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Archive for March, 2017

4 Ways To Practice Going Green All Year Long

Earth Day

After a long winter, celebrating Earth Day feels like a fun way to kick off a return to sunnier days and the promise of warmer weather.

Schools often plan Earth Day events which take students outdoors to clean up the community, plant trees or prepare a school garden. There may even be an assembly or two, with eco-fashion shows, recycling skits, and student-driven public service announcements.

It’s no wonder that following all their Earth-focused learning in April that students come home filled with excitement and sometimes anguish over the Earth.

How can we take the passion for the planet, they exhibit during Earth Day activities and ignite them all year long into eco-warriors?

We asked Sara Vartanian, the founder of the green lifestyle site Green Moms Collective for four tips on how we can turn going green into fun yet educational learning for kids. Here’s what she had to say:

Get Outdoors as Much as Possible

Beyond the physical and mental benefits of being outside, children should have regular experiences with the outdoors in order to care about the Earth. Without this connection, how will they begin to understand why it’s so important to care about protecting it?

You don’t have to plan a camping trip to enjoy nature (although that can be fun), head to a local green space, conservation area or even a park. The more your child can adventure outside, the more likely they will develop a love for nature.

Teach Kids How to Give Back to The Earth

Plan a family brainstorm session or two to gather your children’s ideas on how you can take care of the planet. Here’s a few ideas to help inspire you:

  • Plant a butterfly garden

  • Join in community environmental initiatives

  • Host a toy, clothing, or book swap

  • Read books and watch movies about the Earth and share their knowledge with others

Grow Your Child’s Food Literacy

Visit farmer’s markets or pick-your-own farms so your child can meet the people who grow their food as well as choose food fresh from the farm.

If a market visit is not a possibility then a trip to the grocery store works, too. While shopping, point out local food signs in the produce section and discuss with your child why they may want to choose these foods. Consider adding a regular ‘local food’ dinner as part of your family’s meal plan.

There are plenty of eco-minded discussions you can have with your child about food including talking about buying in bulk, packaging and food waste.

Encourage Your Child to Care for Their Items

An easy way to ‘go green’ is to buy stuff that lasts and keep it a long time, too. Model the importance of taking care of your items and notice when your child does, too.

Talk with your child about how reusable items cut down on waste. School lunches are a great place to start.

Assuming you’ve already invested in reusable lunch gear, help your children take care of their stuff by making it easier to keep track of with name labels. Eco-friendly lunch gear isn’t cheap to buy but if it’s not lost, it lasts year-over-year.

Teaching kids about the small and big things they can do to make a difference in the world will help empower them to feel like their voice and actions matter.

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3 Skills That Help Students Prepare For Post-Secondary School

For some students, the final term of school will be their last before transitioning into a college or university program in the fall. With a new beginning on the horizon, now is the perfect time to help them get prepared for the social and academic changes they will face, oftentimes while living away from home.

There are three skills that can really help a young adult manage the post-secondary transition with success.

Learn to Use a Calendar System

Young adults have jam-packed schedules between school and social obligations. Teach them to organize and prioritize their time by using a calendar in their smartphone to track their whole life. This habit will help to prevent missed papers and deadlines as well as help manage heavy workloads. And of course, importantly, they will know just when they have the time to dedicate to fun!

Practice Managing Stress

Taking a break is important for our mental well-being. As you notice your child stressing about their school work, remind them a brain break is good for their health. Encourage a walk in the park, working out, calling a friend, meditating or even viewing a favourite show. The important thing is to remind them that after the break, the studying resumes.

Visit the School and Surrounding Area

Just like you did when your child went to kindergarten, help them feel comfortable with their life change by attending orientations and visiting campus. If your child is moving to attend school, consider taking a weekend or two away together to explore their soon to be home. Find familiar places to eat and shop, discover local hot spots, and figure out where important places like the campus medical facility and library are housed.

Whether academic or personal, the next several years will be a challenging time for your child. Be prepared to be a sounding board and support them with any obstacles as they move into early adulthood. And finally, don’t forget to plan take some time to just hang out and enjoy your child to help build your connection.

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Simple Ways To Make March Break Fun And Educational

After a few months in school, March Break is a welcome time for students to take a break before the final stretch of the school year.

If you’re headed out of town, pack up a few books or download some educational apps to your device to offer some opportunities for learning during travel time or down time. A few apps that have made our list include these 5 amazing STEM apps for kids that can encourage encourage students to be interested in science, technology, engineering, and math.

If you’re staying close to home for the March Break, perhaps you’ll want to use the time to explore the city, sneak in some extra physical activity or plan a simple education field trip. Here are a few great choices for Toronto families:

  1. The ROM and Science Centre have wonderful activities all year long but except more programming during school breaks.

  2. Kidville offers March Break Camp where your child can get to participate arts & crafts, gym activities, exploration and discovery

  3. With Canada’s Big Birthday coming up, you might want to learn more about Canadian history by visiting a cultural and historical experiences with trips to places like Fort Henry or Black Creek Pioneer Village. Or if you’re really keen to get in the spirit, we have four more Canada 150 suggestions.

  4. Evergreen Brickworks is always a good choice to connect with our urban outdoor space and get active. They have a full list of March Break activities for families and kids including campfires, nature walks and obstacle courses.

Finally, if you’re looking to use the extra time to help your child practice their skills, we have a list of four writing activities to inspire little writers and ten family literacy activities.

Posted in: Toronto Tutoring

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