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back to school issue 2013 www.bcparent.ca

mom bullying

Kindergarten

READINESS

Classes & Programs GUIDE


inside ... 4 Five Simple Ways

14 The Gift

to prepare your child for kindergarten

Follow us on

of gifted education

17 Classes & Programs

6 Eating Disorders Causes, complications & prevention

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22 Saving Cats

10 Stop the Mom Bullying

one kitty at a time

Moms feeling judged

BC Parent Newsmagazine

12 Bicycling Basics for back-to-school

Publisher/Executive Editor: Forrest Phillips

Contributors: Laura Amann, Sandra Gordon, Laura Lane, Heather Lee Leap, Caralynne Mclean, Tammy Lee

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Back to School Issue 2013 Volume 22, Number 5

bcparent.ca • back to school 2013 3


5

Simple Ways to Prepare your Child for Kindergarten

By Laura Lane

On my son’s first day of kindergarten, I hid behind a pine tree to spy on him during the first recess. I wanted to make sure he found other children to play with and that he would line up with his class when it was time to go back inside. I stood there for twenty minutes peeking out from behind the tree and chatting with other parents who were doing the same thing. As I stood there, I asked myself, “Had I done enough to prepare my son for kindergarten?” The other parents with me were wondering and worrying about the same thing. Kindergarten readiness is a popular topic these days, but what does it mean when someone asks if your child is ready for kindergarten? “What readiness means varies incredibly from community to community, school to school, teacher to teacher, parent to parent, nation to nation,” says Beth Graue, Ph.D., Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Although the definition of kindergarten readiness can vary depending on the context, here are five simple ways to help prepare your child for kindergarten:

1

Invite Your Child into Conversation with You

Talk with your child early and often. For example, chat with your baby while you are changing their diaper, pushing them in the stroller, or riding in the car. Your child’s response may be verbal or non-verbal, but the most important thing is to talk to your child and listen closely for their response. Do not ask and then answer a question for your child, or forget to listen to your child’s answer. “You have to be a really sensitive listener to your child,” Graue says. 4 bcparent.ca • back to school 2013

2

Give Your Child Time to Play

All children need free time to simply play. Giving your child time to play is not wasted time—it’s just the opposite—as playing provides children with many developmental benefits. Physical play helps children develop their motor skills, and very young children often do practice play by repeating the same movements over and over again in order to master them, according to Jill Steinberg, Ph.D., Faculty Associate in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Group play helps children learn social skills, including how to resolve conflicts through negotiation and compromise, how to be persuasive, and how to express their desires, says Steinberg. Much of the benefit of social play comes when children learn to work out their own conflicts, with as little assistance from adults as possible. Graue recommends choosing a preschool that gives children ample time to play.

3

Provide Experiences Away from You

4

Encourage Independence and Self Care

Enroll your child in preschool or another activity such as a religious education class, swimming lessons, or story time at your local library. Five year old Jada started kindergarten this year, and her mom, Michelle, credits her easy transition to her preschool experience, and the fact that Jada was comfortable taking directions from— and listening to—other adults. “I would provide several situations where your child is taking instructions from someone other than you as a parent for two reasons. The child will know who to listen to and how to take instructions from someone other than yourself, and they will feel comfortable with you not being there for a good duration of time,” Michelle says.

In kindergarten, teachers will often give multi-part directions that require children


to complete a number of tasks. Encouraging your child to be independent and learn how to care for themselves and manage their own things helps them master the ability to handle multiple tasks at school too. As a mother of three, Leane, was especially nervous when her oldest daughter, Franny, started kindergarten. “We prepared Franny for kindergarten by working on the physical development areas like getting dressed, putting on and zipping her coat, and even tying her shoes, although she didn’t actually learn to tie her shoes until late in the first grade. We also concentrated on following a routine, following directions, and cleaning up her toys and games,” Leane says. Teaching your child to be independent builds the way for them to transfer those skills to a higher stakes situation like school. “Being able to clean up is a great asset in kindergarten,” Graue says.

5

Keep Learning Fun and Relaxed

Does your child need to know how to read when they begin kindergarten? No, says Graue. “I wouldn’t worry about a child not reading going into kindergarten. It’s im-

portant kids know the letters in their own name and letters in general, but again drilling kids isn’t the only way to teach,” she says. It’s important to teach letters in a fun, play based manner, and to expect that there will be instruction in kindergarten to support your child’s literacy skills. Instead of drilling your child on their ABCs, you can point out letters on signs and while reading to your child. The key is to help your child recognize letters in the context of their environment. In addition to recognizing letters, teach your child how to say their first and last names, their phone number, street address, names of family members, colors, and shapes. Michelle found her daughter Jada’s enthusiasm for reading didn’t spark until after she started kindergarten. “I tried to push reading with Jada but she lost interest quickly,” Michelle says. “Now, in kindergarten she is coming home every day with a new story about each letter and finds it fun to find site words and do flash cards.”

RESOURCES Would you like more information tailored to your child’s upcoming kindergarten experience? Tap into the following resources: • Start with your pediatrician. From day one, develop a relationship with your child’s pediatrician and ask them about your child’s developmental milestones and talk about any concerns that come up. Consistent communication with your pediatrician is key. • Use your social network. Talk with family members, neighbors, coworkers, friends, and current preschool and kindergarten parents to learn more information about preschools and elementary schools in your area. • Contact your local school to find out more information about kindergarten screenings, registration, and answers to any other questions you might have.

As a freelance writer and mother of two, Laura Lane no longer hides behind a tree on the playground as her children find it too embarrassing. www.wordsbylaura.com

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Local mother and psychotherapist, CaraLynne McLean, discusses the causes, complications and prevention of eating disorders.

