Stress and Pressure of Modern Childhood

December 19, 2012
In their book, Einstein Never Used Flash Cards, Drs Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, experts in child development, discuss childhood stress in our society and how children are pressured to 'learn' and prohibited from playing.  This, of course, leads to issues of anxiety and distress when goals are not met to others' satisfaction and valuable and critical lessons learned through play are skipped.

Everyone wants his or her child to be an academic success, ahead of all other children and received into the top universities. However, the "pressure to boost children's brainpower is harmful because it threatens to erode aspects of childhood that are crucial to social, emotional and cognitive development." They miss learning how to interact with others and solve arguments and how to handle strong feelings, and they miss parts of learning that can integrate other facts and knowledge they encounter.

Not assisting kids in planning their activities and schedules and not giving them free play time to explore takes away their ability to create for themselves. "By making children dependent on others to schedule and entertain them, we deprive them of the pleasures of creating their own games and the sense of mastery and independence they will need to enjoy running their own lives." They don't have the skills to organize their time and work and actually can be less effective learners when they are so dependent.

When children have "responsive, nurturing relationships with parents and caregivers", they have a better chance of "healthy intellectual and emotional development". A US government report states that hanging out with children, washing dishes together, hiking, etc, gives the adults a chance to share knowledge of the world and teach children about themselves.  This helps children deal with events of the day or problems or worries they might be having, giving them skills they cannot learn from books or 'flash cards'.  Even reducing stress levels.

Educators support the value of play and social relationships.  Companies and private schools make a great deal of money catering to the fears that parents have of their children being left behind.  Don't get trapped by the perceived 'need' to get ahead academically.  Enjoy learning along with your children and watching them develop with the natural curiosity and enthusiasm they have to explore and change their world. 

It is a magical time that cannot be retrieved.

A Vowel Chart to help with Reading and Pronunciation

October 3, 2012
thompson vowel chart wksh blank pdf

Continue reading...

Fall 2012 Homework Tips

September 11, 2012
School has begun and parents hope their children will have a good year.  Here are tips about how to help your child to be the best he or she can be.
Homework Tips
A checklist for helping your child with homework:
  1.  Try to set aside a special, quiet place with good lighting for homework.
  2.  Keep basic supplies like paper, pencils, pens, markers, rulers, etc. in the work area.
  3.  Try to have a regular time each day to do homework.
  4.  Help your child use tools, like school planners, calendars, and folders....

Continue reading...

Getting your kids to be independent without going nuts

June 2, 2012
So many parents want their kids to grow up fast and take on complete responsibility for themselves and their schoolwork.
The problem is that the parents often continue to do everything for the kids but abandon them to a chore that they need support in.

Here's an example.  Mom prepares the breakfast, packs the school bag and the lunch, drives the kid to school, all the while nagging her about what she should be doing.  Then after school, Mom picks up her daughter, brings her home and tells her t...
Continue reading...

Brain Bulletin update from Terry Small

May 8, 2012
The best thing you can do to improve your memory and overall health is to SLEEP.   Why? Terry Small, Brain Trainer, tells us.

I read this in the Vancouver Sun newspaper recently:
"Imagine medical research linked a particular food with all the following: obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, some forms of cancer, depression, decreased immunity to bacteria and viruses, lower IQ, problems with focusing, learning and concentration, and a decrease in alertness, leading to accidents...

Continue reading...

Making sure you are prepared for university

March 24, 2012
Many students come to Vancouver in their teenage years.  They arrive with little or no English and hope to gain English skills very quickly.  Their parents expect the students to graduate at the same time and with the same abilities and competence as students who have lived in and spoken English all their lives.

This idea, although admirable, puts a great deal of stress on the teenagers who are already going through many life changes: moving to a new country, separation from family and friends...
Continue reading...

You can DO IT!!

February 14, 2012

Continue reading...

Solving the problem of the city

January 14, 2012
If you go to to watch this, you can also read the subtitles in Chinese or 18 other languages!  We need to think in new ways about the city because cities around the world are growing.
Continue reading...

Sir Ken Robinson - educator and hero

December 7, 2011
Sir Ken Robinson speaks about Changing Education Paradigms meaning we have to change the way we think about education.
Continue reading...

Grammar Girl's 10 Tips for proofreading

November 21, 2011
Grammar Girl is Mignon Fogarty  whose website has incredibly useful tips on writing and editing.

10 Tips to Banish Typos
Funny Typos
Typos can seem funny after the fact. A couple of years ago I told you about someone who accidentally recommended a friend as a "fat and accurate typist" instead of a "fast and accurate typist" and another person who wrote to tell a friend he had written an excellent report and instead called it an "excrement report."

Costly Typos
Some typos are more than embarrassing...
Continue reading...

About Me

Lori in I got my Bachelor of Education degree in the USA but was born and raised in Canada. Working in Asia and with immigrant adults and children for 26 years has given me insights into the difficulties they face in a new country and school system. I like to help adults adjust to and explore the rich and diverse opportunities in Canada while also supporting them in their challenge of parenting in a new culture. I love to help children learn English, develop skills, and gain confidence to succeed in school and life.


“Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning A lack of planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on my part. "Most people don't plan to fail; they fail to plan." ~~John L. Beckley

Make a free website with Yola