Helpful Hints


Homework Helpers

With the start of a new school year comes a new routine, a new teacher, a new set of responsibilities and not to mention, a new load of homework!

To ensure that your child is maximizing his/her potential both inside and outside of the classroom, the Rainbow District School Board has created Homework Helpers – five simple tips that will help you improve your child’s academic performance in Rainbow Schools.

Tip #1 – 6:00 o’clock is Homework Time
Setting a regular time for homework is imperative for student success. By developing a consistent schedule, your child will learn many important lessons that go beyond homework. While completing school assignments, your child will learn the value and importance of homework and, above all, will develop good habits that will last a lifetime.

Tip #2 – F Stands for Focus
Before your child begins homework, it’s always a good idea to ensure that he/she is 100 per cent focused on the task(s) at hand, whether that means reading in silence or working with quiet background music. Turning off the television and discouraging telephone calls will improve your child’s focus. If your child is distracted because of social or emotional problems, talk about it. Remember: communication is the key.

Tip #3 – Spark Some Interest and Concern
As a parent, it’s important that you show interest in and concern for your child’s academic and social activities. While it may seem obvious and easy to do, busy schedules force us to forget about our child’s other life the one that is outside of home. All it takes is 15 minutes a day. By taking the time to listen and talk to your child about a test, tonight’s assignment or the upcoming Science Fair, you will be strengthening the lines of communication while building support between you, your child and the school.

Tip #4 – Tools of the Task
Providing the necessary supplies and resources will allow your child to be one step closer to successfully completed assignments. From sharpened pencils to a personal computer, children should have access to tools for school both inside and outside of the classroom. If you do not have home computer, please take advantage of computers in local libraries.

Tip# 5 – You Set the Pace
Encourage your child to do his/her homework by working on your tasks around the house during homework time. Whether you’re reading today’s paper, paying your bills or simply drafting a grocery list, your child will be more motivated to work when he/she sees you doing the same. By setting good examples, parents not only help create a positive learning environment for their child, they also enhance the learning process by promoting both academic and social growth.

Homework Time Guidelines

To ensure that your child successfully completes homework, the Rainbow District School Board has prepared time guidelines. This will give you an idea of how much time your child should spend on homework each night. Please note that the following chart should be used as a general guide only.

JK – Grade 3 Time Guideline: 10 – 30 minutes
Grade 4 – Grade 6 Time Guideline: 30 – 60 minutes
Grade 7 – Grade 8 Time Guideline 60 – 90 Minutes

Why Homework?

  • It establishes routines.
  • It develops personal responsibility.
  • It supports the development of academic skills.
  • It reinforces student learning.
  • It creates partnerships between the school and the home.

Privacy – Protecting Your Personal Information

It is no doubt that we live in a digital age. Make use of these five tools to ensure your child understands the impact that some online technologies can have on their privacy and how they can make the most of their online experiences while keeping their personal information safe.


Getting the Most out of Parent Teacher Interview

Here are five simple tips designed to help parents get the most out of parent-teacher interviews:

Tip #1  – Be Prepared
A parent-teacher interview is similar to a job interview.  There is so much to talk about and so little time.  To make the most out of it, come well prepared and organized.  Before leaving home, take time to write your questions, talk to your child about his or her experience at school and try to arrive at least 15 minutes earlier.  Remember: the better prepared you are, the more beneficial your interview will be.

Tip #2 – Getting Off on the Right Foot
The first parent-teacher interview is a great way for parents to get to know their child’s teacher.  A positive attitude is the key ingredient to establishing a good rapport with the teacher.  To get off on the right foot, it is important to try to listen to what the teacher has to say and ask questions about the teacher, including his/her teaching philosophy.  Making a positive connection at the start of the school year will make it easier to talk to the teacher and get involved in school activities in the future.

Tip #3 – Co-operation is the Key
Successful education requires a strong partnership between the school and the home.  What better way to establish that partnership than at parent-teacher interviews.  By working together, parents and teachers can identify issues and opportunities and establish solutions that will maximize a childs ‘success inside and outside of the classroom.

Tip #4 – Involving your Child
Young children are generally nervous about parent-teacher interviews.  They’re anxious to know – What did my teacher say?  Am I doing OK?  Did she say anything about yesterday’s homework?  To ease the situation, involve your child in the interview process.  Before the parent-teacher interview, talk to your child about his/her experience at school and discuss concerns.  After the interview, pass on the positive information and assure your child that you and the teacher have developed a plan to help him/her succeed.

