Island Parent Celebrating
The Resource Publication for Vancouver Island Parents
Torn: Motherhood vs. Career Skip the Dinner Battle Piggy Banks & Pocket Money: Financial Literacy for Children Embracing the Seasons
Winter Programs Guide 10 Tips to Help Shrink Your Grocery Bill
Skiing & Snowboarding Safety tips for Families
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Reserve your space for Winter/Spring classes and programs. Register in-person or online TODAY! Printed copies available at: • Cedar Hill Recreation Centre • Pearkes Recreation Centre • Gordon Head Recreation Centre • Saanich Commonwealth Place • Pepper’s Foods • Tru-Value Foods Cordova Bay • Any Saanich Thrifty Foods or Public Library
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Contents: January 2014 Feature Piggy Banks & Pocket Money....................................................................... 10
Torn: Motherhood vs. Career.......................................................................... 7 Embracing the Seasons.................................................................................... 8 Letters to Baby.............................................................................................. 14 Staying Hopeful............................................................................................ 16 10 Tips to Help Shrink Your Grocery Bill...................................................... 18 Winter Programs........................................................................................... 20 Skip the Dinner Battle................................................................................... 26 Structured vs. Unstructured Play................................................................... 34 Lessons Learned on the Ski Hill..................................................................... 36 Skiing & Snowboarding................................................................................ 37 Wearing Two Hats........................................................................................ 38
Wonder Sunday Join us for afternoons of fun and discovery for the whole family. An exciting new theme each month. The last Sunday of every month* 1 – 3 pm Words Jan. 26 * Excluding July, August & December
Family Day Spend the day at the museum and archives enjoying activities for the whole family. February 10 10 am – 5 pm
Editor’s Note................................................................................................... 3 Healthy Families; Happy Families................................................................. 40 Dadspeak...................................................................................................... 42 Book Nook................................................................................................... 44 Just Eat It!..................................................................................................... 46 Maternity & Beyond..................................................................................... 53 Nature Notes................................................................................................ 54 Cut It Out..................................................................................................... 56
Departments IPM Notes....................................................................................................... 4 Party Directory........................................................................................ 24, 25 Family Calendar............................................................................................ 28 Around the Island......................................................................................... 32 Family Services Directory.............................................................................. 48 Preschool & Child Care Directory........................................................... 50, 51 Business & Professional Directory................................................................. 52 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 email@example.com. No material herein may be reproduced without the permission of the Editor. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome and should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Island Parent Magazine is distributed free in selected areas. Subscriptions can be obtained by sending $28.00 (includes GST) with your name and address to the address below. Canada Post: Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement 40051398.
Island Parent Magazine
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royalbcmuseum.bc.ca 2 Island Parent Magazine
On the Cover: Photo by Ute Muller at www. fotoartphotography.net, 250-216-9824
President, Publisher: Paul Abra Vice-President: Anna Abra Director, Production Manager: Mada Moilliet Editor: Sue Fast Sales & Marketing: RaeLeigh Buchanan 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
Conscious Acts of Kindness
he dry gravel road stretched out before us, rising into a steady hill. “Not too much further,” I reassured my then four-year-old daughter, Ali, as her brothers, Kohl and Luc, then seven and five years old, bounded on ahead. Normally, Ali would’ve been keeping pace, scrambling along at their sides. But today, when we’d set out on our hike with four other families, searching for the famous big tree on Thetis Island, she’d put on a pair of flip flops instead of runners. Now she had a blister, red and puffy, between her toes and was struggling to keep up. Because I’d had knee surgery a few weeks earlier, I couldn’t carry her, or at least not very far. Up ahead, a friend, Linda, noticed what was happening and dropped back to meet us. “Hop on,” she said, squatting down to give Ali a piggyback. Ali climbed onto Linda’s back and rested her head against her. Slowly, as we walked, Ali started to perk up again and get excited about finding the tree. That day, each of the other parents—and some of the kids—took turns carrying and cajoling Ali along the way. We found the tree, but what Ali remembers most about that day—almost 17 years later—is Linda’s and the rest of the group’s help, their kindness. In a convocation speech, American writer George Saunders told the graduating class of 2013 at Syracuse University that what he regrets most in his life are failures of kindness. “Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded…sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.” The people we remember most fondly in life, he says, are the ones who are kindest to us. “It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.” So how can we be kinder? “How might we become more loving,” asks Saunders, “more open, less selfish, more present, less delusional, etc., etc?” Education is good, he says, as is immersing ourselves in works of art. Prayer is good. Meditation is good. A frank talk with a
dear friend. Establishing ourselves in some kind of spiritual tradition—recognizing that there have been countless really smart people before us who have asked these same questions and left behind answers for us. The search for kindness, states an editorial in the Daily Telegraph, should be a central part of human existence. “To ancient Greek philosophers, what you did mattered far more than what you knew,”
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reads the editorial. “Happiness is not the same as gratification, and cannot be secured in isolation from everyone else. It is in fact a by-product of forming connections with people, of making a sacrifice on behalf of another.” Becoming kinder, says Saunders, happens naturally with age. “Most people, as they age, become less selfish and more loving. I think this is true. The great Syracuse poet, Hayden Carruth, said, in a poem written near the end of his life, that he was ‘mostly Love, now.’” Saunders ends his speech on a prediction and a wish. “As you get older, your self will diminish and you will grow in love. YOU will gradually be replaced by LOVE. If you have kids, that will be a huge moment in your process of self-diminishment.” Be a good and proactive and even somewhat desperate patient on your own behalf, advises Saunders. “Seek out the most efficacious anti-selfishness medicines, energetically, for the rest of your life. “Do all the other things, the ambitious things—travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers… but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.” Happy New Year.
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IPM Notes Beyond the Talk Are you feeling uncomfortable or unsure about how best to approach sexuality and sexual health issues with your child/ren? You’re not alone! Register for Beyond the Talk—a free workshop for parents—and you will leave feeling more supported, comfortable, and knowledgeable about a topic that challenges many of us. The workshop is at École John Stubbs Memorial in Sooke, on January 22 at 7pm, and will be led by Jennifer Gibson from Island Sexual Health. Gibson facilitates annual workshops for more than 11,000 participants (K-adult) in Greater Victoria. Topics will include: • The stages of childhood sexual development and what children should know at each stage • Teaching tips and specific examples of ways to explain bodies and body changes • Strategies for answering the tough questions children ask • Resources for parents to review and information to take home RSVP or for more information email email@example.com.
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4 Island Parent Magazine
On January 27, Family Literacy Day will celebrate 16 years of learning together. The initiative, first celebrated by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999, has since been embraced by literacy and learning organizations such as schools and libraries in communities across Canada. This year, ABC Life Literacy Canada is encouraging families to take 15 minutes a day to learn together. The benefits of learning as a family outside the classroom are significant—not only are children exposed to a culture of lifelong learning, but the bond between parent and child can grow with each teachable moment. Even time spent doing the dishes, eating dinner or having a bath can focus on learning in a fun way. Here are some ways for families to get started: Write a joke book with your family. Read a bedtime story to the grown-up putting you to bed. Make up a new recipe together and post it online. Tell knock-knock jokes together while doing the dishes. Organize a book swap at your school. Make up riddles and tell them to your friends.
Create a family book club. Build a drum with your family. Surf the internet and learn about your favourite animal. Make up a song about your day to sing to your family at dinnertime. Write messages to your family on sticky notes and post them around the house. Create a story about what you’ll be doing for Family Literacy Day. Play a board game together. Build an acrostic poem using your hero’s name. Make an origami boat and see if it will float. For more ways to have 15 Minutes of Fun together, visit www.FamilyLiteracyDay.ca.
Share Some Warmth with Big Brothers Big Sisters It’s time to clean out your closet! For 35 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Victoria and area has been helping children and youth in communities from Sooke to Salt Spring. BBBS’s mentoring programs support youth in reaching their full potential. Your donations are needed. Please consider giving your time, your financial support and your re-usable clothing and linens. Each of these gifts moves BBBS closer to reaching their goal of providing a mentor for every child who needs one. BBBS volunteers mentor children and youth on a one-to-one basis, meeting weekly with their “little brother” or “little sister.” The goal is to create a connection that meets the specific needs of the child, offers support and potentially lasts a lifetime. Through mentoring, BBBS fosters confidence and self-esteem—youth who have been mentored are less likely to allow themselves to be victimized or bullied by their peers. Mentored youth simply do better. Last year, 630 children and youth asked BBBS for help. The organization matched over 82 per cent of them with a mentor. With your support, Big Brothers Big Sisters will continue to improve our community, one relationship at a time. Drop off your clothing donations at 230 Bay Street, or to the donation truck located at 855 Langford Parkway, or 3510 Blanshard Street on Saturdays. For more information, visit www.bbbsvictoria.com.
Children’s Music Journey With curriculum developed over a decade using tried and proven music education methodologies, the Children’s Music Journey, already in use by over 80,000 children worldwide, is a unique software-assisted www.kidsinvictoria.com
music education program for children ages 4-10. Children’s Music Journey is offered exclusively through the Victoria Conservatory of Music (VCM) for the first time on Vancouver Island. The new cutting-edge approach teaches children about the fundamentals of music, develops piano keyboard skills, and focuses on helping every child discover their ability to think creatively. The program is relevant to the interests of today’s child through the innovative use of music and computer technology. The Children’s Music Journey provides a logical and sequential approach to learning, integrating lessons on everything from historical background about composers and their music, to learning about pitch, notation, and rhythm, to developing music listening and improvisation skills, and playing in ensemble. Students create and record music right from the very first lesson, having the ability to explore many instrumental sounds included in the program, encouraging a broader interest in music. Lessons are brought to life through computer animated characters such as famous composers and performers. Practicing is fun and guaranteed through the home program subscription included, where the animated (and intui-
tive) practice assistant reinforces all musical and motoric skills developed. The VCM enhances the Children’s Music Journey software program with additional in-class group activities and games that include singing and movement, and reinforce the program concepts introduced and practiced. Learning about music couldn’t be more fun! For more information, visit vcm.bc.ca.
1000X5: 1000 Books by Age Five Children’s Book Recycling Project In your home, how many baby and preschooler books sit on shelves, tables and under the bed? More than 50? 100? How many times have you read the same story to your little one? More than 10? 25? 50? Congratulations—you are building a love of reading that will last a lifetime. Sadly, many babies and preschoolers in our communities do not have books in their homes and do not build this essential habit in the early years. A literacy-recycling project, 1000X5 Children’s Book Recycling Project, is changing that reality, one book at a time. Gently used picture books for babies and preschoolers are donated by parents at most elementary schools in Victoria, Saanich, and Sooke School districts. Retired teachers and administrators donate time to sort, label,
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and gift bag those books. The gift bags are delivered to Strong Start Centres and community agencies where families take home three quality books monthly for each child. Over 135,000 books have been distributed. January 27 is National Literacy Day. As well as enjoying a new story with your child, please make an extra effort to contribute to this project. Take a few picture books for babies and preschoolers to your nearest elementary school. Give the gift of literacy. For information on where to leave books or to make a financial contribution (tax receipts available), contact Eileen Eby in Victoria School District at eileeneby@ shaw.ca, Daphne Macnaughton in Saanich School District at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Denise Brown in Sooke School District at email@example.com.
2014 Canada Day Challenge Under the theme “Canada: Strong and Free,” the Canada Day Challenge invites young Canadians aged 8-18 years old to express their creativity and show their pride in being Canadian. The three categories are: • Draw It! Submit a poster design. • Snap It! Submit an original digital photograph.
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January 2014 5
& The place online where parents and grandparents get information about their community for their family: Read current and past issues of Island Parent Magazine. Visit our Marketplace to find businesses, programs and services that cater to the little person in your life. Looking for that special something you had when you were a kid? Check out our classified ads. Want to see what’s up today or this weekend? View our calendar of events. Whether it’s dance lessons, parenting workshops, fun days and festivals, what’s happening at your local rec centre or community events—Kids In Victoria has it all! Maybe you are looking for something to engage your mind or perhaps need a little bit of advice. Well we have that too on our community forum. Receive Island Parent & Kids In Victoria e-newsletter for updates and exclusive contests. You can also enter our monthly and photo contests.
Come be part of our community at
6 Island Parent Magazine
• Write It! Submit a literary creation in the form of a short story, poem, or essay. The deadline for entering the contest is February 15, 2014. Winners will be announced in spring 2014. The grand prize for this year’s three national winners—one from each category—is a trip to Ottawa to visit Canada’s national institutions and to celebrate Canada Day 2014 on Parliament Hill. Winners will also visit select Parks Canada sites. Runners-up in each category will also receive prizes. The official partners of the 2014 Canada Day Challenge are Parks Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Encounters with Canada, the Trans Canada Trail, Canada Post, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and the Royal Canadian Mint. The winning entries will be displayed at the Canadian Museum of Civilization from June to September 2014 and will be part of the design of the official posters for the 2014 Celebrate Canada festivities. For more information on the contest, entry rules and regulations, as well as additional learning resources, visit www. challenge.pch.gc.ca.
A New Way to View National Parks Parks Canada and Google have launched a collection of magnificent panoramic images of Canadian parks. Over 70 national historic sites from coast to coast can now be seen on the search site. To view the images, go to Google Maps or Google Earth and enter the name of a Parks Canada site. See the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site in Nova Scotia or the beautiful Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland. Explore the Fortifications of Québec or navigate to the Thousand Islands National Park in Ontario, the majestic Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies, or B.C.’s dazzling Glacier National Park. Next year, Google and Parks Canada will capture even more places and add the final touch to this gallery. Parks Canada works to ensure Canada’s historic and natural heritage is protected and, through a network of 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites and four national marine conservation areas, invites Canadians and people around the world to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery at our treasured natural and historic places. For more informationon, visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca. • www.kidsinvictoria.com
Torn: Motherhood vs. Career
early four years ago, I had my first of two children, a daughter. I was overjoyed with her birth and excited to begin this next phase of my life. My one year maternity leave turned into a parental leave, which turned into a leave, which has now turned into me officially being a stay-at-home mom. I still find it difficult when people ask me what I do. I want to say teacher, but I know that’s no longer true. My job is a SAHM. I try to make sure my two children are given the best early education possible through exploration, play, reading, and exposure to new things. I have often heard, and even said, that this is the most important job I will ever have. Then why do I always have a nagging feeling that I should be doing something else? This feeling first surfaced when my eldest daughter was nine months old. In conversation with my partner, I decided to fill the professional void by completing a master’s degree. Three years and one more child later, I have completed my master’s and once again, I have that nagging feeling. Shouldn’t I be working? Shouldn’t I be doing something more? Am I letting down all the feminists of the past who have fought for workplace equality, only to stay home? And is this the example I want to set for my two young daughters? It bothers me I feel this way, and I wonder why I am not content to stay home with my two beautiful children, who are constantly making me smile. I am often envious of my friends who are working. I admire those who are able to maintain a work-family balance. Yet, when it comes down to it, I am thankful for the opportunity to stay home. I’ve been fortunate to have a supportive family and friends network, many of whom have decided to stay home either full- or part-time. These are the people who have helped me navigate the somewhat lonely experience of a SAHM; or shared in my tears and then laughter when I regale comments made by strangers or friends about my “not working.” The most frustrating was when a previous colleague asked me what I did with all my free time at home. I stared back www.IslandParent.ca
at him, willing myself not to reach across the table and slap him. Instead, I spent the next 30 minutes enlightening him with the details of breastfeeding, changing diapers, napping, tantrums, baby food, cleaning, cooking, playgroups and errands. I am still reeling from that altercation, but for me his perspective has come to represent one that
Shouldn’t I be working? Shouldn’t I be doing something more? Am I letting down all the feminists of the past who have fought for workplace equality, only to stay home? many in society still hold. On the other hand, I have had many people affirm my choice to stay home and tell me how lucky I am. Recently, my sister-in-law passed along the book “Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career & the Conflict of Modern Motherhood,” by Samantha Parent Walravens. At first, I wasn’t overly impressed by the essays and felt they favoured those who chose to return to work. I took a break from the book, and when I returned to it, I chose specific stories to read based on what I was experiencing. This enabled me to gain a new appreciation for the multiple perspectives the editor was trying to present: high powered CEOs, doctors, military moms, writers, and educators, some of whom worked outside the home full-time and others who stayed at home. I shed tears, both happy and sad, as I read through the stories. In the end, I was able to relate to many of the points of view, and although that didn’t help me feel any less torn, it did remind me not to wish away these years. Whether I return to work, or continue to stay at home, I need to live in the moment and cherish the time I have with my small children. Camille McFarlane, no longer a teacher, is a proud stay-at home mom of two beautiful daughters. January 2014 7
Rachel Dunstan Muller
Embracing the Seasons
ur West Coast seasons may be mild, but we still have them and I am grateful for that. There’s something reassuring about the endless turning of nature’s wheel: from dark to light, from cold to hot, from dormant to active and back again. For millennia, our ancestors had to live in step with the seasons, responding to the gifts and challenges of each one—or perishing. But we live in a very different world than our ancestors. We have central heating in our homes and climate-control in our vehicles. We can buy fresh raspberries and tropical fruits in the dead of winter. If we have the money, time and inclination, we can book February beach vacations. In other words, we’re free to override the more “inconvenient” aspects of a seasonal climate. Don’t get me wrong—I have no desire to move my family into a cave. I lived briefly in a house without a functioning heat source, and it was not fun. But consistently overriding nature has a cost, and it’s not just the significant carbon footprint of importing berries in January or keeping our homes the
same temperature year-round. Something is lost when we turn our backs on the Earth’s rhythms. We become less grounded; we lose touch with the simple wonders of the natural world. I want to encourage an awareness of these wonders in my children, and so I’ve come up with some ideas to help my family appreciate the seasons in an earth-friendly way. Winter is the season of dormancy, darkness, and rest. We can push it away by cranking the heat and turning on all the lights—or we can embrace it. It would be impractical to hibernate for three or four months (much as the idea sometimes appeals to me!), but we can choose to cocoon for an evening or two a week. What could be cozier during this cold, wet season than staying home, gathering in a single room to work, read, do a puzzle or play a board game together? Soft lighting adds a restful touch. And as a bonus, sleep experts say that turning off bright overhead lights in the evening and using lamps instead can lead to quicker, more restful sleep. Using candles or a lantern occasionally would cre-
ate an even more special winter experience. Wearing good “personal insulation” is one of my favourite seasonal practices. I’m home alone as I write this column, and the woodstove is empty. I’ll make a fire before the kids come home, but in the meantime I don’t have to heat the whole house or even turn on the electric baseboard in my study to be perfectly cozy. I’ve got slippers on my feet, a wool blanket over my legs, and a bulky hoodie on top. If I want a little extra warmth, I can put my homemade rice bag in the microwave and then tuck it under my blanket. We let the house cool down again in the evening. Everyone sleeps soundly with warm pyjamas and lots of covers. Choosing a seasonal diet is another way to embrace the winter. We eat a lot of locally grown root vegetables at this time of year, either roasted or in hearty, warming stews. We’re still enjoying last summer’s berries in the form of jams, smoothies, and berry sauces. And we’re grateful for the locally grown meats, cheeses and other dairy products that are available year-round.
