Page 1

Island Parent Celebrating

28 Years

The Resource Publication for Vancouver Island Parents

January 2016

Making a Difference How Small acts of Kindness Can Have a Big Impact

Winter Programs Guide

A natural sleep starts at the very beginning

Experience the precision of customized vision

Organic mattresses and bedding for all ages

Dr. Joslin, Dr. Morin & Associates Doctors of Optometry

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

126 Station Street, Duncan 250-597-rESt (7378) Shop online:

Sooke: #5–6726 West Coast rd 250-642-4311

New Patients Welcome

Did You Know? that needing to wear glasses does not mean you have unhealthy eyes? Eyeglasses are used for eyes that cannot focus light properly. Unhealthy eyes have diseases and may need medication or surgery to make them better. You may be able to tell if your child has a visual problem. Some indications of this may be: • Sensitivity to light • Covering or closing one eye • Holding objects very close to the face • avoiding books and television • Visible frustration or grimacing • tilting of the head or unusual posture

Curiosity • Diversity Exploration • Nature Play-Oriented Learning

Full Day Openings January 2016 the Cridge Centre offers child-focussed care for all children from 6 months up to 12 years. Infants and toddlers, part time or full time day care, nature preschool and school aged care are inclusive and affordable, with play based learning and an emphasis on outdoor free play. Call us today to discuss how your child can grow and learn with us!

3905 Haro Road, Victoria BC

250-477-3731 or 250 220 8573 1307 Hillside ave, Victoria BC V8t 0a2

Serving Greater Victoria since 1873...because love is the bottom line.


Parks and Re

Winter/S creation Active Living Guide Program pring and Sch s edules Effective Januar

Join saanichparkus on Facebook sandrecreat ion

y to June


Follow us on Twitte @SaanichP r arksRec


Winter Active Living Guide

Registration and Facility Informa tion ........... Low-cost ........... 2 / No-cost Recrea Family and Special Events tion.....3 Early Childho ..........3 od ........... Birthday Parties ........... ......... 4 to 6 School Age ................7 ...................... Youth........... ......................... 8 to 12 Adult ........... ...................... 13 to 14 Health and Fitness........... 15 to 26 Racquets . 27 to 30 ...................... Swimming .......................... 31 to 32 Skating........... ... 33 to 40 ................... Arts ........... ...................... 41 to 44 Parks ........... ........... 45 Golf ........... ..............................46 ...................... Gift Cards and Passes ........... 47 ............. 48




at Cedar Hill Golf Cou rse








Saanich has everything you need to stay active, fit and engaged this winter with 4 recreation centres offering hundreds of programs. Register TODAY for best selection of program dates and times. CEDAR HILL RECREATION CENTRE G. R. PEARKES RECREATION CENTRE GORDON HEAD RECREATION CENTRE SAANICH COMMONWEALTH PLACE

250-475-7121 250-475-5400 250-475-7100 250-475-7600

January 2016  1

Island Parent Celebrating


on for Vancouver Island

The Resource Publicati



January 2016

Making a Difference How Small Acts of Kindness Can Have a Big Impact

Winter Programs Guide

Contents: January 2016 Articles Confronting Entitlement ................................................................................ 8 Making a Difference ..................................................................................... 10 Happy Birthday, Mozart .............................................................................. 14 Going AWOL ............................................................................................... 17 Arts & Athletics Smackdown ....................................................................... 18 Winter Programs .......................................................................................... 20 Get Moving .................................................................................................. 23 Re-think Your Resolutions ........................................................................... 26 Moments with Strangers .............................................................................. 34 15 Minutes of Fun ........................................................................................ 36 Change…It’s Guaranteed ............................................................................. 37 Helping Kids Cope with Divorce .................................................................. 38

Columns Please visit any of our valued partners to pick up your latest copy of Island Parent. GREATER VICTORIA Greater Victoria Public Libraries Vancouver Island Regional Libraries Greater Victoria Recreation Centres Thrifty Foods All 25 Serious Coffee locations Island-wide Victoria Gymnastics Country Grocer Chapters Vitamin Shop The Bay Centre (info booth) Scallywags Royal BC Museum Buddies Toys Crumsby’s Market on Yates Market on Millstream Victoria Conservatory JamTots Lifestyle Market Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre

DuNCAN Duncan Mall (centre court) Indigo Red Balloon Cowichan Recreation Centre Cowichan Aquatics Centre Kinderbeez Duncan Tourist Information CHEMAINuS Chemainus Theatre SHAWNIGAN LAKE Community Centre LADySMITH Ladysmith Recreation Centre NANAIMO Nanaimo Aquatic Centre Quality Foods Country Club Mall Regional Library – Boban Fairway Market Island Natural Health Foods Woodgrove Centre

For a complete list of where you can find a copy of Island Parent Magazine, go to 250-388-6905 2

Island Parent Magazine

Editor’s Note .................................................................................................. 3 Dadspeak ..................................................................................................... 40 Is There an App for This? ............................................................................. 42 Book Nook .................................................................................................. 44 New Parent Pages ......................................................................................... 48 Maternity & Beyond .................................................................................... 52 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 ............................................................................. 46 Preschool & Child Care Directory.......................................................... 50, 51 Business & Professional Directory ................................................................ 53 Island Parent Magazine, produced by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a monthly publication that honours and supports parents by providing information on resources and businesses for families, and a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Letters (max 250 words) should be emailed to the Editor at No material herein may be reproduced without the permission of the Editor. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome and should be emailed to Island Parent Magazine is distributed free in selected areas. Subscriptions can be obtained by sending $35.00 (includes GST) with your name and address to the address below. Canada Post: Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement 40051398.

Island Parent Magazine

830-A Pembroke St, Victoria, BC V8T 1H9 Tel: 250-388-6905 Website: Publisher/Owner: Mark Warner Editor: Sue Fast Sales & Marketing: RaeLeigh Buchanan Publisher’s Assistant & Sales: Linda Frear Distribution: Ray Cutts, Ted Dawe (Mid-Island) Founders: Jim Holland & Selinde Krayenhoff Production: Eacrett Graphic Design Printed at Black Press, Victoria Cover printed at Hillside Printing ISSN 0838-5505

On the Cover: Jasper (3) and Miki (11 months) at Macaulay Point, Victoria Cover Photo: Robyn Penn, Maui Maka Photography,


Perfect Parenting, As Is


ave you ever dropped into bed at the end of the day, desperate for sleep, only to be bombarded by a looping replay of your day’s parenting faux pas? If you’re like most parents, you probably have. Feeling guilty seems to come with the territory. Labelled Mommy/Daddy Guilt, among other things, this phenomena can occasionally serve us well by helping us remember things like Pajama Day—er, next time—and by motivating us to, say, balance our kids’ diets by disguising broccoli as chocolate pudding. But it can also make us insane, tempting us to try to meet the ever-increasing demands of our children’s lives—many of which we often impose, unwittingly, on ourselves. In their book Mommy Guilt: Learn to Worry Less, Focus on What Matters Most, and Raise Happier Kids, authors Devra Renner and Aviva Pflock state that 96 per cent of the 1,300 parents surveyed reported they felt guilty about some aspect of parenting. The most common reasons? Yelling too much, not making enough time for family, working long hours, not being as involved in their kids’ schools as they’d like to be,

and juggling extra-curricular activities. Add to that stressing about sleeping and eating habits, vaccines, developmental toys, diaper choices, our babies’ Facebook presence, time spent outdoors, messy hair, mismatched socks, missing buttons, future college plans and, well, you get the picture. Trying to be the perfect parent is like trying to raise the perfect kid. It’s not possible. And why should we try? Our kids don’t need perfect parents; they need us as we are—imperfect, sure, but doing our best. The point is to take stock of how we’re doing every once in awhile, to learn from our mistakes (and our successes), to apologize when necessary and then to move on. We need to remember to act out of kindness: towards our children, each other, and ourselves. A new year, a new month, a new week, a new day—each presents us with a fresh opportunity to start from where we are—perfect, as is. It’s tough enough to “sleep when the baby (toddler/child/tween/teen) sleeps” as everyone advises new parents to do after their baby’s birth. But it’s tougher still when we beat ourselves up every time our heads hit the pillow.

Here’s to doing our best as parents in 2016 and to treating each day, each hour, each minute as a chance to start anew. With the New Year comes change. Here

Editor’s Note Sue Fast at Island Parent, we bid a fond farewell to Kathy Humphrey, who for almost 14 years has penned the much-loved column Just Eat It; to Carly Sutherland, who for almost five years has contributed to the ever-popular Is There An App for This?, and to Paisley Aiken, who for almost three years has written book reviews for the beloved Book Nook column. We will miss you all and wish you well. We also welcome Sara Cassidy, who is picking up where Paisley left off with Book Nook, Ashley Degraaf, who is stepping in to co-author Is There an App for This? with Sarah Milligan, and David Leach, who has joined Daniel Griffin and Greg Pratt as one of the three Dadspeak contributors. We look forward to 2016. Happy New Year.

Transforming disability into ability. At Discovery School, learning disabilities are transformed into valuable skills and abilities. Students work at their own pace in small classes, with focused, individualized instruction. • Experienced, highly-qualified teachers • Ongoing assessment, evaluation & feedback • Improves organizational & study skills • Boost confidence, independence & responsibility • Nurturing environment based on Christian values • For students aged 7 – 18 in grades 1 – 12 • Individual Education Plans • Low student/teacher ratio

Enrolment is limited. For more information or to arrange a tour, visit, call Sherri Ko at 250-595-7765 or email

January 2016  3

IPM Notes Letter Writing Week at Royal BC Museum Help revive the lost art of letter writing. Stop by Royal BC Museum’s letter writing station during Universal Letter Writing Week from January 2-9 and sit down to pen a note. Maybe it is a thank-you note to your aunt for that present she sent or a query to your local representative. RBCM will provide the paper, pens, envelopes and even stamps—no parcels to South Africa please! Who knows, the letter you write could one day become part of RBCM’s future archives. For more information, visit

Keeping the Love Alive Keeping the Love Alive: When Partners Become Parents is a workshop designed to help new parents and parents-to-be focus on themselves as a couple and as partners. It examines how having a child (or children) changes a relationship and how partners can stay connected—and loving—through the experience of having a baby. The course focuses on normal developmental processes in new families. It teaches

practical communication skills and leads parents through exercises to strengthen their bonds as a couple. A central theme is identifying values both partners want for their family and how they can create a solid, happy and united family. The workshop is designed by Joss Hurtig Mitchell, a clinical counsellor, Tammy Van Hinte, a family mediator, and Eva Bild, a parenting educator. Joss, Tammy and Eva have drawn on their extensive experience of helping (and being) new parents through the difficult first years. The class runs on Mondays from January 18-Feburary 1 at The Mothering Touch Centre, 975 Fort Street. For information visit

Family Learning Tour The 2016 Westshore Family Learning Tour will showcase a variety of learning activities that families can experience together. Join Your Literacy Connection Westshore and community partners on Saturday, January 23 between 10am-2pm for the fourth annual free Family Learning Tour event. Choose which learning activities you would like to participate in and have fun exploring them as a family. The Victoria Conservatory of Music will host an Instru-

ment Petting Zoo and Musical Story Time, while the Westshore YMCA/YWCA will get everyone active and moving in some physical literacy activities. Head out to Highlands Caleb Pike House for some great Lego building activities led by the Victoria Lego Enthusiasts or join local artist, Shantael Sleight for an hour of creative family art making. ’Tweens and teens can head over to the Juan de Fuca library for the popular DigiLab and join others on the nearby outdoor trail afterwards to enjoy a Story Walk, hosted by West Shore Parks and Recreation. For parents interested in learning how to teach your children about money, you can join an hour-long interactive workshop while your children play nearby. Don’t forget to swing by the Colwood Peninsula Co-op gas station for a cup of coffee. For a full listing of learning activities and locations, visit our website at sookewestshoreliteracy. ca/westshore.

$25,000 Prize for 10 Eco-focused Schools Staples and Earth Day Canada have teamed up to provide publicly-funded schools the chance to win $25,000-worth of new technology, giving students the oppor-

CONTEMPORARY MONTESSORI… you CAN have the best of both worlds. Come see how current educational practice can be made more meaningful by the time-tested Montessori approach. In addition to low student/teacher ratios and highly qualified staff for children from preschool to grade eight, we have talented specialists in music, languages, technology and physical education.

For information, or to arrange a tour of our facility, call Penny Barner at 250-384-3414 or email


Thursday, January 21 st


5:30 - 8:00 pm


Selkirk Montessori School, 2970 Jutland Road (at the Selkirk Waterfront Development)

Selkirk Montessori is an exceptional, affordable alternative in a diverse, caring school community.


4  Island Parent Magazine

tunity to learn, discover and enhance their education through leading-edge technology offered at Staples. Through the Staples Superpower Your School Contest, a total of 10 prizes (each for $25,000-worth of tech products) are up for grabs. To win, publicly-funded schools must simply share what they’re doing to help our environment at Maintaining a sustainable green house, creating planting areas in local parks and building a Geodome are just some of the projects that helped previous winning schools stand out. To help schools prepare their entries, Staples has assembled a series of resources, including excerpts from the 2015 winning school entries, a step-by-step entry guide and a list of frenquently asked questions. For links, visit Applications will be accepted until January 29.

The Library’s Toy Collection Greater Victoria Public Library’s new toy collection offers a box full of fun—everything from giant foam blocks to talking brix—to support a child’s learning journey. “We’re delighted to launch the new Skill Builders Adaptive Toys Collection, which expands our ability to serve all children, their families and caregivers who look to their public library for support and resources,” said GVPL’s CEO Maureen Sawa. “We are very grateful to the Victoria Foundation and its supporters for the grant that funded this collection.” The Skill Builders Adaptive Toy collection will provide families with young children who have cognitive, physical, sensory, or communicative challenges with the opportunity to borrow adaptive and accessible toys from the public library. There is an array of mainstream and specialty toys, all sourced locally or from Canadian distributors. Each of the more than 70 toy boxes contains three to five toys, a fidget sensory and self-regulation toy, a book or CD, and an activity sheet with information and ideas on how to use the toys, as well as resources for parents who may have developmental concerns about their child. The collection was developed with the assistance of the Island Health, Early Intervention Program located at the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health. To find a list of the available boxes, search the GVPL catalogue using the term “skill builders” or view a complete list of toys

with pictures at . GVPL patrons can borrow one box per adult card for 21 days (14 days with holds). Greater Victoria Public Library aims to inspire literacy, lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. GVPL provides services and collections in 10 libraries and online at to more than 300,000 residents in 10 municipalities.

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. 1000X5 Children’s Book Recycling Project is changing that reality, one book at a time. Families at most elementary schools in Victoria, Saanich, and Sooke School districts donate gently used picture books for babies and preschoolers. Retired teachers and administrators donate time to sort, label, and gift bag those books. The gift bags are delivered to Strong Start Centres and community agencies where families monthly take home three quality books for each child. The numbers tell a powerful story 220,000 books into homes 12,000+ families who donate 13 municipalities in which 1000X5 operates 23 Strong Start Centres (in elementary schools) distributing books 42 other agencies distributing books 20-30 books received per child per year Priceless, the difference these books make in a child’s life. January 27 is National Literacy Day. Enjoy a book with your child. Make a difference to another child. Take a few picture books for babies and preschoolers to your nearest elementary school. Visit for information or to make a charitable donation. Contacts: Eileen Eby in Victoria School District at, Daphne Macnaughton in Saanich School District at dlmvictoria@, or Denise Brown in Sooke School District at

January 2016  5

Greater Victoria School District New Kindergarten parents are invited to attend our popular Welcome to School Parent Information Evening where you will learn about our District’s exciting Kindergarten program and meet with educators from across the District. For more details, please visit our website at

Welcome to School!

