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Posts Tagged 'Back To School'

5 Secrets To A Successful Start To High-School

Starting high-school can be challenging—whether walking through the doors for the first time or starting a new grade—but with regular check-ins and a strong routine that encourages independence, the transition can be a great learning experience.

Here are a few strategies, straight from our tutors, that’ll ensure a successful (and not-too-stressful) start:

Improve note-taking strategies: Developing great note-taking skills can help high-schoolers maximize their academic results and serve as invaluable references when studying. Our team of OCT-certified tutors shared these fourteen organizational strategies that every teen should try to use this school year. 

Plan to get enough sleep: According to Rebecca Earl from Sugar Plum Sleep, “As children reach adolescence, their sleep patterns will naturally start to shift later. That’s because the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps us feel drowsy, is released later in the day.” Teenagers need at least 8-10 hours of sleep per night, so chat with your teen about their school schedule, extra-curricular and social activities and help them plan a bedtime that reflects the sleep they need.

Use an agenda: Carve out time to sit with your teen to review upcoming homework assignments, important academic dates (e.g., tests, exams etc.) and extra-curricular activities.  Revisit this process every month or so to ensure the agenda is up to date! 

Manage the electronics: Set up an electronic docking station in a central area in your home. Set expectations for every one in the house to leave their electronics there during homework, family time, and to leave them docked at bedtime so they can have a proper rest. 

Set academic goals: September is the perfect time to set goals for the year ahead. Review last year’s report card with your teen and help them set 3-4 goals—1 for the short term, 1 for the end of first term, and another 1-2 for the entire year. Once they’ve been set, break out the agenda and help them organize mini-goals to achieve them.

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Get Ready For The Best Back-To-School Ever!

Returning to school after months away is a big transition for students in all grades, but the road back doesn’t have to be bumpy. Our tutors shared six easy to implement tips that’ll prepare you and your child for the best back-to-school ever:

Adapt your family’s routine: Transitioning to school is easier when preparations begin in advance. Adjust bedtimes and family routines at least two weeks before the bell rings. Talk about why these changes are happening so your child understands it’s about healthy routines and setting up everyone for success.

Set goals: Sit down with your child and review June’s report card. Together make goals for the upcoming school year and consider any additional academic support or tutoring they may require.

Create a dedicated homework area: Organize a homework space that’s quiet, has a comfortable chair, and good lighting. Keep it stocked with papers, pencils, sharpeners, erasers and any other supplies needed.

Make a family command centre: The school year is smoother when papers are organized, and dates are in view. Consider a bin with each family member’s name on it. Place a calendar on the wall and leave a space for the school year calendar and any classroom calendars that come home. This may be the perfect place to dock personal electronics too.

Begin with books: Ease back-to-school jitters and evoke feelings of excitement with the help of school-themed books. Visit the library or bookstore to get some books about school, moving, making friends or even about bullying. Books give children the words to express their emotions and will help open up meaningful conversations between your and your child. 

Before bed routine: Mornings are much less stressful when things are packed the night before. As part of their pre-bed routine, ask your child to organize their knapsack with everything they need for school the next day—refer to the family command centre calendar to know what’s needed. This step will help eliminate forgotten library books, signed notes, and running shoes. 

If you love back-to-school shopping as much as we do, you’ll love this fun giveaway! Our friends at Staples and Raincoast Books are gifting one lucky Teachers on Call fan a back-to-school prize pack.

Staples is gifting the winner a $100 Staples gift card and select school supplies. 

Raincoast Books is gifting the winner six books! Once Upon a Chef, The Truth About My Unbelievable School, What Can a Citizen Do?, The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully Bully Shark, Delilah Dirk and the Pillars of Hercules, and Seven Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if you want to Survive the Cafeteria

Entering is simple. You can win the Staples and Raincoast Books prize pack by entering below! We’ll announce the winner on August 27th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest is open to Ontario residents only.

Posted in: Math Tutoring, Parent Education Resources, Science Tutoring

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Four Back-to-School Trends To Rule The School Year

Back to School

After a long summer away from the classroom, the shift to back-to-school can be a stressful time for families. It’s tricky to change pace and step back into a routine, but a smooth transition is achievable through planning, talking with children about their feelings, and of course, shopping for essential supplies.

Here are 4 of the latest school trends that will get everyone in the family prepared for a successful school year.

