BC Parent Back to School 2016

Page 1


back to school 2016 bcparent.ca

Detect Vision Problems Seeds of School Success

FALL Activity Guide

Years of Service to BC Families

the fair at the pne presents


Angry Birdsâ„¢ & © 2016 Rovio Entertainment Ltd and Rovio Animation Ltd. Produced by: Imagine, Rovio, JRA



Love of learning

starts here

3075 Slocan Street

(on 12th Ave at the Italian Cultural Centre)

(604) 434-9611 westsidemontessoriacademy.ca 2 BCPARENT CA s BACK TO SCHOOL ISSUE



Letter from the Editor

Years of Service to BC Families


t’s hard to believe it’s already time to start thinking about school again. It feels like the summer just started and yet school is just a few weeks away. To help you prepare and get your kids ready for the new school year, we’ve provided some advice on how to get to know the new teacher and prepare your child for kindergarten. We’ve also given you some tips on how to help your child focus their energies academically and physically. Our Fall Activity Guide is a great resource to find out what dance, music, sports and other types of classes are available. Of course most importantly, we have advice from the BC Doctors of Optometry on how to make sure your children’s eyes are focusing and their sight is not distracting them from being able to learn. Enjoy the issue and the last few weeks of summer!

Carlie Parkinson

Inside 5

Ask An Expert: Sleep


Seeds of School Success


Back to School with Focus

10 Move More to Learn More

FALL ACTIVITY GUIDE 12 Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley 16 Okanagan

20 Slow and Steady Wins the Race! 22 Preparing for Kindergarten 24 French immersion: Is it the right fit for your family? 28 Fall Events Calendar 30 Must-Haves for Back-to-School

16 Vancouver Island Fo Fo Follow us us on on BC Parent Newsmagazine


Publisher/Executive Editor: Carlie Parkinson Editor: Geoffrey Legh Advertising Design & Layout: Julie Cochrane Editorial Design & Layout: www.retrometrodesign.ca Advertising Sales: info@bcparent.ca

Back to School Issue 2016 Volume 25, Number 4 Mailing Address: P.O.Box 30020, North Vancouver, BC V7H 2Y8 i“>ˆÂ?\ĂŠÂˆÂ˜vÂœJLVÂŤ>Ă€iÂ˜ĂŒ°V>ĂŠUĂŠĂœĂœĂœ°LVÂŤ>Ă€iÂ˜ĂŒ°V> Canadian Publications Mail Registration No.251836


Contributors: Laura Rosin, Ashley Talmadge, Kelle Choi - BC Doctors of Optometry, Lindsey Peacock, Na W.Y., Brenda Fisher-Barber, Nic Enright-Morin. BC Parent is published 6 times per year. The Publisher reserves the right to omit advertising which is judged to be in poor taste or which does not conform to the concept of this publication.

Photo credit: Felicia Chang Photography www.feliciachangphotography.com info@feliciachangphotography.com 604.961.6592

Ask An Expert:

Sleep H

ow to get a child to sleep more is often one of new parent’s biggest challenges and can be confusing. Sleep deprivation can also be a serious health issue for parents. To get some help we asked Laura Rosin, Sleep Consultant from WeeSleep, to answer our top questions based on a Facebook Poll.

Is there an age at which you can no longer break bad habits and sleep train? It is never too late to change sleep habits. With consistency, strong routines, proper support and a plan, whether a child is 16 months or 4 years old, habits can be altered to instill healthy and positive sleep habits. It can get a little more difďŹ cult and “strategicâ€? when children are older simply because they have had the habit for longer and are walking, talking, moving and maybe out of the crib at the time. But healthy sleep is achievable.

Is poor sleep always going to be a problem, if the habits have been formed? Can every child sleep through the night, No, a new sleep incident may have created a habit, or maybe some- or are some just hardwired not to? thing started and couldn’t be stopped or helped—for instance, maybe a baby only falls asleep in the car so the parents start driving their child around for naps and then before they know it, during the night! Poor sleep habits can be corrected with consistency and patience. New parents are not taught about proper scheduling, how to avoid getting into bad habits, how important sleep really is when they are preparing for their baby’s arrival. Keep in mind, every child has different needs. Parents on their 2nd, or 3rd child have no way of knowing if the same techniques they used in the past will work from one child to the next. Knowing a variety of methods and understanding the basics around sleep will help them be successful. Again, habits can be changed—meaning baby and family can get the restful sleep they need.

What if your child becomes ill—do you have to retrain? Absolutely not! You can support and take care of your child through illness and keep all the healthy sleep habits in place while doing so. It is important to resist introducing some of the bad habits (i.e. holding to sleep, sleeping with the child, nursing to sleep‌) during the illness. A well-slept child typically gets better quicker.

Sleep shaping can begin before 12 weeks (3 months) and by 14 weeks or 14 pounds, a healthy child can begin to sleep through the night. For sleep success, parents must be consistent with routines and awake times. Making sleep a priority will lead to healthy sleep hygiene and then absolutely—your child can learn to get a full night sleep! One of the most important skills you can give your child is the ability to fall asleep on their own and this skill will last a lifetime. Nobody is hardwired to NOT NEED sleep; every body REQUIRES sleep. ,AURA 2OSIN is a sleep consultant with WeeSleep Vancouver. She educates her clients on why things are happening and helps guide and support them so that baby and caregiver are always comfortable. Her goals are to give the most healthful gift of sleep, by sharing tools, guidance, one-to-one coaching and support to improve your child’s sleep health; in turn, improving yours! Laura is a wife and mother who enjoys working with children of all ages. Before working with WeeSleep, she found herself playing side by side with children between five months and five years old at Cambie City Hall Childcare Society as an Early Childhood Educator. Communication and membership leader of the Kingcrest Community Garden in her area, Laura enjoys coordinating and participating in local event, activities and shopping.



Seeds of School Success Nurturing the Parent-Teacher Relationship By Ashley Talmadge


ids are notoriously reticent when it comes to divulging details of their school lives. Questions from parents often receive a single-word response. Or a shrug. The ďŹ rst indication of a problem may come via an unexpected call or email from the teacher. Want better insight into classroom dynamics? There’s a solution: Get to know your child’s teacher. Research shows that a solid working relationship between teacher and parent can lead to fewer behavioural problems and better academic performance for the child. Teachers pay more attention to students whose parents are involved, and are more apt to identify problems in the early stages when intervention is more successful. Sally McEntire, mother of two, has made a practice of nurturing the parent-teacher relationship early on. She says, “I don’t want the teacher to hesitate talking to me if they have concerns regarding my child.â€? Isabel Recht has been an elementary classroom teacher for nine years. Soon after school starts, she sends a memo to parents, noting times when help is needed. She’s aware that many parents are unable to volunteer during the school day, and lists many tasks that can be done off site. She laughs, “It was one of my parents who set up the online volunteer sign-up system for my classroom last year!â€? The following are “building blocksâ€? for that all important parent-teacher relationship: Introduce yourself. Face-to-face contact is best, but a brief email or handwritten note works, too. You want the teacher to connect your child speciďŹ cally to you. Define communication. Some teachers prefer to correspond via email. Others like a quick handwritten note, and still others

prefer an after-school phone call. Pay attention to speciďŹ cs. As Recht says, “Don’t send an important email before school starts in the morning—I won’t be able to read it.â€? Describe your child’s interests. Help the teacher understand what motivates your child, without bragging. For instance, “Katy enjoys ďŹ guring out how things are put together and is involved in a robotics club,â€? will be better received than, “Katy was chosen ‘Most Valuable Member’ of her robotics club last year.â€? Identify challenges. Approach the teacher as a partner, rather than relieving your child of responsibility. Instead of, “Danny has trouble keeping track of things, so don’t be surprised if he loses his homework,â€? try, “Danny has difficulty with organization. Here’s what has helped at home, and I’d be happy to hear your suggestions.â€? Connect. Show an interest in the teacher’s life outside of school. Is she a birdwatcher? Quilter? Fan of a professional sports team? As McEntire says, “I take time to get to know them, ďŹ nd something in common, even better, ďŹ nd something my kid and teacher have in common or can talk about. I want the teacher endeared to my child.â€? Volunteer. Let the teacher know if you have particular strengths, interests, and preferences. Do you like working directly with students? Or would you rather prepare materials? If your schedule doesn’t allow you to be in the classroom, can you chaperone an occasional ďŹ eld trip? Help without helicoptering. You can volunteer in the classroom without being your child’s personal assistant. Look for opportunities to help other students or prep materials while observing your child. If your presence distracts your child, perhaps you can


assist in the library, lunchroom, or another classroom. Keep the teacher in the loop. Convey circumstances likely to affect your child’s classroom performance. A recent illness, lack of sleep, side effects from medication, an impending move, a death or divorce in the family—all can impact a child’s behaviour and achievement. A heads-up allows the teacher to be proactive. As McEntire concludes, “Because I have spent time building a relationship with the teacher, it’s much easier to approach her when difficulties arise. Instead of having a personal conversation with someone I don’t know, I am talking with someone I have a rapport with.� Respect the teacher’s time. Remember how many other students are in the class, and understand that the teacher simply doesn’t have time for extended daily conversations with parents. Recht says, “It’s important for a child’s success to see that his parents are involved in the school and interested in his education.� An added bonus? When you’ve established a solid parent-teacher relationship, it’s much easier to trust your child and teacher to work through many classroom issues on their own. Resources The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5: How to Support Your Child’s Education, End Homework Meltdowns, and Build Parent-Teacher Connections, -, .ICHOLS Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships, Anne T. (ENDERSON EDITOR Building Successful Partnerships: A Guide for Developing Parent and Family Involvement Programs, 4HE .ATIONAL 04!


