Nobody ever tells you about lice. Seriously, though, there should be a handbook that they give you when your child goes into any kind of childcare or school facility warning you of the perils you will face as a parent. Then, at least, you will be fully educated and may actually decide that the person homeschooling their child on your street may just actually have the right idea. Kids are gross.
For children and youth with learning disabilities, school is complicated and back to school can be very different. Academic performance is interrupted by any number of difficulties, and for some students, expectations of social etiquette and self-sufficiency frequently create an environment ripe for true catastrophes.
It's senior kindergarten. My son is five. We don't need calculators or binders. Heck, we don't even need pencils or paper. So why have I got this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I've forgotten something? And now I'm writing this post as my to-do list as we ease back into the routine in which most kids thrive and most parents rejoice. Maybe it'll help you, too.
Our son graduated from high school in June. He's grateful. Living in North America with access to public school is a luxury that we will never take for granted. As he walked across the stage, I thought about the 60 million children in our world who are not getting an education. An education is the way out of poverty and the ultimate peace weapon to end war.
Lawrence Grassi was a trailblazer. An immigrant from Italy he was a respected mountaineer and guide who built and maintained many of the original trails throughout the mountains around Canmore, Alberta. Short of stature and eschewing alpine guide stereotypes for suspenders and hobnail boots Grassi was one of the key personalities in Canmore's early history. And the school that bears his name, Lawrence Grassi middle school, has blazed a trail much in its namesake's fashion. Nothing too fancy, but a lot of hard work and common sense can go a long way.
When businesses are in financial trouble, they find ways to innovate, reduce costs, and come out more competitive than they were before the trouble started. Can we apply that thinking to Ontario's Education system? Can we be innovative, eliminate costly duplication, and create a better school system in the process?
Should students at Catholic schools who are not Catholic be allowed to exempt themselves from Catholic related courses and activities? The answer is clearly yes. I am a product of the Catholic system of education, and I do not believe it deserves to continue in Ontario any longer. In a supposedly multicultural society, it is insulting for the government to fund and prefer the teachings of one specific group. The ever-changing makeup of Canadian society means that we are no longer a "Judeo-Christian" nation if we ever were, and so, we cannot give preference to a faith simply because we have a tradition of doing so
Our daily routine was very predictable: my son would arrive home from school, he and his siblings would be given a nutritious snack, and then it would be homework time. That's when the tantrums, rage and complaints would begin. Common complaints were that I was SO mean and unfair, or "torturing" him to do his homework! Here are some tips I have used to get my son to do his homework.
As reported earlier this week, the fine folks running The Toronto District School Board have been up to a few things which have led me to conclude that they do, in fact, hate kids, or at the very least have some bad ideas on what to do with them. First on the docket was this little number. Now in the perfect world, an all gay school, or one that allows the "free expression of homosexuality" would be awesome, a big step forward as they say. But here's the problem with it. It is, for all intents and purposes, segregation. Removing a visible minority from the public high schools, and placing them in their very own school. Sounds good, but isn't that what they did in Little Rock, AK circa the late 50's. If I recall history class, there were riots and national guard deployments over that. And also note the idea of having an "inclusive society" generally implies having everyone working together, not in their own little sectors.
When asked, should he become premier, if he'd ban the practice of Muslim Imams coming to some public schools to conduct prayer meetings and relegating girls to the back of the room and not to mix with the boys, Hudak said no one was going to discriminate against his daughter (which wasn't the issue) and that he trusted school principals to do the right thing (again, not the issue). Why couldn't he say he opposed such discrimination, and promise to have his education minister take action if Conservatives form the government? Sharia law, anyone? His faith that principals would not be intimidated or pressured by minority groups or human rights zealots verged on the naïve... or cynical.
Administrative efficiency, human rights, respect for minorities and the integration of immigrants are all good reasons to put an end to religious segregation. Yet for politicians, the question remains taboo. We're in the early days of the provincial election campaign, and leaders are avoiding the subject like the plague.