Pa r e n t I n f o r m at i o n E ve n i n g Wednesday, January 20, 2016 6:30–8:00 pm

S.J. Willis Education Centre 923 Topaz Avenue

Questions? Call 250-475-4220

The Greater Victoria School District is committed to each student’s success in learning within a responsive and safe environment. 6  Island Parent Magazine

IPM Notes Share Some Warmth with Big Brothers Big Sisters It’s time to clean out your closet. For 37 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. Generous donors help BBBS to reach its goals—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. Mentoring fosters confidence and self-esteem, and as a result youth who have been mentored are less likely to allow themselves to be victimized or bullied by their peers. Mentored youth simply do better. With your support, Big Brothers Big Sisters will continue to improve our community, one relationship at a time. Drop off your clothing donations at the main office at 230 Bay Street (Mon-Fri, 9am-7pm), or at the donation truck located in the parking lot at Westshore Town Centre (Sat, 11am-3pm), Tillicum Mall parking lot outside Old Navy (Mon-Fri, 9:30am-7pm, and Sat and Sun, 9:30am-5pm) or call to arrange a free pick up at 250-385-7226. For more information, visit

Support for Those with Learning Disabilities The Learning Disabilities Association of BC South Vancouver Island (LDA-SVI) works with students with learning disabilities to assist their learning and help them reach their potential. LDA-SVI currently offers support through academic skills programs, reading and writing programs, and social skills programs. Some of the skills that can positively impact the lives of those with LD are: • Self awareness. An understanding of their strengths and weaknesses (we all have them!). Helping people with LD to recognize their strengths and providing

accommodations for their challenges is important for their learning, self-worth and overall well-being. • The ability to compartmentalize their disability so they see their disability as just one aspect of themselves. Think about your own strengths and weaknesses. Now imagine if your identity was largely based on what you can’t do. • The ability to make mistakes. Successful learners are willing to try new things and problem solve. It is crucial that children are taught by example that mistakes are an opportunity to learn, not a sign of failure. • Tolerance for frustration. The ability to set goals and stick to it despite setbacks. Learning can be fun and it can be challenging at times. • Presence of a support network. Never assume a child knows who they can talk to if they need help. Talk with your child about who they can go to for help in their care facilities and schools. • Emotional coping strategies. As with anyone who is experiencing difficulty, children with LD require knowledge and skills to cope with anxiety and frustration and reduce the impact of stress. For more information about how LDA SVI can help your child, visit

Emergency Medical Information If someone were to experience a medical emergency, how would doctors or police know their allergies, medications and emergency contact information? MEDAlert™ uses today’s technology to alert medical personnel to your special needs and existing medical conditions. The MEDAlert™ device attaches to your keychain, purse or backpack, or on a lanyard to wear around your neck, making it easily accessible in the case of an emergency. Your child’s MEDAlert™ device can be kept at their playgroup or school, or simply attached to their backpack. Designed for every member of your family no matter their age, the MEDAlert™ device makes their critical medical information readily available in case of an emergency. Family discounts and senior discounts are available along with regular updates to your MEDAlert™ device should your medications or emergency contacts change. For more information, visit key2health. ca.•

Check out our parenting courses! Our Lighthouse Parent courses are designed to help you discover how to deepen your connection with your kids and enhance your parenting. The courses examine theories of attachment and attunement and developmental stages related to the age of your child/ren. Participants will also explore the connection between how you were parented and how you parent. Check our website for more detailed info on this and many other courses. To register for any course or for more information call 250-385-1114 or email

January 2016  7

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. 8  Island Parent Magazine

Rachel Dunstan Muller

Confronting Entitlement


he Paris Climate Change Conference will be old news by the time you read this column, but as I type, it’s just getting underway. I don’t yet know if the participating nations—our own included—will be able to agree on meaningful action to steer us away from the worst effects of climate change. I’m hopeful, but nervous. As I wait for the outcome, I’ve been thinking a lot about the elephant likely to be in the room for many of the negotiating sessions. That elephant? The sense of entitlement that the world’s wealthiest countries have about their current standard of living. Consciously or unconsciously, we seem to believe that we have a right to whatever we can afford financially—even if what we can afford is more than our share, and unsustainable in the long run. That sense of entitlement is so strong, that collectively we seem willing to risk our children’s future for it. When global issues leave me feeling overwhelmed and disempowered, I know it’s time to narrow my focus. I can’t do much to counter the entitlement I see at national and international levels, but I can certainly address it in my own life. I can also influence how much hold it has over my children. But first, is an attitude of entitlement problematic? Not if our focus is on justice, dignity, and the basic necessities of life. But in our affluent culture we increasingly confuse needs with wants, and then re-categorize those wants as “rights.” That’s bad news for a finite planet, but it doesn’t do us any favours either. A “me-first” focus doesn’t lead to fulfillment. Instead it isolates us, leading to shallower relationships. It disempowers us, as we wait for other people or the world to deliver what we think we deserve. And it sets us up for dissatisfaction, when what we receive falls short of our expectations. Fortunately there are strategies we can use as parents to steer our children in a healthier direction: Practice Gratitude: Gratitude is the perfect antidote for entitlement. The more we pay attention and give thanks for the good things in our lives, the deeper our satisfaction with what we already have grows. Gratitude is

an act of positive mindfulness. It helps us to distinguish between what we think we need to be happy, and what we actually need. It teaches us to see our relationships and positive circumstances as gifts to be appreciated. Where entitlement isolates, gratitude builds connections and strengthens bonds. To cultivate this important practice in our children, we need to model it ourselves. Don’t worry if you weren’t born with a grateful disposition. Gratitude can be learned; like a muscle it grows stronger over time with repeated exercise. For concrete ways to introduce this practice into your home, google “gratitude exercises,” or check out the book Thanks! by Robert Emmons. Balance Rights With Responsibilities: My seven- and nine-year-olds have no qualms about asserting and defending their rights. Like most children their age, they are decidedly less enthusiastic about discussing their responsibilities. Somewhere along the road to adulthood, our kids need to learn the importance of both concepts. Once again, leading by example is the most effective teaching method. We can model good citizenship by contributing to our community in visible ways: picking up litter, coaching soccer, or helping elderly neighbors. We can become proactive doers rather than passive complainers, rolling up our sleeves when we see a job that needs to be done. And of course we can get our kids to pitch in. Children learn responsibility and important life skills when they’re assigned age-appropriate chores. Giving them opportunities to engage in service beyond their homes is even more powerful. Broaden Our Perspective: There’s an unwritten rule in our society: if we can afford something, we deserve it, whether it’s a bigger house, an exotic vacation, or the latest toy. But this rule requires us to turn a blind eye to the consequences of our consumption choices, both up and downstream. We can become more intentional consumers—and encourage our kids to do the same—by asking questions about an item’s whole lifecycle before we make a purchase. What resources were used to create it? What was the effect of the manufacturing process on

the environment? Whose labour went into it? How well were they treated? How long will the item last? What resources will be required to run or maintain it? How much value will it give before it wears out or gets passed on? What impact will it have on the environment when it’s finally discarded? Do I still want it? We can also expand our kids’ perspective by balancing “upward social comparisons”

There’s an unwritten rule in our society: if we can afford something, we deserve it, whether it’s a bigger house, an exotic vacation, or the latest toy. But this rule requires us to turn a blind eye to the consequences of our consumption choices, both up and downstream. (aka keeping up with the Joneses) with a dose of reality. My two eldest daughters had the opportunity to volunteer in a Mexican orphanage when they were in Grade 12. I hope the experience was good for the orphans; it was definitely life-changing for my daughters. They came back with a new appreciation for how truly wealthy they are—knowledge that continues to influence how they live six years later. We can’t all travel to impoverished areas of the world, but we can teach our kids that we are far richer than most of us realize. As a starting point, we can sit together and watch documentaries like “Living On One Dollar” and “On The Way To School” (both available on Netflix). We can have age-appropriate discussions about hunger and homelessness in our own communities, and about how many children lack access to clean water, basic healthcare, and education in other parts of the world. We can learn more about the on-going refugee crisis, and explore tangible ways that our families might be able to help. With some thoughtful parenting, we can raise a generation that is responsible, compassionate, and globally-conscious. For more ideas, check out Craig Kielburger’s book, The World Needs Your Kid: How To Raise Children Who Care and Contribute. Rachel Dunstan Muller is the mother of five, and a children’s author. Her previous articles can be found at

Est. 2007

Counselling & Family Therapy for Individuals, Couples, Children & Families • Family Conflict & Parenting • Relationship Issues • Anxiety & Stress • Depression & Low Self-Esteem • Transitions & Loss • Personal Development

Annabelle Gilham MSc, RCC, CCC Family Therapist & Counsellor

I welcome your enquiry: 778 350 0774

‘Conversations to Create Change’

A designation of BC Association of Clinical Counsellors

January 2016  9

Rachel Macy Stafford

Making a Difference How small acts of kindness can have a big impact


was licking the envelope when Natalie came into the kitchen. “Who’s the letter for?” she inquired. I told her it was for Miss Amanda, her former preschool teacher who had also been her babysitter when she was very young. Natalie didn’t remember Miss Amanda, but I sure did. In fact I would never forget her. There I was in a brand-new city with a baby, a toddler, and a traveling husband. Amanda would come to our house a few hours a week and play with Natalie and Avery. I remember feeling quite homesick and alone, yet incredibly grateful for this trustworthy young woman with gentle hands and a hearty laugh who was able to give me a reprieve. “Amanda helped me through a very hard time when you and your sister were small,” I explained. “And now, I want to help her. She and her husband are trying to raise money to bring home their baby from Uganda.” “Can anyone help—or is it just for adults?” Natalie asked. When I told her anyone could

donate, Natalie literally ran to get her wallet. She returned looking very sad. Much to her dismay, all that was left of her recent birthday money was one single dollar bill. Natalie didn’t hide her look of anguish. “A dollar isn’t much,” she concluded sadly. I held my breath. This child was my giver—the one who thought nothing of giving painted rocks or shiny seashells as birthday gifts or offering her own favourite trinkets to beloved friends. I would be heartbroken if she put the dollar back in her wallet, embarrassed to give such a small amount. I hoped societal influences hadn’t already altered her uninhibited way of giving that had greatly impacted my own offerings. “Do you think a dollar will make a difference?” Natalie asked skeptically. I knew my answer had to be convincing. Just having turned double digits, Natalie was quite aware of what things cost—and I suspected she knew that adopting a baby was

very costly. “Imagine if everyone Amanda knew gave one dollar,” I proposed. Natalie could do the math. Her eyebrows rose with interest. “Plus, considering what she’s going through, receiving a note of support from a child she used to babysit might mean even more to Amanda than money,” I added. Apparently my response was sufficient. Natalie grabbed a notecard, jotted a message, inserted her dollar, and stuck the notecard in an envelope. After addressing it to Amanda with the information I’d provided, she carried it to the mailbox. A few weeks passed before we heard anything about the dollar donation. Surprisingly, Amanda posted the following message and photo of Natalie’s handwritten note on a social media site: “I received a sweet letter from a child I used to babysit. It said, ‘I hope that this helps adopt the child,’ and there was $1 included. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking about the compassion in sweet Natalie’s heart! If she only knew the difference she was making in people’s lives! Because of her sweet gift, I want to see how many people would participate in Natalie’s Dollar Challenge to ‘help adopt the child.’” Extremely touched by Amanda’s idea, I shared her photo with my friends and within


10  Island Parent Magazine

just a few hours, Amanda wrote to inform me that $300 had been raised. I printed Amanda’s message and showed it to Natalie the next morning. “Remember when you asked if a dollar could make a difference?” I asked. “Take a look,” I said, handing her the note. As Natalie read Amanda’s words, the most radiant smile appeared on her face. “Amanda is now three hundred steps closer to holding her baby in her arms,” she said excitedly. As I watched my girl happily imagining a mother being united with her child, I suddenly felt an overwhelming peace about a worry that had haunted me for almost a decade. When Natalie was six months old, one of her favourite activities was to be danced around the room by her daddy. Through her enthusiastic hand gestures, we learned that “Calling All Angels” by Train was her preferred dance song. When Scott would make angel wing motions with her little arms, Natalie would laugh hysterically. This, in turn, would make Scott and I laugh until we cried. Although I never spoke my true feelings aloud, inside I was dying. The lyrics of the song touched on every fear I was feeling as a new parent. The birth of Natalie had triggered an intense anguish within me about the state of the world. It seemed like there were more child abductions, more bombings, more killings, more sadness, and more despair from the moment she arrived. This is no place to raise a child, I thought to myself several times a day—to the point that I wondered what kind of world Scott and I had brought our child into. As I held my sleeping baby, I often wondered if there would be any hope left in this world when she was an adult. I prayed that God would send angels to surround her with goodness as she grew. And now, 10 years later, I saw that he had. Standing in front of me was the hope I’d been looking for—I’d just been looking at it all wrong. Angels were not divinely perfect beings dressed in billowy white gowns spreading goodwill just above our heads. Angels were imperfect human beings who lost their shoes several times a day, overindulged on chocolate milk, and got cranky when they didn’t get enough sleep. Angels were freckle-faced darlings who dipped their steak in ketchup and absentmindedly left the car door open when they came home from swim practice. And if societal influences didn’t get to them first, these pint-sized angels gave to others with no reservations and no inhibitions. If they saw someone who needed help, they helped. If they saw someone facing a mountainous challenge, they didn’t see the

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

STAGES Performing Arts School

#301 1551 Cedar Hill X Rd (behind the Shelbourne MacDonalds)

Even the littlest angel can dance

For more information call 250-384-3267, Email us at Or visit our website:

January 2016  11

Confident girls. Inspiring women. •

Leaders in Early Childhood Education

Nature-based early learning curriculum

Empowering girls’ leadership program

Small school benefits: safe, supportive, high engagement

Continuity in education from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12

Canada’s first & only girls’ STEM* school

*STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

ST. MARGARET’S SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: Grade 4–12 January 20, 6:30pm KINDERGARTEN ORIENTATION January 21, 4pm

See website for details: 1080 LUCAS AVE, VICTORIA | 250.479.7171

Struggling to read, spell and/or write? I can help. One-on-one individualized lessons designed to support those with dyslexia or any English language acquisition difficulties.

Bronwyn Brown

Therapeutic Tutor of Language Skills

Specializing in the Orton-Gillingham Approach

Phone/Fax  250 248 6113 Box 591, Coombs BC V0R 1M0

Mobile Tutor – Serving the Parksville/Qualicum Area since 1999 12  Island Parent Magazine

impossible; they saw steps. And these earthly angels were willing to take the first one—even if it seemed small and insignificant. The disheveled angel standing before me knew hope didn’t come in the form of sixfigure cheque or expensive packages with gold bows. She knew hope came in handwritten notes with misplaced commas and poor penmanship. She knew hope came in the form of small, loving gestures that inspired others to act in kind. In one definitive moment, 10 years’ worth of fear subsided, and my hope for the future swelled. All at once, the world didn’t look so bleak for my child who looked more and more like she needed me less and less. As long as a child’s single dollar bill could bring a loving couple three hundred steps closer to bringing their baby home, there was hope. I gathered my living, breathing angel into my arms and recited a prayer. It went something like this: Let me not get caught up in the dangers of the world that are beyond my control. Let me refuse to believe there is nothing I can do to bring goodness to a troubled and complicated world. Let me reject societal influences that try to influence how much I give, what I give, or whom I give it to. If in this sometimes dark and hurting world a 10-year-old child with skinned knees and overgrown toenails can be an angel, then there is hope for us all. Let me give as my child gives. Let me remember nothing is too small. Let me not give up on the good fight. Within six short months of Natalie placing a dollar in an envelope, a little boy was brought home from a Ugandan orphanage. Like Natalie, there were others who believed a dollar could make a difference, and they put that belief into action by sending their own dollar bills to a couple longing for a child to call their own. As a result, a little boy named Jac who had never smiled much during the first two years of his life came to smile nearly all the time, especially when he looked at his mother, Miss Amanda. I cannot be certain, but whenever Jac says, “I ov wu, Mama,” I believe that is when the angels sing—from the back of the school bus or with a hairbrush in front of the bathroom mirror. Every time I hear those angelic voices drifting through my home, I am reminded that love can transform broken hearts and transcend dismal situations when one person, big or small, believes it can. Excerpted with permission from Hands Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, & Loving More (Zondervan, 2015) by Rachel Macy Stafford.

Change Someone’s Story with the Six-Second Challenge In 6 seconds you can kiss someone like you mean it. In 6 seconds you can hold open a door. In 6 seconds you can wait for a little straggler to catch up. “I’ll wait for you,” you can even say. In 6 seconds you can take a deep breath. In 6 seconds you can let it go. “It’s not worth it,” you can say. In 6 seconds you can tuck a note in a lunch box or in a pocket. It takes 2 seconds to draw a heart. In 6 seconds you can say you’re sorry. In 6 seconds you can cut yourself some slack. In 6 seconds you can throw away that picture, that pair of pants, that inner bully that keeps you from loving this day, this you. In 6 seconds you can feel the sunshine. In 6 seconds you can you can decide it’s time to stop looking back. In 6 seconds you can whisper, “It’s gonna be okay” to yourself or someone who’s scared. In 6 seconds you can drop a dollar in a hat. In 6 seconds you can pick up that old guitar. In 6 seconds you can look into someone’s eyes and say, “My life is better because of you.” I used to sound like a broken record. “I don’t have time,” I would always say. But then I discovered what could happen in a mere 6 seconds. It’s enough to make a bad day good… It’s enough to bring life back to your weary bones… It’s enough to remember what really matters in the midst of so much that doesn’t… It’s enough to change someone’s story and send a ripple of unending kindness and love out into the world. It doesn’t’ take much to change someone’s story. In fact, six seconds will do. Author Rachel Macy Stafford wrote “The Six-Second Challenge” while she was waiting for Banjo the cat at the emergency vet clinic. “A few days before,” she writes, “I’d accidentally discovered it took six seconds for Banjo to start purring whenever I picked him up. This discovery inspired me to look for other ways I could offer love to other living beings or myself in a mere six seconds. Much to my surprise, there were countless ways to impact someone’s day, yet the impact of that action lasted far longer.” What can you do in six seconds to change someone’s story or at least make it a little brighter? – Rachel Macy Stafford Send us your suggestions of what you can do in six seconds to make someone’s life a little bit brighter—up to 50 words each—to (“Six-Second Challenge” in the subject field) by January 15, 2016 and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Rachel Macy Stafford’s Hand Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, & Loving More.


Mimi la Diva Malbouffa Sat Jan 30 1 pm Malaspina Theatre at VIU

Tickets $10 or 2/$18 250-754-7587 | Mid Island

WENDY STEEN MITCHELL DANCE 41 Years in Victoria CLASSES RE-OPEN Jan 4th 2033 BELMONT AVE (corner of Pembroke & Belmont) (ample free parking) Ballet Modern Tap, Lyrical Jazz Hip-Hop ages 3-18+ Annual show: May 19th UVIC RAD, ISTD exams & Festivals offered NEW JANUARY CLASSES FOR BEGINNERS Ages 3-5:Tap-Jazz; Ballet Ages 5-7: Tap; Jazz; Ballet Ages 7-10: Ballet-Jazz Ages 6+: Jazz (at 1112 Caladonia St)

Some in-progress classes accept new students with experience Details: Or phone 250-598-7679

January 2016  13

Jerri Carson

Happy Birthday, Mozart! J

anuary 27 marks the 260th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart is one of the most famous composers of all time. Born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a musician capable of playing multiple instruments. He learned to play the piano at the age of three and he soon developed his skills in all musical genres. He composed hundreds of works that included sonatas, symphonies, masses, concertos and operas. Celebrate Mozart’s anniversary by listening to his music. Mozart wrote over 600 works during his lifetime, including 41 symphonies, 22 musical dramas, 12 violin concertos and 27 piano concertos. There are countless CDs to help you appreciate the power of Mozart’s music as well as have an enjoyable listening experience with your family. Studies have suggested that playing Mozart’s music to children can boost their concentration and general listening skills. Also, children that are exposed to the great masters, such as Mozart, are more likely to appreciate a wider range of music in later years. An excellent CD to listen to with your child is My First Mozart Album by Naxos. This CD features 17 tracks including the famous Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (4th movement), Papageno’s song from The Magic Flute and the beautiful Piano Concerto No. 21 (Elvira Madigan).

