At the moment the new school year may seem like weeks away, but it will sneak up on us much quicker than expected! Before you or your child panic about organizing the house and picking up last minute items, here are 5 ways you can prepare your family for going back to school.
Add more storage space for incoming books
2. Set up an organized work space for homework and projects
3. DIY a makeshift mudroom before coats and backpacks start flooding in
4. Put all their work needs together in a homework caddy or a find place where they can keep their homework organized.
5. Upgrade their getting-dressed routine for a smoother morning, you don’t want your children to be stressing about clothes 5 minutes before they have to leave!
Light in the Attic Learning is a premier tutoring company in Toronto. We offer educational enrichment and remedial programs for students JK to grade 12. Our private instruction is tailored to fit each child’s individual needs and learning style while adhering to the Ontario curriculum.
Continuing on from last week’s blog post, we’ve put together a few more activities to do with your children this summer. By keeping their minds activities during these few weeks off, they’ll be fully prepared for school in September.
When shopping look for items that are cheaper than a dollar. Ask your children to pick a couple of items so that the total can be bought for $3.50. They’re rewarded with the items they’ve picked!
Give your children piles of 5, 10 and 25 cents to count. If you give them fifteen 5 cent coins, how much is the total?
How many 10 cent coins will they give you to make a dollar?
If you have ten 5 cent coins, ask them how many 10 cent coins will they swap you for them?
– Piggy Bank
Most children like to collect money in a piggy bank, so every time they have earned pocket money give it to them in change.
When the piggy bank is nearly full ask you children to figure out the best way to count all the money. Big coins first? Make 10s? Put all the same values together? Randomly? Start with a few coins then add more, depending on your child’s confidence. Shape
– 2D Identification
On walks, drives or at home, spot and name any 2D shapes that you see, for example: road signs = triangle and a window = square. Ask you children to draw them and then label them with the name of the shape.
– 2D Cutting
From newspapers/magazines, cut out pictures of 2D shapes to make colourful pictures.
– Shape Make
Use an old food box or greetings card to make a range of 2D shapes. Quadrilaterals and triangles should be easy, as should irregular pentagons, hexagons, heptagons and octagons.
– 2D Drawing
Use accurate ruler skills (or shapes made above) to make a picture using 2D shapes. For example, a house with square windows, rectangular door and circular door handle.
– Right Angle Hunt
Look around you to find lots of right angles (90 degrees). You could play an eye-spy type game (“I spy with my little eye a right angle on something blue and metal.”)
– 3D Identification
Draw and name any 3D shapes that you see at home or on your travels. For example a can = a cylinder, ball = sphere. Ask your children to name them and identify some of their properties.
– 3D Model
Make a model with ‘junk’ using mathematical names for the shapes. Discuss their properties, for example: vertices (corners), edges and faces.
Experts in education throughout the world agree that there is a national imperative to graduate students with an understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In 2007, a Carnegie Foundation commission concluded that the capacity to innovate and thrive in the modern workforce depends on a foundation of math and science learning.
But what is STEM exactly? STEM is an interdisciplinary and an applied approach to teaching. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications. STEM can also be described as a philosophy: it’s a way of helping students to think in a more connected and holistic way.
Many parents ask us what age we think it is appropriate to start teaching STEM to children. We believe that it is never too early to start STEM education.
Children are very active learners at 1,2 and 3 years old so you don’t necessarily have to wait until they start kindergarten to engage in STEM activities. The research is quite clear that the best practice in early childhood education is to break away from passive instruction and allow for more play and investigation, and this kind of learning early in life builds skills and interests that serve children throughout their school years, and later in life. Take your children to the park and let them explore, get up and watch a sunrise with them or let them swim in the sea.
Lilian G. Katz, in STEM in the Early Years, lays out a case that the best practice for early education is to allow students to be active, engaged, and take initiative in their own learning. Allowing our children to have the opportunities to take initiative in their own learning is not only good for STEM learning, but for overall long-term academic success.
In a lot of academic instruction children are in a passive or receptive mode instead of being more active. Early childhood education should tap into children’s natural curiosity and give them ample opportunities to be active participants in their own learning. Natural settings offer children almost unlimited opportunities to explore and investigate, helping them build STEM skills that create a solid foundation for future learning.