At Cadboro Bay Optometry we are particularly fond of working with children! Dr. Amanda Weinerman provides comprehensive eye-examinations for the whole family and we have an excellent selection of new frames for all ages. Visit us in beautiful Cadboro Bay!

We can help with: Vision-Related Learning Problems Amblyopia & Strabismus Sports Vision & Concussions (604) 265 8273 255 – 1233 Lynn Valley Rd. North Vancouver, BC, V7J 0A1 See How We're Changing Lives


Experience the precision of customized vision

Did you recently ďŹ nd out that your child needs to wear glasses? A great way to introduce kids to the idea of wearing glasses is through a story book. See below for the BC Doctors of Optometry’s top four choices! The Princess Who Wore Glasses by Laura Hertzfeld Katz Fancy Nancy: Spectacular Spectacles by Jane O’Connor Arlo Needs Glasses by Barney Saltzberg My Travelin’ Eye by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

Langford: #105–814 Goldstream Ave 250-474-4567

www.langfordoptometrists.com Sooke: #5–6726 West Coast Rd 250-642-4311


New Patients Welcome

It can take a while for a child to get used to wearing glasses. Make sure that your child is aware that their glasses are like medicine for their eyes and it is important they wear their glasses so that their eyes can work together to stay healthy. Reciting this fun rhyme: “When your glasses are not on your face, they’re in their case!� can aid in keeping your child’s glasses in good form.

Drs. McRoberts, Bowden, and Davidson

HOW ARE YOUR CHILD’S EYES? Do you know how to spot a lazy eye in your child? Especially if their eyes are not crossed? The signs aren’t always obvious. And, did you know that NOT discovering a lazy eye before school age could result in permanent vision loss? Visit one of our doctors to ensure your child can learn in school without visual hurdles. Remember that 80% of learning happens through vision!

Call for your Child’s Eye Examination today! WEST VANCOUVER Suite 210–1555 Marine Drive TEL: 604-922-0413


Back to School with Focus 1 in 4 school-age children has an undetected vision problem


hile most parents go shopping for new school supplies and new clothes for their children, many are missing an essential item on their back-to-school checklist—booking a comprehensive eye exam for their children. Only 14 per cent of children going into grade one have had an eye exam, according to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, and yet one in four school-aged children has a vision problem.1 This is a harrowing fact when you keep in mind that 80 per cent of a child’s learning is based on vision. 2 “What’s worrying is that most Canadian parents mistakenly believe they would know if their child was having difďŹ culty with their vision,â€? says BC Doctor of Optometry, Dr. Gurpreet Leekha. “The truth is that most vision problems have no easy-to-detect symptoms, and children, not knowing any better, don’t realize that they see the world differently than others. You cannot tell if

your child has a vision impediment by simply asking them ‘Can you see that?’â€? Undiagnosed vision problems can have a signiďŹ cant impact on a child’s learning and development, preventing a child from reaching their full potential. Vision prob-

The truth is that most vision problems have no easy-to-detect symptoms, and children, not knowing any better, don’t realize that they see the world differently than others.

By Kelle Choi

ward was misdiagnosed with ADD. “They thought he wasn’t paying enough attention when he was trying to read,â€? says Renee. “I was told to put him on Ritalin.â€? It wasn’t until a trip to BC Doctor of Optometry, Dr. Sandy Johal, that Edward got back on track. It turned out that Edward had 20/20 vision but had a neuromuscular problem that caused him to have trouble keeping both eyes moving together at the same time, which resulted in double vision. After receiving six weeks of vision therapy, Edward made signiďŹ cant improvements at school and on the playground. Annual Check-ups are Essential

lems are often mistaken as other developmental problems like dyslexia or ADHD. Just ask Renee Parker.3 When her son Edward started school, he had difďŹ culty learning the alphabet and focusing in the classroom as well as on the playground. Ed-


A change in vision can occur without you or your child realizing it, so it is essential to have your child’s eyes examined every year. BC Doctors of Optometry recommends children have their ďŹ rst eye exam between six and nine months old, again between two

and ďŹ ve years old, and annually after that.2 Treatment for vision problems can range from a simple pair of glasses to more formal vision therapy or, in extreme cases, surgery. “It’s important to have an annual checkup to ensure the eyes are healthy and their vision is developing properly. It’s also a chance to reinforce healthy eye habits that will serve them well later in life,â€? says Leekha. “Children with healthy visual skills, have the opportunity to fully experience everything that life and school has to offer.â€? A referral is not required to see an optometrist for either acute or preventative eye care. Eye exams are a beneďŹ t of MSP for children in British Columbia up to the age of 18. A School Vision Screening is not Enough

An additional cause for concern is that many school vision screening programs are inadequate and also have a high rate of error. In fact, the referral rate from school screenings programs is approximately one in eight, which means that at least 50 per cent of kids are not receiving the help they need.4 Unlike an optometric eye exam, screenings do not test for common vision conditions or assess eye health. A comprehensive eye exam can detect a variety of issues that vision screenings can’t, including a review of your child’s health and vision history and tests for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, colour perception, lazy eye, crossed-eyes, eye co-ordination, depth perception and focusing ability.5 Don’t confuse a sight test for an eye exam either. A sight test, usually offered by optical stores, school vision screening programs, or even family doctors, only tests for corrected vision and is not performed by a trained and licensed professional. An eye exam is performed by a Doctor of Optometry who uses specialized equipment to look at the entire eye health and visual system.6 Establishing healthy eyes is just as important as a hearing test or a regular doctor’s checkup and is critical to a child’s learning and development. The good news is that if diagnosed early, many vision problems can be prevented or improved. Talk to your optometrist or visit bc.doctorsofoptometry.ca to book an appointment for an exam. No studying required!

EYE-DEAL Vision: Can you pass our back-to-school eye test? Read the article to help you and view the answers below! 4RUE OR &ALSE 5NDIAGNOSED VISION PROBLEMS CAN CAUSE CHILDREN TO STRUGGLE IN SCHOOL 4RUE OR &ALSE !N EYE EXAM AND SIGHT TEST ARE THE SAME THING ???? PERCENT OF A CHILD S LEARNING IS BASED ON VISION A B C /VER ???? OF SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN HAS A VISION PROBLEM A IN B IN C IN 9OU SHOULD TAKE YOUR CHILD FOR AN EYE EXAM AS EARLY AS A "ETWEEN SIX AND NINE MONTHS OLD B !ROUND lVE YEARS OLD C "EFORE YEARS OLD !NSWER KEY 4RUE &ALSE # ! ! References 1. National Coalition for Vision Health, 2011 2. Joel Zaba, MD, OD, 2001 3. Doctors of Optometry. (2013, April 15). Edward’s Story [video ďŹ le]. Retrieved from https://www.you tube.com/watch?v=ga4QerdqllI 4. Ontario Association of Optometrists Eye See ‌ Eye LearnÂŽ (2015).

5. Patients. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://bc.doctorsof optometry.ca/patients/ 6. Eye Exam vs Sight Test. (n.d.) Retrieved from http:// bc.doctorsofoptometry.ca/eye-exam-vs-sight-test/





BC Doctors of Optometry: www.bc.doctorsofoptometry.ca


Exercising to Earn Better Grades


s parents, we’re all well aware that the mind and body are undeniably linked. Any new mother who has endured a sleepless night thanks to her newborn may have issues instantly recalling her breakfast from the previous day or that upcoming doctor’s appointment next Friday. This mind-body connection is also evident in our children. Restless little ones with too much pent-up energy will inevitably have trouble concentrating on absorbing information or successfully completing their homework. The same applies if they’re hungry, thirsty or are feeling under the weather—optimal mental development requires their little bodies to be ďŹ nely tuned and in tip-top shape. But many kiddos these days simply aren’t moving enough to achieve peak physical wellness. The Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology is just one of many industry organizations that recommend 60 minutes of accumulated physical activity daily for children aged 5 to 11. And according to CSEP, that should include vigorous-intensity ac-

tivities at least three times a week. Unfortunately, kids are simply not getting their hour of daily exercise. According to statistics from the government of BC, three out of ďŹ ve Canadian kids aged 5–17 aren’t getting enough physical activity for optimal growth and development. And here’s a

The movement boosted their brain power when compared to their sedentary counterparts who learned at desks in traditional classroom settings.

number that hits much closer to home: one out of every four children in BC between the ages of 2 and 17 is overweight or obese. So, why aren’t kids moving enough? While many factors are to blame, budget shortfalls and ďŹ scal issues are forcing some school districts to make drastic cuts to course electives