Litterless Lunches

Reusable containers continue to rule for back to school lunches. Families who choose to use eco-friendly lunch containers have so many choices that are great for the environment and their wallets.  Among our favourites are colourful lunch totes, stainless steel insulated water bottles, and bento boxes that make packing healthy lunches simple.

Supplies with a social conscious

Staples carries ME to WE school supplies which are perfect for the socially minded child, letting them see the educational impact of each purpose using a unique tracking code. This collection includes binders, lunch bags, and backpacks.

Canadian-themed products

Canada’s big birthday isn’t over yet! Students can continue to celebrate Canada 150 all through the school year. Staples has patriotic products including animal and lumber jack 150th-anniversary pencil pouches,  Hilroy moose themed planners, and Merangue Canada beaver pens.

Tech tools that rule

Technology in the classroom is here to stay with schools embracing STEM learning, Makerspaces, and some even adopting bring your own device programs. There are so many neat tech tools and apps that support student learning, but one of our current favourites is Tile, the personal item tracker. Students can use it for locating all their lunch boxes, sports gear and even cell phones.

What’s more, fun that shopping for back to school?  A giveaway from Staples for a back-to-school product bag, valued at approximately $300, full of the coolest trends and essential supplies PLUS a $50 Staples gift card.

Teachers on Call Back To School Giveaway

The bag will include over 25 items including: Maxwell Action Kids Headphones, Whoosh webcam cover, Avery Emoji Binder, Merangue Emoji Pen, Sistema Ice Rod and Snack Attack Container, Elmers Slime Glue Set, Mr. Sketch Scented Markers, Staedtler Wopex Eco-Friendly Pencils, Crayola Doodle Scents Markers, Staples 2 Port Wall Charger and much, much more!

Entering is simple. You can win the Staples back-to-school package and gift card by entering below! We’ll announce the winner on August 25th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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5 Tips to Prepare for the First Day of Kindergarten

Back to School Kindergarten

Time flies and your child is finally ready to go to kindergarten.   You’ve spent the last couple of years practicing reading and counting along with learning about colours, letters and playing with other children.

While your child is taking a big step forward in their growth, it is also important to ensure they feel comfortable and are ready for kindergarten.  Here are five tips to prepare for a successful transition to kindergarten:

Get Comfortable: We would recommend to tour the school in advance and make driving past the school part of your summer routine.  Some parents may ever want to practice going to do school in advance.

Listen: Discuss with your child what he or she is looking forward to about kindergarten and where they might have challenges.  If your child is nervous about something,  listen to their tone or see their expressions.   Be encouraging and support them where needed.

Make a Routine:  Start to build a back to school routine and adjust bedtimes and other schedules several weeks in advance.  That way the first day of school is not a sudden transition for your family.  The night before the first day, lay clothes out in advance, have lunches packed and allow for plenty of extra time.

Be Organized: Understand the school year calendar and policies in advance.  For example, what forms do I need to fill out and are their any food policies.   Finally, have your child’s items labelled.  Mabels Labels sells excellent products.

Stay Positive: Most importantly relax and be positive.  Show excitement about this wonderful milestone and don’t make drop off too big of a deal.

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Back-to-School Advice from Julie Cole

August - Back to School

The Four A’s of August

It’s hard to believe the summer is winding down, and the school season is fast approaching. September can be a busy and chaotic time for families as they transition back into every day routines.

To get the lowdown from a true parenting expert, we consulted Mabel’s Label’s co-founder and mother of six, Julie Cole, to share her tips on preparing for back-to-school time.

To take full advantage of the month of August when students are out of school, Julie suggests parents focus on the four A’s of August:

Appointments - Take advantage of the break to set up doctor, dentist, eye (and any other appointments) now so your children can avoid missing any school in the fall.

Academics - Over the summer holiday, learning loss popularly referred to as “The Summer Slide” can occur and studies have shown that students can experience a potential decline over this time.  Use the next month to focus on reading every day, making math fun and taking summer educational field trips.

Adjusting Schedules - Encourage children to ease back into their school routines to avoid experiencing an abrupt change the first day of school.   Getting back in the swing of things a couple of weeks early will make the first day of school much easier!

Activities – Take the time now proactively to plan, register and decide which extracurricular activities your kids will be doing. Look at the family calendar and consider your budget. Remember that you don’t have to say YES to every activity they want to do!

Enjoy the rest of summer and follow these four A’s to make back-to-school time a breeze!

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Preparing for Back to School

Preparing for Back to School

Summer is about half way over and it is hard to believe that school is coming soon.  While many families still have vacation time planned, it is never too early to start planning for back to school.