If you’d like more information about STEM education please get in touch. We over private and group out-of-school classes in Toronto.
Canada’s education minister announced on Friday that teachers in British Columbia will devote one of their professional development days next year to aboriginal education.
This much needed change coincides with government plans to introduce school curriculum changes that focus on First Nations culture and history, including the discriminatory residential school system.
This is the first time that aboriginal education is the sole focus of a professional development day, a day where teachers gather for conferences without their students in class.
Students as young as 10 will soon be taught that past government policies towards Aboriginal Peoples resulted in the crushing legacy of Canada’s residential-school system. Starting in Grade 5, students will learn about residential schools and other racist government programs, such as the Chinese Head Tax, as part of a new kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education curriculum.
The recent Truth and Reconciliation Commission report into Canada’s residential school experience recommended the creation and funding of aboriginal-education legislation. After six years of hearings, the report concluded Canada’s residential-school system was a form of cultural genocide.
The education minister said in a statement “B.C. is committed to improving education outcomes for aboriginal students and promoting greater understanding, empathy and respect for aboriginal history and culture among students and their families through the revised curriculum.”
He signed a protocol agreement Friday with First Nations educators that aims to guide collaboration efforts on aboriginal education.
B.C. will introduce education curriculum changes next year that will see students learn about aboriginal culture and history, but when will these changes be incorporated to all provinces across Canada?
Soccer may not be as popular as hockey, basketball or even the upcoming PanAm games BUT now’s the time to start taking an interest as the Women’s Soccer World Cup is taking place in Canada next week! After months of preparations the stadiums across Canada are ready and the players are preparing for the biggest tournament of their lives.
Most soccer fans we know have only watched the men’s world cup in past years, a tournament where Canada sadly does extremely badly, HOWEVER that’s not the case with the women’s competition. Canada is one of the better teams and we definitely have a chance of winning, as do our old rivals the US…
A total of 552 players will attend the event, with each of the 24 teams announcing squads of 23. Canada’s team is overflowing with sheer talent and head coach John Herdman has selected a mix of veteran and youth players to don the maple leaf shirt. Captain Christine Sinclair and her 153 international goals for Canada will lead the team. She’s joined by a number of players who were part of the bronze medal winning team from the 2012 London Olympic Games, including veteran goalkeeper Erin McLeod, midfielders Diana Matheson, Desiree Scott and Sophie Schmidt.
Here are some interesting facts that may persuade you to switch the channel over from the Stanley Cup to the Women’s Soccer World Cup:
Known as “the female Pelé”, Marta will be the most famous face. The 29-year-old Brazil forward is five times winner of Fifa’s female Footballer of the Year award and is contesting her fourth World Cup.
Canada – grouped with Holland, China and New Zealand – are excited about their 17-year-old midfielder Jessie Fleming. Canada’s most precocious young star made her senior international debut at 15.
The US are eager for victory. They last won the title in 1999 but are nervous that their former coach, the highly regarded Pia Sundhage, is now in charge of her native Sweden.
This will be the first football World Cup – either female or male – to be played on artificial turf. A contingent of leading women’s stars mounted a legal challenge against Fifa’s decision not to grass the Canadian venues but it failed to gain sufficient traction and the case was eventually dropped. Should players suffer serious “non impact” injuries though, the underfoot conditions will inevitably become a contentious topic.
This is the largest, and longest, event in the history of a tournament which first took place in 1991. Comprising 24 teams, it starts on 6 June in Edmonton, where Canada play China, and concludes on 5 July. Eight countries are making their debuts: Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ivory Coast, Holland, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand.