Eating Disorders By CaraLynne McLean

here’s a girl in pastel pants bouncing up and down on the television to an uplifting tune. Spring has sprung and there’s a spring in her step. She’s happy, footloose and fancy free. She’s selling jeans, but more than that, she’s also selling a look. She’s waif thin and smiling. Watching this commercial, I couldn’t help but focus on her long limbs and concave stomach. It made me sad, because it was yet another example of the multimedia barrage that is hypnotizing our youth, well all of us actually, into a singular belief that thin is beautiful. But I also quickly admonished myself for these thoughts. The media are often cast as the only villains in the battle against eating disorders. Parents worry about the impact the images of the media will have the on the mental health of their children. But eating disorders, while often cast as a disease resulting from mass marketing, are far more complex. As a mother and psychotherapist, I am acutely aware of this issue and have made it a focal point of my practice. It goes without saying that the pressure children experience, in this highly demanding world,

T

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seems to have reached an all time high. Whether the perceived stress and demands come from the media at large, social media, coaches, teachers, parents, friends or even within the individual children themselves, children experience more stress than ever before. Often, eating disorders result from poor or nonexistent coping strategies to these outside influences. Fostering a sense of resiliency and connectedness while teaching our children healthy ways of living are vital pieces when dealing with the pressures experienced by our youth. Eating disorders affect a person physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially and personally. The continuum: Eating disorders and disordered eating occur on a spectrum or continuum. The best way to explain this is to use an analogy we all know – a scale of 1 to 10. If you were to imagine that with regards to your body image, self-esteem and food, 1 = absolutely no food issues, and 10 = extreme anxiety or avoidance of food, you probably (hopefully) generally lie somewhere in the middle. You may shift up or down the spectrum a little, depending on the life


events that you encounter, but generally on a scale of 1 to 10, it is manageable. Meanwhile, people who struggle with eating disorders tend to hover quite closely to or around the extreme end of the spectrum. They live with extreme fear of food, or utilize food as a coping mechanism, on a regular basis, which as you can imagine makes it very difficult to live a normal life. Causes: It is important to remember, whether the illness is anorexia (restricting), bulimia (purging) or any other type of eating disorder, there is rarely, if ever, a single identifiable cause, factor or event that triggers and maintains an eating disorder. Rather, eating disorders take hold due to a host of factors, which intermingle and result in a perfect storm, leaving its target psychologically, physically and emotionally shattered.

Some medical complications, which occur with eating disorders, may include a weakened heart (for patients suffering with anorexia) and damaged teeth and throat (particularly for patients suffering from bulimia). Additionally, people afflicted with eating disorders often withdraw socially, tend to struggle with exhaustion, low energy,

Medically Speaking:

moodiness, anxiety and/or depression. It’s important to note that, although rare, an eating disorder can result in death. Due to the intense period of physical, emotional and psychological change that occurs throughout adolescence, children and youth are particularly vulnerable to eating disorders.

Vulnerabilities:

What can you do? How can I prevent my child from falling prey to such an illness, you ask? Before you begin feeling overwhelmed, there are some key things we can do as parents to help our children become resilient enough to avoid falling into an illness such as an eating disorder.

The most important defense to an eating disorder is an engaged parent who models healthy living, demonstrates acceptance, and is always available to discuss the confusing world in which we live.

Get Help! Firstly, if you already suspect that your child is struggling with an eating disorder it is critical to seek help and support as soon as possible. I cannot underscore enough how important it is for people who are suffering with anorexia, bulimia or any other related eating disorder to get the help they need. It is also very important to support anyone who is struggling with disordered eating whether or not they fit into an actual medical diagnosis of anorexia, bulimia or other in order to prevent a downward spiral.

bcparent.ca • back to school 2013 7


Often, eating disorders result from poor or non-existent coping strategies to outside influences.

Notice: Secondly, spend time with your child and try to notice if any of the following thoughts or behaviours are occurring: • Does your child tend to compare her/himself to others, magazines, or even other family members in a negative way? • Is there a lot of “fat talk”? • Does your child or teen seem to avoid eating meals with the family or in front of anyone? • Does your child seem embarrassed or ashamed of what they eat? • Does your child tend to say they feel “guilty” after eating something, or behave as though they have done something wrong by eating a particular food? • Have you noticed an increase in the amount your child exercises? Or, do they feel guilty if they do not exercise? • Does your child seem unusually moody or tired? • Does your child seem to idolize people who are very thin? Understand: There are many contributing factors in the development of an eating disorder: • The onset of puberty and weight-related remarks are enough to set the wheels in motion. • A desire for control in an otherwise difficult social or familial situation may be exhibited. • Certain sports emphasizing the importance of weight may trigger insecurities or a desire for success at any cost. • Observing the disordered eating habits, or even knowing someone with an eating disorder, may plant the seed in a child or teen’s head. • Particularly stressful events in a child or teen’s life, such as the death of a loved one or a relationship breakup, may increase a teen’s vulnerability to eating disorders. • Bullying and weight related teasing. • Gender harassment. • The sexualization of adolescents. Teach: Teach your child healthy ways to manage everyday stressors such as going for a walk with a friend or family member, reading a book, journaling, artwork, joining a sports team or martial arts club.

Model non-dieting and healthy eating habits! If you don’t want your child to hate their bodies and to develop low-self esteem or body image issues, then you need to deal

You are the mirror they look into!

with your own issues related to food, now! Honor yourself, as you would expect your child or adolescent to honor him/herself. Get active together! Try to develop healthy family activities that you do together. In the winter months, take advantage of winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing, or join a community recreation center and make sure you take part in these activities too! Seek out opportunities for meaningful social connections.

Spending regular, quality time with your child will increase the likelihood your child will feel comfortable approaching you in times of need or discouragement. Interest rather than disengagement will foster a sense of interconnectedness and support. Notice the small stuff so that they are more willing to talk about the big stuff later on.

Get interested!

