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The Resource Publication for Vancouver Island Parents

Island Parent February 2012

Education Schools & Educational Services

A Homeschool Primer Where Teaching Begins In My Grandparents’ House

Tips for a Winter Picnic

The Art of Unconsumption

children’s boutique

Reading Writing Mathematics Assessments

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School Success IS Within Your Child’s Reach “All children can and should experience success at school” So say Penny Loome and Joseph Rooney, the owners of Sylvan Learning on Vancouver Island; and with a combined forty-eight years of teaching experience, they are confident they have the experience to back this claim up. Rooney and Loome are passionate about what they do at Sylvan Learning “At some point in their education, almost all students struggle to keep pace with the curriculum and this is the moment that learning gaps arise. Sylvan is the bridge,” says Joseph Rooney, “Our student centered approach to learning is the key to unlocking the potential of every child we teach” “Students come to us for a variety of reasons,” says Penny Loome.” Some want to improve already good grades, others need enrichment, but many students come to us because they are behind in school - and that is usually because they lack the necessary skills to keep up”. “Basics such as fluency in reading, competence in comprehension, a solid understanding of basic math facts and number concepts, the ability to write a well structured sentence, are the building blocks of a successful school career,” adds Rooney, “but sadly these are the skills many kids lack.” “What we do at Sylvan,” says Loome,” is to take kids back to the point at which they began to experience problems, identify their skills gaps, then construct individualized programmes to address these issues and get the kids back on track. Unlike simply supporting homework,” she adds, “Sylvan focuses on ensuring children have the skills to go back to the classroom and raise their standards independently. And that’s the key ingredient in the mix – Independence. And now, Sylvan is incorporating instructional technology into their programs – why? Because studies show that students who regularly use technology take more pride in their work, have greater confidence in their abilities and develop higher self esteem and are able to work more independently. With higher self-esteem, comes increased selfconfidence, and greater overall success.

“It’s really no surprise that a child who simply cannot keep up in class, who learns from an early age that his best efforts aren’t good enough, becomes alienated and starts skipping class, avoiding homework and generally doing everything possible to avoid yet another failure. When kids disengage from the learning process, it is often hard to get them to re-engage” says Penny Sylvan’s move towards using instructional technology helps keep today’s tech savvy kids engaged in the learning process and allows teachers to be more responsive and adaptive to the needs of the student. Kids are more likely to engage with academic challenges when technology is offered as a learning tool. Their ease with technology tools also empowers them to show what they know, take pride in their work and be open to taking risks. “If a child is not hitting the developmental milestones when it comes to school, if they are consistently just meeting the minimum level of achievement, if they are disinterested in school, or battle over homework, then parents should look at getting support,” says Loome. “We are excited about the introduction of instructional technology in our centres because digital learning platforms allow us to address different learning styles, and different learning needs more immediately and more interactively, and we know that this, coupled with early intervention leads to success.

Here's what some of our families have to say; “We are very pleased with the progress our daughter has made. She had been struggling with her reading and comprehension and had fallen behind in school. With help from Sylvan she has caught up to her classmates, her confidence in herself has increase tenfold. She enjoys attending and always has a bounce in her step when we pick her up”. “We moved to Victoria from a small town in Alberta, and the curriculum in Victoria was far more advanced than our old system. My child started the school year off doing ok but as the year progressed the marks began to slide as did the confidence. My child began to dislike school and even talking about it would be upsetting. In March, we decided to try Sylvan as it had worked for me as a child. Within a few weeks, we started to notice a difference in attitude and confidence. After a couple more weeks, we were getting feedback from the school stating our child had turned the page and began participating in all aspects of school. Our child began to bring home extra homework from earlier in the year to correct the mistakes. Our enthusiastic child was back. School had once again become fun and by the last report card our child had raised every grade level from the past report card and in the hardest class (MATH) the grade level went from a C- to a B. Our child is excited for this school year and I thank Sylvan for all the support”.

“Not every child wants to go to college or university, “adds Rooney, ‘but when the single biggest indicator of future success – both in terms of job satisfaction and standard of living -is how well a child has done in school, then ensuring our children have that success in order to enjoy those choices should be paramount.” For more information, please feel free to call Sylvan Victoria at 250-477-3212, Westshore at 250-590-6211 or Nanaimo at 250-758-1526

Victoria, Westshore and Nanaimo  1-800-EDUCATE

February 2012


Contents: February 2012 Articles

Spring Break for the Family Enjoy self-guided activities and daily tours inspired by our visiting exhibition Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Vote for your favourite image in our Visitors Choice Awards or relax in our cozy Photography Lounge. ~5P\X[hc^dabSPX[h/ P\ ~Focus speaker series SPX[h/ !_\ ~0Sd[cc^dab SPX[h/ _\ March 17 – 25, 11 am – 3 pm Free with admission or membership.

The Art of Unconsumption ............................................................................ 8 Where Teaching Begins ................................................................................ 10 A Homeschool Primer .................................................................................. 12 Pink Shirt Day .............................................................................................. 15 Schools and Educational Services ................................................................. 16 Tips for a Winter Picnic................................................................................ 30 Generosity: Evolving Beyond the ‘Mine Set’ ................................................. 40 Helping Your Child Deal with Peer Conflict ................................................. 42 In My Grandparents’ House......................................................................... 43

Columns Editor’s Note .................................................................................................. 3 Dadspeak ..................................................................................................... 44 Healthy Families; Happy Families ................................................................ 46 Just Eat It! .................................................................................................... 48 Book Nook .................................................................................................. 50 Is There an App for This? ............................................................................. 52 New Parent Pages ......................................................................................... 56 Maternity & Beyond .................................................................................... 60 Nature Notes ............................................................................................... 62 Cut It Out .................................................................................................... 64

Departments IPM Notes...................................................................................................... 4 Party Directory....................................................................................... 28, 29 Family Calendar ........................................................................................... 32 Around the Island ........................................................................................ 39 Family Services Directory ....................................................................... 54, 55 Preschool & Child Care Directory ......................................................... 58, 59 Business & Professional Directory................................................................ 61

First Peoples February 26, 1 pm – 3 pm Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a pit house?

Island Parent Magazine, produced by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a monthly publication that honours and supports parents by providing information on resources and businesses for families, and a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Letters (max 250 words) should be emailed to the Editor at No material herein may be reproduced without the permission of the Editor. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome and should be emailed to Island Parent Magazine is distributed free in selected areas. Subscriptions can be obtained by sending $28.00 (HST included) with your name and address to the address below. Canada Post: Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement 40051398.

Island Parent Magazine Suite A-10, 830 Pembroke St, Victoria, BC V8T 1H9 Tel: 250-388-6905 Fax: 250-388-6920 Website: 2

Island Parent Magazine

Partner Website: On the Cover: Photo by Michelle Loewen Photography: or 250-661-2464

President, Publisher: Paul Abra Vice-President: Anna Abra Director, Production Manager: Mada Moilliet Editor: Sue Fast Sales & Marketing: Rod Holt Publisher’s Assistant: Linda Frear Bookkeeping: Elaine Francis Distribution: Anna Abra, Ted Dawe (Mid-Island) Founders: Jim Holland & Selinde Krayenhoff Production: Eacrett Graphic Design Printed at Island Publishers Cover printed at Hillside Printing ISSN 0838-5505

Living Out Loud …& Online ast month, mega-blogger and internet celebrity Heather Armstrong—maybe the most-read personal blogger on the internet—told her 100,000 daily readers at that she and her husband, Jon, were splitting up. Reactions in the comments section below her post, on other blogs, on websites, in newspapers, and even on the evening news, ranged from sadness, “I started crying when I read this post…” to indignation “Shouldn’t she at least have given [readers] a few hints [before announcing the split]?” Sad news, for sure. But is it news we need—or are entitled—to know? Granted, for more than 10 years, Armstrong has thrown herself, and her family, into the spotlight—blogging about everything from dating, work, sex, and birth to poop, spit up, stomach viruses and post partum depression—with unabashed candor. She has proposed on her blog. Announced her two pregnancies on her blog. She has lost a job because of her blog. And she has almost lost contact with her parents and siblings because of her blog. Revealing the nitty gritty of her family’s life is all in a day’s work for Armstrong. And it has paid off. Her site brings in an estimated $30,000 to $50,000 a month, and that’s not counting the revenue from her two books or from other spin-offs including speaking engagements and advertising gigs. Some would argue that because Armstrong’s fame, and in turn, fortune, is based on her writing about personal domestic problems, writing


about her divorce makes not only money, but sense. She wrote about the beginning of her marriage, so why not write about the end? Judging by the spike in page views—on Armstrong’s and on other parenting blogs—many bloggers seem to find not only their followers, but also their voices, when times are tough. The Internet, Armstrong has said in reference to her

Editor’s Note SUE FAST postpartum depression, saved her life. As blogger Lisa Belkin wrote in a post for The Huffington Post: “…the very fact that these bloggers have a community with which to share the bad things is a measure of the reality that the meaning of the word intimate has been redefined.” Armstrong has started writing less about her oldest daughter, who now runs from the room whenever her mother grabs a camera or laptop. And she lives—and blogs—by the rule: “I will never write anything that I wouldn’t say to your face, with 50 people watching.” But, as Belkin says, in this wireless, confessional era, what was once a question for parents talking over the backyard fence, or writers deciding whether to publish between hard covers, is now a question for every one of us with a keyboard.

How far is too far? How much information is TMI? Do You Read Parenting, Mommy or Daddy Blogs? If so... • Which ones are your favourites? • What draws you to them? • How much is more than you want to know? • Are blogs at their best when they serve as group therapy sessions? Or at their worst?

Do You Write a Parenting, Mommy or Daddy Blog? If so... • Why? • How do you determine what material is okay to include? Best left out? Please e-mail your answers, 500 words or less, to by March 15 and you’ll be entered into a draw for two tickets to Stars on Ice (value $160). A selection of entries and a list of favourite blogs will be printed in an upcoming issue.

February 2012


IPM Notes Bigleaf Maple Syrup Festival The sap will soon be flowing from Bigleaf Maple trees on the West Coast, and syrup makers from the area are sharpening their drill bits in anticipation. At the BC Forest Discovery Centre’s annual Bigleaf Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday, February 4 from 10am-4:30pm, you can taste locally made maple syrup and participate in miniworkshops facilitated by experienced maple syrup producers, including tapping demonstrations (approximately 15 minutes long, every 20 minutes from 10:20am-3:20pm), presentations, and displays. This year’s event features cooking with local maple syrup, and maple foods will be available. The festival features a maple syrup competition with judging by celebrity chefs from Vancouver Island. The evaporator will be running all day so visitors can savour the warm maple aroma of sap and see how syrup is made. For more information, visit

The 11th Annual Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Érable The largest bilingual festival on Vancou-

ver Island runs February 10-12 at the Beban Auditorium located at 2300 Bowen Road in Nanaimo. In February of every year, Nanaimo pulsates with the rhythm of the Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Érable. This bilingual festival is indeed one-of-a-kind: an event inspired by eastern Canada’s sugar shack traditions. Over the course of three days, festivities will include educational presentations, performances by a diverse range of entertainers, and authentic, traditional French Canadian food fare, notably the decadently sweet sugar toffy on snow. Come to Nanaimo and discover the Festival’s truly special ambiance, the joie de vivre, and the warm hospitality. The Festival runs Friday, February 10 from 4-10pm, with the opening ceremony at 7pm, Saturday, February 11 from 9-11pm, and Sunday, February 12 from 9-4pm. Admission: adult $5; member $4 (with membership card); student $3; child less than 12 years of age, free. For information, visit

Connect, Collaborate, Celebrate: Vancouver Island Parenting Conference Spend Saturday February 11 from 7:30am-4:30pm honing your parenting

Vote for those that care about family and children.

Good business has many rewards. The Early Years Awards celebrates the businesses and organizations that make a difference in the lives of families with children. It’s easy. It’s free. And it’s the right thing to do.



Deadline for nominations — March 15th, 2012 |


Island Parent Magazine

Your Support. Their Success.

skills. Speaker Dr. Martin Brokenleg will introduce participants to “The Circle of Courage” which will offer concrete strategies for creating environments in which all young people can grow and flourish. Dr. Stuart Shanker will speak about self-regulation, which serves as a lens for understanding children, their individual strengths and the areas that need work. Other workshops will include an Aboriginal Panel as well as discussions on individualized learning, technology in the classroom, and other topics that challenge students today. The Conference will be at Spectrum Community School, 957 Burnside Road West. The cost is $60 for registrations paid by Jan 31, or $75 on or after Feb 1 (breakfast, lunch and snacks included). As space is limited, registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit

Early Childhood Education Speaker Series St. Margaret’s School hosts its 5th annual Early Childhood Education Speaker Series: Building the Foundations for Healthy Early Learning. Parents, teachers and early childhood educators are welcome to attend this series of vibrant and interactive presentations that explore how parents, educators, caregivers and community members can participate in children’s early learning. The Speaker Series features four evening lectures throughout the 2011/12 school year. The next lecture is on February 23, from 6:15-7:15pm, and the topic is “Early Moral Development.” There is also an all-day Early Learning Conference (April 21) and a half day Early Learning Workshop (May 26). These events are open to the public and there is no cost to attend. Admission is fully sponsored by St. Margaret’s School. Seating is limited to 100 so please RSVP to reserve your space. Dinner for families is also offered at Alexis Dining Hall from 5:15-6pm, $10 per family (cash or charge to school account). For more information about the lecture series, visit

ICA Youth Community Kitchen The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria is offering Youth Community Kitchens, a program focused on cooking, learning, and sharing in our community, for newcomer youth ages 14-25. In this program, running from February to June (exact dates to be announced),

Depuis sa création en 1995, le Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique 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 4 600 élèves, 36 écoles publiques et dessert plus d’une centaine de communautés réparties dans l’ensemble de la province.

Inscrivez votre enfant dans une école du CSF !

NOS ÉCOLES PUBLIQUES DANS L’ÎLE DE VANCOUVER Campbell River École Mer-et-montagne École secondaire Phoenix École secondaire Carihi

250-923-3359 1102 South Alder 250-923-3359 400, 7th Ave. 250-923-3359 350 Dogwood St.

M-6 7-9 10 - 12

Comox Valley

École au Cœur-de-l'île

250-339-1848 566 Linshart Rd.

M - 12


École Océane 250-714-0761 1951 Estevan Rd. M - 7 École secondaire de Nanaimo 250-714-0761 355 Wakesiah Ave. 8 - 12

Port Alberni

École des Grands-cèdres

250-723-5614 4645 Helen St.



École Victor-Brodeur

250-220-6010 637 Head St.

M - 12

February 2012


Is Your Child Struggling at School? If modern psychology had existed in the 1850’s during Thomas Edison’s time in public school, he would probably have been diagnosed with ADHD and given Ritalin. His teacher made no secret of his belief that the hyperactive youngster’s brains were “addled” or scrambled. What wasn’t appreciated was that Edison had a unique learning style that didn’t fit in with what the schools of the day thought he should be doing. He was probably one of those people who was faulted for persisting at his own interests longer than was thought necessary. He may have been one of those children who had a very short attention span; who had trouble following multiple instructions; who frustrated teachers and parents. Therapeutic tutors specialize in discovering this kind of child’s unique learning style. One of the methods we use is to show children how their passions apply to school and can help them learn. Another tool we use is multisensory; using the muscles and/or sense of feeling to help in the learning process. We also give small quantities of repetition over a long period of time. The ultimate goal is that our students learn to teach themselves using their own learning style. With a little understanding, patience and lots of encouragement struggling students can succeed. For a free assessment, please call Karen. No obligation.

Karen Murdoch Therapeutic Tutor


I can help your child 6

Island Parent Magazine

IPM Notes participants will have hands-on learning that includes: • developing cooking techniques and knowledge of food • preparing basic meals from scratch • Food Safe certification • engaging in discussions about health, nutrition and food security • learning world cuisine from community mentors • gaining awareness about local and indigenous foods • learning how to grow your own food and how to compost • planning and preparing community dinners • sharing and eating delicious food from around the world. For more information about this program, please contact Letitia Annamalai at 250-388-4728 ext. 123 or e-mail

What Lies Beneath The ocean covers 70 per cent of the earth’s surface and is home to 99 per cent of the world’s inhabitants, yet less than 5 per cent of this watery environment has been explored. The Maritime Museum’s latest exhibit, presented in conjunction with Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), ventures beneath the waves to investigate this unknown world. The exhibit, “What Lies Beneath: The Past, Present and Future of Underwater Exploration,” tracks the evolution of underwater technology and the challenges met by humans in reaching the depths for food, exploration and scientific research. The exhibit runs from January to August and will also showcase some of the Museum’s underwater artifacts, including Diver Dan (salvage diving suit), a submersible simulation, and a children’s activities area. Every fourth Wednesday of the month will feature talks on underwater exploration from experts in the field. School children can also take advantage of the new education program “Extreme Environments: Project Deep Ocean” where they will get a chance to practice their marine biology skills and build their own neutrally-buoyant submersible. Visit

Bellies, Birth & Babies Fair Calling all vendors/exhibitors/demonstrators to the 4th Annual Comox Valley

Bellies, Birth & Babies Fair on May 26 at the Florence Filberg Center in downtown Courtenay. If you have a business, product or service that caters to pregnant or postpartum women or families with young children, the Bellies, Birth & Babies Fair is the perfect opportunity to meet one-on-one with your target market in a fun, familyfriendly environment. The Bellies, Birth, and Babies Fair was founded four years ago by the Comox Valley Doulas. The idea grew out of a desire to showcase what is available in the Comox Valley and surrounding region to support expectant and young families. The Fair attracts attendees from all over Vancouver Island. This year’s Fair will feature up to 37 exhibitors. The Florence Filberg Center has ample parking and elevator access between levels. Free onsite child-minding will also be available for visitors. Applications are available until March 2 for businesses, organizations, or individuals interested in participating. For a vendor information letter and application form, visit and click on “Participate.” For more information or to suggest a topic of interest for our seminars or demonstrations, e-mail Jesse Buchanan at or phone 250-334-2815.

In-School Mentoring Programs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria needs volunteers. Do you have a busy schedule and are you trying to juggle a million things at once? Do you want to volunteer? Do you like kids and having fun? Are you responsible and caring? Does this describe you? If so, In-School Mentoring is for you. Volunteers spend one hour a week playing games and sports, doing arts and crafts, baking, reading, talking or hanging out on the playground with a boy or girl at a nearby elementary school. Weekly visits take place on school grounds during school hours (normally between 8:30am-3pm Monday to Friday). Start your application process now so that you’re ready to have fun with your Little in September. One child. One hour. One BIG reason to go back to school. Phone, e-mail, or stop by to chat about how you could help change the life of a child in our community. For more information, e-mail Sarah Stewart, program assistant, at main. or phone 250-475-1117 ext.40.

Cowichan Valley Offers a Different Way of Learning Cowichan Valley’s Co-op Program is calling for families with learners aged 12 and under who are interested in a different kind of publicly funded education. If approved, the program would have children attend school one to three days a week, and parents would receive support and feedback from a teacher and from other parents supporting each learner. In order to make a proposal to the School District, 20 learners are needed by March 1—learners who are willing and able to commit to the program for at least one year. Parents of preschoolers that are interested in having their children attend school part-time can get on a waiting list by contacting Sherri Pepin at

LIFE Seminars presents

The Parent Child Connection Parenting Children & Teens

This course is beyond the typical information; it will take you deeper, covering boundaries, emtional awareness, communication and the discipline of being a conscious parent. Wednesday Evenings February 15 to April 11, 2012 March 14 off Spectrum School 7:00 to 9:30

Helmets: Stay Safe on the Slopes Helmets should be mandatory for skiers and snowboarders of all ages, says the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS). Despite strong evidence that helmets prevent injuries, many still ski and snowboard without them, said Dr. Natalie Yanchar, chair of the CPS Injury Prevention Committee. “Through mandatory helmet legislation, governments can send a strong message that helmets are important and reduce the risk of brain injury, disability, and death.” The Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program has reported that snowboarding and downhill skiing are among the top three causes of injury related to snow and ice activities. Children and youth are at higher risk for ski and snowboarding injuries, including sprains and fractures, and injury to the head and neck. Among the recommendations, the CPS advises that all skiers and snowboarders: • wear the proper equipment including a helmet and goggles, plus wrist guards for snowboarding • check equipment at the start of each ski day to ensure that the boots fit and the bindings are adjusted correctly • avoid borrowing equipment and rent only from a reputable ski shop or resort • take lessons from a certified instructor • never ski or snowboard alone. The Canadian Paediatric Society is a national advocacy association that promotes the health needs of children and youth. For more information, visit•

For registration or information on individual coaching go to

with Dr. Allison Rees or call 250-595-2649

February 2012


Rachel Dunstan Muller

is hosting their

2012 Second Annual Victoria


Dyslexia Victoria Online has been featured on: “The Daily” on Shaw TV CHEK TV “Island 30” and in the Times Colonist Workshop registration and lunch fee: $85 Pre-registration includes a $10 discount! Please pre-register early – seating is limited

This interactive workshop will benefit: Dyslexics, parents of Dyslexics, tutors, teachers, special needs support staff, service providers and anybody curious about why Dyslexics think and learn the way they do. Some of the topics you will learn about: • Why countries like New Zealand, Australia, the UK and other parts of Europe believe Dyslexia is a “learning difference” rather than a learning disability. • How to recognize Dyslexia in children and adults, including checklists and simple screenings. • What teaching methods are appropriate and beneficial for Dyslexics in the classroom and home. • Why learning styles (Visual, Auditory or Kinesthetic) are so important to Dyslexics for successful learning. • How modern adaptive technology can assist Dyslexic students with reading, spelling, note taking and writing.