Here’s a little more information about the Canadian team:
GK- Stephanie Labbé | unattached / sans club
GK- Karina LeBlanc | USA / Chicago Red Stars
GK- Erin McLeod | USA / Houston Dash
D- Kadeisha Buchanan | USA / West Virginia University
D- Allysha Chapman | USA / Houston Dash
D- Robyn Gayle | unattached / sans club
D- Carmelina Moscato | unattached / sans club
D- Marie-Eve Nault | unattached / sans club
D- Lauren Sesselmann | USA / Houston Dash
D- Rhian Wilkinson | USA / Portland Thorns FC
D- Emily Zurrer | unattached / sans club
M- Jessie Fleming | CAN / London NorWest SC
M- Selenia Iacchelli | unattached / sans club
M- Kaylyn Kyle | USA / Portland Thorns FC
M- Ashley Lawrence | USA / West Virginia University
M- Diana Matheson | USA / Washington Spirit
M- Desiree Scott | ENG / Notts County Ladies
M- Sophie Schmidt | unattached / sans club
F- Josée Bélanger | unattached / sans club
F- Jonelle Filigno | USA / Sky Blue FC
F- Adriana Leon | USA / Chicago Red Stars
F- Christine Sinclair | USA / Portland Thorns FC
F- Melissa Tancredi | USA / Chicago Red Stars
Name | Birth year | Hometown
Bélanger, Josée | 1986 | Coaticook, QC, CAN
Buchanan, Kadeisha | 1995 | Brampton, ON, CAN
Chapman, Allysha | 1989 | Courtice, ON, CAN
Filigno, Jonelle | 1990 | Mississauga, ON, CAN
Fleming, Jessie | 1998 | London, ON, CAN
Gayle, Robyn | 1985 | Mississauga, ON, CAN
Iacchelli, Selenia | 1986 | Edmonton, AB, CAN
Kyle, Kaylyn | 1988 | Saskatoon, SK, CAN
Labbé, Stephanie | 1986 | Stony Plain, AB, CAN
Lawrence, Ashley | 1995 | Calendon East, ON, CAN
LeBlanc, Karina | 1980 | Maple Ridge, BC, CAN
Leon, Adriana | 1992 | Maple, ON, CAN
Matheson, Diana | 1984 | Oakville, ON, CAN
McLeod, Erin | 1983 | Edmonton, AB, CAN
Moscato, Carmelina | 1984 | Mississauga, ON, CAN
Nault, Marie-Eve | 1982 | Trois-Rivières, QC, CAN
Schmidt, Sophie | 1988 | Abbotsford, BC, CAN
Scott, Desiree | 1987 | Winnipeg, MB, CAN
Sesselmann, Lauren | 1983 | Green Bay, WI, USA
Sinclair, Christine | 1983 | Burnaby, BC, CAN
Tancredi, Melissa | 1981 | Ancaster, ON, CAN
Wilkinson, Rhian | 1982 | Baie d’Urfé, QC, CAN
Zurrer, Emily | 1987 | Crofton, BC, CAN
It’s that time of year again: SCHOOL REPORTS. Every parent wants their child to get good grades and to succeed in school, so report day is as nerve racking for the parent as it is for the child. Sometimes parents assume that their child will get great marks, but when they receive a bad report card it can take them completely by surprise. Bad grades usually start showing up around middle school, which is a time of change in a child’s life. It’s key that you talk to your child openly and try to identify what’s causing the bad grades together. It could mean anything from your child needs extra help with certain subjects or they have adopted poor learning habits, the main thing to remember is to not panic and/or get angry at the child. Here’s a list of some of the main reasons which could contribute to your child’s bad report:
As a child moves from grade to grade emphasis changes from learning to read to reading to learn. If reading abilities are lagging it will affect every subject, even understanding homework instructions will be hard. Our main advice to all parents is to read to your children from a young age and encourage them to read to you as their reading skills develop. If your child is older and isn’t interested in books, try and find something else that they may be interested in. Do they like comics, many comic have a detailed story, what about newspapers and magazines? Sit down with them once a day and read together.
We live in a fast-paced tech-driven world, which provides too many distractions for children. It takes children more effort to concentrate on any task compared to children a decade ago. Often your child will be on their cell, playing the playstation or on an iPad instead of dedicating time to homework. We suggest that during the week set out a “no tech time zone” where between the hours of 4 and 6 your child spends time either doing homework or non-tech activities like reading. They may kick up a fuss, but they’ll thank you in the end! Maybe reward them at the end of the week with a pizza night, for example.
