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Guest Blogs

Knowitall.ch often invites local experts in their field to contribute to their own blogs on our site. This means not only you will benefit from the useful recommendations that we make on our News pages, but you can also profit from some of the great advice and tips that these experts have to make on their favorite subjects. Whilst each of these bloggers has been recommended to us at some point during the evolution of Know-it-all passport and  knowitall.ch, obviously we are not able to test out all the suggestions they make on their blogs, nor do we necessarily agree with all their opinions.  So if you do find one of their tips useful (or not!), do let us know!

To make these blogs more accessible to you, we have now decided to group them altogether in one section, entitled Guest Blogs, accessible from our main menu bar.  We will also post the most recent blogs on the home page of our site in the right hand column.

We are still building up this area of the site, and are looking for bloggers in a number of sections, including Your Home, Travel, and Leisure, so if you feel you have a useful contribution to make in either of these areas, and have the time to submit blog entries approximately every month, then please get in touch!


By Mark O'Brien, La Côte International School

The International Primary Curriculum, commonly known as IPC, is a comprehensive, thematic and creative curriculum with specific learning goals for every subject. What makes the IPC stand out from other curricula is the strong focus on developing students as global citizens and becoming internationally-minded. International learning goals are unique to the curriculum and help students to develop an increasingly sophisticated national, international and intercultural perspective. IPC is now taught to over 1,000 students across 90 countries around the world, with many opportunities for students and teachers to share their experiences and learning.

The IPC has been designed to ensure rigorous learning, whilst providing both students and teachers learning opportunities that are exciting, meaningful and active. Through the IPC, the following subjects are covered:

- Geography
- History
- Science
- Art
- Technology
- Computing
- Physical Education
- Music
- Society
- International Learning

The curriculum is split into 3 Mileposts:


by Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

Welcome back to the garden. The long hot summer is coming gently to a close and we are all getting ready for the next season. The gardening blog has been updated and you can read more from it via this link my swiss garden blog.

What's on

Green Harvest Autumn Market, Founex Tennis Club, 26-28 September

Thursday 26 15:00-21:00, Friday 27 09:00-17:00, Saturday 28 09:00-12:00
This is the third green market founded by local resident Sophie Bayliss who brings together small companies trying to find sustainable alternatives in our everyday lives. My swiss garden will be there with recycled pots and containers filled with herbs and bulbs for the autumn, as well as beautiful seeds from Grace Alexander Flowers, drop by to say hello!
Green Harvest Autumn Market

Marché aux plantes, Arboretum, Sunday 29 September, 10:00-17:30
If you haven't already visited this is the perfect opportunity to spend some time at the beautiful Arboretum above Allaman. This small plant fair is in its fourth year and attracts a number of well-known local growers, this is the perfect time to be thinking about adding perennials, shrubs and roses to the garden. Activities for kids are organized, yummy snacks. lunch and drinks are available for purchase.

Marie Kondo

Photo of Marie Kondo licensed by KonMari Inc.

By Anna Lascols, Organizing Geneva

Now that I am an officially certified KonMariTM Consultant (yay!), I thought it would be appropriate to discuss this exceptional advice by Marie Kondo: Choose joy. Why? Because it changed my life, and I firmly believe the world would be much more beautiful if everyone followed her guidance.

So why is there such a hype around sparking joy? What does joy actually mean? It’s not tangible, it’s abstract, it’s vague. Is it?

The official definition of ‘joy’ is: “A joy is something or someone that makes you feel happy or gives you great pleasure.” Still abstract, right? Most of my clients take quite a while to determine if the green shirt they picked up from their pile of clothes is actually making them happy. Happy as in ‘my husband gave it to me’ or ‘I was so happy when I bought it’ or ‘it’s comfy to wear at home’? or ‘I might be happy next time I wear it’? Are these elements defining happiness, pleasure and joy? Should I keep the shirt or discard it?

This is where Marie steps in, with her new definition of joy. She is the first to add a very clear and tangible aspect to joy, because according to her you can actually FEEL it. When an items sparks joy to you, your body should first react to it, not your mind. She describes it as if every cell in your body rises, whereas you feel tired, negative and sinking when an item does not spark joy. The first time my clients experience this feeling, by picking up their favorite shirt and comparing it to another, they start grasping the idea. Others describe it as fizzy champagne, beautiful colors or shining stars. Whatever you call it, you should feel the sensation.

Rubenstein poster 3

By Claire Doole, Doole Communications

Mounting an exhibition is one of the most challenging but potentially rich types of storytelling as you have the scope to appeal to the senses, of sight, hearing and sometimes touch. Curators must find a theme, and weave a red thread or "fil rouge" through the lives of their famous and talented subjects to create a story that gives deeper insight and meaning to their work.

Unfortunately, the exhibition "L'aventure de la beauté" about the life of Helena Rubenstein failed to bring alive the story of the woman who invented skincare and make-up as we know it.

As I went around the exhibition at the Museum of Art and Jewish History in Paris, I realised that there was no red thread drawing you in to a life that defied convention. It failed on several levels in the art of storytelling.

A logical structure that inspires interest

There are many ways to structure a story so that it is easy to follow:

• Geographically
• Chronologically
• Thematically
• Problem v Solution
• Challenge v Opportunity

The curators structured the story geographically: Krakow- Vienna- Melbourne- London-Paris- New York - Tel Aviv. This is fine as a concept, but the story became very disjointed and confusing as Helena travelled back and forth between many of these cities during her 93 years.

5. Back to school
Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash.

By Anna Lascols, Organizing Geneva

“Back to school” is one of our favorite topics that comes back every year… and not only reminds us of rainbow colored pencils but also evokes heavy planning, hectic mornings, pointless drama, lists of school supplies and a longer to-do list than ever.

Does it have to be like that? Every year? Really?

Let me give you a couple of valuable tips that will change your back to school days forever.

First of all, start with yourself
Your children usually reflect your own attitude like a mirror. You are their example, their guideline. How do you expect them to stay positive and be motivated if you start complaining about the workload even before coming home from the beach? How do you want them to be relaxed if you are tense and rushing through the days? How do you want them to stop whining if you don’t have time to listen to them? You got it, your mantra should be “Keep calm and get organized”. Before leaving on holidays, make sure to plan your return and have a look at deadlines. When do you have to sign up the kids for their activities? What time do you have to bring them to school? Once you come back, start blocking time slots in your agenda for back to school logistics, such as shopping for supplies. Block yourself some quality time with the kids which is not spammed with admin. And make sure to plan all this around your own work or personal agenda. If you have all the dates and gates under control, you will feel more confident and be able to enjoy this exciting moment with your kids.

Create a morning and nighttime routine
There is nothing more important for children than structured mornings and night times. The first days at school usually feel like chaos as these routines are not yet set up. The kids refuse to get out of bed, keep looking for their school supplies, miss the breakfast and go to bed too late. That means a stressful start of the day and not enough sleep. I recommend to start getting back into the school rhythm a couple of days before school starts. And it is worth trying a couple of new strategies: start the morning process a bit earlier to take the pressure off; invest in an efficient alarm clock; use a picture chart, magnet board or list with all the subsequent tasks the kids need to complete in the morning (make the bed, brush the teeth, have breakfast, get dressed etc.). Make them tick the box or place the magnets when they are done, make it a game or competition…adjust the routine to your needs but make sure it’s exactly the same every morning. In the evenings, prepare the clothes and backpacks for the next morning. Keep the same bathing, reading, singing routine every night and try to stick to your timings. Your kids will sleep better and wake up with a smile.