Select a favourite Mozart piece and as you listen to the music, discuss with your child what pictures, colours, or stories the music brings to mind. “What do you think of while hearing this?” or “What do you feel?” are good starter questions. Another creative activity is colouring or painting while listening to the music. Encourage your child to use colours, lines and shapes to express how the music makes them feel. As well, there are several wonderful books about Mozart to read with your

child. Who was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? by Yona Zeldis will certainly appeal to young readers. This book recounts the

West-Mont Montessori Accepting Pre-School Registrations

West-Mont Montessori School 4075 Metchosin Rd, Victoria t: 250.474.2626 e: w: 14  Island Parent Magazine

major events of Mozart’s life, including his tour of the royal European courts, his career in Salzburg, his family life in Vienna and his early death at age 36. The blackand-white illustrations and the timelines of Mozart’s life offer a good opportunity

Mozart wrote over 600 works during his lifetime, including 41 symphonies, 22 musical dramas, 12 violin concertos and 27 piano concertos. for children to understand Mozart’s life in a historical context. Another engaging book to read is The

Magic of Mozart by Ellen Switzer. This book recounts a brief biography of Mozart followed by the story of The Magic Flute with colorful photos of marionettes. Of the 22 musical dramas or operas Mozart wrote, the most popular for children is The Magic Flute. It is sung in German and it has many memorable tunes such as the famous duet Papagano/Papegena. Try to watch a live DVD recording of The Magic Flute and it will almost be like being at the opera house in the front row. Spending time with your child while listening to Mozart is a starting point for future music lessons or other creative or artistic endeavors. But most important, listening to music promotes family time together. Jerri Carson is a primary music teacher for SD #61. She is a member of the CRD Arts Advisory Council. Jerri plays the cello in the Victoria Conservatory Cello Orchestra.

Montessori Education Nurtures a Lifelong Love of Learning

Independence Self-Discipline

Concentration Social Skills

Self-motivation Higher level thinking skills


Victoria Montessori Preschool

We’ve been

750 Front Street - Victoria - 250.380.0534

We also offer

preschool, el


OPEN HOUSE Monday, January 26th

Open House

6:00pm – 8:00pm Monday,

Our environment stimulates creative thinking and intellectual growth

Come to our

Thursday, January For information, or 21 to st 5:30 – 8:00 pm arrange a tour of our

January 25th 750 Front St. 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Mandarin an

swimming an

affordable al

Established 1978


February 4th, 6:30pm to 8:00pm 1979c Renfrew Rd, Shawnigan Lake


2619 Currie Road, Victoria BC V8S 3B9


Primary School


for children going places


phone: (250) 595-3213 email:

Nanaimo & Parksville campuses PRIMARY & ELEMENTARY SCHOOL


Open House Jan 29, 2016 3-5 pm

Preschool & Child care Part time & Full Day Programs

There are followers and leaders. And then there are trailblazers.



With an enric



at 250-384-3414 or email


Half-day Preschool & Full-day Kindergarten






2970 facility, call Jutland Penny Barner Victoria, BC

Our environment stimulates creative thinking and intellectual growth


January 2016  15

!!!!!!!! !




École Victor-Brodeur 637 head St, Victoria Portes ouvertes / Open House

Élémentaire (Maternelle – 7e année) 27 janvier 2016 : 9h à 11h (Kindergarten – grade 7) Secondaire (8e – 12e année) 27 janvier 2016 : 9h à 11h (grade 8-12) Une école ouverte sur le monde ! ! ! ! !

2 langues premières et 1 langue seconde 3 diplômes : Dogwood, Cornouiller et IB Advanced Placement Cours de métier Plus de 34 nationalités

Une école ouverte sur le XXIe siècle ! ! ! !

Programme Découvrir en Profondeur Voyages internationaux Un ordinateur pour chaque élève Cours virtuels

Une école pour tous les enfants ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Un taux de réussite de 100% Une école de M à 12e année Littératie précoce Soutien en langues, mathématiques et sciences Francisation et ALA Programme de voile Programmes parascolaires Gratuité des programmes Ratio d’un enseignant pour moins de 20 élèves

A school open to the world ! ! ! ! !

2 first languages plus one second language 3 diplomas: Dogwood, Cornouiller and IB Advanced Placement Work experience program House more than 34 nationalities

A school open to the 21st century ! ! ! !

Learning in Depth program International experiences A computer for each student E-courses

A school for all children ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

100% graduation rate Kindergarten to grade 12 Early literacy Academic support in languages, math and sciences Francization and ESL Sailing program Extra-curricular programs No school program fees Ratio of 1 teacher per less than 20 students

Pour toute information additionnelle / for additional information 250-220-6010 16  Island Parent Magazine

Carol Henderson

Saanich Schools (SD63) Ready, Set, Learn Open House

Going AWOL


t was over a year ago that we, my girlfriends and I, talked about going AWOL. Finally, the time came to stop talking about it, set a date and put our plan into action. With our busy lives filled with work, schedules, and running our kids back and forth to sports practices, there was never enough time to catch up on the present, let alone make plans for the future. The minute we tried to chat on the phone, someone would need something that could not wait and our conversations would, once again, be put on hold. That was why, while sitting around my kitchen table chatting one afternoon over coffee, we simply decided to “run away.” We left on a sunny Friday afternoon for Parksville—and our beachside hotel. We made a pact that, upon arrival, we would allow ourselves 30 minutes to talk about our families (after having established first that they were all still breathing, with enough food cooked to feed an army for a month). They were in our thoughts, but this was our time. The first evening we talked for hours, finding out more about the things we knew, but never really discussed with each other, and learning new things about one another’s lives. We actually sat down and ate hot food. We didn’t have to jump up once because someone couldn’t find the ketchup. In fact, we didn’t even take ketchup. We are lucky enough to share similar interests—window shopping being one of them—so we had a terrific time browsing the shops in Qualicum Beach. We wandered through art galleries, antique stores and a wonderful farmer’s market. We even got to enjoy lunch at a beachfront restaurant. Then, armed with dinner ingredients and a great bottle of wine, we returned to our beach paradise for a barbecue and a spectacular sunset. We are four friends who love one another and are not afraid to say so. For a few short days we revelled in our time together and celebrated the gift of friendship. We laughed, we cried, and we promised to always be there for each other and our families. Our bond grew even stronger that weekend. We went home happy and content, looking forward to the next time we’d go AWOL. Carol Henderson is a mom to three grownup, lovely young men and a Gran to a beautiful three-year-old little boy.


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 13, 2016 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

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of

Open House Saturday, January 23, 10am–1pm

• preschool to grade 2 • before and after

school care

• small class sizes • supportive and

caring staff

• excellent academic


• Kodaly music

5575 West Saanich Rd (across from Red Barn Market) 250 592 4411


• lovely rural location

connecting children to nature

January 2016  17

Caroline Riedel

Arts & Athletics Smackdown I

have a treasured video of my older son. He’s two and a half years old and is reaching over a full-sized guitar. His chubby little fingers start to strum, and he belts out “Twinkle, Twinkle.” When the song ends he stands up, carefully sets down the instrument and proclaims “I sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star! YAY!” You can hear the pride and sheer amazement in his voice like “Wow! It was that easy!” Music just seemed to come naturally to him. When my kids were toddlers we did the parent/child music groups offered in our neighbourhood. It was a wonderful way to connect with our two boys. But then school started as did team sports and other activities, and by the time my older son turned

18  Island Parent Magazine

seven I realized that music had taken a back seat in our lives. Around the same time my younger son developed an intense dislike of most tunes with lyrics. This really limited what we could listen to when we were all together. But we persisted with him. He did some music classes at the Conservatory and was positively giddy with the range of instruments available for him to try. And now he’s in choir at school and has found joy in showing off how long he can hold a note (16 beats and counting!). As for my older son, we enrolled him in an Orff music class and then he moved on to piano lessons. We were floored when he heard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain

King” and said “Can you find the music for that—that’s what I want to play.” And he did. His teacher was blown away. He went straight from “Merrily We Roll Along” to multi-octave, two-handed complicated sequences. My mom, a former church pianist, was beside herself with joy and pride. Every time we went to her house he played, and we showered him with praise. At that time our neighbourhood got a few pianos on street corners and every time we passed one we’d screech to a halt so he could jump out and play. But by late summer something changed. His interest and shared excitement with peers shifted completely to sports. His piano teacher told us she noticed the sparkle had gone out of his eyes. “I wish he’d talk as enthusiastically about music as he does about his soccer team.” We limped along for a few more months but I could see it was becoming a chore for him. I swore I’d never hound my child to practice—remind and participate yes, but when we got to bribery and tears, it was time to take a break. By the fall, sports had come to dominate my son’s every waking hour. Stats and animated conversations about the best plays of the week became the Grade 3 crowd’s cur-

rency of coolness. Then someone declared choir was for geeks, that the white shirt/ black pants combo they wore for performances was a “nerd costume.” I could see the arts side of our lives slipping away again, and I didn’t like it. We tried to find a young male teacher, someone passionate about hockey and piano. No luck. The hipsters seemed to be busy with their own gigs. It would have been so easy to just let it go. But my partner was the one who persisted, and now I’m glad we did. In general, I’m sure most parents are aware of the benefits of music and learning an instrument. Daniel Levitin author of This is Your Brain on Music writes, “Musical activity involves nearly every region of the brain that we know about and nearly every neural subsystem.” Music education increases grey matter in the brain, contributes to better memory, attention, information processing and even contributes to better motor condition and cognitive function, particularly noticeable as we age. It even staves off Alzheimer’s. For children on the autism spectrum music can be used to stimulate both hemispheres of the brain. A therapist can use a song or instrument to support cognitive activity so that the child can build self-awareness and engage in new kinds of communicative behavior, whether through singing a song or interpreting the emotion of a piece. Playing an instrument can encourage a child on the autism spectrum to focus on a concrete object, (the instrument they are playing), as well as foster interaction with others, which is something that autistic children generally struggle with. For my older son we eventually found a piano teacher who had three boys of her own. As a middle school music teacher, she had amassed an arsenal of tricks—a basket set up where kids “shoot hoops” to determine how many times to practice a song, fun improvisation exercises. and a great repertoire of musical styles. My partner also started lessons too and could engage a bit more with practice. Parallel to this I joined a marimba class, and my kids started to riff off the songs I was learning. It still often feels onerous to get my son to practice the piano, and we really have to budget for the lesson costs. But when I hear him pound out a song—usually at breakneck speed—on the keyboard, ending it with an impassioned fist pump and a “yes!,” I know that we’re on the right track. Caroline Riedel is an art curator and parent of two boys.



Launching the Framework: Changing Our View of Education Saturday February 27, 2016 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

NEW LOCATION! Royal Bay Secondary School 3500 Ryder Hesjedal Way in Colwood

OUR FEATURED SPEAKERS Yong Zhao | Rod Allen | Jeff Hopkins | Shelley Moore Advances in the science of learning have shown us that we need to see every child as an individual to be served, encouraged and supported. Technology and globalization have driven us to redesign the education system. Our conference speakers will challenge our traditional view of education and propose a new paradigm aimed at cultivating creative and successful learners. Our afternoon will feature interactive discussions designed to generate an action plan for a successful launch.

Registration: $110 includes lunch and refreshments Early bird rate: $80 if registered by February 10 th

For info updates or to register visit or email: Presented by District Parents’ Advisory Councils of Greater Victoria, Sooke & Cowichan Valley

Offering Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Highland

2758 Peatt Road  778-265-5955 or 250-818-9225 January 2016  19

Winter Programs


rom art classes to wellness programs—and everything in between—our community offers an array of programs, resources and services for families. To find out what’s available, read on. (For more details on the following listings, please refer to the ads in this issue of Island Parent).

techniques and performance skills. Benefits include improved acting skills, confidence, creative thinking, public speaking, creative collaboration, and versatility in physical, vocal and emotional expression. 250-3868593. katerubin@


Dance/Drama/Performing Art

Artistic Statement Gallery & School of Fine Art offers classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and cartooning. We design portfolios for students ages 14 and up to prepare them for entrance into degree and diploma programs in a variety of disciplines. Younger children also benefit from our unique approach, learning specific techniques to further their skill and creativity. Our annual student art exhibit showcases the students’ mastery of art at a level far above that produced by their peers. Call Joan at 250-838-0566.

Four Seasons Musical Theatre classes are back in session! FSMT classes teach the fundamental skills of stage acting, singing, and dancing. Our goal is to foster confidence and success on the stage. The 8 sessions of classes are available for children 7-14 years old. For more details and registration visit our website:

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

Kate Rubin Theatre & Drama Studio offers young people 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

This is Wendy’s 41st year of operating Wendy Steen Mitchell Dance, located in Fernwood at 2033 Belmont Avenue, with some classes at 1112 Caledonia St. Our dancers are from age 3 to 18+, and all perform in our year-end show. We offer classes in ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, tap, and hip hop. Exceptional dancers have the opportunity to perform in


— An Expert You Can Trust — Quality Work WCB Insured Competitive Rates Specializing in:

Renovations New Construction Custom Showers Hot Water Tanks Fixture Replacements Contact me today for a quote:

Travis Warren   250-886-2141 20  Island Parent Magazine

Festival and our Tiptoes Companies. Ballet, tap and modern theatre exams (RAD/ISTD) are offered.

Gymnastics 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 noncompetitive skill-development program structure. Boys and girls ages 2-17, beginner through advanced, all benefit from the strength and flexibility that gymnastics develops. Colwood location opening this spring Visit

Music The Tom Lee Music Academy 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 ages 3 beginners 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 over 50 years. One of our most exciting areas of enrichment are our programs for Babies to 14yrs. 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. All Ages Together in Song, offered by the Victoria Good News Choir, Louise Rose, director. We welcome you and your family to sing with us for the joy of singing. Experience the gifts of music with your child(ren) in a warm, caring community. Lots of fun too! No auditions. All ages welcome. Rehearsal/ Drop-in Saturdays 10am beginning January 16 at Cadboro Bay United Church, 2625 Arbutus. Join us. 250-658-1946, i n f o @ v i c t o r i a g o o d n e w s c h o i r. c o m ,

Parent Education/Programs Courses covering a range of personal and parenting topics begin again in January at 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre. Courses include The Lighthouse Parent, Managing the Difficult Conversation, Anatomy of Anger, Taming the Tiger: Mindfulness for Everyday, and the father’s support group Dads with Dads. Our courses are open to all in the community. Visit or call 250-385-1114.

West Shore Parks & Recreation


PROGRAMS Preschool Classes

LIFE Seminars parenting courses have made a huge, positive impact on families in Victoria for over 30 years. Dr. Allison Rees offers courses, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and Cutting Through Conflict. Dr. Rees also provides individual coaching and education. For more information about the courses, go to the website, or call 250-595-2649. These courses are in book form and available on Kindle, at Bolen’s or Books on View.

Recreation This winter the City of Victoria offers a range of programs just for you, or for your entire family. At Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre you can sign up for private swimming lessons, hire a personal trainer, or try a Zumba class. Arena programs at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre include lessons for all levels and public skating sessions. Register online and learn more at recreation or call 250-361-0732. Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre provides unique state-of-the-art spaces, studios and programs. We offer a wide range of classes and drop-ins for all ages, including sports, arts, pottery, dance, fitness, tennis, squash, badminton, table tennis and rehabilitation. Enjoy the Gallery Café, free of charge art exhibitions, and Golf Course chip trails while using the facility. Give Cedar Hill Recreation Centre a call today for details on classes and how to register 250-475-7121 or visit Gordon Head Recreation Centre. Facility highlights include our pool, dance/fitness studio, weight room, multi-purpose spaces, wellness annex, dedicated preschool space and more. If you’re looking for a quality preschool experience, we still have space available in our very popular “ECO (Educating Children Outdoors)” program. Sessions

Learn to Skate

and more winter fun!

Register Today

250-478-8384 January 2016  21

are offered at Swan Lake and Beaver Lake. Call 250-475-7100 for more information.

On a Mission to Build Healthy, Safe Environments

Gliders & Furniture

Evolving With Your Family Needs Perfect for creating a healthy, safe and delightful learning environment. The Honest Company’s portfolio of 40+ products addresses the ever-growing category needs of cleaning, diapering, personal care and more.

For All Your Your Baby Baby Needs… Needs… New, We Also Do&Rentals! For Used Rentals Serving the Infants • Toddlers • Youth • Parents & Grandparents of Victoria

s St.

3045–C Douglas St. (Rear) 386-2229

Finlayson St. Dougla

The Kiddies Store

Larch St.


(Under Sleep Country in the REAR)

“AMERICANO” Fewer than 5 calories! *

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, preschool, spin and aerobics. Come for a visit at 3100 Tillicum Road behind Tillicum Mall. Lots of free parking, or we are bus routes #21, #22, and #26. Saanich Commonwealth Place offers Parent and Tot, as well as preschool-age programs ranging from French, science, dance, karate, swim lessons and soccer. There are some fantastic new preschool programs to check out including; Stepping up to kindergarten, and Intro to ABC123’s. Mark your calendar—registration for our very popular Kiddie Capers Preschool (September 2016-June, 2017) starts Saturday February 20 at 8am. Come to our Open House on Feb 16 at 3:30 pm. Call us at 250-475-7600 or online at 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 For more information or find us on Facebook: 1767 Island Highway.

Science & Nature

* When consumed

without condiments. * When consumed without condiments.

Serious Coffee locations can be found throughout Vancouver Island and in Powell River �o �nd one near �ou go to� seriouscoffee�co� 22  Island Parent Magazine

Mad Science® Vancouver Island brings to you an exciting time filled with hands-on science in a variety of after-school programs, spring break and summer camps, parties and shows. Mixing outdoor activities with scientific exploration, children can experiment, observe, question, and have fun. They build take-home toys to share what they learned. Check, call 250-391-1814 or 1-888-954-6237 for more information. Book on-line any time. •

Get Moving T

he Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines suggest that young children progress from 180 minutes of activity at any intensity towards 60 minutes of energetic play by age five. Here are some ways to start early and get your toddlers moving:

STAGES Performing Arts School since 1980

s e s s a l C e c c h o o l Da n and up

Pre -S for ages 18 months

To t C la s s Pa re n t & p, e t, H ip H o J a z z , Ba ll la s s e s & C o m b,oBaClle t Ta p &

• Kids naturally play more actively when they’re outdoors, so head outside with them every day and talk about how much fun it is to play outside. • Provide a safe, nurturing and minimally structured play environment. • Get your child to climb, swing and play at the local playground.

ce Come Dan W i t h U s !e s,

Even the lit tlest angel can dance

• Instead of using a stroller, encourage your child to walk part of the way.

z (w it h J a z h e a t re ) ic Mu s a l T

For more information

Call 250-384-3267 Email us at Or visit our website:

• Too wet or cold out? Turn up the music and have a dance party. • When screen time occurs, play with little ones during commercial breaks and choose shows that get your child up and moving through music, dancing or other forms of physical activity. • Tell sitters and relatives that when they’re with your kids, active play time is expected. • Have a list of active indoor and outdoor games or activities for your children in a handy location. • Set a good example. Be a good role model by being active yourself. • Register your kids for age-appropriate activities like swimming, family yoga or dance. • Invest in equipment like balls, hula hoops, roller skates, scooters and other equipment that encourages movement. • Plan active vacations. For more ideas, visit

COMPREHENSIVE FAMILY DENTISTRY family centered practice extended hours evenings and weekends the latest equipment and caring staff request an appointment online 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.