Non-stressful family meals are a proven way to help prevent eating disorders. They serve to bolster a child’s relationship with food and family! Find a way in your busy day to have at least one family meal together, regardless of your schedule.

The family that eats together…

Make sure your child gets enough sleep; sleep is essential in the management of emotions.

Sleep:

Encourage your child for efforts he or she has made, rather than praising a personal quality. This will reduce the likelihood that they will internalize a failure or setback, thereby leaving their self-worth intact. As a result he or she will be less likely to feel ashamed or embarrassed by a failure, and a sense of inner resiliency will hopefully take root. A recent study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology corroborates this notion, and suggests that when we encourage our child’s behavior we avoid the misunderstanding that failing equates a personal inadequacy.

Lastly: Encourage rather than praise!

Children will always face stressors, peer pressure and misinformation from a variety of sources. The most important defense to an eating disorder is an engaged parent who models healthy living, demonstrates acceptance, and is always available to discuss the confusing world in which we live. Being present is the best “present” a parent can give.

CaraLynne McLean is a parent and Registered Clinical Counsellor, facilitating the Jessie’s Legacy Eating Disorders Support Group for Parents, Partners and Friends at Family Services of the North Shore; member of the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) Committee and the North Shore Education Committee for the Prevention of Disordered Eating. The PEDAW campaign is a BC Province wide effort to raise awareness around prevention and early intervention of eating disorders as well as media literacy, resiliency, building healthy body image and self-esteem. PEDAW is launched the first full week in February with activities and events taking place throughout the year. The initiative is led by Jessie’s Legacy Eating Disorders Prevention Program at Family Services of the North Shore in collaboration with Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, Looking Glass Foundation, St. Paul’s Specialized Adult Eating Disorder Program, BC Children’s Hospital Eating Disorders Program, and Healthy Minds, Healthy Campuses. For more info: www.facebook.com/loveourbodiesloveourselves. Email: pedaw@mail.com

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bcparent.ca • back to school 2013 9


STOP the mom BULLYING By Sandra Gordon

reastfeeding or using formula. Working versus staying at home. The best bedtime for toddlers. Whether to let babies cry it out. Or co-sleep. To give time-outs or not. Spanking—yes or no? Let’s face it—raising kids involves making countless decisions that can shape you as a parent. Your internal GPS—intuition —can guide you, of course. So can insight from friends, your spouse, your extended family and fellow moms and dads online. But with so much advice swirling around, parenting can sometimes feel like a disco ball. Are you doing the right thing? It depends on whom you ask. And thanks to the anonymity of the Internet, there are plenty of harsh critics lurking out there, waiting to let you know whether you’re on track—or not. Oh, the scrutiny! “Surveys show that 95 percent of moms feel judged by just about everything these days, from working or not working and their choice of infant feeding, to their discipline approaches and the sleep methods they use with their kids,” says Michelle Borba, Ed.D., a parenting expert and author of 22 books, including The Big Book of

B

Parenting Solutions. Unsolicited feedback or even just dirty looks from other moms in the grocery store can make parenting even more stressful. Borba even goes so far as to call it a form of bullying, which can undermine your parenting assurance and feed into the problem. “When you have less confidence in yourself, you’re more likely to be judgmental of other moms,” Borba says.

works for one child won’t necessarily work for another, even within the same family. To boost your confidence and empower yourself as a parent while you’re figuring out how to tailor your approach, stand up for yourself. Here’s how to handle criticism from know-it-all friends, relatives, co-workers and cyber parents. When somebody criticizes you (as in, “I can’t believe you’re still breastfeeding,”) stay cool and calm. “Bullies love responses,” Borba says. Resist the urge to insult them with a cutting comeback. Instead, take a deep breath and respond with a simple line, such as “I hear you,” or “Thank you. I know what works best for my child,” in a firm, strong voice. “Practice your response ahead of time so you can deliver it in the heat of the moment,” Borba says. Use firm body language too. “Look at the color of the talker’s eyes.” These assertiveness techniques can also come in handy on the playground, so teach them to your kids too.

Practice assertiveness.

Surveys show that 95 percent of moms feel judged by just about everything these days.

You might even change your parenting style. According to Borba, one out of three moms makes a different parenting choice because she feels criticized by another mom. A better idea? Remember that there’s no cookie cutter approach to parenting. What

10 bcparent.ca • back to school 2013

As a mom, you need layers of support, including an inner circle of other

Seek support.


moms you who make you feel valued. “Find truly supportive friends—moms you can confide in who you know won’t take what you tell them any further,” says Sue Hubbard, M.D., a Dallas pediatrician and host of the “The Kid’s Doctor.” It may take some play date experimenting to find your inner circle. The pay-off? “Moms who receive support are confident, happier and more fulfilled,” Dr. Hubbard says. Your inner circle can change over time as you and your kids change. But there’s no better relationship than with other trusted moms in the trenches. That said, the mommysphere on the internet shouldn’t be your inner circle. Not all discussions need to involve everyone. “There are many decisions you can make on your own or with that inner group of friends,” Dr. Hubbard says. If you decide to share something online, however, whether it be a tweet, text, Facebook or blog post, use the front door rule: “If you don’t want to put it on the front door for your own mother to see, don’t push send,” Dr. Hubbard says.

dren to shut up before.’” Instead of turning around and saying something not so nice, Smith stayed facing forward, which is what seemed to be the most helpful thing to do at the moment since the mom was concerned about attracting attention. Dr. Hubbard

When the mom said, “Will you just SHUT UP! Everyone is looking at you,” I started to judge her.

agrees with Smith’s “stop and think” approach. When you feel the urge to judge others, “Ask yourself, ‘I wonder what happened in that mom’s life to make her feel or act that way?’” Dr. Hubbard says. If you decide to intervene, share your ideas in a positive manner, such as “Would you like to switch seats so your son can see out the window?”

Consider criticism just information.

