Back to school means new classrooms, new school supplies—and a brand new teacher for the year. We spoke to a handful of British Columbia primary- and high-school teachers and asked them what would totally charm them for the new school year. Read ahead for the three things you need to make a great first impression on your instructor.
Help Children Craft the Story of Their Summer
It’s an oldie but a goodie, teachers say: asking students to share stories about their summer.
“It’s a great icebreaker for students if we can talk about our summers together on the first day of class,” says Mindy, who is welcoming back a class of Grade 2 students.
Not only is it a great icebreaker, she says, but the storytelling exercise can help students feel more at ease speaking in class. Many teachers plan to use a storytelling exercise in the first few days. So if your child has social anxiety in any way, or is perhaps just a wee bit shy, you can help by working with them to pick out a great story and practicing at home. A positive initial experience will help your child participate more fully in classroom discussions all year round.
Organize the Not-So-Obvious School Supplies
Many students need more than just pencils and a backpack to navigate today’s classroom. Tuck a thumb drive into their pencil case to make getting homework assignments home a snap. If your teen is smartphone obsessed, ask them if they would like to experiment with an app like Remember The Milk or Wunderlist to help them track homework assignments, university applications and chores.
“Having any usernames and passwords easily accessible also makes the first day go smoothly,” says Lynette, a high school teacher. She recommends figuring out how to get them as soon as school starts, if not in a scheduled computer class, and keeping them tucked somewhere safe until the student has them memorized.
Show Up With Enthusiasm and a Positive Attitude
“Whatever happened last year is in the past. Every one of my students starts with a clean slate,” says David, a grade nine teacher. Every teacher we spoke to reiterated the importance of being enthusiastic about the upcoming year and avoiding defeatist attitudes.
“I hate it when kids come in on the first day and say, you know, I’m no good at math,” adds David. “Everyone has subjects that they find difficult. Positive thinking helps everyone make a good start. It’s okay not to know everything on the first day – that’s why they call it learning!”
Ultimately, going back to school is a matter of preparation that extends far beyond the bookbag. And your child’s teacher is an important partner in helping your child grow into a happy, healthy adult. Charm them and you’ve got a charmed year ahead.
Be prepared. It’s the motto of the Boy Scouts and an injunction well heeded before times of crisis, while the power is on and the shops are open. One needn’t be a survivalist to see that a disaster—natural, like earthquake, wildfire, flood, heat wave or windstorm; or manmade, like infrastructure collapse, power outage, explosion, or civilian evacuation—is a poor time to make preparations.
It’s essential to have a good stock of provisions for a natural disaster or other emergency. Below is a checklist of suggestions—with product numbers—you can pick up today at your local London Drugs. Take care also to visit our Emergency Preparedness Page.
What is the best kind of emergency kit?
In some disasters, your best (or only) escape will be by foot, and you’ll want to be able to take your emergency kit with you. For that reason, you’ll want to have one or more rugged portable bags. A good example:
How much water do I need in an emergency?
The Government of Canada rates your daily water needs at 2 litres per person. Some good examples:
What kind of food should I have in an emergency?
You’ll need food that does not easily spoil, like canned goods, high-protein energy bars, and dried fruits. Don’t forget: You need a manual can opener in your emergency preparedness kit. A few good emergency food options you can find in our stores:
What essential goods will my family need in a natural disaster?
Think about packing an extra set of clothing for each family member, as well as warm blankets. If you have young children, you’ll need formula, baby food, diapers and any needed medications. Some more items that will help you survive the first 72 hours of a disaster:
What first aid supplies do I need for my emergency kit?
In the event of a natural or manmade disaster you want to be prepared for injury or sickness. If you have children you will want kid-sized antihistamines and analgesics (pain relievers). Here are some items that help in a broad number of emergency scenarios:
What kind of emergency kit should I keep in my car or truck?
Disaster can strike as easily on the road as at home, so it’s a good idea to keep certain items in your vehicle. It never hurts to have a couple of bottles of water, cans of foods, and blankets in your trunk. A few more items that can help during a crisis:
What supplies do I need for my pet in an emergency?
In a natural disaster, the real difficulty is usually borne in the long term more than the short. You’ll take relief at having given thought to your pet is such circumstances. Top of the list? Pet food.
Should I account for family entertainment in my emergency preparedness kit?
Absolutely—Trivial Pursuit may not turn out to be one. Too often, the character of a disaster mimics a film set: hurry up and wait. During the times when you’re grateful to be safe, but waiting to return home, you’ll be happy to have diversions on hand. A few ideas:
With the hustle and bustle of the back-to-busy routines, some may be susceptible to the stress that comes with it. To make sure that you stay healthy and stress-free this fall, here are five tips to help you master stress, and be in your best shape for the back-to-busy season.