Organization is key!! Especially in today’s hectic world where a child has numerous after school clubs, homework, various classes and an array of tech devices. It massively helps to establish a routine early on: same wake up time, breakfast, study time etc. Encourage them to keep an agenda and prioritize activities, obviously studying for test comes ahead of a swimming class, for example. We also recommend that you stay organized, children learn a lot from their parents so if you’re organized it will encourage your child to be too. Also keep an agenda of your child’s activities and test dates so that you can make sure they’re keeping on top of their work.
Did you know that Finland has one of the best school education systems in the world? According to the PISA rankings by the Organization fro Economic Co-operation and Development, Finland is always near the top for mathematics, reading and science.
Image credit: mgmnt-class.com
Despite being routinely praised, Finland is considering a radical overhaul of their basic education system by abandoning teaching by subject for teaching by phenomenon.Traditional lessons such as English Literature and Physics are already being phased out among 16-year-olds in schools in Helsinki.
What is this new phenomenon? Well, it involves subjects such as the “European Union,” which encompasses learning languages, history, politics, and geography. The idea is to eliminate the saying that is regularly heard from students everywhere: “What is the point of learning this?” This would mean changing the traditional structure of the schooling day: no more of an hour of history followed by an hour of chemistry. Lessons will draw on a variety of different subjects relevant for the future.
Pasi Silander, Helsinki’s development manager, says the world has changed with the spread of technology and many of the old ways of teaching have no practical purpose. “Young people use quite advanced computers,” he told the Independent. “In the past the banks had lots ofbank clerks totting up figures but now that has totally changed.”
Many teachers who have been teaching single subjects oppose the changes, and it’s not hard to see why, change on this sort of scale is incredibly daunting. The new system is much more collaborative, forcing teachers from different areas to come up with the curriculum together.
Marjo Kyllonen, Helsinki’s education manager and the person responsible for reforming the system calls this “co-teaching” and teachers who agree to it get a small bonus on top of their salaries. Kyllonen told the Independent: “There are schools that are teaching in the old fashioned way which was of benefit in the beginnings of the 1900s—but the needs are not the same and we need something fit for the 21st century.”
Later this month, she is proposing that the new system is rolled out across the whole country by 2020. Will the rest of the world follow the Finns’ lead? How would you feel if Canada opted for this new system too?
I don’t know about you, but our little ones are counting down the days until next weekend, when we celebrate Easter! Our children love Easter for many reasons including the chocolate easter eggs, goodies, arts and crafts at school and easter egg hunts. But our children love Easter for another reason too, we spend the whole long weekend exploring the city and attend events and festivals. Here are some of our favourite events happening next weekend! Make sure to register in advance!
Easter Traditions at Colborne Lodge March 21, 2015 to April 5, 2015 – 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm
Visit inside Colborne Lodge and learn about 19th century Easter traditions. Families will tour the museum and spot Easter treasures hidden in the restored rooms. Children dye their own eggs using natural dyes. Last tour at 3:15 pm.
Kidnetix Annual Easter Egg Hunt April 3, 2015 – 9:30 am until 4:00 pm
A fun filled Egg-citing Easter Egg Hunt! 3 hunts to choose from: 9:30 am to 11:00 am, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm, and 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm. Includes: indoor playground fun, crafts, Hunny the Easter bunny, tattoos and face painting, Easter egg hunt, Easter basket giveaway, free play passes, and lots more surprises! 2 locations: Brampton and Toronto.
Brooks Farms Easter Fest Egg Hunt April 3, 2015 to April 5, 2015
Events includes: Train or wagon ride, barnyard playland, maple sugar bush tours and meet and greet with the mascots! Take part in an Easter Egg Hunt (1 to 6 years) and a Scavenger Hunt (7 to 12 years). Easter weekend 2015 overlaps with the Maple Sugar Festival, which means the Sugar Bush tours will be included with admission to the Easter Festival. Weather permitting.
Canadian Pet Expo April 3, 2015 to April 5, 2015
The Canadian Pet Expo is a true pet lover’s and pet family experience focusing on promoting responsible pet ownership with interactive events, demonstrations, vendor support, and workshops. Kids can take part in special Easter activities on April 5.
