Changing Schools – Who’s more stressed the child or parent?

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Ella recently started grade 1 a few weeks ago and because she’s starting French Immersion she had to switch schools.  That meant leaving some of her friends behind, starting to take the school bus and a whole new environment – just as she was getting so comfortable with her current school.  I spent countless hours worrying about the transition.  It didn’t help that Ella was really upset at the end of June (both she and her teacher shed tears on the last day of school) and she specifically told me she didn’t want to change schools.  That threw everything into a whirlwind, making me second guess the whole reason I uprooted our family to move to a new school district in the first place.  For months leading up school starting I worried (but of course trying to keep a cool exterior).  So many questions kept running through my mind.  (more…)

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Preparing for GR1 Reading Requirements and a Reading Light Review

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I am very surprised at the expectation for reading coming out of Kindergarten these days.  Not sure if my memory is failing me in my old age, but I recall kids eating glue and maybe being able to read a few simple words such as cat or dog when I was in Kindergarten.

In preparing for Grade 1 this September, we went to a parent’s meeting a little while ago to ensure we were informed about what to expect since it was a fairly big transition for most kids.  There was a focus on what reading level they should be at by that time – level 6.  I had no idea what level Ella was at and went home and asked her.  She told me she thought she was at level 2 which put me into worry mode thinking she might be behind!  I later found out from asking her teacher that she was at level 4.  Funny thing is that I thought she was reading really well for a child in Kindergarten and would have guessed that she was ahead of where she needed to be not behind.  The reality was much different from my assumptions! (more…)

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How texting can improve your child’s learning

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In this day and age, I know there is a lot of thoughts about keeping your kids away from the phone and computer so imagine the reaction I get when I tell people I signed my 5yr old up for WhatsApp (free text messaging app)!

Now that you’ve had that reaction too, let me explain. Ella is in SK now and they’ve really started to focus on reading. We’re not talking about simple three letter words here and there but full sentences!  To complement this, she is also very interested in learning how to spell. (more…)

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Summer Camp Round-up. It was worth it!

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Summer seemed to fly by this year and we’re sad to see the nice weather starting to turn.  Looking back at Ella’s summer camps this year I’m happy to report it wasn’t babysitting at all – it was definitely worth it!  The cost for the camps was quite reasonable and about the same as I would have paid for a week’s worth of babysitting.  I feel she got so much more from having tried them.

Highlights of what she took away from each of the camps:

  • Cheer Camp – she learned how to do a cartwheel and the splits!  Putting on a show after a one week camp was pretty impressive as well (video below).  She looked up to the older kids and learned how to work and coordinate an end result within a team.  Being an only child, I always worry about her need to be the only focus and she seemed to do just fine sharing the spotlight and working cooperatively without conflict.  It’s funny how something so simple can help build this skill set.  She’s not into sports so I will have to find more ways for her to participate in team activities for sure.

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First Year of Piano – A great start at 4yrs old!

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It’s been a ride this past year with starting piano lessons.  Looking back, there were struggles and breakthroughs.  I often go back to whether starting her in piano at 4yrs old was the right decision.  Reflecting back despite the challenges I still feel it was a good choice.  She’s learned to focus a little more (a huge hurdle at 4yrs as I’m sure you know) and that with some hard work and perseverance, the end result and recognition (remember she’s a Leo!) was all worth it. (more…)

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