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MEETING THE NEEDS OF THE WHOLE CHILD
8 Island Parent Magazine
It’s not hard to celebrate spring, the season of blossoms, bees and returning light. Spring is an excellent time for cleaning and “unbundling.” We’ll clear out closets and cupboards, use up what we can and share the rest. As the days get longer and warmer, we’ll naturally be drawn outside. We’ll plant spring gardens, tune up our bicycles and do more of our errands by human power. We’ll go for spontaneous picnics and hikes. We’ll keep our eyes open for all the signs of returning life—the first crocuses, the palegreen tips of fir trees, the fresh smells of the Earth waking up. Summer is the season of light and heat. For families living in tune with nature, it’s a very active season! This is the time to enjoy all the benefits of the sun’s energy: to hang laundry outside, to tend vegetable gardens, to pick buckets of blackberries and gather fruit from backyards or local orchards. Farmers’ markets are in full swing. So are local festivals, with special events and entertainment all summer long. This is also a great season to explore our Island home, and enjoy its breathtaking beauty. We don’t have to leave the area to enjoy world class adventures! Autumn is the season of the harvest. It’s time to preserve the last of summer’s bounty in preparation for the coming winter. It’s also time to prepare for the coming cold: to draft-proof our homes and put away summer clothing in favour of wool socks and warm sweaters. But autumn is more than a season of preparation. There’s much to savour at this time of year: the crisp fall air, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the blazing colour of our western maples. And my favourite: the seasonal flavours of apple, pumpkin and cinnamon. There are many more ways we can help our children celebrate the seasons, whatever the time of year. The public library is a great source of seasonal picture books. Bringing a little nature inside is another way to embrace nature’s calendar: budding branches in spring, wild or garden flowers in summer, pine cones, colourful leaves and dried seed heads in autumn, evergreens and interesting twigs in winter. And thanks to our mild climate, we can dress our kids appropriately and go for nature walks all year long. What’s your family’s favourite season? As far as I’m concerned, they’re all worth enjoying! Rachel Dunstan Muller is the mother of five, and a children’s author. Her previous articles can be found at www.islandparent.ca.
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At Kinderbeez you will always find: • A huge selection of high quality, gently used children’s and maternity items including toys, books, shoes, clothing, furniture, strollers and more. • A great variety of popular new brands including BOB, Britax, Melissa and Doug, TUFFO, Sophie, Amber teething and more
Kinderbeez Children’s Consignment Store • New and gently used name brand children’s and maternity items • Toys, books, shoes, clothing, furniture, strollers and more • BOB, Britax, Sophie, Melissa and Doug and more 110-2763 Beverly Street, Duncan 250-748-2345 firstname.lastname@example.org
Baja Rosi’s Consignment Cabana The place to spice up your wardrobe! • Victoria’s Largest and Most Fun Consignment Experience! • Hundreds of new arrivals…DAILY! • Clothing for women 13-93, including PLUS sizes
• A bright, organized, inspirational and clean shopping environment. • Friendly, knowledgeable staff who will always greet you and your children with a smile. • A child friendly environment. Our store is designed to allow your kids freedom from the “no touch” rules, allowing you to shop peacefully in a family respectful surrounding. • A sense of community. We are a 100% mom run, Island owned business. Community is extremely important to us. We have dedicated ourselves to providing the absolute best in customer service, and community awareness. • New seasonal and fresh stock daily.
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January 2014 9
Piggy Banks &
Financial Literacy for Children Vending machines.
I curse them every time they greet me in the lobby of our local swimming pool. Not only do they tempt my children with unhealthy high-salt, high-fat, high-sugar treats, but they have the nerve to display a life-size picture of a loonie right next to the slot. My children now know exactly what it takes to get that chocolate bar to break free from its coil shackle and fall with a thump within reach of their little hands. Now, what used to simply be a cool gold coin to be jiggled in the belly of my childrenâ€™s piggy bank has a more appealing use. Up until a couple of years ago, my children were relatively unaware that items had value. Being at home with me and with little media influence meant that my children were less worldly.
10â€ƒ Island Parent Magazine
Pocket Money Janine Fernandes-Hayden When my eldest was three, all she wanted for her birthday was a bouquet of roses. When she was six, her best Christmas present was the bell from Santa’s sleigh that she had asked for on her wish list. I remember a lemonade stand that we ran one year to raise money for a local charity. A passerbuyer slipped a 20-dollar bill into the jar and my son said, “No thank you, we don’t take paper, just coins.” All of my children received piggy banks as one of their earliest gifts, but we simply used them to teach sorting and to have our children practice the fine motor skill of picking up coins and dropping them into the slot. These days, the tooth fairy is a regular visitor to our home, but ours is a bit unorthodox and quirky. For example,
when my little cowboy lost his first tooth he received a 125th Anniversary Calgary Stampede quarter. My fashionista daughter once received a coin from the year that she was born that was glued onto a pendant. I miss those days of simplicity. Now that my two eldest children are in school, things are beginning to change. Exposure to peers as well as increased media influences have opened up a new window in their world. I work hard to curb my children’s use of “I want,” but I still catch their hints and see their longing when they talk about their friends having Monster High Dolls and LEGO® Ninjago. My children are beginning to equate money with the acquisition of stuff. I can no longer buffer my two younger children from the power of money. The other day I overhead my two-year-old
bargain with her older sister, “If you do this for me, I’ll give you a dollar.” Part of me wishes that my children could stay naïve and unaware of what money can buy. My worst fear is that they will begin feeling entitled and money hungry, and they’ll fall into the jaws of our consumerist society. It is for this reason that I have tried to minimize the importance of money. However, the same fear can be used to fuel the opposing argument. I am acutely aware that my children live a life of privilege and without some important lessons on money, they will become what I don’t want them to be. What I want for them is to know the difference between need versus want, to feel contentment, to have an attitude of gratefulness, and to learn the lessons of sacrifice, hard work and self-discipline. Above all, I want them to be generous.
January 2014 11
Recently, I came across the book Money Savvy Kids, by Gordon Pape, one of Canada’s leading financial experts. It was a bit of a slog because I was resistant to the idea of teaching my children financial literacy skills at such a young age. I still cringe at Pape’s positive use of the term “consumers in training.” As I process my concerns, I realize that my fear has been displaced, that instead of focusing on the money itself, what I need to examine are the messages around money that my children receive. Teaching my children the value of money is exactly what I need to do in order to help them make wise financial decisions in their future. As Pape states, “It is not just a matter of teaching children about money, it is about helping them live with money, to make its intelligent use a natural part of their daily lives.” I need to remember that money is also about saving, sharing and budgeting, lessons that call upon invaluable skills and virtues.
Money, Babies & Consumers in Training? The perfect time to start teaching the basics, according to Pape, is between five and six years old. At this age, children begin
to understand the difference between needs and wants and that there isn’t an unlimited supply of money. As an example, Pape recommends that instead of simply counting and sorting money, parents teach children the value of the different coins. Most children love to play store and to put things into bags or baskets. To take this activity one step further, Pape suggests attaching price tags to items so that children can see how some things cost more than others. My son has become astute at spotting the blue “advertised special” labels at our local grocery store and it has been a good way for us to initiate the conversation about high and low prices and the value for money. I have learned to follow my children’s lead and to try to answer their questions in a concrete yet true-life manner. The other day my six-year-old son asked why the proposition for a new Fire Hall in our town failed. This led to a discussion about taxes, how our money is used and eventually, to the topic of mortgages. Instead of diluting the terms or postponing the conversation for fear that it may be too complicated, I faced it head on and, surprisingly, he understood more than I had expected.
Allowances: A Coin Toss By the time children are between seven and eight, they are usually ready to have money of their own to spend. For many families, this translates into the concept of an allowance. In our home, up until now, our lives have worked well without allowances. My children rarely get money and if they do, it is usually the loose change that I might give them so that they can have fun putting it into their piggy banks. As for “stuff,” my children don’t get toys or clothes outside of Christmas or birthdays. Beyond this, there is nothing else that they need that isn’t already covered. So far there hasn’t been a need for an allowance system. I have some concerns with allowances. For our family of six, for life to run smoothly, everyone has to cooperate and help out. I don’t want to negotiate with my children when it come to chores nor do I want to give them a way out if they choose to forfeit money in exchange for abdicating their duties. To me, chores are something that you just do because it is a responsible, generous and helpful thing that comes with living in a family. I do nonetheless understand the adage, “earn it, learn it.” I have fond memories of
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12 Island Parent Magazine
traveling adventures when I was younger that I had to save up for. They remain some of my best memories because of the power of a well-earned reward after much commitment and perseverance. An allowance system is appealing as it can, potentially, mitigate the whining, clothes-pulling, guilt-tripping and the incessant stream of “I wants.” It teaches children that, with a limited amount of money, they need to plan, save, weigh their options, sacrifice and compare. It also opens up other teaching opportunities like “The 3-Jar Method” in which one jar is for spending, one jar is for saving and one jar is for charity. Some other good ideas include dividing up chores according to family chores that are mandatory, and extraordinary chores that might mimic reallife jobs and which might merit payment. In terms of amount, one strategy that is often cited is beginning with $1 per week in kindergarten, and increasing accordingly with each year of school. It doesn’t amount to a huge sum of money, but it’s just enough to pull together all the important lessons. I am warming up to the idea of allowances; I just don’t know what the system would look like, at what age to start, and how to disperse it. I still need to ask myself, what is the ultimate lesson that I want to teach?
Common Sense with an “S” When it comes to the topic of money and financial literacy for our children, just like every other domain of parenting, there is no single right path. Values about money are personal and diverse. Money also holds huge emotional triggers that can impact our own self-concept and self-worth and in turn reflect how we use it. I am still considering the lessons that I want to impart as well as the specific strategies that might be effective for our family. What is my own relationship with money? What will my children’s relationships with money look like? What do I hope the ultimate lessons might be? Having given myself the chance to step back and discern, I feel that I can be less defensive and more proactive. When I need to say “no” to my children, I can say it assertively, without feeling guilttripped, because I am clear about what I would like to see for our family.
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Janine Fernandes-Hayden is an educator, trained Virtues Project facilitator, and Salt Spring Island mum of four children. She hosts a parent and kids radio show called “The Beanstalk” on Salt Spring Island airwaves at CFSI 107.9 FM. www.IslandParent.ca
January 2014 13
Letters to Baby I wrote my first public love letter on the day of my 19-week ultrasound, never expecting a reply… When I walked into the ultrasound clinic, 19 weeks pregnant with my second child, I was full of hope and expectation. This day was a pregnancy milestone, a step along a path we had already travelled and thought we knew well. When I walked out of the clinic, I no longer recognized the path I was on. I had spent the previous 19 weeks, between nausea and fatigue, stitching together hope upon hope. I had knit a snug cocoon in my heart where I stored all of my revised visions of mothering a newborn. I had carefully articulated baby-dreams of extended skin-to-skin newborn cuddles, easy latching and long gazing sessions. I hoped to birth at home again and I could not wait to breastfeed my sweet babe. On the day of our ultrasound, when we
were told that our baby had a cleft lip and palate (CL&P), I began to cry. When we were told they detected a heart abnormality, I began to panic. When I went home that day, I wrote my first letter to my baby. It was a love letter and a promise to walk through my fear and focus on love. Publishing that letter on my blog was an exercise in commitment to our journey together. The words “congenital defect,” “abnormality” and “deformity” upheaved my sense of security as a mother. I became full of fear. Would I be able to mother this child? Could I offer what this baby required? I was heart broken to learn that breastfeeding a baby with CL&P is rarely possible. I was desperate to translate my shattering love into that act of mothering. I waited two impossibly long weeks for a diagnostic ultrasound with a fetal heart specialist and periantologist. Anxious thoughts consumed my mind, encroaching on every
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nces Quality applia ore! m and so much 14 Island Parent Magazine
moment. There were whole days where I could not take a bite of food because fear was swallowing me whole. And so I continued to write to my baby, and I published each letter. Slowly, people began to respond and walk beside us, on this new path. When we learned our baby’s heart was perfectly healthy we were beyond elated. When our periantologist confirmed that our baby’s mouth had not formed completely, we were grief stricken, but hopeful. There we remained, where we still find ourselves today, suspended between grief and gratitude. My calendar, once marked only with midwife appointments, began to fill with specialist appointments. My unborn baby suddenly had a team of people that would be following our progress for several years. Every mama-vision I had constructed of intimate and intensely private newborn days were pixilating into an unrecognizable blur. The loss would sting me a hundred times a day. Yet, I was overcome with gratitude that my baby had a condition so nameable, so treatable. The sorrow and worry about disrupted bonding, multiple surgeries, speech therapy and social implications gnawed at my every nerve. An inner violin solo became
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the sound track to my days, alternating between the high notes of gratitude and the aching notes of grief. Through all of this, I continued to write to my babe. Soon I had an army facing this challenge, this gift, this crooked miracle with us. Messages of support came flooding in—from friends and family who began to understand our experience more intimately, as well as from strangers internationally. Each word of love, compassion, and support bolstered me. This was one of the many, many lessons my tiny baby taught me before we ever met—no offering of love and support is too small. I spent the remainder of my pregnancy pulling myself out of the Google rabbit hole. Each time I found myself floundering in CL&P “research,” I would instead turn to my blog, and my inbox full of support. With each press of the “publish” button I would commit fully to each sentiment to my baby and also reveal my evolution through this struggle to anyone interested in our story. It was through this process that I learned to invite people in and humbly accept what was offered. Another lesson from my tiny teacher. When our sweet, beautiful girl finally arrived into our waiting arms, joy gave way to struggle for a time. She required a feeding tube for a couple of weeks and it was several months before feeding became a pleasurable and satiating experience for her. As we navigated our daughter’s difficult infancy, we left our door open, just as she had been teaching and preparing me to do all along. And people kept walking through it. Some of them I had never even met before. They brought food, and milk, and loving hands to hold her while I pumped breast milk for her. They brought hugs and laughter and presents for her amazing big sister. We opened our door at a time when it felt like we might begin to drown, and everyone who walked through it kept our heads above the water. Everyone who walked through our door, with arms and hearts full of something to offer us had read my Dear Baby letters. Every time they crossed our threshold it was a love letter miraculously answered. Danielle Green was born and raised in Victoria B.C., where she has cultivated a deep love of grey skies and ocean views. She is currently earning a Phd in Love and Patience while raising her young family in her beloved city. She often writes on her personal blog at mehubsandchubs.blogspot.com www.IslandParent.ca
Children’s Classes The VCM offers lots of classes and ensembles for children from birth to 14 years, including:
NEW! Music - It’s in our Nature!
Birth - 6 yrs • vcm.bc.ca/music-its-in-our-nature Based on Kodaly, Orff rff and Dalcroze philosophies, classes will include songs, chants, movement, dance, listening activities, puppets, and the exploration of a variety of instruments. Session 2: 10 weeks, January 7 - March 11
NEW! Children's Music Journey 4 - 5 yrs • vcm.bc.ca/music-journey
This course teaches students to create and record music while developing keyboard skills, using educational video games, singing and movement, and computer animated composers. Term 2: 20 weeks, February 6 - June 26
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January 2014 15
Staying Hopeful Setting aside the what-ifs
n today’s news-saturated environment, it’s easy to get gloomy when it comes to contemplating our children’s futures. Resources are dwindling as the planet overheats. Tales of economic uncertainty are sandwiched between stories about political unrest and increasing violence. Life has always been full of uncertainty. But the distant future seems even more fraught with endangering possibilities. Casting a new life into a human web harbouring so many potentially volatile trigger points can feel like a less than conscientious move. In keeping with my biological drive, however, I went ahead and did it anyway. Twice. So how to proceed now? Stick my head in the sand? Tuning out global affairs during the first years of motherhood seemed like nothing short of self-preservation. But I cannot hope
to raise worldly children without staying informed. So I gamely tune into the CBC, and I cope by channeling my own mother’s optimism. With two divorces behind her, my mom fell in love with the man of her dreams in her 50s. They traveled the world, but her happiness was cut short when, three years into the marriage, her husband was felled by a sudden heart attack. Rather than turn her back on love, Mom forged ahead and, now in her 70s, she is more in love than ever before. One doesn’t arrive at 70 blissfully in love without a healthy habit of positive thinking. She regularly says things like “Your gifted children will excel at whatever they undertake,” and “Your superior mothering skills will see you through!” Having basked in her exuberant aura all these years, you might think I would have a
pair of rose-coloured glasses perched on my nose. But, thankfully, I have a very pragmatic father who brings me back to earth. My dad is a product of Silicon Valley and resides there to this day. He sees the technological advances of his time as evidence that mankind will come out on top. Or, at the very least, find a way to survive. “If history is any indicator,” he says, “there is one thing you can be sure of—the next global disaster will be something nobody was expecting.” Despite its somber tone, the forecast is oddly reassuring to me. Dare I say, a cornerstone of my hopefulness? Because life is a series of unknowns, we have no choice but to embrace uncertainty. Why not bring a little enthusiasm to the equation? I’ve always found Brits particularly talented at making light of unfavourable circumstances. And it just so happens that the person I know who is most adept at pinpointing the worst possible scenario in any given situation is a Brit, one who graduated with a degree in Disaster Management. “I am in my nature always drawn to look at things with the view that my glass is either half empty or, worse still, cracked and leaking fast,” admits my friend Ben.
