firmly shut there is no easy way to open them again.

I mentioned while ago that science centres can help with career guidance. Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Jozi has a very awesome career guidance centre and it’s free. You can just walk-in and find out about jobs and careers that you never even dreamed of. However, for career assessments and career counselling they do prefer if you make an appointment. It’s a professional service and they don’t want to you to be disappointed if you arrive at the centre and the staff are all busy.  Call (011) 639 8450/8476/8479.

Last but not least – you can always go and visit a science centre like Sci-Bono in Newtown or Sci-Enza in Pretoria to have an enormous amount of fun and get you into a sciencey frame of mind!

Science rocks!

Sibo

Pledge a Book Please!

We all know that South Africa has terrible road safety stats. 

The Minister of Transport Mrs Diplou Peters is always saying that children need to learn about road safety.  It’s true. They do. The Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga is always saying that children must read more. That’s true too – they should.

Here we are… pleasing two ministers with one book!

Sibo Looks Right is a book that contains all the rules of the road, including cycling – in a fun, easy to read manner.

Best of all – you don’t have to take our word for it – you can click on the link and read the book for yourself. Free!

Our plan is to get as many companies and people to pledge books – once we have reached our target of 3000 books (we’d love to get more than this too) we will ask people to honour their pledges and deposit the corresponding amount so that Lets Look Publishers can print these books and we can distribute them to the children.

Science Centres in South Africa have kindly agreed to help with distributing the books.

Here’s the crunch – we’d really like to do this BEFORE Easter!

So we need you to dash off and pledge a book – or two – or as many as you want to.

Challenge other people to pledge books too.

Of course, if you pledge more than 50 books  we can put your name/logo in the back of the book. If you pledge 1000 books – we can put your logo in the front of the book. There are great advertising and marketing aspects to sponsoring books.

If you read Sibo Looks Right you will see that Nash Nissan sponsored a large quantity of money towards our initial crowdfunding campaign and so their logo was featured in the front of the book. If you look on the back cover – there are more logos and names – these are all the lovely people who helped make this book happen in the first place.

Now we need to print more books and get them out to schools and children – FREE.

Let’s make this happen. Please! Pledge now.

A million thanks

Sibo

PS – The Sibo Series is already being read in schools and libraries around the country. In fact, The North West Province Education Department has just ordered more than 500 each of 10 Sibo titles and they are being delivered as we speak!

Breakfast is Important

Hope you all have survived the first week of school.

I was so tired the second morning that I almost did not make it to breakfast. Sadly my mum nagged me so much that I did not have a choice.

Sibo! She said. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Whaaatttt?  I am not even hungry yet at breakfast time. I have done nothing but sleep all night.

You’ve been fasting all night, she said. That’s where the name comes from – “Break Fast”. You must eat to have energy to manage for the rest of the day.

I yawned and staggered off to the breakfast table.

Okay – I’ll just have a piece of toast.

No ways – she smiled at me. You will have cereal, egg on toast and a piece of fruit!

I glared at her and she wagged her finger at me. No attitude from you missy! Eat your food.

Research shows that you can remember things better when you eat a decent breakfast. This is because the food restores glucose levels, an essential carbohydrate that is needed for our brains to function. I suppose that this is important so that we can remember what we learn at school.

Also – they say that if you eat breakfast as your biggest meal of the day – you are more likely to lose weight. Probably because then you are not always hungry and snacking on junk food all the time instead of eating a proper meal.

Not only does my mum make me eat breakfast, but she also makes me eat it at the table. Sitting properly too, not slouched all over the place. I’m not even allowed to have my elbows on the table to prop my head up.

She and Dad sit and eat breakfast with me.  Dad tried reading his newspaper once and Mum gave him a very evil eye. No ways – she said. This is family chat time.

She’s always very chirpy in the mornings. Dad tends to answer with just one word. I don’t really think he’s such a morning person.

Must admit though – I do feel a bit more sprightly after eating breakfast – maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all. And remember how good eggs are for you – we’ve talked about that before.

Take time to eat and enjoy your breakfast people!

SiboSibo and eggs

Happy 2017!

Hullo again – I hope that 2017 has been kind to everybody so far and that your holiday season was great!

It’s hard to believe that the year is already 10 days old!  Also that the school holidays have whizzed by and a new term has begun.