Likewise, if you feel judged, consider the judger’s perspective. U.S. Olympic gold medalist Keri Walsh Jennings was walking through the infant formula section at Target recently with her third child, 1-month-old daughter, Scout, when she got the stink eye from another mom. “I took a deep and said to myself, ‘She has no idea I’m a low-producing woman; that my kids starve when I only feed them breast milk because my milk is too low in fat.’ So I gave the lady a smile and grabbed two boxes of formula,” Walsh Jennings says. “Knowing why I’m doing what I’m doing empowers me.” Walsh Jennings also thinks critics serve a purpose. “They make you think, ‘You’re right. I could adjust this,’ or ‘You know what? I’m kicking butt and I’m not changing a thing.” Sandra Gordon is an award-winning freelance writer who delivers expert advice and the latest developments in health, nutrition, parenting and consumer issues. Her most recent book is Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear. www.sandrajgordon.com

Trust your “momtuition.” Sometimes, you just know you’re right about a parenting decision, such as deciding not to send your child to summer camp. In those stances, go with it. “Don’t second-guess yourself or go online to get others’ opinions,” Dr. Hubbard says. Similarly, if you have a tough parenting decision to make, such as whether to put your child on ADHD medication, get an expert’s advice. Seek out the counsel of your pediatrician. Don’t bully. As a mom yourself, it’s impossible not to question other moms’ parenting tactics. Still, resist the urge to inflict your opinion. Instead, stop, think and consider the potential big picture. Recently, for example, Danielle Smith, founder of Extraordinarymommy.com was on an airplane. A woman with a preschool-age boy sat in the row behind her. “The child, who was sitting above the wing, kept telling his mom he couldn’t see. When the mom said, “Will you just shut up! Everyone is looking at you,” I started to judge her,” Smith says. “Then I said to myself, ‘Wait a minute. You have no idea what her day has been like. You don’t know if her child has pushed every single button. You’ve told your chil-

bcparent.ca • back to school 2013 11


Bicycling Basics By Heather Lee Leap

for Back-to-School

I

n many schools, fewer hours are allotted to recess and physical education each year, but access to fresh air and exercise doesn’t have to end when classes start up again this fall. Bicycling is a fun and fitness-friendly method of transportation that, with a little planning and attention to details, could replace your carpool. Read on for tips and advice to minimize the risks and get your child rolling safely down the road.

so very young cyclists should always be accompanied by an adult. Before allowing children to ride alone, assess their skills and judgment. Teach your kids to make eye contact with drivers, particularly before crossing intersections. This increases the likelihood that traffic will be stopped before they cross the street.

Teach your kids to make eye contact with drivers. Child development research by

route together to point out details and identify any potential hazards. Do this even if you have ridden to school together in the past. A child who has always followed an adult has not had to rely on his or her own judgment and may not be confident of the route.

Safe Kids Worldwide indicates that children under the age of ten have difficulty judging the speed and distance of traffic. Coordination and strong bike-handling skills are not a substitute for the quick decisionmaking ability needed to ride on the road,

Access to fresh air and exercise doesn’t have to end when classes start up again this fall— bicycling is a fun and fitness-friendly way to get to school.

12 bcparent.ca • back to school 2013

Before your child’s first solo trek, discuss the terrain and type of traffic they might encounter on the way to school. Ride the

Require children to wear a properly fitting bike helmet every time they ride.

Adults should do the same for safety and to serve as a role model. New helmets come with an adjuster ring or sizing pads. Use these to keep the helmet snug so it does not shift in any direction. Position the helmet low on the forehead, the width of one or two fingers above the eyebrows. Straps should not rub on the ears. To check whether the chin strap is tight enough, have your child open his or her mouth wide like a yawn. If the strap is tight enough, yawning will tug the helmet down onto the head. When in doubt, visit your local bicycle shop for a fitting. Helmet use is the single most effective way to reduce bicycle-related fatalities.


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Provide your child with a bicycle that fits.

A bike to “grow into” is difficult to control, will cause your child to swerve, and will reduce their ability to respond quickly to changing conditions. When standing over a bike with both feet flat on the ground there should be two or more inches of clearance above the top tube. When seated, the rider should not have to stretch or lean forward dramatically to reach the handlebars. Leaning too heavily will restrict the ability to steer. If you are not sure how to do this, enroll in a bike maintenance class as a family so everyone develops these skills. Regularly check reflectors, brakes, chains and tires to assure that they are in good working order. Check the fit of your child’s helmet periodically as well. Tighten straps that become loose and replace a helmet that has been outgrown or suffered damage.

Maintain your child’s bike.

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Dress appropriately. Avoid long or loose clothing that can drag or get caught while riding. Wear bright colors, such as an orange or yellow vest, to be more visible to drivers. While messenger bags might be cool, they can slip, flop around and pull your child off balance. Instead, have kids wear a backpack. Use both shoulder straps when riding and fasten the hip belt to keep the load, and the bike, from shifting unexpectedly.

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Obey traffic laws. Bicycles on the roadway are, by law, vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities of motorized vehicles. Cyclists on the roadway, including children, should always ride with traffic, use signals and obey all traffic signs and rules.

Whether your child is begging for the responsibility of riding alone, or your whole family is ready for a two-wheeled commute, take advantage of the lingering daylight this fall by cycling to school. Get fit, have fun and stay safe. What better way to start and end the school day than pedal-power? Heather Lee Leap is a freelance writer and mother of three girls. She is looking for more excuses to ride her bike.

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bcparent.ca • back to school 2013 13


The Gift of Gifted Education By Laura Amann

I

t’s a tough time to be gifted. In fact, the good news that your child has been identified as such may quickly diminish by the reality of what that means in terms of their education—gifted programs are often among the first to be cut when budgets get tightened. Luckily, parents can make a strong iimpact on advancing the minds of these bright kids.