Easter Egg Hunt at Alpha’s Discovery Club Indoor Playground April 4, 2015 – 10:00 am until 12:00 pm
Alpha’s Discovery Club Indoor Playground in Mississauga is holding its annual Easter Egg Hunt with the Easter bunny. The children will make an Easter theme craft and hunt for Easter eggs hidden around the indoor playground. Space is limited so reserve your tickets!
Community Easter Egg Hunt at Adventure Valley! April 4, 2015 – 10:00 am until 4:00 pm
Adventure Valley welcomes all families in the community to the Community Easter Family Fun Event! There will be entertainment, food, Easter egg hunting, arts and crafts, and more. Set on a country club-like setting, conveniently located right at Leslie and Steeles.
Easter Sweets & Chocolate Tour April 5, 2015 – 11:30 am until 1:30 pm
Treat yourself and your loved ones to a sweet Easter on Toronto’s only sweets tour, eat your way through the colourful neighbourhood of Kensington Market. What to expect: guided tour on the history of sweets, introduction to 6 sweet stores, samples from each location, discounts at select merchants, fun yum times for all! The tour is from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Adult $35 – Children $20. At Ding Dong Pastries & Cafe.
Toronto Beaches Lions Club Easter Parade April 5, 2015 – 2:00 pm
Over the years the Toronto Beaches Lions Club Easter Parade has grown into an event that the entire city enjoys. It attracts more than 50,000 spectators of all faiths, religions, and cultures. This is a very important event to the Beaches Lions Club, our community and the charitable organizations they serve. It begins at 2:00 pm sharp and runs for approximately two hours. It will begin the parade on Queen Street at Munro Park and proceed west along Queen Street ending at Woodbine Ave.
Toronto’s Easter Parade is one of the city’s oldest traditions, starting in the early 1900’s along the waterfront at Sunnyside Park.
Easter Chocolate Workshop April 5, 2015 – 4:30 pm until 6:00 pm
A fun and interactive afternoon for parents and children playing with chocolate! Learn about chocolate history and tasting, then get creative making your own vanilla chocolate truffles and lollipops with the host chocolatier Odile (Odile Chocolat). What to expect: taste and learn about different chocolates, roll your own vanilla chocolate truffles, for the children, create chocolate lollipops, take home your handmade treats, happy times for all! Adult $49 – Children $39. At Odile Chocolate.
Easter Brunch at Casa Loma April 5, 2015
Join CasaLoma to celebrate Easter with a spectacular Easter Brunch. This unique buffet brunch will feature a delectable array of traditional brunch classics and signature dishes. The complete menu can be viewed on the website. Reservations are required.
Thankfully, winter this year has been considerably kinder to us in comparison to last year’s polar vortex winter. However, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t all looking forward to an extra day off this weekend, a much welcome break during the long winter months.
Family Day is one of our favourite holidays; spending quality time with our family, having fun and being thankful for the people who are around us, what could be better. We’ve put together a list of some of the best events happening this weekend, let us know which ones you’ll be attending!
Maybe don’t tell your children that you’re going to look at old historic sites, it’ll sound more like a history class than a fun day out, unless they really like history class. Tell them about Fort York, where they can sample freshly baked goods made on a hearth, for example, or learn Irish dancing and listen to stories at Montgomery’s Inn.
If you and your family are big hockey fans, the Hockey Hall of Fame is bound to be an interesting and informative few hours for you and your children. Why not dust off your skates and head to your local ice rink afterwards for a family game of hockey? If your family is large enough you could get into teams!
Five lifeguard stations along the Toronto Beaches are transformed into art installations. Chosen from among 200 different submissions, these installations will be open to the public to view and experience for six weeks, so no rush, but it could be a nice walk on Monday afternoon if it’s not too cold.
Also, how lucky are we to live in a country where we’re given a day off work to spend time with our families, just another reason why we love Canada.
What better way to encourage your children to listen and play an active role in science class than with World Space Week! World Space Week is an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition.
