Treasuring the sound of children’s voices

A treasure lies hidden in our children’s school, a precious jewel. Yet the adults who gaze upon it are few. I was one of the lucky ones this past June, when I attended the end-of-year student talent show at my daughter’s elementary school. The acts were swell, some outstanding. But the star act, in my […]

The beauty of ‘spaced out’ children

I’m sitting in a plane winging it back to Canada from Paris as I write this. And how, you might ask, was I able to take this rare romantic trip with my husband if I have a 13-year-old at home? A good question. I credit the age gap between my children. Some parents have grandparents […]

Dropping the ‘break bomb’

Time goes by, and that daughter of ours who had just skipped off to university was all at once in her third year. I still felt that ache there where she wasn’t, but independence was good for her. So, like so many other parents, we swallowed hard and tried to keep our sense of loss […]

The fine art of applying for high school

Concerned mom (i.e., me, getting flustered): “Honey, it’s just terribly inconsistent to do it that way.” Fed-up 13 year old (i.e., my daughter, getting impatient): “It’s my portfolio, and I’ll do it my way!” Should she have followed my advice? Who’s to say? In any case, it was her portfolio, about her accomplishments, and her […]

Do ‘Boobies’ have a place in schools?

Imagine, for a moment, a student walking down the school hallway with a T-shirt on that says, “Teachers are blankety blanks!” He or she would be sent down to the office and probably home faster than you can say “repugnant.” And that is as it should be. Principals have the power to control what messages […]

Where’s the coolest place on earth?

Perhaps mid-summer you paused outside the former Bellefair United Church on your Saturday morning stroll along Queen. What was missing? Oh, yeah, that artsy sign welcoming campers to “the coolest place on Earth: Theatricks”. Do not be disheartened: Theatricks, the theatre company for kids, has not met its demise; indeed it is now thriving at […]

Teach children early about volunteering

The guidance office in any high school will tell you the same thing. In the final months of their final year, some students invariably appear at the door to the guidance office, confusion in their eyes. But it’s not their academics they’re worried about. High school students in Ontario get four whole years to figure […]

Learning to be nice is a life lesson

“But, mommy, we always have to be NICE!” This from my 12-year-old, who has one of the most pleasant, easy-to-get-along-with personalities I know. Why the complaint? We are talking about the merits and drawbacks of going to a small school. Yes, she concedes, it is great to know everyone in the school. Students even know […]