Contact us for more information and pre-registration forms at: Phone 250-715-3034 Email

…or pre-register on our website click on the link on our home page called: “DYSLEXIA AWARENESS WORKSHOP IN VICTORIA, BC”


Island Parent Magazine

The Art of Unconsumption here are times I’m tempted to take a snowplow through my house. I can spend hours tackling the clutter—cleaning, tidying, shoving things into cupboards—but when I turn around five minutes later, the living room floor has invariably disappeared again. It would be easy to blame the mess on my kids, but the truth is they aren’t the only guilty parties. Quite frankly, like most families, we’ve accumulated too much stuff. And this surplus stuff comes with several price tags: the price we paid to acquire it, the time and space it consumes in our home, and the hefty environmental cost of producing and ultimately disposing of it. As much as I admire and occasionally fantasize about joining the new minimalist movement (people who limit themselves to modest living spaces and as few as 100 possessions), I have to admit I like having stuff. I like clothes and furniture and the knick-knacks that make my house homey. I like books and dishes and funky art on my walls. I just don’t want an excess of stuff to hijack my life. Recently I discovered another approach that offers the kind of balance I’ve been looking for. It’s called “unconsumption,” a term first coined by New York Times columnist Rob Walker, and it refers to “everything that happens after an act of acquisition.” Consuming is pleasurable—it’s why we do it so much. Unconsumption is the art of finding pleasure in greener practices. It’s about choosing quality over quantity. It’s about learning to enjoy the things we own to the fullest, not just at the moment we acquire them. Unconsumers use things up until they wear out, instead of simply discarding them when they’re out of style. Unconsumers refashion, regift, and upcycle. If an unconsumer can’t use something, she passes it on to someone who can. It may sound like a lot of self-denial—it certainly means fewer trips to the mall—but unconsuming can be very fulfilling. There’s a thrill in finding a new use for an item you were about to throw out, or mending something you thought was past repair. It’s satisfying


to properly recycle a cellphone, or to donate an old pair of eyeglasses for a second life overseas. My family tried putting the unconsumption approach into practice this recent holiday season. A few weeks before Christmas, we went through our youngest children’s toys and reduced their collection by more than a third. With their permission we passed on some of the toys to their cousin, and the others to our fabulous local thrift store. Less can definitely be more. With more space and less clutter, our kids were better able to enjoy the toys they had left. And of course they had more room for the presents that were coming. Knowing that they would be receiving gifts from several sources, we didn’t overdo our own purchases. We chose art supplies, books, and a few well-made toys that should last to the next generation. We made some of our gifts as well, a tradition all five of our children have come to expect. I stitched up some personalized lunch bags with reclaimed and leftover fabrics, and my husband transformed wood scraps into lovely carvings for his brothers. I could have gone to the consignment store to find an outfit for my youngest daughter’s first Christmas concert. This certainly would have been the sanest option! Instead I elected to make her a red velvet dress from a handme-down adult one. I used a children’s pattern I had on hand, and then had to alter the dress a second time when it turned out a size too big. The whole process took longer than I’d anticipated, but it was immensely satisfying to see my daughter up on stage in my creation. As an added bonus, there was just enough fabric left over to make a bow tie for my three-year-old son. My husband also got into the unconsumption spirit at Christmas. One of his main gifts to me was a bread-maker he found on Craigslist. It was risky—not every woman would be happy with a secondhand appliance—but I was delighted. He knows me well. It was something I wanted, it was easy on our budget, and it was earth-friendly to boot.

Going forward, I intend to practice unconsumption in a number of ways this year. It’s ambitious, but I’d like to get through every drawer, every cupboard and closet in my house. The goal is better organization, and a thorough inventory of what we already have so we’re less tempted to go out and acquire more. I’ll be looking for possibilities in everything I examine. Is it currently being used to its potential? Could it be transformed by a thorough cleaning, a coat of paint, or a little mending? Could it be broken down to its component parts and used to make something else? Should I simply pass it on to someone who could better use it as it is?

Unconsumption can be time-consuming, but so is shopping at the mall. It also takes an investment of labour and creativity, but that’s half the fun. Unconsumption can be time-consuming, but so is shopping at the mall. It also takes an investment of labour and creativity, but that’s half the fun. If you’re looking for some inspiration, the website unconsumption. is a great place to start. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d close with a list of unconsumer ways we can show our children we love them every day: • Smile when they come through the door. • Hug them often, even the older ones. Especially the older ones! • Compliment their efforts. • Make their favourite meals on a regular basis. • Cook together. • Bake cookies together. • Listen with full attention and ask follow-up questions. • Laugh at their jokes. • Write love notes in their lunches. • Sing to and with them. • Read more books together. • Display their artwork in prominent places around the house. Frame some of it. • And of course, say it in words: “I love you!” Rachel Dunstan Muller is the mother of five, and a children’s author. Her previous articles can be found at

WANTED: Children to see their brains in action!

Dr. Holroyd and colleagues at the University of Victoria Department of Psychology are currently looking for children between the ages 8 and 13 with OR without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to participate in a study of ADHD. Participants will engage in game-like computer activities, paper and pencil tasks, and “brainwave” experiments where we will record the electrical activity of the brain! The procedure is entirely safe, non-invasive, and most children enjoy being involved in a scientific experiment! Scheduling is flexible and there is a small monetary compensation. Thank you for your participation! For more information, please contact Akina at 250 472 5014 or

March Break & Summer Camps Includes Horseback Riding, Ocean Kayaking, & Indoor Rock Climbing

Horseback Riding Lessons • Therapy Programs All welcome and no experience required to participate 250-588-2583 1944 Meadowbank Rd. Saanichton, BC V8M 1X9

February 2012


Kim Atkinson

Where Teaching Begins hat is love? I’m sitting with a group of fouryear-olds and am curious to know what they think. Love means you fall in love and you are going to marry. It means you want to be nice and help your little brother. It means you love them. When someone dies you love them. It means you miss them. You have to find a new family if they die. No! No! Every single person will die. He said then you get another family. But that’s wrong. If someone dies you turn into a skeleton, then a ghost, then a spirit. Spirit means you’re dead. It means that you’re a ghost that sneaks into people, that’s evil. Love means if you die you put something over the hole so you know where they are buried. A tombstone.



Island Parent Magazine

I am completely unprepared for this. As an early childhood educator I would never consider initiating a discussion about death, evil ghosts and finding a new family. But to these children it seems love and death are inextricably connected and they want to talk about it. With children, death is a topic we don’t often bring up without a reason. If a family member is ill or dying we open the discussion, but otherwise, most of us avoid it. And it’s not the only topic we avoid. Consider the following: Tori: You kill bad guys. Kim: Why? Tori: Because you don’t have anything else to do with them. Kim: Couldn’t you put them in jail? Tori: Yeah, you could do that if you want. Then kill them in jail. How many of us have engaged our kids in a discussion on the penal system, violence and the death penalty? Not many, I’d guess. These are difficult topics for us as adults to think about and discuss, so it is not

surprising that we don’t broach them with children. Added to this is our cultural belief that children should be shielded from topics that might be scary or disturbing, or too complex for them to understand. Our vision of childhood is that it is a time of innocence, that our role is to shelter and protect them from the harsh realities of the world. But are we deceiving ourselves? A group of three-year-old white girls is playing princesses. A black girl approaches. One of the white girls says, “You can’t be a princess, there are no brown princesses.” Comments and beliefs like this stop us in our tracks, leave us aghast and unsure of what to do. But should we be surprised that children are aware of racial tensions in our society? Carlina Rinaldi, a leader of the renowned early childhood education program run by the city of Reggio Emilia, Italy, says children are born searching for and, therefore, researching the meaning of life, and the meaning of the self in relation to others and to the world. “Children are born searching for the meaning of their existence…the meaning of the conventions, customs and habits we have, and of the rules and the answers we provide.” In this search for meaning, children look to the adults close to them, observing, listening to all we say and all we don’t say. And our

silences speak volumes. If our response to difficult issues is to avoid them, brush over them, or find a “simple” answer, children come to understand that these topics are not to be spoken of. So what is our responsibility? Many scholars in the field of early childhood are taking the position that adults can open up spaces for dialogue to explore difficult issues, that we have an ethical responsibility to listen. To listen, we must create an openness to questions and to the uncertainty that comes with those questions. We do not need to know the answers, but we must be willing to enter into the dialogue. Scholar and educator Enid Elliot says issues of racism, violence, gender and sex raise complex questions with no easy answers. “Children exploring these issues often do so within a collegial atmosphere of engagement, connection and curiosity,” states Elliot in the Journal of Early Childhood Educators of BC. “Just as we must struggle with our own ethical identities, children struggle to understand their responsibilities in the world. If we believe in social justice, how we respond to children provides them with direction for thinking about these questions.” She calls on adults to be an “ethical presence” as we listen to children, even when listening causes tension and discomfort. But that willingness to be open to questions, to start the dialogue, to explore issues, to question assumptions can lead both adults and children to new ways of thinking. Perhaps, as Italian professor Loris Malaguzzi observes, we need to rethink how we view children. “Those who have an image of the child as fragile, incomplete, weak, made of glass, gain something from this belief only for themselves. We don’t need that as an image of children. Instead of always giving children protection, we need to give them the recognition of their rights and of their strengths.” The conversation about death continued for days, with children debating what to do if their parents died, how parents sometimes die in war. They discussed how to go about finding someone else to take care of you if your parents died, and how something has to go on the grave of a loved one so you don’t forget where you buried them. The conversations were robust and lively, ideas were presented, disputed, consensus was sometimes achieved, sometimes not. And the only people surprised by the topic of conversation were the adults. Kim Atkinson is the mother of two boys and a Pedagogical Facilitator at the Unit for Early Years Research and Development in the School of Child and Youth Care at UVic.

February 2012


Dayna Liz Mazzuca

A Homeshool Primer t’s Tuesday afternoon, around two o’clock, and the sales clerk in the toy store has noticed my two children diligently comparing prices on Lego and Playmobil. Her interest is piqued. She wants to know why they’re not in school. Perhaps it’s a PD day? No, this is our regular routine, we’re at home in the morning with our bookwork and out in the afternoons on errands or field trips, or taking in a swim class. But my guess is she doesn’t want all those details. Instead I simply say, “We’re home learners.” The usual response is, “Ohhh…so, you’re a teacher?” She is working at the toy store parttime while finishing her philosophy degree. So I decide to give her the philosophical answer. “Well, we’re all teachers, I think.” Unpacking the small but growing world of home learning (or homeschooling) takes about 10 minutes. I find for most people it’s new ground and they’re not even sure what questions to ask or where to start. I love to answer whatever questions come up because in the beginning it was all new to me, too. Before tackling my children’s education, I spent two and a half years researching and poking my nose into conferences, trade shows and books on the subject. So I love it when people allow me to spell out the basics of homeschooling. Most are fascinated, but still somewhat unconvinced by the end of the conversation. That’s OK. I’m not here to win homeschool converts, but I do love bridging the gap between parents, and revealing a world of learning that happens right at our dining room table. Here’s what a typical week in the life of a home learning family looks like: In the morning, we start with breakfast together, which is set out the night before because every minute counts. How we start our day determines the success—or futility—of the rest of the day. A self-designed routine is important when you don’t have external motivating factors such as a school bell, a principal’s office, or the gentle stampede of children all moving in the same general direction. Each day, it’s just us. So much depends upon my ability to get out of bed and get all three of us heading in the same general direction—towards the breakfast table for starters! Most home learners (I use the term home learner as opposed to homeschooler because

I ✓ Short Naps? ✓ Waking Through the Night? ✓ Grumpy During the Day? Maintaining a regular sleeping pattern for your little Tumblebum is essential for their development. All children can become good sleepers. We have seminars and individualized plans to find your Sleep Solutions. essential



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it includes me in the educational mix—I am definitely learning as I go!) tackle their bookwork in the morning because that’s when everyone is most alert. My children are no different. In the early grades the focus is on reading, writing and arithmetic. A common theory among home learners is that if kids learn to read well, and are given lots of time during the day to read, they’ll be good to go on learning in other important areas such as social studies, science, health, history, geography and literature. My children have certainly taken to reading like ducks to water. The hands-on, everyday learning opportunities such as exploring the trails around Mt. Doug, Swan Lake or Mt. Tolmie, or the shorelines along Cadboro Bay and Cordova Bay with other home learners are also scheduled into our week. Bookwork often relates back to these outings which can make for an integrated learning experience. We try and connect dots each day. The theory behind learning is something home learners are constantly discussing with each other because it’s usually not something we reflected upon before taking on the immense and hugely time consuming task of educating our children. There is a whole range of theories, and a whole range of people homeschooling. Some families “unschool” and allow the children to dictate what topics are studied more formally, and when. Others try to re-create the traditional classroom in their homes, setting aside dedicated work space and putting up educational posters and pictures of the solar systems and alphabet and map of Canada on the walls. Some work out of baskets or tubs, one per subject. Others revolve their studies around the dining room, clearing it all away for meals or art projects. One friend converted her garage space, another the basement. Any system and space can work. A common question among home learners is, “What do you use for curriculum?” This is the trickiest part of the puzzle. Curriculum includes the workbooks, textbooks, activity books, hands-on manipulatives, lists of online sites, games, maps and reading books that are stockpiled on my pantry shelves. Each set of materials is organized by subject—Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. My laundry room is a converted art storage space

and the children’s book baskets are regularly replenished with new ones from the library. You get the idea. The books and audio CDs and DVD series that cover these topics vary in quality and scope. Some are hand-me-downs. Used curriculum sales abound in the homeschooling community and are well advertised on e-mail trees. Some are ordered online, through catalogues or from educational and office supply stores. Others are purchased directly from the school board office we are registered with. There is a certain amount of money available for each child in the province who is educated at home—simply put, the more you align your curriculum choices with the Ministry of Education, the more money you receive. Three times a year a teacher/facilitator comes by the house to prepare a report and ensure our learning plan is on track. This is important for parents who want to keep their children’s learning in line with grade school peers and prepare for university entrance exams down the road. In an ideal world, curriculum choices and extra-curricular activities such as sports and art classes would suit a child’s learning style and the parent’s teaching style. This takes time to figure out and mistakes are inevitable. It’s an immense undertaking, yet one I try to take at my leisure. I’m in for the long haul, although some people homeschool only a portion of the school years. A common maxim is, “It has to work for you.” That said, most home learners thrive with one-on-one instruction, time to ask questions, read more and focus on activities they love in a hands-on, hearts-on environment. I’d highly recommend it for anyone with the time, inclination, patience and a financial buffer zone (there’s not a lot of time for both parents to pursue two careers). It can be all-consuming, but also very rewarding. Speaking of rewards, the reason we’re in a toy store on a Tuesday afternoon is my children have completed their lesson checklists and were promised a reward for their hard work. It proved very motivating (what I thought would take five days took only two), so next time I’ll set the goal a little higher. Toys are not covered in my learning budget…live and learn! Dayna Mazzuca is a local freelance writer and poet. Home-learning is a natural extension of reading to her children since they were babies, building train tracks and naming stars, plus counting everything in sight. Her highlight was being there when they learned to read!

February 2012


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Pink Shirt Day any of the anti-bullying initiatives that have been gaining traction in recent years are driven by young people who have seen the negative impact of bullying first-hand. Pop sensation Lady Gaga, who was bullied as a teen, is an advocate for the cause. She stepped up her anti-bullying efforts last September when 14-year-old student and Gaga fan Jamey Rodemeyer committed suicide after being bullied for his sexuality. This incident led her to launch the Born This Way Foundation, which will work towards “Empowering Youth; Inspiring Bravery.â€? After hearing about the suicide, Gaga tweeted: “Bullying must become illegal. It is a hate crime.â€? While her conviction and message are admirable and important, a major hurdle for anyone hoping to criminalize bullying will be determining what can be classed as bullying. How do we define it? Here, from, a U.S. Department of Education website, is one definition: • Imbalance of power: people who bully use their power to control or harm and the people being bullied may have a hard time defending themselves • Intent to cause harm: actions done by accident are not bullying; the person bullying has a goal to cause harm • Repetition: incidents of bullying happen to the same the person over and over by the same person or group. Other types of bullying on the list include: • Verbal: name-calling, teasing • Social: spreading rumours, leaving people out on purpose, breaking up friendships • Physical: hitting, punching, shoving • Cyber bullying: using the Internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies to harm others. The difficulty in finding a universal definition for bullying makes it hard for schools and other institutions to find ways to prevent and punish bullying. When should parents, educators or youth workers step in? What form of punitive action will lessen occurrences of bullying instead of perpetuating them? One action we can take is to raise awareness of this issue and encourage young people to consider their own power to prevent bullying. After all, the majority of young people aren’t playing the role of bully or victim; they are bystanders. When something as tragic as a teen suicide


happens in response to bullying, peers and class mates often feel grief and dismay that they couldn’t, or didn’t, do more for the victim. The message we need to convey is that they can influence these situations. We have to show our children that they are the ones with the power, not the bullies. For this reason, initiatives like Boys & Girls Club’s Pink Shirt Day encourage young people to take a stand against bullying. This means not joining in or watching the bullying incident, and it also means not walking away. One Canadian report states that 25 per cent of incidences of bullying stop as soon as a third party steps in. Pink Shirt Day was inspired by two high school students in Nova Scotia who decided to show their solidarity and support for another student being bullied for his choice of a pink t-shirt. By distributing pink shirts to 50 other students to wear, they sent a message to the bully that his classmates would not tolerate his behaviour. Each year on Pink Shirt Day an increasing number of youth wear pink shirts to symbolize their intolerance for bullying. Pink Shirt Day also helps young people feel they are part of a movement that is stronger than the bully; stronger than the attitude that bullying is just a part of growing up. The Boys & Girls Clubs help kids develop skills to prevent bullying, and they provide a positive environment for kids to learn these skills. For example, intentional games, role playing and other activities can help children understand how quickly a situation can be diffused or resolved by stepping in, and realize how good they will feel about themselves if they take action. As parents, we can also promote tolerance of difference, recognize when our children are displaying bullying-type behaviour and show that we don’t condone it. No matter how we define bullying, our job is to help young people recognize signs and feel strong enough to step in when they know something isn’t right. It is up to parents, educators and youth workers to give our kids the confidence and knowledge to take action. Pink Shirt Day is on February 29. Find tips, activity ideas and events by contacting your local Boys & Girls Club at or, or by checking www. .

Morning Glory School Preschool to Class 8

A Balanced approach to school life; academics, music, art and outdoor activities – guided and free play time


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250-752-2722 861 Hilliers Rd. Qualicum Beach







February 2012


Schools & Educational Services In the following pages you will find a range of educational resources from preschool to post-secondary. For more information about these programs, please refer to the advertising in this issue.

PRESCHOOLS Arbutus Grove Children’s Centre has a long history of providing outstanding early learning programs to the Victoria community. We previously operated as Goosey Gander Kindergarten for 46 years until moving to our new 1.4 acre site in 2004. We offer half- and full-day preschool programs for 3- and 4-year-olds, and a small after-school program for K-Grade 1 students attending Frank Hobbs Elementary. Our skilled and caring educators provide stimulating and engaging experiences that nurture each child’s sense of wonder, curiosity, and innate desire to learn through play, exploration, discovery and creative expression. www. or 250-477-3731.

Carrot Seed Preschool—Play Paves the Way! We provide a wonderfully rich, inclusive environment for children to play, explore and “live in the moment” so they can grow into independent and self-directed individuals. Children have lots of outdoor time in our large, natural play space, which gives them the room they need to engage in both big-muscle and fine-motor skill exploration. There’s lots of opportunity for imaginative play and curiosity as children are encouraged to “ask why” and are supported in their quest to solve the mystery. Our teachers are dedicated to the philosophy of play-based learning and demonstrate their love of teaching every day. Christ Church Cathedral Childcare. ECE and specialist teachers provide an outstanding all-day licensed program specialized for 3- and 4-year-olds in our spacious and welcoming facility, where children begin to learn for the adventure of life. www. 250-383-5132.

Cloverdale Preschool and group day care is operated by Cloverdale Child Care Society, located at Cloverdale Traditional School, 3427 Quadra Street. Children wear school uniforms and enjoy a smooth transition into kindergarten. Our centre celebrates learning through play. Our qualified early childhood educators offer a supportive and caring environment where the children can learn and grow through play. We use a positive approach to guidance, and consistency that encourages positive behaviour through reinforcement, pre-teaching concepts and recognizing children doing the right thing. For more information, contact Cindy or Tanya at 250-595-1766 or cloverdalechildc Come learn and grow with us! Emmanuel Preschool is a welcoming and inclusive Christian preschool where students with special needs have the support of an additional teacher. Our morning classes are offered either two or three days per week. Both programs are for 3- and 4-year-olds and include stories, games, singing, arts and

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crafts, science activities, free play (indoors and outdoors), and some field trips. Each class is licensed for a maximum of 20 children and has two licensed and experienced early childhood educators. Our staff strives to teach and model Christian attitudes and values, and to maintain a warm, caring and safe environment in which children can create and explore. For more information, visit 250598-0573 or preschool@emmanuelvictoria. ca. Fiddlesticks Studio of Fine Arts for Young Children offers kodåly-based music and art education for children 21/2-8 years of age. Lessons at Fiddlesticks are filled with wonder-inspiring activities designed to engage, delight and challenge the whole child. Authentic folk songs, poetry, singing games, violin and cello. Creative movement, dance and dramatic play. Storytelling, nature study and friendship. Drawing, sculpture, painting, crafts and sewing. An exploration of a child’s world. 250-8587034., www. Lakehill Preschool—Play is children’s work. Lakehill Preschool presents an Open House Saturday, February 18, 10am-1pm. If you are looking for a quality preschool for your 3- or 4-year-old, come visit our preschool and meet our exceptional ECE team. Enroll now for September. Our preschool community gives you the opportunity to be a part of your child’s first school years. Different levels of participation are available to suit your family. Watch your child blossom as they enjoy free play, arts and crafts, circle time and more. 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Road. 250-477-4141, www. Oak and Orca Pre-primary School is a licensed facility offering bioregional programing for 3- to 5-year-olds. Founded on 12 years of experience in quality instruction for children, the pre-primary program offers an early learning curriculum based on childdirected learning, individual awareness and choice. Natural learning is supported through investigation, experience and play. Relationships take priority for teaching time, where a focus on needs helps create harmony and self-awareness. Regular outtrips connect youngsters with the natural world, while at the school they enjoy experiences in science, math, language and more. Located in the Hillside area, the program is run by an ECE and certified teachers. 250-383-6609,

+INDERGARTEN2EGISTRATIONfor Fall 2012 *ANUARYTO &EBRUARYAT THE SCHOOLNEARYOU !LL CHILDRENBORN INARE ELIGIBLE TO BEGIN &ULL$AY+INDERGARTEN /UR+INDERGARTENPROGRAMSOFFER Teachers who are knowledgeable in early childhood development. Opportunities for parent participation. French language instruction. Rich literacy and numeracy experiences. Play as a way of learning. +INDERGARTEN)NFORMATION%VENING *ANUARY PM PM %VENINGINCLUDES&RENCH)MMERSION/PTION+ 12 Keating Elementary School Gym, 6843 Central Saanich Road, Victoria.

4OREGISTER PLEASEBRING Proof of your child’s age (birth certificate). Proof of your address (resident driver’s licence, utility bill, etc.). Your child’s BC Care Card. 2EGISTER*ANUARYTO &EBRUARYAT THE SCHOOLNEARYOU Cordova Bay Elementary Lochside Elementary Prospect Lake Elementary

Keating Elementary Brentwood Elementary Sidney Elementary

KELSET Elementary Deep Cove Elementary

&RENCH)MMERSIONregistrations at Deep Cove Elementary (North Zone residents) and Keating School (South and Central Zone residents). 3TARTING&EBRUARY, registration continues for Kindergarten to Gr. 8 Saanich School Board 2125 Keating Cross Road 8 am to 4 pm.


