Full of beans

Hi everybody

You know how adults always talk about sustainable farming, growing your own food and stuff like that? We don’t think that it applies to us – but it does, you know. There is nothing to stop us growing our own stuff to eat.

Like beans.

Beans are really easy to grow. And it’s fun to watch them grow too. Better still, those little beans (when they are about 7 cm long) are really good to eat raw. They taste a million times better than the big ones your mom cooks for dinner.

You get two types of beans – pole beans and bush beans.  You can buy bean seeds at places like Checkers or Pick ‘n Pay. Maybe it’s a plan to club together with your friends, buy a packet of seeds and share them.

Back to the beans – pole beans grow tall and need something to lean against, like a stick or a wall or a trellis or something. Otherwise they get all tangled up and are not such happy chappies.

Bush beans grow in a little bush and don’t need to have a stake like pole beans do.

If you don’t have a nice piece of ground, you can grow your bean(s) in a container. You can even use a 2 liter cool drink bottle. Just cut the top off (get a parental agent to help).  Cut it quite high up so you can have more soil and there is more space for the roots. Make some little holes (using a nail) in the bottom for the water to drain out.

Stick your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. Put your bean into the hole and cover it up gently with soil. Give it a little bit of water.  Beans don’t like too much water so be careful not to drown it. If you leave it on the windowsill or outside in the sun you will need to check that the soil is always a bit damp – don’t let it get too dry or it won’t grow.

After about five days you will notice that your bean has begun to sprout. Once they start growing, they grow really quickly.

It’s great fun to watch plants grow.

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Cool word for the week:

Word:  dodgy

Meaning:  unreliable or dishonest

Example: The weather forecast is often dodgy – you never know if it is actually going to rain or not.

 

PS – you can visit http://www.sibo.co.za/page13.html for more info about Sibo and the Veggie Bed!

Sibo makes a clever plan

Hey guys!

Hope you are all surviving this hot weather.

I was so hot the other day I had an extra cold shower in the middle of the afternoon. But then I felt really bad about wasting water so I came up with another plan.

I asked my mum if I could have her old spray bottle – the one that had stuff in it to clean the windows.  She had put it in the plastic pile to be recycled. I always go and nose around in the recycling pile to see if there is anything interesting that I can re-use or modify. Think I sometimes drive my poor mum a bit crazy.

I washed the bottle out very well, using some sunlight liquid to make sure that all the nasty detergent was gone. Then I rinsed it out several times too. I thought it was okay to use all that water because I’m planning on using the bottle for quite a long time.

Then I filled the bottle up with water and put it in the fridge for a while.

Later on, while I was doing my homework – I sprayed my legs and arms with nice cool water. It worked a treat. If you’ve got a fan – you can also spray the water into the fan and stand in front of it – that works well too.

But be careful not to make your books all wet and smooshy though, otherwise your teacher will be miffed with you.

I know some people are lucky and have swimming pools that they can use to cool down in – but we don’t. So I had to think of a clever plan instead. My Grandmother always says to me, “Sibo! When you have a problem, you have to put on your thinking cap and figure out a way to solve it.”

Sometimes it’s fun thinking of ways to unravel problems. And sometimes it is easier than we imagine. It’s the really simple things that work and make a difference.

Did you know… the 22nd of February is World Thinking Day?

Imagine that! A whole day dedicated to thinking about thinking.

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Cool word for the week:

Word:  miffed

Meaning:  to be annoyed with, to be displeased

Example: I left the recycling pile in a mess when I took out the spray bottle and Mum was miffed with me.

Bullies are Bad

Hullo my friends.

How are you all?

I saw a terrible thing the other day at break time. One of the bigger kids shoved a little girl – took her lunch box and helped herself to all the food. Just like that.

I was so shocked I just stood and stared. I felt really bad for not doing anything to help, although I did share my lunch with the little kid.

Shame, she was crying so much her glasses had all misted up and she could not even see.

I said she must tell her teacher and she must tell her parental agents. But the little kid just shook her head and said that the bully girl lived close to her and would pick on her even more if she got her into trouble.

Eish! I did not know what to do. So I asked my Mum and she said I should tell my teacher. My teacher listened carefully and asked a few questions. Then she said not to worry – she would make a plan.