Time to move into a higher grade and learn many new and exciting things!

Feh… also time to get up early in the morning again – no more sleeping in.

But I always love going back to school and seeing my old friends.

Or maybe even meeting new friends!

Remember people – be nice to new kids in your class. It’s horrible being the new boy or girl in a place where everybody knows each other. You feel really lonely and left out. Last year we wrote about having a “Friendship Bench” – it really is a good idea.

I started thinking about dates… you know how sometimes you read something about Happy World Wetlands Day on the 2nd of February. Or maybe hear something about celebrating World Radio Day on the 13th of February.

I wondered who on earth decides on these dates?

So I did a bit of research and found out that the United Nations has a website that lists all of the dates that have been declared International/World such and such a day.

There are lots and lots of them. Many of them are rather dreary – to kids anyway. But then again, some are very interesting.

My friend Ginny decided to make a 2017 Sibo calendar and include all the interesting dates.

It turned out to be way too cool to hog to ourselves and we’ve loaded it onto  the website so that we can share it with you!

It’s a .pdf file and it’s actually A3 size because it’s full of lots of stuff!  Don’t worry – it does have the real public holidays on it as well.

You are welcome to download it – if you don’t have a printer at home – put it onto a memory stick and take it to your local Postnet or other printing place. (It will probably cost you around R20 to have it printed.)

The first person to post on my Facebook page what the 15th of May is – wins a Sibo book of their choice!

Have a fabulous 2017 people. Let us all make this year count!

Sibo

Being polite when using public transport

sibo-event-post-2

Remember last week I told you that it was International Literacy Day on the 8th of September! Well, I am super stoked. My latest book – Sibo on the Move – which is all about the Gautrain and how you should behave when you travel on public transport – is being launched on this very day in the Rosebank Gautrain Station.

How cool is that!

Wait! I hear you say… how on earth did you, Sibo, get to write a book about the Gautrain?

Actually it’s quite a funny story. We were busy with the road safety book – Sibo Looks Right. Not sure if you remember but actually we crowdfunded for this book so that we could share it with as many kids as possible.  Sadly we did not get enough money to print thousands of copies to distribute – but we did print a few and share them around the place. Plus of course the e-book is on my website for anybody to freely read.

Magically (there was a bit more to it than that – but we’ll leave it there) Gautrain got to hear about my road safety book and asked us all to a meeting. We thought that maybe they wanted to donate some money towards this book but it turned out, in fact, that they wanted their own Sibo book.

This is the book that is going to be launched on the 8th of September.  Actually it is also going to be used for transport month. This happens in October every year.  There is a serious drive in Jozi to minimize traffic on the roads and everybody is encouraged to use public transport as much as possible.

In fact – to make sure that people actually do this, some of the roads are closed off – so that people have to use public transport to get where they want to go – or walk!

This is part of the reason that Sibo on the Move was written – to help people remember that there is some etiquette to be adhered to when travelling on trains and buses.

Simple things like…

  • don’t listen to loud music
  • don’t put your feet on the seats
  • don’t sit in the seats that are allocated for the disabled or elderly
  • wait until people get off the train or bus before you jump on… and
  • eergghhhh – never ever stick chewing gum under the seat – that is beyond gross.

Travel safely people!

Sibo

PS – If you want to read this book – it’s also freely available on www.sibo.co.za – just click on the cover of the book.

Cool Sciency Stuff!

Sibo's Experiment

Once again it is that time of year – National Science Week. Some of you might remember that I’m always saying you should go visit your local science centre. If you can’t get your teacher to take the whole class, then ask your parental agents to take you. They’re really very cool places, where not only do you have loads of fun, but you also learn some very interesting stuff.

So I thought I’d share some crazy facts and maybe you’d like to do a little science experiment all of your own at home.

First the facts. Did you know…

  • Your tongue is the strongest muscle in your body.
  • Earth is the only planet not named after a god.
  • There are no naturally occurring blue foods, even blueberries are purple!
  • Just like finger prints, everybody’s tongue is different.
  • A “jiffy” is the scientific name for 1/100th of a second.
  • You breathe on average about 5 million times a year.
  • Cockroaches can live several weeks with their heads cut off. (Eeergh – that’s really gross.)