Defining gifted

Challenging them

Gifted children are loosely defined as those who score in the upper 5% of their district on mandated tests. Districts also take into consideration class performance, portfolio work and teacher recommendations. While no one argues with the imperative of getting struggling learners up to speed, the needs of gifted kids are less clear. Districts find it easier to justify cutting programs for kids who already excel in class. However, we’re doing a great disservice to our country’s brightest and most talented. Without some type of extra stimulation, the potential of these children may be compromised unless parents take the reins and fill in the gaps. Even children whose schools provide gifted programs can benefit from additional motivation. “Every year, over 500,000 bright, talented and gifted children are born,” says Joan Smutny, author of twenty books on gifted children, including Teaching Advanced Learners in the General Education Classroom: Doing More With Less! (currently listed on amazon .com). “These kids are hungry for challenge. They’re ready and willing and so appreciative when they’re challenged.”

Stimulating the minds of kids doesn’t have to cost money or involve time-consuming activities (although that’s certainly possible and beneficial.) Sometimes the easiest adjustments make the biggest impact. Elizabeth Dierkseheide is parent to four high-achieving children. She’s a huge proponent of simply using the library. “I take a huge canvas bag and bring it to the library every week and just fill it with books,” she explained. “I look for different types of books from poetry to fairy tales, fiction to nonfiction. I try to find books with cultural or religious themes, graphic or illustrated books, anything that is different.” “Then I spread the books on the table and the kids spend hours poring through them.” She credits her kids’ interest in many different topics, and their ability to read at a young age, to that “library smorgasbord” experience. “It’s like filling your kids’ basic needs—like water—soon they just craved these new books.” Some of the best enrichment can be accomplished by just letting them loose on their interests.

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Advocate Of course, the onus of gifted education shouldn’t solely be on parents. Schools have a responsibility also. Gifted kids are often extremely bored in class. Research shows that they adjust to the norm, rather than excelling on their own. “Parents can see when their child is not being served,” said Smutny. “We put billions into special education, and a relatively small amount into gifted programs. We need to differentiate for those who need that challenge and motivation.” If your child needs more challenging work, talk to the teacher first. Recognize that he/she has anywhere from 20–30 other students in the class, so look for solutions that don’t involve overloading their day. Even simply differentiating and grouping students by ability can make an impact. Advocate for different work, rather than more work. Sometimes this requires more creative or flexible scheduling. For instance, could your child move up a grade in just a particular subject? Or do independent work projects? Is there an online curriculum that would be beneficial? If your child still isn’t challenged, talk to the principal and work your way up to the curriculum director. Lobby the school board for additional funding and don’t be afraid to reach out to politicians and let them know the importance of gifted education. In the meantime, continue to stimulate and motivate your kids and take advantage of all that is around, including museums, libraries, theater and the community. Teach them to be a citizen of the world. “The academic is only one definition of a gifted child,” reminds Smutny. “Creativity is the highest form of mental functioning and gifted kids love creativity. Try to get past reiteration and repetition and consider all the possibilities.” Laura Amann is a freelance writer and mother of four children. She has been involved in numerous gifted programs in her district and is an advocate for gifted education. www.laura-amann.com

EE L F R RIA T

Following their passion can be tough because gifted kids are often interested in everything. But whenever they show a particular interest in something—dinosaurs, chess, the Civil War, whatever it may be—encourage them as far as you can. If they’re interested in say, China, take them to the library to learn about Chinese history, show them Chinese writing, visit Chinatown, prepare traditional Chinese foods, have them write a story about China, examine Chinese clothing, and so on. Capture their interest for as long as it goes. And simply talk to them as you go about everyday life. Have them help plan or cook a meal and discuss nutrition, the ecology of food, organic versus inorganic and the role of chemicals. Have them compare prices at the grocery. Teach them about measurements as you cook. Tie art and science together by discussing why artists use a predominant color or way of painting. Discuss the sounds and images of jazz or the blues. When kids get older, teach them civic lessons and economics. Discuss why we have budgets and who makes them; observe a city council or school board meeting.

The multi-award winning online reading program! Reading Eggs provides a comprehensive range of online reading lessons and ebooks that teach kids aged 3-13 the literacy skills needed for lifetime reading success. The reason why over 90% of parents using Reading Eggs report a noticeable improvement in their child’s reading skills is because the program makes learning phonics and basic reading skills fun. Your child can progress through the one-on-one lessons at their own pace and you can track their learning with regular progress reports and assessments. Take advantage of our special 5 week FREE trial today and see for yourself how your child’s reading improves by using Reading Eggs.

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The ability to learn languages is highest between birth and age 6. Our French-English preschool program maximizes a child’s natural curiosity and ability to learn a second language during this important window of opportunity. • Established in 1962 • Caring, experienced & highly qualified bilingual teachers • Bright, extra-spacious classrooms • Private indoor & outdoor play areas • Introduction to French, reading, math, science and nature, music, crafts • Educational field trips Accepting Wait List Applications for SY 2014-15 VANCOUVER BILINGUAL PRESCHOOL 949 West 49th Avenue (at Oak St.) Vancouver, BC V5Z 2T1 Phone/Fax: 604.261.1221 vancouverbilingual@yahoo.ca

16 bcparent.ca • back to school 2013

E AG U G

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classes & programs

academic Academic Advantage Tutoring 604/439-1790 www.schooliseasy.com ADNC Neurofeedback Centre of BC 604/730-9600 www.neurofeedbackclinic.ca Canada’s Best Independent Schools—Our Kids Go To School www.ourkids.net Googol Learning 604/720-9377 www.googolpower.com Ho Math and Chess Learning Centre 604/263-4321 www.mathandchess.com Language Tutors 604/338-9598 www.languagedesigns.ca Mimic Baby Sign Language www.mimicbaby.com MPM Math 604/266-6762 www.mpmmath.com PD Plus Tutoring Service 604/421-6101 www.pdplustutors.com The Reading Foundation 604/222-2254 www.readingfoundation.com