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Enrolment is limited. For more information or to arrange a tour, visit www.discoveryschool.ca, call Sherri Ko at 250-595-7765 or email email@example.com 16 Island Parent Magazine
He chose his major because, well, bad things will never cease to happen. In the same way that hospitals and funeral homes are never going to have a shortage of customers, he figured there will always be disasters in need of a response. The only problem: he found it terribly depressing. So Ben quit his job, sold his flat in the UK and began an 18-month odyssey that took him clear across Canada and south to Mexico. He hitchhiked nearly the entire way. Rather than give him a new take on life, though, Ben claims the trip has only compounded his negative view. Mishaps, and sometimes worse, are the common currency of globetrotters, but by not resisting them, Ben says he was able to soften the blow. “‘Plan for the worst, hope for the best!’ he says. “It might sound a little pessimistic, but I’ll tell you what, it’s very hard to find yourself disappointed with this attitude.” Starting his travels fuelled with pessimism made the positive encounters all the sweeter. “I’d have hated to be an optimist and been expecting all this bounty,” he says. “I mean, where would the joy be in that?” And so it is with parenting. Parenthood, at its very essence, is to risk encountering the negative along with reaping the positive. My partner and I rolled the reproductive dice to see who might result. What greater leap of faith is there? Like earthquakes, floods or war, it’s not in my control. And as with most things not in my control, the best approach is to take it as it comes. Which reminds me of my optimistic mother’s favourite nugget of trite advice: This too shall pass. Some things—like being awoken multiple times a night by a discontented child—do not seem to pass nearly soon enough. Sixteen months is a long time! But those same nights are intermingled with so many joyous daytime moments. Maybe the solution is to take a page from my British friend’s book and prepare my kids for the worst and the best. And, of course, hope for the latter. With any luck, one day I’ll look back and agree with Mark Twain, who said later in his life that though he had “known a great many troubles, most of them never happened.” Kate Wiley is mother to two mostly charming and often challenging little boys. She and her family do their best to find the silver lining in all of it.
Saanich Schools (SD63) Ready, Set, Learn Open House introduce
yourself Parents and preschoolers (3 years and up) are invited to visit their neighbourhood school.
♦ ♦ ♦
Participate in hands‐on learning activities. Tour your neighbourhood school. Learn about community resources available to support families.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 3:15 — 6:00 pm Join us at your neighbourhood school.
Brentwood Elementary 250 652 3996 Cordova Bay Elementary 250 658 5315 Deep Cove Elementary 250 656 7254 Keating Elementary 250 652 9261
KELSET Elementary 250 655 4648 Lochside Elementary 250 658 5238 Prospect Lake Elementary 250 727 3314 Sidney Elementary 250 656 3958
Every success for every child www.sd63.bc.ca We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Education.
Vivace Violins Louise Reid B.Mus. M.Mus. 250-884-9574 www.vivaceviolins.ca firstname.lastname@example.org January 2014 17
Tips to Help Shrink Your Grocery Bill
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We all know how to grocery shop, don’t we? After all, we do it almost every week. Can we do it better, though? In school no one teaches us how to do this most fundamental living chore. We learn some ideas from our parents, but usually we just start going to the store and muddle on from there. There is a science to shopping. If the average consumer doesn’t know this, retailers, in particular grocery retailers, have studied it extensively. Knowing when and where to place items in a store goes a long way to fattening their bottom line. As consumers, we need to be smart in spending our dollars. To that end, here are 10 tips to help you save shopping time and money.
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Prepare to shop. Make a list throughout the week. As you run out of an item, write it down. How many times have we come home from shopping only to realize that we forgot to buy an item we used up last week and now need for tonight’s supper? Plan a weekly menu. Just as important is the requirement to plan your weekly meals. Prepare a menu and stick with it. That is how restaurants run their business. This ensures you get only what you really need. It also prevents waste. You are not buying unnecessary food and later throwing it away after it spoils. Determine your route. If the shopping requires several stops, then try to minimize your use of gas and save time by planning a logical route. There is nothing worse than crisscrossing the city while you make purchases. Know the store layout. Grocery stores generally have the same layout. The essentials—dairy, bakery, meat, and produce— are on the periphery of the store. The aisles hold the rest of the products. If your list is mostly essentials then you don’t have to worry about the rest of the store. If you have to go up and down the aisles, stick to the list and avoid…
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18 Island Parent Magazine
Avoid impulse shopping. This is the real budget killer. Without a list, everything looks good and the temptation to pick up items because you think you need them is strong. It’s after you arrive home and unpack the grocery bags that you realize you now have two full cans of hot chocolate. Hungry? Don’t shop when you are hungry. Studies have shown that consumers buy more, often unnecessary food, when they shop on an empty stomach. Know when a deal is a deal? Taking advantage of a sale on items you use often makes sense. The reduced price is an excellent money saver. Too often, though, we buy things because they are on sale and we stockpile them because “you never know” when you will need them. Most stores also have a sale section where lightly damaged products, such as dented cans, are for sale at significant savings. Finally, meat and bakery goods close to their expiration date may be greatly marked down. If you aren’t going to eat the food right away, take it home and freeze it until you need it. Store brands vs. name brands. Studies show that in the majority of cases, store brands are comparable to name brands. Store brand product quality has come a long way over the years. Now they tend to be the same nutritionally and are often less expensive. Depending on the product, overall savings can be substantial.
26 7 48 www.kidsinvictoria.com
Clip coupons. Coupons are a great way to save money. They can also be an incentive to try something new without paying the regular price. There are websites that specialize in coupons, for example, www.canadiancoupons.net. They are worth checking out for deals that can help reduce your costs. The downside is using coupons to buy things you may not use, but the sale price seems too good to pass up. Ask yourself if you are saving money if you incur extra driving time and use gas to buy a product that is only a few cents cheaper. Stick to a grocery budget. When you’re working out the overall monthly family budget, allocate a portion to groceries. Divide that amount by the number of weeks in the month and the total is your weekly allowance. Take this amount with you as cash and do not use a debit card. A card makes it too easy to exceed the budgeted amount. Also take a calculator and as you shop keep a running total of the bill. If you exceed the limit, you need to reconsider your purchases. Do you start taking items out of the cart to get back on track or decide to stick with what you are buying? Taking your children shopping with you can be a great way to get a headache, but it’s also an excellent way to teach them how to shop. Let them help with the weekly menu planning. If they have a say in the weekly meals plan, they may be more willing to eat what is served. Make a game out of cutting coupons and let your kids learn by doing. When in the store, take the opportunity to show them how to find the specials, read the labels, compare quantity to price, and how to avoid impulse buying. Engaging your children in the shopping experience will pay dividends in the future by ensuring they know how to do it right.
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January 2014 19
Winter Programs From art classes to wellness programs—and everything in between—our community offers an array of programs, resources and services for families. To find out about some of them, read on. (For more details on the following listings, please refer to the ads in this issue of Island Parent).
Artistic Statement Gallery & School of Fine Art offers fun and educational classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and cartooning. Portfolio preparation is offered for college or university entrance for a variety of degree programs. Emphasis is placed on technique and everyone works at their own level. Lessons on SKYPE are available for homeschoolers and out of town students. Registration is ongoing. New semester begins February. Call Joan at 250-383-0566. www.artisticstatementgalleryandschool. com.
Art classes at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria are the ideal place for children to explore visual culture and express their own creative vision! Students experience a full “art immersion,” visiting current exhibitions to inspire their creations in the studio. Join us this Spring, as we offer a variety of morning and afternoon classes. Spring registration begins 10am Feb. 15, 2014. To register, call 250-384-4171 ext.0, or visit in person: 1040 Moss St. Class schedule available online: aggv.ca/education/studio-classes
Glengarry School of Celtic Dance offers classes beginning in January in Scottish Highland Dancing for youth ages 5 and up–new beginner to championship level–for recreational, examination and competition performance training in both Victoria and Nanaimo. Former Canadian Champion
runner-up and World Champion finalist, BATD, and SOBHD Judges’ Panel and ScotDance Canada Member, Carolyn Phillips-Cusson is head instructor. Adult & Teen Celtic Combo Step Dance Class also opens up a new winter session, providing an energetic 6-week session of Cape Breton hard-shoe and traditional Scottish, Irish and Canadian group social dances. Physical, mental and musical performance skillbuilding, friendship and fun, all wrapped up in a dose of Celtic culture! Contact 1-866-301-2358 (CELT) or email info@ celticperformingarts.com. Kate Rubin Theatre & Drama Studio offers young people aged 5-18 years old with a dramatic interest or passion the opportunity to creatively explore and develop their skills. Kate and her staff have extensive training and experience in the dramatic arts. Students are encouraged to develop individual and group skills in movement, voice, dramatic techniques and performance skills. Benefits include improved acting skills, confidence, creative thinking, public speaking, creative collaboration, and versatility in physical, vocal and emotional expression. 250-386-8593. www.katerubintheatre. com. email@example.com. facebook.com/ KateRubinTheatre
Coming in Early 2014! Island Parent is pleased to announce an annual publication just for grandparents.
Let the grandparents in your children’s lives know that they can join the Island Grandparent community on Facebook where they can ask questions, share advice, arrange play dates and borrow baby items: www.facebook.com/groups/islandgrandparent/ ANNUAL PASS ON SALE NOW Just $46 What goes up doesn’t always come down
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Lighthouse Academy of Dance Pure, pleasing, positive. Experience the joy of dance with qualified, experienced instructors including Canada’s first Master in Teaching Dance (RAD). Adults and children from age 2. We have boys! RAD ballet, ISTD tap and modern, contemporary, jazz and hip hop, acro, musical theatre (VYMTC), singing lessons. New from January: Zumba, posture training and special needs classes. Dance parties (any age), wedding/occasion dances, choreography. www.lighthouseacademyofdance.com, 250-595-8705. Since 1980, STAGES Performing Arts School has offered professional instruction in jazz, ballet, lyrical, tap, musical theatre and hip hop for all ages and levels of experience. We believe that all students should have an equal opportunity to learn in a safe, non-competitive environment, which fosters self-expression, a healthy body, confidence, and encourages responsibility, discipline, inspiration, creativity and pride in their accomplishments. For more information, please call STAGES at 250-384-3267 or visit www.stagesdance.com.
Do you have a little girl who likes to dance, jump and juggle? Register her for a class at Island Rhythmic Gymnastics. The nationally certified coaches at Island Rhythmics will provide a fun, safe and nurturing environment where she will learn the beautiful sport of rhythmic gymnastics. Rhythmic gymnastics is an Olympic sport that combines dance and gymnastics and is performed to music with ball, ribbon, rope, hoop and clubs. Visit us online at Islandrhythmics.com Victoria Gymnastics continues to provide Greater Victoria with gymnastics instruction that is safe, well structured, and most importantly, fun. Our 7,200 sq. ft. facility, which is naturally lighted and acoustically insulated, provides a learning environment that will allow children to maximize their potential as they move through our non-competitive skills development program structure. Boys and girls aged 2-17, beginner through advanced, all benefit from the strength and flexibility that gymnastics develops. Visit www.victoriagymnastics.com.
The Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association (CTRA) provides equine based services for people with disabilities. Through the power of the human-equine bond, CTRA brings together individuals, families and www.IslandParent.ca
the community in the spirit of healing, inclusion and human growth. We provide year round therapeutic riding, recreational and sport opportunity, vocational stable management programs as well as spring break and summer horse camps. We also have many volunteer opportunities. 250746-1028 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ctra.ca.
Guitar in Motion is a small local outfit bringing lessons right to your door. No more worries about drop-offs and pick-ups, or bringing the other kids along in tow. We show up, teach, and leave… simple! This is a great service for adults wanting to learn, too. Lessons are available to all age groups, at all levels, in a wide range of styles. Call Steve to see when we’re in your area. Special introductory rate for homeschoolers. 250-217-2316. www.guitarinmotion.com. The Tom Lee Music Learning Centre at Millstream Village offers lessons for all ages in piano, guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, voice, theory, strings, brass and woodwinds. Learning to play music is a life-changing skill that is also great fun. From the hobbyist to the advanced student, we strive to make music education accessible and enjoyable with a sense of accomplishment at every level. Please call 250-383-5222 for more information. The Victoria Conservatory of Music has been enriching lives through music for 50 years. One of our most exciting areas of enrichment is our programs for babies to 14 years. Providing a child with a foundation in music is one of the most valuable things a parent can do. Studies show that when children take part in music classes, their social and cognitive skills are impacted in extremely positive ways. Let’s play. Find out more at vcm.bc.ca/departments/childrensmusic.
Lifeseminars.com will give you the details you need to view the selection of courses including the very popular Wednesday night programs. Dr. Allison Rees also works with individual parents and groups to facilitate these courses. Their books, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection are available for purchase through the site, Bolen’s Books and Russell Books or online.
Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre provides unique programs and activities
West Shore Parks & Recreation
PROGRAMS Preschool Classes
Learn to Skate
and more winter fun!
www.westshorerecreation.ca January 2014 21
O’Brien School of Irish Dancing *Traditional Irish dancing classes including ceile and step dancing *Classes in Cadboro Bay, Esquimalt and Nanaimo *Recreational and competitive classes
Come dance with us in parades, performances, and ceiles to your favourite Celtic tunes!
Join the Conversation at Kids In Victoria & Island Parent
Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter Christ Church Cathedral School Jr. Kindergarten (ages 3 - 5) | Kindergarten – Grade 8
2 OPEN HOUSES: Childcare and Jr. Kindergarten
Main Campus (K - Grade 8)
520 Niagara Street
912 Vancouver Street
2:00 - 5:00 pm
Friday, February 21st, 2014* 1:00 - 4:30 pm
♦ Learning through play philosophy ♦ Small learning and play groups ♦ Specialty teachers in Music, French,
*Or contact us for your personal tour
An affordable independent school with exceptional results
P.E., Art & Faith
520 Niagara Street, Victoria
(250) 383 - 5125
22 Island Parent Magazine
| 912 Vancouver Street, Victoria
in our state-of-the-art spaces and studios. We offer programs for the whole family including toddlers, parents and tots, preschool, schoolage, teens and adults! Our wide range of classes and drop-ins include sports, arts, ceramics, dance, fitness, tennis, squash, badminton, table tennis and rehabilitiation. We are also home to an arts-based preschool, ArtsCalibre. Enjoy the Gallery Cafe and free-of-charge art exhibitions in our galleries. Visit www.saanich.ca or call 250-475-7121 for more information. This winter, the City of Victoria offers a range of programs just for you, or for your entire family. Sign up for private swimming lessons, Spring Break Camp or try a Zumba class. Hire a personal trainer or take an aquafit class. Arena programs are ongoing at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre with lessons for all levels as well as a range of public skating sessions: for arena information call 250-361-0732. You can find more information on program registration and schedules for all our services on our website at www.victoria.ca/recservices or call 250-361-0732. Gordon Head Recreation Centre. Facility highlights include our dance/fitness studio, weight room, multi-purpose space, 25 meter pool, hot tub, sauna and more. In partnership with Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary, we offer the ECO program (Educating Chidlren Outdoors) learning in, about, for and from the natural world. Visit www.saanich.ca or call 250-475-7100 for more information. GR Pearkes Recreation Centre partners with Colquitz School, Saanich Neighbourhood Place, the Centennial Public Library, Tillicum Centre and others. The facility houses a huge trade show facility, two ice rinks, classrooms, dance studio, weight room, and a teen lounge. We offer classes in dance, skating, woodworking, early childhood, indoor cycling and aerobics. Come for a visit at 3100 Tillicum Road beside Silver City. Lots of free parking, or we are on bus routes #21, #22, and #26. Visit www.saanich.ca or call 250-475-5400 for more information. Saanich Commonwealth Place. Aside from all the fun you can have with your little ones in our pools, we also offer a great selection of parent and tot preschool programs in our toy-filled fun activity rooms. Why get messy at home when you can come and paint, glue and explore your creative and adventurous side with us? We also have drop in Kindergym Tues, Thurs and Sunday mornings to run off some steam. Visit www.saanich.ca or call 250-475-7600 for more information. www.kidsinvictoria.com
Sportball helps children develop physically, mentally and socially through a curriculum designed to reinforce self-confidence, free from the pressure of competition. Working with children 16 months to 12 years old in a high-energy, fun-filled curriculum, Sportball provides the basic concepts and skills behind eight popular ball sports. Programs are carefully designed to focus on the development of balance, strength, coordination, stamina and timing through professional instruction and positive encouragement, using customized equipment. For more information, check out our website at www.sportball.ca, call 250-590-4625, or email email@example.com. West Shore Parks & Recreation wants you to join us as we beat the winter blues by getting the whole family active. We offer diverse and accessible winter programs for all ages. Work on those New Year’s resolutions in our large spacious weight room while the kids burn off some energy in one of our many programs. Be sure to check out our January Activity Guide for classes that qualify for the children’s fitness and arts tax credits, clearly marked next to each session. Visit www.westshorerecreation.ca. for more information or find us on Facebook: facebook.com/westshorerecreation. 1767 Island Highway.
STAGES Performing Arts School since 1980
Come Dance With Us
• Offering classes in Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Tap, Hip Hop & Musical Theatre in a non-competitive atmosphere. • Not sure which class to take? Try a Drop-In: No hassle, No Obligation
ES? G A & T o S is Ad T h New tion T e Free n n Me ceive O -In Re Drop
Science & Nature
Mad Science brings the opportunity to explore the mystery of space in your school this year. Several weeks of exciting handson activities, fascinating demonstrations, discussions, and activities, as well as spectacular make-yourself take-home toys allow for a close up look at the universe. Check our after-school programs, science shows and birthday parties. Bring fun science to your community or home any time. Info at vancouverisland.madscience.org or call us at 1-888-954-6237.
STAGES Performing Arts School
#301 1551 Cedar Hill X Rd (behind the Shelbourne MacDonalds)
Even the littlest angel can dance
La Société francophone de Victoria is proud to present a special school workshop during its 17th Annual Victoria French Fest. Marijo, a French musician from Manitoba, will offer creative workshops in your school between March 3 and 7 for students from preschool to Grade 4. Contact your teacher or us to learn more about the amazing world of Marijo. For more details, contact Marylène Demers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-388-7350.•
Serving Great Food Since 1974
Vancouver Island’s Favourite Italian Restaurant Downtown Victoria East 1703 Blanshard St
For more information call 250-384-3267, Email us at email@example.com Or visit our website: www.stagesdance.com
1581 Hillside Ave
1945 Jacklin Rd
777 Royal Oak Dr
180 Trans Cda Hwy
250-746-9944 January 2014 23
Party Directory Funtime Inflatables #1 choice for party inflatables
(250) 386-JUMP (5867) www.par-t-perfect.com
We will match any competitor’s price; we will beat any competitors service!