My teacher is so clever! She lurked behind a window at break time and saw the same thing happening all over again. The big kid stole the little kid’s lunch. She dashed outside and had words with the bully.

The last I saw was the bully being hauled off to the principal’s office.

Bullying is bad you know. And it takes all sorts of different forms – like being called names, being teased or being ignored and left out. Sometimes they push or pull you, steal your stuff or even hit you.

It’s wrong.

I know it’s scary if it’s happening to you – but you HAVE to TELL somebody. Your teacher or your parents – anybody who can help you.

You are not allowed to be bullied. Not even by an adult. They’re not allowed to bully you either.

Usually bullies are having a problem in life themselves – but it still does not give them the right to take it out on somebody else.

It’s a violation of the bill of rights… “All children should be protected against all types of violence.”

Stand tall.

Sibo

PS – If you are an educator and are interested in getting wallcharts on the subject of “Bullying” go and look at: http://www.letslook.wallcharts.biz/reader/?f985d9de-8929-11e1-8c5d-83e78d92b724#/0

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Your new cool word for the week:

Word:  pow-wow

Meaning:  to have a discussion with, to talk to

Example: I had a pow-wow with my mum to see how we could help stop the little girl from being bullied.

Be Safe on the Road

Hi everybody.

I hope that you are all happy and more important – healthy!

I get so sad when I hear on the radio or see on TV that kids have been hurt or killed on their way to school. Often while being driven in a taxi.

Actually it makes me mad too. We are just little kids. We have to hope and trust those drivers will take us safely to school each day. We should not have to worry about stuff like having accidents.

We don’t have any control over how fast the taxi drivers drive. In fact – we don’t even know if they are good drivers.  Maybe our parental agents should be able to check up and see how many accidents the drivers have been in. Then we simply should not use a taxi if it’s full of dents and the driver is a road hog.

Even if it means being late for school. Better safe than sorry.

But we can take some responsibility for our own safety. We should sit quietly in the car, taxi or bus and not shout or scream or do anything to distract the driver.

Although some of those taxis play such loud music I think they run on sound instead of diesel!

Also – we should always wear our seatbelts. Even if it is just for a short distance.

Did you know – statistics show that most accidents happen within 5km of your home? That is just scary.

If we walk around when it is dark – we should always make sure that we wear something bright (like white). So that cars can easily see us. If you skulk along the side of the road wearing jeans and a dark shirt – it’s very hard for the cars to see you until right at the last minute. Then sometimes it’s too late.

You should always walk on the side of the road that faces the oncoming cars too.

Running in front of cars is just silly and dangerous. But we all know that. Even if you are late and you have to vamoose – use the zebra crossings and walk.

Stay safe.

Sibo

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Your new word for the week:

Word:  skulk

Meaning:  to hide or move around as if trying not to be seen.

Example: The naughty boy skulked outside the door to see if he could hear what the teacher was saying about him

Water

Hullo hullo!

Hope that you are all fine and still enjoying school.

I was gazing out of the window the other day instead of doing my homework – it was raining. Not just gentle droplets of rain either. Great heaving cascades of water were streaming from the sky. I thought to myself… Sjoe… and they talk about water shortages. Fat joke!

So I decided to do a bit of research about why water is so precious. I mean, that’s what they’re always saying… save water Sibo. Turn the tap off when you brush your teeth Sibo. Take shorter showers Sibo. And yet… when it was my turn to wash the dishes and I told Mum that I was going to leave them until tomorrow when there would be more to wash and I would be saving a whole sink full of water – she was not amused. Feh! Thought it was a brilliant water saving idea.

Anyway – I found out some interesting stuff. Such as… we are still drinking the same water that the dinosaurs once drank (and then widdled out!). Eeergh gross yuk foef I hear you say. But it’s true.

It’s easy to think that when you flush the loo, or pull the plug out, that that water disappears down the drain for ever. But it goes to a municipal facility where it gets cleaned up and used again. That’s why we should not throw gunk down the drain. Especially not disgusting old motor oil, medicine or stuff like that. It makes it even harder to clean and they have to use more chemicals.