Silbury Education and Resource Centre 604/261-4696 www.silbury.ca Full and part time education for gifted and creative learners K–8. Sylvan Learning 800/EDUCATE www.educate.com TOC Education Resources 604/603-7017 www.toceducationresources.com Chinese language and culture program for 3 years to adult. The Whole Dyslexic Society 604/921-1084 www.dyslexiacanada.com

dance A-Star Performing & Fine Arts Studio 604/266-3053, Vancouver www.astarstudio.com Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy 604/671-9182, Vancouver www.mozaicoflamenco.com Anna Wyman School of Dance Arts 604/926-6535, West Van The Arts Connection 604/241-0141, Richmond www.theartsconnection.ca

Arts Umbrella 604/681-5268 www.artsumbrella.com

www.academyofinternational dancearts.com

The BrightStars Program 604/662-8554, Vancouver www.brightstars.ca Vancouver’s only professional Performing Arts program for young children ages 1–13. Dance, sing and act to the melody of life. Classes run year round. Crystal Ballroom Dance School 604/323-1238 www.crystalballroom.ca Dance Co 604/736-3394, Vancouver www.danceco.com info@danceco.com Dance Co provides unparalleled dance training for all ages and levels. Providing technique and performance while developing confidence and creativity. Programs start throughout the year, for more information visit our website: danceco.com Dance Expressions 604/574-2277, Surrey www.dancexp.com Douglas Ballet Academy 604/420-0204, Vancouver www.douglasballet.homestead. com Academy of International Dance Arts 604/327-9313

Gabriela’s Movement Studio 604/272-0607 www.movementstudio.ca gabriela@movementstudio.ca Goh Ballet Academy 604/872-4014 info@gohballet.com www.gohballet.com Training institute of provincial champions in the Junior, Intermediate & Senior levels as well as International Gold Medal Award Recipients. Well balanced curriculum, RAD examinations & extensive performance opportunities. hz Ballet Classique 604/299-9698, Burnaby www.balletclassique.com Just for Kicks School of Dance 604/596-4161, Surrey North Shore Academy of Dance 604/987-3814 Northwest Academy of Performing Arts 604/306-7390 www.NAPAdance.com Pacific Dance Arts 604/738-8575 www.pacificdancearts.ca

bcparent.ca • back to school 2013 17


classes & programs guide Place des Arts Centre & Music Shool 604/664-1636, Coquitlam www.placedesarts.ca Place des Arts provides high quality arts education for all ages and abilities. Over 30 music teachers offer private lessons in a wide range of instruments. Ongoing lessons in music & dance run Sept–June; session classes in music, dance, theatre, visual and literary art run fall, winter and spring. Port Moody School of Dance 604/936-0966 www.portmoodydance.com

Vancouver Tap Dance Society 604/253-0293 www.vantapdance.bc.ca Vancouver Academy of Dance 604/231-8293 www.vancouverdance.com Vancouver Academy of Dance offers summer dance camps in ballet, jazz/lyrical, tap, hip hop, acrobatics, ballroom and Chinese Dance at their main location in Richmond.

Spotlight Dance Centre 604/299-6111, Vancouver

Westside Dance Centre Ltd 604/736-1000 www.westsidedance.ca We offer great classes in Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Hip hop for kids as young as 3 years old, right up to adults.

Surrey Dance Centre 604/599-9961 www.surreydancecentre.com

specialty

Precision Dance Academy 604/939-8277 www.precisiondance.ca

The Landing Dance Centre 604/325-8653 www.thelandingdance.com Tri-City Dance Centre 604/523-6868, Coquitlam www.tricitydance.com Unhinge Dance 778/833-3914 www.unhingedance.ca unhingedance@hotmail.com

Bricks 4 Kidz 778/822-5672 www.bricks4kidz.com/ vancouver Bricks 4 Kidz® provides programs that inspire kids to learn about architecture, engineering and design concepts while having fun building with LEGO® bricks. Now offering After School Enrichment Classes, Camps and Birthday Parties. Ages 5–12.

18 bcparent.ca • back to school 2013

Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art 604/733-1356 www.christiannehayward.com The Lyceum encourages young people to see themselves as readers, writers and artists as they engage with abstract ideas and reflect on their own place in society. Programs include: bookclubs, writers’ workshops, literature and art classes and holiday and summer camps. The Dizzy Whisk – Cooking Classes for Kids 778/998-3530 www.dizzywhisk.com Kimiko’s Japanese Kitchen 604/727-5331 www.kimikoskitchen.com Sewing with Frances 604/433-1030 www.francessewingschool.com Vancouver Aquarium 604/659-FISH www.visitvanaqua.org

The Arts Connection 604/241-0141, Richmond www.theartsconnection.ca BC Conservatory of Music 604/299-2984, Burnaby www.bcmusic.ca BC Registered Music Teachers Assn. 604/733-5531 The BrightStars Program 604/662-8554, Vancouver www.brightstars.ca Learning life long skills through the study of dance styles, music and movement. Classes range from 2 to 5 yrs. Campos Music 604/325-0480 Carillon Music 604/591-1161 www.carillonmusic.com Clavimusic Piano Studios 778/881-0329 www.clavimusic.com

music

Colourstrings Music Studio 604/730-5418, Vancouver www.colourstringsvan.com

Allegro Music School Inc. 604/327-7765, Vancouver

Delta Community Music School 604/946-1280, Delta

Arbutus Music Academy 604/736-8767 www.arbutusmusicacademy.com

Dominanta Music School 604/767-0949, Burnaby www.dominanta.ca


classes & programs guide Jean Lyons School of Music 604/734-4019 www.jeanlyonsmusic.com Jumpstart Music & Movement 604/777-7179 www.jumpstartmusicand movement.com

North Shore Music Academy 604/925-3403, North Van Noteworthy Music 604/270-3620, Richmond O Music Studios 604/321-1551 www.omusicstudios.com

Langley Community Music School 604/534-2848 www.langleymusic.com

Oakridge Music Studio 604/321-1551 www.omusicstudios.com

Long & McQuade Music Education Centres www. long-mcquade.com Long & McQuade’s Lesson Centres – comfortable studios, qualified instructors, low rates, no registration fees, and lessons for every age, level and style.