Trust your next party or special event to the experts, Funtime Inflatables—the original bouncy castle company. Serving Vancouver Island since 1990.
• Indoor facility options for all your bouncy castle and inflatable requirements • School fairs/festivals and picnics • At home/indoor theme parties, i.e. Teddy Bear stuffing, craft parties • Free gift for birthday child when you mention this ad • Costumed facepainters and balloon twisters, i.e. princesses, pirates, ragdoll style clowns ur • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter Join O lub! -C Par-T
Paint-your-own Pottery and Glass Fusing Studio 250-590-7949
New items arriving soon!!!
G Y M
GYMNASTICS Birthday Parties
G Y M
N Celebrate your birthday with us!
Our great instructors will treat you to an action packed two hours of fun and fitness in our great facility!
A S T I C S
r Annive 2013 1973–
• 2 large decorated birthday rooms • Free T-shirt for birthday child, invitations for up to 10 children • The ONLY Inflatable Climbing Mountain with trampoline in town • Party Time now offered for many different groups (schools, daycare centres)
Book Early: 250-479-6424
#208 – 721 Vanalman Ave
(Broadmead & Royal Oak Area)
~ Laser Tag ~ Human Hamster Balls ~ Booger Wars ~ Video Game Theatre ~ U:Launchers ~ Foam Party
Bring your party of Bring your party of Grubs and Larvae for a Grubs and Larvae Bugtastic Adventure for a Bugtastic Adventure atatthe Bug Zoo! the Bug Zoo! Party Room available! Available! Party Room Call for details:
Call 250-384-BUGS for Details: 384-BUGS (2847) (2847) ororcheck website: check the the website: www.bugzoo.com www.bugzoo.bc.ca
I C S
631 Courtney St (Downtown in Nootka Court) 631 Courtney St. (Downtown in Nootka Court)
We bring the Fun2U!
Birthdays, school funfairs, fundraising, festivals, teen groups, church groups, summer camps, sports teams, corporate groups
Call Alicia 250-661-2219 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Global @ www.g2u.com Facebook @ Games2u Victoria 24 Island Parent Magazine
Action-Packed Birthday Parties Supervised • 2–8 Yrs
It’s about skills, not scores.
Go to www.sportball.ca for schedules & information Call us: 250 590 4625 Email: email@example.com
Party Directory Birthday Parties!
:: Gym & Bouncy Castle, themed parties: creative kids, girl power and preschool parties from Princesses to Pirates!
at Henderson Recreation Centre!
Come Fly With Us!
Pool, Skate, or Soccer parties at Oak Bay Recreation Centre!
Party sizes up to 18 kids
Call 250-595-SWIM (7946)
We supply table top cover, napkins, hats, streamers and balloons
Fired UP! Optional character
Two certified instructors and host Paintayour own ceramics Optional character
Gymnastics games and music
You’ll Flip Over Our Birthday Parties * Greater Victoria’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 *
www.lionspridegymnastics.com Located in Langford
Hassle Free Parties for kids & families
Now Offering t-shirt Full-week Free and one day camps! Ages Foam 6 andlanding up. pit and 40' long trampoline See website for details! www.firedupceramics.ca Party participants can win a Optional character
Book your party with us today! We now offer online booking.
Optional character Optional character
All parties are held in a private party room with a dedicated staff member. Birthday child gets a very special keepsake and all guests paint their own ceramic item.
See website for details: www.firedupceramics.ca
Fired UP! Paint your own ceramics
1801 Fort Street @ Richmond
Now Offering Full-week and one day camps! Ages 6 and up. See website for details! www.firedupceramics.ca
Available Sat & Sun Afternoons Corner of Store & Pembroke Optional character
You provide the space and food… We’ll provide an hour of fun with puppet shows and play
250 472 3546 www.puppetbooth.homestead.com www.IslandParent.ca
7 Day Rentals from $149 250-881-2680 AffordableHotTubs.ca January 2014 25
Skip the Dinner Battle
W Rainbow Express Daycare Ages 21⁄2 to 5 years
433 Kingston Street Victoria, BC V8V 1V8 250-382-2314
26 Island Parent Magazine
hen the joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers. – Ellyn Satter, nutritionist and author. “Three more bites and you can go play.” “You don’t get any pie unless you finish your broccoli.” “Just try it! You liked it last week!” Does this sound familiar? Many parents find themselves regularly engaged in power struggles at the table. We do it automatically because we worry about our children getting proper nutrition. Children are more likely to try new foods and eat a balanced diet when they are not pressured into it. To help kids develop healthy eating habits: Let your children decide if they are hungry and when they are full. It’s normal for a child’s appetite to vary from day to day. Your job is to provide nourishing food at regular times. Their job is to decide what and how much they are going to eat. If you’re worried about food waste, start with small amounts and let them ask for more, or take a smaller amount for yourself in anticipation of finishing their meal. If they are old enough, they can serve themselves. Insisting that a child eats when she isn’t hungry will teach her to ignore her body’s hunger cues. Conversely, limiting or restricting what a child is allowed to eat will just make them want the forbidden food more. Both scenarios can lead to unhealthy eating behaviours. Accept your child’s quirks. It is normal for a child’s like and dislikes to change rapidly and for kids to be cautious when presented with a new food. It can take many exposures to a new food before a child is ready to try it. Continue to serve foods that have been rejected and let your child see the rest of the family eating them. Involve your child in the growing, purchasing, and preparing of food to engage their natural sense of curiosity. Try to serve something familiar and generally well-accepted at each meal, along with new things. Keep your sense of humour about the fickle nature of your child’s eating habits and know that they www.kidsinvictoria.com
will outgrow those quirks, whether you intervene or not. Model the behaviour you’d like to see at the table. Would you rather spend your meal connecting or fighting? Develop your family’s mealtime ritual instead. Thank the people who prepared the food. Take time to breathe, let your child see you enjoying a wide variety of foods, and talk about your day. Don’t look at or comment on your child’s plate unless its contents are about to become a weapon or hit the floor. Cultivate an atmosphere of relaxation instead. Skip the ﬁller. If you want your child to be interested in eating a meal, it helps if they are hungry. Drinks like pop, juice, and large amounts of milk can easily take the place of solid food if given with or before a meal. Regular grazing on crackers, chips and cereals can do the same. If your child can nibble on something any time they want to, they won’t value the times when food is provided. Consider having set meal and snack times instead. Lose the bribes. Bribing a child to eat by promising a treat will teach children a value system around food—that “healthy” food is a chore to eat and “yummy” food is the reward. Using food as a tool to manipulate your child’s behaviour may work in the short-term, but it will backfire when they are older and responsible for their own food choices. Food should just be food instead of being used as a reward, a comfort or a consequence. Keep your long-term goals in mind. Pressuring your child to eat, through praise or nagging, interferes with her ability to develop a healthy relationship with food. It interferes with everyone’s ability to enjoy their meal and can stress your relationship with your child. If your habit is to encourage or coax your child to eat at every meal or snack, it may seem like a radical departure to let it go. It’s normal for parents to worry that their child will starve if left to their own devices, but children really do know what they need. Remember that your main responsibility is to provide nourishing food regularly and you do not have to dictate how much of it goes into your child’s mouth. Trust that taking the pressure off your child will help her develop a life-long positive attitude about food and make your family meals a happier, healthier experience for everyone.
Saanich Schools (SD63) Kindergarten 2014 Information Evening (Children born in 2009)
Be Informed… Be Involved… Learn About... Engaging learners through play. ♦ Optimal learning environments for the success of every child. ♦ Beginning literacy, language and numeracy development. ♦ A day in kindergarten. ♦ Opportunities to be involved at school. ♦ French Immersion option (K ‐ 12) ♦
Kindergarten Information Evening Wednesday, January 29, 2014 7pm‐ 8:30pm
2281 Henry Avenue, Sidney Kindergarten Registration in School District 63 takes place at your Neighbourhood School February 3 ‐ 7 , 2014. Children born in 2009 are eligible.
Every success for every child
Dr. Karina Wickland is a naturopathic doctor practicing in Cobble Hill, a food lover, and a mother of two. Visit www. drwickland.com. www.IslandParent.ca
Generously Sponsored by and
Family Calendar For calendar updates throughout the month visit www.kidsinvictoria.com WED 1 New Year’s Day Levée at Esquimalt Recreation Centre. A family affair with free skating at the Sports Centre and free swimming at the Recreation Centre from 1-3pm. Mayor and Council will be in attendance for a “meet and greet” in the redesigned atrium at the Esquimalt Centre from 1-2:30pm. Light refreshments will be served. 527 Fraser St.
THURS 2 & FRI 3 Scout Tree Chipping Fundraiser at Race Rocks Auto. Drop your tree off, or call the Scouts and they will pick it up. Pick up in Greater Victoria including Westshore, Sooke, Oak Bay, Victoria. 8am-5:30pm. Suggested donation $5/tree drop off and $10/pick up. 1057 Marwood Ave. Call or email for infoand pick ups; 250-589-7715, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAT 4 Esquimalt Recreation Open House. Pancake breakfast at 8am (by donation), free admission to the Rec Centre from 8am-12:30pm, free program demonstrations from 9am-noon, and free kindergym from 9-10am. Prize draws. 527 Fraser St.
SAT 4 & SUN 5 Scout Tree Chipping Fundraiser at Luxton Fair Grounds. Drop your tree off, or call the Scouts and they will pick it up. Pick up in Greater Victoria including Westshore, Sooke, Oak Bay, Victoria. 10am-4pm. Suggested donation $5/
28 Island Parent Magazine
tree drop off and $10/pick up. 1040 Marwood Ave. Call or email for info and pick ups; 250589-7715, email@example.com.
SAT 11 Durrance Lake Loop at Mount Work Regional Park. Join a CRD Regional Parks’ naturalist for a hike around this picturesque lake to explore its many inhabitants. Wear waterproof footwear. Meet in Durrance Lake parking lot off Durrance Close, off Willis Point Rd at 1pm. 8+ years. 250-478-3344. www.crd.bc.ca/parks.
TUES 14 Giggles and Wiggles at Central Branch Library. Wiggle your way to the library for a 20-minute storytime for little listeners with extra energy. Dance and giggle and learn new action stories and action rhymes chosen just for you. No registration required. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-10:50am. 250-382-7241 ext. 601. www.gvpl.ca.
THURS 16 For the Birds at Esquimalt Branch Library. Flock to the library for a “tweet” storytime filled with stories, songs and rhymes about birds. Make your own birdfeeder and learn some birdfeeding tips too. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11:30am. Register at www.gvpl.ca or call 250-414-7198.
SAT 18 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 owls. BC Transit #53. 12+ years. $7 + GST. Pre-registration required before January 17. Space is limited. Call 250-478-3344 to register. www.crd.bc.ca/parks.
SUN 19 Kid’s Buddhist Meditation Class at Bodhichitta Buddhist Centre. Meditation and Buddhist philosophy specially suited for kids 8-14. Learn to calm your minds through guided meditation and use Buddhist teachings in everyday life through stories and games. $5 drop-in per child; $10 maximum per family. meditatevancouverisland.org/kids-class. Winter Wonderland at Mill Hill Regional Park. What are the animals up to in the winter forest? Bring your young ones on a winter wondertime adventure to find out. Join a CRD Regional Parks’ naturalist to look for raccoon winter food, find a good spot for hibernation and play animal games. Meet at kiosk in parking lot off Atkins Ave at 1pm. All ages. BC Transit #53. 250-478-3344. www.crd.bc.ca/parks.
MON 20 Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Stephen McCallum, local award-winning picture book illustrator and animator will tell us about
his new publishing venture, Crow Cottage Publishing, which produces audio-enhanced children’s books for the iPad. Local awardwinning author Sheryl McFarlane will join us, as Stephen is publishing some of her picture books. Come and see how picture books translate beautifully to the e-book form. Doors open at 7pm. Browse the Schoolhouse Teaching Supplies and Children’s Bookstore table before the meeting begins at 7:30pm. VCLR is open to the public. Members free; $5/drop-in; $4/ student. Call 250-598-3694.
Giggles and Wiggles at Central Branch Library. See TUES 14 for more details. No registration required. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-10:50am. 250-382-7241 ext. 601. www.gvpl.ca.
FRI 24 Lego at the Library at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. Like stories and Lego? Then this is the program for you. We’ll supply the Lego and you will use your imagination to construct your own crazy creation to display at the library. For a project to take home, bring your own Lego. For ages 7-10. 3:30-4:30pm. Register at gvpl.ca or call 250-727-0104 for information.
SAT 25 A Winter Walk in Nature at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Walk a wintry trail with guest naturalist Joe Percival to observe and reflect upon the natural world we encounter during this season of cold. Meet at Witty’s Lagoon Nature Centre off Metchosin Rd at 1pm. 5+ years. BC Transit #54 or #55. 250-478-3344. www.crd.bc.ca/parks.
SUN 26 Winter Birds of Island View Beach. Island View Beach is one of the premiere winter birding locations in the region. Join guest naturalist Geoffrey Newell to look for hawks, owls, sea ducks, loons and more. Wear warm clothes and bring binoculars, if you have them. Meet
Customer Service: 1.800.667.8280 www.thriftyfoods.com
Oh Deer at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. Deer, deer everywhere. Love them or hate them, they’re a native part of our environment and are here to stay. Play deer games, deer bingo, make deer crafts and learn more about these fuzzy invaders. Noon-3pm. Admission by donation. Info, call 250-4790211 or visit www.swanlake.bc.ca.
at grassy area adjacent to picnic shelter off Island View Beach at 9am. 12+ years. www. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344.
Family Literacy Week: Make Your Own Felt Story at Oak Bay Branch Library. Would you like to make your very own felt story? Join us for a storytime and make a simple felt story to take home. Supplies provided. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 11:15am12:15pm. Register at www.gvpl.ca or call 250-592-2489. Story Club at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Listen to stories, talk about your favourite books, and enjoy fun activities. Snacks included. For kids who love stories regardless of reading ability. For ages 5-8. 3:30-4:30pm. Register at www.gvpl.ca or call 250-477-7111.
TUES 28 Family Literacy Week: Make Your Own Felt Story at Nellie McClung Branch Library. See MON 27 for details. Supplies provided. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11:30am. Register at www.gvpl.ca or call 250-477-7111. Giggles and Wiggles at Central Branch Library. See TUES 14 for more details. No registration required. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-10:50am. 250-382-7241 ext. 601. www.gvpl.ca.
WED 29 For the Birds at Esquimalt Branch Library. See THURS 16 for more details. For young children
and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11:30am. Register at www.gvpl.ca or call 250-414-7198.
THURS 30 Family Literacy Week: ABC Fun at Esquimalt Branch Library. Choose your own A-B-C’s. Enjoy alphabet stories and then create your very own collage alphabet book. Supplies provided. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Register at www.gvpl.ca or call 250-414-7198. Family Literacy Week: Make Your Own Felt Story at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. See MON 27 for details. Supplies provided. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 11:45am-12:45pm. Register at www.gvpl.ca or call 250-727-0104. Lego at the Library at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. See THURS 24 for more details. For ages 7-10. 3:30-4:30pm. Register at gvpl.ca or call 250-727-0104 for more information.
FRI 31 Family Literacy Week: Make Your Own Felt Story at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. See MON 27 for details. Supplies provided. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11:30am. Register at www.gvpl.ca or call 250-477-9030.
Simple Steps to Success
Submit an application form with a covering letter.
Be approved by Thrifty Foods and receive a series of Fundraising Smile Cards. Distribute cards to members of your group.
Group members “load” the cards with a cash amount at the till and use the cards to buy their groceries as usual.
Each time the Smile Cards are “loaded,” Thrifty Foods automatically donates 5% to your group’s Smile Card Account!
January 2014 29
Story Club at Central Branch Library. See MON 27 for details. Snacks included. This club is for kids who love stories regardless of reading ability. For ages 5-8. 3:30-4:30pm. Register at www.gvpl.ca or call 250-382-7241, ext. 601.
ONGOING BABIES, TODDLERS & PRESCHOOL Drop-in Storytimes for Babies, Toddlers & Families at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Caregivers are welcome and encouraged to participate. Storytimes are free and drop-in. Please come early to find a space. For a complete list of drop-in programs, call your local library or visit www.gvpl.ca. 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. More info, call the church office at 250-477-4142, or Maisie at 250-477-0388. Family Playgroup at St. Peter’s Anglican Church. Free play, music and story time. Beverages and snacks provided for children & adults. Thursdays 2-4pm. 3939 St. Peter’s Rd. 250-384-7757. Email stpeterlakehill@ bc.anglican.ca.
Children Sea-Shirt Sundays at Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. On the first Sunday of each month, create your own fish fashion. 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. 1-3pm. 250-665-7511.
YOUTH Friday Nights are Alright at Flipside Youth Activity Centre, Pearkes Recreation Centre. Play pool, ping-pong, dome hockey, foosball and two different video game systems while partaking in refreshments. Drop by Flipside between 3-6pm Fridays to pick up a free admission ticket to the Junior Braves, and show your student ID to the receptionists to gain free access to skating and rentals. For more information, contact Gaileen Flaman at 250-475-5462 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAMILIES Mindful Mamas at Lynn Wylie/Helga Beer Yoga Studio. All mothers (including soonto-be mamas) and levels of experience with meditation are welcome. An opportunity for restoration and nurturing yourself; please leave babies and children at home so that your attention can be focused on you. Each gathering will include a short guided instruction to meditation followed by a 30 minute sitting, 10-15 minute audio lecture or reading on mindfulness, and
45 minutes for check-ins and sharing reflection. Chairs, yoga mats, bolsters and blankets are available, but bring your own sitting gear if desired. No registration required. Sundays, 8:30-10am. $5 donation to help cover room rental. For information, visit www.facebook. com/MindfulMamasVictoria. 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, child minding and a healthy snack. To sign up, call 250-388-7171. readytorentbc.net. 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 Thursdays, 7-9pm. $3.50/person. www.jamesbaycentre.ca. Weekly Bird Walk at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary (meet in the parking lot). Every Wednesday and Sunday noon-3pm. Wonder Sunday at the Royal BC Museum. Bring your family on the last Sunday of each month for activities and explorations inspired by different parts of the museum. Make crafts, join special tours, and let your imagination wonder away with you. Suitable for children 3-12 years old and is included with admission or free with membership. www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.•
1040 MOSS ST
J u s t
Kidding! For Kids Pres
kids o get ding! t e r t Thea about rea xcited
Mini Masterpieces Written by Ryan Gladstone and Tara Travis Saturday, February 1, 2014 - 1 pm
Is your child getting enough Vitamin “A”? Art enriches. Nourish your child’s creativity and confidence in the Children’s Art Studio at the Gallery.