Tip #5 – Measuring Results
It’s always a good idea to follow-up with your child’s teacher.  Before leaving the parent-teacher interview, schedule another meeting – this time to review and evaluate your child’s improvement.  This will encourage effective and regular two-way communication between the home and the school.  In addition to attending parent-teacher interviews and scheduling follow-up meetings, parents are always welcome to call, e-mail, write or drop-in for an update on their child’s progress.

Why are Parent Teacher Interviews Important?

  • What is my child like in class?
  • They provide an opportunity for parents and teachers to communicate.
  • They enable parents to gain vital information about their child.
  • They help support student achievement.
  • They demonstrate parents’ involvement in their child’s education.

10 Great Questions to Ask Your Child’s Teacher

  • What is my child like in class?
  • How does my child respond to structure, rules and directions?
  • How does my child interact with others?
  • What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • Are there any indicators of academic problems?
  • What subject does my child seem to enjoy most?
  • Is my child well prepared for class?
  • What can we do at home to reinforce what is being taught in the classroom?
  • How is achievement measured in your classroom?
  • How will my child be evaluated?

Bilingual Boosters

Looking for an interactive tool to help you with your child’s learning? Check out the FSL Homework Toolbox/Trousse pour les devoirs website – a quick and easy reference guide that will enable you to learn along with your child and help both of you experience the richness of la francophonie.


Character Boosters

Character education is all about the heart of learning.  From confidence and respect to security and happiness, your child’s self-esteem will ultimately determine his/her outlook on life. To help you play a greater role in building your child’s self-esteem, the Rainbow District School Board has developed Character Boosters.  The following tips are designed to help you nurture your child into a proud, positive and caring human being.

Tip #1 – If You Believe They Can, They Will
Before working on your child’s self-esteem, you must first examine your own.  Parents have a great deal of influence over the self-esteem of their child.  The more positive you are, the more positive your child will be.  Strive to be positive and your child will have a great example to follow.

Tip #2 – Communication is the Key
If your children need to talk, listen.  Parents often forget that, much like adults, children need to express their feelings, whether it’s through verbal cues or body language.  Communicating with your child will allow you to gain a better understanding of his/her feelings.  Once you identify with your child, you will be well on your way towards boosting his/her self-esteem.

Tip #3 – Words of Encouragement
You can do it, you’re almost there, great job, are examples of what every child needs to hear.  By acknowledging efforts, your child’s self-esteem will grow as he/she begins to feel appreciated.  While encouragement is effective, parents should not confuse encouragement with praise.  Remember: encouragement rewards the effort whereas praise rewards the person.

Tip #4 – Details, Details and More Details
Try to be specific when rewarding your child for efforts well done.  Children like to know when they have succeeded, so why not give them the details.  For instance, rather than saying Wow!  What a beautiful painting, say I love all the colours you used in your painting.

Tip #5 – Co-operation vs. Competition
Whenever possible, try to encourage your child to take part in activities that promote co-operation.  From group building projects to family colouring activities, the youth of today should take a break from competitive games and sports.  Simple and easy to coordinate, co-operative activities will help foster your child’s self-esteem while promoting teamwork.

From Our Dictionary

While the term self-esteem may seem straightforward, it is often confused with similar vocabulary, including self-confidence, self-reliance and self-perception. To help clarify, we came up with our own definitions.

Self Esteem:

  • A feeling of pride in oneself
  • Positive personal beliefs
  • Our emotional image
  • Knowing that one is valuable and capable

Five Minute Boosters

You can help your child boost his/her self-esteem by simply:

  • Informing your child about your family heritage and culture.
  • Giving your child daily responsibilities that he/she will value.
  • Providing your child with opportunities to learn in the form of success and failure.
  • Allowing your child to provide input when it comes to family decision-making.
  • Teaching and encouraging your child to set goals inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Demonstrating your love through affection and discipline.

Literacy Leads

Strong literacy skills are the foundation for student success.  From reading a note or a magazine to writing a holiday card or a grocery list, your child’s ability to read and write will lead him/her through learning and life.

In Rainbow Schools, all educators play an important role in ensuring that your child gains important literacy skills.  To demonstrate our commitment, we have created Literacy Leads – five simple tips that will help you enhance your child’s ability to read and write.