January 2016


Little League Baseball (Ages 4 – 13 Years)

Challenger Baseball (Ages 4 – Adulthood)

A recreational program including 6 different divisions. Players are placed on teams of their skill level. We also offer more competitive summer Baseball and Softball programs for those aged 9 years and over. Players earn their spot on summer teams.

“Where everyone is a winner” The Challenger program for boys and girls with special needs, who can enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this baseball.

Blastball (Ages 1 – 3 Years) “Baseball for the underage Little Leaguers!” Entry level for team sport. Bring friends, make your own team.

Softball (Girls 7 – 18 Years) “Girls in Sport!” The girls’ softball program offers recreational and competitive programs for all girls. Goals include skill development, team work and having fun!

Hampton Little League

is proud to host several events this season including: Big League Experience Super Clinic – (ages 7 thru 13 Mar 25 &26) 60th Anniversary Celebration – May 28 & 29 (includes funday) BC Provincial Challenger Jamboree – June 18 9-10 District Baseball Championships – end of June – early July

Dates & Times

at the Hampton Clubhouse on Tillicum Road across from Burnside Plaza. • On-line anytime even now! • Saturday-Sunday Jan 23 & 24 and 30 & 31, Feb 6 & 7: 1-4 PM • Wednesday Feb 10: 6:30-9 PM Kidsport & payment options available - NO PLAYER TURNED AWAY BECAUSE OF FINANCES! or call 250 686 9614 24  Island Parent Magazine


Party Directory 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:


Birthday Parties

Design your own custom party with our NEW Pick N Mix Party theme! Also available: Princess, Pop­‐star, Fairy, Mermaid, Neon Dance, Spa Parties and more!

631 Courtney St (Downtown in Nootka Court) 631 Courtney St. (Downtown in Nootka Court)

250 590 5568

Birthday Parties!

Book your Par-T-Pet Party!

Come Fly With Us!

Adorable AND affordable. Exclusively made for Par-T-Perfect

Party sizes up to 18 kids

Create and stuff a deluxe plush 8" pet to take home!


· Choose from 5 pets to adopt · Unique Par-T-Themes available or add on to any party · An amazing goody bag replacement and activity · Ask about our DIY Par-T-Box option—shipped directly to your door!

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

We supply table top cover, napkins, hats, streamers and balloons Optional character

Two certified instructors and a host Optional character

Call 250-370-7200

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

Call 250-595-SWIM (7946)

Gymnastics games and music

Optional character

Call Par-T-Perfect today 250-386-5867 or visit

Free t-shirt

Optional character



GYMNASTICS Birthday Parties


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!




40 sary 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)

Hassle Free Parties for kids & families

Optional character

You provide the space and food…


We’ll provide an hour of fun with puppet shows and play


250 472 3546



Foam landing pit and 40' long trampoline

Optional character

Party participants can win a FREE month

Available Saturday & Sunday Afternoons Optional character

Corner of Store & Pembroke

250-380-2442 January 2016  25

Ashley Degraaf

Kate Rubin Theatre & Drama Studio specializes




CHILDREN, YOUTH, and ADULTS. Within a professional, for

experienced, learning





flourish with improved acting skills,

confidence, CREATIVE THINKING, public speaking


skills, spontaneity, and versatility in physical & vocal expression.

Re-think Your Resolutions


he New Year is here. You’ve likely set one of those crazy ‘get fit after baby’ resolutions. Don’t deny it. But don’t do it. That is, don’t set the unrealistic resolution. Getting in shape after having children is important for a number of reasons including your health, to do something that’s just for you, and to set a good example for your offspring.

“You have to remember your body just went through a lot and you will not be able to jump back into your regular routine right away,” says Savory. When you’re ready, schedule your workouts or your long walks, hikes, yoga or runs, whatever it is you enjoy doing (the key word being “enjoy” because that will help motivate you) and write it down in your day planner.

But too many moms get wrapped up in weight loss fads and programs geared toward shedding pounds quickly after baby arrives. It takes time to get into shape. That’s why it’s important to find an exercise routine and a diet that work for your lifestyle and that you can introduce slowly. Here are five get fit resolutions NOT to set: 1. I will exercise every day. Unless you’re hooking yourself up to a coffee IV, good luck with that. According to personal trainer and fitness instructor Monni Savory, your body needs rest days in order for muscles to repair and get stronger. Plus you don’t want to burn out.

Schedule your chosen activity just like you would any other appointment, says Savory, who’s also a mother of two girls under age five. “Find ways to hold yourself accountable, because with a new baby there will always be a million other things you could be doing.” 2. I will lose 20 pounds this month. Give your head a shake. How about aiming instead for two pounds a week. “It may take longer but [the weight] will stay off because you are most likely doing it the right way,” said Savory. One of the biggest misconceptions with losing baby weight is it will be easy, she adds.

Now Registering for Fall Classes • Workshops • Private Coaching and Full Year Programs Fall, Winter, Spring & Summer Terms (Ages 3 and up)

Kate Rubin

Theatre & Drama Studio

250.386.8593 •



at Beaver Lake and Swan Lake


EDUCATING CHILDREN OUTSIDE (ECO) PROGRAM Sat. January 16th 11am-1pm Beaver Lake (at main Beaver Beach) Sat. January 23rd 11am-1pm Swan Lake (at Nature Sanctuary) Meet our educators and get program information for our September 2016-June 2017 program year. September 2016 – June 2017

M, W, F Tu, Th

9:00am-12:00pm 9:00am-12:00pm

Please contact Jen Poitras at 250-475-7113 for more information.

26  Island Parent Magazine

“It won’t be easy. You will be tired and most likely not getting enough calories because you’re so worried about keeping the baby healthy you will most likely forget the importance of keeping yourself healthy.” 3. I will completely cut out sugar and carbs. “When you make a statement like this you will likely focus on the one thing you are trying to cut out and it will drive you nuts and you may just binge,” says Savory. How about just vowing to add more veggies to your daily diet instead? “I think if you eat clean, unprocessed foods you won’t need a fad diet or a quick fix,” she says. “Make it a lifestyle change and you will see better and longer lasting results.” 4. I will weigh myself every day. Who really wants to do that? “I never recommend weighing yourself every day because it can be discouraging if you’re not seeing that number drop,” says Savory. “Especially if you are strength training as well you may be losing fat but gaining muscle. Take measurements and weigh every two weeks if necessary.” 5. I will run my first marathon this month. Stop the presses. This is probably one of the craziest resolutions of all, unless you’ve already been training for at least the last 12 weeks. Even experienced runners need a solid 12 weeks to prepare, says Savory. “It’s great to set a goal like a race, just make sure it’s realistic.” For Savory, getting back into shape was completely different with her children. “The first time was a little bit harder, but my labour was quite a bit longer which I sort of related to running a marathon and running a 5k,” she says. Recovery time is much different for each person. “I just took it slow and for the first time in my life I was smart enough to listen to my body and ease back into it as I felt I could.” After her second child, getting back into shape was much easier. “Labour was quick and I felt like I could have gone out for a run the next day. I didn’t. I waited a week for my first run,” she says. “It’s important to know that each person and each baby will be different so just listen to your body and take it one day at a time.” Ashley Degraaf is a freelance writer based out of the Cowichan Valley. She enjoys channeling her inner momma while chronicling her daily adventures with her children.

LIFE Seminars presents

LIFE Seminars Sidestepping Athe life Power changing course Struggle presents

For parents with children of any age – this course takes the guesswork out of parenting and creates long lasting positive changes. Eight Weeks Wednesday Evenings Wednesday Evenings April 28April – June 2 Feb 17 to 20

Cutting Through Conflict 2010

With two weeks off for spring break

7:00 to 9:30

Spectrum School 7:00 – 9:30

Individual parent education sessions are available with Dr. Allison Rees

Plus Parenting Teens, Parenting Preschoolers and One Day Seminars – see website for further details.

For more information on other courses or counselling go to 250-595-2649 or call:

with Dr. Allison Rees


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. By graduation, Late Immersion students can qualify for employment in French or study in French at University. Late French Immersion is offered at: • Arbutus Middle • Cedar Hill Middle • Central Middle • Lansdowne Middle • Shoreline Middle Late French Immersion is open to any student entering Grade 6 in September. To register your child, go to your preferred Middle School offering Late Immersion during the period of January 25 to January 29, 2016. Interested in Learning More About Late French Immersion? Attend our Information Meeting:

Late French Immersion Information Meeting Tuesday, January 19, 2016  •  6:30 pm SJ Willis Auditorium, 923 Topaz Ave Simon Burgers, District Principal, Languages and Multiculturalism, will be pleased to provide you with additional information, 250-475-4120 or January 2016  27

January 2016

Generously Sponsored by         and

Family Calendar For calendar updates throughout the month visit SUN 3 Thetis Lake Loop at Thetis Lake Regional Park. Start your new year off with a hike around the lakes at Thetis while exploring the parks’ natural history with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. Bring a snack or lunch and water, dress for the weather and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Meet at the main parking lot at Thetis Lake at 11am. 8+ years. BC Transit #50. 250-478-3344.

FRI 8 LEGO Stories at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Use the library’s Lego to build your own creation while you listen to stories. Each meeting will explore a different theme. Put your creation on display until the next meeting. Ages 5 years and up. 3:30-4:30pm. Please register by email at or phone 250-656-0944. Mindful or Mind Full at St. Margaret’s School. In this breakfast workshop, Stephanie Curran will introduce the benefits of mindfulness and strategies to counteract anxiety and depression with a particular focus on girls. Free, but please register. 8;30-10am. 1080 Lucas Ave.

SAT 9 Wonderful Woodpeckers at Francis/King Regional Park. Discover all the tricks of the woodpecker trade. What makes them so good

28  Island Parent Magazine

at what they do? Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist and learn how to identify different woodpeckers by sight, sound and habits on this guided walk. Meet at the Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Rd at 1:30pm. All ages. 250-478-3344.

SUN 10 Pictures of the Past at East Sooke Regional Park. Here’s a chance to join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist and explore this scenic coastline. Walk to the petroglyphs and discover the story in stone. Wear sturdy hiking shoes. Meet at the kiosk in the Aylard Farm parking lot off Becher Bay Rd at 1pm. 8+ years. 250-4783344.

MON 11 Bedtime Shenanigans at Ruth King Elementary. Play games, enjoy snacks, and listen to a few delightful stories and songs. This free evening is for children aged 0 to 5 years and their parents/caregivers. Activities take place in the school gym. Running shoes suggested; wear pajamas if you like. 6-7pm. For more info, email

WED 13 Bedtime Shenanigans at Colwood Elementary. See MON 11 for details. 6-7pm. For children 0-5. For more info, email

SUN 17 Family Sunday at Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Enjoy an afternoon of exploring hands-on art making for the whole family. 2-4pm. 1040 Moss St. 250-384-4171.

MON 18 Stories on Fern Street. The Victoria Storytellers Guild welcomes you to hear and tell stories. For people who love to tell stories, for people who love to listen, for people of all ages. Tea and goodies. Doors open at 7:15pm, stories start at 7:30pm. 1831 Fern St (park on Begbie). $5; $3/students. 250-477-7044.

WED 20 Open House at St. Margaret’s School. Come see the campus in action. Interested families are invited to drop in from 6:30-8pm to take a student-led tour, meet with faculty and staff, try on a red blazer, and find out why girls thrive here. 1030 Lucas Ave.

FRI 22 Sensory Storytime: Deep Blue Sea at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. Discover sensoryrich stories, movement and songs. This fun program is appropriate for preschoolers with autism or sensory processing issues, or preschoolers who thrive on routine. For ages 3-5; maximum of 2 children per accompanying adult. Parent and caregiver participation

is required. 10:30-11:15am. Register at gvpl. ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. LEGO Stories at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. See FRI 8 for details. Ages 5 years and up. 3:30-4:30pm. Please register by email at or phone 250-656-0944.

SAT 23 Family Learning Tour in Westshore. Learning can happen anywhere, and the tour will showcase a variety of learning activities families can experience together. For a full listing of learning activities and locations, visit

SUN 24 Who’s Hooting? at Mill Hill Regional Park. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to learn some owl calls, find out about these excellent night hunters, and get to know our BC owls. Meet at the kiosk in the parking lot off Atkins Ave at 1pm. All ages. BC Transit #53. 250478-3344.

MON 25 Baby Chat at Central Branch Library. Stay after Drop-in Baby Time to learn about baby care and other child development topics from Island Health practitioners. For babies 0-15 months and parent or caregiver. Drop-in, space permitting. 11-11:30am. Family Literacy Week: Make Your Own Story Cube at Oak Bay Branch Library. Enjoy a farmyard storytime and make your own Old MacDonald story cube to take home. Supplies provided. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 11:30am-12:30pm. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. Bedtime Shenanigans at John Stubbs Elementary. See MON 11 for details. 6-7pm. For children 0-5. For more info, email sjolivet@

TUES 26 Best Friends Forever at Emily Carr Branch Library. Friendship goes a long way. Bring your favourite stuffy along to share a good book or two. This program will occur before regular opening hours. For young children and accompanying adult. 9:30-10am. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. TM

WED 27 Family Literacy Day at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Celebrate Family Literacy Day by reading and having fun learning together as a family. Try the activity stations and enter the prize draw. Everyone welcome. All day event. 250-656-0944.

0-15 months and parent or caregiver. Drop-in, space permitting. Noon-12:30pm.

Family Literacy Week: Create Your Own Storytelling Discs at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Use your creativity to draw or decoupage your very own storytelling discs. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11:30am. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.

Family Literacy Week: Create Your Own Felt Story at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. Come 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. 10:30-11:30am. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.

Bedtime Shenanigans at Wishart Elementary. See MON 11 for details. 6-7pm. For children 0-5. For more info, email

THURS 28 Family Literacy Week: Make Your Own Story Cube at Esquimalt Branch Library. See MON 25 for details. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11:30am. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. Family Literacy Week: Create Your Own Storytelling Discs at Central and Nellie McClung Branch Libraries. See WED 27 for details. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11:30am. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. Baby Chat at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. See MON 25 for details. For babies

FRI 29

SAT 30 Maker Day at St. Margaret’s School. Do you know a girl intrigued by building and figuring out how things work? This workshop will offer an introduction to Arduinos, Littlebits and Makey Makey to build electronic projects using circuits, software, and a little imagination. For girls 8-13. 10am-4pm. By donation. Register at

SUN 31 Duck Day at Swan Lake Nature House. Some dabble on the surface, some dive for their food. Explore the amazing adaptations ducks have for living on the lake and discover who’s who in the duck world. Noon-3pm. Admission by donation. For more information, call 250-479-0211 or visit 3873 Swan Lake Rd.

January 2016  29

Saanich Schools (SD63) Kindergarten Registration for Fall 2016

January 25—29, 2016


Our Kindergarten programs offer:

Drop-in Storytimes 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 schedule of drop-in programs, visit or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.

   

Good Morning Storytime at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Bring your littlest ones to the library for stories, songs, rhymes and lots of movement. For 0-5. Thursdays January 14-March 3, 10:15-11am drop-in.

All Children born in 2011 are eligible to register for Full Day Kindergarten at your neighbourhood school. in

ench Rich

numeracy experiences.

Register January 25—29, 2016 at your neighbourhood school.

Brentwood Elementary Cordova Bay Elementary Deep Cove Elementary

Keating Elementary KELSET Elementary Lochside Elementary

Prospect Lake Elementary Sidney Elementary

French Immersion registrations:

Deep Cove Elementary (North Zone) Keating Elementary (South & Central Zone)

To register at your neighbourhood school please bring:

 Proof of your address (resident driver’s license, utility bill, etc)  Proof of your child’s age (birth certificate).  Your child’s BC Care Card.

After January 29, all K-8 registrations will be done at: Saanich School Board Office 2125 Keating Cross Road, Saanichton 8am to 4pm

Kindergarten Information Evening: January 20, 2016 , 7 - 8:30 pm Sidney Elementary School, 2281 Henry Ave., Sidney

Every success for every child

CHILDREN Toddler Art Drop-in at Burnside Gorge Community Centre. Explore your creative side. Each week features a different craft designed with the preschooler in mind. Smocks and soap provided. Creative activities can be messy, so please dress children appropriately. Parent participation required. 9:30-10:30am. $1/child.

YOUTH Volunteer Opportunities for Teens at the Greater Victoria Public Library. The GVPL has great volunteer opportunities for teens. For more information, visit work-with-us/teen-volunteers. Teen Writing Contest at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Enter your original poem, short story, or something in the “random” category. Create something new, or polish up something written for a school assignment. If your entry is selected by the judging panel, you will win a gift certificate for the store of your choice, up to $100 for first prize! For Grades 7-12 and home learners of equivalent age. For details, contest rules, and online entry form, see gvpl. ca/teenwritingcontest. For more information, email Contest runs online from January 29-March 29.


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 for specific information on submissions. We’d love to hear from you. Please email submissions to 30  Island Parent Magazine

Young Parent Drop-in at the YM/YWCA. The Y Young Moms Program hosts a free breakfast and drop-in for young parents in the community. Come enjoy a hot meal, socialize with other young parents, enjoy a kids’ craft, let your little one explore the fully equipped playroom, or have a look in the ‘free store’ for gently used children’s items and household supplies. 10am-noon. Call 250-382-1004 for more information. Recyclistas Bicycle Repair Classes at Recyclistas Bike Shop. Affordable classes twice weekly. Learn how to safely and effectively fix, maintain and rebuild bicycles. Thursdays 4-7pm, and Saturdays 1-4pm. $25/adults; $13/ youth 10-18. Pre-register by calling 250-4188867.•

Developmental Delay: What Parents Need to Know There’s nothing quite like the joy of being a new parent. You spend those early months and years dreaming about who your baby will become. But what if your baby doesn’t appear to be progressing like other children of the same age? You start to worry that there’s something wrong, and suddenly the future looks uncertain.

Motor concerns: • Avoids playing on playground equipment • Seems to be more clumsy than other children of the same age • Uses one side of the body much more than the other • Finds it hard to keep postural control

Early identification of developmental delays can improve a child’s developmental trajectory. There are a number of early warning signs you can look for to help determine whether your child might have a developmental delay. If your child shows two or more of the below signs regularly, seek professional advice.