 Now for the experiment…

Its winter time and we all enjoy a bit of heat when we are cold – right. Heat is an important form of energy. It is produced in our own bodies as we break down and use the food we eat. We can release stored heat energy by burning fuels such as wood or coal.

Heat can move from one substance to another in three different ways:

  • By convection. (Convection takes place when heated molecules move from one place to another, taking the heat with them.)
  • By radiation. (Radiation is rays of energy – the Sun’s rays travel through space and reach us as heat and light energy.)
  • By conduction. (Conduction is the way heat spreads through a solid or a liquid object – metal is a faster conductor than glass.)

Maybe get an adult to help you here – or at least ask if you can have 3 peas and a teaspoon of butter!

Take a metal spoon, a wooden ruler and a plastic spatula. Stick a frozen pea to one end of each using a bit of butter. Put the other ends in a jug of hot water.

Heat is conducted from the water up each object, melting the butter and making the pea fall off. Which one do you think will be the best conductor?

Science makes the world go round!

Sibo

The friendship bench

Sibo and friends

A few weeks ago I read a very interesting story about a school overseas that has something called “friendship benches”.  Apparently it started out with just one of the lower grades having a bench but then it spread to the whole school and they ended up having several.

I thought the whole idea was seriously cool.

Most of us know what it’s like to go to school and not have any friends. Whether you are new at that particular school or maybe you only have one special friend and they are not there for whatever reason. It’s okay during classes, because you are listening to the teacher and doing your work, so you don’t really have time to feel lonely or misplaced. But it’s a really horrible feeling to be all alone and not know what to do with yourself during break time or lunch time.

It’s even worse when you have to watch everybody else is running around, chatting and generally having fun.

Imagine having a bench – where you would feel comfortable to go and sit if you are feeling alone and sad, wishing badly you had somebody to talk to.

Everybody else would know that’s the friendship bench and they would make an effort to come and chat to you, or even just sit with you so that you don’t feel so sad and alone.

Maybe it would work even better if a rotation of kids (who had volunteered for the job) were assigned to keeping an eye on the bench to see if anybody was sitting there. I mean, it would not be very useful if everybody thought somebody else would take up the challenge and then nobody actually did it – would it? Then the poor person sitting on the bench would feel even worse.

Often people are shy – and they come across as being full of nonsense, or stuck up or snotty which really isn’t the case at all. They are just really shy.

After all – a stranger is just a friend you have not yet met!

Of course – this does not mean that you should go and sit next to strangers and start chatting to them in public spaces – especially adults. That’s not a very clever thing to do. But in a school environment – it’s perfectly safe.

Why not try something like this out in our schools.

Have a happy day.

Sibo

Sibo gets organized!

Sibo T-shirt

Feh! After just a few days of school I am missing the holidays already. Mind you – it was really nice to see all my friends again and I do like learning new stuff.

I decided to be more organized this term. Often I used to scatter my school stuff all over the house and then sometimes land up in class without a book I need or I’d forget my sports clothes or something else important.

So I asked my parental agents if I could have a table into my room so that I can do my homework there instead of in the kitchen. Dad found one at a second hand store and sanded it down for me. We painted it a nice bright pink and now it looks really great.

Funny, but I feel more motivated to sit down and work at my new pink desk.

I also keep all my books lined up against the wall.  I pinched two of mum’s smooth round stones from the garden and painted them the same pink as my desk so that I can put them either side of the books and they don’t fall over.

I covered an old tin with a page from a magazine that I liked and I’m keeping all my spare pens, pencils and rulers all neat and tidy in one place, so I can find them. I even have a diary and I write down all the important things that I need to remember and diarize dates.

My next project is to make a notice board that I can put up above my desk, so that I can pin stuff to it. When I finally make it I’ll share details with you all too – in case you want to have a nice tidy, inviting workspace too.

When I get home from school each day I first have a snack. Then I get changed and hang up my school uniform all nice and tidy for the next day.

Instead of procrastinating as much as possible before doing my homework – I am trying to do it straightaway. Then I can reward myself with some TV time or go have fun working in my veggie garden or riding my bike.

So far it’s been working rather well – but then again – we’ve only been back at school for a few days.

We’ll see how long it lasts!

Sibo