With back to school comes the parental food preoccupation once again


Since the kids started eating lunch at school going back several years now, a favorite (and requested) packed lunch has been what you see in the above picture:

a flat hamburger bun cut in half
a slice of roasted turkey
two thin slices of cucumber in between the turkey so as not to get the bread ‘wet’ Continue reading

Solitude, a late bus, and some crafty independence

So here we are again. Back to blogging. Right?


My propulsion to write is not here. I don’t know where it went. Maybe I’ll find it again, or maybe I’ll write a bunch of drivel, store it in the draft folder, and leave it there indefinitely. Like I have so many times over the summer…

But summer is over now. Never mind the heat wave we’re in, the kids went to school today and we’re back to routine. I have to say, I wasn’t quite sure if I’m ready to leave the lazy days behind…having the kids around all the time hasn’t been as challenging this summer as it has when they were toddlers and preschoolers, and we did have them in occasional camps, but my favorite time is when we’re all together but separate, doing our thing, and giggling and eating together and connecting. The school year is all about schedules and routines and hockey and food and laundry and homework; the summer months were a breath of fresh air.

Yet I welcome the school year, like I do every year. The one thing I missed the most over the summer was my alone-time. Solitude re-charges me, and is essential to my well-being, and as long as I get some peace and quiet during the day, I find I can handle the chaos that comes when the kids get home easier to handle. Or the hoopla in the mornings… Continue reading

Using analogy to explain math homework

Other posts on school or homework here.

Homework, assigned or self-imposed by the meany parent that I am, will be the end of me.

So I switched gears and I found myself in a rather enlightening parenting moment the other night. But to get to the point about the analogy, please allow me to provide some background first:

My third grader does not get a lot of homework in the form of the bring-home, repetitive, fill-out-worksheet, regurgitate-memorized-information type. And frankly, I’m on the fence whether I want to have him do this type of work, or not. On the one hand, practice and repetition is a good way to learn foundational material, like arithmetic, but on the other hand, no one in this house or within proximity of earshot to this house wants to hear the complaining about those kinds of activities.

Still, grade 3 is elementary school which is foundational learning which in my view requires a certain amount of repetition. But my child finds the entire idea *boring*, and *crap* and won’t do it without a certain amount of, let’s use the word encouragement, from me.

[insert parental eye-roll]

But I insist on it anyway. Continue reading

The conflict between hockey recruitment and ‘stupid’ homework

Did you know that kids as young as 8 can get recruited in hockey?

Seems some coaches are looking for their next talent by attending competitive games now, at the end of the regular season, and just prior to playoffs. Seems at least one coach is impressed with our son’s performance on the ice. We are now the owners of a new coach’s business card.

There are many questions we have regarding sending our son down the path of more competitive hockey. Questions that have to be answered, at some time, but not necessarily right now. After all, that boy is not even 9 yet… Continue reading

Where and how kids do homework

I believe that where kids do homework matters. How much it matters depends on each family’s unique circumstances and the children’s personalities, ages and willingness to do said homework with or without supervision.

At our house, homework locations have changed as the children grew, and the white table in the first pictures that used to be in the kitchen became their table in their room a year later. Continue reading

Typing lessons for children who use computers for school

For more topics about elementary school click here or visit the school tab.

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It’s inevitable, isn’t it. Sooner or later a teacher will suggest, recommend, or expect an assignment to be typed on a computer. When this will start to become the norm is still a question mark in my life as my oldest is only in grade 3. But, it has happened once already, so it looks like it begins around age 8. He brought home a several page assignment that he had to turn into a book, and he was led to believe that typing it out would be the preferred method. Continue reading

Do calculators belong in elementary school?

For more on the school topics, click here.

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Should third graders use calculators in class?

This is a real question that has been brought up not once, but twice, within the first six weeks of school by an 8 year old boy who goes to a North American public school.

There are several astonishing thoughts that enter my head: Continue reading

Climbing out of the parenting pit

Every now and then, while parenting your offspring,  you might find yourself all the way at the bottom of some deep, dark pit. There seems to be no light penetrating down into the abyss and you wonder if you’ll ever find the stamina to climb back out again.

When parenting challenges you beyond what you think you are capable of, you may feel an urge to lash out at the culprits. Often the culprits are not the children themselves at all, since they are prone to picking up conflicting messages and reacting to them without the insights, or sense,  that comes with maturity. They see their world in linear terms, and you, the parent, sees beyond that immediate scope. You see a larger picture evolving and causing more confusion, which in turn affects your family dynamic.

In my experience, the culprits are often external. And we all know the world can be a confusing place. Continue reading

Dear parents: you have homework

For more school topics, click here.

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My first grader brought home two homework assignments in the first six weeks of school which required several days, or up to two weeks, to complete. The instructions were given verbally to the children in class and came home in written form for the parents.  There was no written instruction sheet for the child. Although I appreciate and welcome the additional information which is provided to the parents, it is my view that if the written instructions for the child are omitted in the early grades of elementary school, it will formulate an early dependency in the child. In essence, my six year old child has already learned that she cannot read her own homework instructions and that a parent has to sit with her to help her interpret and complete the assignment. This example, compiled with other observations from her older brother’s homework experiences, launches an entire train of thought in my head which I have a need to illustrate here.

Aside note: Prior to my first grader’s assignment being due I spoke to her teacher about this. She welcomed the feedback and collaborated with the other first grade teachers to provide an updated instruction sheet for each child. The resulting outcome for my child has been phenomenal.

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The subject of homework continues to baffle me. Continue reading