Monarch House in Victoria provides assessment and treatment for children with behavioural, communication, learning and/or motor skills challenges through our interdisciplinary team of professionals.

Difficulty with communication: • Uses less words than other children of the same age • Does not understand simple instructions • Uses few or no gestures (i.e., pointing)

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s development, seek professional advice. Remember, you are not alone; there are a number of resources in your community to support your child and family, including Monarch House.

Behaviour concerns: • Easily upset when routine changes • Often does repetitive movements with objects or body parts • Has difficulty paying attention to an activity compared to other children of the same age

MONARCH HOUSE VICTORIA 611 Discovery Street 250.220.8999

Self care delays: • Inconsistent bedtime and sleep patterns • Feeding issues (i.e., picky eater) • Difficulty with toilet training • Dependent on others for dressing Advertorial Feature

January 2016  31

Around the Island

Visit for these and other events and resources for families from Cowichan Valley north to Campbell River and west to Tofino FRI 1 26th Annual Polar Bear Splash at Parksville Beach. A great way to start the New Year. You are welcome to come as a participant, spectator or volunteer. Register on site at 11:30am. Free. 250-752-5104.

SAT 2 Superhero Fun at Beban Pool, Nanaimo. Come on out and see your favourite super heroes while you participate in a variety of super activities. 1:30-4pm. 250-756-5200.

SAT 2 & SUN 3 Christmas Tree Chipping at Country Club Mall, Nanaimo. With the support of VItree Services, Nanaimo Search and Rescue will host a tree chipping fundraiser in the mall parking

lot near the Dairy Queen. All funds raised will be used for the purchase of new equipment to be used by NSAR volunteers in rescue operations. $10 suggested donation. Noon-4pm.

TUES 5 Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena. Skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. Regular admission. Glow necklaces available for $2. 250-756-5200.

FRI 8 Nanaimo Community Home Learners (NCHL) Monthly Meet-up at Oliver Woods Community Centre. Resource library, gym time, and parent support. $5 drop-in fee/family or $20 year-long membership.

TUES 12 Dad’s Night Out: Free Skate Night at Oceanside Place Arena. Dads, bring the kids and enjoy a free skate together on the pond. Sponsored by Building Learning Together. 6:30-7:30pm. 250-248-3252.

TUES 19 Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena. Skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. Regular admission. Glow necklaces available for $2. 250-756-5200.

FRI 22 Dive-in Movie at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Bring your floatie into the wave pool while enjoying a relaxing time watching a movie. Rumour has it there could be popcorn and juice available. 7-9:30pm. 250-756-5200.

Family Services of Greater Victoria Formerly BC Families in Transition

899 Fort Street 250.386.4331 þ Individual, Couple and Family Counseling þ Parenting Coaching þ Relationship Referee þ Parent­‐Teen Mediation þ Specialized Children’s Therapy Services þ Divorce and Separation Legal Information and Mediation þ Caught in the Middle þ Parenting with a New Partner þ Parenting After Separation Serving Greater Victoria Since 1978 32  Island Parent Magazine

SAT 23 Disco Light Skate at Oceanside Arena. Try something different and come skate under the disco lights. Flashing disco lights and pumping disco music will take you back in time, plus prizes for best disco costume will be awarded. 7-8:15pm. 250-248-3252.

Sooke School District

invites 3 & 4 year-olds & families to

Ready, Set, Learn!

SAT 30

• Play & learn with hands-on activities!

Superhero Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. Calling all superheros for an afternoon of games, crafts and skating. Costumes are welcome. Everyone welcome skate from 2-3:30pm. Regular admission rates apply. 250-248-3252.

•Receive goody bag full of fun! • Find out how to support your child’s learning & development.

Wednesday, January 27 Sooke Community Hall (10:00am–1:00pm)


Westshore Town Centre (10:30am–2:30pm)

PRESCHOOL Mornings with LaFF at the Aggie. Staff and participants create play-based learning stations to explore and enjoy. Bring food to share & make a healthy snack together while making new friends. Monday to Friday, 9:30amnoon. $2 suggested donation per family. Family Storytime at Cowichan Library, Duncan. Bring the whole family for stories, songs, rhymes and fun. For ages 0-5. Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am. 2687 James St. krumohr@

FAMILY Drop-in Science Studio at Departure Bay Eco School. At Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society’s Science studio, kids are encouraged to explore the many interactive displays and activities. Activities include: 8 foot marble wall, 2,000 KEVA blocks, kid-friendly microscopes, wind tunnels, a high-powered air field, math puzzles, sign-out activities, and more. For safety purposes, children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. $4/child; adults free. Tuesday-Thursday 10am-noon; Thursdays 3-5pm; Saturdays 9am-noon. Schedule subject to change, so please check for most current schedule. Parksville Lion’s and Save-On-Foods Free Family Skate at Oceanside Arena, Parksville. Free family skating Sundays. Free admission and skate rentals. Children must be accompanied by an adult 19 years or older. Sundays 12:15-1:45pm. 250-248-3252. Lions Free Skate at Frank Crane Arena. Every Sunday noon-1:30pm. 250-756-5200.•

New Kids Dentist

Dr. Anita Gadzinska-Myers

is a Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry and has a Fellowship in Special Needs Dentistry for children • Accepting new patients now (infants to teenagers) • Referral not needed • Member of Cleft Lip and Palate Team

Special Services:

short wait list • intravenous sedation • hospital dentistry • nitrous oxide

Victoria Pediatric Dental Centre 206–1830 Oak Bay Ave


Oak Bay Preschool kids! bring the



SAT, JAN 30th

Fun Start 1-3 yrs. Preschool 3&4 yrs.


January 2016  33

Maple Tree Children’s Centre “Where GROUP child care feels like family” 2 locations to better serve Victoria:

3130 Jutland Rd (near Mayfair Mall) and our BRAND NEW Infant/Toddler and 3–5 Centre at 100 Aldersmith Pl (near the intersection of Admirals and Old Island Highway)


Matinees for KIDS! Saturdays & Sundays at 1pm All Seats $4.75

Jan 9 & 10

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Jan 16 & 17

Hotel Transylvania 2 Jan 23 & 24

Raiders of the Lost Ark Jan 30 & 31


The Peanuts Movie .com

Student Union Building, UVIC | 721-8365


Music Lessons • Piano • Guitar • Drums • Bass 25 YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANSHIP


Locally owned and centrally located in Quadra Village

34  Island Parent Magazine

Elizabeth Poppe

Moments with Strangers L

ately, I’ve realized just how influential strangers can be when it comes to our parenting style. To illustrate what I mean, here is a list of 10 strangers who have helped me along my parenting path. Stranger #1. The caretaker at the cemetery who welcomed an impromptu outof-school-care field trip with sweet words about loving children’s laughter. Years later, this stranger still invites us in and offers us unfettered use of the humungous leaf pile just outside the gates every fall. (Lesson learned: Kindness will always be remembered.) Stranger #2. The child and her father who greeted each other every day at pickup with running, leaping, bounding hugs. Her delighted cries of “Daddy!” made me want to have children of my own. (Lesson learned: Show your love enthusiastically, every day.) Stranger #3. The mom whose strong opinions on screen time and age-appropriate content baffled the pre-parent me but whose advice I harken back to every time I tell my son, “It’s time to turn the TV off now” and “You may watch that show when you’re older.” We have that stranger to thank for our weekly “TV Break Day.” (Lesson learned: Protect their childhood. Be a bear if that’s what it takes.) Stranger #4. The mom on the playground who gave me a number of baby items she no longer needed. Among the treasures were three of those nice, extra-large, fine cotton muslin baby blankets that proved perfect for everything from swaddling to picnics to dress-up play. (Lesson learned: Be generous.) Stranger #5. The woman sitting next to me on the train heading up Island who, realizing I had a new baby sleeping on me under that draped swaddling blanket, asked for a peek and said, “Oh, bless his precious heart.” Then she proceeded to tell me of the time when her first-born was a baby and the

woman who, in turn, had said those same words to her. (Lesson learned: Pass on the good stories too.) Stranger #6. The very active three-yearold on the playground whose mom told me he would shimmy up the door frames at home. He also rode, with great daring and aplomb, the most amazing, little bike I had ever seen at the time and I vowed that when my baby was old enough for it, I would find him a pedal-less run bike. (Lesson learned: Let them take risks. And, occasionally, buy them the really cool toy.) Stranger #7. The older woman we passed while out for a walk on a cool, windy day who suggested that perhaps my baby might need a hat. She immediately looked appalled and said to me, “My dear, you just tell me to shut up and mind my own business!” (Lesson learned: Shut up and mind your own business.) Stranger #8. The man at the coffee shop who held the door for me on a difficult day of near constant nursing and no naps. He took it in stride when this emotional new mama burst into tears at his simple act of courtesy. (Lesson learned: Be considerate and teach your children to be considerate.) Stranger #9. The woman in the washroom at the library who listened to me talk my toddler through a diaper change. I complimented his patience and co-operation. The woman complimented my calm tone and communication skills. (Lesson learned: Tell others how well they are doing.) Stranger #10. The family from story time who I’d been exchanging nods and quiet “hellos” with for months. I knew their kids’ names, they knew mine. We’d bonded over how best to deal with the imaginary shark infestation in the library. I’m the type of person who is content with that relationship. Not so this family, thank goodness. They asked, “Hey, do you live around here? Do you want to get together for a playdate?” and we’ve been great friends ever since. (Lesson learned: Take a step outside your comfort zone and say, “Yes!”) These moments with strangers turned some of my bad days into better days and good days into amazing days. They even turned strangers into friends. (Lesson learned: Your smallest interactions can continue to resonate years later.)

First Annual

Pregnancy to Pre-K Expo Saturday & Sunday, March 19 & 20 at Beban Park

40+ Local and National Vendors Baby Crawling Contest Two Appearances by BOBS AND LOLO The incomparable music of “The BIG MESS” Supervised Gymnastics Corner and much, much, more! In support of Nanaimo’s Child Development Center! Support their cause, and have some fun at this one of a kind, one stop shopping experience! Tickets: $10/day or $12/weekend, kids under 12 FREE!

Info: or

O’Brien SchoolofofIrish Irish !ancing O’Brien School !ancing

Register for 2015-2016 classes Register nownow for 2015-2016 classes Register for

January classes

*Traditional IrishIrish dancing classes for thefor the *Traditional dancing classes recreational, performance recreational, performance *Traditional Irish dancing classes for andthe competitive dancer and competitive dancer recreational, performance

and competitive dancer *Victoria (Cadboro Bay,Esquimalt, Downtown) *Victoria (Cadboro Bay,Esquimalt, Downtown) • Victoria*Nanaimo (Cadboro Bay, Esquimalt, Downtown) *Nanaimo *Duncan • Nanaimo  • Duncan *Duncan 604-340-2370 604-340-2370

Emmanuel Preschool


Emmanuel Preschool

2121 Cedar Hill Cross Road (by entrance to UVic)

Openings forHill 2013–2014 2121 Cedar Cross RoadClasses! (by entrance to UVic) Children through ininclusive, our all inclusive, Children learnlearn through play in play our all non-denominational Christian preschool. non-denominational Christian preschool. Great facility; outdoor play area a gym rainy for day play! Great facility; outdoor playand area andfor a gym Two teachers with ECE certification plus assistant teachers to rainy day play. Two teachers with ECE certification help with special needs children. plus an assistant help with special needs A competent and caringteacher teachingtoteam! children. A competent and caring teaching team! Opportunities: Classes: Mon / Wed / Fri morning class Mon/Wed/Fri morning class Tues / Thurs morning class Tues/Thurs morning class 5 mornings a week

Elizabeth Poppe is the mother of a kinder5 mornings a week gartner and chats with strangers every day. Phone 250-598-0573

Phone 250-598-0573

January 2016  35

15 Minutes of Fun using your Travelthe the world world using your #4 #4 Travel

library yourpassport. passport. librarycard card as as your

In honour of Family Literacy Day on January 27, ABC Life Literacy Canada is encouraging Canadian families to have “15 Minutes of Fun” learning together. Learning can happen at any time. Practicing literacy together every day has tremendous benefits for both children and parents. Here, from ABC Life Literacy Canada, are 15 great ways to get started:

Lights out, talk on: After your bedtime story, turn the lights off and talk about new endings to the story you just read together.

Surfing Snacks: Make family time learning time.

Go online together to find out how your favourite foods are made. Are they something you can make together at home?

Find more activities you can do as a family Make family time learning time. Find A-B-C: at

Travel the World: Use your library card as your passport to check out books on different countries. Learn about their traditions and celebrations.

Float in a Boat: Work together to fold a family fleet of origami boats. (Find all the steps in the sample module!)

Let’s go Shopping: Have kids write the family grocery list out themselves, then bring it to the store. Let them check each item off the list. (Hmm, wonder how jelly beans got on the list…)

Number Walk:

Exchange notes (or write a journal) with your child telling each other about the best part of your day. Or switch it up: what’s the best thing you expect to happen tomorrow?

A Course of Course: Build an obstacle course through your family room, and draw a map of how to go through it from beginning to end.

Sing Chat: Sing a conversation with your kids to the tune of your favourite song. Bonus points if you can make your song rhyme!

Snow You Tell Me: Use emptied dish soap bottles filled with water and food colouring to write messages and draw in the snow.

Know it All: Together, look online for the meaning of funny words like “collywobbles” and “onomatopoeia.” Test your parents’ word power!

Have a Book-nic: Organize an indoor picnic with books and tasty treats. Choose a theme—try honeyflavoured cereal and read Winnie the Pooh.

As you put on your shoes, choose something you want to count during your walk. It could be dogs, trees, stop signs, cars—anything you want! On your walk, count how many you can find.

Game On:

Word Wall:

For more literacy and learning ideas, visit

Learn one new word every day. Display them by creating a family word wall with

36  Island Parent Magazine

How was your day today?


Have an alphabet scavenger Find more activities you can do as a family hunt to look for things that begin at with each letter of the alphabet. #FamilyLiteracyDay If you can’t find some letters, go outside or try looking in books and magazines. #FamilyLiteracyDay

Bristol board and markers. Can you make a sentence with the words on your wall?

Start family board game night and play a different game each week. Family members can take turns reading instructions and game cards as well as keeping score.

Maxine Fisher

Change... It’s Guaranteed


appy New Year. It’s that time again… when we evaluate our lives and look at the changes we want to make. Many of us create a list of resolutions. Whether those include how we interact with our children, how we take care of our health, or changes we want to make in our relationships with our friends and partners, we want something to improve. Change happens no matter what, it is the one thing we can depend on. How can we begin to make meaningful and healthy changes? A good first step is to look at what it is we want to change. Is it something about ourselves or is it something about someone else? If it is about another person then we are setting ourselves up for failure. We do not have the power to make someone else act in the way the way we would like them to act, whether it is a child or spouse or parent. We can, however, respond differently to their

actions and by doing so we can end up with a different outcome. If, for example, your child has a temper tantrum, you can learn not to take it personally and to stay calm. The calmer we are, the better the chances that our children will be calmer and more able to change their behaviour. Are we telling ourselves that if only “this” or “that” happened we would be happy? Many years ago I attended a workshop with psychiatrist Dr. David Viscott. I remember him saying that if we are waiting to be happy in the future, then we are missing the present. If we tell ourselves that only if we succeed at something then we can be happy, we are setting ourselves up for failure. An example of this is if we are waiting to fall in love, to achieve financial success, to lose weight—fill in the blank—then we are telling ourselves that only then will we feel better

and if it does not happen we will feel awful. Healthy change begins from a place of acceptance. The only possible place to create change is right here, right now, in the present moment. We need to notice what is happening in ours lives and to start from a place of acceptance. We all have strengths and resources within us. If we are able to first become aware of these in the present moment, if we then experience a gratefulness for the gifts we do possess, we will be more able to change what may not be working in our lives. Imagine a child wanting to meet a challenge. If the child feels confident and hopeful, and is aware of their personal strengths, then the possibility of meeting that challenge is higher than if they feel that they need to be different to do it. What we tell ourselves, the messages we give ourselves, our expectations will either support positive change or keep us stuck wishing for a different outcome. It all begins with being present and really experiencing our strengths. Maxine Fisher is a registered clinical counsellor and accredited music therapist who works with children, families and adults. She can be reached at 250-686-7582 or

Island Rhythmic Gymnastics Club

Now Running ! Classes in Saanich

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: 250-514-6761

January 2016  37

Art Classes Drawing Painting • Sculpture Cartooning Portfolio Preparation • Day and Evening Classes • One or Two hour sessions • Technique Oriented • Ages 5 and Up