Here are some tips below for your family to be in great shape before the start of the school year.

Adjust Your Routine: The summer can bring later bedtimes and we would encourage children to ease back into their school routine rather than having a quick change before the first day of school.   Getting back in the routine a couple of weeks early will make waking up the first day of school a breeze!

Build a Transition Plan: For students starting Kindergarten, Middle School, High School or switching schools, it can be a big transition. Here are some helpful tips for a successful transition to Kindergarten, Middle School and High School.

Ease Family Stress: Transitioning to a new school year can be hard for parents and students alike. There are a lot of unknowns when school begins, and this uncertainty can cause jitters. Here are ten simple but effective strategies you can use to help reduce back to school worries.

Stay Focused on Avoiding The Summer Slide: You have worked hard with your family to continue to read and do STEM activities in a fun and engaging way.  Keep up the great work as it will pay off in leaps and bounds when your child is ready for school and avoids any gaps from the prior year.  For tips on avoiding the Summer Slide, click here.

Back to School Shopping:  Starting early and looking for sales is a great way to save money on clothes, school supplies and other items.  Check out Staples Canada Back to School Centre for great deals.

Healthy Meals: Snacking and meals can be tasty and fun.   We have consulted nutrition expert and guest presenter for the Marilyn Denis show, Miranda Malisani for advice on healthy snacking and eating.   Click here for tips to stay healthy during the school year.

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10 Tips To Ease The Stress Of Back To School

Transitioning to a new school year can be hard for parents and students alike. There are a lot of unknowns when school begins, and this uncertainty can cause jitters. Here are ten simple but effective strategies you can use to help reduce back to school worries:

  1. Try to connect with your child every night about how their school day went; this is the best time to find out what makes them happy, who they like to play with, and discover any worries that may be on their mind.

  2. Ease worries about the school by visiting it beforehand and traveling the route your child will take to school. This is particularly useful if your child is going to a new school.

  3. Ask your child how they would like to handle the after school and homework routine. Brainstorm together how the evening hours will look.

  4. Write a letter to your child’s teacher or send them an email to share any valuable information you think they need to have about your child (e.g., anxiety, the new student, etc.). You’ll feel better that you’ve shared what’s on your mind, and the teacher will appreciate your insight.

  5. Decide how your family will handle extra-curricular activities and make a schedule that balances the activities with homework time and time to relax.

  6. Adjust the bedtime routine before school starts. Your child has likely been staying up later during the summer but helping them ease back into a regular sleep schedule will reduce stress caused by tiredness.

  7. Try to stay calm about any tension you may be feeling about back to school. Children can feel your tension. Express your confidence in the situation and share stories of other times your child was able to overcome their fear.

  8. Help your child set academic and emotional goals for the upcoming year. Talk about how they can achieve them and how they can be celebrated.

  9. Express your confidence in your child’s ability to make new friends. Let them know it’s normal to be worried about a new class or a new school.

  10. Visit the library or bookstore to get some books about school, moving, making friends or even about bullying. Books give children the words to express their emotions and will help open up meaningful conversations between your and your child.

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3 Hilarious Back To School Commercials

Back to school commercial

With the beautiful summer weather, it is hard to imagine there is only two weeks left until back to school.    Back to school means getting back in routine and planning for the school year ahead.

However, back to school can also be fun!

That is why we put together 3 of our favourite and funniest back to school commercials.   From Rubberband Man crashing summer fun to The Breakfast Club you’ll never realized how much fun you can have getting ready for the school season.

1) Rubberband Man Back To School – Office Max

Rubberband Man visits summer play locations (pool, beach, baseball diamond, cottage, amusement parks) to deliver his favourite school supplies.

2) It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Staples

Staples transforms the holiday shopping seasons for back to school.

3) Get That Look – JC Penney

JC Penney takes us back to the 80s with a spoof on the legendary movie The Breakfast Club

Which is your favourite?

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Back to School: A Clean Start

The back to school season is what many would describe as a fresh start or a clean slate. Embracing this idea we are presenting back to school cleaning tips for parents.

 

We are doing this with the help of Melissa Maker from Clean My Space, a leading Toronto based-cleaning service, and the face behind the wildly popular YouTube DIY cleaning videos.

 

According to Melissa, the number one back to school question is how to clean a backpack.   This is an important question as backpacks are with kids all day, but they ultimately come home with them.

 

To view some of Melissa’s great tips – view this fun video at the top of the page.

 

 

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