Tip #1 – Extra, Extra, Read All About It!
The next time you see a newspaper lying around, pick it up, scan through the articles and select a theme that’s appropriate for your child.  Whether it’s about a local fundraising activity or a current event, children, like adults, should be aware of the stories and issues that surround them.  What better way to expand knowledge and promote literacy than to read a newspaper!

Tip #2 – Customize and Converse
Before you begin reading to and with your child, always remember to choose a subject matter that’s of special interest to him/her.  By choosing topics of interest, your child will more motivated to read.  This motivation will instill a love of reading that will last a lifetime.

Tip #3 – Write On!
Whenever possible, give your child an opportunity to write.  It’s easy.  Children can practice their writing skills by simply taking phone messages for their parents, drafting lists and chores and signing cards for family and friends.  Building writing into your child’s daily routine will enhance his/her literacy skills.

Tip #4 – Bringing Libraries to Life
While it’s always a good idea to encourage visits to the library, parents often forget to search their own library – the one that’s stored in the attic.  Who knows what you and your child will find amongst those hidden treasures!  Bringing home libraries to life will provide many learning opportunities for both parents and child and create lasting bonds.

Tip #5 – Play Upon Words
This weekend, take out your Scrabble and crossword puzzles and get ready to have fun with words!  Whether your child is at home, at camp or at school, it is always important to be exposed to lessons in literacy.  And, if it involves fun activities, that’s even better.  Encouraging your child to have fun with words will not only help develop vocabulary, it will also nurture a love of learning.  After all, who says reading and writing can’t be fun!

The Ultimate Literacy Kit for Kids

To maximize your child’s confidence and ability in reading and writing, create a personalized literacy kit! Your child’s literacy kit, which can be stored in a school bag or a box, could contain:

  • A jumbo-size crossword and/or word search puzzle book
  • Various family favorite books
  • Various letters and/or cards from family and friends
  • An assorted pack of pencils, pens and markers
  • A jumbo-size notebook
  • Various home and school related projects (including arts and crafts)
  • A pocket-size Encyclopedia, Picture Dictionary and Thesaurus for kids
  • A note of encouragement from parents and family members

Suggested Reads

Here are some of the year’s best children’s books:

  • The Giggler Treatment, by Roddy Doyle
  • Eeyore’s (Mis) Adventures by A. A. Milne
  • Time For Naps, by Jane Yolen
  • Warriors: The New Prophecy #5: Twilight, by Erin Hunter

Steps for Student Success

As a parent, you play an important role in your child’s education. From the time he/she began Kindergarten to his/her secondary school graduation, one of your parental priorities is to ensure that your child is successful in learning and life.

To help you achieve this, the Rainbow District School Board has developed Steps for Student Success – five tips designed to help you maximize your child’s potential and fulfill his/her aspirations.

Tip #1 – Planning Makes Perfect
One of the first steps to student success is planning. Effective education planning can take the form of daily parent-child discussions, monthly parent-teacher interviews and/or yearly parent-teacher-child evaluations. In addition to monitoring student success, planning also allows parents to establish expectations and measure results.

Tip #2 – Parental Participation
Much like your child, you are also an important part of our school community. Whether it’s the holiday bake sale or the class field trip, your presence will help support the success of our students and our schools. By becoming actively involved in your child’s education you will be making significant contributions to his/her success inside and outside of the classroom.

Tip #3 – Great Expectations
Children, who are constantly encouraged to fulfill their responsibilities towards school, generally grow up to be great students and great citizens. To ensure student success, parents should expect their child to complete homework and all other school work, attend school regularly, arrive on time and treat others with respect.

Tip #4 – Communication: The Key to Success
It’s always a good idea to communicate regularly with the school. Whether you’re calling to report your child’s absence or discussing your child’s progress at a parent-teacher interview, two-way communication will benefit your child immensely. By communicating regularly, parents and educators have the opportunity to understand the child, address his/her needs and above all, maximize his/her potential.

Tip #5 – Family Support
Student success is maximized when a child has love, support and encouragement from his/her family. Parents should always try to recognize, encourage and reward their child for good work and good behaviour. By laying a solid foundation for support, your child will feel confident and capable of achieving his/her best.