February 2012


Located in the heart of Oak Bay for over 25 years, Oak Bay Parent Owned Preschool offers the opportunity to be involved in the first years of your child’s school. Our qualified ECE has over 14 years experience, and provides a nurturing environment where children can expand their social skills and learn about the world while having fun. We have a bright, permanent indoor classroom and a large outdoor playground. Classes for 3- and 4-year-olds. Attend our Open House on February 11 and register now for 2012/2013. Call 250-592-1922 or go to for more information. Rainbow Express Daycare Early Childhood Centre for the Arts. Winner of B.C. Child Care Legacy Award 2011. Privately operated by the Rainbow Express Daycare Society, a registered non-profit society, Rainbow Express was established in 1971 and has spaces for 32 children. Our Executive Director and staff work together as a team of caring, energetic, fully qualified educators. Their credentials include certification in Early Childhood Education and First Aid for Childhood Emergencies. All persons working with the children are required to have a criminal record check.

Our program focuses on providing a loving and nurturing atmosphere for children to learn through their play. We believe that each child is unique, and we promote the optimum development of physical, intellectual, language, emotional, and social skills and abilities. We provide a preschool program in a daycare setting. As a licensed facility, we meet all the requirements of the Community Care Facility Act. Co-operative preschools are special and unique. Early childhood educators and parents work together on education programs that emphasize “Learning through Play.” Visit one of 15 cooperative preschools located on Vancouver Island and the surrounding Islands this month during their open house to discover how these schools strengthen families and communities. Members of the Vancouver Island Cooperative Preschool Association (VICPA) are listed at Cooperative preschools provide educational and creative play activities in half-day programs to children aged 3-5 plus orientation and education programs for parents/caregivers. Classes are small, warm, and nurturing, providing children with considerable individual attention and time to learn through play.


SCHOOLS Christ Church Cathedral School (CCCS) is Victoria’s Anglican Preschool, Elementary and Middle School, welcoming students from all backgrounds. CCCS offers before and after school care, a wide range of extracurricular programs, small class sizes, high-calibre learning in math, science and technology, a strong focus on fine arts, and progressive athletics programs. Weekly chapel service and seasonal performances are held in beautiful Christ Church Cathedral just a few steps away. Through focused encouragement of personal responsibility, self-discipline, community service, and engaging learning opportunities with dedicated teachers, the school helps children realize their true potential. New website at 250-383-5125. The Conseil scolair francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF), also known as BC’s Francophone School District (SD #93) was created in 1995 to serve Francophones across the province. Since its creation in 1995, the CSF offers educational programs and services geared towards the growth and cultural promotion of the province’s Francophone learners. An active partner in the development of British Columbia’s Francophone community, the Conseil has


of parents rate their satisfaction with our academic program as A or A+.

Find out more: D AY G R A D E S K -12 B O A R D I N G G R A D E S 8 -12


Island Parent Magazine


Friday, February 17 9-11 am & 1-3 pm 250-370-6170

Island Catholic Schools iLearn, iBelieve, iPray John Paul II (Pre-School to 8) Tues, Feb 7, 9am–3pm 4006 8th Ave, Port Alberni, 250-723-0637 St. Joseph’s (Pre-School to 7) Tues, Feb 7, 11am–4pm 9736 Elm St, Chemainus 250-246-3191 Queen of Angels (Pre-School to 8) Tues, Feb 7, 9:30am–2:30pm 2065 Maple Bay Rd, Duncan 250-746-5919 St. Joseph’s (Pre-School to 8) Wed, Feb 8, 3:30–5pm 757 W Burnside Ave, Victoria 250-479-1232 St Andrew’s (Pre-School to 8) Thurs, Feb 9, 9am–1pm 1008 Pandora Ave, Victoria 250-382-3815 St. Patrick’s (Kindergarten to 7) Tues, Feb 7, 6–8pm 2366 Trent St, Victoria 250-592-6713 St. Andrew’s Regional High (8 to 12) Thurs, Feb 9, 6–8:30pm 880 McKenzie Ave, Victoria 250-479-1414

Celebrating Catholic Schools Week, February 5 to 12

Visit Our Open Houses 250-727-6893 or visit

February 2012


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presently in its system, and distributed across 78 communities in the province, over 4,350 students and 38 schools, which includes 21 homogenous schools. For more information visit, call (604)-214-2600 or 1-888-715-2200, or email In many ways Discovery School is like any other school. We are Ministry inspected and have bright cheerful classrooms where children study the B.C. core curriculum. What makes us unique is that we are dedicated entirely to helping students with learning disabilities, and have a proven track record in using the latest advances in brain research to the benefit of our students. Here students from age 7-16 work at their own pace in small classes under the direction of skilled, experienced teachers. We would be happy to show you our school. For more information, please visit or call 250-595-7765. Eaton Arrowsmith School is the only school in Victoria that focuses on the potential of children with learning disabilities to benefit from the brain’s ability to change itself in order to improve cognitive functioning for life. School-aged children spend three to four years strengthening their capacity to remember, attend, process and reason, thereby improving their ability to read, write, spell, do math, plan, prioritize and interact socially. Our students then transfer back to typical public and private schools in the area with greatly reduced or no need for accommodations or learning assistance. www. Elizabeth Buckley School is an independent K-6 school in Victoria. Low student to teacher ratios ensure that each child’s unique needs are addressed within a secure, nurturing environment. EBS provides an exceptional education based on B.C. curriculum, and fosters a life-long love of learning. Elizabeth Buckley School was founded in 1986 to provide educational opportunities for the deaf and hard of hearing. Today, “typical” children and those with special needs learn side by side in an inclusive, integrated setting at EBS. In keeping with our roots, we offer ASL instruction to all students in the school and use a “total communication” approach during instruction. Learn more at Glenlyon Norfolk School (GNS) is a community made special by its people, its programs, and the synergy they create together. As one of only seven International Baccalaureate (IB) World schools in Canada offering all three of the IB programs, GNS is

delivering curricula in a way that facilitates critical and creative thinking. Students in JK through Grade 12 benefit from the richness of opportunity that comes from being part of a small school with large school programs. GNS is now accepting applications for September 2012. Financial assistance is available. Call 250-360-6801 or visit Whether in Victoria, the Cowichan Valley or Port Alberni, you will find an Island Catholic School family ready to greet and support you and your child. Our seven schools offer dynamic, supportive and challenging learning opportunities, ranging from preschool to Grade 12. Our dedicated B.C. certified teachers and professional staff are indeed specialists. P.E., I.T., or French language instruction? We’ve got it. Activities for environmental stewardship or student athletics? You bet. Opportunities for system-wide activities or Fine Arts? No problem. Greater involvement with the local community? Of course. Lifelong and lasting friendships? Yes! Visit www.cisdv., or drop by one of our Open Houses this week. You’ll be glad you did. Celebrating 25 years of providing quality Christian education, Lakeview Christian School invites you to become part of our extensive school system of over 7,000 Seventhday Adventist Christian schools world-wide. Our modern, well-equipped school provides a comprehensive curriculum from preschool to Grade 9. Students come from a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds and all are welcome. At Lakeview, we believe that excellence in education is about more than academic achievement. We are committed to developing the whole person and enhancing qualities of character that will build a better and brighter future. Contact us at 250-658-5074. Maria Montessori Academy enables students to learn at their own pace through self-directed, hands-on learning while meeting the B.C. Ministry of Education’s standards for each age level. Montessori education encourages students to reach their full potential, develop a solid sense of personal responsibility and to foster a love of learning. Our Montessori Middle School program (Grades 7 & 8) is specifically designed to meet the distinctive needs of the adolescent. Maria Montessori Academy High School currently offers Grade 9 with Grade 10 opening September 2012 in our newly renovated Senior Wing. Contact us at 250-479-4746 for a tour or visit us online at

Oak and Orca Bioregional School is an affordable option for kindergarten to Grade 11 in the Hillside area. The B.C. curriculum is offered in an individualized format through practical, engaging, childdirected learning. The ungraded program uses independent learning logs, conferences and workshop choices to provide children with the structure they need to learn at their own pace. Regular field trips encourage connections with the natural and cultural heritage of our home place. As part of a community of learners, children are able to communicate effectively, think and act creatively, and develop into responsible ecological citizens. Join a unique learning community. Call if you are curious about child-directed learning and bioregional education.; 250-383-6609 or 1-888-383-6619 outside Victoria. Pacific Christian School is spiritually equipped, globally minded. Over 51 years ago, the Christian community took upon itself the task of fulfilling a vision that would see Christian education offered to families within the Greater Victoria area. PCS has changed its look, name and programing, but not its mission to offer quality Christcentered education to a diverse and growing student body. Professional, dedicated Christian teachers, parents as partners, 900+ students from preschool to Grade 12, 500+ families from 100+ area churches, learning assistance and special education programs, enrichment and advanced placement courses, extensive athletics, music and drama programs, full curriculum and more. Accepting registrations for preschool to Grade 12 for 2012/2013 and beyond. www. 250-479-4532. At St. Andrew’s Elementary School, our motto “To Build in Love” is in evidence in the classrooms, on the playing field, and in the family atmosphere of our community. Students thrive in small classes offering innovative academic programs, awardwinning fine arts and specialists teaching French, music and physical education. All faith traditions are welcome in our multicultural community. St. Andrew’s offers Victoria families a convenient downtown location, well-established preschool and out of school programs, reasonable fees and a long tradition in educational excellence. For more information, call Mr. Keefer Pollard at 250-382-3815 or visit www. St. Joseph’s Catholic School integrates Christian values with Ministry of Education curricular outcomes. Faith formation

Learning through Play Parent Participation Preschools 15 locations throughout Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands offering a unique educational family experience!


February 2012


and development involve all students, and academic excellence is fostered across the grades. Leadership opportunities are provided by way of assigned extra-curricular duties and involvement with student council. Out-reach projects are encouraged through Religion classes involving seasonal drives. Co-curricular and extra-curricular athletics allows students to develop positive attitudes and sportsmanship. Choral Music, a Band program, and French from K-7 complete the learning program. Phone 250-479-1232 or visit St. Margaret’s School provides a highly personalized education for girls from preschool to Grade 12 that fosters confident, capable leaders with genuine enthusiasm for learning. An extensive extracurricular program combining athletics, arts and community service provides every student with opportunities to take on new challenges and leadership roles in all areas of school life. Every class is tailored to the way girls learn, using strategies that draw on their strengths. The result is a learning environment where girls can be themselves, find their voices and discover their passions. For more information, visit or call 250-479-7171.

At St. Michaels University School, we are as proud of our students’ academic accomplishments as we are of their courage, compassion, honesty, and their desire to make the world a better place. From kindergarten to Grade 12, our students flourish in a welcoming, interactive and resource-rich curriculum where they can continuously challenge themselves with the support of dedicated teachers and the encouragement of their peers. Music, physical education, art, and second language instruction are not extras—they are integral to the program. At the end of their time here, SMUS grads are exceptionally prepared to find their place as engaged citizens of the world. www. South Park Family School (K-5), has been a successful parent-involved alternative school since 1974. Teachers and parents work closely together to provide a nurturing, stimulating learning environment. Fine arts are an important part of our vigorous academic program. Because we emphasize cooperation over competition, we write narrative reports rather than assigning letter grades. Our fostering of self-esteem and creativity in our students prepares them to meet the challenges of future school-

ing. 508 Douglas Street. 250-382-5234. Sundance Elementary School offers a responsive and engaging school experience that fosters a love of learning in a vibrant community. Staff, students and parents work together to create a dynamic school spirit within a rich inclusive learning environment. Our school boasts ongoing opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning in different ways and provides anecdotal progress reports that do not include letter grades. Our collaborative environment generates high academic standards, connected learners who reflect and think critically, and students who are environmentally responsible. The Sundance Community believes that these lifelong skills enable our students to embrace their passions and develop the building blocks for a successful and fulfilling future. 250-598-5012. The Victoria School for Ideal Education (VSIE). Visit this wonderful little school where individual personalities blossom in a dynamic, peaceful, nurturing environment. With a maximum class size of 12, VSIE provides quality individual attention to each child from Junior Kindergarten to

At SMS, our most confident leaders have one thing in common. They are all girls. Discover why girls thrive here:

Open House

Friday, February 17, 2012 9am-12pm and 1pm-3pm 1080 Lucas Avenue

ST. M ARGARET’S SCHOOL w w m a r g.c a | (250) 479-7171 22

Island Parent Magazine

Grade 6. The curriculum goes well beyond the mandated B.C. curriculum by developing an understanding of how each subject area relates to broader life principles. Daily meditation develops clearer thinking, creativity, happier relationships and improved self-esteem. In our Outdoor Education Program, we regularly study science, social studies, art, language arts and P.E. in beautiful, natural settings. In this school, “there is an atmosphere of calm respectfulness underlying a richly child-centered approach to learning.� (Quote from the B.C. Ministry of Education External Evaluation Report, Nov. 2007.) Call 250-383-6654, visit www., or email

DISTRIBUTED LEARNING Hands-On Home-Learning For a Sustainable World is a K-9 distributed learning opportunity offered by Oak and Orca School. This certified program weaves local and global perspectives into a supportive foundation to help your child discover her/his own learning path while satisfying the B.C. Curriculum. Through regular communication, certified teachers are accessible to support families in creating their own educational programing. Hands-on, child-centred activities are available to supplement and enrich what you naturally offer and to cover the basics. Parents are provided with the guidance they need, without pressure. The program is free and includes an expense budget to help meet educational needs. oakandorca. ca; 250-383-6619 or 1-888-383-6619. navigate offers a blended learning model which allows students to forge relationships with their teachers and the broader community while offering all the flexibility of traditional distributed learning, distance learning, and home school models. Though we are located in the Comox Valley, we serve more than 4,000 learners throughout B.C. in our K-9, high school and adult learning programs. Many parents considering home school for their children find we offer a rich educational approach that provides the flexibility of traditional homeschooling. A navigate education meets all provincially mandated learning outcomes and is instructed by a B.C.-certified teacher. For more information, please call 250-337-5300 or visit SelfDesign Learning Community is a K-12 Ministry certified distributed learning program for learners ages 5-19. In the K-9 program, parents and learners design a learning



February 2012


plan together with a learning consultant (B.C. certified teacher), then interact on-line weekly with the LC about the learning. SelfDesign High’s online program takes a similar learner-centred, inquiry-based approach, encompassing the Grade 10-12 graduation program, including independent studies and community initiatives. Our Homelearner’s Network registers learners under Section 13 of the School Act. The parent provides the educational program; there is no LC or reporting. All of our programs offer various services. The South Island Distance Education School (SIDES) is a K-12 public school specializing in distributed learning. Part of the Saanich school district, SIDES offers B.C. curriculum to students through online and print courses, on-site activities and outings. Parents partner with SIDES teachers to support students as they learn at home. For more information, check our website at, or call us at 250-704-4979 or 250-479-7125.

MID-ISLAND SCHOOLS/ EDUCATION SERVICES Is your child showing signs of an interest in music? Arbutus Music Education Centre (AMEC) provides a family music facility with programs ranging from Toddler Tunes to Composing for Kids and Music Movie Nights. It is never to early (or too late) to start introducing music, rhythm and melody to your child. Build self-confidence, problem solving and social skills with the magic of music. AMEC offers a wide range of programs and private lessons for beginners, intermediate and advanced youths who want to take the next step into composing music and recording at home. Come and visit us at Cowichan Valley Co-op Learning Community is a choice for those who want a little freedom, flexibility and quality of lifestyle. Learners attend the classroom 1 to 3 days per week. Social learning in a multi-aged class along with home learning are valued. Parents and learners document and share home learning experiences. The teacher keeps track of how and what is being learned. A plan is created around B.C. curriculum and the learner’s interests. Parents are welcome to participate. Commit your family to this program by March 1st to secure funding. Preschoolers’ names on a waiting list are voices that count. Serious curiosities, contact


Island Parent Magazine

Dwight International School (DIS) is a coeducational and non-denominational high school located on the shores of Shawnigan Lake. Open to students from Grade 6-12, DIS features both the world-renowned International Baccalaureate Diploma Program along with the provincial curriculum. Students enjoy small class sizes with a focus on global perspectives and community awareness. Igniting each students’ “spark of genius” is a priority, always putting the individual learner’s strengths and interests first. Home to students from around the world, DIS is recognized for its world-class education, in a safe and caring environment. To apply or learn about our Quest Centre, call 250-929-0506 or email admissions@d Evergreen Independent School provides a balanced education where academic excellence and individual development are equally valued, and where the inherent joy of learning is nurtured in a caring and respectful community. We offer small class sizes and our multi-age grouping philosophy ensures that children of all ages interact and cooperate with each other. Evergreen strives to instruct children in ways that best fit their individual learning styles. We believe that children develop in different ways and that their development is best accomplished in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Call 250-743-2433 or visit for more information. Island Oak Waldorf High School, Duncan B.C. Think for yourself. We encourage clarity, conviction, and freedom of thought. At IOHS, you’ll develop strength, new thinking, and responsible leadership, essential qualities for all local and global change-makers. Our 10 to 1 student-teacher ratio means maximum agility in responding to students’ needs in the context of a quickly-changing world. Waldorf education is dynamic and evolves to meet contemporary issues. It is based on Rudolf Steiner’s profound understanding of the human spirit and human development. Students at IOHS earn the Dogwood Diploma with more credits than required by the Ministry. 250-701-0400. Julie-Anne Richards offers short-term, mid-term, or longer-term counseling for individuals, parents and couples, with a focus on providing a fresh perspective, practical life strategies and empowering support. Therapeutic approaches include: solution-focused therapy, CBT, eclectic therapy, and life coaching. Life design/life

coaching is offered for those seeking the benefits of strategy-based coaching support and concrete, results-oriented challenges. Career counseling and career assessments are offered for adults seeking an in-depth exploration of interests, aptitudes, thinking styles, and core motivating factors to foster insight and optimize decision making. Additionally, she conducts comprehensive psycho-educational assessments for children experiencing significant struggles academically and/or socially within school. (250802-2323 Kool & Child is a unique store with a product mix that meets the needs of teachers, homeschoolers and caregivers who want quality educational toys and supplies for their children. We have a great selection of teacher resource books and student workbooks as well as decoratives for the classroom: bulletin board sets, trimmers, stickers, charts and posters. Our Art & Science departments are well stocked with essential items and kits that make learning fun. At Kool & Child, you have over 6,000 sq. ft. of resources at your disposal. With our unique blend of educational toys and learning supplies, we are a store like none other. Prepare to be amazed! Visit us at #102-2517 Bowen Road or New shopping cart coming to our website in February! Morning Glory School, just minutes from Qualicum Beach in a beautiful natural setting, offers quality education from preschool to Class 8. MGS blends the best of Waldorf ideals with the B.C. curriculum as an established Group 1 Independent School. We are able to provide students with individualized attention and encouragement to participate in all subjects. Children here enjoy a well-balanced school life. Academics are integrated with art and music, as well as practical skills (such as knitting, woodwork and gardening), and plenty of outdoor activities—guided and free play time. With a focus on lifelong learning, we strive to teach children how to think, not what to think. Special activities and events create a vibrant school community for both students and parents. 250-752-2722, mgs@shawcable. com, navigate is pleased to offer two new eCademies in September 2012. Using a blended model of classroom-based instruction and distributed learning, the Fine Arts eCademy and ENTER (eCademy of New Technology, Engineering and Robotics) are designed with the future in mind. The Fine

PARENT EDUCATION Hip Baby offers free educational workshops on cloth diapering. Are you daunted by the idea of using cloth diapers? Curious about the advantages? We will answer your questions in an interactive and friendly atmosphere. We’ll show you how to put

Glenlyon Norfolk School Do your best through truth and courage

OPEN HOUSE Friday, February 17 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Junior School (JK to Gr. 5) 1701 Beach Drive

Cathie Ferguson Photography

Arts eCademy is a K-9 program emphasizing the visual, performing and music arts, as well as supporting a unique approach to curriculum integration and global studies. ENTER is a middle years program for Grade 6-8 students who thrive on learning through a hands-on, practical environment. It is centered on explorations in engineering, science and robotics. For more information, please call 250-337-5300 or visit www. Queen Margaret’s School (QMS) in Duncan has been providing an enriched education to boys and girls since 1921. We deliver small and inspiring co-ed programs for preschool through Grade 8, and a university-preparatory high school for girls in Grade 9 through 12. QMS staff is committed to providing an educational environment where the love for learning flourishes through involvement in academics, the arts, athletics, service, and an integrated equestrian program. Through these experiences, our students learn to embrace life, seize its opportunities, and face its challenges with creativity, courage, intelligence and optimism. Discover QMS. Call 250-746-4185 or visit At Sunrise Waldorf School, we develop analytical, imaginative minds capable of prolific, life-changing ideas. Our students will shape the future by redefining society’s concepts of intelligence, acumen and originality. For 90+ years, Waldorf schools have created an educational experience that inspires students to evolve into confident, creative thinkers who are socially responsible and environmentally conscious. SWS is nestled on 7 lovely acres in the Cowichan Valley, a beautiful setting where your children will be allowed to develop naturally, supported by the wisdom of experienced teachers who are truly interested. Visit us to learn why 94% of North America Waldorf graduates attend university and 50% attain a master’s or PhD. Parents from over 2,500 schools and kindergartens in 70 countries have made Waldorf the world’s fastest growing educational movement. Parent and child programs, Pre-K to Grade 8. 250-743-7253.

Middle & Senior Schools (Gr. 6 to 12) 801 Bank Street

Discover the difference an International Baccalaureate education can make!

GNS is now accepting applications for JK to Grade 12 for September 2012. Financial assistance is available.


Open Doors by enrolling your child in Full Day English as a Second Language Kindergarten ESL Kindergarten is taught by specialists in primary ESL. To apply to attend, students must be 5 years of age on or before December 31, 2012. They must also be eligible for English as a Second Language assistance. English as a Second Language Kindergarten is offered subject to minimum enrolment at: Torquay Elementary School 4413 Torquay Drive, 250-477-9511 To inquire about registration, or for more information, contact Treacy Roberts-Johnson, Principal, Torquay or Judy Mas, Coordinator, Languages and Multiculturalism, 250-475-4120, February 2012


them on, clean and care for them, with lots of cloth diapers to see and feel. Come with an open and curious mind and we guarantee you’ll leave informed and able to decide which system best suits your lifestyle. Workshops are held on a monthly basis. Call us to register at 250-385-8020 or email

EDUCATIONAL SERVICES & PROGRAMS Dyslexia Victoria Online offers assessments and teaching programs for dyslexic students. We assess children for dyslexia and create individualized teaching programs for them. Whether the issue is spelling, reading, printing, comprehension, understanding time, arithmetic/math, instructions, or trying to write in a logical order, we have created a program for that. The recommendations and accommodations are easily implemented in the teachers’ classroom work, by a tutor or a parent, if homeschooling. Recently, a child we helped went from C’s to B’s in less than six weeks while still attending his regular classes. Call 250-715-3034, or email for prices or more information. Karen Murdoch, Therapeutic Tutor. Private, one-on-one tutoring specifically designed for those children who are really struggling at school. Does your child seem to be falling further and further behind? Are you having difficulty getting your child to go to school? Are there tears or anger over his or her homework, writing, spelling or math? There is a solution. They need lessons presented to them the way they learn best. They need to learn using their strengths, using their learning style. They need their learning needs met. To find out how I can help your child, call 778-430-3183. Kumon is an after-school math and reading program that empowers children to achieve more on their own. It helps children master the fundamental skills vital to their overall academic performance. Kumon’s individualized study approach develops not only solid math and reading skills, but also the self-confidence, self-reliance, focus and motivation that helps students succeed not just in school, but in life. More than 16 million children around the world have benefited from Kumon since it was founded in 1958. Visit or call a Kumon Centre near you: Colwood, 250474-4175; Saanich, 250-479-1800; Sidney, 250-656-6696.