Artistic Statement Gallery & School of Fine Art Call Joan at 250-383-0566

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

38  Island Parent Magazine

Helping Kids Cope with Divorce


f you are going through a divorce, you are probably concerned about the effect on your children. This can be a difficult time for them. Children’s emotions may go through stages and change. They may feel sad, confused, angry, guilty or worried about what will happen to them. How you handle the changes will be important for your child’s well being. What should we tell our children about our separation/divorce? Plan how you will tell your children. If you can, it’s best for both parents to do it together. Think about a good place and time to talk. Be honest, but also keep your children’s ages in mind when deciding how much to tell them. Younger children will need less detail. Older children might ask for more information. Reassure your children that you still love them and that you will both go on caring for them. Let them know there will be many opportunities to spend time with both parents. Be very clear that your children are not the cause of the separation. Young children especially will worry that they are to blame for the separation or divorce. Explain that this is an adult problem and there was nothing your children could do to prevent it. They also need to know that there is nothing they (or others) can do to change it. Help them understand that the divorce is final. Encourage your children to talk openly about their feelings. When they talk, listen carefully and try not to interrupt. It’s normal for children to have trouble expressing their feelings, so be patient. Though it may be hard, it’s important to let them be honest about their fears and concerns. Answer any questions as honestly as you can. If your child feels uncomfortable talking to you, help her find someone she can trust such as another family member, doctor, psychologist or social worker. Tell your children only what they need to know. Don’t discuss adult decisions or argue in front of your children. They should not be involved in any meetings you have with a lawyer or others involved with the separation or divorce. What can we do to make the transition easier? Discuss visitation arrangements with the

other parent before you suggest a plan to your children. Once you have finalized your plans, talk openly about how the living arrangements will change. Be clear about who your children will live with and when. They have a right to know the decisions that are being made on their behalf. Remember that plans may need to change as they grow older. Discuss the living arrangements with an older child or teen and be willing to respect his feelings about where he wants to live. Keep routines as normal as possible. Children feel safe and more confident if they know what to expect. Work toward creating common routines for both households to follow. If you have more than one child, spend quality time alone with each child. Don’t speak negatively about the other parent to your children, extended family, or friends. If you are struggling with your own feelings and emotions, find a supportive friend or counselor to talk to. You may find it helpful to set “ground rules” when talking with the other parent. Children may feel like they are alone in this situation. If possible, seek out other families with “two homes” so that your child can see that she isn’t the only one whose parents live apart. Be polite when your children are picked up or dropped off. If you are loving and reassuring, it may help them cope with the transition. Let your child talk to the other parent whenever he needs to. Try to show interest in the time he spends with the other parent. Don’t suggest with words or actions that your child is disloyal if he enjoys the time away from you. Respect reasonable limits set by the other parent. Don’t undermine the other parent’s authority or reverse any decision he or she has made. Discuss rules and discipline with the other parent so that you’re as consistent as possible in both households. Communicate directly with the other parent, and don’t expect children to act as messengers. They shouldn’t be expected to give you information about the other parent’s activities, friends or income. Your children may feel like their relationship with extended family, such as aunts and uncles, is also changing. Recognize these

feelings and give lots of opportunities to keep those connections. Keep other important adults in your children’s life (teachers, child care providers, coaches) informed about what’s happening so that they can watch for any warning signs that your child is having trouble coping. Share important medical and school information with the other parent. Try to attend meetings and appointments together so that you can both be informed. When should I call the doctor? It will take time for your child to adjust to these changes. A younger child might start behaviours she had already outgrown. For example, she might ask for a pacifier. Older children might be angry or feel overwhelmed by the change. These are all normal reactions, and should get better over time. Warning signs that your child is having more serious trouble can include: anxiety, sadness and depression, change in eating or sleep habits, trouble at school, or aggressive behaviour. If the behaviour continues or worsens, speak to your doctor. There are many sources of support to help you and your children through this difficult time. If you need to, reach out to friends, relatives, and community to ask for help. It’s also important to make time for yourself and allow yourself time to adjust to the change. You need to be healthy and rested for your children. What if there is a more serious problem? Unfortunately there are times when a separation or divorce may be the result of abuse in a relationship or in your home. If this is the case, it is important that you find a safe place for you and your children to stay. A shelter may be available in your community and can offer the support you need. See your doctor or contact the local child welfare agency if you think your child is being abused or neglected. Reading for Adults: Helping Children and Youth with Divorce, Public Health Agency of Canada Centre for Research in Family Health, IWK Health Centre Families Change, Justice Education Society of BC Divorce and Separation, from the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development Reading for Children: Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families, by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown Reprinted with permission from Canadian Paediatric Society. For more information, visit

Upcoming Classes

January 23rd to April 9th We offer voice, dancing and acting classes for people of all ages. Start the new year with Four Seasons Musical Theatre classes! FSMT classes teach the fundamental skills of stage acting, singing and dancing. Our goal is to foster confidence and success on the stage. The 8 sessions of classes are available for children 7–14 years old starting January 23rd to April 9th. For more details and registration visit

Please visit our website for a complete list or call Meaghan at 250-386-1171, e-mail:

January 2016  39

Lessons in Learning

I Cuddle Time Kool Toys & Teaching Tools

Toys, games and puzzles for all ages #102 – 2517 Bowen Road Nanaimo 250.585.1778

Have you registered your child your yet for CanSkate? RegisterRegister at JuanatDeJuan Fuca Have you registered child yet for CanSkate? De Skating Club for the best learn-to-skate program with certifi ed coaches. Fuca Skating Club for the best learn-to-skate program with certified Nowants mattertoif your wants to play hockey, speedskate; skate No matter ifcoaches. your child play child hockey, speed skate or figure or figure skate; CanSkate them offfoot. on the right foot. CanSkate will start themwill off start on the right

Ongoing Registration

can’t remember the exact moment that my wife first pitched the idea of homeschooling to me, but I know that I bristled at the thought of it. Surely homeschooled children are strange little creatures, their unwashed hair matted and stuck to their claws as they hiss at people through the window while learning only the weird conspiracy theories their parents choose to talk about, right? As you can probably already guess, cut to today and we’re a few months into our first homeschooling foray and it’s gone way better than I ever could have imagined. My daughter’s hair is not matted, she does not have claws, and there are no conspiracy theories floating around. There is, however, Latin. There is an emphasis on classical education. There are things that we wanted that we couldn’t have gotten through the school system. And, the most amazing thing: there is a phenomenal new bond between my wife and daughter. Getting used to the idea of homeschool was a tough one for me. As much as I’m, generally speaking, always the one who is a bit out of place in my thinking and general attitude in any given situation, I was worried about making my daughter lead such a drastically different life than most children in our society. I’m happy to say my fears were unfounded, and now that she’s had a few months being in such a comfortable situation, she’s becoming more comfortable in other situations which were a bit more difficult in the past. All of this makes sense, but there’s such a push in this society to force kids out the door to swimming lessons and music lessons and Girl Guides (oh, why do I always pick on Girl Guides?) that when you spend more than one hour with your kid a day you feel like you’re coddling them. But you’re not. You’re raising them. For us, for now, homeschooling is the next logical step in raising our kids. The fears that they’ll become socially stunted proved themselves to not be worth the worry pretty

For more information and to register please visit or email


Island Parent Magazine

fast, and the fact that almost every single parent I talk to admits to me—sometimes loud and proud, sometimes in an odd, hushed tone—that they wish they were homeschooling proves to me that it’s not a half bad thing to do after all. The other problem for me is that I really quite like and support the education system. It has its big flaws, and more and more of those are popping up all the time, but I still enthusiastically honk for striking teachers

Dadspeak GREG PRATT and love the idea of the system in general (my idealized version of it in my head, that is). So I felt a bit torn about taking our daughter out of it. (Not to mention homeschooling parents get very, very minimal love from the government in the way of funding if they’re creating their own curriculum, which stings; can someone get on this please and thanks?). But my daughter is thrilled to wake up in the morning now, and she’s still smiling when I get home from work. This was not the case during her non-homeschooled school years. Something is working out right here. It’s just the latest unexpected step in the long, crazy series of unexpected steps that is fatherhood. I never saw this one coming, then I resisted it, and now I’m in awe of its awesomeness. I’m not a smart man (that’s why my wife does the teaching; and why my insistent demands to substitute teach a class on the history of rock and roll have thus far not been accepted) but I know a good thing when I see it. Like everything, these choices we make in parenting are very personal: what’s good for me may not be for you. And that’s just fine. Hopefully we all find what works for us, but one thing I’ve learned from this is that sometimes finding that requires a huge, scary leap of faith into the unknown. Because you just never know what awaits you there.

Take your creativity out of the box. Time for you and your family to discover your sense of curiosity and wonder. Register now for Winter Studio Classes at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Join our encouraging artist-instructors in the studio, galleries and gardens for classes and workshops suited for children, teens and adults.

Register at, or phone 250.384.4171 ext 0, or in person at the Gallery. AG816_IslandParent.indd 1

2015-11-26 10:32 AM

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.

January 2016  41

Poppet Creative is opening at 1508 Haultain Street. Art classes, workshops and events for all ages.

poppet C R E A T I V E

Join us at our

Studio Launch January 9th, 2:00–5:00 for refreshments, crafts and a studio tour.

42  Island Parent Magazine

From Domestic Goddess to Home Economist Spoiler alert: the mighty have fallen


or about 12 seconds, I lived in a grownup home, as an actual grown-up. I had my first steady teaching gig. I was living in a great little apartment in downtown Vancouver with my then-boyfriend/ now-husband. I was also somewhat of a domestic goddess. Much of this stemmed from the fact that my future husband and I remained at the stage where we had yet to fart in front of one another, and he still believed that I enjoyed his taste in music. I would pack him gourmet lunches: roast beef on ciabatta with horseradish aioli. I regularly purchased minimalist floral arrangements. We once had friends over for Indian food, and I made CHAPATTI FROM SCRATCH. I did these things partially because I enjoyed doing so, partially to impress him (who are we kidding), and partially as acts of love: I wanted this home we share to be welcoming, cozy, and delicious-smelling. I still appreciate all of these finer things. However, they are no longer part of my daily life. Because I am no longer a domestic goddess. I am a Home Economist, which is like a domestic goddess, just with a tight budget, minimal time, a few kids who need to be kept alive, and Canada’s Food Guide at hand. Allow me to elaborate. A domestic goddess washes her 500-thread-count sheets weekly in lavender scented detergent. A home economist waits until someone pees in them, because he/she knows doing otherwise is simply an invitation to wet the bed. A domestic goddess makes wild rice stuffed squash as an accompaniment to locally-sourced pork tenderloin for a harvest-themed meal. A home economist may cook the squash, but then purées it and stirs it into Kraft Dinner to fool her children into eating half a teaspoon of vegetables. She serves it alongside hot dogs at Thanksgiving. Her kids, unfathomably and infuriatingly, turn their noses up at turkey dinner. A domestic goddess breakfasts on Paleo frittatas, made in advance in a muffin tin. A home economist eats Cheerios out of the dustpan.

A domestic goddess launders her clothes weekly. All have special washing instructions, which may inconvenience her with a trip to the dry cleaners, but she feels it’s worth it to preserve the quality of that vintage blouse. She treats herself with a chai

Is There an App for This? Carly SUTHERLAND latte on the way home. A home economist has not seen the bottom of her laundry basket since the first Obama administration, despite doing laundry on what feels like a bi-hourly basis. A domestic goddess ties a jaunty kerchief in her hair and dives into her chores with a self-assuredness that only comes from knowing that once cleaned, it will stay that way for longer than forty-three seconds. A home economist goes nuts with a Lysol wipe and a DustBuster for as long as the YouTube clip entertaining her offspring will allow. I tell my husband that a day may come when I return to my old ways. He looks forward to the possibility of homemade chapatti and windows clean enough to see through being part of our daily life once again. Truth be told, I am really just building a collection of takeout menus, pamphlets for cleaning services, and meaty novels I can never get around to reading. Because once I have time again, I’m hardly going to spend it ironing napkins. Author’s note: Female pronouns were used because of the semi-autobiographical nature of this piece, not because the author wishes to rain upon her editor any angry letters from domestic gods who do not see themselves represented. Despite the fact that Carly Sutherland’s domestic skills have taken a downturn, she still washes dishes in the order her seventh grade home ec teacher taught her: cutlery, drink ware, plates/bowls, pots/pans.

roald dahl’s We’re just getting warmed up.

sunday, january 31, 2:30 pm royal theatre

Maestro Joey Pietraroia, conductor Dandi Productions Take a symphonic walk through Roald Dahl’s magical, thrilling and funny forest. Of course, there’s a wolf, a grandma and a little girl in a red cape. But Dahl, author of classics such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, has twisted things around and spiced things up. With the help of our fearless orchestra, Dahl’s feisty Little Red can certainly take care of a dim-witted wolf. Come early for the VS Instrument Petting Zoo and other activities starting at 1:30pm. concert sponsor

media sponsors or call 250.385.6515

January 2016  43

Boisterous Silence The wordless picture book


his year’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustrated Book went to the graceful, nostalgic Sidewalk Flowers (House of Anansi Press, 2015), written by poet JonArno Lawson and illustrated by Sydney Smith. Sidewalk Flowers is about a girl revelling in the world’s generosity while her father stumbles blindly through adult errands. The award is a feather in the cap of an under-appreciated genre of children’s literature. The wordless picture book can be a daunting read—how the heck do you read a book without words? We think they will be too much work to decode. But the work is rather in opening up, giving ourselves over. The rewards are many. One might be that very young children can read a wordless picture book just fine on their own. Children understand narrative well before they can read, and, as parents who teach their babies sign language know, they also grasp symbol and picture before speech. A wordless picture book isn’t deficient—it isn’t a poor cousin to the “real” picture books with words. Wordless picture books contain practically all the elements of literature—character, plot, setting, imagery—lacking only exposition, perhaps, and dialogue, including inner monologue. But good illustrators depict facial expression and body language, showing easily how someone is feeling, or that two old friends have had a falling out and are angry and pained. Wordless picture books call for a different kind of reading, a reading that’s more like watching. And leaping. Deeply, wholly, into the illustrations, trusting them to carry you along. The Greater Victoria Public Library has a good selection. Several of the best ones are reviewed here. Once you get home with your wordless picture book, what do you do? You could set your child onto the couch with the book and wander off for a cup of tea. After a while, peek in and see if your child has been absorbed, has all but vanished from the room. If so, wait a while; when she is finished, join her. Perhaps she will tell you about the book. Perhaps she will read it to you, page by page. If your child is not swept up into her

44  Island Parent Magazine

book, sit and unfold the story with her. “Here’s a farmer; what is she doing? She looks worried. Why does she keep looking at the sky?” But, lead, too: show your process of figuring it out. “I think it’s the storm cloud. Yes, she’s afraid of the storm cloud.” Touch the page, trace the cloud’s borders with your finger. But words are loud. Take time when you turn the page to simply study the new pictures, to wait. Maybe your child will speak up, or maybe you can assume, quietly, that you have both understood, and turn to the next page without saying a word. For some pages, try, “Tell me what is happening here.” For others, “Let’s see if we can read this page in silence.” Because silence is the greatest delight of reading wordless picture books; it’s a very particular type of silence: it is submersion in someone else’s imagination, as if in another’s dream. (By the way, you can read a wordless picture book in any language; read the book in all the languages that your family knows.) Where’s Walrus? And Penguin? (Scholastic, 2015) by Stephen Savage. A literary Where’s Waldo? A charming search within a simple narrative with a twist. The zookeeper tries to find the escaped walrus and penguin as they blend unrecognizably—almost— into city life, now a chauffeur and wealthy passenger, now a mother and baby, now an orchestra conductor and a stage dancer. (2–6 year olds) A Ball for Daisy (Random House, 2011) by Chris Raschka. For very young children, a simple story of love (the dog Daisy, for her red ball), loss (Daisy mourns her red ball after it is punctured by another dog at the park), making amends, and friendship (the other dog offers Daisy a new ball, blue this time). A Caldecott Medal winner, meaning the art is splendid. Board book. Good Night, Gorilla (Penguin Young Readers, 2000) by Peggy Rathmann. My all time favourite, about a zookeeper’s difficulty putting his fun-loving, endearing wards to bed. Funny, smart, and filled with mininarratives. You can read this book a hundred times and still find fresh details. Board book. The Farmer and the Clown (Beach Lane Books, 2014) by Marla Frazee. A winning,

hilarious and heart-warming story about a clown that tumbles out of a circus train and an old farmer who finds himself with someone to care for. A book about an unlikely friendship, about being away from home, about the kindness of strangers, and the role of serendipity in life’s adventures and relationships. (2–6)

Book Nook SARA CASSIDY A Small Miracle (Random House, 2011) by Peter Collington. A Christmas book, but don’t let that stop you from reading it any time of year. Collington, considered a master of the wordless picture book, delves into the world’s sadness—a poor woman, robbed of what little she has, collapses with exhaustion—then rises high, ending the book not only happily, but hilariously. (4 and up) Quest (Candlewick Press, 2014) by Aaron Becker. It’s impossible not to be swept into wonder by two children who are swept up in this story of two regular contemporary kids charged with saving a king trapped in an underwater kingdom. Given magical chalk, the two draw what they need, from keys to gain passage and flippers for swimming to a rhinoceros to ride. (3–8) Also not to be missed, for those with a naturalist’s eye: Thunderstorm (Enchanted Lion Books, 2013) by Arthur Geisert. Follow a Midwestern farming family on a day of a tornado. (4–8) Flashlight (Chronicle Books, 2014) by Lizi Boyd: two children play outside with flashlights, the light beams revealing at every turn the night’s playful creatures. (2 – 5) After reading a few wordless picture books, don’t be surprised if regular books seem to blare, to egotistically rupture the quiet. Reading wordless picture books is a way of learning, again, that not everything has to be said. Sara Cassidy’s six books for children and teens have all been included in Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s “Best Books for Children and Teens.” Sara lives in Victoria with her three kids, and at saracassidy Book Nook is written with the invaluable assistance of GVPL librarian Lonestar Stone.

VIU: Your choice for studies in Special Education Part-Time Option

Blended model that is accessible from anywhere in BC and beyond.

Full-Time Option

Study full-time at VIU for two semesters. Complete your degree in three semesters.

Master of Education in Special Education Dr. Rachel Moll, Chair, Graduate Programs For more information contact Phone: 250.740.6221

January 2016  45

Family Services Directory our Parents Together program and parent workshops. For more information on all programs and services visit or call 250-384-9133.

HappyBaby Sleep Solutions helps families create healthy sleep habits in babies and children so everyone is well rested and happy. Sukkie Sandhu, M.Ed., has worked with hundreds of families locally in Victoria and worldwide. Sukkie is a Registered Clinical Counsellor so the cost of a sleep consultation may be covered under your extended medical plan. For more information visit www. or call 250-857-1408 for a FREE evaluation. Let’s get started!

The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides yearround, high quality sports, recreational, social and arts programs for children, teens and young adults living with autism, while building awareness and providing training through community networks across British Columbia. CAN currently offers Soccer (ages 5-15), Swim (ages 4-15), Physical Literacy (ages 4-11), Family Events and Camps on Vancouver Island. To learn how you can join, please visit or email info@

HeadWay Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre supports families living with seizures by offering parent workshops three times a year, educational presentations in schools and community groups as well as providing tutoring sessions and one-to-one professional consultations to help your child live up to their highest potential. Keep up to date with the latest research about treatments, lifestyle, and safety issues for your child. We can be reached at, or you can reach the Epilepsy Program Coordinator directly at 250-475-6677.

CHOICES Adoption & Counselling is a licensed, professional, non-profit agency that provides services to adoptive parents, birth-parents, and adoptees. CHOICES arranges adoptions domestically and internationally. We are committed to providing a comprehensive, clientcentered adoption service which best meets the needs of everyone in the adoption constellation. Please contact us at, or call 250-479-9811 for further information.

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. 930 Balmoral Rd, 250-388-4728, info@,

Countryside Preschool is a cooperative preschool where our qualified ECE provides stimulating instruction to develop your child’s social and cognitive skills. Families build a network of support through our parent-participation days. Classes are in session Sept–June; Tues–Thurs; 9am–1pm. Flexible registration options available. Visit our FREE Stay ’N Play sessions for caregivers and tots, Mondays, 10am–noon. Visit or call 250-652-3424.