Influencing Student Success

  • Limiting the amount of time your child spends watching television.
  • Ensuring that your child sleeps and eats well.
  • Encouraging your child to realize personal and career goals.
  • Supporting the Rainbow District School Board’s Discipline Policy.
  • Working with the school to resolve any conflicts that may arise.

A Recipe for Student Success

A child needs:

  • Love, encouragement and support from parents, relatives and friends.
  • Caring educators.
  • Quality programs and character education.

Early Years and Learning

Your child began learning long before Kindergarten.  Whether it’s spelling, counting or knowing right from wrong, it’s important that you continue to maximize learning opportunities at home.

There are many activities that you can do to support what’s taught in school.  Here are five fun and interactive learning tips for parents with children in Kindergarten.

Tip #1 – Fun with Math
Math is everywhere.  The numbers on the clock, measuring cups and spoons, speed limits, even calendars.  Our vocabulary is also filled with math related terms such as large, small, less and more.  To bring math to life in a meaningful way for your child, why not make a game out of it?  Encouraging your child to have fun with numbers is an excellent way for him/her to learn and enjoy math.

Tip #2 – Listen, Talk and Learn
Your child develops literacy skills when he/she listens and speaks.  To enhance your child’s success in reading and writing, have family conversations on a regular basis.  The first step is to listen.  Once you hear what your child has to say, then it’s time to ask questions and provide feedback.  In addition to improving your child’s vocabulary and promoting literacy skills, listening and talking to your child will enable you to learn more about his/her feelings and concerns.

Tip #3 – Lessons in Sorting
If you’re looking for a neat learning activity for your Kindergarten child, look no further than in cluttered spaces within your home.  From your child’s bedroom closet to your kitchen pantry, sorting items and objects will teach your child about order, organization and cleanliness.  While you’re sorting, you could also teach your child about the different shapes, sizes and colours of the objects at hand.

Tip #4 – Go Teamwork!
Whenever possible try to expose your child to a wide range of team activities outside of school.  It’s as simple as getting your child involved in local sports or a community choir.  The benefits are long lasting.  When a young person takes part in team activities, he/she learns to co-operate with others, recognize their uniqueness and above all, value each individual within our diverse society.

Tip #5 – The Love of Learning
Starting school is a big step for a little person.  You can help make the transition that much easier by providing support and encouragement.  From daily pep talks to frequent home learning activities, there are many things you can do to nurture a sense of comfort and instill a love of learning.   When children are keen on learning, they are well on their way towards achieving success.

Kindergarten Kids at Home

Let’s Do the Bunny Hoop
10 Minutes

Your child will have a great time jumping from one hoop to the next on both feet like a bunny.  This will be a good way for your child to burn off physical energy. It will also provide a fun time to share together.

Materials: 2 – 3 hula hoops

Instructions:
1. Set up the hula-hoops on the floor in any design that you like, about one foot apart.
2. Invite your child to hop on both feet from one hoop to the next.
3. Ask him/her to change the design for you to try.

Preparing for Kindergarten

In Rainbow Schools, we recognize that starting school is a big step in a child’s life. There are many ways that parents can help to ease the transition.

  • Visit the school with your child and meet his/her teacher and Principal.
  • Talk about the exciting activities in Kindergarten.
  • Talk to your child about bussing.
  • Give your child positive information and comments about school.
  • Ask your child for feedback every day after he/she comes home from school.
  • Participate in school activities with your child.
  • Take advantage of every opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher.

Heartfelt Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner.  From dinner planning to family gatherings, the festive season is a hectic one.  While your schedule may be filled with many lists, this special time of the year provides a wonderful opportunity to promote character education at home.

To help bring out the true spirit of the holidays, the Rainbow District School Board has created Heartfelt Holidays – five heart-warming activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Tip #1 – Cards Open the Heart
While many see holiday card writing as an annual chore, try to think of it as an opportunity to bond with your child.  Not only will you be teaching your child an important lesson in literacy, you will also be modeling important character traits by showing that you care for others and are willing to make time to bring them special greetings.

Tip #2 – From Family to Family
Whether you’re sponsoring a family from a developing country or simply sending a holiday greeting to a neighbour, this is the time of the year for kindness, compassion and generosity.  By taking part in such heart-filling activities, your child will be making a positive contribution to the community and to the world in which we live.  Developing good citizens is what character education is all about.