Island Parent Magazine

La Place French offers French classes for all ages and levels. Toddler French classes spark an early appreciation for French through songs, crafts and stories. French classes for preschoolers offer kindergarten readiness skills. Innovative after-school French classes aim to increase the academic success and fluency of students in French Immersion and Francophone programs. Tutoring and homework programs improve French listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. La Place French also offers French spring and summer day camps and French classes for adults. For our complete class program, visit, call 250-8848485 or email Making Mathematics Meaningful, developed by Werner Liedtke describes activities and questioning strategies that contribute to the development of conceptual understanding. Suggestions are made for accommodating different types of responses. The focus is on learning that transfers to future learning. Settings are described that contribute to fostering the development of: confidence and risk taking—essential for problem solving; thinking as well as thinking flexibly; ability to visualize—essential for number sense, the key foundation for numeracy and spatial sense and essential for problem solving; communicating mathematically—essential for expressing understanding and sharing information. The strategies will also encourage and develop curiosity and imagination. For nearly 30 years, Oxford Learning Centre has been helping hundreds of thousands of students to reach their learning potential—not for one grade or one year, but for a lifetime. Ours is a proven approach that generates results by breaking bad habits and getting kids excited about learning. We work with students aged 3-18 to build strong academic skills in all subject areas, including: reading, writing, spelling, math, French Immersion, ESL, and study skills. We also offer curriculum support and remedial programing specific to individual students. Furthermore, our Little Readers program prepares children aged 3-5 for kindergarten, teaching them how to read, write, and work with numbers. Call 250-477-5550 or visit The READ Society provides extra help in reading, writing, mathematics and study skills for children and youth. Professional teachers conduct recognized assessments and develop individual plans to address specific skills gaps. We use diverse teaching approaches to capture student interest,

increase confidence, and build skills. When you choose READ, you are supporting your child and you are contributing to literacy initiatives across our community. As a local non-profit, we offer tuition support for low-income households. We have classes Monday-Thursday afternoons in three locations: Victoria, Colwood and Sidney, and on Tuesday and Thursday in Sooke. Call us to book assessments and classes: 250-388-7225. Learn more at For more than 30 years, Sylvan Learning has helped students achieve success at school. At some point in their education, almost all students struggle to keep pace with the curriculum, and this is the moment that learning gaps occur. Sylvan is the bridge. Our student-centered approach to learning is the key to unlocking the potential of every child we teach. At Sylvan, we take kids back to the point at which they began to experience problems, identify their skills gaps, then construct individualized programs to address these issues and get the kids back on track. Call 1-800-educate (1-800-338-2283).

OTHER Children’s Education Funds Inc. offers the greatest selection of RESP choices—anywhere—with the utmost flexibility, longterm growth and return on investment. Whether you select our highest paying CET Group Plan or our flexible and affordable CET Achievers or CET Self-Initiated Plans, please be assured that we are here to serve all of your “education funding” needs. We are education funding specialists—that is all that we do at CEFI! For more information, visit The Victoria Symphony’s 2012 Education Concert, “The Search for the Magic of Music” takes place at the University of Victoria’s Farquhar Auditorium February 21 and 22, and in Duncan February 24. Students will join secret agent Tania Miller as she searches for what is magical in music before the evil magician silences the world forever! For two magical days, music comes alive for over 7,000 children ages K-Grade 7, and for some children it is their first time experiencing live classical music. The Victoria Symphony’s entertaining and interactive Education Concerts inspire our future musicians, provide a well-rounded education, and enrich children’s lives in our community.•

South Park Family School 508 Douglas Street, Victoria 250-382-5234

Is currently accepƟng waitlist forms for 2012 Kindergarten to grade 5 South Park Family School (K–5) has been a successful parent-involved alternaƟve school since 1974. Teachers and parents work closely together to provide a nurturing, sƟmulaƟng learning environment. Fine arts are an important part of our vigorous academic program. Because we emphasize cooperaƟon over compeƟƟon, we write narraƟve reports rather than assigning leƩer grades. Our fostering of self-esteem and creaƟvity in our students prepares them to meet the challenges of future schooling.

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION WEEK IS THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY Contact the school for more informaƟon: 250-382-5234

Enter Our Online Contests Every month at Island Parent and Kids In Victoria you can enter to win some great prizes! Prizes include:

• Family Getaways • IMAX Passes

• Gift Certificates • Books, CDs and More

One entry per family per week.

Check out the prizes and enter the contests by visiting or For Students in the Primary Grades – Fostering Numeracy For Students in the Intermediate Grades – Fostering Numeracy For Children Ages 4 to 7 – Nurturing Growth with Jennifer Thom An excellent resource of activities and assessment strategies for anyone interested in helping children reach the goals and critical components of the new mathematics curriculum. Available from: • School House Teaching Supplies Ltd, 2014 Douglas Street, Victoria, • UVic Bookstore • The author at • The publisher,

February 2012


Party Directory




BIRTHDAYPARTIES Kids love to sing and dance, play instruments, and listen to stories. Book a 45 minute interactive party in your own home for up to ten young guests from ages 3-6... -6... and let the fun begin!






Celebrate your birthday with us!




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Our great instructors will treat you to an action packed two hours of fun and fitness in our great facility! â&#x20AC;˘ 2 large decorated birthday rooms â&#x20AC;˘ Free T-shirt for birthday child, invitations for up to 10 children â&#x20AC;˘ The ONLY Inflatable Climbing Mountain with trampoline in town â&#x20AC;˘ Party Time now offered for many different groups (schools, daycare centres)

Book Early: 250-479-6424

#208 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 721 Vanalman Ave

(Broadmead & Royal Oak Area)


Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll provide an hour of fun with puppet shows and play



* Greater Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest, largest and cleanest facility with hassle free parking for you and your guests * * Large private party rooms * * Experienced Qualified Fun Coaches * * 3 Trampolines & 40ft Tumble Trac * * Awesome Foam Pit *

250 472 3546

Newly Renovated Birthday Party Rooms


You provide the space and foodâ&#x20AC;Ś


for kids & families

 - Located in Langford

Birthday Parties! :: Gym & Bouncy Castle, themed parties: creative kids, girl power and preschool parties from Princesses to Pirates! at Henderson Recreation Centre!


Call 250-370-7200

Pool, Skate, or Soccer parties at Oak Bay Recreation Centre!

Call 250-595-SWIM (7946)






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Island Parent Magazine

Party Directory FUNTIME INFLATABLES 250-474-0597 Largest selection of inflatable fun on Vancouver Island ASK ABOUT OUR REFERRAL PROGRAM • 18 bouncy castles to choose from, detachable raincovers available • Obstacle courses • 10 interactive games for youth and adults • Combo bouncers • Carnival games and party packages • Fully insured Professional balloon decorating service now available

ctoria Gymnastics Birthday Parties Your child and 9 of his or her friends will have an absolute blast at one of our action packed gymnastics parties. What’s included?

New soft serve ice cream truck available for events and ice cream socials

visit our website at

• We supply hats, napkins, table cover, streamers and balloons • Two Certified Instructors • Invitations • Trampoline • Foam Pit Fun • Gymnastics Games • Fun Music • NEW: 40 Foot Long Trampoline! Saturday & Sunday Afternoons

380-2442 Corner of Store & Pembroke

Indoor Party Themes PAR-TBEAR PAR-TSPA


For Kids 5-10 years old A decorated party room will be provided along with theme costumes, music, balloons, crafts and games. Sit back and relax, the partygoers will be entertained with organized fun! Just bring the kids, the cake and refreshments and we’ll clean up mess! Pick a Theme... And Experience a Party Everyone Will Talk About!

Six Rec Centre packages to choose from Call







Mr. Tubbs Ice Cream Parlor & Family Fun Zone • 30 family oriented redemption games • huge prize counter • 2 fully decorated party rooms • foot-long hot dogs • 32 flavors of Island Farms Ice Cream

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Open Year Round

@ Western Speedway 2207 Millstream Road 250-590-4369

Unforgettable theme parties, girl time packages or just some fun with your friends

Supervised • 2–8 Yrs 3655 Shelbourne Street, Shelbourne Plaza 250-590-5568

IT’S ABOUT SKILLS, NOT SCORES. Go to for schedules & information Call us: 250 590 4625 Email:

February 2012


Aimée Wimbush-Bourque

Tips for a Winter Picnic n summer we eat practically every meal outdoors, but winter confines us to the dining room table three times a day, and quite frankly, that gets old. Why not plan a winter picnic to change things up? With proper planning and an adventurous spirit, a snow picnic can be easily executed and every bit of fun as—if not more than—a summer picnic. You’ll see, it will be one meal of the season that your children will remember for years to come.

We probably do this two to three times a week when my son gets home from school. An afternoon snack enjoyed in the quiet of the forest after a long day in a classroom is my idea of letting my five-year-old unwind. Dress the part. You wouldn’t show up at a pool party wearing a parka, would you? In order to enjoy the winter picnic experience, dress to the nines. When we head out, everyone is outfitted from head to

Here are my tips to keep everyone happy on a winter picnic in the snow—both parents and children!

toe in warm gear, and while it may not be matching or brand name, it keeps us snug and that’s enough. Don’t forget to wear an extra pair of socks. Watch the weather. Make sure you have a good idea of where the weather is headed. Gently falling snow makes for a fun setting, but much more can be trouble. If there is a chance it may turn into freezing rain, then either stay very close to home or wait for another day. Grab the gear. This is one picnic you can leave the bug spray at home! We don’t bring much more than food (the essentials), but here are a few items you may want to toss in a backpack to be prepared.

Aimée Wimbush-Bourque


Tips for a Winter Picnic Start simple. A thermos of hot cocoa and homemade cookies are a good place to start. Don’t attempt an entire meal on the first try, lest you get discouraged. Instead, pack some cookies or other favourite treats in a waterproof container, fill a thermos with hot chocolate (I like the Kids Konserve Insulated Stainless-Steel Thermos because it’s BPA-free and keeps contents hot for hours), and be on your way.


Island Parent Magazine

• Camera. Snap a few photos and share them with your family and friends on Facebook or Flickr. • Blanket. We sit right in the snow or on a fallen log in our snow pants, but you may want a woolen blanket to spread out. • Flashlight. Bring a small one if you are going far from home. Night falls quickly. • Kleenex. Inevitably, someone’s nose always needs a wipe. • Small plastic trash bag. You know the motto, right? Leave no trace. Get out of town. The winter slush in a city is no fun. If you can, hop into a car and make tracks to a local orchard, farmer’s field, or even a golf course. If staying in town is the only option, try and head for the biggest park near you and bushwhack off the trail. Find a nice perch with a view and ideally some sunshine. No matter where you are, make the outing more of an adventure for the kids by pretending you’re in a favourite storybook. My boys like to play Royal and Almanzo from Farmer Boy. We hunt a lot of “panthers” when we’re tromping through the snow. Grub that’s good. Yes, the word “picnic” generally conjures up images of watermelon, egg salad sandwiches and cupcakes, but I don’t recommend any of those for a winter outing. Instead, pack non-messy easy-toeat foods that warm the tummy and don’t require any on-site assembly. Thermos. Ideal items for a thermos would be chili, soup, or macaroni and cheese. Foil-wrapped. Many summer camping foods can be adapted to suit a winter picnic. Simply prepare and cook the food at home, keep well wrapped and warm in aluminum foil, and bring them along for the picnic. Try beef stew packets, campfire burritos or even just easy baked potatoes. Cold. Wraps, sandwiches, and simple finger foods are another easy route for keeping little tummies happy. Homemade granola bars are sure to please, and no one can turn down a freshly baked muffin. Don’t forget a thermos of hot apple cider to help warm up the hands. As opposite to a summer picnic, food tends to take a back seat in a winter picnic. Eating is secondary when there are snow forts to build and tunnels to dig. PB&J’s we will have with us always, but the snow? It will be gone before we know it. Aimée Wimbush-Bourque is a mom of two—with one on the way—and the editor and writer at Simple Bites, www.

February 2012


February 2012

Generously Sponsored by


Family Calendar For calendar updates throughout the month visit WED 1 Children’s Fun Hour at Hillside Centre. 10am at the Food Court. Free. With special guest Poco the Clown. Chess in the Library at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. Do you enjoy playing chess but have nobody to play against? Come to the Chess in the Library program. Members gather each week to play casual chess. Many people know the rules of chess, but have never had the opportunity to play a real game. This program encourages and enhances the opportunities available for these players. Players of all strengths are welcome; chess sets are provided. For ages 8-18. 6:30-7:45pm. Register online at or call 250-391-0653.

THURS 2 Guys’ Night Out Baby Time at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Calling all babies and the men who love them. Join us for fingerplays, puppets, stories and songs. For dads, stepdads, foster dads, granddads, uncles, and male caregivers with babies 0-15 months. 6:307pm. Register online at or call 250-477-9030 for more information.

FRI 3 Lego at the Library at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. If you like stories and building with Lego, join us for a storytime that’s sure to put a smile on your face. We’ll supply the Lego and you can use your imagination to construct your own creation that we’ll display in the Library.

For a project that you can take home, please bring your own Lego. For ages 6-10. 3:304:30pm. Register online at or call 250-727-0104 for more information. First Friday Book Club at the Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Discuss great books, meet new friends, and enjoy snacks at the library. Our February book selection is Louis Sachar’s Newberry Medal-winning Holes. For ages 11-14. 4-5pm. 250-656-0944.

SAT 4 Mill Hill Story Stroll at Mill Hill Regional Park. Join Liz Crocker, CRD Regional Parks guest naturalist and author of A Cultural History of Three Regional Parks, to explore the cultural landscape of Mill Hill. Meet at info kiosk in parking lot off Atkins Ave at 10:30am. 12+ years. BC Transit #50 or #53. 250-478-3344.

WED 8 Children’s Fun Hour at Hillside Centre. 10am at the Food Court. Free. With special guest Let’s Make Music & Move. Be My Valentine at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. Make it a fantastic Valentine’s Day by joining us for a special program full of irresistible fun. Come decked out in Valentine’s Day colours to hear stories, rhymes and songs. Create a fancy valentine for someone special. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Register online at or call 250-391-0653.

Chess in the Library at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. See WED 1 for details. For ages 8-18. 6:30-7:45pm. Register online at or call 250-391-0653.

SAT 11 Moss Landscapes of Vancouver Island at Mill Hill Regional Park. Join guest CRD Regional Parks naturalist Kem Luther to discover the strange lives of mosses. Learn how to identify common species. 10am. $7/person + HST. Preregistration required before February 10. Space is limited. 12+ years. BC Transit #50 or #53. 250-478-3344. Knuffle Bunny Love at Central Branch Library. Most everyone has a favourite “stuffie” they love with all their heart. Bring yours with you to the library and settle in for some Knuffle Bunny stories and other tales of well-loved comfort creatures. We’ll also sing songs, watch a movie starring Mo Willem’s Trixie and her beloved Knuffle Bunny, and make a craft. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Register online at or call 250-413-0365. Manga and Anime Club at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Calling all fans of manga and anime. Join us for a club, and connect and share related interests with other fans. Read and discuss manga and anime and participate in activities such as manga-style drawing, Japanese-style crafts, cosplay discussion, the sharing of tips, trivia challenges and more. For ages 10-18. 2-3:30pm. Register online at or call 250-477-7111.

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Island Parent Magazine

SUN 12 People, Plants & Places at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Spring traditionally began a new round of collecting, processing and storing foods, textiles and medicines for coastal people. Learn about native plants and their uses with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. Meet at Witty’s Lagoon nature centre off Metchosin Rd at 1pm. 12+ years. BC Transit #54 or #55. 250-478-3344.

WED 15 Children’s Fun Hour at Hillside Centre. 10am at the Food Court. Free. With special guest HOORAY with Cory James. Chess in the Library at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. See WED 1 for details. For ages 8-18. 6:30-7:45pm. Register online at or call 250-391-0653.

FRI 17 Stink: The Wonderful World of Smelly Stuff at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Learn stinky facts, strive for the golden clothespin award in a “What’s that Smell” game, and make a non-toxic odorific sample to take home. A fun, informative, and super stinky program based on Megan McDonald’s Stink books. For ages 6-9. 10:30-11:30am. Register online at or call 250-477-9030. Going Batty at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. Drop in between 11am and 2pm and join in a batty world with CRD Regional Parks naturalists. Make a “bat button” or enjoy a “bat walk” through the park at 11:15am or 1:15pm. Meet at Beaver Lake nature centre. All ages. BC Transit #70 or #75. 250-478-3344. Blooming Cherry Blossoms at Emily Carr Branch Library. There’s nothing more beautiful than pink and white cherry blossoms in full bloom. Visit the library to listen to stories about the Japanese Sakura festival and make your own Japanese craft to take home. For ages 6-9. 2:30-3:30pm. Register online at or call 250-475-6100.

Tween Lego Competition at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Bring your own Lego sets for an all out Lego building competition at the library. You will have one hour to build your craziest, coolest, and most creative Lego invention. At the end of the hour, library staff judges will award one inventive tween a Lego prize. For ages 10-12. 2-3:30pm. Register online at or call 250-477-7111 for more information. Crafts for Tweens with Renee: Needle Felted Gnomes at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Using wool and basic needle felting materials, learn how to work with felt to create your own needle felted gnomes. Easy to learn and fun to make. For ages 10-12. 2-4pm. Register online at or call 250-477-9030. Crafts for Tweens: Magical Mystical Creatures at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. Join us in creating a wonderful beastie of your very own. We will use fabric, felt, wire, and other materials to bring your animals to life. Skills used will include sewing and sculpting. For ages 10-12. 2-4pm. Register online at www. or call 250-391-0653. Lego at the Library at the Esquimalt Branch Library. See FRI 3 for details. For ages 6-10. 2:30-3:30pm. Register online at or call 250-414-7198. Pro-D Day Fun: Holes at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Starring Jon Voight, Sigourney Weaver and Patricia Arquette. This film is based on Louis Sachar’s Newberry Medal-winning novel. Teenager Stanley Yelnats is sent to Camp Green Lake, a detention camp located in a blazing hot, waterless desert. Stanley has been convicted of a crime (stealing a pair of sneakers) he did not commit. As punishment each day, the boys must dig a hole five feet deep and five feet wide for some mysterious reason. Curious yet? Bring your own snack. All ages welcome. 1:30-4pm. 250-656-0944.

SAT 18 Annual Gigantic Garage Sale at Central Middle School. The entire gymnasium will be filled to overflowing with donated items for sale. Part proceeds go to Central Middle School,

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and part to Rotary projects. 8am-1pm. www. Owl Prowl at Mill Hill Regional Park. Owls are amazing birds. Join CRD Regional Parks guest naturalist David Allinson for this exciting adventure into the dark woods to look for and call in owls. 8+ years. 7-9pm. $7/person + HST. Pre-registration required before February 17. Space is limited. BC Transit #50 or #53. 250-478-3344.

SUN 19 What’s That Evergreen at Francis/King Regional Park. Take a closer look at local evergreen plants’ survival strategies with a Regional Parks naturalist. You’ll learn common species, what keeps these plants green year round, and sip evergreen tea. Meet at Francis/King nature centre off Munn Rd at 1pm. 8+ years. 250478-3344. Knit Wits at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Learn how to knit a simple neckwarmer and help others by donating your finished project to a local shelter. We will supply the instructions and yarn. You can bring your own knitting needles, or borrow the ones provided. A great project for beginner knitters. For ages 10-18; parents may accompany their tweens and teens. 2-3:30pm. Register online at, call 250-477-9030, or email Family Sunday at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Join us for an afternoon of hands-on art making, storytelling and lantern workshops

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February 2012


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Pirate Boot Camp Passion Sports Basketball Kids in the Kitchen Byte Camp Music & Video Production And much more… For more information or to register, visit our website at:, or call 250-370-6120.

inspired by Victoria Collects. 2-4pm. 250-3844171 ext. 0. 1040 Moss St. Change Starts Here at Blanshard Community Centre. United Way invites young people 1419 to submit art based on local social issues. Come join us for instruction. Materials and lunch provided. 1-5pm. For more information, visit

MON 20 Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable at Nellie McClung Branch Library. David J. Smith, educator and author, has written the picture book If the World Were a Village, which looks at the world population as if it were one village of 100 people. He makes observations such as: “In the world village, there are 38 school-aged children—but of the 38, only 31 of them attend school, and only 24 of them have enough food to eat.” Doors open at 7pm. Browse the Tall Tales Books table before the meeting at 7:30pm. Everyone welcome. Members free; $5/drop-in; $4/student. For more information, call 250-598-3694. Stories at Fern. Children’s stories featured in the first hour. All welcome. 7:30-9:30pm. 1831 Fern St. $5; $3/students (includes tea and goodies). 250-477-7044.

WED 22 Children’s Fun Hour at Hillside Centre. 10am at the Food Court. Free. With special guest Fizzlepop. Chess in the Library at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. See WED 1 for details. For ages 8-18. 6:30-7:45pm. Register online at or call 250-391-0653.

THURS 23 Baby and Toddler Basics at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. Parents, babies and toddlers are invited to a visit from our Peninsula Health Unit nurse. She will answer all your questions, measure and weigh your baby or toddler, and discuss topics such as immunization, growth and development, and successful nursing. 11:30am-12:30pm. No registration required. 250-727-0104.

FRI 24 Story Club at Central Branch Library. Listen to stories, talk about your favourite books, and enjoy fun activities. Snacks included. A club for kids who love stories, regardless of reading ability. For ages 5-8. 3:30-4:30pm. Register online at or 250-413-0365. Fourth Friday Book Club at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. Join Devon to discuss great books, make new friends, and enjoy snacks. For ages 9-12. 3:30-4:30pm. Register online at or call 250-391-0653 for February’s book selection and information.


Island Parent Magazine

SAT 25

Bridging the Gap: An Education Expo at Church of the Cross. 9:30am-3pm. Admission by donation with proceeds benefitting Cridge Family Respite and Respitality Service. Corner of Cedar Hill Rd and Cedar Hill Cross Rd. or 250-480-4849. Manga and Anime Club at Nellie McClung Branch Library. See SAT 11 for details. For ages 10-18. 2-3:30pm. Register online at www. or call 250-477-7111.