Learning Disabilities Association of BC, SVI Chapter, educates, supports and advocates for children and youth with learning disabilities and related conditions. Services include a public lending library, individual/ group support for parents and children, professional/ educational workshops for parents and professionals. Child and youth programs include: reading/ writing, academic skills, social/emotional skill development and Fast ForWord. 1562 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8S 5J2. Ph 250-370-9513. Fax. 250-370-9421.

This directory, sponsored by Thrifty Foods, features not for profit agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families.

1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre ( provides support, education and resources for parents in the Greater Victoria area through free counselling, volunteer training for peer helper positions, a mentoring program for single moms and a support group for dads. The Centre also offers a variety of integrated life skills and parenting courses which are open to the whole community (fees are on a sliding scale). The Centre provides free toys and books, a clothing room and bread pantry for single parents. Donations of gently-used clothing, small household items, books and toys are welcome. Hours are Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 9-4, Wed: 12-7. 602 Gorge Rd. East; call 250-385-1114 or 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 250658-6407; for all other inquiries call 250-656-0134, or visit Beacon Community’s Employment Services. Beacon Community Services provides a full menu of employment services to the Saanich Peninsula, Southern Gulf Islands. We have been helping people find work since 1982! Our programs build on a client’s strengths and resolve barriers to securing and maintaining employment. Furthermore, we work in tandem with our employer network to support those residents looking for work. If you need help finding a job or need employees please pay us a visit! It’s FREE. 9860 Third St, Sidney, 250-656-0134, Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school and evening social, educational and recreational programming for children and youth at 5 locations (Colwood, Langford, VicWest, Central Saanich and Esquimalt) and summer camps both in Esquimalt and at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. We also offer support to parents through


Family Services of Greater Victoria (formerly BC Families in Transition) is a non profit agency that has been serving families since 1978. We provide a full range of services to the whole family in supporting their relationship and through separation and divorce. Counseling, mediation, legal information and a range of group programs are available for children, youth and adults on a sliding fee scale. Call us at 250-386-4331 or visit We can help.

Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) provides programs and services to the military family community including: 24-Hour Information Line; Deployment Information and Workshops; Short Term Counselling, Crisis Support or Intervention; Welcome/Relocation Services; Childcare and Family Support Services; Assistance for Families with Special Needs and Responsibilities. Excit-

Maxine Fisher M.Ed., RCC, MTA

Counselling for Children, Families & Adults Over 20 Years Experience (Music Therapy Also Available)

Stress & Trauma (Acting Out) • Parenting • Family Transitions Physical & Learning Disabilities • Relationships • Individuals Skype & Phone Sessions Available M.Ed. | Registered Clinical Counsellor | Accredited Music Therapist

Call Today for a Complimentary 10 minute phone consultation Call 250-686-7582 46  Island Parent Magazine

ing Volunteer opportunities available! Call the MFRC: 250-363-2640 (1-800-353-3329) for information or visit Power To Be provides inclusive nature-based activity programs for youth and families living with a barrier or disability who need support to access recreation and their community. We create year-round programs to fit participant needs through activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, canoeing and more. Visit or call 250-385-2363 to get involved. Rested Development Sleep Consulting. I am educated in ALL sleep-training methods and together we use a method that best suits YOUR family and values. My services are unique in that I use an integrative approach to sleep using healthy sleep foundations including: emotional well-being, nutrition, breastfeeding, family dynamics, child temperaments, sleep environments, sleep/wake windows, sleep associations, and developmental milestones, in conjunction with sleep training. For more information please visit or call 250-937-0996 for a free 15 minute consultation. Sooke Family Resource Society (SFRS) provides Family Resource Programs including: Prenatal Education and Outreach, Parent-Tot Drop-In Groups, Parent Discussion Groups, Family Support Groups and Outreach, a Toy and Book Lending Library, and Kingfisher Preschool. SookeWestshore Child Care Resource and Referral services, as well as all-ages counselling services are also provided by SFRS. Services are provided from the Child, Youth and Family Centres in both Sooke and the Westshore. Call 250-642-5152 for more information or visit our website at SFRS’s Welcome Home Program is looking for homes that can support adults diagnosed with a disability looking to gain further independence. The livingsituations are varied and unique and can include living within a family home or a suite in the family home. The needs of the individuals are varied, dependent on the disability, but can include relationship building, life skills, meal prep, etc. For more information, please call 778-433-2023 or go Sooke-Westshore Early Years Centres provide information to families about children and family services, supports, child development and parenting. The Early Years Navigator will assist families with referral information for local early years programming, child care, public health, special needs intervention services, and social supports. The Sooke-Westshore Early Years Centres are hosted by Sooke Family Resource Society and located at the Child, Youth, and Family Centres in both Sooke and the Westshore and can be reached at 250-217-9243. Additional information can be accessed at Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) supports immigrants and refugees living in Greater Victoria. Services are free and include one-onone counselling, parent education workshops, youth life skills classes, a preschool program, art therapy, language classes and academic support, employment help, computer classes and fun community events like free yoga, tai chi, dance and cooking classes. Visit us online at vircs. or phone 250-361-9433.







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—Island Parent Online 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 e-newsletter for updates and exclusive contests. You can also enter our monthly and photo contests.

Come be part of our community at January 2016  47

Healthy Families, Happy Families

‘Same Day’ Infant & Children’s Immunization Clinics Esquimalt Health Unit 530 Fraser St  250-519-5312 Call-in Time for Booking a Same Day Appointment

Friday, 9:00 – 11:00 am Clinic Day & Time

Friday, 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Peninsula Health Unit 2170 Mt. Newton Cross Rd  250-544-2400 Call-in Time for Booking a Same Day Appointment

Monday, 9:00 – 11:00 am Clinic Day & Time

Monday, 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Saanich Health Unit 3995 Quadra St, 2nd Floor  250-519-5100 Call-in Time for Booking a Same Day Appointment

Tuesday, 9:00 – 11:00 am Clinic Day & Time

Tuesday, 2:00 – 6:00 pm

Victoria Health Unit 1947 Cook St  250-388-2200 Call-in Time for Booking a Same Day Appointment

Friday, 9:00 – 11:00 am Clinic Day & Time

Friday, 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Please Note: Availability of Appointments May Vary 48  Island Parent Magazine

Post-partum Weight Loss T

he beginning of a new year is a popular time for people to make resolutions to lose weight and focus on fitness. For all you new mothers out there who are wanting to lose the baby weight, here is a simple guide to get you started. During pregnancy, gaining weight steadily is healthy, encouraged and normal for you and your baby. If you gained between 25 to 35 pounds, you will have, on average, five to 12 pounds of maternal fat stores. Ten pounds is the average amount of weight lost following the birth of a child. The weight of the baby, the placenta, and the amniotic fluid accounts for this initial weight loss. For up to two weeks after giving birth, a new mother will continue to lose weight due to loss of body fluids; however, extra body fat is retained in preparation to feed her baby. The larger the maternal fat stores at the end of the pregnancy, the longer it will take to lose those extra pounds. Exercise. If you exercised during pregnancy and had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, it is generally safe to begin light exercise within days of delivery, or as soon as you feel ready. Remember during the first four to six weeks the priority should be on repair and recovery. This is especially true if you experienced a caesarean delivery, an episiotomy, or tearing during delivery. If you had a caesarian delivery or a complicated birth, talk with your health care provider about when to start an exercise program. Regular walks with baby can make a difference. It is important to exercise while trying to lose weight to ensure that you are losing fat instead of muscle. Early in recovery, start small with 10 minutes at a time and work your way to a minimum of 30 minutes. Exercise provides many health benefits over and above losing weight; it can help with depression, sleep issues and it can ease stress. Diet. Once you are ready to begin losing weight and you have been given the green light from your health care provider, start

by paying attention to portion sizes in addition to getting more active. It is important to eat protein rich foods so your body can heal and repair your body and ward off any potential infections. It is equally important to consume adequate calories so that your body can use the protein you eat to repair your body, instead of using the protein as an energy source. If you are breastfeeding, wait until your baby is at least two months old. Starting a diet too soon after delivery can delay your recovery, add to your stress and make you feel more tired just when you need as much energy as you can get as you adjust to life with a newborn. Cutting calories right after baby is born will actually have a negative effect on your metabolism. When you eat too little, especially during times that your body requires more energy, such as recovering from birth or breastfeeding, your body will perceive it is starving. Regardless of whether it is a perceived or real starvation, your body will respond by slowing your metabolism. This slower metabolism can sabotage your weight loss efforts in the weeks ahead. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much weight you lose naturally by eating a healthy and varied diet. Here are a few more simple tips to get you started: • Pre-plan meals and snacks. It can be tough to find time to eat or plan healthy snacks when you have a new baby and schedule. Take time to prepare snacks ahead and divide food up into single portions that you can grab quickly instead of loading up on pastries and coffee from the local bakery. Snack/small meal ideas include: chopped veggies with hummus, small handful of almonds and an apple, whole wheat crackers with nut butter and a piece of fruit, half a sandwich and veggie sticks, fruit and veggie smoothies. Many moms find that having five to six small meals a day rather than three large meals fits their appetite and schedule better.

• Do not skip meals in an attempt to lose weight, as this will decrease your energy and likely make you grab for quick fixes to stabilize your blood sugar. Keep in mind that eating breakfast can help you from feeling famished and tired later in the morning and will also curb those sugar cravings. • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Water also fills you up so that you don’t eat as much and some research has shown that it may help speed up your metabolism.

New Parent Pages Diana Hurschler, BScN What about weight loss and breastfeeding? Maternal fat stores that you gained in pregnancy are a perfect energy source to ensure that your body can produce enough milk for your baby. Breastfeeding is the most efficient way to use up those maternal fat stores. The key to weight loss during the postnatal period is to do it slowly so you can maintain your milk supply and keep your energy up so you can care for your baby. Weight loss of about pound and a half per week is considered safe and should not affect your milk supply. As tough as I know it is, try not to focus on numbers on the scale or how your jeans are fitting. Be patient with yourself—it took nine months to get there, and it can take at least nine months to get back to your pre-pregnant weight. Bear in mind that you may not return to exactly how you were physically before the birth, after all, your body changed in order to create and nourish a miracle. Be gentle with yourself as you maintain your healthy lifestyle and trust that your body will respond as it should in good time. Best wishes for a healthy 2016! Diana Hurschler, RN BscN, childbirth educator, and certified breastfeeding counselor, has been helping families in their childbearing years and beyond since 1998. Diana is the proud mama of four little ones. Email

Come See Why Learning in Nature Rocks! Ages 3–5 "Tell me and I'll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I'll understand" – Chinese Proverb Reggio Influenced Philosophy Child Led Learning Registrations Now Being Taken for Limited Spaces • Plugs into a regular outlet • Durable and lightweight • Made in Canada

Canada’s Truly Portable Hot Tub!


Kids in Scouts have fun Canada adventuresisdiscovering new things and experiences they Learn why Scouts the nation’s #1 youth organization wouldn’t have elsewhere. Try it free! Visit to find a group nearest you.

Programs for girls and boys 5-26 years. Try it FREE!

Scouts Canada Programs for boys, girls and young adults. Beaver Scouts: 5–7 years Cub Scouts: 8–10 years Scouts: 11–14 years VenturerFind Scouts: 14–17 years Rover Scouts: 18–26 yearsor 1-888-726-8876 your nearest group: scouts .ca

1-888-ScoutsNow (1-888-726-8876)

January 2016  49

Preschool & Child Care Directory CENTRAL SAANICH Chrysalis Child Care................................ 250-652-0815 A nurturing and stimulating environment for a small group of 21⁄2–5 year old children. Qualified ECE promotes learning through play. Countryside Preschool........................... 250-652-3424 Learn through play at our co-op preschool for 2.5–5 yr olds! Big classroom, beautiful playground, nurturing

Colwood/LANGFORD Goldstream Co-op Preschool................. 250-474-3011 Learning Through Play for 3 and 4yr olds! For registration information go to our website: 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......................... 250-818-9225 2758 Peatt RD. Licenced group childcare for children ages 6 months to 5 years old. Offering fulltime and part-time care. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. For more information please contact Amber: info@leap, Miles of Smiles Nature Junior Kindergarten.................... 778-265-4374 Come See Why Learning In Nature Rocks! Reggio Influenced Philosophy ages 3-5. Have Your Child Become a Nature Detective Today! Email RIA Early Learning Centre...................... 250-590-0781 3307 Wishart Rd. The REGGIO WAY – A New Approach to Children’s Learning – Designed for Ages 3 to 5.

CORDOVA BAY Carrot Seed Preschool............................ 250-658-2331 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Wondrous natural playground.

ESQUIMALT Ciara Early Childhood Centre................. 250-386-7369 Education and Fun Hand in Hand! Exceptional care for ages 1-5yrs. Inclusive nature inspired kindergarten readiness program with Christian values. CiaraEarlyChildhoodCentre. 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. La Pre-Maternelle Appletree Preschool.. 250-479-0292 A French Immersion Program. 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre.

Highlands Lexie’s Little Bears Child Care Inc......... 250-590-3603 Only seconds past Luxurious Bear Mountain our HIGHLY reputable Nature Program will not disappoint! Our NATURAL outdoor environment provides an experience like no

Child Care

Resource & Referral 50  Island Parent Magazine

other…in our own rainforest. Located on 2 acres of treed forest land, your child will learn and grow in NATURE! Our Brand NEW Infant/Toddler centre is tranquil and serene. All the furniture, shelving and some toys have been hand crafted using the trees on our own property! Programs for 3 to 5’s and for Infant/Toddlers. Spaces avail. NOW! Visit our Facebook blog, and website at Call for more info. Cub House: 778-432-3600.

Bee Happy Montessori House................ 250-516-6191 Childcare and pre-school based on Montessori approach which meets each child’s need, according to individual development and learning styles.


Camosun College Child Care Services......250-370-4880 Quality licensed facilities on both campuses providing children, newborn to 5 years, with rich early learning experiences in a learn through play environment. camosun. ca/childcare.

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.

Carrot Seed Preschool............................ 250-658-2331 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Wondrous natural playground.

Metchosin Co-op Preschool................... 250-478-9241 Come visit our stunning natural outdoor playspace, and see how our inclusive, play-based program allows parents to grow and learn alongside their children. Exceptional ECE staff provide a warm and enriching experience for 2.5–5 yr. olds. Come Grow With Us! EST. 1960. Reg. begins March 1 @ 9am.

Cloverdale Child Care.................................250-995-1766 Full time daycare 3-5 year olds. Preschool–register now for September 2015. 3 year olds Tue/Thur 9:00-1:00. 4 year olds Mon/Wed/Fri 9:00-1:00. cloverdalechildcare@

West-Mont Montessori School............... 250-474-2626 Preschool Montessori instruction in a beautiful natural environment in Metchosin. Ages 30 months and up. Providing a balanced approach to incorporating Nature, French, Music and Art into a complete educational program. Be a part of a community devoted to the development of the whole child. Open House: Thursdays 9-11 am.

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.


Forest House Childcare Academy............. 250-881-1975 ECE Licensed, Full Day in home Childcare Program for children 30 months – 5 years. An enriched, unique environment to inspire and nurture child directed learning and critical thinking skills, through in-depth and on-going study of nature and the power of play. Full o’ Beans Preschool.............................. 250-360-1148 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! Hoof Beats Preschool & Childcare............ 250-588-2583 Licensed HighScope program fostering learning through nature, farm life, and horses! 3-6 yrs. Year round.

Emmanuel Preschool.............................. 250-598-0573 Children learn through play in our non-denominational Christian preschool near UVic. Bright attractive setting.

Island Montessori House........................ 250-592-4411 Inclusive, integrated and nurturing Preschool and Kindergarten programs. Located in a lovely rural setting with a focus on nature and outdoor environmental activities such as gardening and composting.

Gonzales Co-op Preschool..................... 250-727-1003 Children use imaginations in a Learning through Play classroom and natural playground. Reggio-Emilia inspired, focus is on art, nature and music. Nurturing, highly qualified ECE and ECE assistant. Parent participation options. Allergy aware.

Lakehill Co-op Preschool....................... 250-477-4141 Where children’s development is nurtured through a child centered inclusive, play based program. Come visit our natural outdoor playground and meet our loving qualified ECE team. Multiple Levels of participation available, please enquire.

Recreation Oak Bay................................ 250-370-7200 Fully licensed, ECE Daycare, Preschool and Nature Preschool. Play based, child led learning. Afterschool care available.

Lakeview Christian Preschool/Daycare.. 250-658-5082 30 mths to Kindergarten entry. Small group. Experienced teacher. Full time and part time spaces. Mornings only or full day. Monthly DROP IN STORY HOUR. For information please e-mail

Sundance Playschool.............................. 250-590-9955 Group daycare for ages 3–5, centrally located off Fort. Offering an exciting ECE program in a lovely character house with a maximum of 16 children for a focus on individual attention. Great yard and gardens with lots of outdoor activities. Spaces coming available July 1st.

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.

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. Little Readers Academy.......................... 250-477-5550 An enriched learn-to-read program for your 3-6 year-old! Reading, Writing and Math. Half-day, weekend and evening sessions available. Montessori Educare................................ 250-881-8666 Beautiful learning environment in Broadmead and Saanichton. 30 months to 5 years. Open all year around. Summer program available.

Looking for child care? Need help with subsidy forms? Taking care of children? Need child care training? Your community’s best source of child care information and resources. 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

Preschool & Child Care Directory Neighbourhood Junior Kindergarten..... 250-479-4410


Oakcrest Preschool................................. 250-472-0668 A welcoming, nurturing environment with a large, bright facility. Learn through play with 2 caring ECEs.

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.

Pacific Christian School – Pre-School... 250-479-4532 Your child will love the playful, safe environment and caring staff at PCS Pre-School. Come and explore Educational Excellence to the Glory of God. Puddles & Paints Nature Daycare.......... 250-658-6573 I’d like to thank all the amazing families I have had the honour of meeting over the past (almost) two decades! Your children have been gifts in my life…each and every one bringing something special along with them. Thank you for your trust… Lexie’s Little Bears Child Care was established in 2008, and it is where “Puddles” leaves off… “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!” ~ Dr. Seuss… All remembered, Lexie Biegun. 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 Inside Hillcrest Elm. in Gordon Head, we help children transition to Kindergarten. Licensed Preschool with highly qualified, warm ECE. Rogers Child Care Centre....................... 250-744-2343 Trusted High Quality Non Profit Care since 1991. Year Round Early Learning and Out of School Care. For more info go to 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.