By Lindsey Peacock

like physical education. So school-aged kids are often stuck sitting sedentary for hours at their desks with little to no reprieve. And while the lack of movement and physical activity in our schools isn’t a new problem, a recent study underscores that the absence of exercise during the day could have an even deeper effect than just expanding your child’s waistline. Recently released research published in the prestigious Pediatrics Journal proved what many parents had suspected all along—movement is good for kids, particularly in learning environments. In the study, 500 Dutch children were closely monitored in Grades 2 and 3. One segment of the group was taught with “active� lessons, where they engaged in moderate to vigorous activity while doing math and language for 30 minutes three times a week. And the movement boosted their brain power when compared to their sedentary counterparts who learned at desks in traditional classroom settings. Those who learned with activity built into the curriculum performed better in speed, gener-

al math ability and spelling, and were the equivalent to being four months ahead of the kids in their cohort. That’s some serious knowledge absorption. With this undeniable boost in brain power, some local schools are ensuring that movement is a bigger component of the curriculum. Pear Tree Elementary, a new K–7 private school opening in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood this fall, ďŹ nds that maintaining physical education is integral to ensure students are ready to learn, and makes it an important crux of their curriculum. “Essentially, our core focus is on the necessity for daily physical education, so having one hour of PE every day because children need to have that physical activity in order to be able to focus in classrooms,â€? said Pear Tree Elementary co-founder Paul Romani. “So, we use that not just as a way to develop their body, but also to help them academically in terms of concentrating.â€? Schools are not the only ones trying to help reintegrate physical ed back into the curriculum. Organizations and initiatives like Canadian Tire Jumpstart are partnering with some of Canada’s inuential sport, wellness and health organizations to help Canadian kids get back into physical activity. Active at School is a multi-year, multi-million dollar grassroots program that began in 2013, consisting of a broad-based group of more than 80 partners dedicated to ensuring Canadian kids receive the recommended hour of quality daily physical activity at school. Each partner brings individual networks, unique expertise, resources and marketing channels to promote the Active at School initiative with educators and decision makers across all levels of government. Parents can also get involved in helping keep their kids active, healthy, and prepped to learn. Check with your child’s school about after-school physical activities or with your local community centre for organized sports leagues. If sports aren’t your child’s cup of tea, there’s always children’s yoga, hiking, walking, biking, and plenty of other low- or no-cost activities to get their blood pumping (and yours) regularly. ,INDSEY 0EACOCK is a writer, editor, and American expat who recently transplanted to Toronto, ON. When she isn’t crafting stories, you’ll find her at the nearest dog park with her ginger husky pup.


fall activity guide Lower Mainland & Fraser Valley dance Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy Vancouver, 604/671-9182 mozaicoamenco.com Anna Wyman School of Dance Arts West Vancouver, 604/926-6535 annawyman.com Ages 2+

Boogaloo Academy Vancouver, 604/805-0558 boogalooacademy.com Ages 5mths+ Dance Co Vancouver Westside & East Vancouver 604-736-3394 danceco.com Dance Co provides unparalleled dance training for all ages and levels. Providing technique and performance while developing conďŹ dence and creativity. Programs start throughout the year, for more information visit our website

ons 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 Burnaby, 604/299-9698 balletclassique.com Ages 18mth+ Just for Kicks School of Dance Surrey, 604/596-4161 justforkicksschoolofdance.com Ages 3+

Dance Expressions Cloverdale, 604/574-2277 dancexp.com Ages 3+

North Shore Academy of Dance North Vancouver, 604/987-3814 nsad.ca Ages 3–18

The Arts Connection – Dance School Richmond, 604/241-0141 theartsconnection.org Ages infant to 16 yrs

E.J.S. School of Fine Arts – Dance Surrey, 604/596-4883 ejsďŹ nearts.com Ages 5+

Arts Umbrella Vancouver, 604/681-5268 artsumbrella.com Ages 2–19 Arts Umbrella Dance is a vanguard of developing dance that is relevant and wide-reaching. Our unique approach nurture dancers 2–19 to achieve their full potential. Our graduates go on to perform with some of the world’s most prestigious companies.

Gabriela’s Movement Studio Richmond, 604/272-0607 movementstudio.ca Ages 1–9 Winner of the 2015 Richmond Review’s Best of Richmond. Gabriela’s Movement Studio specializes in Ballet and Creative Movement and art classes for toddlers, preschoolers and the young child. Groups are small, allowing for more personal attention.

Northwest Academy of Performing Arts New Westminister, 604/521-3255 NAPAdance.com Ages 2+

AUUC School of Dance Vancouver, 604/254-3436 auucvancouver.ca Ages 3 to adult

Goh Ballet Academy Vancouver, 604/872-4014 gohballet.com Ages 4–17 Training institute of provincial champi-


PaciďŹ c Dance Arts Vancouver, 604/738-8575 paciďŹ cdancearts.ca Ages 3+ Place des Arts Art Centre & Music School Coquitlam, 604/664-1636 placedesarts.ca Ages 3+ Place des Arts provides a warm, friendly learning environment where experienced, caring teachers offer instruction in the visual, performing and literary arts for all ages and abilities. Sept–June and fall, winter and spring session

dance classes in ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, dance sampler, contemporary and lyrical dance are offered for children, starting at age 3, teens and adults. Port Moody School of Dance 604/936-0966 portmoodydance.com Ages 3+ School of Music and Dance Langley, Surrey and White Rock musicanddance.org Ages 2+ The Landing Dance Centre South Vancouver, 604/325-8653 TheLandingDance.com Ages 8 to adult Tri-City Dance Centre Coquitlam, 604/523-6868 tricitydance.com Ages 3+ Vancouver Tap Dance Society East Vancouver, 604/253-0293 vantapdance.com Ages 3+ Vancouver Academy of Dance Vancouver and Richmond 604/231-8293 vancouverdance.com Ages 3+ Westside Dance Centre Ltd Vancouver, 604/736-1000 westsidedance.ca Ages 3+ We offer great classes in Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Hip hop for kids as young as 3 years old, right up to adults.

fall activity guide

music Allegro Music School Vancouver, 604/327-7765 allegromusicschool.com Ages 4+ Arbutus Music Academy Vancouver, 604/736-8767 arbutusmusicacademy.com Ages 3+ The Arts Connection – Music School Richmond, 604/241-0141 theartsconnection.org Ages 4+ BC Conservatory of Music Burnaby, 604/299-2984 bccmusic.ca Ages 4+ BC Registered Music Teachers Assoc. 604/733-5531 bcrmta.bc.ca Visit our website to ďŹ nd a qualiďŹ ed registered music teacher. Be assured of knowledgeable, competent and qualiďŹ ed instruction. All ages Campos Music Vancouver, 604/325-0480 camposmusic.ca Ages 4+ Carillon Music Burnaby, Surrey

604/591-1161 carillonmusicacademy.com Ages 2.5+ Colourstrings Music & Movement Group Classes Vancouver, 778/846-0127 colourstringsvan.com Ages 3 months to 6 years In age speciďŹ c groupings children enjoy songs and games that develop a solid musical foundation. The more advanced classes introduce music reading and writing. Classes now available French! Instrumental Lessons for children, 5 years and upwards: Violin, Viola, Piano, Percussion, Flute, Cello and Acoustic Guitar. Delta Community Music School Delta, 604/946-1280 dcms.ca Ages 5+ Dominanta Music School Burnaby, 604/767-0949 dominanta.ca Ages 1.5+ E.J.S. School of Fine Arts – Music Surrey, 604/596-4883 ejsďŹ nearts.com Ages 4+ Jean Lyons School of Music Vancouver, 604/734-4019 jeanlyonsmusic.com All ages

Jumpstart Music & Movement Abbotsford, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam jumpstartmusicandmovement.com Newborn to 5 years Langley Community Music School 604/534-2848 langleymusic.com Ages 3mths + Long & McQuade Music Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Delta, Langley, North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver long-mcquade.com All ages Private and group music instruction at affordable rates, custom-tailored to the needs of individual students in a wide variety of instruments, including acoustic & electric guitar, piano, drums, vocals, orchestral strings, brass, and woodwinds.