SUN 26

Hummingbird Day at Swan Lake/Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. It may seem early, but Annaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hummingbirds start to nest in February and it wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be too long before the summer hummers, the Rufous Hummingbirds, return for their annual visit. Join us for crafts, stories, hands-on exploration and songâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know the words, you can just humâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and discover how to get the most from hummingbirds in your neighbourhood. Noon3pm. Admission by donation. 3873 Swan Lake Rd. 250-479-0211. Wacky Woodpeckers at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. Drop in to the nature centre anytime between 1pm and 3:30pm to discover all of the tricks of the woodpecker trade. A guided wookdpecker walk with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist begins at 1:30pm. Meet at Beaver Lake nature centre. All ages. BC Transit #70 or #75. 250-478-3344. www. Knit Wits at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. See SUN 19 for details. For ages 10-18; parents may accompany their tweens and teens. 2-3:30pm. Register online at, call 250-477-9030, or email Change Starts Here at Blanshard Community Centre. United Way invites young people 1419 to submit art based on local social issues. Come join us for instruction. Materials and lunch provided. 1-5pm. For more information, visit

TUES 28 Guysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Night Out Toddler Time at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Calling all toddlers and graduates of Guysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Night Out Baby Time! Bring the men who love you to the library and join us for a lively evening of fingerplays, puppets, stories and songs. For dads, stepdads, foster dads, granddads, uncles, and male caregivers with children aged 17 months to 3 years. 6:30-7pm. Register online at www. or call 250-477-9030.













Two friends set out on an exciting quest to the Temple of Wisdom braving ďŹ re and water to rescue a princess. Adapted from Mozartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous opera by interactive musical storytellers, Music Corner. Children love to participate through movement, song, riddles and games.

The Magic Flute Saturday February 11 at 11:00am Free pre-concert activities start at 10:30am at VCM Wood Hall Kids $12 / Parents $15/concert (siblings under 9 months free)


WED 29 Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fun Hour at Hillside Centre. 10am at the Food Court. Free. With special guest Auntie Winnie.



Let your light shine!

Chess in the Library at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. See WED 1 for details. For ages 8-18. 6:30-7:45pm. Register online at or call 250-391-0653.

ONGOING BABIES, TODDLERS & PRESCHOOLERS Drop-in Storytimes for Babies, Toddlers, Preschoolers & Families at Greater Victoria Public Library. Storytimes are free and drop-in. Please come early to find a space. Caregivers are welcome and encouraged to participate. For a complete schedule of programs, call your local branch or visit

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Parent/Tot Drop-in at Gordon Head United Church. A safe place where young children can play while parents in the community connect with each other. Lots of space and toys. Tea or coffee is available for caregivers, and a healthy snack for the children. Parents are responsible for the care of their own children. Mondays 10am-noon. For more info call 250-477-4142, or Maisie at 250-477-0388. Kindergym at Burnside Campus Gym. Join us for a half hour of free play in the gym using child sized sports equipment, balls, hoops, climbers and slides. Following free play is 15 minutes of organized game or physical activity based on LEAP/HOP and then 15 minutes of circle time. For toddlers (walking) to 5 years, their parents or caregivers. Drop-in program; parents do not need to register to attend. Tuesdays 9:30-10:30am. 250-388-5251. www. Parent Tot Drop-in at Burnside Gorge Family Centre. Come and enjoy a nutritious snack (coffee and tea for parents) and free play and time to socialize in the family centre. We have lots of toys, books, dress-up clothes, puzzles and more. For infants birth to 5 years and their parent/caregiver. Parent participation required. Free. Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 10:30am-noon and Thursdays 6-7pm. 471 Cecelia Rd. 250388-5251. Toddler Art at Burnside Gorge Family Centre. Come and get creative in the family centre. Crafts are designed specifically for toddlers and preschoolers. We provide the supplies, smocks and lots of soapâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;your child provides the creativity. Parent participation is required. Wednesdays 9:30-10:30am. For toddlers up to age 5 and their parents/caregivers. $2/family. 471 Cecelia Rd. 250-388-5251. www. Good Morning Rhyme Time at Sidney Branch Library. Bring your littlest ones to the library on Thursday mornings for songs, rhymes and stories. We meet in the Nell Horth Room. Stay for refreshments and some social time afterwards. Ages 0-5. 10:15-10:45am, January 19-March 1. To register, call 250-656-0944.


Island Parent Magazine

CHILDREN Sea-Shirt Sundays at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. On the first Sunday of each month, create your own fish fashion. Be sure to bring a pillow case, cloth bag or t-shirt (or purchase a t-shirt from the centre) and your creativity. $2 donation for fabric paint. 1-4pm. 250-665-7511.

YOUTH Tech Buddies: Teen Volunteers at Central Branch Library. Volunteer with older adults, use your skills with computers and other new technologies, and connect with someone in your community. Teens earn volunteer hours and help older adults with their questions about computers and gadgets. If you are new to Tech Buddies, register for the Teen Tech Buddy Training Session, and bring in your completed Tech Buddy Referral form available on our website. For ages 13-18. Register online at or email for more information. Program runs Fridays March 2-23, 3:15-4:45pm. 250-413-0365.

French Reading Buddies: Teen Volunteers at the Oak Bay Branch Library. Si vous aimez lire, travailler avec les enfants et aider, on a besoin de vous! French Reading Buddies teen volunteers mentor French Immersion students in Grades 1-4 with reading practice, literacy-based activities and fun. We provide training and, upon completion, a reference letter outlining your volunteer hours. First-time volunteers, please complete the Big Buddy Referral form on our website. For ages 13-18. Register at www. or call 250-592-2489 for more info. Saturdays, Feb 25-April 14, 3:15-4:30pm. Advance Reading Copy (ARC) Club at Greater Victoria Public Library. Be the first to get all the new books. Get an exclusive copy of a book before it comes out in stores or hits the library shelves. Review it online and you get to keep the free book. For ages 13-18. For information contact

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Reading Buddies: Teen Volunteers at the Greater Victoria Public Library. If you like working with children, enjoy reading, are a fluent English speaker, and want to help emerging readers, we need you! Reading Buddies teen volunteers mentor children in Grades 1-4 with reading practice, literacy-based activities and fun. We provide training and, upon comple-

tion, a reference letter outlining your volunteer hours. First-time volunteers, please complete the Big Buddy Referral form on our website. For ages 13-18. Register online at www.gvpl. ca or call the hosting branch for more information. Program runs Saturdays, February 25-April 14, 1:45-3pm or 3:15-4:30pm at the following branches: Emily Carr Branch, 250-475-6100; Esquimalt Branch, 250-4147198; Oak Bay Branch, 250-592-2489 (Oak Bay Branch 3:15-4:30pm program is French Reading Buddies).




3-5 yrs Pre-primary School

A gentle learning opportunity for young children: - learning naturally through play

The joy of learning - naturally. 250 383 6609

- nature awareness and respect - compassionate communication - experience with math and science - exposure to books and language arts

February 2012


Stellar Book Review Contest at Greater Victoria Public Library. We want your Stellar nominee book reviews. Review a book from the 2011/2012 Stellar Book Award nominee list and you could win a prize. Submit your reviews by April 30 using our online review form. See for the list of books to consider and all the nitty gritty details. To learn more about the Stellar Book Award, see For ages 13-18. For more information, contact

Harmonious Family Singers & Choir is a multi-cultural, inter-generational singing community that welcomes both individuals and family groups. All voices and ages welcome. First-timers are invited to try a no-audition session any Monday afternoon or evening. For details visit www.harmoniousfamilychoir. com, email or phone 250-385-SING (7464).

FAMILIES Wonder Sunday. Explore the Royal BC Museum in a new way. Bring your family on the last Sunday of each month for activities and explorations inspired by different parts of the museum. Make crafts and join special tours. Suitable for children ages 3-12 years old. Included with admission or free with membership.

Parent Sports Drop-in at James Bay Community School Centre. Parents need time to have fun and get back in touch with their inner child. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursday, 7-9pm. $3.50/person.

Salty Sundays, a new family-friendly program at Maritime Museum of BC, runs the second Sunday of every month from 1-3pm. Participate in tours, programs, gallery activities and crafts. This month celebrate Valentine’s Day with sailor love stories and valentine shell crafts. For upcoming themes, visit

Youth Advisory Council (YAC) at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Have your voice heard! Teens looking for an interesting volunteer opportunity are invited to join the GVPL YAC. Work on special library projects, meet other teens, have fun, boost your resume, and earn volunteer hours. Oh, and eat snacks too. Please complete the YAC Referral Form. For ages 13-18. First Saturday of each month until May, 4-5pm. Register online at or call 250-477-9030.

The Victoria Good News Choir, directed by Louise Rose, welcomes new and returning members to its 2012 season. No auditions and no age requirements. For more information, please phone 250-658-1946 or visit www. Come sing with us. You’ll have the time of your life!

Geocaching Adventures with Geocaching Families of Victoria. Join us at www.meetup. com for details of our upcoming meetups and to RSVP. Small annual membership fee to help cover costs.

Friday Night Drop-In Night at The Scene Youth Centre. Come and register for a planned activity with old and new friends. Bring your ideas, and we will help you carry them out. 6:30-9pm. Free. For more info email or call 250-388-5251 ext. 254. 471 Cecelia Rd.

Weekly Bird Walk at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary (meet in the parking lot). Every Wednesday and Sunday noon-3pm.

Ready to Rent BC offers a free course to help find and keep a rental home. Six-week courses run at different times, days and locations. We help renters identify and deal with any barriers they may have to housing. Includes bus tickets, childminding and a healthy snack. To sign up, call 250-388-7171.

Hillside Partners with Women in Need. Pick up a complimentary Women in Need (WIN) clothing bag at Customer Service and fill it with your gently worn clothing or fashion accessories. Then return your WIN bag to Hillside Customer Service.•

Want to find the perfect family home? Check out my Parent to Parent webpage at Let me find you the home that best suits your family! As a mother with two small children, I understand your family housing needs

Give me a call at 250-744-0775


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Island Parent Magazine

- unique hands-on learning activities - support from a certified teacher - constructive feedback without grading - children can learn at their natural pace

Around the Island Visit for these and other events and resources for families from Cowichan Valley north to Campbell River and west to Tofino FRI 3 & SAT 4


Bigleaf Maple Syrup Festival at the BC Forest Discovery Centre. Participate in mini-workshops, including tapping demonstrations, presentations, and displays. Cooking with local maple syrup and maple foods will be available. 10am-4:30pm. $7/adult; $5/per child; children under 2 free. 2892 Drinkwater Rd.

Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena. See TUES 3 for details. 6:30-8pm. Regular admission rates. Glow necklaces available for $2. 250-756-5200.

Our Feathered Friends at the Nanaimo Museum provides an introduction to birds and birdwatching. Workshops and demos, try your hand at Origami, and learn to prepare a meal for your favourite backyard bird. 10am5pm. $2/adult; 75¢/child; members free. 100 Museum Way. 250-753-1821.

TUES 7 Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena. Skate in our atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. 6:30-8pm. Regular admission rates. Glow necklaces available for $2. 250-756-5200.

FRI 10 – SUN 12 Maple Sugar Festival at Beban Park Auditorium, Nanaimo. A bilingual event inspired by eastern Canada’s sugar shack traditions. Presentations, entertainers, traditional French Canadian food fare. $5/adult; children under 12 free. 2300 Bowen Rd. 250-729-2639.

SAT 11 Teen Glow in the Dark Skate at Oceanside Place. Break out all your glow goodies and join us at the rink for a colourful hour of skating. Everyone will receive a free glow bracelet. For 13-18 year olds. 6:45-8:15pm. Regular admission rates. 250-248-3252.

FRI 17 Dive-in Movie Teen Night at Ravensong Aquatic Centre. We will transform the facility into a drive-in movie theatre with inflatable seating for you to view the movie. Check out the RDN on Facebook to see the movie choices. For 13-18 year olds. 7-9pm. 250-752-5014.

SAT 25 Disco Glow Skate at Oceanside Place. Groove on down at the arena with some retro music and special effects. Everyone gets a free glow bracelet. Bring your own glow ropes to add to the effects. Everyone welcome. 2-3:30pm. Regular admission rates. 250-248-3252.

MON 27 Pro-D Day Fun, Hawaiian Style at Ravensong Aquatic Centre, Parksville. Join us in our tropical paradise for an afternoon of hula hoop, limbo, and surfing contests. Grab your grass skirts and surfer shorts and join in the fun. Most events will happen between 2-3pm. 1-3pm. Special rate of $1.50/child or youth, $3/adult. Everyone welcome. 250-752-5014.

Minute to Win it Skate at Oceanside Place. Try out our wacky contests taken from the popular TV show. In one minute, can you win it? Prizes awarded for best times on each event. Everyone welcome. 2-3:30pm. Regular admission rates. 250-248-3252.

Spare Blox Youth Drop-in in Nanaimo is a supervised space to hang out and chill. Open to those 12-17, it offers regular gym activities, video games, movies, foosball, air hockey and much more. Free, but you must register. 7-9pm. Mondays, NDSS; Tuesdays, Oliver Woods Community Centre; Wednesdays, John Barsby School. 250-756-5200. Rec Room at Frank Jameson Centre. Play pool, ping-pong, air hockey, foosball, surf the net, watch TV or listen to music. Tuesdays 3-6pm feature interactive events and Fridays 6-10pm are drop-in with different activities planned. For 13-18 year olds. 250-245-6424.

FAMILY Free Sewing Classes at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Nanaimo. All skill levels welcome, beginner to expert. Experienced volunteers invited to help newbies or just sew in a fun, friendly group. Lots of materials and ideas. For info, email Val at or search Facebook for Nanaimo Sewing Mamas. Mondays 6-9pm. 4235 Departure Bay Rd. Parksville Lion’s and Save-On-Foods Free Family Skate at Oceanside Place. Free admission and skate rentals. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pond hockey is not available during Family Skate sessions. Sundays. 250-248-3252.•

ONGOING PRESCHOOL LaFF at the Aggie is a drop-in family & friends resource program for children ages 0-6 and their parents, grandparents or caregivers. Play area, free clothing exchange, food programs, free coffee and tea. Monday to Friday, 9:30amnoon. $2 suggested donation. 250-210-0870, Benny’s Buddies Drop-in & Play Group at Woodgrove Centre, Nanaimo. For children under 5. Tuesdays near the food court. 9:3010:30am. Family Frolics at Frank Jameson Community Centre in Ladysmith. Bring your parent or caregiver for open gym fun during this drop-in family fun hour. Soft toys, mini-trampoline, ride-on toys, hula hoops and more. For children 1-6. Tuesdays 5:45-6:45pm until the end of March. $1/child. 250-245-6424.



Parent & Child Hockey at Cliff McNabb Arena, Nanaimo. A fun, non-competitive hockey time for children where their parents can play too. Please bring your own gloves, stick, and helmet with face cage. Pre-registration required. Sundays 2:15-3pm. $4. 250-756-5200.

Victoria & Vancouver Island 1-866-518-7287 Nanaimo 250-756-9794 Or online at:

February 2012


Janine Fernandes-Hayden

Generosity: Evolving Beyond the ‘Mine-Set’ very year, my children receive one particular gift under the Christmas tree that surpasses all others. No batteries required, co-operative and interactive by nature, and best of all, priceless. It is the gift of generosity and it is a habit to be cultivated long after the snowman melts and the sleigh bells have waned. “It’s mine! You can’t have it.” These are frequently used words in our household, often accompanied by the act of hoarding or stowing away of a treasured item. Colleen O’Donnell and Lyn Baker, in their book Generous Kids, call it the “mine set.” Reminding our children about the importance of being generous and growing beyond the “mine set” is an ongoing and often times frustrating lesson. The famous developmental psychologist, Jean Piaget, described kids between the ages of two and six as being egocentric, a stage of cognitive development



Island Parent Magazine

that explains their inability to understand a reality beyond their own perspective. Fortunately, generosity is a virtue, a gem that forms part of a different type of “mine set” that we all possess in potential. My doctor has a treasure box filled with goodies. It is a welcome reward for my children, making their visits to see Dr. Paula quite desirable. After a recent appointment, my four-year-old son made his way to the reception area with singular purpose—his treasure. His eyes lit up as the opened lid revealed toy parachuting aliens, bouncy balls, plastic motorcycles and glittery rings. Without hesitation, he reached in and picked out a ring adorned with a green gem. Thinking that he had overlooked the other items that I would have thought to be his first choice, I urged him to deliberate longer on his decision. His mind, however, was set. “I want to give this to my sister for her birthday

tomorrow.” It was a moment that left me in awe and appreciation of life’s surprises. Genuine and unassuming generosity had prevailed over egocentricity. The treasure box of generosity is abundant and there are so many ways that we can teach our children to give. A pedagogical framework that I find effective and which makes the lesson a little less daunting is to break giving and generosity down into three categories: Treasures, Talents and Time. Very early on, through sharing and turn taking with siblings and peers, children are called upon to be generous and to expand beyond themselves. They learn to give to others something that is of value to them, a treasure in the form of a desired toy or special treat. As children grow and progress through school, the value of generosity becomes more broadly defined with traditions such as Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, local aid campaigns, international relief efforts and other fundraising drives. Generosity and charity in the monetary sense help children to develop compassion, understanding and empathy towards others. Every summer, my children and I organize a lemonade stand with proceeds going to a local cause of their choosing. It is a great way to fill a whole week and the children have

fun building and painting their stand, baking cookies, making lemonade, decorating their collection jar and pouring lemonade on the day. The best part for them, however, is presenting their donation to their chosen charity as it makes them feel great to receive some immediate reinforcement and acknowledgement for their efforts. Setting up a lemonade stand and raising money for a cause is just one example of a really fun and tangible way for children, particularly younger ones, to give of their treasures. Talents are also part of the wealth within the treasure box to be discovered and shared. In the biblical “Parable of Talents,” a master entrusts his three servants with his property, in the form of “talents” (literally, in ancient Greek, a talent referred to a unit of money), while away on his travels. While two of his servants put their talents to good use and doubled their value, the third servant hides his talents in a hole in the ground where they are of no use. For this, the third servant is chastised. The parable marks the evolution of the commonly understood word “talent” meaning “gift or skill.” Promoting generosity involves recognizing our children’s unique skills and abilities and subsequently encouraging them to put their talents to good use by sharing them with others instead of burying them in the ground. This year, I had my eldest daughter design and draw the image for our family Christmas cards. It was her special way of sharing her gift of creativity with family and friends. There is no greater way to feel a sense of purposefulness in life and to celebrate our true calling than by giving a piece of ourselves to others. Finally, one of the most precious commodities that we have is our time. As Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh quotes, “The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” Spending undistracted time celebrating, supporting or companioning those we love, or carving out space in our schedules to serve others through volunteerism is a generous sacrifice. Both of these are activities that we can model for our children and even do together as a family. Children can also learn to give of their time by helping in the home and doing chores, by taking responsibility for a family pet, or by simply giving of their full attention when others are speaking. As Linda Kavelin-Popov, author of The Virtues Project suggests, “Time is a gift, and we are meant to use it not only for ourselves but in service to others.”

How can you start today to raise more generous children? Here are some tips: 1. Make giving a habit and find opportunities for generosity on a daily basis. 2. Start simple. Make it fun. Have your children host a birthday party for one of their dolls or stuffies. Help them to bake a cake, decorate the house with some balloons and streamers, make a card, and wrap up some of their treasures as gifts. 3. Charity begins at home. Encourage your children to share with siblings, participate in household chores and tend to family pets. 4. As Sir Francis Bacon said, “Charity begins at home but it should not end there.” Carve out the time and make it a priority to commit to intentional acts of generosity outside of the home on a weekly basis. 5. Make the learning concrete, relevant, hands-on—act locally by having your children make a card for a sick neighbour, organize a lemonade stand to raise money for a charity in your area or visit residents at a nursing home. 6. As a parent, recognize, acknowledge and praise acts of giving and generosity. Be specific, for example “I love the way you were generous by sharing your cookie with your sister.” 7. Make the learning an emotional experience—connect to feelings and draw it down to the heart. “That was really generous of you to pick some flowers for Mrs. Jones. She’s been feeling sad ever since her dog died. She seemed thrilled that you thought of her. How did it feel for you to give the flowers to Mrs. Jones?” 8. Walk the talk and role model. The best gift you can give to your children is a good example. Give of your time, talents and treasures freely and fully. One of our most important jobs as parents involves helping our children to mine the qualities of their character and to discover the treasures of their true selves. Generosity as a gem is precious yet thankfully not rare. When unearthed, it shines brightly as a gift that is doubly blessed. Start today by getting out your shovel and making the commitment to develop it as part of your child’s “mine set.” Janine Fernandes-Hayden is an educator and Salt Spring Island mum of four children, aged 1, 3, 5 and a newborn. She hosts a parent and kids radio show called “The Beanstalk” which can be heard on local Salt Spring Island airwaves at CFSI 107.9 FM or online at

Inclusive Daycare, Preschool & Full-day Kindergarten/Gr. 1 Island Montessori House School is an inclusive school. We are proud to have children from a variety of economic and ethnic backgrounds as well as with a host of abilities and special needs.

5575 West Saanich Road (Across from the Red Barn Market)


SPACES NOW AVAILABLE Please call to book a tour February 2012


Bonnie Leadbeater

West Shore Parks & Recreation

Helping Your Child PROGRAMS Deal with Peer Conflict


hen children are experiencing problems with peer conflict, it’s natural for parents to want to come to their rescue, swooping in to solve the problem and protect their children. One of the best things parents can do, however, is help their children use their WITS to solve the problem. The WITS acronym stands for Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out, and Seek help. The WITS and WITS LEADS Programs ( bring together schools, families and communities to help elementary school children deal with bullying and peer victimization and to help adults learn how to respond effectively to children’s requests for help. The WITS program was developed over 10 years ago by police officers from the Rock Solid Foundation, teachers from School District 61 and researchers at the University of Victoria. Now the locallygrown program is in hundreds of elementary schools across Canada and is helping to reduce rates of bullying in schools and communities. Help your children determine how to respond to a problem by using their WITS. Be solution-focused. This is a problem that can be solved! • Walk away: Role-play the incident with your child to help him practice walking away from a situation. Ask your child what might happen if she walked away. Would it solve the problem? If not, try another WITS strategy. • Ignore: Discuss ways to ignore, such as physically removing oneself from the situation or withdrawing eye contact. Ask your child what might happen if he ignored the child bothering him. Would it solve the problem? If not, try another WITS strategy. • Talk it out: Suggest questions or statements your child could use to “talk it out” with the person bothering her. Sometimes telling the person to stop is enough. Making a joke can also help defuse a conflict. Ask your child what might happen if she talked it out. Would it solve the problem? If not, try another WITS strategy. • Seek help: Suggest other adults your child could go to for help, such as a teacher or playground supervisor. Ask your child what


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Island Parent Magazine

might happen if he asked another adult for help. Would it solve the problem? Who else could he seek help from?