Babies to Big Kids Childcare......................250-590-2722 949 Fullerton Ave. Licenced group childcare for children ages 6 months to 11 years old. Offering full-time and part-time care. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. info@babies, Castleview Child Care............................. 250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed non-profit, qual. ECE staff. Since 1958. Preschool and full-time care. Centennial Day Care............................... 250-386-6832 Providing quality childcare for 35+ years. Nature inspired, play based program. Brand new “green” building, central location. Christ Church Cathedral Childcare and Junior Kindergarten......................... 250-383-5132 ECE and specialist teachers provide an outstanding all day licensed program for 3-5 year olds. NEW location: 1670 Richardson opens March 2015. Downtown Y Child Care Centre............. 250-413-8869 Enriched program, for children ages 3-5 years, supporting healthy child development and future school success. Lansdowne Co-op Preschool................. 250-370-5392 An extraordinary learning environment for families with young children. Parent participation.

St. Margaret’s School.............................. 250-479-7171 For girls from Junior Kindergarten (ages 3-4) to Grade 12. Unique STEM-focused curriculum with outdoor exploration, art and music.

Nightingale Preschool and Junior Kindergarten Ltd.................. 250-595-7544 We offer education through creativity and play, providing rich learning experiences through a well sourced and stimulating indoor and outdoor environment. Early years reading programme. New Arts/ Drama programme – September 2015 –

Strawberry Vale Preschool..................... 250-479-4213 Programs for kids 3-4 at “The Little Red Schoolhouse.” An opportunity to be actively involved with your preschooler’s education.

Parkdale Early Childhood Centre........... 250-382-0512 ECEs offer the highest quality care and positive learning experiences in our daycare and preschool. Full time or part time. Call for a tour or visit us at

Wiseways Preschool & Daycare............. 250-477-1312 Quality, fully licensed, Christian preschool/daycare for 3–4 year olds. Experienced team of ECEs. Spacious facilities include large playground and indoor gym. Subsidized fees welcome. Call for a tour.

Rainbow Express Daycare...................... 250-382-2314 Enriched preschool style program in a daycare setting. Visit our website at

SIDNEY Acorntree Preschool............................... 250-686-1408 Balanced indoor/outdoor program, designed to stimulate natural curiosity and foster empathy and compassion towards others. We believe in the importance of both child and teacher directed activities. 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., Positive Path Early Learning.................. 250-655-7244 Located near the library and Sidney School, our program has earned a stellar reputation for quality child care and is growing as fast as the children we care for. Space is available for your child to embark on a journey of active exploration and discovery, enjoying a natural outdoor playground and an expansive indoor learning space. Experienced educators foster a lifelong quest for knowledge and guide children with Christian values and virtues. Storyoga Preschool................................. 778-679-4004 Embracing and empowering children exactly as they are. Storyoga Preschool is a nature and yoga based program located in Sidney, BC.

Ross Bay Preschool................................ 250-383-7445 Positive/supportive program motivating children to learn, discover and grow through play. Daily outdoor time, special guests and community events! rossbaypreschool 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–K.

VIEW ROYAL 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. Little Friends Childcare Center.............. 250-479-8423 Infant/Toddler........................................... 250-479-9796 For a creative learning environment. Licensed group facility. Infants/Toddlers/Preschool.

Little Wonders Preschool (View Royal OSC)..................................... 250-744-2718 A creative and supportive program that will prepare your child for a lifetime of learning! Out of School Care is also available for school aged children. A Secret Garden Preschool.................... 250-380-8293 Program built on Christian values. Monthly themes, weekly topics and daily activities. asecretgardenpreschool@ View Royal Childcare.............................. 250-479-8067 Preschool structured, high quality childcare. Victoria Conservatory of Music classes. Part time spaces available. 2.5-5year olds. View Royal Preschool.............................. 250-479-8067 Exciting inclusive program in a safe and exceptional care environment. 3-5 year olds. Outside play and themes enrich this program.

Mill Bay / Cobble Hill Cedar Montessori..................................... 250-710-9007 A beautiful rural setting where children are lovingly supported to learn at their own pace within a stimulating Montessori environment. Starchild Centre........................................ 250-929-3240 Infant/toddler 3 to 5 daycare combines the best of Montessori and Waldorf. Our 9 acre hobby farm enables each child to have a garden plot, participate in planting tree, feeding animals, and other outside adventures.

DUNCAN Parkside Academy.................................... 250-746-1711 Providing high quality early learning and care from infancy to 12 years of age, in a stimulating, respectful, nurturing, nature based environment with fully educated and passionate early childhood educators. Visit parksideacademy. ca or find us on Facebook. Queen Margaret’s School......................... 250-746-4185 Early Childhood Education Program. Co-ed nurturing curriculum to develop the whole child. Healthy snacks and lunch provided. Queen of Angels Early Learning Centre... 250-701-0433 We believe that the development of the whole child (physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually) encourages each individual to develop to their full potential. We offer an enriched full day program for 3–5 year olds based on Kindergarten readiness. Sunrise Waldorf School Preschool........... 250-743-7253 A warm, nature-based Waldorf rhythm where wonder is nurtured. Led by Waldorf trained ECE teachers.

Chemainus St. Joseph’s Preschool........................... 250-246-3191 An enriching preschool program allowing children to grow as individuals in a safe and nurturing Christian environment.

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. Licensed preschool, group care and out of school care. Early Childhood Educators. childrensdiscovery Little Star Children’s Centre................... 250-752-4554 Mother, Daughter owned and operated. Earth friendly preschool education inspired by nature. Infused with fun and creative daily yoga practices! Licensed group care. Enthusiastic ECE instructors.

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 2016  51

Community Board Making our Community a Better Place to Live

1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Child Care Resource & Referral Good Food Box GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon Kaleidoscope Theatre Royal BC Museum Silver Threads Service Victoria Children’s Choir Victoria Conservatory of Music Enquire about non-profit brochure or magazine distribution in Greater Victoria: 52  Island Parent Magazine

A Matter of Perspective


ngus recently experienced his “best day.” Best night would be more accurate, because the thrilling events he was referring to began just before midnight and ended at about 3 a.m. It began when the two ambulances and fire truck arrived at our house, continued through the heart monitor set up in the living room, the ride in the ambulance, the chest x-ray, the eventual retreat home with a diagnosis of pneumonia in one lung and an ear infection bonus. In my mind, the whole experience was horrible. First, because after more than a week of what I had assumed was an endless cold, Angus appeared finally to be healthy. That day, his mood had been significantly less miserable. He had barely coughed. When I put him to bed, I was confident that the morning would bring a mostly-recovered child. When he woke up hacking near midnight, I was sure he’d soon stop, and waited a few minutes before I went down the stairs with my dubiously-effective homeopathic cough medication. When I went into Angus’s room he was shivering. He is a dramatic individual, and often exaggerates how cold he is so that I will pick him up. But when I picked him up, I saw immediately that the shaking was of a different variety. He had no control over it. Also, his little heart seemed to be fluttering in his chest. I didn’t even notice the fever. Angus was born with a heart condition, and anything heart related gets my own heart racing also. I tried to sound calm when I called for Mike. Should we call 911? I asked him. Are you sore, Angus? Mike asked. Where are you sore? Angus grabbed his chest and grimaced and Mike dialled. With six emergency personnel in our living room and Angus hooked up to a heart monitor, it was to me a terrifying picture, but when Angus noticed their presence his mind veered completely from his own suffering. Our visitors had neat machines and fancy outfits. In the ambulance, Angus sat on my lap on the stretcher and clutched the stuffed bear he was given. He stared out the small window in the back. It had been raining, and the lights glittered off the water droplets “like stars” Angus said. “Like we’re in a spaceship.” I agreed with him, but out of the corner of my eye I was watching the

heart monitor, willing the number to dip below 160. Being wheeled through the halls and into the private room, the nurses already converging on us, Angus was delighted. Like a crib, he said, touching the bars on the side. A crib that moves! This positive attitude

Maternity & Beyond Laura TRUNKEY didn’t let up. That he was allowed to give a urine sample by essentially standing up and peeing in bed, was delightful. That he got a chest x-ray “just like Curious George!” was astounding good luck. When we finally returned home and put Angus back to bed, he declared he wasn’t tired. Mike fell asleep immediately. I lay awake and listened to our son sing through the monitor. When the songs collapsed into coughing fits my entire body clenched and I swung my feet onto the floor, ready to run into his room. After a few celebratory songs, Angus fell asleep, but I still focused on the monitor: I noted every rasping breath, every rustle of movement. By the morning, Angus was looking a bit better and I had succumbed completely to the cold I had been fighting. It is amazing how much perspective can shape an experience. Whenever Angus had a letdown when he was younger, Mike and I would try our best to shift his attention to the positive details. Now he needs much less prompting to find the good in the situations he encounters. Of all the abilities we can nurture, this is the one that feels most important. That way, when I’m an old lady, hooked up to various apparatuses at the hospital, my grown son can lean over me and remark on how much like a spaceship control panel all my monitoring equipment is. How fantastically lucky I am. And I’ll believe him, because there are so many reasons why that sentiment is true. Laura Trunkey is mother to the amazing Angus and the author of a forthcoming short fiction collection from House of Anansi. Email

Ad Directory 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre........ 7 Affordable Hot Tubs..... 49 Annabelle Gilham.......... 9 Arbutus Grove............ IFC Artistic Statement....... 38 Attractions Victoria...... 28 Bronwyn Brown Therapeutic Tutor.... 12 Cinecenta................... 34 Crystal Pool............... IBC Discovery School.......... 3 Dr. Joslin, Dr. Morin & Associates.......... IFC Ecole Victor Brodeur.... 16 Emmanuel Preschool.. 35 Family Literacy Day..... 36 Family Services of Greater Victoria....... 32 Maxine Fisher............. 46 Four Seasons Musical Theatre................... 39 Glengarry Dance......... 37 Gordon Head Recreation.............. 26 Hampton Little League................... 24 IMAX.......................... 10 Island Montessori........ 17 Island Rhythmic Gymnastics............. 37 Juan De Fuca Skating................... 40 Kaleidoscope Theatre.... 9 Kate Rubin Theatre & Drama Studio....... 26 Kool & Child................ 40 Leap Forward Dance... 19 LIFE Seminars............. 27 Lifestyle Markets......... 18 Little Steps................. 39 Mad Science.............. 36 Maple Tree Children’s Centre.................... 34 Miles of Smiles........... 49 Monarch House.......... 31 Mothering Touch........... 5 O’Brien Irish Dance..... 35 Oak & Orca........... 10, 18 Oak Bay Preschool...... 33 OCEAN 98.5............... 55 Pacfic Christian.......... IBC

Patricia Lane.............. 42 Poppet Creative.......... 42 Prairie Coast Productions............. 35 Resthouse Sleep Solutions................ IFC Robin’s Nest Recording............... 34 Royal BC Museum...... 41 Saanich Dental........... 23 Saanich Recreation....... 1 School District #61.................... 6, 27 School District #62........................ 33 School District #63.................. 17, 30 Scouts........................ 49 Selkirk Montessori........ 4 Serious Coffee............ 22 St. Margaret’s School.................... 12 Stages................. 11, 23 Sylvan Learning.......... 56 Theatre One............... 13 The Cridge................ IFC Thrifty Foods............... 29 TJ’s The Kiddie Store... 22 Tom Lee Music........... 40 Van Isl Montessori Association............. 15 Vancouver Island Parent Conference... 19 Vancouver Island University.......... 43, 45 Victoria Good News Choir............. 11 Victoria Gymnastics.....BC Victoria Kids’ Consignment........... 45 Victoria Midwives.......... 8 Victoria Pediatric Dental..................... 33 Victoria Symphony...... 43 VIHA........................... 48 Welcome Wagon......... 38 Wendy Steen Mitchell Dance........ 13 West View Plumbing.... 20 West-Mont School...... 14 Westshore Parks and Recreation........ 21

Island Business & Professional Directory

Unlock the

potential With professional, one-on-one tutoring.

Enriching Young Minds in Victoria since 2002.

1-on-1, In-Home, Professional Tutoring

Call 250.544.1588 to learn more

Does your child have difficulty reading? • can’t read words just read earlier • letter reversal • symptoms of dyslexia • “sounds out” words but can not blend them correctly • confuses similar sounding words • avoids reading/poor speller I offer an effective program that works! Call for more information or to arrange your individualized one-on-one tutoring solution.

Brenda Osadchy  778-440-0997

Enter Our Online Contests Every month at you can enter to win great prizes! Prizes include: • Family Getaways • Gift Certificates • IMAX Passes • Books, CDs & More One entry per family per week. Check out the prizes and enter the contests by visiting January 2016  53

Hummingbirds of Harbour City


ere at Swan Lake, we get lots of questions about hummingbirds. And understandably so; they truly are fascinating creatures. Even Christopher Columbus was captivated by them and wondered whether they were insects or birds. Hummingbirds typically weigh no more than a nickel yet they consume half their body weight in sugar daily; they are the only bird that is able to fly backwards; they cannot walk or hop but can flutter their wings up to 80 times per second (for reference an eagle flaps its wings five times per second); they are extremely important global pollinators; and they often have beautiful brightly colored iridescent plumage which has labeled them “jewels of sky.” There are 338 species of hummingbirds decorating the world’s skies. However our skies are not ornamented proportionally. Hummingbirds are considered a new world species which means that they can only be found in the Americas, and are not found on any other continent. Two of Canada’s five hummingbird species can be found at our feeders in Victoria. First, our year-long resident the Anna’s Hummingbird, and second the hummingbird with the longest migration route in the world, the Rufous Hummingbird. Anna’s Hummingbirds are quite common along the Pacific Coast, and can be seen year round perched just above head level in trees and shrubs near parks, residential streets, and coastal scrub. Males rely not only on their metallic song and bright colors to attract a mate, they also perform a unique and mesmerizing courtship flight where the male flies as high as 130 feet in the air, impressing her by swooping back down to her at an astounding speed making a burst of noise produced from his tail feathers. He will perform for her for as long as it takes, and if she is impressed they will mate as early as mid-January (this makes them the second earliest bird to breed each year in this area, after only Great Horned Owls). Anna’s Hummingbirds have thrived alongside human habitation; their range has expanded dramatically since the 1930s, probably thanks to introduced plants and the use of backyard feeders. They used to be restricted to southern California and the


Island Parent Magazine

Baja Peninsula, but now we have healthy numbers in British Columbia all year round. Although they do stay in Victoria over winter, you may notice that Anna’s will be less active at this time of year as they go into a

Nature Notes eRIN laWleSS state of torpor, a short-term hibernation-like state. Despite this strategy, some hummingbirds never wake from torpor and die from freezing temperatures and lack of food. So please be sure to check daily that your feeders are filled with fresh thawed nectar. Rather than dealing with cold temperatures, the Rufous Hummingbird heads south to Mexico for the winter. They spend much of the year on the move, completing their clockwise circuit of North America, and will stay on Vancouver Island for only a few weeks between May and July. Their migrating journey is the longest of any bird in the world, relative to body length—Mexico to Alaska is equal to 78 million body lengths! Like us humans, long flights can make Rufous Hummingbirds quite cranky. In fact, these are the feistiest hummingbirds in all of North America. So don’t be fooled by the fact that they are the smallest hummingbirds in the area, they are known to tirelessly chase other larger hummingbirds, harass chipmunks, and even dive bomb hawks. While these tiny bullies might make life hard for residents in your yard—don’t worry they will usually move-on within one to two weeks. Whether they are simply passing by, or enduring the rainy winter months along with us, these truly are extraordinary birds. Although these tiny creatures are a common sight in Victoria, nothing about them is ordinary, for me, it’s like seeing them for the first time, every time. Erin Lawless is a Naturalist at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.

Cut It Out!

Tips from Parent Educator Allison Rees of LIFE Seminars

Children Don’t Understand Time


oung children don’t have the concept of time as organized by the clock. If you expect kids to take the times seriously, CUT IT OUT! It takes a long time for children to learn about time, and until they do it seems to take forever getting dressed, eating and so on. Nagging and threats usually don’t help. Saying “when you are dressed then you may eat” can be quite helpful. When/Then can work in many situations. When you empty the dishwasher, then I will drive you to Kate’s house. When you have completed your work, then you can relax and watch that show or play that game. But it is important for the parent to accept the child’s limitations in managing time, and simply allot more time to get through the routine tasks that an adult could do in a flash if the child weren’t holding him up. Because children live in the present, parents have considerable difficulty when they expect their children to plan ahead. Chil-

56  Island Parent Magazine

dren don’t yet have a clear idea of how their present actions will affect the future. Since they don’t understand time, they find it hard to anticipate how long various things will take. Children can only focus on one aspect of a situation at a time: they cannot think about the present and the future as well. Normal children aren’t able to hold all aspects of a situation in their minds, so they make decisions according to whatever’s in their mind at the moment. This leads to impulsive behaviors like eating five minutes before dinner is served. Healthy children want to have fun and play. They live in the moment and aren’t worried about clock time. Play is how children work out their emotions and learn. Play is a child’s work. Parenting Pointers: • Keep instructions limited and make a clear, positive request. • Draw things out or write them down. • Expect things to take time, and allot more time to them when they involve kids.

• Give one-word reminders. • Plan ahead and plan fewer trips. • Use a timer for young children. • Use a chart to help them with their self-care routines. • Avoid nagging older children and let them experience some natural consequences. LIFE Seminars has two books available, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection. See

a whole world to explore PACIFIC CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

Come and explore with us!

654 Agnes St, Victoria, BC 250-479-4532

Get Active!

at Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre and Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

Swimming • • • •

Drop-in family swims Parent & Tot swims Quality lesson instruction Special events

Skating • • • • •

Drop-in family skates Parent and Child Ice Play Quality lesson instruction Fun and safe environment Monthly free skates

To register for Crystal Pool programs: online or by phone 250.361.0732. For skating programs and schedules visit or call 250.361.0732.

Register for Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre Programs online 24/7 at

Colwood location opening th is Spring

ctoria Gymnastics

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

Optional character

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 36 Years of Excellence!

January 2016 Island Parent  

Winter Programs Guide

January 2016 Island Parent  

Winter Programs Guide