Malaspina Theatre at VIU
Phone 250-754-7587 or online: theatreone.org
Registration for Spring classes begins February 15, 2014
30 Island Parent Magazine
12/10/2013 10:57 AM
Baseball Player Divisions (age as of Apr 30/14)
Blastball Tball Mini's Rookies Minors Majors Intermediate
Ages 2-4 years Ages 4-5 years Ages 5-7 years Ages 7-9 years Ages 7-11 years Ages 9-12 years Ages 11-13 years
Softball Player Divisions (age as of Dec 31/13)
Minors Majors Juniors Seniors Big League
Ages 7-11 years Ages 9-12 years Ages 13-14 years Ages 15-16 years Ages 17-18 years
Girls! Girls! Girls! Softball Hampton offers a recreational spring program for all skill levels, and an opportunity to play on a competitive summer team for those participants of the spring season. Many Hampton girls advanced to the 2013 World Series!
Registration Dates and Times
January 25 & 26 2014 February 1 & 2 and 8 & 9 2014 Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 PM February 12, 2014 6:30 to 9 PM Wednesday Register at the Hampton Clubhouse on Tillicum Rd across from Burnside Plaza.
For Registration fees go to: www.hamptonlittleleague.org
To Register please bring:
Player Birth Certificate Care Card 3 different pieces Address ID $100 Uniform deposit cheque Debit, credit, chq & cash accepted
Blastball Baseball for underage Little Leaguers! Entry level for team sport. No equipment required! Bring your friends, make your own team! Player’s receive: hat, team picture & yearend award. Games will be 45 minutes in length, on Saturday mid April thru June except long weekends. Registration is $50.
“Where everyone is a winner” The Challenger program, established as a division of Little League so boys and girls with special needs, ages 4 to 20 may enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport. Player’s receive: hat, team picture and a yearend award. Games will be 90 minutes in length, Saturdays mid April thru June except long weekends. Registration is free.
For more information contact Kristen: email@example.com
Hampton Little League is proud to offer a recreational spring program and for those ages 9 and up, the opportunity to earn their way onto tournament teams with more competitive summer ball play. Being a part of Hampton is more than just sports, we are a community! We hold several special events each season for all members such as Fun Day; Pitch, Hit, & Run; Dance; Coach & Manager Ball Games; Player Development Clinics; etc. and we offer free training for Youth and Adult Umpires. We love to host tournaments, such as the Minor BB May long weekend Tournament, Girls SB Canadian Championships as well as Mini Minor and Minor SB Jamborees! We are an all inclusive organization - something for everyone! Kidsport & payment options available - NO PLAYER WILL BE TURNED AWAY BECAUSE OF FINANCES!
Our Contact Information: www.hamptonlittleleague.org or before April 250 361-9614 www.IslandParent.ca
January 2014 31
Around the Island
Visit www.IslandParent.ca for these and other events and resources for families from Cowichan Valley north to Campbell River and west to Tofino WED 1 25th Annual Polar Bear Swim at Transfer Beach, Ladysmith. Ring in the New Year at the fastest special event of the year. Register at 11am, plunge at noon. 250-245-6424. 24th Annual Polar Bear Splash at Parksville Beach. A great way to start the New Year; you’re welcome to come as a participant, spectator or volunteer. Register at 11:30am. Free. 250-752-5014. www.rdn.bc.ca/recreation.
SAT 4 Tree Chipping & Hot Dog Sale for Boys & Girls Club at Country Grocer, Nanaimo. Come out and have some family fun. Tree chipping ($5 minimum donation), bake sale and hot dog sale. 11am-3pm. 1399 Lawlor Rd. Dive-in Movie at Beban Pool. Great fun for the whole family. 1:30-4pm. 250-756-5200.
TUES 7 Dad’s and Kids’ Skate Night at Oceanside
Place Arena, Parksville. Come skate on the pond. Free skate for dads with their kids. 6:30-7:30pm. 250-248-3252. www.rdn.bc.ca/ recreation. Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena, Nanaimo. Come skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. Regular admission rates; glow necklaces $2. 6:30pm. 250-756-5200.
SUN 12 Welcome Wagon Baby Shower at Beban Park Social Centre. Guest speakers with valuable information, and demonstrations designed to help you at this special time. Lots of door prizes. Doors open at noon, show starts at 1pm. Free. Pre-register by calling 250-245-0799 or register at the door. Skate with the Generals at Oceanside Place Arena. Meet the players, join in a small scrimmage, and enjoy a free skating session. 2-3:30pm. Free admission and skate rentals courtesy of the Oceanside Generals
Jr. Hockey Club. 250-248-3252. www.rdn. bc.ca/recreation.
TUES 21 Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena, Nanaimo. Come skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. Regular admission rates; glow necklaces $2. 6:30pm. 250-756-5200.
FRI 17 Home Alone at Oceanside Place Arena. Be prepared. Learn to manage general safety, fire safety, emergency phone calls, dealing with strangers, and snack ideas for times when you are home alone. For 9-12 year-olds. Pre-register with RDN, Recreation and Parks. 250-2483252. www.rdn.bc.ca/recreation.
SAT 18 Teen Glow in the Dark Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. A colourful hour and a half of skating. 6:45-8:15pm. Free admission and skate rentals. 250-248-3252. www.rdn.bc.ca/ recreation.
WED 22 Tropical and Tasty Sno Cone Swim at Ravensong Aquatic Centre. Everyone loves sno cones. We turn up the radio and turn on the sno cone machine for you to taste your favourite treat. 6:30-8pm. Everyone welcome. 250-752-5014. www.rdn.bc.ca/recreation.
FRI 24 Tots Movie Night Out at Bowen Complex. Bring your little one out for a movie and give them a little theatre experience. This is an inexpensive family outing you and your kids are sure to love. A small snack, drink and prize will be provided to each child. Parents are free, but participation is required. $9/child. 6-7:45pm. 250-756-5200.
TUES 28 Book Club at Beban Social Centre. Love to read? Then this is the club for you. Each month you will read the book selected by the club, attend a meeting to discuss the story, enjoy some snacks and choose the next book. You’ll meet new people and discover some great reads. 6:30-8pm. 520-756-5200.
THURS 31 Pro D Day Swim, Hawaiian Style at Ravensong Aquatic Centre. An afternoon tropical swim with hula hoops, limbo, and surfing contests. 1-3pm. Special rate admission of $1.50 for children and students, $3 for adults and seniors. 250-752-5014. www.rdn.bc.ca/recreation. School’s Out Everyone Welcome Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. School is out, but
32 Island Parent Magazine
skating is in. 1:30-3pm. Regular admission. 250-248-3252. www.rdn.bc.ca/recreation.
ONGOING PRESCHOOL LaFF at the Aggie. A safe play-based learning environment for families and caregivers with children newborn to age 6. Reading centre, craft area, Brio train station, and snack table. Indoor car and toy riding area. Monday to Friday, 9:30am-noon, Thursdays 12:15-1:45pm. $2 suggested donation per family (punch cards available). 250-210-0870, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.familyandfriends.ca.
Le français au CSF, c’est bien plus qu’une langue !
Adventures in Early Literacy at the Ladysmith Resource Centre. A parent-child, fun-filled program designed for children aged 3-5 years. Participants learn and have fun doing crafts, games and singing. A book is read, lunch and snacks are provided. 9:45-noon. Space is limited, so call 250-245-3079 to get on the list. 630 2nd Ave. Junior Lifeguard Club at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Build lifeguarding skills, shadow lifeguards, participate in competitions, learn about first aid, participate in community events, develop leadership and more. $3.50. Ideal for 8-13 year-olds. Runs until mid-June 2014. Noon-1:30pm. 250-756-5200.
YOUTH The Youth Zone in Ladysmith. A fun and safe place to hang, meet new friends and enjoy games tables, internet kiosk, TV, movies, board games, karaoke and more. Play sports in the gym, do homework. Energized leaders will challenge you to try new activities. Tuesdays, 3-6pm in the rec room; Wednesdays, 3-5pm in the gym; Fridays 6-10pm in the rec room or gym. 250-245-6424. www.ladysmith.ca. Youth Drop-in in Nanaimo. The ultimate place to be. This is a supervised space for youth to hang out and chill. Regular gymnasium activities and more. Program is free, but please register using barcode 124915. 7-9pm. Monday: Nanaimo District Secondary School; Tuesday: Oliver Woods Community Centre; Wednesday: John Barsby Community School. Teen Swim at Ravensong Aquatic Centre. Games, music and swimming. Fridays 7-9pm. Regular admission. www.rdn.bc.ca/recreation.
FAMILY Family Frolics at the Community Centre, Ladysmith. Bring your parent or caregiver for open gym fun. Burn off some energy with soft toys (balls and nerf-type games), mini-trampoline, ride-on toys, hula hoops and more. Tuesdays, 5:45-6:45pm. $2 suggested donation/family. 250-245-6424. www.ladysmith.ca.•
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
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
École des Grands-cèdres
250-723-5614 4645 Helen St.
250-220-6010 637 Head St.
M - 12
Structured vs. Unstructured Play F
inding a balance between structured and unstructured play can be tough, but parents can create opportunities for both. Unstructured play gives children the opportunity to play and experiment without any leadership or direction. Conversely, structured play is when children are lead through an activity. Both types of play are important for a child’s development and have an impact on how they gain independence and acquire skills. Ideally, there should be a healthy balance between both. Play for play’s sake is important. So, too, is structured play. Options for structured play include preschools, recreational programs, daycare programs, trips to the museum, or other activities in which play is guided. Preschools offer a diverse program and often incorpo-
3-5 yrs Pre-primary School
rate many different types of skill-building activities. If they incorporate a formal physical education component, it is often unstructured free play. Recreational physical literacy programs can be hit or miss. Children do not need to learn how to play basketball from a pro; they need someone who can teach at the child’s level and connect with them. Try to find programs that encourage and challenge your child in a way that builds their confidence. If your child has any issues, make sure the instructor is aware of those issues and works through them with your child. Let the instructor know what works for your child. Make sure you persevere through the difficult times and stay committed to the program. Withdrawing children because they are frustrated will not help
them work through the things they need to in order to grow. It is important for unstructured and structured play to happen in different dynamics—from individually, to large groups, to groups with a range of ages. The more exposure you can give your child in different group dynamics, the more practice they will have at adapting and functioning in different situations. Try to get your child into situations where they are a leader, a follower, the star of the show, the background, the oldest, the youngest, and so on. Being exposed to new scenarios will help kids become more flexible and dynamic, which can help them function happily in a variety of environments. Don’t always let your child choose the programs they are in. Children go through phases, just like adults, of high and low energy. Children can get trapped in a low energy vortex if a parent isn’t there to help them find activities to reenergize themselves. I have seen times in my own children’s lives where they could sit in front of a game or movie for hours. Part of a parent’s job is to say “Okay, you need more time with your friends” or “How about a day playing with me or on your own today?” At our house, piano practice and a few
A gentle learning opportunity for young children: - learning naturally through play
The joy of learning - naturally.
http://oakandorca.ca 250 383 6609 34 Island Parent Magazine
- nature awareness and respect - compassionate communication - experience with math and science - exposure to books and language arts
household chores have to be done before my boys have free play. Piano practice is structured alone time where they guide themselves through a routine that has been taught to them by their teacher. It is interesting to see that Ethan, my youngest, is often choosing free time on the piano now. A year ago, he wouldn’t have touched the piano during his free time and now he chooses to play it in unstructured time and has even begun to make up his own songs.
Both types of play are important for a child’s development and have an impact on how they gain independence and acquire skills. Ideally, there should be a healthy balance between both. This illustrates the relationship between structured and unstructured play. Learning specific skills can happen in structured time and the skills learned can carry into the free time where kids can be creative with the developed skills. The balance of both structured and unstructured play leads to creativity and passion. When there is imbalance, creativity or passion can be lost. Parents can expect to see different behaviours in different types of play. A child who does not play well individually is sometimes a product of spending too much time with other children. Conversely, children who struggle in structured play may not have been exposed to much structured time. The most important thing is to try to help children follow through on their commitments and support them in feeling safe and confident in new environments. Feeling insecure in a certain environment might lead to specific behavioural issues that can take time to sort out. If the instructor is good, they will address the issue by using a variety of techniques to help make the child comfortable. Finding solutions that work for the child can take time. Be patient, give it the time needed, and eventually your child will likely settle in and excel. Lee Richardson is a father, a coach, an entrepreneur, a kayaker, owner of EcoQuest Camps and a Sportball franchise. Email email@example.com or visit www.activeleedadding.ca. www.IslandParent.ca
COMPREHENSIVE FAMILY DENTISTRY family centered practice extended hours evenings and weekends the latest equipment and caring staff request an appointment online
saanichdentalgroup.com 119–1591 McKenzie Ave, Victoria
250 477 7321
Victoria’s favourite dentists believe a healthy smile starts early. Free first visit for children under 5.
O Baayy Oa a kk B
aSkC B aOO yLL E H PPO RR E HO O PA OW WNNEEDD PAR RE EN NT T O PA R E N T O W N E D
PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE!
OPEN HOUSE! Saturday, February 1st OPEN HOUSE! 10am February - 12pm Saturday, 1st Saturday, February 1st 10am - 12pm REGISTER NOW
10am - 12pm Spaces Available for REGISTER NOW 3 & 4 year NOW olds REGISTER Spaces Available for Spaces Available for 1701 3 Elgin St.year 250-592-1922 olds 3& &4 4 year olds www.oakbaypreschool.com 1701 250-592-1922 1701 Elgin Elgin St. St. 250-592-1922 www.oakbaypreschool.com www.oakbaypreschool.com
Send Us Your Stories! Island Parent is looking for articles for upcoming issues. Some of our best content comes from people just like you—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 do—anything related to parenting. Check our Writer’s Guidelines at www.islandparent.ca for specific information on submissions. We’d love to hear from you. Please email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
36 Island Parent Magazine
Jessica R. Pfeffer
Lessons Learned on the Ski Hill
ome of my happiest childhood memories are the many ski trips my father and I took together. I can still recall the drive to the mountains, the huge snow banks at the side of the road, and the radio blaring 80s music with the two of us singing along. Every winter my dad would set aside a week to go skiing. It would usually be just him and me and the ski hill. Dad and I were not really big talkers, but I felt like that time we spent together was true love. Love, because Dad could have gone skiing with any of his friends or by himself, but instead he took me. I was not as fast as him, and I always got cold hands and feet, or needed to go to the lodge for food or bathroom breaks. But my dad kept taking me up to the ski hill year after year, despite the fact that I was not the most athletic kid in the world. I’m so glad I had the opportunity from such a young age to experience the incredible beauty of the mountains, to spend time with my dad, and to learn from his love of skiing and the great outdoors. Learning to ski wasn’t just an athletic pursuit; it also helped me develop a strong appreciation for nature, an awareness of wilderness safety, and it built confidence. Through skiing, I experienced feelings of accomplishment and exhilaration. I still miss those quiet, happy moments as we sat close on the ski lift, gliding up the mountain together, commenting on the cold, planning our next run, or just staring at the wonder of the mountains, the cool crisp air surrounding us and the soft pillows of snow atop the trees. As we sat there, my dad and I would share our thoughts and feelings. When the long flat runs got to be too much for me, my dad would provide the “daddy express.” As I have gotten older, Dad and I don’t really get those moments together. He doesn’t ski much any more, and I have a child of my own. Maybe it’s time I teach my son to ski. Heading to the mountain with children is easier for some families than others. If you live in Victoria like we do, it’s a long drive to get to any mountain. Mount Washington
is three hours away. Whistler is a half-day trip. Skiing can be pricey depending on the mountain fees, and the cost of gear can be an added hurdle. Mount Washington is a great family hill, and is an easy day trip. If you are thinking about taking your child to a ski hill, here are a few tips: • Make sure you have the right gear for your child even if they are just going tobogganing or tubing: long underwear, a hat, mittens with a snow cuff, heavy ski socks, lined waterproof boots, and a snowsuit. • If your kids are skiing, they’ll need a helmet and goggles. Head protection is a necessity, and wearing goggles is important if it’s sunny or it’s snowing. I still recall getting sunburned eyes as a kid while skiing in the Rocky Mountains without sunglasses. In those days it wasn’t as common to wear goggles. Snow’s refractive nature can intensify the sun’s rays just like a magnifying glass. • When you bring young children to the ski hill, consider bringing a covered sled as a form of transportation and fun. • For kids who are learning to ski, you can rent equipment, buy second hand or take advantage of purchasing agreements that allow you to trade gear in after your child grows out of it. Just make sure the gear fits properly and bindings are adjusted properly. Learning to snowboard is always a conversation at our house as my husband snowboards and I ski. As we understand it, learning to ski is a great fundamental before learning to snowboard. A higher degree of muscle strength is required for snowboarding. Many experts feel age seven or eight are good ages to try snowboarding. If you are interested in more tips for parents and you’d like to get updates on Canadian skiing, visit www.skicanada.org. Jessica R. Pfeffer, MEM, loves exploring nature with her family. Jessica works at the BC Ministry of Environment, writes children’s literature and enjoys beautiful Vancouver Island. Email email@example.com.