Tip #3 – Give the Gift of Giving
If you’re still searching for that ‘perfect’ gift, look no further than in your own community.  Your child can play an active role in the community by helping local organizations through canned food drives, adopt-a-family programs, visits to nursing homes etc.  By participating in the community, children learn to value their home life while helping others.

Tip #4 – Going Outside of the Box
The next time your child asks for a holiday gift idea, why not suggest that he/she make, rather than buy, a gift that is literally ‘outside of the box’.  Personalized mixed CDs, photo collages and artistic paintings come from the heart and last a lifetime.

Tip #5 – In Good Spirits
With all of the hustle and bustle, the holidays can be stressful.  When it comes to the festivities, parents should always try their best to be joyful, especially in the company of children.  Children are guided by their parents’ attitudes and actions.  The more cheerful you are, the more comfortable and happy your child will be during the holiday season.

Crafts

This simple and easy-to-do gift idea is sure to bring joy to anyone. Encourage your child to give a snow globe to someone special.

Materials:

  • Baby food jar
  • Small plastic toys and/or figurines
  • Silver and/or white glitter and/or small beads
  • Super glue
  • Corn syrup or mineral oil

Instructions:

1. Glue the plastic figurines (and any other water-proof objects) to the inside of the jar lid.  Wait for the glue to dry.
2. Fill the jar almost to the top (leave a space) with corn syrup or mineral oil. Then add the glitter and/or beads.
3. Put the lid on the jar and glue it around the edges to make sure it’s sealed. Then, let it sit until it’s dry.
4. Flip it over, and shake to see the blizzard!

Special Holiday Gift Ideas

  • Homemade baked goods
  • Family photo album
  • Coupon promises
  • Personal poems
  • Favourite drawings

Winter Warm Ups

With the chilly evening temperatures and the bare trees, Mother Nature is reminding us that winter is on its way.  Before you start planning your family’s winter activities, there are certain safety precautions that you should be aware of, particularly when it comes to your childs ‘well-being.

To ensure that your child enjoys the winter weather – both at home and at school, the Rainbow District School Board has come up with five winter safety tips that will help you say goodbye to frostbite and hello to the great outdoors.

Tip #1 – Double the Pair = Double the Fun
Children often get their winter gear wet during the first school recess.  All it takes is one snowman and there you have it, their mittens are finished for the day.  In order to maximize you child’s winter fun, parents should consider adding a second pair of clothing to their childs ‘school bag.

Tip #2 – A Weather Savvy Family
It’s not a bad idea to encourage your child to pay attention to the weather even before looking out the window.  Whether you tune into the Weather Channel, turn up your favorite radio station or visit Environment Canada’s website, try to take those moments to teach your child about weather conditions, including wind chill, snow falls and storm warnings.  By keeping children informed, they will become aware of the impact of certain weather conditions – an important lesson to be learned.

Tip #3 – Take Five
As you are aware, the chilly winds and vigorous winter climate often lead to unwanted symptoms, including frozen ears, frostbite, and in severe cases  h-ypothermia.  To avoid this, invite your child to warm up to a hot cup of cocoa.  By taking frequent breaks, your child will be able to thoroughly enjoy a day of winter fun, without having to deal with any ill effects.

Tip #4 – What a Bright Idea!
By brightening up your child’s winter wardrobe with vividly coloured items (whether it’s a jacket or a hat), he/she will be visible from a distance.  While bright clothing may not be ‘in’ this season, it is imperative that children be seen at all times.  This is simply another way to ensure that your child is safe and sound during the winter months.

Tip #5  – First Aid on Scene
It’s never too early to take out your First Aid kit.  Being aware of First Aid tips and procedures (including symptoms, treatments and after-care dealings) should be at the top of every parent’s list, especially during winter time.  Keeping First Aid materials on hand and skills in tune will not only serve as a safety precaution, but also as a learning opportunity for both parent and child.

More About Frostbite

Resulting from exposure to low temperatures, wind and moisture, frostbite occurs when one is out in cold weather over a prolonged period of time. If you suspect frostbite, you should:

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Remove yourself from the cold and find a warm shelter.
  • Warm the affected area with a warm body part.
  • Remove any tight clothing to increase circulation.
  • Drink warm fluids to help increase circulation and warm up the body. (Please Note: No caffeinated or alcoholic drinks.)