Music Teachers on the Go Richmond, North Vancouver, Vancouver 778/882-7603 musicteachersonthego.com All ages North Shore Music Academy North Vancouver, 604/925-3403 nsma.ca Ages 3+ North Shore Music Together Multiple locations in North Vancouver 778/899-5004 northshoremusictogether.com Ages 0-5yrs Oakridge Music Studio Vancouver, 604/321-1551 omusicstudios.com Place des Arts Art Centre & Music School Coquitlam, 604/664-1636 placedesarts.ca Ages 3+

Music for Young Children 800/828-4334 myc.com Ages 3 to 9 years

Richmond Community Music School 604/272-5227 richmondmusicschool.ca Ages 4+

MusicQube Education Ltd. Richmond, 604/370-5678 musicqube.org Ages 2+

School of Music and Dance Langley, Surrey and White Rock musicanddance.org Ages 3+


BACK! Celebrate Fall at Arts Umbrella

Inspiring classes for kids and teens: Visual Arts | Dance | Theatre

REGISTER TODAY! Fall session starts September 19 artsumbrella.com BCPARENT CA s BACK TO SCHOOL ISSUE 13

fall activity guide Staccato Music Studios Burnaby, 604/421-3753 staccatostudios.com Ages 4+ Tom Lee Music Academy Lower Mainland, 604/688-8929 tomleemusic.ca/academy At Tom Lee Music Academy, 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 7 key and satellite locations in Vancouver, plus 2 on Vancouver Island. To register, please call 604/688-8929. Vancouver Academy of Music Vancouver, 604/734-2301 vam.bc.ca Kodaly and Orff musicianship classes. Suzuki violin, viola, piano, cello, and ute. Piano group class (ages 4–9). Ballet (ages 3.5–18). RCM music history and theory. Private instruction in piano, classical guitar, band and orchestral instruments. Vancouver Central School of Music Vancouver, 605/565-8999 vcsom.com Ages 5+

in kids. Actors aged 2–19 experience a wide range of performance styles, stretching from Shakespeare to oncamera acting. Be curious, be bold, and be yourself. Artspace Children’s Arts Centre Burnaby 778/989-9051 artspaceforchildren.com Ages 2–17 Carousel Theatre for Young People Vancouver 604/669-3410 carouseltheatre.ca Ages 3–18 CircusWest East Vancouver 604/252-3679 circuswest.com Ages 8-16 E.J.S. School of Fine Arts – Musical Theatre Surrey 604/596-4883 ejsďŹ nearts.com Ages 7+

Vancouver Children’s Choir 604/682-6363 vancouverchildrenschoir.ca Love to sing? Vancouver Children’s Choir auditioning now! Girls 8–16, Boys 8–12. Call for an appointment. VSO School of Music 604/915-9300 vsoschoolofmusic.ca The VSO School of Music offers: Joyful music learning and playing for all ages and abilities; Early years programs starting from 3 months old; Private lessons in classical, jazz and world music; Ensembles, masterclasses and performance opportunities; Exclusive association with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; and exible payment options.

Gateway Academy for Performing Arts Richmond, 604/247-4975 gatewaytheatre.com/academy Ages 6–18 At Gateway Academy for Performing Arts, we believe in Creativity, Courage, and Connection! Established in 1991, our year-round acting, musical theatre, and performance training classes are for youth 6–18. Professional actors, directors, playwrights and choreographers are engaged as instructors, teaching skills that enrich students in both performance and life. JCC Performing Arts School Vancouver 604/257-5111 jccgv.com Ages 6+ Performing Arts Classes Surrey Civic Theatres Box OfďŹ ce: 604/501-5566 (press 1) surrey.ca/theatre Ages 3–16

Place des Arts Art Centre & Music School Coquitlam, 604/664-1636 placedesarts.ca Rainbow Art School Ltd. Vancouver Westside, 778/317-8000 rainbowartschool.wix.com/vancouver Ages 4–15 StageCoach Theatre Arts Schools 1-877-787-8243 stagecoachschools.ca Ages 4–18 Sing, Dance, Act! The world’s largest part-time theatre school network, with weekend schools across the Lower Mainland. We offer classes in Singing, Dancing and Drama every weekend alongside the school term as well as week long summer camps. Building conďŹ dence in young people since 1988! Come join the fun! Schools are located in Vancouver Eastside/Westside, North Vancouver, Coquitlam, Langley. Surrey Art Gallery 604/501-5566 surrey.ca/artgallery Ages 3+ Surrey Art Gallery offers over 25 classes this season. From preschool to adults, we’ve got something for you: painting, drawing, pottery, mixed media, pastels, and more. See you in the studio!

specialty Arts Umbrella – Media Arts Vancouver, 604/681-5268 artsumbrella.com Ages 6–19 Our Media Arts classes give young artists 6–19 a way to connect and investigate fundamental visual concepts—but use new media to drive their creations. Kids can share their stories through animation, ďŹ lmmaking, cartoons, graphic novel characters, video art, and more.

performing & visual arts

Bricks 4 Kidz Richmond, Vancouver 604/250-6665 bricks4kidz.com/vancouver Ages 5–12 Bricks 4 KidzŽ provides programs that inspire kids to learn about architecture, engineering and design concepts while having fun building with LEGOŽ bricks. Now offering After School Enrichment Classes, Camps and Birthday Parties.

The Arts Connection Richmond 604/241-0141 theartsconnection.org Ages 4+

Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art Vancouver, 604/733-1356 christiannehayward.com Ages 1–8

Arts Umbrella Vancouver 604/681-5268 artsumbrella.com Ages 2–19 From tickle trunks to improv, scripts to touring performances—our actorinstructors bring out the creativity

MEND bchealthykids.ca MEND is a fun, FREE, 10-week program that supports children and their families in becoming more active and healthier through interactive group sessions. Please visit www.bchealthykids.ca for a location near you.

Western Conservatory of Music Langley, 604/530-0317 westernconservatoryofmusic.ca Ages 3+


fall activity guide Sewing with Frances Burnaby, 604/433-1030 francessewingschool.com Sewing – 8 Week Class with The Cutting Room Vancouver, 604/396-9767 the-cuttingroom.com/classes Sewing fundamentals is the goal here, empowering you to know how best to sew and use machines, to create your visions. Students will complete 2 projects in this class a tote bag as well as a top, skirt, sweatshirt or apron. For kids & adults.

sports Aquaventures Swim Centre Vancouver, 604/736-SWIM aquaventuresswim.com Ages 6 months+ Award-winning program in tropical warm water. Atlantis Swim Programs 604/874-6464, Vancouver atlantisprograms.com Ages 4 months+ Swimming lessons for kids 4 months and up. Since 1986, Atlantis has been offering swim lessons to kids 4 months and up. Specializing in small class sizes (generally 4:1), warm water and exceptional instructors, they have helped thousands of children to be safe and

competent in the water, so they can enjoy a lifetime of aquatic activities. Cartwheels Gym Richmond, Surrey cartwheels.ca Walking to 6 years Club Aviva Coquitlam, 604/526-4464 clubaviva.ca Ages 6 months+ Dynamo Swim Club Burnaby, Surrey 778/866-6604 dynamoswimclub.net Ages 3–18 The Edge Climbing Centre North Vancouver, 604/984-9080 edgeclimbing.com Ages 6–18 Grandview Skating Club grandviewskatingclub.com Ages 3+ Grandview Skating Club is your onestop “learn to skateâ€? club! For beginners, Grandview offers CANSKATE, Skate Canada’s agship learn-to-skate program (all ages). For advanced skaters, Grandview offers STARSkate, Competitive, Test programs, off-ice training and hockey skills classes. Fall/ Winter sessions are at Trout Lake Community Centre, Spring/Summer sessions are at Sunset Arena.

Jump! Gymnastics North Vancouver: 604/971-0513 and Yaletown: 604/568-9690 jumpgymnastics.ca Ages 6 months–7 years Jump Gymnastics programming gives your child the strongest foundation for success in all sports and an active life. Classes, camps, birthday parties, date nights and more for kids from 6 months through their 7th year. Jump into the fun! Langley Gymnastics Foundation 604/532-1022 langleygymnastics.ca Ages 11 months+ The Little Gym of Langley Langley, 604/539-2543 thelittlegym.com Ages 4 months–12 yrs

North Shore Equestrian Centre North Vancouver, 604/988-5131 wecreateriders.com Ages 8+ Pedalheads Bike Camps 1-888-886-6464 pedalheads.com Ages 2–12 PedalheadsÂŽ is a learn to ride bike program for kids 2–12. Located across Canada and speciďŹ cally in the Greater Vancouver area, they have helped over 200,000 kids learn to ride. Offering a variety of levels from training wheels to trails, PedalheadsÂŽ offers half-day, all day and private lesson options. RBL Basketball Vancouver, 604/269-0221 RBLBasketball.ca Ages 5–15 Richmond Gymnastics Association 604/278-3614 richmondgymnastics.com Ages 18 months+

Marina’s Swim School Richmond, Whiterock 604/818-4650 marinaswimschool.com My Gym Children’s Fitness Center Surrey, Maple Ridge Surrey 604/249-5437 Maple Ridge 604/465-1329 mygym.com/surrey mygym.com/mapleridge Ages 6 weeks–10 years

Sportball 604/688-3157 sportball.ca Ages 16 months–12 yrs 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

Like BC Parent on Facebook for parenting tips, fun family events, useful resources and relevant deals for families in BC.