Skiing & Snowboarding Safety Tips for Families
kiing and snowboarding are popular winter sports. But each year, children and adults are injured while involved in these sports, and sometimes the injuries are very serious. Did you know Snowboarding and downhill skiing are among the top three causes of injury related to snow and ice activities. Among young skiers, injuries happen most often to beginners, often on their first day. The number of brain and spinal cord injuries resulting from skiing and snowboarding is increasing worldwide. Safety starts with the right equipment Wear the proper equipment including a helmet and goggles, or wrist guards for snowboarding. Helmets can reduce the risk of a head injury. Children, teens and adults should always wear a helmet that is specifically designed for skiing and snowboarding. Preventing serious head injuries is everyone’s job, no matter your age. When you wear a helmet, you set a good example
for your children and send the message that it is important. Helmets for sale in Canada should have certification from CE, Snell or ASTM. These are designed as single-impact helmets. In 2008, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) released a new standard for a multiimpact ski and snowboard helmet. But there are no helmets available with the CSA seal because no helmet currently meets the CSA standard. Make sure you and your child’s helmet fits properly. Most helmets come with fitting instructions. Check your and your child’s equipment at the start of each ski day. You should also teach your children how to check their own equipment. Many injuries happen because of poorly adjusted bindings. Release bindings on skis and snowboards should be adjusted so that they are right for your child or teen’s weight and skiing ability. Don’t borrow equipment. If you don’t have equipment of your own, rent it from a reputable ski shop or resort, and make
sure that the boots fit and the bindings are adjusted correctly. Prepare before going out Check the weather forecast. Dress for the weather. Wear layers of clothes and pack extra hats and mitts. Take lessons. If your child or teen is new to skiing, sign him up for lessons with a certified instructor. Know the condition of the trails. Don’t ski or snowboard on trails that are closed or if you don’t know the conditions. Exercise and stretch to warm up muscles before hitting the slopes. Take care while on the slopes Never ski or snowboard alone. Ask older children to check in regularly with an adult. Be aware of physical and environmental hazards like trees or icy patches on the trail. Respect limits. Don’t ski or snowboard on hills that are above your skill level. Teach your children or teens that it’s important that they try more difficult slopes gradually and only as their skills get better. Check regularly for frostbite. Rest when tired. Reprinted with permission from the Canadian Paediatric Society. For more information, visit www.caringforkids.cps.ca.
STAGES Performing Arts School since 1980
s e s s a l C e h o o l Da n c nd up
Pre -S cfor ages 14 months a
ce Come Dan W i t h U s !e s,
To t C la s s Pa re n t & p, e t, H ip H o ll a B , z z a J la s s e s & C o m b o aClle t Ta p & Even the lit tlest angel can dance
z, B (w it h J a z h e a t re ) Mu s ic a l T
For more information
Call 250-384-3267 Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit our website: www.stagesdance.com
January 2014 37
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.
Choice of Hospital or Home Birth Continuity of Care Comprehensive Care Breastfeeding Education & Support We would be pleased to schedule an appointment to answer your questions about midwifery care.
midwivesinvictoria.ca 38 Island Parent Magazine
Wearing Two Hats
Meeting the challenges of being a student and a parent
or more than five years now, I have been a mother—and a student. It hasn’t been easy to do both jobs well, and I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way, but I’ve also learned a lot. What I’ve learned has improved the quality of not just my life, but my children’s lives as well. I have two children. My son is seven years old and my daughter is three. They are both bright and curious, and every day they make my life fun and interesting. Together, as a family, we navigate the busy, hectic, sometimes overstimulating world that we live in. Together we find creative solutions that work for us.
Challenge #1: Sick Days One of my biggest challenges, as a mom and a student, is navigating sick days. If my being sick means missing an assignment, most professors require a doctor’s note if the assignment is to be accepted on another day. This might be easy for some students, but when I have a cold or flu and am home with two sick kids, dragging us all out to the clinic is the last thing I have the energy to do. Yet, it is possible to get a doctor’s note after the fact, in some cases, as long as it’s no later than two weeks after having been sick. How to deal with missed classes 1. Communicate with your professor: I care about my courses and I want to do well. Most professors want to see their students do well, too, and will make themselves available, with office hours and by email, to answer a student’s questions. Keep in touch with your professors to show that you are doing the best you can to get your work done in a timely manner. 2. Get plenty of rest. If you rest and take good care of yourself at the first signs of sickness, you will recover faster and miss less class time than if you try to push through being sick. Drink plenty of fluids, take naps with the kids, and if you must clean, do it in short bursts and rest after. 3. Make friends in your classes, or at the very least, study buddies. Exchange contact information with at least one other student in the class. When you’re sick you can ask them to send you a copy of their notes, and you can do the same for them.
Challenge #2: Time Management Each day I have a number of responsibilities that demand my time and attention, and if I don’t get through my mile-long to-do list, the consequences are far from pleasant. I love being a mom and I love being a student, and I want to do both jobs well and not run myself into the ground in the process. How to manage your time 1. Know your priorities and stick to them. One thing that helped me is writing out a list of all of the things I “need” to get done, and then I rank them according to priority. When life is busy, some things have to be cut from the list. Next I look at what remains and brainstorm about ways to make those jobs fun. Then I can be reasonable about what I could accomplish in one day, and set up a checklist to give myself a visual reminder of my progress. 2. Don’t do it alone. Including your kids/ partner/a friend in chores or errands can make a dull job interesting and easier. Taking out kids’ books on the topic I’m studying is a great way I’ve found to include the kids in my study time, and a way to discover topics they might want to learn more about. 3. Be present. I don’t find every assignment I do interesting, and some of the reading I have to do is pretty dull, but I’ve mastered the skill of getting interested in and finding the joy in what I’m doing. If I know someone related to the topic who is interesting, I talk and study with them. Their enthusiasm often spills over to me. I take breaks from reading and watch related YouTube videos to give my brain a different way to learn. 4. Food prep. At the beginning of each term I get together with friends and have a food prep party. We chop fruit and vegetables and cook large amounts of rice and meat, and put it all in containers and freezer bags. For weeks after that, meals are as easy as taking out a container from the freezer or emptying a bag into the slow cooker. Being as organized as possible helps. So does asking for help when you need it—from family, friends, and your instructors. Nicole Fraser is a full-time student at the end her psychology/philosophy degree and a full-time parent to two children ages 7 and 3. www.kidsinvictoria.com
Greater Victoria School District New Kindergarten parents are invited to attend our popular Welcome to School Parent Information Evenings where you will learn about our District’s exciting Kindergarten programs and meet with educators from across the District. For more details, please visit our website at www.sd61.bc.ca/kindergarten.aspx.
Pa r e n t M ee t i n gs: Coastal Kindergarten
Early French Immersion
Wednesday January 15, 2014
Tuesday January 21, 2014
Wednesday January 22, 2014
James Bay Community School Gym
S.J. Willis Education Centre
S.J. Willis Education Centre
140 Oswego Street Questions? Call 250-384-7184 or 250-382-5234
923 Topaz Avenue Questions? Call 250-475-4220
923 Topaz Avenue Questions? Call 250-475-4189
The Greater Victoria School District is committed to each student’s success in learning within a responsive and safe environment. We are proud of our 2013 graduates who received over $4 million in scholarships! www.IslandParent.ca
January 2014 39
Let’s Talk Second& Third-Hand Smoke Healthy Families, Happy Families
Child, Youth & Family Public Health South Island Health Units Esquimalt 250-519-5311 Gulf Islands 250-539-3099 (toll-free number for office in Saanichton)
Peninsula 250-544-2400 Saanich 250-519-5100 Saltspring Island 250-538-4880 Sooke 250-642-5464 Victoria 250-388-2200 West Shore 250-519-3490
Central Island Health Units Duncan 250-709-3050 Ladysmith 250-755-3342 Lake Cowichan 250-749-6878 Nanaimo 250-755-3342 Nanaimo Princess Royal 250-755-3342 Parksville/Qualicum 250-947-8242 Port Alberni 250-731-1315 Tofino 250-725-4020
North Island Health Units Campbell River 250-850-2110 Courtenay 250-331-8520 Kyuquot Health Ctr 250-332-5289 ‘Namgis Health Ctr 250-974-5522 Port Hardy 250-902-6071
40 Island Parent Magazine
What is the difference between second- and third-hand smoke? Second-hand smoke is the smoke and other airborne products that come from being in the proximity of burning tobacco products. Second-hand smoke can spread from a smoking area to a non-smoking area, even if the doors between the two areas are closed and ventilation is provided. Only 100 per cent smoke-free environments provide effective protection. In contrast, third-hand smoke refers to the chemical residue that remains in areas long after active smoking has occurred. Third-hand smoke residue builds up on surfaces over time and can resist cleaning attempts. It cannot be eradicated by open windows, air conditioners, or fans.
Did you know? • Second-hand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals and there is no safe level of second-hand smoke exposure. • In 2001, the World Health Organization released the report, Tobacco and the Rights of the Child. According to the report, second-hand smoke exposure, also known as passive, environmental or involuntary smoke exposure, affected 700 million children under the age of 18 years world-wide. • Third-hand smoke is also harmful. Toxic chemical residue may remain on such items as furnishings, draperies, household dust, surfaces, vehicles, car seats and clothing.
What if I have family members or friends who smoke? Smoking can be a sensitive subject in families and having the discussion around setting healthy boundaries can be difficult. Most current smokers want to quit. One emotional and powerful motivator can be the excitement of a new baby and the joy of young children. According to a Tobacco Use in Canada Report, in 2011, almost two thirds of current smokers reported seriously considering quitting smoking in the following six months. This could be the perfect opportunity for families to support a loved one to quit the habit. It is important to focus on the facts and the risks to your family if exposures to second- or third-hand smoke occur. Young
children are particularly susceptible to the negative health impacts of involuntary smoke exposure due to their size, the faster rate at which they breathe, crawling, spending time on a variety of surfaces, and their tendency to explore their world with their hands and mouths.
Healthy Families, Happy Families C hild Y outh & Family Public Health
What about outdoors? Studies show that levels of pollution when sitting by someone smoking outdoors can measure at very high levels, similar to those levels found with indoor smoking. The difference being that weather conditions may cause the smoke to disperse faster. As there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke, smoke-free outdoor spaces are as important as indoor spaces for your children.
How do you protect your family from second- and third-hand smoke? • Do not allow smoking in your home or homes where your children spend time, at child care or in the vehicles in which your children travel. Consider whether smoking occurs in the area at other times. Just because someone is not actively smoking doesn’t mean that children are not exposed to harmful toxins. • Advocate for 100 per cent smoke-free indoor and outdoor areas for your family to enjoy. • Direct loved ones to resources in your community. A great place to start is QuitNow, operated by the BC Lung Association and supported through grant funding from the BC Ministry of Health, under the Healthy Families BC initiative at www. quitnow.ca. Clare Cronin is a Practice Consultant with the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, Island Health.
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ids need to learn about computers early.” “It’s the way of the world.” “That’s just the way it is.” You hear this a lot, right, dads? Especially if you voice your skepticism of anything technological, you’re immediately tied to a stake and lit afire, people circling you, calling you a heretic and (incorrectly, if we’re being picky, which we are) a Luddite. Hang in there. It’s all lies. Now, before we go any further, some disclosure: I subscribe to Wired magazine. I enjoy reading instruction manuals. I like the smell of new plastic. I am man. I like technology, and I like gadgets. Apart from an ancient iPod, my most recent gadget is a Discman (I’m a dad, after all; my limit to current technology got taken back a couple of decades the moment my firstborn gasped into the world; guess it happens to all of us). But, still. I’m no extremist. People will tell you that your kid might as well play video games, your toddler might as well hang out on the computer, your baby might as well watch television. You really have no say in it: we’re a plugged-in society. Wrong. You do have a say in it. You’re the parent; Mac computers are not. To clarify, I’m not an anti-screen crusader. My kids watch TV now and again, and that’s fine. I have fond memories of staying up late to watch a special television show on certain Friday nights. But I think the less screen time, the better. However, let me make this abundantly clear: you shouldn’t care what I think, and I don’t really care what you think about screen time. Because everyone has an opinion, and most of those opinions are hysterical. But here’s what I do want to say. If you don’t believe your kid should be watching television or using a computer or playing video games, don’t forget that you have the power to stop them. My kids don’t even know what a video game is. And that hasn’t been hard at all. We just don’t let them play them. Easy, really. Again, the point isn’t if games or television are good or bad. The point is you can, quite easily, still have some power. Look,
we’ve all been fooled by Apple’s advertising and packaging, and we all think we need a whole lot of stuff that we don’t. I understand. But the idea that kids need to learn how to use computers while they’re young is completely false. It’s never too late. Senior citizens learn how to set up email accounts.
Dadspeak GREG PRATT My iPod is so stupid I can figure it out when I’m asleep. Its home page has colourful, bubbly icons you press with your finger. It looks about as advanced as a sheet of princess stickers from McDonald’s. (Incidentally, tech is losing a bit of its masculinity, isn’t it? I remember modems sounding like barbed wire on a chalkboard, harsh white-textblue-screen visuals, and needing several boot disks just to load up a computer. That stuff had muscle. Nowadays we have stickmen apps with the word “stuff” in their name, blasting at us in neon colour that we delicately swipe with our fingers. If the tech world wants me to be showing my son this stuff, they’ve got to rough things up a bit before we can even begin negotiations.) Anyway, the point is kids don’t need to learn this stuff when they’re two. Maybe you want yours to, but they don’t need to. They can take a one-hour primer when they’re 19, and be ready to go. That’s that. So don’t tell me my toddler needs an iPad—especially if you’re trying to sell me an iPad app for my toddler. The power is in your hands, not in an advertiser’s hands or society’s hands. You call the shots, not everyone else. That’s just the way it is. Greg Pratt is the father of two children and a local journalist and editor. His writing has appeared in, among other places, Today’s Parent, Wired, Revolver, and Douglas. www.kidsinvictoria.com
Introducing Chapter Books
icture books are magical things that are probably enjoyed for much longer than many kids want to admit. However, at some point children and parents are ready to begin reading chapter books. This happens at different ages. My middle son was listening to and understanding chapter books at three years old, while my youngest still has limited interest in them at age six. So how can you tell when your child is ready? Usually kids will show you when they are ready for chapter books. They will stay focused and interested in a story for periods longer than 20 minutes, they will ask questions about words or story lines and they will ask to be read to regularly. And while I would emphasize the importance of not pushing chapter books on kids who do not seem interested, I would suggest that if, by age five or six, kids still aren’t showing any interest, then try to change the type of book being read to them. Much to my surprise, and unlike his older brothers, my six-year-old gravitates toward the Box Car Children chapter books (although he also loved most of the stories mentioned below). One factor that may—and I emphasize may—deter young listeners is the tone of the reader. Often, reading chapter books requires that the reader put more effort into their expression in order to captivate the listener. Reading chapter books introduces new language and more complex plot lines than picture books. It also encourages reading stamina. As a parent, I was so excited to start reading chapter books to my kids. It opened up a whole new world. There are many popular serial books written for young children. However, outside of these it can be challenging to find suitable books with accessible language and plots, that don’t deal with emotional issues or school issues more pertinent to older kids, and that are a suitable length. The following are a few examples of great books to read out loud to kids under seven. Most of these titles have been around for years. My Father’s Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett. I would never have known that this
book was written in the 1940s. The language is clear and simple and easy to follow. It is a magical tale of a young boy who takes the advice of an old alley cat and sets off on a journey to Wild Island where he plans to save a dragon. The boy uses some of what he’s packed for the trip—lollipops, bubble gum, toothpaste and rubber bands—to
Book Nook PAISLEY AIKEN creatively outsmart the wild beasts he encounters along the way to the dragon. This little adventure is easy to understand and is mild in its telling. There is nothing scary or overwhelming in it, and its black and white sketches will intrigue and engage young listeners. Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl. I’ve read this book to my kids at least eight times. While not quite as dark as many of the Dahl books, it still offers the delightfulyet-sinister villains, a clever protagonist, and a brilliantly told story. Dahl builds suspense and tension through the story while keeping the tale simple and moving quickly enough to hold the attention of younger listeners. Many of Roald Dahl’s books are ideal for this age, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, and James and the Giant Peach. The Mouse and the Motorcycle, by Beverly Cleary. What child doesn’t love the idea of an animal that can talk and play with them? Ralph is a mischievous little daredevil mouse who gets his hands on a toy motorcycle that he can bring to life. Although The Mouse and the Motorcycle is longer than some of the other early chapter books, it is a lovely tale that will have kids searching out their own magical mice. Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren. I love Pippi—she’s one of my very favouwww.kidsinvictoria.com
rite female role models in literature. She is courageous, independent, and compassionate. Few characters are as recognizable as she is with her wild strength and cunning, her flaming red hair and her “nothing is impossible” attitude. Kids seem absolutely shocked by her character—my kids longed to move next door to her after we read about her. The original movie, with actress Inger Nilsson, is also a gem, but not until after you’ve read the book! Danny, Who Fell in a Hole, by Cary Fagan. This is a brand new release by this Canadian author. When Danny’s parents tell him they are moving and giving away the family dog, Danny runs away from home, only to fall and find himself stuck at the bottom of a hole with only his school backpack and a poetry-
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Child, Adolescent & Family Psychology Mental Health Services loving talking mole for company. This book is listed for older children, but the strongest part of the story is the lovable little mole that young readers will find endearing. While older kids may be interested in some of the internal struggles facing Danny—adapting to change, identity within the family—the most obvious problem (will Danny get out of the hole?) is simple enough to keep young listeners excited. This sweet little adventure story is fun and quirky without getting too moralistic. Paisley Aiken reads extensively to her three energetic young boys. She is founder of The Story Studio Writing Society, a charity that grows kids’ relationship with literacy.
Assessment and evidence-based treatment.
Dr. Shannon Barnsley Registered Psychologist
BC College Registration #2071 204–
250.591.0702 email@example.com www.drshannonbarnsley.com
Evaluations for learning disabilities, achievement testing and most school-related academic problems.
Common Childhood Concerns
Anxiety, grief, depression, behaviour problems, school learning and behaviour problems, ADHD, family and step-family relationships, bullying, low self-esteem, sleep diﬃculties.
Family Services Directory This directory, sponsored by Thrifty Foods, features not for profit agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families.
family support program offers advocacy, conflict resolution, education, newsletters, workshops, support groups and a resource library. Please call 250-477-7231 ext 233. TM
BC Families in Transition (formerly the Separation and Divorce Resource Centre) is one of three non-profit 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 www.bcfit.org to see how we can help. Some evening and weekend appointments available.
difference in the life of a child in as little as 1 hr./ week. Contact us at 250-475-1117 or visit www. bbbsvictoria.com or ‘LIKE’ our page at facebook. com/bbbsvictoria.
Beacon Community Services is a community-based non-profit agency providing social, employment, and health services to Saanich Peninsula, Greater Victoria, and Southern Gulf Islands residents. Beacon offers: 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.beaconcs.ca.
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@ marymanning.com.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria is a non-profit organization that provides mentoring programs for children and youth between the ages of 7 - 17. Adult volunteers (“Bigs”) are matched with children (“Littles”) based on shared interests, respect and trust. No special skills or experience are needed to be a mentor to a child, just a willingness to be a friend and commit to being a consistent, positive adult role model. Make a BIG
Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school and evening social, educational and recreational programming for children and youth at 4 locations. We also offer support to parents (Parents Together) and programs at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. For more information on all programs and services visit www.bgcvic.org or call 250.384.9133.