Warm Winter Thoughts

We’ve asked four students what kept them warm on a cold winter day. Here’s what they said:”A fresh cup of hot chocolate”

  • “A fresh cup of hot chocolate”
  • “Two layers of clothing”
  • “A new pair of Sorel boots”
  • “Being with a group of friends”

Smart Summers

With the start of summer comes sunshine, family vacations and let’s not forget – two full months free of school related activities. To ensure that your child continues his/her education during the summer months, the Rainbow District School Board has created Smart Summers – five fun tips that will help you keep the learning cycle alive all year round!

Tip #1 – Travelling Lessons
The next time you visit another city, province and/or country, take that as an opportunity to teach your child about the area’s history, culture and heritage.  By reading the brochures, maps and other types of travelling literature, you and your child will be learning a lesson in both history and geography.  To make the lesson more interactive, take a trip to a local historical site, museum or art gallery.

Tip #2 – Take Math Outside
While you’re planning your annual yard sale, why not get the kids involved.  It’s easy.  While you’re busy setting-up, simply let your child mark the prices on various items, greet neighbourhood friends and make change when purchases are made.  Holding a yard sale is a great opportunity to learn more about math and customer service.

Tip #3 – Character and the Community
If you’re looking to keep your child busy, it’s always a good idea to arrange for local volunteer opportunities.  Whether it’s at the local hospital, animal shelter or church, helping in the community will allow your child to learn more about responsibility, social values and caring.  Volunteering is a great example of how parents can continue to expose their child to character education.

Tip #4 – Class in the Grocery Store
It’s important to remember that every task or chore is a learning opportunity.  Let’s take grocery shopping for instance.  It starts with research: What do we have?  What do we need?  How much money can we spend?  Which then leads to planning:  When will we go?  Where will we go?  Whom will we go with?  And lastly comes, decision-making: Do we really need this?  Is this a good price?  From writing the list to paying the bill, grocery shopping provides a wonderful learning experience for children.

Tip #5 – Choose a Topic, Any Topic
If you’re looking to broaden your family’s knowledge while improving your childs’ academic skills, study random topics. By following a particular topic, through books, newspapers, magazines, Internet and/or films, you and your child will be learning and spending quality time together.  Remember: learning can be a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy.  As a parent, you will also be modeling the value of education and lifelong learning.

Summer Learning Calendar

Monday
Plant a flower
Tuesday
Attend a daily summer camp
Wednesday
Make a scrapbook
Thursday
Play a word game
Friday
Visit the library
Saturday
Count money in the family piggy bank
Sunday
Write about weekly events in your personal diary

Why Summer Learning?

  • It improves and/or reinforces academic skills gained throughout the school year.
  • It better prepares your child for the upcoming school year.
  • It demonstrates the importance and value of continuing education.
  • It allows your child to master new subjects and skills.
  • It helps your child become a better learner both inside and outside of school.

Family Fun

Attention parents/guardians!  Do you feel as though television shows, computer games and internet chat rooms are cutting into your family time?  Is your child’s increasingly busy schedule (whether it Wednesday’s Science Fair or Saturday’s soccer game) preventing you from spending time together?  If you’ve answered yes to the above, the following is for you!

At the Rainbow District School Board, we recognize that parent-child activities are important.  That’s why we have created Family Fun.  Here are five simple activities that you can do with your child, regardless of age or grade.

Tip #1 – Family Cook Off
Who knew?  Cooking – something that is often seen as a daily chore – can actually be a fun activity for the whole family.  It’s easy.  While you’re making a salad, why not take that as an opportunity to spend time with your child.  Invite your child to join in by assigning simple tasks such as spinning the lettuce, adding ingredients or mixing the dressing.  Your child can also set the table while dinner is cooking.

Tip #2 – Great Adventures in the Great Outdoors
Whether the snow is falling or the grass is growing, you will always find plenty of fun family activities right in your own back yard.  Getting your child involved in snow shoveling and gardening allows the whole family to enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer.

Tip #3 – Reversing the Roles
Allowing your child to teach you a thing or two can be educational and entertaining.  Asking your child to coach you through the latest computer game will give you a taste of his/her world.  In addition to feeling important and valued, your child will also get what they want most – your undivided attention!

Tip #4 – Building Builds More than Just Buildings
The next time your child is “bored” gather the Lego and build something together.  While this may require time and patience, the rewards will be well worth it.  From a simple house to a fort-like structure, working on toy projects will help build strong bonds between you and your child.