World Space Week starts on October 4 and runs though to the 10th. These dates are significant: On October 4, 1957, the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, launched into space thus opening the way for space exploration. On October 10, 1967, the signing of the Treaty on
Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies took place. How impressed will the science teacher be if your child can remember the full name of the Treaty!!!
World Space Week consists of space education and outreach events held by space agencies, aerospace companies, schools, planetaria, museums, and astronomy clubs around the world in a common timeframe.
This year London Ontario is hosting one of two World Space Week events in Canada. The Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration in Western University has put together a free special event.MIT Professor Sara Seager, Exoplanet Hunter, will share her research and experiences searching for planets like Earth in other solar systems, and the search for life in the Universe.
The goal of World Space Week is to excite young people about science, technology, engineering and math, but you don’t need to wait until World Space Week to encourage your children to take an interest in these subjects. There are plenty of fun space related activities you can do with your kids at home, our favourites are on the NASA website: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/education/?page=67
As you probably already know, we often give tips to help children succeed in school, but in order for that to be achieved your children need a solid base of healthy food and daily exercise.
If your children don’t get enough nutrients and constantly snack on processed food they are likely to lack in energy and fall asleep during class. Combine that with a void of exercise and they could develop a weight problem.
Roughly one-third of children in the US are overweight which puts them at risk for numerous medical problems, including asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer, not to mention low self-esteem and low self-confidence.
As a parent there are many things you can do to encourage your kids to lead an active lifestyle andto help them to make the most of their youth.
Not every kid is into organized sports like hockey and football, look for other activities that your children will enjoy. Solo sports like track or tennis might invoke more enthusiasm.
Taking the family on a long walk or a hike is an activity everyone will appreciate. Set goals so that your children look forward to reaching their destination: “If we walk this far we’ll reach a beach where you can build sand castles!”
What about riding a bike or rollerblading on local trails?
Limit screen time
Did you know that the American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that kids get no more than one to two hours of screen time a day? That includes watching TVTV, surfing the internet and playing computer games.
This can be difficult especially if you’re busy during the week with work, so you could suggest that they play some simple games like shooting hoops in the garden or playing tag with a friend. Alternatively if you have a dog you should walk it together in the evenings and head to the park.
It’s important to remember not to reward your children with unhealthy/artificial foods once they have exercised, consider giving them natural snacks such as nuts and kale crisps. If you feel they’ve worked extremely hard over a period of time, think about items that help with their fitness quest or new favourite sport like fitness shoes, a baseball glove or music player.
March break is just around the corner, and with the sudden dip in weather, there’s good chance that it’s going to be super cold. Can you believe that it was minus 50 in some parts of Canada last week??! It’s best to plan ahead for these situations, so we’ve found a few activities that will keep your little ones busy indoors during the break.
1. City play mat from a shower curtain
I found this activity on My Little Gems, I like it because it’s not going to break the bank and it will help bring out young children’s creative streaks. All you need is a shower curtain from a dollar store, some permanent and fabric markers. Draw on the curtain with the permanent markers, then your kids can colour in the simple images you have drawn or add to them.
2. Dr. Seuss day
If your children haven’t read Dr. Seuss yet, now is the time. I love that the creators of the blog All For The Boys, have found a whole afternoon’s worth of activities based on two of the Dr. Seuss books. Once you and your little ones have read One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish why not make fish origami? Next read Cat In The Hat and make pop up cats and themed muffins!
3. Board games
When I was growing up Monopoly and Scrabble were two staple board games played most weekends. Playing games with your children is a fun way to spend some quality time together whilst teaching them about following the rules, fairness, sportsmanship and much more. Sites like Amazon have a section called “educational board games” which is always a good place to start when looking for a new game.
One of the best things about cooking with children is when you see their excitement when the finished product comes out of the oven. Look at this amazing digger themed cake, it is really easy to make! When you cook with your children, it’s the perfect time to teach them about healthy eating.
5. Building shapes
A simple yet effective way of teaching your kids about the different types of shapes used in school. You can easily make coloured sticks out of cardboard, colour coordinate them and label them with the number of sides each shape has. The children will choose a colour and build the matching coloured shape from the sticks! Great for budding mathematicians!! Thanks for the idea A B C Preschool.