Sometimes the best thing to do is to just get your child talking. You can: • Watch TV or movies: Talk about the characters’ actions and choices in resolving conflicts. • Think about sibling conflicts: When your child is experiencing conflict with a sibling or friend, ask which WITS strategies might work. • Read a book: The WITS Programs provide lesson plans and activity ideas for more than 30 popular children’s books. Read a WITS book with your child to start a conversation. What WITS or LEADS strategies did the characters use to deal with conflict? Did the book remind you of anything similar that has happened in your life? You can find a list of books online at www.witsprogram. ca/schools/book-lists/. Seeking help isn’t just for kids either. Parents sometimes need support when their children experience peer victimization. Every situation is different and every source of support offers different kinds of assistance, so parents may need to seek help from multiple places before getting the assistance they need. Remember: if at first you don’t get the help you need, keep seeking help until you do! Find more ways to get help and learn more about using WITS with your kids by visiting the “WITS for Families” section of the WITS Programs website at PREVNet, Promoting Relationships Ending Violence website at is a National Centre of Excellence and is also a great resource for parents. Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater is a professor of developmental psychology at UVic and lead researcher for the WITS Programs.

Elizabeth Poppe

In My Grandparents’ House y paternal grandparents moved to their red brick house in a small town in southern Ontario around 1954. In the 1980s, the era of my childhood visits, the house still contained a rotary telephone, a treadle sewing machine and a wringer washer, all in everyday use. We always entered my grandparents’ house through the kitchen door; we never used the steps leading up to the front door. Those steps were only used for posing for large family photos and building small snowmen. The dark, cramped front hall was not the place where we flung off our coats and received warm hugs of welcome. A long, tall bookcase took up most of the narrow space and the rest, like the rarely used closet, was perfect for playing hide-and-seek. The dim front bedroom, with its fuzzy patterned wallpaper, was off limits but we grandchildren could run free in the orange-carpeted living room. My grandparents did not own a TV, so on long boring afternoons we would play crokinole on a board my grandpa made or we would make up our own games. An enduring favourite was The Best Death, a dramatic contest to see who could croak most spectacularly. The winner, usually my youngest sister, would have the honour of judging the next round. When we visited, my Grandma Ann—we called her Granny Annie among ourselves, but never to her face—would greet us from the top of the wooden staircase at the kitchen door. She was usually apron clad and in the middle of making something delicious in the small, bright kitchen. Grandma drank a mug of boiled hot water at meals. She sewed and played piano and never seemed to mind when we bashed about on the keys of the upright, thinking our music as beautiful as hers. My Grandpa Wilf usually stayed out of my Grandma’s way in the kitchen, except when he was making and decorating a wedding cake. He also made clocks, actually made them himself, a skill I always thought was cool. Grandpa had a thing for horseradish—there was even a little song he’d sing as he spread it. He was a gardener of flowers and vegetables. He hung swings in the maple trees for us and never seemed to mind when


we jumped in his carefully raked leaf piles making a huge mess with all our fun. I was flooded with these memories of my grandparents’ house recently after my grandpa’s death. He was the last of my grandparents to pass away and I am acutely aware that the flood is now finite, that from now on there will be only those memories. Thankfully, though, there are memories galore. For example, the year I received a much wished for doll house for my fourth birthday. That was also the year my birthday and Easter coincided and the whole family, all the aunts and uncles and cousins, were at my grandparents’ house to celebrate. When we were together, we ate small meals in the kitchen, but great family feasts were held in the living room, temporarily turned into a dining room with the addition of two or three tables pushed end to end, and with a variety of chairs. I recall the torturous

Christmas we weren’t allowed to open our presents until two in the afternoon, and the year the Santa Claus Parade route ran right past my grandparents’ house. That day, the snow banks reached halfway up the tree trunks at the bottom of the front yard and we stood atop them watching as the parade moved along the snowy street. My grandparents’ house was full of little memories too: the spare toothbrushes my grandma kept for grandchildren, the stool in the kitchen next to the stove, and the clock in the hall that didn’t just chime the hour but all the quarter hours in between. We moved to B.C. in the early ’90s and those little memories followed us in the form of letters and cards, and even a visit or two. The last note we received from my grandpa was addressed in his delightfully humorous manner: “Mr. or Ms. Letter Carrier, please deliver to my Great Grandson + his Mom & Dad.” With twice as many grandparents as I had, my son, I hope, will have twice as many wonderful memories of his grandparents’ houses. Elizabeth Poppe can be found out and about in Victoria, still playing in leaf piles with her young son.

Cloverdale Preschool Join us for our Open House Friday, February 17th, 2012 • 11:00–2:00 Located at Cloverdale Traditional School, 3427 Quadra Street Ongoing waitlists maintained. Spaces may still be available for September 2012. To enquire please call 250 995 1766 or email

Learn and grow with us through play!

Beatriz Contreras, Lisa Eames Family Lawyers & Mediators Family law issues require sensitivity and flexibility. Our experienced lawyers have the expertise to manage and resolve your family law problems in a collaborative, non-confrontational manner, using mediation and excellent communication and negotiating skills to obtain the right outcome for you, resorting to litigation (the court room) only when necessary.

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February 2012





â&#x20AC;˘ Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s learning is nurtured and guided through exploration, discovery, play and creative expression (ARO2OAD 6ICTORIA"#

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3905 Haro Road, Victoria BC   250 477 3731

Send Us Your Stories! Island Parent is looking for articles for upcoming issues. Some of our best content comes from people just like youâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Vancouver Island parents who are passionate about their families and are dealing with the day to day issues of raising children in our community. Share your experiences, your thoughts on a particular issue, your ideas on places to see or projects to doâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;anything related to parenting. Check our Writerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guidelines at for specific information on submissions. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to hear from you. Please email submissions to


Island Parent Magazine

The Talk y two daughters are 18 months apart. This means that new areas of parenting usually arise once, but over an extended period of time. School issues are the same for each daughter, with minor differences. The eldest remembers what she has just been through, and helps out her younger sister, and the younger daughter watches what the older sib is doing in school and looks forward to doing the same. It works well most of the time. We all engage in conversation that is open, luckily, and filled with humour, and sometimes great heated debate. I have always thought I fostered this openness with great skill and compassion, but as my two girls age I find myself reduced to a scared boy afraid to broach some subjects. My daughters are getting to the age which is traditionally the time reserved for â&#x20AC;&#x153;the talk.â&#x20AC;?


Having two girls, I thought I could manoeuvre out of the responsibility and give that job to my wife. No such luck. We would be sharing the responsibility. Just before Christmas, my own mom asked me a tough question. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Frank, do they teach sex education in school? Have you had any conversations with the girls about this?â&#x20AC;? My mom, when the subject matter warrants it, can add just the right amount of urgency to her tone to let one know just how important what she is saying really is. She was right too, this was important. The answer, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m afraid to admit, was â&#x20AC;&#x153;No.â&#x20AC;? Having two girls, I thought I could manoeuvre out of the responsibility and give that job to my wife. No such luck. We would be sharing the responsibility. Research shows that kids who have had open, frank conversations with their parents about sex tend to delay sex until theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re older, and when they do have sex for the first time, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re more likely to practice safe sex. Statistically, dads are worse than moms when it comes to initiating these conversations, especially with daughters.

Until recently, I thought that burying my head in the sand would be the best way to tackle this issue. For other dadsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and momsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;practicing the denial method of sexual conversation with kids, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry.

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Dadspeak FRANK Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;BRIEN â&#x20AC;&#x153;The talk,â&#x20AC;? by all accounts, is not a oneshot deal. A healthy, ongoing dialogue is a much better way to tackle the subjectâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and easier. Broach the subject at different times, taking into account the fact that your child is constantly changing and developing. An 11-year-old is going to look at this subject quite differently than a 15-year-old. Those four years are a blink of an eye to us, but our childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worlds change dramatically in that time. To be honest, the small amount of research I conducted on the subject has made me feel, as a father, better able to have this kind of dialogue, though I can see where I could fall into the same trap as many other fathers. A recent study in the USA by Zogby Associates found that fathers tend to want these conversations, and similar education in schools, to focus on abstinenceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;this was the case regardless of cultural or religious influences. Not surprising, maybe, but not realistic either. This for me, like so many other dads, is the tough part. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to face the fact that my daughters will grow up, in every sense of the word. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop this, and their decisions are theirs, not mine. The best thing I can do is be a part of how the decision process develops. It turns out the thing I am afraid to talk about is going to foster a greater level of responsibility in my kidsâ&#x20AC;Śexactly what I want! So remember, dadsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;on some level, your kids want these conversations. They will welcome them, and they will be thankful. Any open and respectful conversation, not just â&#x20AC;&#x153;the talk,â&#x20AC;? will help you foster a better relationship with your kids. Frank Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien is the father of Aideen and Megan, and husband of Amanda Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien. He is currently working on a book about his experience in the restaurant industry.

Ç Ç Ç Í&#x2DC;Ć&#x2039;ĹľĆ?Í&#x2DC;Ä?Ä?Í&#x2DC;Ä?Ä&#x201A;

ŽͲÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x161;:ƾŜĹ?Ĺ˝Ć&#x152;^Ä?Ĺ&#x161;ŽŽůWĆ&#x152;Ĺ˝Ĺ?Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;ĹľͲ WĆ&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ć?Ä?Ĺ&#x161;ŽŽůĆ&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ć&#x152;ŽƾĹ?Ĺ&#x161;'Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;Ä&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ď´ Ć&#x152;Ć&#x161;Ć?Í&#x2022;Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;ĹŻÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x;Ä?Ć?Í&#x2022;&Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;ĹśÄ?Ĺ&#x161;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;'ĹŻĹ˝Ä?Ä&#x201A;ĹŻ^Ć&#x161;ĆľÄ&#x161;Ĺ?Ä&#x17E;Ć? ^ĹľÄ&#x201A;ĹŻĹŻĹśĆ&#x152;Ĺ?Ä?Ĺ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161;ĹŻÄ&#x201A;Ć?Ć?Ä&#x17E;Ć?Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;^Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ä?Ĺ?Ä&#x201A;ĹŻĹ?Ć?Ć&#x161;dÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x201A;Ä?Ĺ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć?


L`afcaf_YZgml Y f]o oYq lg d]Yjf7  South Island Distance Education School (SIDES) is a K -12 public school specializing in distributed learning and a proud member of School District 63. SIDES offers a variety of program options to meet the needs of all students.

Our teachers will be happy to work with you and your child in planning a program that assures a successful learning journey. For more information, visit our website or call to speak to one of our counselors or teachers.

www.TJEFTDBt 250-479-7125 t1-800-663-7610 February 2012


10 Ways to Encourage Your Child’s Self-Esteem Child, Youth & Family Community Health South Island Health Units Esquimalt Gulf Islands

250-519-5311 250-539-3099

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)

Peninsula Saanich Saltspring Island Sooke Victoria West Shore

250-544-2400 250-519-5100 250-538-4880 250-642-5464 250-388-2200 250-519-3490

Central Island Health Units Duncan Ladysmith Lake Cowichan Nanaimo Nanaimo Princess Royal Parksville/Qualicum Port Alberni Tofino

250-709-3050 250-755-3342 250-749-6878 250-755-3342 250-755-7855 250-947-8222 250-731-1315 250-725-2172

North Island Health Units Campbell River Courtenay Kyuquot Health Ctr ‘Namgis Health Ctr Port Hardy

250-850-2110 250-331-8520 250-332-5289 250-974-5522 250-949-3100


Island Parent Magazine

elf-esteem is a person’s overall view of themselves. It encompasses beliefs (for example, “I am competent”) and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame. Children who receive lots of praise, affection and attention from their parents along with clear limits and appropriate discipline are more likely to believe and think good things about themselves. Healthy self-esteem is a child’s armour against the challenges of the world. Children who have healthy self-esteem have an easier time dealing with conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They are more likely to be happy, successful, cooperative, and to make friends easily. We all want those things for our children. But how do we build those strengths? Use these 10 strategies from Triple P: The Positive Parenting Program to encourage your child’s healthy self-esteem: 1. Tell Your Child You Love Them. Don’t miss an opportunity to tell your child you love them. Spend time with them. This will help your child feel valued and cared for. 2. Be Affectionate. Give your child plenty of hugs and cuddles so they know they are wanted and loved. 3. Create a Safe, Predictable World. Stick to a daily routine for meals and bedtime and give your child advance notice of upcoming changes or special events. Children feel secure when their lives are predictable and they know what to expect. 4. Encourage an Active Lifestyle. It’s important to encourage children to follow a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and good grooming habits help children develop a positive image. 5. Encourage Your Child To Express Their Ideas. Listen to what your child has to say, summarize what you think they said, and ask questions about the issue they raised. Knowing that you value their opinion gives them the courage to speak up when they need to. 6. Let Your Child Make Decisions. Where it is appropriate and safe, let your child decide what to wear, what activities to get involved


in, who to play with, etc. When you trust your child to do things on their own they learn to be confident. 7. Encourage Your Child to Set Goals. Talk to your child about their interests. Ask them what they would like to do and what they hope to accomplish. Help them set goals and discuss what they need to do to reach them.

Healthy Families; Happy Families C HILD Y OU TH & FA MILY C OMMU NITY HEALTH


8. Help Your Child See Their Accomplishments. Help your child see their strengths by pointing out things they have done well. Pay attention when your child is proudly showing you or telling you something and celebrate their successes. 9. Help Your Child Be a Good Friend. Children learn a lot about how to interact with others by watching their parents. Let them see you being a good friend. Show an interest in your child’s friends. Encourage your child to talk about things that happen in their day and how different interactions make them feel. 10. Encourage Laughter. Encourage your child to laugh by listening to their stories, sharing jokes, playing games and having fun together. A sense of humour gives children another way to look at situations and cope with challenges. It allows them to be spontaneous and light hearted. Encouraging positive self-esteem in your child will not only result in a more confident child, but also in a child who is more likely to succeed at school and get along well with others. For more on Triple P and to find Triple P services in your community, visit www. Cindy Knott has worked for more than 20 years supporting children and families in Manitoba and now in B.C. She is currently the Vancouver Island Triple P Coordinator.

H Hampton Little League

Baseball - Softball - Challengers Ages 5-12 by April 30, 2012 – Girls & Boys Baseball Ages 7 - 16 by Dec 31, 2011 – Girls Softball Ages 5 - 20 – Boys and Girls Challenger Division

Registration Dates and Times: Feb. 4 & 5, 11 & 12 from 1-4 PM Feb. 8th from 6:30 - 9 PM


At the Clubhouse (Across from Burnside Plaza)

ASK ABOUT THE WINTER CLINICS! Due on registration Date: x x x x

Division & Registration information TBall Minis, Rookies, Minors Majors

$65 $90 $125

x x

$40 Fundraising fee – redeemable $40/player concession fee - work a shift for a $30 refund. a copy of your child’s birth certificate, care card number 3 pieces of address verification $100 chq for uniform dep. Postdated to 07/01/12.


Registration Incentive: Bring in a new fully paid Little League registrant and you will receive a $10 concession voucher.



Blastball is a novice version of T-ball for the under aged Little Leaguers! Open to all girls and boys 2-5 years old. All games Saturday mornings. Registration includes: 10 Games with Hat/T-shirt, Team Picture, and Year End Award! No extra fees required for Blastball – not an affiliated LL program.

Hampton Little League is proud to host the Provincial 11-12 Baseball Championships! All 9 to 12 year old players living within our boundaries are eligible to try out for our 2012 tournament teams. There will also be an 8 year old tournament team for those interested! Being part of Hampton Little League is more than just sports, we are a community! We have several special events throughout the season such as Funday, Pitch, Hit & Run, a Dance, a Coaches vs. Managers ball game, as well as

Player Development Clinics - happening now. Don’t miss out – contact us for information so you can be a part of it all! or 250-385-0022 and 250-361-9614.

*We also offer youth and adult umpiring training*

February 2012


Heart & Soul ebruary is the month of love—glorious, bright-red love, in all its manifestations. Love requited and un-platonic, dutiful or spontaneous, familial, romantic, sincere, long-lasting or of the moment. All of these incarnations of love are honoured (the more cynical among us may wonder if “targeted” isn’t perhaps a better word) on February 14. Valentine’s Day celebrates love in its glossy red, lace-wrapped, chocolate coated stage—springtime with lyrical singing and budding apple trees, sparkling sunshine, shared laughter, and swirly dresses. Love is made of sterner stuff when it moves out of the techni-colour frame into the regular pattern of our days and lives. Less lace, more wool, fewer spontaneous song-and-dance routines, more steady contented hum. It’s a less yearning, more earning kind of thing: working together, with the people you love, who love you back. Day to day love is more a physical than spiritual thing in many ways. How perfect is it to hug the person you love? To squeeze your children, bury your noses in their hair, and kiss their sweet soft little cheeks—often love is regularly physically expressed, with-


out expectation, but with great, unthinking, enjoyment. True love is more heart and sole than heart and soul. It’s a shoe-leather, hard work kind of thing, to feel it and stay with it. Love is regular, ordinary, and yet miraculous, like our human frames—something to be celebrated, wondered at and taken care of, but also to be used, and not saved up for next February, or until the weather is better or we’ve lost that pesky five pounds. Love is the answer. Yes, we can argue this, but let’s go along with the song for now, have a little fun and live in the spirit of the month. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Okay, on to the food bit now. It might seem like a bit of a stretch, but remember that sole is also a kind of fish, and many types of fish are good for our hearts—as is love. Enjoy!

Halibut Stew 1 pound halibut, cut into cubes and skinned 21⁄2 cups chicken or fish stock (sold in the Asian food aisle, or an Asian grocery store, as bonito stock) 2 Tbsp butter 1⁄2 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 carrot, halved lengthwise and sliced 1 rib celery, halved lengthwise and sliced 1 garlic clove, minced 3 Tbsp flour 1⁄2 tsp dried tarragon 1⁄2 cup each frozen peas and frozen corn salt and pepper, to taste Place medium-sized pot over medium flame. Add butter, and melt. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until softened. Sprinkle flour over top, then tarragon, and stir, slowly, for about 3 minutes. Add stock slowly, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes). Add cubed halibut and frozen vegetables and simmer 4–5 minutes, or until halibut is barely cooked through. Season and serve.

Helen’s Kedgeree 3 eggs, hardboiled 1⁄4 cup parsley, chopped 2 cups cooked basmati rice, cooled 3⁄4–1 lb smoked cod, or haddock 3–4 Tbsp butter 1 Tbsp curry powder 1⁄4 tsp cayenne pepper Peel eggs, chop, and set aside. Cover fish with water in deep skillet, bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered,

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for about 10 minutes. Drain fish and break it up into large flakes with a fork, discarding bones. In heated heavy skillet, melt butter over moderate flame. When foam has almost

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KATHY HUMPHREY subsided, add curry powder and cayenne. Reduce heat and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add rice, stir with fork. Add flaked fish and half of chopped egg. Gently mix, then cook 1â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2 minutes to warm through. Sprinkle with remaining egg and parsley. Serve immediately. (Serve with yogurt, salad and crusty bread.)

Oven-baked Salsa Fillets 1 pound fish fillets (any white fish) 1â &#x201E;2 cup salsa 4 Tbsp grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese Preheat oven to 425Ë&#x161;F. Spread fillets onto 9" pie plate, overlapping thin edges. Spread salsa evenly over fish, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered for 8â&#x20AC;&#x201C;12 minutes (until bubbling).

Gremolata-topped Fish with Tomato & Zucchini 2 lemons 2â &#x201E;3 cups fresh bread crumbs 1â &#x201E;4 cup chopped parsley 2 garlic cloves, crushed pepper, to taste 4 chunky pieces of white fish, skinned 2 tsp whole-grain mustard 3 Roma tomatoes, quartered 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced 1â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2 Tbsp olive oil Preheat the oven to 400Ë&#x161;F. Zest and juice one lemon. Mix rind with breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic and pepper. Place fish in greased baking dish. Spread mustard evenly over top, then sprinkle lemon juice over. Arrange tomatoes and zucchini around fish. Cut remaining lemon into quarters and toss in. Spoon breadcrumb mixture over fish and press down lightly. Drizzle with oil, then bake 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily and topping is crisp. Kathy Humphrey lives in Victoria with her husband and two children. She tries to see cooking for a family not as a chore but as a creative outlet.



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February 2012


History, History he more things change, the more they stay the same…” The well-known phrase turned up unbidden in my mind some time ago when I was staring at my computer, searching for inspiration for this month’s column. The adage reminded me of the late American philosopher and poet, George Santyana, who said so memorably that “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Looking back through time, this is hardly an encouraging thought: wars, crises, and tragedy have struck with appalling regularity and it sometimes seems that we’ve learned very little. Luckily, we’re not the only ones learning from our history; also luckily, there’s a wealth of writing designed to engage children of all ages in history, be it studies of the lives of famous figures past and gone, examinations and illustrations of cultures both like and unlike our own, or stories of individuals caught up in momentous events that changed their lives and the course of history as we know it. Susan Aihoshi’s debut novel Torn Apart (Scholastic, 2012), is just such a book. It’s written as a diary—the diary of Vancouverborn Mary Kobayashi, a young JapaneseCanadian growing up during a tumultuous time. Mary has a loving family, a good home, and has remained largely ignorant of the War, which is, after all, taking place very far away. But on December 7, 1941, the War ceases to be a distant tragedy and becomes shockingly, terrifyingly real. Torn Apart casts a light on a dark period in Canada’s past—a period that many of us would like to forget—when, in the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbour, Japanese Canadians lost their homes, their belongings, and their rights, and were sent to prison-like


internment camps for the duration of the War. The newest in Scholastic’s bestselling Dear Canada series, this is an engaging read for 10+. For another amazing introduction to historic individuals in all their eccentric glory, you cannot do better than Kathleen Krull’s tantalizing texts, accompanied by quirky caricatures by Kathryn Hewitt. From Lives of the Authors: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) (Sandpiper, 2011), examining famous authors through the ages from Shikibu to Shakespeare, to Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors thought) (Sandpiper, 2011), filled with scandals, sonatas, and fun facts such as Mozart’s favourite meal (liver and dumplings), history gets a new lease on life in this fabulous series for 8+. And once you’ve started learning about people in the past, why stop there? Try Scoular Anderson’s delightful How To series for 7+. In these informative, brightly illustrated guides, Anderson takes readers on a trip through time and space, providing insights into ancient worlds, cultures, and ways of life. How to be an Anglo-Saxon in 13 Easy Stages (Collins Education, 2011) covers everything from building a home, to making a book, to methods of worship, war craft, and entertainment, in a bright and readable format that is perfect for young historians and anthropologists. Historical fiction fans of a more advanced age will not be disappointed this month either, as some long-awaited titles make their first appearances. Victorian culture expert Y.S. Lee’s excellent mystery series for young adults (12+), The Agency, has a brand new instalment: The Traitor in

the Tunnel (Candlewick, 2012), which sees Mary Quinn, a young woman with a murky history and a daring future, going undercover as a maidservant in the palace

Book Nook MADDY SMITH of Queen Victoria to sniff out a problem of petty theft. However, Mary soon finds more than she bargained for, as scandal, murder, and treason stir in the Royal Residence. With her past fast catching up with her, Mary is going to have to decide who she can trust…if anyone. Another brilliant sequel is found in the second instalment of Pat Walsh’s exquisite series for 11+, The Crowfield Demon (Scholastic, 2012), which continues the magical, mystical story begun in Crowfield Curse. Set in a 14th-century English monastery and following the adventures of 12-yearold Will, The Crowfield Demon excites, intrigues, and offers a brilliant look into a captivating, compelling period when the lines between fantasy and reality were far from clear, and demons and angels walked the earth. Despite the seemingly repetitive nature of history as a whole, we continue to be captivated by its complexities and diversities, and above all, by its individuals. One of the most important things history teaches is that one person can make all the difference—in this time of turbulence and change, could there be a better lesson to learn? Maddy Smith is a children’s bookseller and an Islander born and bred; she reads, writes, and believes in the magic of a great book.