Tip #5 – Using the ‘Family Room’
Parents/guardians often forget to use the ‘family room’ for what it was truly intended to be.  By definition, a ‘family room’ is a living space where parents and children gather to talk, watch television or take part in family-like activities.  So why not regularly use that space to simply sit down, relax and enjoy time together, regardless of what you are doing.

Family Craft

Sweet Smelling Coffee Filter Flowers

Materials:

  • Coffee filters
  • Food colouring (red, yellow and blue)
  • Water and shallow containers (margarine tubs will do)
  • Newspaper
  • Green pipe cleaners
  • Cologne (optional)

Preparation:

1.   Together, gather everything you’ll need.
2.  Invite your child to fold a coffee filter in half three times.
3.  Put out several dishes of water.
4.  Place several drops of food colouring into each dish of water.
5.  Let your child dip the tip of the filter in one colour and remove it.
6.  Dip another corner into another colour.
7.  Turn it upside down and dip it into another colour.
8.  Open the filter and lay it flat to dry on newspaper.
9.  When it’s dry, have your child pinch the center of the filter, twist it and gently pull out the edges to make a flower shape.
10.  Twist green pipe cleaners onto the center of the flower for the stem.
11.  If you wish, add a spray of cologne to create a fragrant flower.
12.  Together you may wish to make a bouquet of flowers and give them as a gift.


Healthy Bits and Bites

It’s no surprise: smart eating = smart thinking!  From breakfast to lunch box to dinner plate, good eating habits are essential for social and academic growth. To help your child achieve a balanced and healthy lifestyle, the Rainbow District School Board has developed the following tips that will make your family feel good!

Tip #1 – Less Convenience Food, More Convenient
If you’re looking to reduce your family’s consumption of convenience  foods, you’ll need good cookbooks, good cooking tools and good attitudes.  It’s simple.  Once you find a healthy recipe that you and your family enjoy, make a large quantity of it.  Freeze the leftovers and serve them for dinner or pack it in your child’s lunch.  After all, who says non-convenience foods can’t be convenient?

Tip #2 – Choices, Choices and Choices
Nowadays, children have a lot of options when it comes to snacking.  For instance, if your child sees chocolate pie and fruit salad in the refrigerator, he/she will be more likely to choose the rich dessert as the after school snack.  To limit your child’s access to less than healthy foods, don’t offer the chocolate pie as an option.  Out of sight.  Out of mind.  While this requires planning on your part, minimizing choices will maximize health benefits.

Tip #3 – Creativity is the Key
Leading your child to healthier eating habits is not always easy!  But with a little thought and effort, it can be done.  Parents often forget that children need some spark of creativity – even when it comes to eating.  By dressing up fruit and vegetable platters, your child will be more enthused about eating healthy foods.

Tip #4 – Minimizing Mindless Munching
Whether your child is in front of the television set, computer screen or game console, technology related activities are often paired with so-called junk foods.  To limit your child’s munching habits, encourage him/her to participate in other activities – those that are less likely to create unhealthy eating habits.  It’s important to remember the difference between snacking and munching.  Snacking is when one slowly bites into an apple.  Munching is when one mindlessly reaches for the bag of potato chips.

Tip #5 – Read Between the Lines
It’s always a good idea to check the nutrition labels.  Sometimes advertising and packaging can be misleading.  By carefully reading and evaluating nutrition labels, parents will become more conscious of making healthy food choices.

On-The-Go Snack Ideas

These healthy and easy-to-do snacks will ensure that your child is getting essential nutrients, even during busy schedules:

  • Celery and carrot sticks
  • Yogurt and granola
  • Fruit smoothie in a thermos
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Low-fat cheese cubes
  • Mixed berries
  • Dry cereal
  • Quesadillas
  • Microwave popcorn (already popped, of course)

Lunch Box Recipes

Tortilla Roll

Ingredients:

  • Tortillas
  • Meat slices
  • Cheese slices
  • Lettuce

Preparation:

To fold:
After putting the desired combo on the tortilla, fold end closest to you 1/4 of the way up, and then roll from the side.

Combos:

  • Spread tortilla with mustard, ham slice, Swiss cheese and lettuce.
  • Spread tortilla with cream cheese and jam.
  • Spread tortilla with egg salad, tuna or salmon.

Helpful Tip: To keep a lunch box cool, include a bottle of frozen water. The water will thaw by noon and quench your child’s thirst.