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. We also provide Autism Services for youth between 13 and 19. Our
Esquimalt Neighbourhood House Society. Our Family Services offer family resource programs with a focus on early childhood development and learning, 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. HeadWay Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre supports families living with seizures by providing tutoring and one-on-one professional consultations to help your child live up to their full potential. We offer a parent workshop three times a year as well as education presentations in schools and community groups. Keep up to date with the latest research about treatments, lifestyle, and safety issues for your child. We can be reached at www.headwayvictoria.com, or you can contact our Epilepsy Program Coordinator, Jenn Morgan, directly at 250-475-6677 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is a service agency for immigrants and refugees. Programs offered include cross-cultural counseling, parenting programs (child care available), family violence programs, employment services, interpretation and translation, diversity workshops and training, ESL instruction, volunteering, youth programs and tutoring, as well as intercultural arts programming and the Diversity Health Fair. 930 Balmoral Rd, 250-388-4728, email@example.com, www.icavictoria.org. Learning Disabilities Association of BC, SVI Chapter, educates, supports and advocates for children and youth with learn-
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
www.IslandParent.ca or www.kidsinvictoria.com 46 Island Parent Magazine
Emmanuel Preschool 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Road (by entrance to UVic)
Openings for 2013–2014 Classes!
ing disabilities and related conditions. Children learn through play in our all inclusive, Services include a public lending library, individual/ non-denominational Christian preschool. facility; outdoor play area and a gym for rainy day play! groupGreat support for parents and children, profesTwo teachers with ECE certification plus assistant teachers to help with special needs children. for parents and sional/educational workshops A competent and caring teaching team! professionals. Child and youth programs include: Opportunities: reading/writing, academic skills, social/emotional Mon / Wed / Fri morning class skill development and Fast Tues / Thurs morning classForWord. 1562 Fort week Street,5 mornings Victoria, aBC V8S 5J2. Ph 250.370.9513. Fax. Phone 250.370.9421. www.ldasvi.bc.ca. www. 250-598-0573 firstname.lastname@example.org knowyourrights.ca
Emmanuel Preschool over 35 years of nurturing children in our community
Saturday, Feb 22, 9:30-11:00am
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 responsibilities and childcare services and support to parents. Exciting Volunteer opportunities available! Call the MFRC: 250-3632640 (1-800-353-3329) for information. www. esquimaltmfrc.com. Parent Support Services Society (www. parentsupportbc.ca) 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 250-3848042; email email@example.com. 1Up: Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre (www.1-up.ca) 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 on a sliding scale). 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 250-385-1114 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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; email@example.com.
or contact us for a visit Sept-June Learning through creative play Two licensed, experienced Early Childhood Educators Warm, fun, non-denominational Christian learning environment
2121 Cedar Hill Cross Road www.emmanuelpreschool.ca
matinees for KiDs! JAN 4 & 5
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 95 min; rated G
JAN 11 & 12
PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS 107 min; rated PG – violence
JAN 18 & 19
Saturdays & Sundays at 1pm All Seats $4.75
104 min; rated G
JAN 25 & 26
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
1987, 98 min; rated PG
FEB 1 & 2
A LITTLE PRINCESS
1995, 96 min; rated G
.com Student Union Building, UVIC | 721-8365
Sooke School District
invites 3 & 4 year-olds & families to
Ready, Set, Learn! • Play & learn with hands-on activities! •Receive goody bag full of fun! • Find out how to support your child’s learning & development.
Wednesday, January 29 Westshore Town Centre (12–4pm) Sooke Community Hall (10am–1pm) January 2014
Nooch for the New Year
very year, as I pick the pine needles from between my toes, shake the last of the Christmas songs from my head, and half-heartedly cram decorations away into suddenly too-small boxes, my thoughts turn to the blank slate, the tabula rasa of the new year, clear, rough around the edges, and spread out before me, waiting for patterns to be carved by life’s daily routines. Silly, really. Every day is the end of something, and the next day (hour, minute) is the start of something brand new, beautifully unknown, and full of potential. Still, I like ceremony: I prefer to hold my annually scheduled musing in early January. A new month and a new year, legions of people everywhere taking on new lifestyles. How about a new(ish) word? Umami: new neither in discovery nor usage. Professor Ikeda, in 1908 Japan, pinned this flavour down, and umami has been the “it” taste in Western cookery for at least the past five years. Reader, you can trust me not to spring untried culinary theories on you! Umami is described variously as a pleasantly brothy flavour, that leaves a furry sensation on the
tongue and induces salivation. (Alice, are you sure about this rabbit hole?) Umami is said to be the perfect foil to the other flavours of salty, sweet, sour and bitter, the depth to the food palate that the tongue recognized before science did. The umami content of breast milk is roughly equivalent with many broths, so for many of us, it’s a comforting flavour. The primary effect of umami is to balance out the flavours of a dish. Some examples are the salty tang of Parmesan cheese on tomato sauce, the depth of bonito flakes in miso soup, the woodsy flavour of mushrooms, prepared any way, or nutritional yeast, my new personal favourite. Nutritional yeast—aka “nooch” among the cool kids with the food blogs—is a vegan-friendly umami source, that can give the oomph of cheese without the provenance. Nooch is a dried, de-activated yeast (no activity means no bloating), and can be added by the tablespoon to many dishes that are in need of a little extra depth. Popcorn is an obvious choice: nooch and olive oil (butter as a non-vegan option), with a sprinkle of
sea salt, and you’re ready to go. Sprinkle it over pasta, eggs, or thinly sliced tofu just before frying in canola oil. Nooch will round out the flavours, and gives you all the B12
Just Eat It! Kathy Humphrey necessary for your day, as well. Sprinkle over your kale chips before baking, stir into cooked spinach with a splash of vegetable oil to get a bit of a retro creamed spinach vibe going, toss over yams before roasting. It’s a small thing, true, but every beach is made of many small grains of sand. Let your new year be made from trying out new things, one by one!
Nooch Miso Soup 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 small onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 stalk celery sprinkle salt, to taste 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (nooch)
Island Rhythmic Gymnastics Club
Do you have a little girl who likes to dance, jump and juggle? Register her for a class at Island Rhythmics! Classes for girls 3 and up Contact us to register for our fall session
48 Island Parent Magazine
3 cups miso broth (3 cups boiling water and miso paste, to taste) 1 small carrot, grated 2 cups spinach, washed and shredded Heat olive oil in medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and celery. Cook, stirring often, for about 7 minutes, or until softened. Stir in salt, then nutritional yeast. Add carrot, then add broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, for about 10 minutes, or until carrot is tender-crisp. Add spinach when there are about 5 minutes left.
Nooch Dressing 1⁄2 cup olive or grapeseed oil 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 Tbsp cider vinegar 1 Tbsp nooch 1 Tbsp tahini I clove garlic, minced salt and pepper, to taste Combine all ingredients in shaker jar or mini-blender. Shake well. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary. Best if prepared in advance for the flavours to develop. (Toss on pasta, rice, quinoa or mixed greens.)
Mack & Non-Chesse 1⁄4
cup nooch 2–3 Tbsp olive oil dash cayenne pepper, or paprika salt and pepper to taste 2 cups pasta of your choice Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving portion of cooking water. In small bowl, mix together nooch, olive oil, cayenne, salt and pepper. Drizzle reserved pasta water over, until sauce has attained the desired consistency. Stir into pasta. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve.
Emily’s Bean Dip
Late French Immersion Late French Immersion students begin to study French in Grade 6. No prior knowledge of French is expected. By Grade 8, Late French Immersion students have usually achieved a level of fluency equivalent to those in Early Immersion. Late French Immersion is offered at: • Arbutus Middle • Cedar Hill Middle • Lansdowne Middle • Shoreline Middle
• Central Middle
Late French Immersion is open to any student entering Grade 6 in September 2014. To apply to enroll in Late Immersion, go to your preferred Late Immersion school during Immersion Registration Week (January 27 to January 31, 2014). Interested in Learning More About Late French Immersion? Attend our Information Meeting:
Late French Immersion Information Meeting Monday, January 20, 2014 • 6:30 pm SJ Willis Auditorium, 923 Topaz Ave Simon Burgers, Coordinator, Languages and Multiculturalism, will be pleased to provide you with additional information, 250-475-4120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 tin beans (bean medley, red kidney beans, black beans or romano beans) 2 Tbsp olive oil 2 Tbsp nooch 2 Tbsp lime juice dash cayenne pepper salt and pepper, to taste Drain beans, and rinse well. Place in food processor with remainder of ingredients. Whirl until smooth. Serve with whatever dippables suit your fancy. 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. www.IslandParent.ca
January 2014 49
Preschool & Child Care Directory CENTRAL SAANICH Almosthome Childcare/Preschool...250-590-7666 Quality childcare with a preschool curriculum/kindergarten readiness program. Experienced Early Childhood Educators. Nurturing environment for ages 21⁄2 to 5 years old. www.almosthomecare.com. 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. www.chrysalischildcare.ca.
Colwood/LANGFORD Almosthome Childcare/Preschool...250-590-7666 Quality childcare with a preschool curriculum/kindergarten readiness program. Experienced Early Childhood Educators. Nurturing environment for ages 10 months to 5 years old. www.almosthomecare.com. Caring Touch Daycare.......................250-478-4886 A warm, loving, fun family daycare in a safe, nurturing environment. Infant/toddler care for ages 1–5 years. Jenn’s Little Bears.............................250-478-8999 A safe nurturing environment for children from infancy to kindergarten. Our Infant and Toddler Program enriches each child’s development while our 3-5 Program prepares children for kindergarten. Two separate buildings allow each age group space to grow! Leap Forward Childcare...................778-265-5955 or 250-818-9225 Infant Toddler Program and Three to Five Program offering childcare for children six months to five years old. 2758 Peatt RD. www.leapforwardlangford.com. email@example.com Miles of Smiles Nature Junior Kindergarten..............778-265-4374 Come see why learning in nature rocks! Reggio Influenced Philosophy for ages 3-5. Have your child become a nature detective today! www.naturejuniorkindergarten.com
CORDOVA BAY Carrot Seed Preschool......................250-652-2311 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Wondrous natural playground. www.carrotseedpreschool.com. Cordova Bay Preschool....................250-658-3441 A bright and cheerful parent-participation preschool with a philosophy of “learning through play.” www. cordovabaypreschool.org.
ESQUIMALT 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. Island Kids Academy Esquimalt.......250-381-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Preschool curriculum offered within a warm, caring all-day program. Character development using the Virtues Project. Access to community programs including swimming, skating, Victoria Conservatory of Music. Part-time spaces available. www.islandkids.ca.
La Pre-Maternelle Appletree Preschool..........................250-479-0292 French immersion program. 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre. www.prematernelleappletree.com. 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 Our Outdoor Nature program provides your child with an experience un-like no other in the elements! Our program boasts our OWN 2 acre forest for your child to explore and learn while our ECEs provide a strong Reggio Emilia Influence. Like us on Facebook. www. lexieslittlebears.com. Space available. Waitlist for September being taken now!
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 Come and visit our stunning natural outdoor playspace, warm, nurturing, play-based,inclusive program allowing parents to grow and learn alongside their child. Exceptional ECE Staff provide an enriching experience for 2.5 - 5 year olds. Come grow with us! Est.1960. Reg. begins Mar.1 @ 9am. www.metchosinpreschool. wordpress.com.
North SAANICH In The Garden Childcare Centre.......250-654-0306 A GREAT PLACE TO GROW. Offering preschool, full day care, before and after school care for children aged 2.5 to 12 years old. Open all year.
OAK BAY Creative Child....................................778-679-0076 At Creative Child, you will find a place of quality learning and care for a small group of young children in a beautiful Montessori-inspired setting. www. creativechildcentre.com Emmanuel Preschool........................250-598-0573 Children learn through play in our non-denominational Christian preschool near UVic. Bright attractive setting. www.emmanuelpreschool.ca. Gonzales Co-op Preschool...............250-727-1003 Children explore their imaginations in our learning-throughplay environments and large natural playground. Our Reggio-Emilia inspired program focuses on art, nature and music. Over 50 years serving Victoria’s families. Nuturing and highly qualified ECE and ECE Assistant. Parent participation level options available and allergy-aware. Join us! www.gonzalespreschool.com.
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. www.kindredspiritschildrenshouse.com 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. www.oakbaypreschool.com. Recreation Oak Bay..........................250-370-7200 Fully licensed, qualified ECE Daycare and Preschool with play based learning. After school care also available. St. Christopher’s Montessori School............................250-595-3213 A beautiful, warm environment, steps from beach and park in Oak Bay. We offer an enriched Montessori program – half days for 3 and 4 year olds and half or full day Kindergarten. www.stcmsoakbaybc.com.
SAANICH Arbutus Grove Children’s Centre.....250-477-3731 Formerly known as Goosey Gander Kindergarten. Half Day and Full Day Preschool Programs. Children’s learning is supported and nurtured through inquiry, exploration, play and creative expression. www.arbutusgrove.ca Cloverdale Child Care.......................... 250-995-1766 Preschool for 3 & 4 year olds, Come grow with us and learn through play. www.cloverdalechildcare.com. Full o’ Beans Preschool........................ 250.360.1148 Opening September 2013. We offer ‘learn through play’ programming designed to foster your child’s natural curiosity and imagination. Flexible scheduling, 2.5 and 4 hour programs, qualified staff. Registration is ongoing!www.saanichneighbourhoodplace.com. Island Montessori House..................250-592-4411 Inclusive, integrated and nurturing preschool, kindergarten, Grade 1/2 program. Located in a lovely rural setting. Extended day available. www.islandmontessori.com. Lakehill Co-op Preschool.................250-477-4141 Where children’s development is nurtured through a child centered inclusive, play based program. Come visit our out natural outdoor playground and meet our loving qualified ECE team. Multiple Levels of participation available, please enquire. www.lakehillpreschool.org. Lambrick Park Preschool & Childcare............................................250-477-8131 Gordon Head’s only parent-participation preschool and childcare centre. Flexible options, play-based learning and outdoor play. Allergy friendly. Celebrating 40+ years. www.lambrickparkpreschool.ca. Little Readers Academy....................250-477-5550 An enriched learn-to-read program for your 3-6 yearold! Reading, Writing and Math. Half-day, weekend and evening sessions available. www.oxfordlearning.com.
Looking for child care? Taking care of children?
Call your local Child Care Resource & Referral for free referrals and resources.
Resource & Referral Your community’s best source of child care information and resources. 50 Island Parent Magazine
Victoria & Gulf Islands: 250-382-7000 or 1-800-750-1868 Sooke: 250-642-5152 Westshore: 250-391-4324 Cowichan Valley: 250-746-4135 local 231 PacificCare (Ladysmith north): 250-756-2022 or 1-888-480-2273 Funded by the Province of BC
www.islandfamilyinfo.ca www.ccrr.bc.ca www.kidsinvictoria.com
Preschool & Child Care Directory Montessori Educare..........................250-881-8666 Beautiful learning environments in Broadmead and Saanichton. 30 months – 5 years. Summer program available. Special needs are welcome. www.montessorieducare.com. Neighbourhood Junior Kindergarten..250-479-4410 Offering an early literacy program 4 mornings/wk. (TF) for 4 year olds in an attractive, culturally-sensitive learning environment in Lake Hill School. Oakcrest Preschool...........................250-472-0668 • Two fully qualified teachers, AM classes • No duty days, wide variety of parent jobs • www.oakcrestpreschool.org 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.playtimepreschool.com. Puddles & Paints Playschool............250-658-6573 Introduce your children to Nature with our outdoor nature-lovers program. Our centre backs up to 15 acres of our “secret-garden” parkland where we can learn and explore! Strong environmental awareness with a “Naturalplay-based” philosophy. ECE staff, and a strong Reggio Emilia Influence! Celebrating and supporting your child’s world and successes! Like us on Facebook! Rainbows & Dreams Preschool........250-479-1966 Small classes for 3-5 yr olds in a safe nurturing environment. Children learn through play and fun–developing a sense of confidence, independence and creativity. Highly qualified ECE teacher. Ready Set Grow Preschool...............250-472-1530 A warm, caring, quality Learning Through Play environment. Gordon Head area with a highly qualified ECE. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. www.ArtsCalibre.ca Babies to Big Kids Childcare............... 250-590-5540 949 Fullerton Ave. Daycare owner, 250-818-9225 Licenced group childcare for children 6 months to 12 years old. Three programs offered: Infant toddler program, Three to Five Program and Before and After School Care Program. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. Weekly music and movement classes. www.babiestobigkids. com, email@example.com. Butterfly Corner.................................... 250-381-4845 Licensed family day care in James Bay. Since 1998. ECE. Ages 1–5. Full time. Fun & Educational. http:// ButterflyCornerCreativeLearningCentre.com Castleview Child Care.......................250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Experience. Licensed nonprofit, qual. ECE staff. Since 1958. Preschool and full-time care. www.castleviewchildcarecentre.com. Cedar Daycare...................................250-479-2032 Community oriented, NFP Child Care facility. Wide variety of activities offered including the use of a private outdoor pool during the summer months. Licensed ECE educators devoted to nurturing children aged 30 months – 5 years. www.cedardaycare.com. Christ Church Cathedral Childcare.. 250-383-5132 ECE and specialist teachers provide an outstanding all day licensed program for 3 and 4 year olds in our spacious and welcoming facility in James Bay. www. cathedralschool.ca.
Rogers Child Care Centre.................250-744-2343 Trusted High Quality Programs since 1991. Early Learning and Out of School Care. www.rogerschildcare.com.
Downtown Y Child Care Centre.......250-413-8869 Enriched program, for children ages 3-5 years, supporting healthy child development and future school success. www.victoriay.com.
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.
Lansdowne Co-op Preschool...........250-370-5392 An extraordinary learning environment for families with young children. Parent participation. wwwlansdownepreschool.com.
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. www.stmarg.ca. Strawberry Vale Preschool...............250-479-4213
Programs for 3 or 4 year olds at “The Little Red Schoolhouse.” Choose between full or partial parent participation. www.strawberryvalepreschool.org. Wiseways Preschool & Daycare.......250-477-1312
Fully licensed Christian preschool for 3 and 4 year olds. Designed to meet the needs of the whole child. Subsidized fees welcome. www.wiseways. lambrick.com.