BC Parent Newsmagazine


fall activity guide 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. UBC Active Kids Gymnastics 604/822-2027 outreach.kin.educ.ubc.ca/active-kids 18 months–18 years Phoenix Gymnastics Vancouver, 604/737-7693 phoenixgymnastics.com Ages 6mths+ Wayland Sports Maple Ridge, 604/465-9293 quantumgym.com Walking–10 years+ White Rock Gymnastics 604/542-0386 whiterockgym.org Walking–11 years+ YogaButtons Studio Vancouver, 604/739-9642 yogabuttons.com Ages newborn–12 Yoga It Up South Surrey, South Delta, East Van, Vancouver, Richmond yogaitup.ca Ages 3+

Okanagan dance Blakey Irish Dance Kelowna, West Kelonwa, Penticton, Vernon blakeyschool.com All ages Creator’s Arts Centre Kelowna, 250/860-6616 creatorsarts.com Ages 3+ Dance City Academy Inc West Kelowna, 250/769-3389 dancecityacademy.com Ages 3+ Even Dance Penticton, 778/476-7678 evendance.com Ages 3+ Kelowna Dance & Performing Arts Kelowna, 778/478-0760 kelownadance.com Ages 2.5+ Mission Dance Centre & Company Kelowna, 250/764-2222 missiondancecentre.com Ages 3+ Okanagan Dance Studios Penticton, 250/492-0056 okanagandance.com Ages 3+

Reections Dance Studio Kelowna, 250/717-8884 reectionsdance.ca Ages 3+ Robb Card Dance Kelowna, 250/762 5266 robbcarddancestudio.com Ages 3+

music Children’s Piano-Arts Corner The West Kelowna Performing Arts Studio 250/768-1404 or 250/718-9875 childrenspiano-artscorner.com Ages 4+ Grace Note Music Studio Kelowna, 250/868-9674 kelownapianoteacher.com Ages 3+ Jay-Ess Music School Kelowna, 250/762-5757 jayessmusiclessons.com Ages 7+ Kelowna Community Music School Kelowna, 250/860-1737 kelownacommunitymusicschool.ca Ages 1.5+ Kelowna Music for Young Children with Wendy Puttick Kelowna, 778/214-1630 facebook.com/PianoLessonswithWendyPuttick Ages 0–8 Kelowna Rock School Kelowna, 250/712-0380 kelownarockschool.com Ages 4–18 Keystone Music Kelowna, 250/869-0819 keystonemusic.ca Long & McQuade Music Kamploops long-mcquade.com All ages Private and group music instruction at affordable rates, custom-tailored to the needs of individual students in a wide variety of instruments, including acoustic & electric guitar, piano, drums, vocals, orchestral strings, brass, and woodwinds. MacMusic Piano, Accordion and Guitar Studio Kelowna, 250/763-0988 macmusicpianoguitarstudio.ca Ages 5–100 Music City Studio: The Young Muscians Program Kelowna, 250/801-8445 musiccitystudio.ca Ages 14–18 Wentworth Music Kelowna, 250/860-2251 wmec.ca


performing & visual arts Bumbershoot Theatre Kelowna, 778/478-0142 bumbershoottheatre.com Ages 3+ Family Sunday’s Kelowna Art Gallery 250-762-2226 kelownaartgallery.com/family-sundays Summer Stages Kelowna Actors Studio kelownaactorsstudio.com Ages 7+ Theatre for Youth Rotary Centre for the Arts Kelowna, 250/717-5304 rotarycentreforthearts.com Ages 6–12

specialty Bricks 4 Kidz Summerland, 778/516-1505 bricks4kidz.com/bcsouthinterior Ages 6+

sports FitKidz Gymnastics Club Penticton, 778/476-KFIT (5348) ďŹ tkidzcan.com Ages 18 months+ H2O Adventure and Fitness Camps Kelowna, 250/491-9622 h2okelowna.ca Ages 5–14 Kelowna Gymnatix Kelowna, 778/484-7570 kelownagymnastix.ca Walking–Adult Okanagan Mission Tennis Kelowna okmissiontennis.org Ages 3–16 Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics Vernon, 866/696-5035 gymnasticsinvernon.com Ages 3+ Sportball Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton sportball.ca Ages 16 month+

Vancouver Island

Arabesque Dance Studio Victoria, 250/595-3107 dancearabesque.ca Ages 6–16 Arthur Murray Victoria, 250/220-8426 arthurmurrayvictoria.com Ages 5–16 Ballet Victoria Dance School Victoria, 250/380-6063 balletvictoria.ca Ages 3–15+ The Beat Dance Studio Sooke, 250/514-2788 thebeatdancestudio.com Ages 6–17 Boston Dance Collective Victoria, 250-658-1818 bostondanceco.com Ages 6–16 Dance on It Victoria, 250/704-6678 danceonit.ca Ages 2+ Dance Unlimited Victoria, 250/361-3267 danceunlimited.ca Ages 2+ Dansko Studios Victoria, 1.866.4DANSKO danskostudios.com Ages 2+ Glengarry School of Celtic Dance Victoria, Nanaimo celticperformingarts.com Leap Forward Dance School Langford, 250/818-9225 leapforwardlangford.com Ages 2+ Lighthouse Dance Academy Langford, 250/595-8705 lighthouseacademyofdance.com Ages 2+ Maple Leaf School of Ballet Victoria, 778/433-5323 mapleleafballet.ca Ages 3–18 PaciďŹ c Dance Centre Victoria, 250/477-6114 paciďŹ cdancecentre.com Ages 6–17 STAGES Performing Arts School Saanich, 250/384-3267 members.shaw.ca/stagesdance Ages 18 months+


Veselka Dancers Saanich, 250/475-1174 veselkadancers.com Ages 8–18

Allegro Performing Arts Centre Sidney, 250/656-8910 allegroperformingartscentre.com Ages 6–16

Vibestreet Dance Studio Esquimalt, 250/896-4427 vibestreetdance.com Ages 5–16

fall activity guide




Register For Music Lessons Today. Piano Guitar Drums Woodwinds Strings

Bass Voice

Ukulele & more

Why Choose Long & McQuade? Music lessons for all ages, stages and styles. Professional instructors make learning fun! Convenient lesson times for busy families. No registration fees. Affordable instrument rentals. Locations available across the lower mainland, Fraser Valley, Okanagan, and Vancouver Island.


Join the BC Parent Team!

Give your kids a strong foundation for an active life & success in all sports!

We are looking for a Advertisor motivated individual to help us expand to the Okanagan! The role is ideal for a parent looking for flexible hours, who knows their community and can build strong relationships with advertisers.

Classes, Camps, Birthday Parties, Date Nights & More!

Find out more on BCParent.ca or email your resume to info@bcparent.ca.

JUMP into our great programming for kids from 6 months to 7 years old.

1/4 V


highly-engaging coaches r Teacher

to student ratios as low as 1:4








physical literacy



Yaletown North Vancouver 604.568.9690 604.971.0513 101- 837 Beatty St 120 -2270 Dollarton Hwy


fall activity guide Victoria Academy of Ballet Victoria, 250/ 590-6752 victoriaacademyofballet.ca Ages 3–11

The Woodshed Music Classes Victoria craftyvictoria.com All Ages

Warmland Dance Cowichan, 250-818-9086 warmlanddance.wix.com/cowichan Ages 2–17

Tom Lee Music Academy Victoria tomleemusic.ca/academy

Shyness and Bloom After School drop-in Cadboro Bay, 250/516-6632 shynessandbloom.com Ages 5+

Victoria Conservatory of Music Victoria, Westhills, 866/386-5311 vcm.bc.ca Ages Birth–12 yrs

The Paint Box School of Art Victoria, 250/590-7571 thepaintbox-victoria.com Ages 2–13

performing & visual arts


Westcoast Academy of Performing Arts Saanich, 250/415-1477 wapa.ca Ages 3–17 WhiteSpace Dance Victoria, 250/858-9659 whitespacedance.com Ages 4–13

music Larsen Music Victoria, 250/389-1988 larsenmusic.ca Ages 6+ Long & McQuade Music Courtenay, Nanaimo, Victoria long-mcquade.com All ages Private and group music instruction at affordable rates, custom-tailored to the needs of individual students in a wide variety of instruments, including acoustic & electric guitar, piano, drums, vocals, orchestral strings, brass, and woodwinds. The Music Box School of Music Victoria themusicbox.musicteachershelper.com Ages 5–17 Musical Maestros Kid’s Works School for the Arts Victoria, 250/884-1290 kidsworks.ca Ages 3-15

4Cats Langford, Oak Bay, Victoria 4cats.com Ages 3–12 Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Studio Classes Victoria, 250/384-4171 aggv.ca Ages 2+ Artistic Statement School of Fine Art Oak Bay, 1-888-383-0566 artisticstatementgalleryandschool.com Ages 5–13 Crafty Art Program Victoria, 250/881-5075 craftyvictoria.com Ages 5–10 Imagination Station Poppet Studio kid’s classes Oaklands poppetcreative.com Ages 5–12 Kid’s Works School for the Arts Victoria, 250/884-1290 kidsworks.ca Ages 3–10 Musical Theatre Allegro Performing Arts Centre Sidney, 250/656-8910


allegroperformingartscentre.com Ages 8–16

Classes For New Parents, Babies and Toddlers with Mothering Touch Victoria, 250/595-4905 motheringtouch.ca Island Swimming Club Saanich, 250/744-5536 Ages 3–18 islandswimming.com Science Venture Club UVic Science Venture Victoria, 250/721-8661 scienceventure.ca Ages 6–14 Sewing Lessons Bay/Fernwood, 250/592-7879 andreasseweasy.com Ages 7+ SPCA Youth Workshops Victoria, 250/686-1581 spca.bc.ca/kids-teens


Falcon Gymnastics Victoria, 250/479-6424 falcongymnastics.com Ages 18 months–14 Golf Lessons – Junior Program Victoria Golf Club Victoria, 250/598-4321 victoriagolf.com Ages 12–17 Highland PaciďŹ c Golf Private Lessons Victoria, 250/478-4653 highlandpaciďŹ cgolf.com Ages 5–18 Kids Martial Arts And Fitness Lessons Crusher Combat Sports Victoria, 250/478-3596 crushercombat.com Pedalheads – Newbees to Level 3 Braefoot, 888/886-6464 pedalheads.com Ages 4–8 PedalheadsÂŽ is a learn to ride bike program for kids 2–12. Located across Canada and speciďŹ cally in the Greater Vancouver area, they have helped over 200,000 kids learn to ride. Offering a variety of levels from training wheels to trails, PedalheadsÂŽ offers half-day, all day and private lesson options. Oak Bay Figure Skating Rink Ratz Oak Bay, 250/744-6603 oakbayfsc.ca Ages 4–10

Canoe Youth Develpment Programs Victoria, 250/380-0226 chinookclub.ca Ages 8+

Outdoor Adventure After School Club Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria Esquimalt, 250/384-9133 bgcvic.org

CFSA Junior Sailing Colwood, 250/580-2670 sailinginstructor@cfsaesq.ca cfsaesq.ca

Victoria Gymnastics Victoria, 250/380-2442 victoriagymnastics.com Ages 2+

fall activity guide

IN-HOME TUTORING By CertiďŹ ed Teachers K-12 (all subjects)

Winner Marketplace Excellence Award 2015 2nd Place People’s Pick Award 2015

1-877-ITS-EASY (487-3279) ÂŽ


Summer & Year-LongCamps Classes KIDS & TEENS Year-Long Classes



Training in ...