Pacific Academy for Music 604/944-0336, Port Coquitlam www.musicinstructor.net

Music for Young Children 800/828-4334 www.myc.com Music for Young Children provides a comprehensive music program that integrates keyboard, singing, ear training, sight reading, creative movement, rhythm, music theory and music composition for children age 3–11. Music Teachers on the Go 778/882-7603 info@musicteachersonthego.com www.musicteachersonthego.com

Pacific Piano Studio 604/329-7290 Place des Arts Art Centre & Music School 604/664-1636 www.placedesarts.ca Place des Arts provides high quality arts education for all ages and abilities. Over 30 music teachers offer private lessons in a wide range of instruments. Ongoing lessons in music and dance run Sep to Jun; session classes in music, dance, theatre, visual and literary art run fall, winter and spring. Prussin Music 604/736-3036 www.prussinmusic.com

Prussin Music has been serving families since 1985. We offer instrument sales, rentals, repairs & lessons. Our teachers are enthusiastic and active in Vancouver’s musical community. We have lessons for all levels and all ages including summer camps and Suzuki classes. Richmond CommunityMusic School 604/272-5227, Richmond www.richmondmusicschool.ca School of Music and Dance 604/951-3725, Surrey Shadbolt Centre for the Arts 604/291-6864, Burnaby Staccato Music Studios 604/421-3753 www.staccatostudios.com Steveston Music Centre 604/271-3545, Steveston Tom Lee Music 604/685-8471, Vancouver www.tomleemusic.ca At Tom Lee Music Learning Centre, you can enjoy excellent music education in a fun community atmosphere. Students of all ages come together for a positive music making experience at our four key and satellite locations on Vancouver Island. To register, please call 604.688.8929.

Vancouver Academy of Music 604/734-2301 www.vam.bc.ca Kodaly and Orff musicianship classes. Suzuki violin, viola, piano, cello, and flute. Piano group class (ages 4–9). Ballet (ages 31/2–18). RCM music history and theory. Private instruction in piano, classical guitar, band and orchestral instruments. The Violin ABC’s 778/896-5729 www.violin-abc.com Western Conservatory of Music 604/530-0317, White Rock

performing & visual arts The Arts Connection 604/241-0141, Richmond www.theartsconnection.ca Arts Umbrella 604/681-5268 www.artsumbrella.com Artspace Children’s Arts Centre www.artspaceforchildren.com

20 years Classical Ballet Contemporary Lyrical Jazz Broadway Hip Hop Tap

AT PLACE DES ARTS

we inspire the artist in everyone!

recreational/competitive/professional

#@MBD"NNƤDQRTMO@Q@KKDKDCC@MBD training for all ages and levels. Register now for fall programs!

Visit DanceCo.com danceco.com email: info@danceco.com 604.736.3394 154-4255 Arbutus St, Vancouver

Conveniently located at Arbutus Village Shopping Centre

Drop by our free open house on Sept 14, 2-4pm

Register now for fall classes! 1120 Brunettte Avee., Coquuitlam | 604.664.16366 bcparent.ca • back to school 2013 19


classes & programs guide Bard on the Beach www.bardonthebeach.org/aboutbard-education Our Young Shakespeareans workshops deliver an interactive fun-filled theatrical adventure. Professional actors lead dynamic workshops on the Bard stages all summer.

Place des Arts 604/664-1636 www.placedesarts.ca With small classes, quality instruction and a welcoming environment, Place des Arts Art Centre and Music School offers arts education in a variety of disciplines for all ages and abilities.

Carousel Theatre for Young People 604/669-3410 www.carouseltheatre.ca

Rainbow Art School Ltd. 604/733-9524 rainbowartschool@gmail.com

CircusWest 604/252-3679 www.circuswest.com

Shadbolt Centre for the Arts 604/291-6864, Burnaby

E.J.S. School of Fine Arts 604/596-4883 Gateway Theatre 604/247-4975 www.gatewaytheatre.com In-Studio Art Classes/ Marta Roberson Smyth 604/254-0961 www.martademaria.com Mentoring children from six to sixteen with personalised instruction in small groups. JCC Performing Arts School 604/257-5111, Vancouver Performing & Fine Arts Studio 604/266-3053, N. Vancouver

StageCoach Theatre Arts Schools 1-877-78-STAGE (78243) www.stagecoachschools.ca Sing, Dance, Act! For 4–18 yr olds. The world’s largest part-time theatre school network, with over 700 locations worldwide in 10 countries! We offer classes in Singing, Dancing and Drama every weekend alongside the school term as well as week long summer camps. Schools locations throughout the Lower Mainland: Vancouver Eastside/ Westside, Richmond, Surrey, Langley, Coquitlam, Victoria. StageCraft Theatre School 604/267-SCTS (7287) www.stagecraft.ca info@stagecraft.ca

20 bcparent.ca • back to school 2013

Surrey Art Gallery 604/501-5566 Vancouver Film School 604/685-5808 Vancouver Youth Theatre 604/877-0678 www.vyt.ca

sports Aquaventures Swim Centre 604/736-SWIM www.aquaventuresswim.com Award-winning program in tropical warm water. Atlantis Programs 604/874-6464, Vancouver www.atlantisprograms.com Club Aviva 604/526-4464, Coquitlam www.clubaviva.citysoup.ca Dynamo Swim Club 778/866-6604 www.dynamoswimclub.net The Edge Climbing Centre 604/984-9080 www.edgeclimbing.com Jump! Gymnastics 604/568-9690 www.jumpgymnastics.ca