SIDNEY Adel’s Play N Discovery House........250-655-4888
Licensed childcare, 3-5 years, Reggio Emilia inspired. Mon–Fri, 7:30am–5:30pm. 2146 Beacon Avenue W. adelplayndiscovery.com. Positive Path Early Learning............250-655-7244
Year-round quality child care where preschoolers explore and learn in a culture of Christian values and virtues. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. nightingalepreschool.com. 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. email@example.com. Rainbow Express Daycare................250-382-2314 Enriched preschool style program in a daycare setting. Visit our website at www.rainbowexpressdaycare.com. Ross Bay Preschool..........................250-383-7445 Positive/supportive program motivating children to learn and discover. Curriculum builds on interests of the children. www.rossbaypreschool.com The Sir James Douglas Playschool.250-389-0500 Fun, creative and educational ECE program for 3-5 year olds to grow and develop life long skills. Come play and learn 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. www.victoriamontessori.com.
VIEW ROYAL A Secret Garden Preschool..............250-380-8293 Program built on Christian values. Monthly themes, weekly topics and daily activities. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Island Kids Academy View Royal.....250-727-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Preschool curriculum offered within a warm, caring child care environment. Character development using the Virtues Project. Access to community programs including swimming, skating, Victoria Conservatory of Music. Part-time spaces available. www.islandkids.ca. Little Friends Childcare Center........250-479-8423 For a creative learning environment. Licensed group facility. Infants/Toddlers/Preschool. www.littlefriends childcare.ca. 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. www.viewroyalosc.com. 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. viewroyalpreschool@ live.com.
Mill Bay / Cobble Hill Starchild Centre..................................250-929-3240 Unique infant/toddler daycare, combines the best of Montessori and Waldorf. Our 9 acre hobby farm enables each child to have a garden plot, participate in planting trees, picking fruit, feeding animals, and other outside adventures. www.starchildcentre.ca.
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. email@example.com.. 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 www.sunrisewaldorfschool.org. Parent & Child programs also available!
Chemainus 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@ hotmail.com. Little Star Children’s Centre.............250-752-4554 Earth friendly preschool education inspired by nature. Kinder-Prep classes. Licensed group care. ECE instructors. www.littlestardaycare.ca. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Port Alberni John Paul II Catholic School............250-723-0637 “Where children grow and learn through play.” We provide a program that will inspire development physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, creatively and spiritually.
January 2014 51
Business & Professional Directory Ad Directory Oak & Orca Bioregional
1Up Single Parent Resource Ctr........... 53
Move to the head of the class.
Jamie Lemi Co.
Arbutus Grove............. 55 Oak Bay Preschool...... 36
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Greater Victoria....... 30 Rainbow Express......... 26
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Art Gallery of
Artistic Statement....... 18 READ Society.............. 12 Backyardigans............ 13 Recyclistas................. 13 Red Balloon................ 42
Barnsley................. 45 Restart Computers...... 27 Romeo’s..................... 23
& Parks.................. 35 Royal BC Museum........ 2 Saanich
BC Registered Music Teachers Assoc......... 3
Smart Tutor Referrals.com
Locally owned new business!
Professional In-Home Tutorial Support
Call 250-544-1588 to learn more.
Campus Honda.......... IFC Sanich Dental............. 35
Enthusiastic, Enthusiastic, flexible lessons !
Cathedral................ 22 School District Cinecenta................... 47
COUPLES & FAMILY COUNSELLING
#61.................. 39, 49
Conseil Scolaire.......... 33 School District Consignment Stores...... 9
Mary Rogers ! 30 years BMus, ARCT, BCRMT! !of teaching excellence 30 years of teaching excellence !
#62........................ 47 School District
Cowichan Therapeutic Riding..................... 54
#63.................. 17, 27
Discovery School........ 16 Science Works.............. 5 Selkirk Montessori........ 8
Preschool................ 47 Serious Coffee............ 32
Music from Mozart to Harry Potter
Fit 4 Two................... IBC Sportball.................... IFC
All ages and levels welcome!
Glengarry Dance......... 48 St. Joseph’s School..... 55
John Cook, MA, MSW, RCSW
Registered Marriage !Music from Mozart to email@example.com ! & Family Therapist UVic-area studio, 250-744-9049 Harry Potter! Evening appointments
Mary Rogers BMus, ARCT, BCRMT firstname.lastname@example.org UVic-area studio 250-744-9049 CLOTHES•SHOES•TOYS
2–1517 Amelia St, Victoria V8W 2J9
Celebrating our “Original” Outdoor Learning Program! We bring your child’s classroom…OUTSIDE!”
WATERPROOF & INSULATED
• “Life is playfulness. We need to play so that we can rediscover the magic all around us.” – Flora Colao • Our property boasts 2 acres of forest with 2 huge natural play spaces for the children to discover! • Providing a quality Natural program through outdoor play, starting your child on the right path towards a healthy, active forever lifestyle.
Guitar in Motion.......... 49 St. Margaret’s Habitat for Humanity... 14
School.................... 56 Stages................. 23, 37
League................... 31 Theatre ONE............... 30 IMAX Theatre.............. 20 Thrifty Foods............... 29 Island Farms............... 28 TJ’s The Kiddies Island Montessori........ 55
Store...................... 19 Tom Lee Music........... 26
Gymnastics............. 48 Victoria Academy Island Savings............ 41
of Dramatic Arts...... 20
JamTots..................... 45 Victoria Conservatory of Music................. 15
Theatre & Drama....... 4 Victoria Gymnastics.....BC KUMON........................ 1 Victoria Midwives........ 38 Victoria Nature
La Society Francophone........... 26
LIFE Seminars............. 19 Victoria Recreation..... IBC Lifestyle Markets......... 34 VIHA........................... 40 Vitamin Shop.............. 12
of Dance................... 4 Vivace Violin............... 17 Mad Science.............. 37 Welcome Wagon......... 18 411A Fitzwilliam St. Nanaimo 250.754.3933 www.pumpkinpiekids.com
Mothering Touch........... 7 Westshore Parks Mount Washington..... IBC Learn and grow with us!
New Pics at
52 Island Parent Magazine
& Recreation........... 21
O’Brien School of Dance................. 22
Toilet Training–Take One
hoped to write this article months ago. In the summer, when it was warm and Angus could run around naked. But I wasn’t ready then. Diapers are a pain, but they can be easier than the alternative. I imagined—if, say, we went camping—Angus having to pee on some north Island highway. We’d find a pull out, set the potty on the gravel, unsnap car seat buckles, yank down pants. Then we’d empty the contents (toss them or bag them, depending on the particulars). We’d clean both the potty and the child. The latter job would be more involved if the previous steps weren’t performed quickly enough. When we arrived at our destination, the potty would have a place of honour in the tent. No aspect of this vision was appealing. No, what we needed was a stretch of time at home where we had no obligations and no visitors. Most of the two-year-olds we knew were toilet trained already, and in most cases, this milestone was reached the same way: decisively. One morning the underwear went on. Daytime diapers were done. In the beginning, timers were set. It would be every hour on the potty, or every half hour, or even every 15 minutes for as many days as it took until the newly trained were asking for the potties themselves. Apparently some children reached this stage at the end of day one. The longest duration I heard was four days. Four days of complete vigilance, of excessive fluids, of lots of laundry. I could handle that. I could handle even more than that. When we deemed the time was right, we cleared eight days for Angus’s instruction. The potty wasn’t new to Angus. He was practiced. Practiced at sitting, at dismantling, at flushing non-existent contents down the toilet. We had borrowed every potty book from the library and had a number of our own. He was not at all resistant to the idea. In fact, though he had never used it for its designed purpose, he loved the potty. If he sat on it, we would read to him until he stood up. And yet when it came down to diaperless living, Angus wasn’t the quick study I had hoped for. He sat on the potty whenever I asked, for as long as I wanted him to. And then when I was certain nothing was going to happen, when I let him wander away, he’d pee almost immediately. Most days our underwear supply was depleted by nap time. The washing machine ran all day. Was the underwear the problem? I had bought a couple of packs of trainers and
reinforced them—two extra layers of flannel on the inside, some diaper fabric on the outside. When wet, there was occasionally down-the-leg seepage, but no floor puddles. Maybe they were too much like diapers. Too absorbent. Too comfortable. To test the theory and give our washer some reprieve, we bought flimsy cotton briefs. Angus would
Maternity & Beyond Laura TRUNKEY stop and watch the pee stream down his leg and puddle on the floor, which maybe was an improvement. But then he would barrel right through it, leaving tracks with his dripping socks. Sure, we had successes. If we entertained Angus on the potty for long enough something was bound to happen. Post-mealtimes were most predictable, and occasionally resulted in celebrations. But half the time Angus didn’t realize there was reason to celebrate—we had to bring it to his attention. By day eight we knew for certain Angus wasn’t ready. Very little had changed. Also, he was sick of being cooped in the house, and I sympathized. I was sick of it also. Not to mention sick of the timer alerting me to another session, sick of being cheerful and positive as I mopped up the floor. We put on a pair of diapers and went outside. With Angus, the slow-and/or-sometimes route is the one we need to take. We start the day in underwear. A pair, sometimes two or three. But when breakfast is over and we’ve had a play, it’s back to diapers. Maybe we’ll throw in another intensive or two along the way. We’ll play it by ear. This is not natural for me. As someone who likes to plan all life’s details, the fact that I cannot impose deadlines on my child is something I’m finding tough to learn. But I’ll get there. With practice and patience, Angus will be a potty pro, and I’ll become a little more laissez-faire. We just need a bit more training. Laura Trunkey is mother to the amazing Angus and the author of a forthcoming short fiction collection from House of Anansi.
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January 2014 53
DOES YOUR CHILD LOVE HORSES? The roie theraec riin an eine-bae theraec erice. Or rora roie a hih enain rearin an fn theraec aternae for chiren ith ecia nee. To earn ore abot hat the CTRA rora can o for or chi contact the CTRA toa.
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3 Preschool program for 3–5 year olds
Volunteering: Exercise for the Soul
t’s easy to get bogged down with diaper changing, feeds, play dates, naps, meal prep, PAC meetings, and then waking up and doing it all over again. If you are feeling up for a change, book yourself some time to exercise! No, I’m not promoting a Spin or Pilates class, but just as you would set aside time to work off your baby belly, it is equally important to make time to exercise your soul. One great way to do so is by volunteering your time. The benefits are many; helping others in your community gives you a good excuse to postpone the housework, presents opportunities to interact with like-minded folks (adult conversation, wow!) and allows you to challenge yourself. Oh, and most importantly, volunteering feels so good! The sense of well-being after doing a good deed reduces stress and can help keep baby blues at bay. Plus, whether it is receptionist duties, planting trees, or feeding the hungry, volunteering is a great way to get a taste of all the different jobs that are out there and gives you a chance to try something completely new. There are a few things to keep in mind. Each volunteer position requires a certain level of commitment, ranging from one day to multiple times per week. When you begin your search, be honest about the amount of time you truly have to give. As a parent, it’s so easy to over commit, so don’t let your volunteering overwhelm you. Start small, with one or two hours, and then see
if you’d like the commitment to be ongoing. Also, be realistic about your energy level. Volunteering should always be enjoyable, so if you are too exhausted to pull weeds, then look for a desk job instead.
Nature Notes Coral Forbes If your children are permanently attached to your hip at the moment, no problem— simply bring them along or work from home. For example, did you know that Swan Lake is currently looking for volunteers to bring in home-baked cookies? By including your children in your volunteer activity, you are demonstrating generosity and kindness and allowing them to become active members in their broader community. Buy some cute little gloves and enjoy a day at the beach while you pick up garbage! Your children will feel a deeper connection to their community and pride in their work. Not sure what you’d like to try? Victoria hosts a variety of non-profit organizations, all driven by a volunteer workforce. According to the Volunteer Victoria website, nearly 300 non-profit agencies in Greater Victoria produce several hundred volunteer opportunities each week. One glance online and I
3 Full-day and half-day options 3 5 days a week SPACES AVAILABLE FOR SEPTEMBER 2013! To learn more and to register for the information/registration session visit: www.victorianatureschool.com Inspiring life-long learning through play and exploration in nature! 54 Island Parent Magazine
see calls for: knitters, secretarial work, race marshals, reading buddies, web designers, shop assistants, event coordinators, broom bashers and much, much more! You don’t need to travel across town to give back; simply contact your nearest community center and you will be amazed at the possibilities. I began volunteering by following my interests and trying to expand my resume while at university. As a botany student, my niche was found in the native plant gardens around the Nature House at Swan Lake.
Curiosity • Diversity • Expertise Fun • Play-Oriented Learning
January Openings: Full Day Preschool
3905 Haro Road, Victoria BC
St. Joseph’s Catholic School Licensed Group Day Care/Preschool to Grade 7 With my head down and the sun (or more likely rain) on my back, I would happily pull weeds for hours. After I had my daughter, all of that changed. I started to notice the constant parade of children streaming through the sanctuary and became more interested in the educational programs. I now had a better understanding of little beings and was less intimidated by their relentless questions and quick movements. I saw the potential to help mold responsible and nature-loving citizens and wanted to be a part of the process. Having a child completely changed the direction of my career and, thanks to an amazing volunteer opportunity, I now have my dream job. So you see, everybody wins. You may think you don’t have time or that, impossibly, you don’t have much to offer, but that’s never the case. Exercising your soul by helping others, even a little bit, is good for you, your kids, and your community. It’s part of the bigger picture of well-being. Perhaps the Buddha said it best in these words attributed to him: “Looking after oneself, one looks after others. Looking after others, one looks after oneself.” Who knows where it will lead you? After nearly 10 years of volunteering at Swan Lake, Coral Forbes is now a Program Naturalist who appreciates the help of enthusiastic volunteers. www.IslandParent.ca
Please join us for our Open House on Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014, 5–7pm Space available in all grades. Come grow with us, building strong foundations for a bright future! A Catholic, respectful learning environment where children learn to love and love to learn! Outstanding academic preparation. For additional information please contact:
St. Joseph’s School 757 W. Burnside Road 250-479-1232 Registration forms are available at www.stjosephschool.ca
OPEN HOUSE January 29, 4–6pm 5575 West Saanich Rd (across from Red Barn Market) 250 592 4411 email@example.com www.islandmontessori.com
preschool to grade 2
before and after school care
small class sizes
supportive and caring staff
excellent academic foundation
Kodaly music program
lovely rural location connecting children to nature January 2014
Cut It Out!
Tips from Parent Educator Allison Rees of LIFE Seminars
arenting comes with uncertainty. It is not an exact science with blackand-white answers. Children come into the world with unique temperaments and circumstances, therefore there is no cookie-cutter method to parenting. If you think you have to know it all, CUT IT OUT! Remember what it felt like to give your baby a bath when he or she was brand new? How nervous did you feel? If your baby cried, did you think people were judging you? The fear of judgment creates a lot of over-control in parents as they try to live up to the (imagined or real) expectations of their parenting and their child’s behaviour. If you are a perfectionist or hard on yourself, watch your inner critic—it will tell you lies that will undermine your confidence and joy, especially if it aligns with the outer critic. Nothing could be more harmful to your sense of comfort than to have somebody
judge your parenting. It might be one thing to be judged by a stranger as your child has a temper tantrum in the aisle of the grocery store, but it is much more harmful when it is somebody close to you. When somebody criticizes your parenting, thinking they know better, it is a violation to your core sense of self. It paralyzes you so you can’t access your intuition, wisdom or creativity. Whether it is your partner, co-parent, your own parent, or your child’s teacher, judgment coupled with a “should” when not asked for isn’t helpful. There are many reasons for children to act certain ways that are not due to your parenting, but mostly due to immaturity. You can’t possibly know what to do with every situation as it comes up. As a matter of fact, giving yourself permission not to know can be very liberating. It opens you up to looking at new ideas and to abandoning the ineffectiveness of the old methods. There really is no expert out there that
knows what to do in every moment. Flying by the seat of your parental pants is okay and making mistakes so you can do retakes is how you learn. If you feel uncertain, embrace that and get curious to find answers. If something resonates for you, trust it. If it seems supportive of your child, do it. If it feels loving, live it. LIFE Seminars has two books available, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection. See www. lifeseminars.com.
JOIN US AT OUR UPCOMING EVENTS: How to get Better Grades at School Learning Skills Seminar with Terry Small Thurs. Jan 9, 6:00pm | Tickets $10 Open House Fri. Feb 21, 9:00–11:00am & 1:00–3:00pm Full details at www.stmarg.ca
Day & Boarding: Preschool–Grade 12 | 1080 Lucas Ave | 250.479.7171 | Confident girls. Inspiring women. IP_SMS_January2014.indd 1
56 Island Parent Magazine
12/18/2013 9:45:50 AM
Classes Start January 4th Classes will be held throughout Greater Victoria Classes are Baby Friendly
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Find some reconnect time at the mountain! +Family Discover Skiing lessons +New Tube Park beside the Alpine Lodge +Express rentals when booked online! +Easy Acres learning area
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778-977-3612 www.fit4two.ca For more information on exercise during pregnancy and after your baby arrives contact Kathi at firstname.lastname@example.org
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City of Victoria Recreation Services Free Program Week! January 6 - 11, 2014
Try before you buy! Test drive a week of free programs at Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre! • Belly Dance • Kettlebells • Pilates • Zumba • Baby Rock • Tiny Toes Ballet • Learn to Skate And More!
Call 250.361.0732 to register. Visit www.victoria.ca/crystalpool for more information.
Why Victoria Gymnastics? Boys & girls, ages 2 through adult, beginner through advanced Morning, afternoon & evening classes seven days a week Start any time – continuous enrollment Optional character
Monthly payments with no further obligation—cancel any time Optional character
Trial classes available
Make-ups for missed classes
Optional character Optional character
We guarantee your child will flip over our Birthday Parties! Benefits Victoria Gymnastics Will Provide for your Child: • Unlike other gymnastics clubs, our priority is ‘non-competitive’ gymnastics where all students are treated equally and fairly. Our objective is to provide students with a foundation of gymnastics that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. • Your child's progress is monitored daily, and every 3 months, each student is awarded a medal indicating his or her progress in our 14 level, 600 skill program. • Our ratio guarantee of a maximum of 8 students per instructor will provide your child with the Individualized attention he or she deserves. • We are a family oriented business. Classes are scheduled so that varying ages and genders can take part in different classes at the same time. • Clean. Very Clean. Our facilities are ozone treated. • Consistent, safe and experienced coaching in a well structured, safe and fun environment—all of our coaches have their NCCP certification and First Aid.
Celebrating 34 Years of Excellence!