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February 2012





OPEN HOUSE Thursday, March 1st 3:00 – 5:30 pm Parents and young learners (toddlers plus) are invited to visit our Junior Kindergarten program designed for 3 year olds and 4 year olds. • Tour our bright, engaging learning centre • Participate in fun, hands-on learning activities • Learn ways to help your child get a great start for kindergarten We can’t wait to meet you!

Christ Church Cathedral School – Childcare 520 Niagara Street, Victoria


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Next up in our Early Childhood Education Speaker Series:

Early Moral Development Featuring Dr. Ulrich Mueller, University of Victoria February 23, 2012 6:15 - 7:15 pm Free event, child minding available For more info or to register, visit:

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Island Parent Magazine

On (Not) Letting It Go Is there common ground between kids and clean? hen I was pregnant with my first, I went for dinner at a friend’s house. This friend had two kids, and the house was as one would expect a house with two kids living in it to look. Plastic toys everywhere to trip over. Sticky fingerprints on every visible surface. Dried playdough caking the sofa. The subtle but distinctive scent of human urine emanating from the playroom rug. I wasn’t judging, you see. I was contemplating the scene with fear. “Get ready,” my husband whispered/cackled in my ear.


I want to be the person with the glass of wine in hand, making stimulating conversation and thinking nothing of the mess in the kitchen. I have always been a bit of a neat freak and a germaphobe. It’s not something I’m proud of. I would much, much rather be the kind of person who is cool with dried playdough on the sofa, who says, “Leave the dishes until tomorrow! Let’s just relax!” That kind of person makes a much more pleasant dinner party host than someone who can be heard frantically scrubbing the roasting pan as the guests sit awkwardly in the living room, wondering if this is their cue to leave. I know this! I want to be the person with the glass of wine in hand, making stimulating conversation and thinking nothing of the mess in the kitchen. But I just can’t help myself. The call of the fatcongealed roasting pan is just too strong for me to ignore. So when my husband and I decided to have kids, I knew something would have to give (I think this is part of the reason my husband agreed to kids in the first place). Because kids, you see, are disgustingly

messy. There is no denying it. I would have to develop strategies to deal with my fussypants tendencies or else suffer 24/7 anxiety from walking around with someone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fingernail clippings in my bathrobe pocket and living with people who regularly explore their bodily orifices. So, what to do? My first option was to embrace the mess. I would become the endearing slob with the house that every kid in the neighbourhood wants to visit, where they are welcome to

Is There an App for This? CARLY SUTHERLAND walk around trailing cracker crumbs and Lego pieces. If the Lego were to imprint itself into the arch of my foot, I would say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;My, the kids had so much FUN today!â&#x20AC;? rather than let loose a string of colourful expletives. This is what I wanted more than anything. But when the mere thought of this approach causes heart palpitations, chances of success are low. My second option was to carry on with my scrub-a-dubbing. Soak the Hot Wheels in a bucket of Clorox once a week. Put the kids in bio-hazard suits for snack time. Bring back the 60s and cover the sofa in plastic. This didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sound like much fun either. I want to be the kind of mom who hangs out with my kids, not vacuums around them. Clearly I would need some kind of middle ground. And after three and a half years and two kids, I think Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve found it. Toys get picked up once a day, and only after the kids are in bed. I do vacuum around my kids, but only when the big one is at preschool and the little one is in the Jolly Jumper and finds the whole thing hugely entertaining. And once a month I break the bank with professional cleaners. Some mothers splurge on a nice cut and colour, others on a jazzy smart phone. I have someone scrub my baseboards. When it comes to lowering my blood pressure, it beats a day at the spa any time. Now I just need someone to keep me out of the kitchen during dinner parties. Carly Sutherland was late submitting this article because she needed to attend to the brown needles from the Christmas tree she kept seeing everywhere she looked. Also, her second-born spits up a lot.

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February 2012


parenting education and pre and post-natal services. Our Counselling Services are free to adults and youth (12-18 years); adult and short term clinical counselling is offered for acute mental health problems. For more information call 250-385-2635 or visit 511 Constance Ave. in Esquimalt.

Family Services Directory Association of Family Serving Agencies (AFSA) is a network of organizations, groups and individuals serving families. All agencies listed are members of AFSA. This directory is sponsored by BC Families in Transition (formerly the Separation and Divorce Resource Centre) is one of three nonprofit agencies in North America that offers professional counselling, legal support and education for people who are having problems in their relationships. Each year we help 10,000 adults, children and youth through family changes, separations and divorces, remarriages, and complex family situations. Whether you wish to separate or remain together, call us at 250-386-4331 or visit to see how we can help. Some evening and weekend appointments available. Beacon Community Services, a community-based, non-profit social, employment and health services agency, serving Greater Victoria, Saanich Peninsula and the Southern Gulf Islands. Providing these services: child, youth and family services; a drop-in family resource centre; counselling; employment services for adults, youth and people with disabilities; home support; volunteer services and opportunities; community events; affordable, assisted living for seniors; referrals, information and resources; thrift shops. For Home Support information call 250-658-6407, for all other inquiries call 250-656-0134 or visit www. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria provides mentoring programs to children in schools and communities. Adult â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Bigsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, and child â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Littlesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, build a friendship based on shared interests, respect, trust, and the magic of everyday moments shared with a friend. Everyone needs someone to laugh with, to share a dream with, and just to hang out. No special skills, money, or experience are needed to be a mentor to a child, just a willingness to spend time together, to listen, and to be a friend and advocateâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;in as little as one hour a week! The positive impact of mentorship lasts for a lifetime. Contact us at 250-475-1117, email, or at our website www.



Island Parent Magazine

Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school and evening social, educational and recreational programming for youth at four locations. We also offer support to parents of teens (Parents Together) and run Adventure Based Learning programs at our Camp in Metchosin. For more information on all our programs visit our website at For general information on after-school and evening programs at our 4 Community Clubs please call 250-384-9133. The Child Abuse Prevention & Counselling Society/Mary Manning Centre is the primary provider of therapy and victim support services for children and youth in Greater Victoria who experience sexual abuse, physical abuse, and other serious trauma, or who may be at risk for sexual abuse. Therapy services include individual and group sessions for children and youth and group sessions for parents. Victim services include intake and referral, accompaniment and support for children and youth being interviewed by police, and court preparation and support for those testifying as victims or witnesses in criminal cases. No charge for clients. Contact: 250-385-6111 or admin@ Community Living Victoria supports people with developmental disabilities and their families by providing residential services, day and community supports (supported employment, parent support and independent living). Our Host agency provides direct supports for those with Individualized Funding and Home Share service. Our family support program offers advocacy, conflict resolution, education, newsletters, workshops, support groups and a resource library. Please call 250477-7231 ext 233. Esquimalt Neighbourhood House Society. Our Family Services offer family resource programs with a focus on early childhood development and learning,


Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) Is an immigrant and multicultural service agency. Programs offered include cross-cultural counselling, parenting programs (child care available), family violence services, interpretation and translation, diversity workshops and training, ESL instruction, volunteering, BETWEEN youth program and youth tutoring. ICA presents the Luminara Victoria Lantern Celebration. 930 Balmoral Rd, 250388-4728,, Learning Disabilities Association of BC, SVI Chapter, educates, supports and advocates for children and youth with learning disabilities and related conditions. Services include a public lending library, individual/group support for parents and children, professional/educational workshops for parents and professionals. Child and youth programs include: reading/writing, academic skills, social/emotional skill development and Fast ForWord. 1524 Fort St. 250-370-9513. Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) provides programs and services to the military family community. Services include: 24 Hour Information Line, Deployment Information and Workshops, Short Term Intervention/ Crisis Support, Welcome/Relocation Services, services for families with special needs and responsabilities and childcare services and support to parents. Exciting Volunteer opportunities available! Call the MFRC: 250363-2640 (1-800-353-3329) for information. www. NEED2 Suicide Prevention Education & Support provides A multi-portal website which offers youth support through live-chats, forums and/or from a professional counselor via e-counselling. This service is delivered by youth and adult volunteers and staff. It is an alternative to phone based service for youth and young adults who are seeking emotional support and information for a variety of issues including mental health and addictions.





Parent Support Ser vices Society (www. provides support circles, parenting resources and referrals to all in a parenting role including grandparents raising grandchildren. Our training in peer group facilitation is open to the community. Support circles are free with child minding and transportation assistance available. Volunteers are always needed. Call 250-384-8042; email Rainbows is a nonprofit society providing support groups for children who have suffered a significant loss in their lives by death, divorce or any other painful life transition. Rainbows is not counselling, we offer peer support with trained facilitators to help children work through a 24-week program. Rainbows is offered without cost to participants and is community funded. For info see www.rainbows. ca or email Rita Henderson at or Sharon Tyler at The Single Parent Resource Centre ( provides support, education and resources for parents in the Greater Victoria area through free counselling, volunteer training for reception and peer helper positions, a mentoring program for single moms, and a support group for dads. The Centre also offers over 20 integrated life skills and parenting courses which are open to the whole community (fees are bydonation). Child care assistance is available based on financial need. The Centre provides a bread pantry and free clothing for single parents. Donations of gently-used clothing, small household items, books, and toys are very welcome every Monday and Wednesday. Centre hours are 9–4 weekdays. 602 Gorge Rd. East; call 250-3851114 or South Island Centre for Counselling & Training is an affordable, non-profit, counselling agency serving individuals and families from all social, ethnic, and financial backgrounds. We help people with a wide range of issues including low self-esteem, depression, grief, marital and family conflict, abuse and spiritual direction. We also offer helpful “life” courses. For more information contact us at 250-472-2851; South Island Dispute Resolution Centre: www.dispute 250-383-4412 Affordable/accessible Family Mediation/Coaching services. Create effective parenting plans, improve communication and understand healthy co-parenting options. Subsidies available. We also offer workshops for all ages on effective communication, anger awareness & conflict management skills. Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre supports families living with epilepsy by providing tutoring and one on one professional consultations to help your child to live up to their full potential. We offer epilepsy education workshops in private and public schools, and keep you up to date on the latest research about medications, lifestyle and safety for your child. Visit us at to find out more, and to explore our bursaries for Camosun College. Calls are also welcome at 250-475-6677.

Notary Services The Shipley Group Providing Quality Legal Services to Victoria Families for Over 15 Years • Real Estate Transfers • Mortgages • Wills & Living Wills

• Powers of Attorney • First Time Buyers • Travel Letters

250.592.4342 Tim Shipley, BA, Notary Public 1551 Pandora Avenue, Victoria

February 2012


Pregnant? Pregnancy is a state of health. Midwives recognize what an extraordinary time this is in your life and we are available to support you through your childbearing year.

COVERED BY YOUR BC HEALTH CARE BC’s Medical Services Plan pays for midwifery care, including in-home check-ups in labour and after you’ve had your baby. You can self-refer to a midwife.

QUALITY CARE Studies show that midwifery clients have lower rates of episiotomies, infection, Caesarean sections, forceps and vacuum deliveries and newborns that require resuscitation.


Registered Midwives in Victoria: Uta Herold (Sooke) 778-425-0780 Deborah Little 250-381-1977 Luba Lyons Richardson 250-381-1977 Lorna J. McRae 250-380-6329 Jody Medernach 250-590-7605 Kim Millar Lewis 250-384-5940 Heather Nelson 250-380-6329 Jill Pearman 250-590-7605 Colleen Rode 250-386-4116 Angela Schaerer 250-384-9062 Valerie Simmons 250-589-3417 Beth Smit 250-384-5940 Ilana Stanger-Ross 250-590-7605 Julia Stolk 250-590-7605 Misty Wasyluk 250-380-6329 Deanna Wildeman 250-592-5407 Heather Wood 250-380-6329 Amy Brownhill 250-386-4116 Michele Buchmann 250-590-7770 We would be pleased to schedule an appointment to answer your questions about midwifery care.


Island Parent Magazine

Your Relationship After Having a Baby fter months of waiting, your little bundle has finally arrived and now things are starting to settle down. You’ve gotten into a (sort-of) routine, you are starting to feel almost normal, and your baby has excelled at the check-up at your local health unit. So now it’s time for another important health check in this love month of February: how’s your relationship doing? When partners become parents, it is a joyous time but the transition can test even the strongest of relationships, particularly during your baby’s first 12 months of life. Lifestyle changes associated with having a baby such as loss of freedom and loss of time together as a couple are challenging for all new parents, which can be overwhelming at times. For some women, motherhood and sexuality are experienced as contradictory roles. Intimacy with a partner often takes a back seat to the love and energy being poured into a newborn. Many women deal with body image issues which have an impact on their relationship and self-esteem. Physical recovery from childbirth, tiredness, pain, and loss of libido all take their toll. Most couples underestimate how big the change is going to be and are taken by surprise. The focus of everybody’s attention tends to go to the baby but it is important to remember you must take time to focus on yourself and your relationship. If you are feeling out of touch, it is time to reconnect. Thankfully, smoothing out the bumps and rediscovering your love for one another can be remarkably simple. When you get a chance, you might want to check in with how your partner is doing. You may have been preoccupied with nurturing your baby, but is your partner missing you? Dads in particular can feel excluded and neglected through pregnancy, birth and early parenting. To make that first step back to your partner, find a quiet time to initiate an open conversation. Acknowledge how things have been for you and ask how your partner is doing. Make it a daily priority to spend time together catching up and sharing how you are each experiencing the changes and adjustments. The ways we bond with our baby are the


same ways we stay bonded with our partner. Eye contact, for instance. When was the last time you held your partner’s gaze, or even looked into their eyes while talking? Another way we bond with our baby is by becoming familiar with their cues or signs for attention. What was the last signal your partner sent out? Try paying some attention to body language. Physical touch bonds us to baby, just as it does with our partner. How long has it been since you really held each other? It’s the little things that count. It’s easy to forget in the blur of sleep deprivation, but remembering to say “please” and “thank you” shows respect and appreciation. Apologizing if you say something hurtful mends harm. Greeting each other warmly in the morning and at night lovingly anchors each day. One couple I know who has just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary says one of their secrets of connection is sharing a kiss regularly that lasts for at least 10 seconds. Now that doesn’t sound like much time, but that tiny 10 seconds actually helps to slow you down, think about what you are doing and connects you to your partner. Try it next time! Find simple ways to show that you care, like texting fond thoughts, using terms of endearment, and cuddling—after all, that relationship is what created your beautiful baby in the first place. Things to keep in mind: • As things settle down over that fourth trimester time period, especially in the areas of sleep, schedules and workload distribution, the negotiation and coming together as a team can create a stronger relationships. • Take time out regularly to reconnect as a couple. Mark the calendar for a date at the six-week postpartum mark. It may only be an hour for coffee or it could be longer, depending upon your comfort level. Then commit to regular dates with your mate. Do not use this time to discuss baby! You were friends and lovers before you became parents. To have a satisfying and fulfilling relationship, be these things still. • There is a normal lull in sexual activity after a baby is born. Try to keep the

relationship going in terms of affection. Be affectionate and loving and keep the goodwill going even if sex is on the back burner. Your health care provider will give you the green light for sexual intimacy around the six week postpartum mark. The hormones associated with breastfeeding can affect a woman’s natural lubricant and make things uncomfortable. Be sure that your body is

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ready and take things slow. • Take time for yourself away from the baby. Laughing or walking can be great antidotes for stress. • Share the responsibility for the emotional and physical aspects of parenting in a way that makes sense for your family. You took this journey together, so remember to include each other. • Know that what you’re going through is normal. New differences and stresses are a natural part of parenthood. Be gentle with each other and cut yourselves some slack. • Make some agreements about sleep and ensure both partners have an opportunity for some shut-eye. Exhaustion and associated stress are a sure-fire way to subdue libido. • Seek help if either of you are feeling disconnected. Even a session or two with a relationship counselor can really help get you on track with your partner. I know many couples who go for regular “tune-ups” as prevention for more serious trouble later. • Accept help from family and friends. Take offers of babysitting so you can do some (or all) of the above! One of the very best gifts you can give your baby is a warm and loving family to grow up in. Don’t forget—you are role modeling healthy relationships to your children. Make your relationship a priority and have fun this month implementing these suggestions. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Larch St.


(Under Sleep Country in the REAR)

Diana Hurschler RN BScN is a perinatal educator and certified breastfeeding counselor and has worked with pre- and post-natal families since 1998. She has three children. Please send comments, questions and story ideas to

February 2012


Preschool & Child Care Directory CENTRAL SAANICH


Chrysalis Child Care .........................250-652-0815 A nurturing and stimulating environment for a small group of 3–5 year olds. Qualified ECE promotes learning through play.

CIARA Early Childhood Centre ........250-386-7369 Education and fun hand in hand. Exceptional care for little ones ages 12 month-5yrs in an inclusive centre with Christian values.

COLWOOD/LANGFORD Almosthome Childcare/Preschool ..250-391-7698 Quality childcare with a preschool curriculum/ kindergarten readiness program. Early Childhood Educators, spacious, natural setting. Goldstream Co-op Preschool..........250-474-3011 Parent participation preschool for 3 and 4 year olds. Qualified, experienced ECE. Mornings, afternoons and Tuesday drop-in program available. HI5 Early Learning Centre................250-474-7324 We have spaces available for September, 2010. Jenn’s Little Bears ECE Centre .......250-478-8999 Jenn’s Little Bears provides a safe nurturing environment for children from infancy to kindergarten. We enrich children’s learning and development through a wide variety of activities. Miles of Smiles Licensed Child Care .........................250-298-7374 Dedicated to offering quality care where caring, learning, diversity, guidance and fun are the priority. www. Music Makers Child Care Centre ....250-294-3916 Offering an innovative environment that develops musical abilities and encourages a love of music. Our centre offers group care for children 2–6 as well as infant/toddler care for ages 12 to 36 months. Pussywillow Preschool ....................250-474-0656 Kindergarten Readiness Program. Ages 3 to 5. ECE staff. Enrichment activities. Est. 1995.

CORDOVA BAY Carrot Seed Preschool .....................250-658-2331 Where children can wonder, discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Spacious natural playground. Cordova Bay Preschool ...................250-658-3441 A bright and cheerful parent-participation preschool with a philosophy of “learning through play.” www. Lakeview Christian Preschool .........250-658-5082 Nurturing environment for 30 month to 5 year olds in a rural setting. Christian values emphasized. Licensed Cordova Bay facility with ECE teacher.

La Pre-Maternelle Appletree Preschool .........................250-479-0292 French immersion preschool program. Small groups 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre/ ECE. 500 Admirals Rd. Simply Fun Childcare Centre ...........250-881-3958 A warm, loving, fun and nurturing place for children to grow and learn. We have spaces available for registration ages 2.5 to 12 in our Licensed Group Facility. We offer extraordinary childcare, before and after school programs and a preschool. Our teachers are extremely qualified with ECE training and have lots of experience. Call Brenda to set up a tour. Let your child’s light shine bright with us!

HIGHLANDS Lexie’s Little Bears’ Child Care Inc. ..................................250-590-3603 Located only minutes past Costco and Bear Mountain we are a Full day care center with a Learning Naturally Interpretation. 2 centers, 2 acres to play! www.

METCHOSIN A Growing Place ...............................250-391-1133 Half day program (AM or PM) for 2.5-5 yrs. ECE educator, small class size. Our own petting farm. Summer program for July. Metchosin Co-op Preschool............250-478-9241 Great balance of play, structured time, experimentation, art, outside play and more. Exceptional enriching program for 3-5 year olds. Fully inclusive. Flexible participation model. Reg. begins April 1, 8am.

NORTH SAANICH In the Garden Childcare Centre ......250-654-0306 New preschool as well as all day childcare and before and after school care. Amazing staff. A GREAT PLACE TO GROW.

OAK BAY Emmanuel Preschool .......................250-598-0573 Children learn through play in our non-denominational Christian preschool near UVic. Bright attractive setting. Gonzales Co-op Preschool ..............250-727-1003 Children explore their imaginations through our varied learning through play environments and large natural playground. Our Reggio-Emilia inspired program focuses on art, nature and music. Join us!

Kindred Spirits Children’s House .......250-590-6966 Now accepting registration for a small group of 2.5–5 year olds in a purpose built Montessori classroom. The prepared environment stimulates and engages the children at their own pace with hands on, size, age and developmentally appropriate materials. Oak Bay Co-op Preschool .................250-592-1922 Children Learn Through Play in this parent participation school. Our bright facility is allergy-free with a large outdoor playground. Recreation Oak Bay .........................250-370-7200 Fully licensed, qualified ECE Daycare and Preschool with play based learning. After school care also available.

SAANICH Arbutus Grove Children’s Centre ....250-477-3731 (Formerly known as Goosey Gander Kindergarten) Playbased, creative, active-learning programs: half/full day Preschool. Cloverdale Child Care ......................... 250-995-1766 Come learn and grow with us in our preschool, 3-5 year old group daycare and before and afterschool care programs. Island Montessori House .................250-592-4411 Inclusive, integrated and nurturing preschool/ full-day kindergarten. Extended day available. www. The Kid’s House ................................250-727-9671 Licensed family childcare in safe, nurturing environment with caring, experienced ECE. Full or part-time. Lakehill Preschool ............................250-477-4141 Nurturing, warm environment for children to learn through play, with qualified, experienced ECEs. Different levels of participation available. Lambrick Park Preschool & Childcare ...........................................250-477-8131 Gordon Head’s only parent-participation preschool and childcare centre celebrating 40 years. Offering morning, afternoon and all-day preschool options, flexible participation model, and allergy protocol. www. Monkey Tree Daycare ......................250-383-0347 10 mos to 6 yrs. Quality learning environment. Lots of outings. Excellent references. Over 20 years as a licensed family daycare. Montessori Educare .........................250-881-8666 Beautiful learning environments in Broadmead and Saanichton. 30 months – 5 years. Summer program available.