You all know how the water cycle works hey? Water comes down from the sky, travels around the earth for a while, runs off into rivers and underground water tables and then eventually gets sucked back up to the sky again. I’ve got a great picture of this in one of my books. Go and have a look at it – or download it if you want to – free. http://www.sibo.co.za/page12.html

So now I’m full of vim and vigour when it comes to saving water – and I’ve checked to see none of our taps are leaking either.

Go check your taps too.

Sibo

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Your new word for the week:

Word:  vamoose (va-MOOS  –  is how you say it)

Meaning:  to leave in a hurry

Example: We had to vamoose this morning because we were late for school.

International Book Giving Day

Hey everybody!

Did you know… 14th of February is International Book Giving Day. Yes yes, I know it’s also Valentine’s Day – but let’s ignore that one for the moment because really – everybody knows about Valentine’s Day already, but who knew it was International Book Giving Day?

So I was thinking… if you’ve got some books that you have outgrown or finished reading or simply don’t have space for anymore – maybe you could drop them off at the Addie offices and they could give them to kids or schools that don’t have lots of books.

Don’t you think that’s an awesome idea?

And they do not have to be only children’s books – maybe your parental agents (aka your mom /dad guardian / whoever) have novels or other books that they would be prepared to give away too.

Or… your school or church could organise a book drive – collect up lots of books and pass them over to people who don’t have books of their own.

Or you could donate some books to the local hospital.

If you think of a clever idea of who and how to donate books to – email me quickly (sibo@sibo.co.za) and let me know so that we can share it with everybody else… in the world.

Yes! That’s what “International” means – it means that the whole world is going to be giving books on the 14th of February.

The thought of living in a world without books gives me the heebie-jeebies (remember – that’s the word we learnt last week).  Sad to say though – too many children in South Africa don’t own a single book of their own.

We can all make a difference to somebody’s life and give a book.

Or maybe you are one of the people who do not have a book of your own. Just think – you might be able to get one on the 14th February.

If you are feeling really generous, you can buy a brand new book and donate it to somebody who needs it. Ginny is going to do this. She’s going to donate some of the books in the Sibo Series to a needy school.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Sibo

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Your new word for the week:

Word:  vim

Meaning:  (noun) Lively spirit; energy;  enthusiasm

Example: Sibo is full of vim when it comes to International Book Reading Day!

School is Cool

Hi everybody!

My name is Sibo.

One of the things I love most in life is helping to save the world.

Pah! I hear you say. How can little kids save the world? That’s just silly!  Actually, it’s not so silly. If we all do a little bit – like have a shorter shower and turn off the tap when we brush our teeth – then we save water.

And… we all know that water is very precious. Simple hey?

Turning off lights and unplugging your cell-phone charger is another easy-peasy way to help out. We can all do it. We can make sure that our families do it too.

I also really like learning new things. Now that the holidays are finished – I think it’s cool we can go back to school. I’m looking forward to learning lots of new stuff this year.

I know… sometimes it’s a drag to have to get up in the mornings for school… but just imagine if we had holidays all year round (I can hear lots of you yelling yaaaayyy – now that would be really cool) but think about it. We’d be bored silly after a few weeks. We’d probably be a bit stupid too, because we wouldn’t know much.

Plus… we probably would not be able to read.

I love reading. I read a bit every day. Not only the stuff we have to read for school, but I also enjoy reading for myself. Books are like friends – even better in some ways because you can always rely on them. You don’t need to ask your mum if your book can come and play (duh!) – you can just pick it up and start reading. You can get stuck into a good story and forget all your problems. You can have awesome adventures without ever leaving your house.

This is going to be a regular blog where we can all share stuff.  You can email sibo@sibo.co.za and send letters, pictures, photos, lists of books you’ve read, hints or tips – anything you feel like. Or if you’ve got questions you can send those too. I’ve got a friend – The Earthman – who is really smart and knows about most things.

Visit my website – http://www.sibo.co.za for cool stuff that you (and your teacher) can download free. Like colouring in sheets, activity sheets and there’s even a song.

Looking forward to next week.

Sibo

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PS: I like learning new words – I’m going to share a cool new word with you each week in case you like learning new words too:

Word: Heebie-jeebies  (HEE-bee-JEE-beez  is how you say it)

Meaning: A feeling of nervousness; jitters, creeps (noun)

Example: I get the heebie-jeebies when I don’t have a nice book to read!