604.247.4975 www.gatewaytheatre.com/academy BCPARENT CA s BACK TO SCHOOL ISSUE 19

Slow and Steady Wins the Race! By Na W.Y. hen school starts every year, we ďŹ nd our families returning to routines, and our schedules ďŹ lling up quickly. This hustle and bustle often gets in the way of our ability, as parents, to help our children meet their academic goals. We either don’t have enough time to come up with a good plan, or we’re unsure of exactly where to start. The following are strategies that have proven successful in helping students reach (and exceed) their goals, regardless of the child’s circumstances!


1. Failure to plan is planning to fail

Have an engaging discussion with your child about this year’s priorities. List everything that is important for this year, priori-

tize and focus on the top 3 or 5. Expect that it may be challenging to narrow your focus to a few things. DeďŹ ne goals for each list entry and consider what your child must do to achieve them. Next, estimate how much time is needed for these activities on a weekly or daily basis. Compare this with your child’s schedule last year and identify the gaps. For example, if a student really wants to improve his/her math grade from a C to a B+, then spending 1 hour a week on math homework is likely not going to cut it. Making the right choices involves sacriďŹ ce! Everyone works differently and it is important to develop a strategy that works for your child. The most important thing to do is to plan ahead and strategize your child’s work load.


2. Build in exibility

Plans are more likely to be achieved if we build in some cushion and not be overly rigid, provided we have the discipline to not drift too far. 3. Begin with the end in mind

If you ďŹ nd it difďŹ cult to motivate your child to strive for academic success, try having a discussion about what they are good at and what their goals and dreams are. Help them research and see how doing well in school or in certain subjects is critical to opening doors that will make their dreams a reality. 4. Create the right environment

Does your child have a consistent and reasonably quiet environment to focus on their

work? Is there adequate lighting? Are there distracting conversations right beside him/ her? Are there guests over when they are busy studying for exams? The consistency of a parent’s message and actions has a very important impact on their child. As parents, it is important to respect our children’s hard work by creating an environment that works positively towards their efforts. 5. Decide on the support needed

Does your child need additional support in the form of resources or supplementary help such as tutoring? Review the time and budget devoted to education to see if they make sense, given the priority we assign to education. Consider this: spending in education is an investment, not an expense. 6. Discipline matters

Having a plan is one thing, but what determines success is often our ability to stay the course. Many attractive activities will come our way weekly, daily or even hourly. We need to make the right choice, think ahead and prioritize.

7. Consistency is key

10. Perseverance

Our brain is a muscle which works best through regular exercise. Set up a routine and try to follow it. Everything becomes easier once it becomes a habit. Learning is a marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady wins the race!

In a recent TED Talk, Angela Lee Duckworth said she “quickly realized that the thing which sets her best and worst performing students apart is not just IQ.â€? What truly makes a deďŹ ning difference is also something called “grit,â€? which measures the student’s passion and perseverance in the face of challenges. Grit is motivation and stamina.

8. Quality over quantity

Although success is usually dependent on the amount of effort we put in, keep in mind that the quality of learning matters, not just the quantity. We often hear students express that they are distracted or simply too tired, and this is because they have too much going on in their life. 9. Build accountability

It is crucial to establish accountability for your child’s tasks, work and activities. A third-party individual—like a teacher or a tutor—is ideal in keeping your child accountable and ensuring that they meet their deadlines, keep promises, and reach their goals.

Many things about a student’s education are beyond the control of the parent— nonetheless the above ideas are actionable and well within the parent’s control or inuence. Let’s put them into action! Na W.Y. is Director of Education at TutorBright Vancouver, currently serving the City of Vancouver.

Your child’s future is bright! • Private, in-home tutoring for all ages • Comprehensive academic & learning style assessments • Help for Grades K to 12, in all subject areas • Enrichment and academic bridging





6 ★★

For 2016, we were voted The Best Educational Service by City Parent Magazine!

Dr. Wendy Inc.for & Dr. Amy Bellamy Inc. Call usTang today your Certified Specialists in Pediatric Dentistry FREE consultation! We provide comprehensive dental care for children 604.575.8018 under the age of 18, and those with special needs.

Various sedation options and general anesthesia available

Call us to book your free assessment today!


New patients welcome! No referral required.

778.300.5000 www.tutorbright.com

Currently serving Vancouver East, West, Yaletown & Downtown

604.575.7785 www.j4kdentistry.com

102 - 15137 56th Ave Surrey BC V3S 9A5


By Brenda Fisher-Barber


ver the years, many parents have expressed their concern about preparing their 3- and 4-year old children for kindergarten, and most have received conflicting ideas and information from the internet, and from other parents. Just this past week, I met a few preschool parents at one of my book signings in Kamloops and they were very concerned about getting their children ready for kindergarten and were not sure if their children were ready to go to school in September. They shared with me that some of their friends were pushing their children to memorize numbers, alphabet letters and books and they were very concerned that their 4-year olds were not as advanced or as ready for school as others in their preschool group. I shared with them the advice, experiences and research I once gave a mother of 2 young children who were 4.5 and 2.5 years old. She wrote to me about her concerns in preparing her children for kindergarten in my parenting advice column, “Dear Ms. Barber�, in the Penticton Herald. I am including the advice I gave from my column for you today, along with my many years of practical and teaching experiences within the early years, in the hope that this article will help to ease your mind and suggest age-appropriate ideas and activities for your children in the early years.

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

I have learned over the past 35 years that each child is unique and develops and grows at his/her own rate. They have different life experiences, interests, abilities, temperaments, and personalities. My son was a January baby and had to wait another school year before attending kindergarten in BC as his birthday fell after the December cut-off. This was a positive for him as he was not socially or emotionally ready and he had

Give your child a wide variety of experiences and opportunities to help him learn through practice and play rather than pushing him to memorize speciďŹ c information.

the beneďŹ t of another year of experiencing age-appropriate activities—at home and in his daycare, through community activities and organized sports, and socially with other children—before entering the school system. Since each child develops differently and at their own rate and pace, some children will have skills that are stronger in certain areas (such as language) while other areas may require more time, experience and


growth (ďŹ ne motor/small muscles). As a parent, it is recommended to give your child a wide variety of experiences and opportunities to help him learn through practice and play rather than pushing him to memorize speciďŹ c information. Your child will learn to prepare for kindergarten through everyday activities and play. I have found that most parents try to teach their children the alphabet and how to count. Although this is helpful, most kindergarten teachers believe that parents are overemphasizing memorization and placing too little emphasis on other skills that are equally important, such as self-regulation, emotional and social development and play. In September, educators are observing ďŹ ne motor skills (how the child uses a pair of scissors, holds a pencil and crayon, traces basic shapes), social and emotional skills (separation from parent, following rules, turn-taking, sharing, interactions with other children), gross motor skills (bouncing a ball, skipping, walking backward, etc). They also hope that children can identify a few colours, shapes, and alphabet letters as well as their name, tell how old they are and identify their address and telephone number. Most kindergarten teachers have shared with me that they truly hope to ďŹ nd children who are happy, curious and eager to

learn in their new, safe, accepting and playful environment. Helping your child “get ready� for kindergarten is never a competition. It is really about supporting, nurturing and assisting your child to develop in a well-rounded way so that he/she can’t wait to go to the “big school�. We are so fortunate to live in a province where Early Learning is a priority and we have so many high quality programs and options for young children in the early years in our own communities in BC. As an Early Childhood Educator and Early Learning Expert, I highly recommend that your young children are given the opportunities to play, practice and explore with age-appropriate materials alongside other children prior to entering kindergarten. Whether your child attends a community centre program, family daycare, childminding service, infant/toddler centre, 3–5 yr. old group childcare centre, preschool/playschool program or a StrongStart BC program, part-time or full time, they will have many opportunities to play, practice and explore. In addition to this wide range of quality