Looking for child care? Taking care of children? Call your local Child Care Resource & Referral for free referrals and resources. Your community’s best source of child care information and resources. 58

Island Parent Magazine

Victoria & Gulf Islands: 250-382-7000 or 1-800-750-1868 Sooke/Westshore: 250-642-5152 • Cowichan Valley: 250-746-4135 local 231 PacificCare (Ladysmith north): 250-756-2022 or 1-888-480-2273 Funded by the Province of BC

Preschool & Child Care Directory Neighbourhood Junior Kindergarten .250-479-4410 Registering for 2 fall programs: “Stepping Stones” for 2-3yr. olds moves through a variety of free play and group activities focused on learning positive interactions, 12:45-2:45pm; Junior Kindergarten, 4 mornings/ wk., prepares 4 yr. olds for school with a balance of teacher-directed and child-choice activities. Two fully equipped bright classrooms in Lake Hill School. Oakcrest Preschool ..........................250-472-0668 • Two fully qualified teachers, AM classes • No duty days, wide variety of parent jobs • Playtime Preschool ..........................250-383-3101 AM or PM preschool classes up to 20 hrs/ wk. Tillicum. Spacious facility, qualified ECEs. Let’s Talk About Touching Program. www. Puddles & Paints Playschool ...........250-658-6573 “Leading the Way through Play!” ECEs. Near Lochside Elem. Licensed, curriculum/themes. Ready Set Grow Preschool ..............250-472-1530 A warm, caring, quality Learning Through Play environment. Gordon Head area with a highly qualified ECE. Rogers Preschool .............................250-744-2643 Our preschool program supports your child's intellectual and emotional development through a learning through play philosophy. St. Joseph’s Catholic Preschool .............................250-479-1232 ext 120 • A Christian child centre for 3–5 year olds. • A warm nurturing and challenging program • Offered by St. Joseph’s Catholic School. St. Margaret’s Preschool & Junior Kindergarten .........................250-479-7171 Our programme for 3 and 4 year old girls offers a nurturing and educationally stimulating curriculum provided by experienced ECE staff and specialist teachers. Our state of the art facility is located in beautiful environmental surroundings.

VICTORIA ArtsCalibre Academy .......................250-382-3533 Comprehensive programs for Preschool through Grade 5, delivering academic excellence through music, dance, drama and visual arts. Outstanding educators, locations and facilities. Butterfly Corner ................................... 250-381-4845 Licensed family day care in James Bay. Since 1998. ECE. Ages 1–5. Full time. Fun & Educational. Castleview Child Care ......................250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Experience. Licensed nonprofit, qual. ECE staff. Since 1958. Preschool and full-time care. Centennial Daycare ..........................250-386-6832 Providing quality childcare in the Burnside/ Gorge area for 30+ years. Snacks, lunches, Sportball and Music programs included. www. Christ Church Cathedral Childcare.250-383-5132 ECE and specialist teachers provide an outstanding all day licensed junior kindergarten program in our spacious and welcoming facility, where children begin to learn for the adventure of life.

Downtown Y Child Care Centre ......250-413-8869 Enriched program, for children ages 3-5 years, supporting healthy child development and future school success. Footprints Academy ............................ 250-590-5540 Licensed group daycare for 2.5 to 6 year olds. Open 6:30am–5:30pm. Weekly music and movement classes. Lansdowne Preschool .....................250-595-5223 A warm, caring and supportive atmosphere for children to play and discover. Parent participation. See our website for more information: Nightingale Preschool and Junior Kindergarten ..................250-595-7544 – Taking children’s learning forward – One of Victoria’s leading preschools and Junior Kindergartens. Balanced approach to play and education. Programme supports literacy, numeracy. Visit www. Fernwood. Parkdale Early Childhood Centre ....250-382-0512 We offer quality care and positive experiences for children in our diverse daycare and preschool programs. Our rich curriculum includes music classes from the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Rainbow Express Daycare ...............250-382-2314 Enriched preschool style program in a daycare setting. Visit our website at

Whale Spirit Early Enrichment Ctr ..250-590-3653 Providing high quality childcare with a preschool component. Learning through play in a supportive, nurturing and respectful environment. VIHA licensed; beautiful facility; incredible outdoor play area!

DUNCAN Angel Care Christian Preschool ........250-746-5919 A quality, enriched program for preschool children. Located in Queen of Angels Catholic School. Maple Tree Play House Licensed Family Childcare ..............250-746-5060 A daycare program that provides enriched outdoor play time and activities that build on a child’s intrinsic love of nature. Healthy meals and snacks are provided. Parkside Academy Early Learning Centre ........................250-746-1711 Offering quality, literacy focused childcare for children aged 6 mos – 12 yrs; infant/toddler; 3–5, preschool, and after school programs at Alexander, Bench, Khowhemun and Tansor Elementary schools. Queen Margaret’s Preschool/ Junior Kindergarten .........................250-746-4185 Offering a co-ed enriched curriculum in a friendly atmosphere. Morning preschool/afternoon daycare.

Ross Bay Preschool .........................250-383-7445 Positive/supportive program motivating children to learn and discover. Curriculum builds on interests of the children.

Sunrise Waldorf School, Kindercottage Preschool Nursery .....250-743-7253 A morning program for 3 and 4 yr olds in a warm natural atmosphere where wonder is nurtured and outdoor play is abundant. Details at Parent & Child programs also available!

St. Andrew’s Catholic Preschool .....250-382-3815 A place where children learn to love and love to learn. A warm and nurturing environment. A stimulating curriculum.


The Sir James Douglas Preschool ..250-389-0500 Fun and creative licensed ECE program offering 3-5 year olds an opportunity to grow and develop life long skills in our supportive and structured environment. Arts and crafts, numbers and letters, snacks and hygiene, play time inside and out, dance, music and much more. Come grow with us in our bright and modern centre in Fairfield. Victoria Montessori ..........................250-380-0534 Unique, innovative learning environment combining the best of Montessori and Learning Through Play. Open yr. round. 30mths–grade 1.

VIEW ROYAL A Secret Garden Preschool .............250-380-8293 Program built on Christian values. Monthly themes, weekly topics and daily activities. asecretgardenpre Little Friends Childcare ....................250-479-8234 “Learn through play” group childcare centre. Infants/ Toddlers/30mth–5yrs daycare and morning preschool near Knockan Hill park. Little Wonders Preschool (VROSCS) ..........................................250-744-2718 A creative and suuportive program that will prepare your child for a lifetime of learning! OSC also available.

Cherry Tree Child Care Centre ........250-246-9195 Preschool program nurturing creative play and engaging learning activity. 30 months to age five. Qualified and experienced Early Childhood Educator. St. Joseph’s Preschool ....................250-246-3191 A Christian learning environment for 3–5 year olds. Active participation in the life of the school. Parental involvement.

QUALICUM BEACH Children’s Discovery Centre ............250-752-4343 Our program recognizes the uniqueness of each child and provides a nurturing, safe and creative learning environment. Preschool, Groupcare, Out of School care. ECE qualified staff. childrensdiscoverycentre Little Star Children’s Centre ............250-752-4554 Earth friendly academic early education inspired by nature. Preschool curriculum. Licensed group care. ECE instructors.

NANAIMO Nanaimo Parent Participation Preschool ..........................................250-753-1939 Experienced, caring and energetic ECE using learning through play in an enriched environment.

View Royal Preschool.......................250-479-8067 An exciting inclusive program in an exceptional care environment. Licensed 3–5 year olds. Outside play and themes enrich this program. viewroyalps@uniserve. com.

February 2012


Ad Directory Arbutus Grove...............44 Arbutus Music ..............14 Art Gallery of Greater Victoria .....................63 Capernwray Harbour .....48 Carrot Seed Preschool ...62 Cathedral School.....36, 52 Chatterblock ...................3 Children’s Education Fund ........................64 Cinecenta .....................53 Cloverdale Preschool .....43 Conseil Scolaire ..............5 Cowichan Valley Co-op ..51 Dansko.........................11 Discovery School ..........55 Dreamland Kids ............52 Dwight International School ......................51 Dyslexia Victoria ........8, 12 Eaton-Arrowsmith School ......................49 Elizabeth Buckley School ......................63 Emmanual Preschool ....26 Evergreen School ..........51 Fiddlesticks ..................41 Forward Equestrian .........9 Girl Guides ...................49 Glenlyon-Norfolk School ......................25 Habitat for Humanity .....40 Hampton Little League ....1 Hip Baby ......................36 IMAX Theatre ................37 Island Catholic Schools..19 Island Farms .................32 Island Montessori School ......................41 Island Oak School .........51 JamTots .......................31 Juan de Fuca Recreation ................42 KIV ...............................10 Kool & Child..................14 KUMON ...................... IBC Dr. Ellen Laine...............37 Lakehill Preschool .........17 Lakeview Christian School ......................13 Werner Liedke ..............27 LIFE Seminars.................7 Maria Montessori School ......................35 Maritime Museum .........54 Matraea Mercantile .......51 McBOP Law..................43 Morning Glory School ....15 Mothering Touch ...........57 Karen Murdoch ...............6 North Island Distance Education ...........14, 36 Oak & Orca School .........37, 38, IBC


Oak Bay Preschool ..........4 Oxford Learning ............20 Pacific Christian School ......................20 Pemberton Holmes .......38 Queen Margaret’s School ......................45 Rainbow Express...........23 READ Society ...............IFC Red Balloon Toy Shop .. IBC Restart Computers ........13 Richard Scarry Concert ....................31 Julie-Anne Richards ......14 Royal BC Museum ..........2 Saanich Recreation ......... IFC, 44 Scallywags ..................IFC School District #61 .......25 School District #63 .......17 School for Ideal Education .................34 Self Design ...................26 Serious Coffee ................7 South Island Distance Education .................45 South Park School.........27 St. Andrew’s Elementary .............. BC St. Joseph’s School .......53 St. Margaret’s School ....22 St. Michaels University School ................18, 34 Success by 6 ..................4 Sundance Elementary School ......................49 Sunrise Waldorf ............30 Sylvan Learning ..............1 The Shipley Group.........55 TheatreOne ..................15 Thrifty Foods.................33 Tillicum Centre............ IBC TJs the Kiddies Store ....57 Tom Lee Music .............34 Tumblebums .................12 UVic Department of Psychology..............9 Van Island Cooperative Preschool Assoc ........21 Victoria Conservatory of Music ...................35 Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre ....55 Victoria International Academy ..................23 Victoria Junior Field Hockey .....................53 Victoria Kids Consignment ............11 Victoria Midwives ..........56 Victoria Symphony ........16 VIHA.............................46 Vitamin Shop ................62 Welcome Wagon ...........39

Island Parent Magazine

To Eat or Not to Eat (Solids) he week before Angus’s six-month birthday, I left him and a bottle with his Granny for the afternoon. When I returned, Angus made it clear that he was ready for me to lift my shirt and feed him the proper way. The bottle—nearly full—sat on the coffee table. Not this time, I decided. I would not put precious breast milk to waste. I poured the milk in a cup, plunked Angus into his Bumbo, and fed him his leftovers with a spoon. He finished every last drop. The theory I developed as a result of this experience: feeding Angus solids would be easy. That next Saturday it was time to celebrate Angus’s half-birthday. Dressed in his tuxedo bib, the birthday boy sat in his chair on the centre of the table. Mike set the camcorder on a tripod and I reached for the delicacy we had in store for Angus: brown basmati rice milled in the blender, cooked, then thinned with breast milk. I touched the spoon to his lips and when he opened his mouth I popped it in. He slid the food around on his tongue, grimacing. He spat it out. Then he shuddered, his whole body convulsing in a show of disgust. Successive spoonfuls only led to more spitting, and more pronounced displays of displeasure. And then he realized he should close his mouth. Lips clenched tight, he slipped his hand down and pushed the bowl over onto my lap. Baby: one. Parents: zip. It was a slight hiccup, amusing more than anything else. And it fit well with my idea of what feeding Angus solids would be like: I’d make some purees, in the beginning he’d be fussy, there’d be a few messes, and then yadda yadda yadda he’d be eating portable meals on the go. It was that long stretch of yadda yadda yadda that I gave little thought to. It’s where we are now. Angus has been eating solids for just over a month. Though the word “solid” is a misnomer. The rice cereal and fruit purees have so much breast milk added that you could easily drink them through a juice-box straw. Also, “eating” is misleading. Yes, a couple of spoonfuls will enter his mouth,


but mostly he blows at the food, or grabs the spoon with his fist and jabs it at his cheek or hair. Or he takes a mouthful and then just lets it sit on his tongue, his mouth wide open, until it runs down his chin and floods

Maternity & Beyond LAURA TRUNKEY his neckfolds in a cascade of spit. This solid food eating, which I imagined would make life so much easier, is consuming quite a few of our waking hours. Between the preparing, eating, cleaning (oh so much cleaning!) and topping up, there’s not much time left for adventures. I’m perplexed. The same child who sucks on board books, the hardwood floor and his own toes treats a piece of banana in a food-net as a poisonous substance. He’ll chew on his bib the second I put it on, but once there’s food on it he turns and wraps his lips around the arm of the highchair instead. I’m not worried, really. But in the back of my mind, I do keep thinking about the horror story my mum told me of a friend’s toddler who still refuses anything but breast milk. This won’t be Angus. But what if it is? I imagine my son’s first day of kindergarten, a thermos of mama’s milk in his bag in lieu of a lunch kit. But then I think of the adults I know. None of them are still swilling breast milk, or being spoon-fed purees by their mothers. My baby will become a boy, and then a teenage boy. And likely then I’ll be wishing he would eat a little less. Laura Trunkey’s children’s novel, The Incredibly Ordinary Danny Chandelier, was a starred selection on the Canada Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids & Teens list. She lives in Victoria with her husband and their son, Angus.

Business & Professional Directory Social/Emotional Issues? Behavioural Problems? Developmental Delays?

Guitar Lessons

Through The Window Pane

Now accepting new students

offers one-on-one use of expressive play techniques for children 3–8 years in a safe, developmentally appropriate, holistic intervention program. Sliding scale dependent on need. Quadra & Hillside area.

R. Waddington, BSW, RSW 25 years experience 250-216-3794 or messages at 250-629-6292

Acoustic, Classical, Electric • Lessons for all ages, from children to seniors • Beginners welcome • Private and small group instruction offered • Afternoon and evening lesson times available Call Scott for more info:


ART CLASSES • DRAWING • PAINTING • SCULPTURE • CARTOONING • PORTFOLIO PREPARATION Children & Adults • Day & Evening Classes Fabulous Results • Original Art for Sale

Artistic Statement Gallery & School of Fine Art Call Joan in the Oak Bay Monterey Mews, #107–2250 Oak Bay Ave, 250-383-0566 Now offering Art lessons on SKYPE for those unable to make it to the studio

• Dyslexia Assessments with Teaching Solutions • Dyslexia Awareness Workshops for Parents and Care Givers • Telephone Support Service • Tutoring Children, Language Arts For more information please call, email or visit our website.

Phone: Office and Evening 250-715-3034 or Cell 250-815-0950 E-mail:




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February 2012


Shaded Creek: Colquitz Park & Trail t seemed like a miracle—two coho in full spawning regalia, hovering over a gravel bed in Colquitz Creek near Quick’s Bottom Park. Although there is another mile and a half still to go to reach the creek’s source in Elk Lake, those two looked like they had reached their journey’s end. Gently swishing their tails against the strong current, they stayed poised over the gravel bed. Only a few days before, tragedy had struck Colquitz Creek when over 1,000 litres of oil leaked into the tributary Swan Creek from a faulty heating tank, killing dozens of fish within hours. The oil had completely covered the salmon counting fence and it was feared that the entire run might be wiped out. But there they were,


two wise survivors and champion swimmers who must have passed the danger point before the leak occurred, and they were

about to give birth to the next generation, however decimated.

Even in its wounded state, the Colquitz River Park and Trail—a necklace of parks strung along the Colquitz from its mouth in Portage Inlet—is a beautiful place to explore. According to one theory, “Colquitz” comes from a Celtic root for “shaded” or “dark,” but in winter and early spring, the leafless canopy of big-leaf maple, alder and willow gives this “shaded creek” a light, airy feeling. Walking upstream from the estuary in Cuthbert Holmes Park (by Tillicum Mall), the trail ducks under the No. 1 Highway overpass. For those who know the Colquitz only in its serene summer guise, the sheer volume and speed of the water is startling. You can no longer cross the stream on the concrete steps set in the river bed: they are barely visible under the rushing water. Past Hyacinth Park, where Swan Creek joins the Colquitz, the trail emerges from the close canopy into a wide expanse of fields and wetlands. Wild rose, hawthorn, and tall grasses shelter a diverse assemblage of songbirds and their predators such as Cooper’s Hawk and Peregrine Falcon. In

Play Paves the Way at Carrot Seed Preschool! Discover a place where children can

Wonder • Discover Imagine • Construct and Learn…through Play!


Island Parent Magazine

813 Claremont Ave, Victoria 250 658 2331

the ponds and wetlands of Panama Park, winter and spring live cheek-by-jowl. The buoyant â&#x20AC;&#x153;Conk-a-ree!â&#x20AC;?, the territorial song of the male Red-winged Blackbird, seems to echo from every cattail. We recently counted more than 20 pairs, each claiming their own piece of marsh for their future family. Sweetvoiced Song Sparrows are also getting ready

Elizabeth Buckley School

Nature Notes ANA SIMEON

Grand Fir

to nest. Mallards have already paired off, bar the odd interspecies liaison, such as a Mallard-Pintail couple which we observed snoozing on the riverbank. In February they will begin courting in earnest, the drakes (males) pirouetting under the eyes of the demure females, who will take their time selecting their beau for the season. Yet, the over-wintering waterfowl are still sitting tightâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the Wigeons and Pintails sharing the submerged meadows with a huge flock of Canada Geeseâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and the pond is busy with diving Scaups, Buffleheads and Ring-necked Ducks. For these migratory ducks, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still winter. They may pair off, but their breeding grounds, hundreds or thousands of miles away in the North or in Interior B.C., are still enclosed in snow and ice. The beauty uplifts, but does not eliminate the worry over what will happen to the fish in the Colquitz. If the various levels of government succeed in getting the clean-up done by April, then at least some of the offspring of the pair we saw will have a chance to swim out to sea and, in due season, come back and continue the lineage. The best chance we can give them is for many of usâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;say, one person for each of the pairâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 3,000 to 5,000 eggsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to walk the Colquitz regularly, observe what happens and tell others about it. Above all, we need to remember what an oil spill looks and smells likeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;whether in the Colquitz, in the Goldstream last year or anywhereâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;lest, through ignorance and complacency we allow tanker traffic to bring the same fate to the salmon of the North Coast, and the food webs and communities that depend on them. Ana Simeon is a writer and activist in Victoria. She divides her time between working for Sierra Club BC, hiking and

Nurturing the potential in every child Elizabeth Buckley School is an independent K-6 school, with low student to teacher ratios ensuring that each childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique needs are addressed within a secure, nurturing environment. Now accepting applications for September 2012. To find out more, or to book a tour, visit:






February 2012


Cut It Out!

Tips from Parent Educator Allison Rees of LIFE Seminars

The Ex Factor o it turns out that you married somebody for the short term not the long term and in the meantime, you had some kids. Somehow you have to be able to co-parent and put the resentment and history behind you. This is no easy task and surely calls on every piece of self-discipline you have. What’s your other choice? You can’t stay stuck in your story forever and if you are spending lots of time thinking stressful thoughts full of blame or retaliation, you really need to Cut It Out! These stressful thoughts cost you your health, your peace of mind and most likely affect your children. They can feel it. If you focus on your children’s needs, putting your issues aside will feel easier. While every break up is different, there are some basic rules you need to agree on, and if you are the only one willing to play the game, that will still make a big difference. Basically your relationship with your ex is brand new. You need more skills now than before. Here are a few rules:


• Never vent to your kids, question them about their visits or talk about your ex when your kids are around. And if they are asleep, remember, the walls have ears. • Set a business tone to your discussions with your ex and focus on facts and important information. • Find a way to have consistent, brief discussions using a medium that works for both of you. • Create a reasonable schedule that both homes can uphold regarding bed, meals and homework and accept that some rules will be different. • Have a notebook that can travel with your children to record important events. • Give kids a visual recording of their schedule and when you can, drop them off at the other parent’s home rather than pick them up. This decreases the likelihood of difficult departures. • Remember, transition time can be hard for kids and it doesn’t necessarily indicate that there are problems at the other house. Be sensitive and give your kids time and space to adjust.

• Become a good listener so you can give support to your kids and stay connected to how they are doing. • Do not rush into introducing a new partner. Give your kids a chance to grieve, adjust and get used to a life they didn’t ask for. We tend to “awfulize” people when the relationship goes wrong, especially when we are still tied to this person financially or through our children. Even if the person is awful, is it worth letting them take up space in our heads and our lives? LIFE Seminars has two books available, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection. See

Kids Grow Fast. So Do Tuition Costs. Before your child grows another inch, start saving with Children’s Education Funds Inc. (CEFI). CEFI has the greatest selection of Registered Education Savings Plan offerings. It’s easy and very affordable. You can get started for under $10.00 per month! Keep saving - you’ll be surprised at how much you can accumulate. Add to your savings all the Government Grants, the “cash back” from your CEFI no fee MasterCard and the AIR MILES® reward miles. At CEFI, we are education funding specialists!


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Island Parent Magazine

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The Red Balloon Toyshop Quality Toys For The Enquiring Mind Downtown Duncan 250-748-5545

Oak and Orca Bioregional School Meet LEGO certiďŹ ed professional, Robin Sather, and watch him build a giant LEGO sculpture!

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MARCH 9â&#x20AC;&#x201C;11, 2012 Register online at to be entered into the Tillicum LEGO Mania competition. As a contestant, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have the opportunity to bring in your LEGO masterpiece showcasing the Sea and Sky. Visit us online for more details.


250 383 6609 / 1 888 383 6619

St. Andrew’s Elementary School Why Choose St. Andrew’s? ` Continued excellence in academic, athletic and fine arts programs now and in the upcoming years ` Preschool to grade 7 ` Full-day kindergarten ` Convenient downtown location ` Affordable education ` Out-of-school care


` A Catholic education in a multi-cultural community that welcomes all

OPEN HOUSE Thursday February 9th, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

St. Andrew’s Elementary School 1002 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC V8V 3P5 Canada

250-382-3815 | |

February 2012 Island Parent  
February 2012 Island Parent  

Education: Schools & Education Services