Kids in Motion 604/970-7945 www.kids-inmotion.ca Langley Gymnastics Foundation 604/532-1022 www.langleygymnastics.org The Little Gym of Langley 604/539-2543 www.thelittlegym.com Marina’s Swim School 604/818-4650 www.marinaswimschool.com Marina’s Swim School is offering swim lessons for kids and adults of all ages and abilities. We have the unique style and methods, semi-private teaching environment, tropical warm water. Maynard’s Pony Meadows 604/261-1295 Midnight Cheer Athletics 604/263-6436 Vancouver www.midnightcheer.com North Shore Equestrian Centre 604/988-5131 www.wecreateriders.com Quantum Gymnastics Centre 604/465-9293, Maple Ridge www.quantumgym.com RBL Basketball 604/269-0221 or 604/253-5295


classes & programs guide www.RBLBasketball.ca Instructional programs, leagues, holiday camps for boys and girls from Kindergarten to Grade 10. Richmond Gymnastics Association 604/278-3614 www.richmond gymnastics.com

inspire your child!

Richmond Olympic Oval 778/296-1400 wwwrichmondoval.ca Visit our website for details about our programs.

High-quality visual, media and performing arts programs for ages 2â&#x20AC;&#x201C;19.

Sportball 604/688-3157 www.sportball.ca Sportball is a non-competitive sports program for children 16 months to 12 years. Children are introduced to eight popular sports: soccer, hockey, football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis and golf. Sportball offers weekly programs, outdoor soccer, camps during school holidays, and birthday parties. Come try a free trial class! See our website for a location near you. Twin Rivers Equestrian Centre 604/574-5481 www.twinriversequestrian.com UBC Gymnastics 604/822-0207 Vancouver Phoenix Gymnastics 604/737-7693 www.phoenixgymnastics.com White Rock Gymnastics 604/542-0386; www.whiterockgymnastics.com

enroll. donate. participate. | artsumbrella.com

Busy life? Have BC Parent delivered to your inbox Visit www.bcparent.ca to subscribe. bcparent.ca â&#x20AC;˘ back to school 2013 21


Saving cats… one kitten at a time By Tammy Lee ancouver orphan kitten rescue association (VOKRA) is an organization whose goal is to place abandoned and orphaned kittens into secure loving homes. Based in Vancouver, this group of devoted animal lovers began their organization in 2001. It is run 100% by volunteers The number of cats they rescue increases dramatically every year. In 2012 the number of cats taken in was 1820. Of those, 1345 were adopted to new homes and 277 were adopted to barns. Vokra rehomes cats of various ages. Vokra does not have a shelter. Instead they provide over 150 individual foster homes throughout the Lower Mainland. They prefer this to keeping the animals in groups as they are protected from colds, distemper, ringworm and other contagious diseases. The foster homes provide lots of love and attention which helps keep the cats safe and well-socialized. Expenditures run approximately $450,000 per year—for an average cost of $250/cat —which is well above what they charge for adoption fees. The “shortfall” is funded through grants, donations, and fundraising events such as the Walk for the Kitties. Some sample costs: $100 provides a spay/neuter surgery, $45/ month to house a cat, $15 for a vaccine; $60 for a humane trap.

V

VOKRA’S goals:

• To protect and enhance the lives of lost, unwanted, and homeless cats • To end the killing of cats who are homeless, unadoptable, or otherwise victims of unjustifiable “euthanasia” • To join with other rescue groups to advocate for humane, no-kill solutions to feral cat colony management • To provide information, knowledge, and experience to the public and governments about human responsibility to protect and enhance the lives of vulnerable animals • To encourage young people to learn about the positive roles they can play in making it a different, better world for animals • To promote the values of love, protection, and respect for all animals. • VOKRA provides safe homes and high-quality care while promoting responsible cat guardianship through its education, advocacy, and feral cat/trap-neuter-return programs. How can you help? Vokra is grateful for all donations (tax receipt

can be provided for donations over $20). Visit the website, www.vokra.ca, to find out about donating, adopting, fostering and/or becoming a volunteer.

VOKRA'S 4TH ANNUAL

WALK FOR THE KITTIES SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, September 22, 2013 (Rain or Shine) 5 km at Jericho Beach, from the foot of Discovery St. to the dog park and back. www.vocra.ca for more information VOKRA saved over 1800 cats last year. We are a 100% volunteer-run organization devoted to the rescue of cats in the Lower Mainland.

22 bcparent.ca • back to school 2013

Support a local “no-kill” rescue


Experienced and loving teachers use the Montessori method in a loving and joyful environment to give your children a good foundation for life. The method fosters independence, confidence, self discipline and a love for knowledge in the developing child. LESCO MONTESSORI preschool & daycare [ESTABLISHED IN 1995]

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Le français au CSF,

c’est bien plus qu’une langue ! Inscrivez votre enfant dans une des écoles publiques du CSF ! Depuis sa création en 1995, le Conseil scolaire francophone de la ColombieBritannique offre des programmes et des services éducatifs valorisant le plein épanouissement et l’identité culturelle des apprenantes et apprenants francophones de la province. Le conseil compte aujourd’hui plus de 4 700 élèves, 37 écoles publiques et dessert plus d’une centaine de communautés réparties dans l’ensemble de la province.

▪ ▪ ▪ ▪

programme d’enseignement public de la maternelle à la 12e année; ▪ haut niveau de réussite scolaire; services à la petite enfance; ▪ portables pour tous; service de transport scolaire; programme d’anglais de qualité; ▪ programmes de musique, théâtre.

bcparent.ca • back to school 2013 23


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BC Parent Back to School 2013