early childhood opportunities, your younger children can take advantage of a wonderful free program your school district offers at each elementary school for 3-year-olds and their parent/caregiver. The Ministry of Education’s “Ready, Set, Learnâ€? program is a valuable information session for parents and their preschoolers. It provides information on community resources and services, kindergarten readiness, the importance of play, reading with your children and the home, school and community partnership. You and your child will also receive a tour of the elementary school and take home a copy of the “Ready, Set, Learnâ€? booklet. If you have not attended a session and wanted to read and practice with your child who will be attending kindergarten this fall, the booklet is also available on your school district website under the heading “Parentsâ€? and then, “Early Learningâ€? and “Ready, Set, Learnâ€?. Each year a “Ready, Set, Learnâ€? schedule is posted on the website so that parents and preschoolers may attend at the school nearest their home. You will also ďŹ nd a list of all StrongStart BC centres on the Ministry of Education website and an informative brochure that

assists in explaining the purpose and objectives of this very positive, universally accessible and beneďŹ cial program for the early years. Lastly, please always remember to relax. Preschoolers change so quickly that they can begin to do things one week that they couldn’t do the week before. Continue to give your child positive support, lots of opportunity to play, practice and explore and encourage their curiosity about the world they live in. If you have concerns about growth and development, seek out professionals in your community such as pediatricians, health centre and child development specialists and/or an early childhood educator. Enjoy your journey through childhood and parenthood and remember that it is not a race. These days will not last forever, as I have realized—my only son turned 22 years young this past January. Dear Ms. Barber is written by author and advice columnist, "RENDA &ISHER "ARBER Early Learning Expert with 35 years’ experience working with children of all ages and specializing in the early years. Brenda has been a Preschool Teacher, Early Childhood Education College Instructor, StrongStart BC Facilitator and Public Speaker/Workshop Presenter. www.brendafisherbarber.com

DR. DOUG COHEN & DR. ÉAMONN GILL 앍 Registered Psychologists

Success in School We all want the very best for our daughters and sons. Much of their future depends on how well they express knowledge in school assignments, quizzes and tests. Despite their hard work, sometimes our children’s school HYDOXDWLRQV GRQ¡W UHĂ HFW ZKDW ZH EHOLHYH they are capable of. There are many factors that can prevent children from reaching their potential.

A Psychoeducational Assessment from Dr. Cohen & Dr. Gill can identify which factors are affecting your child’s school performance and identify changes that will help them put their best foot forward. :H FDQ SURYLGH \RX ZLWK VSHFLÀF VXJJHVWLRQV and recommendations designed to enhance your child’s enjoyment of school and facilitate improved educational performance.

PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT Learning Disabilities ADHD ě•Ť Giftedness ě•Ť Depression ě•Ť Anxiety ě•Ť Self-esteem ě•Ť Social/Emotional Capacities ě•Ť ě•Ť

HQ: Suite 704, 318 Homer Street, Vancouver, B.C., V6B 2V2 ě•Ť Satellite ofďŹ ces in Richmond and Surrey

Tel. 604-210-4695 ě•Ť Fax. 604-210-4694 ě•Ť www.gillcohen.com ě•Ť welcome@gillcohen.com BCPARENT CA s BACK TO SCHOOL ISSUE 23

By Nic Enright-Morin

hen you become a parent, making tough choices on behalf of your child starts the minute you ďŹ nd out you’re having a baby. Often it can feel like there’s no end to the decisions to be made: breast-fed or formula? Cloth diaper or disposable? Is a soother a good or a bad thing? But surely one of the biggest questions that all parents eventually face is, what is the best kind of school to send your child to? These days in BC, there is more variety than ever before. Alongside the traditional school program, there is French immersion, Mandarin immersion, Montessori and Reggio Emilia— to name a few. French immersion as a program has gained in popularity considerably over the last twenty years. Since it began, over one million students have participated in French immersion education across Canada. As of the 2014/2015 school year, 50,800 pupils are participating in French immersion programs in BC—that’s 8.9% of the entire student body.

These numbers are quite the achievement when you consider that the ďŹ rst French immersion program began only ďŹ fty years ago, in St. Lambert, a small suburb of Montreal. The program got started after a small group of Anglophone parents were disillusioned with traditional methods of language teaching. The French programs available at the time were very basic, and the parents wanted their kids to speak a much higher standard of French, especially as they lived in a province and country where there were two languages. The parents, with the help of a McGill professor, devised the ďŹ rst French immersion program and brought it to their school board. A few years after the program began, the then minister of state brought together parents from across the country and they talked about this new program and bilingualism. These parents then went back to their local communities and helped start French immersion programs in their area. One of the parents at that landmark meeting was from Coquitlam, and it is from that beginning that the ďŹ rst French immersion program in British Columbia was created in


Maillardville, Coquitlam. Glyn Lewis, executive director for Canadian Parents for French (CPF) in BC and Yukon says that it’s important to acknowledge just how far the program has come in its 50 years of existence. “Back when the French immersion program ďŹ rst started, there were huge tensions in the country. Who are we? What is the role of French? Is there a role for French in Canadian society? How do we actually implement that role? If you go back twenty or thirty years, the subject of French Immersion created a really intense debate in communities: whether or not there should be French immersion programs at all.â€? Lewis says that thankfully, the debate over the program has shifted dramatically since its inception ďŹ fty years ago and that now, there is huge public support for bilingualism. “There’s a whole culture around the program now that there wouldn’t have been 30 or 40 years ago. The program that you see today really is due to the support that has been built up over the years. Now we Continued on page 26

Marpole Bilingual Montessori


(Est. 1985)





The ability to learn languages is highest between birth and age Our French-English preschool pr.'0!, ,!6),)8%1 a child’s natural curiosity and ability to learn a second language dur)-' 2()1 ),/.0tant window of opportunity.

Pre-School, Junior Kindergarten & Kindergarten Celebrating Over 25 years of Montessori Teaching in the Community

& Established in 1962 & Caring, experienced & highly qualiďŹ ed bilingual teachers & Bright, extra-spacious classrooms & Private indoor & outdoor play areas & Introduction to French, reading, math, science and nature, music, crafts & Educational ďŹ eld trips Accepting Wait List Applications for SY 2017 !-$ "%7.-$ 9 +),)2%$ 1/!#%1 !4!)+!"+% VANCOUVER BILINGUAL PRESCHOOL 949 West 49th 4enue (at Oak St.) V!-#.34er, BC V5Z 2T1 Phone/F!6

4!-#.34%0")+)-'3!+ 7!(.. #! 9 www 4!-#.34erbilingual.co,



The Phonetic approach to Reading & Writing, Mathematics, Geography, Science, Music, Art, French, Yoga and a variety of Cultural subjects. Children are required to wear school uniforms.

over 35,000 circumcisions safely performed

We offer 2-1/2 hour and 3-1/2 hour programs for 2-1/2 to 5 year olds as well as an Extended day program for 5 year olds. Private English Tutoring, Phonics & Conversational Tutoring and French Tutoring are also offered.

Local Anesthetic Quick & Virtually Painless Surgical Technique No Stitches Required Caring Team Providing Highly Personalized Care


604-266-1091 EMAIL: bilingualmontessori@hotmail.com www.marpolebilingualmontessori.com TEL:

Clinics in Vancouver and New Westminster with fast and convenient access.


French Immersion (Continued from page 24)

have so many support programs in place and not just for the students. We have really good strong teacher education programs, we have really good exchange programs that students can participate in, support for the parents and stronger ties with francophone programs, there are so many ways that French immersion has grown.â€? Lewis, who is himself a graduate of the French immersion program, says there are many ways the program beneďŹ ts young minds. “Canadians who speak both ofďŹ cial languages make on average 10% more money than people who only speak one of the ofďŹ cial languages. Also Canadians who speak both ofďŹ cial languages have a lower unemployment rate than Canadians who only speak one of the two ofďŹ cial languages.â€? He says that he feels he reaped beneďŹ ts by enrolling in the program. “Being able to live and work in any part of this country is a huge beneďŹ t of the program. I spent a year in Montreal, and being able to go to a new community like that, I have to credit it to being a part of the French immersion program.â€? Darlene Proulx, a French immersion principal in the Coquitlam school district has been involved with the program for thirty-ďŹ ve years and has a ringside seat to how the program has evolved and shaped children’s minds. “The program is a way to help children open their minds and hearts to other cultures, but that is the same when they learn any additional language. It gets their brains thinking.â€? A concern for many parents is “will French immersion be right for my child?â€? Proulx said that the choices you make for your child’s education must consider their individual needs. “When I think of the changes to the program over the years it is clear that the

“typicalâ€? child will do ďŹ ne in immersion. There are supports for those who need it, just as there are in the regular English program. It does teach hopefully, perseverance and problem solving, amongst many other great skills.â€? However Proulx is quick to point out that while French immersion is a great education choice for many children, it is not the best option for everyone and she says that it is important that parents do their research, both on school programs as well as their child’s strengths and weaknesses and then base their choice on what is a good ďŹ t for their child.

“I guess at the beginning, the program is a little challenging, but over the years it does get easier and I’m so glad I know both Canadian languages, I’m pretty proud of that, to be honest.� —Stacey (age 10)

“I think for any child who has a language based communication disorder, it’s not the right program. Any child who has difďŹ culty in their ďŹ rst language is not a good candidate. By putting them in a program like French immersion, you are putting a burden on that child’s back. The reason I say that is because the way you learn a second or third language is by building on your native tongue. So if that is weak and if a child has difďŹ culties learning in their own language, or if they have problems being understood or frustrations in making themselves understood, then they will have problems in an immersion program too, as the foundation is not there. In that case, the family needs to work on strengthening the child’s ďŹ rst language before introducing a second. Otherwise it will be such a source of frustration

for that child and it’s not fair to them. That is when a late immersion program becomes a great option.â€? Claire Walters* is a mother of three, in Vancouver. Despite placing all three of her children in the French immersion program, (two early French immersion and one late) only one of her kids thrived in the program, whilst her other two kids transferred to a traditional English program. “French immersion is a wonderful program, but that said, I learned ďŹ rst-hand that it’s not right for every child. My middle daughter, Stacey, has done incredibly well in the program, which I think has a lot to do with her personality. She is a very strongwilled, determined little girl who likes a challenge—in fact she loves a challenge and she always meets difďŹ cult tasks head on. As for my other two kids, despite their best efforts, they felt frustrated. I didn’t want them to feel that way about school, so after talking about their progress with my husband and with their teachers, we decided to move them to an English program.â€? Claire says that despite French immersion not working out for all of her kids, she is “delightedâ€? that her children all had the opportunity to access both ofďŹ cial Canadian languages and she hopes that her other two kids will pick up French later on when the time is right for them. Claire’s daughter, Stacey (10) said, “the best thing about learning another language is the opportunities it gives. For example, it is great if you want to travel around the world when you get older. I guess at the beginning, the program is a little challenging, but over the years it does get easier and I’m so glad I know both Canadian languages, I’m pretty proud of that, to be honest.â€? Ultimately when choosing the right school for your child, it’s just like every other milestone in your child’s life: do your research, go with your instinct and go with what’s right for them.

How to recognize if French is right for your child 1. Does you child have good communication abilities in their native tongue? 2. Do they have a good memory? 3. Do they self-correct? 4. Can they experiment with new ideas without fear of making mistakes? 5. Are they attentive and focused? 6. Are they verbal and like to talk?

7. 8. 9. 10.


Do they like a challenge? Is your child a self-starter? Is your child adaptable to change? Do you speak any French at home? Will you be able to help them with their homework? (The program is designed for families who’s ďŹ rst language is not French, although many

people note that it is advantageous if there is at least one francophone parent.) 11. What support systems are in place, at home and at school? 12. Are you willing to get your child extra help if needed (like a tutor)?


Now Open! CEFA Early Learning is a full day private school that offers an elite junior kindergarten program, featuring a unique partnership of core subjects: reading, writing, math and science together with fine arts such as music, drama, dance and yoga. The program was designed to specifically stimulate children during the brain's most formative years, increasing the child's emotional, social and intellectual capacity for life.

Accepting Applications

apply now! limited spaces

Our family is growing!

Our Family is Growing! We are pleased to announce 2 new locations:

Visit one of our CEFA 20 BC Locations Vancouver - Cambie | 8685 Yukon St, Vancouver, BC V5X 4V1

CEFA Kelowna | 590 McKay Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 5A8 t (236) 420 3868 | kelowna@cefa.ca | www.cefa.ca


t (604) 879 2332 | cambie@cefa.ca | www.cefa.ca

S E P T E M B E R 24T H & 25T H 1 1 :0 0 A M - 01: 0 0P M


Fall Events MCC Festival for World Portobello West Fall Relief Market TRADEX Centre in Abbotsford Friday, September 16 (5 pm–9 pm) & Saturday, September 17 (8 am–2 pm) mcccanada.ca/get-involved/ events/mcc-festival-worldrelief-abbotsford A weekend of fun, food, and fundraising for MCC’s work of responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice around the world. Join us for the pancake breakfast and all-day children’s activities on Saturday!

Sharon, Bram and Friends Sunday, September 18, 2 pm Vancouver, Orpheum Theatre sharonandbram.com Join legendary children’s singers Sharon, Bram & Friends for an afternoon of sing-along fun. The renowned duo will join together with the audience in laughter, whilst singing songs set to familiar folk-inspired tunes. Sunday, September 18 at 2 pm at the Orpheum theatre. Tickets are available for purchase online at Tickets Tonight.

Creekside Community Centre, Vancouver September 17–18 Vancouver’s Favourite Artisan/ Craft Fair is back for its Fall 2016 Edition this September 17th & 18th! Shop from a wide variety of local goods ranging from Fashion, Jewelry, Accessories, Art, Sweets, Baby & Kids items, and more. portobellowest.com

the world’s ďŹ nest ďŹ lms to one of the most beautiful cities on the planet.

Vancouver International Film Festival September 29–October 14 viff.org/festival One of North America’s largest ďŹ lm festivals, the Vancouver International Film Festival, will once again welcome some of

Mulan the Musical Saturday, October 15 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm Queen Elizabeth Theatre Vancouver

Toopy and Binoo Fun and Games Surrey: September 17 North Vancouver: September 18 Kamloops: September 21 Kelowna: September 22 kobaentertainment.com/shows/ toopy-and-binoo

Legendary Family Act SHARON, BRAM & FRIENDS

Live at the Orpheum Theatre

Word Vancouver September 21–25, 2016 Various locations wordvancouver.ca

Ice Age on Ice Kamloops: September 30–October 2 Kelowna: October 4–5 Vancouver: October 6–9 Victoria: October 11–12 iceageonice.com

Sunday September 18, 2016 at 2:00pm Tickets starting from $31.99 Ticketstonight.ca 604-665-3050

Busy life? Have BC Parent delivered to your inbox. Visit www.bcparent.ca to subscribe.


The 35th Vancouver International Film Festival. More than 300 films from 60 countries.

Premier Partner

September 29 to October 14 Discover more at viff.org

Government Partners

MCC FESTIVAL for World Relief

Friday ay September 16 & Saturday S September ber 17 1 at TRADEX EX Abbotsford

Join us on SATURDAY ffor Family amily Day! (8 am - 2 pm pm) Start the day wit with a family-style pancake breakfast Entertain the kids with Entert th all-day activities in the children’s area Find treasures ures at the craft, plant, pla quilt & garage ge sale sales Enjoy delicious food from around thee wor world Bidd on fa family getaways, home services and more at the auction ction

mcccentre.ca/relief-festival All pr proceeds support the relief, development, developm and peace work of Mennonite Central C Committee. ee. BCPARENT CA s BACK TO SCHOOL ISSUE 29

Here are our favorite items to make sure that the back-to-school routine goes off without a hitch! 1. Connected Philips Sonicare for Kids

3. Mabel’s Labels

Getting kids to brush properly can be a struggle. Why not get them excited to brush with the Sonicare for Kids App featuring Sparkly and the Connected Philips Sonicare for Kids. This app and connected toothbrush get kids excited and engaged about brushing, while eliminating the challenge mom and dad face when they ask their kids to brush. Parents get the conďŹ dence that their child is brushing properly and can check on their child’s daily progress. Available: Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart, Amazon.ca and London Drugs

Tired of replacing your kid’s belongings half way through the year? Things get lost and unfortunately it’s how life goes, but by using Mabel’s Labels durable, waterproof labels you can reduce the number of items that don’t make it out of the lost and found. Choose from a variety of fun label designs and styles to suit every child and everything your child owns. These labels are a must have on your back-to-school shopping list! Available at mabelslabels.com

2. Bentology’s Bento lunch bags

Pinterest inspired lunches can only do so much. Having a great lunch bag and bento box can also help get your kids excited about packed lunches again. Bentology’s insulated lunch bags come in seven different prints and styles including a colorful kitty, blue and green camouage, midnight blue and more! Each insulated bag is equipped with multiple convenient compartments as well as a water bottle holder on the side for additional storage. The reective insulated lining is easy to clean, and the netted compartment is perfect to store utensils, napkins or even an ice pack. Available at Amazon.ca


4. Boogie Wipes

With back to school comes snotty noses and colds. Cleaning little noses with a dry tissue can be a pain for both parents and kids. Boogie Wipes are a soothing alternative made with natural saline to dissolve boogies caused by the common cold or u. No more red and itchy noses for the little ones. Prepare your kid’s backpack with a pack of Boogie Wipes so they feel conďŹ dent and stay clean in the classroom. Available at Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, and Amazon.ca




Visit bcparent.ca to read about our experiences with these great products. 30 BCPARENT CA s BACK TO SCHOOL ISSUE

Š Es Estate Estate te of o Y You Yous ou u uf Karsh ars ar rsh

Dyslexia didn’t stop Albert. We don’t let dyslexia or language-related learning disabilities affect our students, either. They learn differently, and we offer them an educational setting where they can thrive.

GR 1-12 PARENTS CALL US FOR A SCHOOL TOUR 604 736 5575 | fraseracademy.ca | Vancouver, BC


After3 for your child’s education success We’re leaders in education that builds skills, conďŹ dence and learning habits for success. Our program helps children learn to read and write or do math at age-appropriate levels.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP YOUR FAMILY 604 736 5575 | after3tutoring.ca | Vancouver, BC



Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.