1. Get enough sleep
Sleep is a huge necessity that many individuals don’t get enough of. In fact, sleep is what keeps us healthy, in shape, and feeds us enough energy to deal with our busy lives. Here are a few suggestions to make sure that you are leaving enough time in your life to get your suggested 8 hours of sleep, and are maintaining healthy sleeping habits during the night.
The Fitbit Flex is the perfect device to track your sleep quality. By simply leaving the wrist band on during the night, the Fitbit Flex will track your sleeping stats and record it back onto any smart device you sync it with. Not to mention, it has a built in alarm that will silently wake you in the morning. During the day, it will even track steps, distance, and calories burned.
Timex Tech Watch
In order to keep your day on track and ensure enough sleep, why not think about investing in a watch? The Timex Tech Watch has two alarms that can either be set to a daily or one day option – perfect for waking up in the morning or reminding you it’s time for bed. Think about utilizing the forward/bark setting for easy use as well as enjoying the comfortable resin strap to keep on during the night.
London Drugs carries a wide diversity of watches from designer to tech. View the full line of watches here.
Sandcastle building! Cabin time! Water parks! Backyard barbequing!
Also: Sunburns! Bed sheets full of sand! Popsicle stains on the floor! And hours of “are we there yet?”
As much as many parents love summer time fun with the kids, as the season winds down and back to school fast approaches, many moms and dads find themselves looking forward to a little less chaos and a little more Me-time.
If you have started guiltily fantasizing about shipping your little angels back to school, here are four self-care suggestion musts for the fall:
Recall the joy of eating a meal while it’s still hot.
Newfound hours of daytime quiet in the home may seem daunting at first, but fill them with those basics of life that are a little less pleasurable (and sometimes nearly impossible!) when the kids are around. Like eating a meal—even while it’s still hot!
Or go further: use the extra time to enjoy a meal that your kids would never go for.
Turn on some mealtime music and bring a magazine…and while you’re at it, why not add a little fancy? For example, throw a bottle of Chablis in the fridge to accompany lunch…or, maybe keep that part a secret!
When you feel fabulous, you’re going to look it.
Taking a long lingering shower, blow drying your hair and putting on mascara may seem like a stretch when your seven-year-old is banging down the bathroom door.
But having the kids out of the house for a few hours means you can take some time for yourself: relax, put on some makeup, get a mani-pedi or perhaps best of all: take a nap—yes, right in the middle of the afternoon. You deserve it! (Pro-tip: set an alarm….just in case!)
Those episodes of The Good Wife aren’t gping to watch themselves.
Walk by a pile of toys …and do nothing.
Sure, there may be a few things you have to get done around the house to restore order. But running around obsessively scrubbing and organizing will likely have you burn out faster than you can say “Charlie Sheen”.
Instead, cut yourself some slack: start by walking by a pile of toys, pointing and shrugging like you have no idea who left it there or who should pick it up. The kids will be home soon enough; they can put away their mess.
Use the time instead to throw yourself on the couch, turn on the TV, and turn off your compulsion to clean: the grime will wait.
Yoga is all about connecting body and mind; what’s your favourite way to make the connection?
Get a (body and brain) work out.
Getting back into an exercise routine may be the last thing you feel like doing once fall starts, but it doesn’t have to be hard.
In fact, you could simply take a few minutes to limber up with some stretching every day. Or, a 30-day stretching challenge for the whole family may be just the thing to inspire some more vigorous exercising.
While you’re getting the body going, don’t forget about kickstarting your brain as well; you’re not just a pretty face after all!
Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you take some time for you: it has been a long hot summer, and you need your rest—remember, next summer is only eight months away!
With summer ending, it’s now time to get your home ready for the autumn’s great return exodus. As days shorten, people move back indoors–and, pssst, it’s been been six months since spring cleaning. Ease the stress of back to school and work by keeping in mind four simple tricks to beautifully prepare your abode for fall. Remember: back to busy need not mean back to messy.
Pack up the Patio
It’s always hard to accept the end of patio season, but there comes a time to embrace the chilly evenings. Wash and dry cushions or fabrics before you store them and put covers over furniture you can’t bring indoors. Drain kiddie pools and clean them thoroughly before storing them for the winter. Properly cleaning and storing your summer essentials will make room for raking the leaves they inevitably arrive.
Get Set for Sweater Weather
Cleaning out closets and drawers to make room for the heavier togs of autumn. Clearly labeled boxes are a boon: Help the kids decide what to store for winter, what to keep in the closet year-round, and what to donate to charity. Give the summer clothes one last wash before packing it away! Need even more space? Shallow Rubbermaid boxes stay out of out of the way keep cargo protected from dust and sunlight.
Minimize Bathroom Clutter
If you’ve got teenagers, then there’s no greater struggle than accurately judging primping time. A well-organized kitchen can keep the lineup running smoothly by making everything from eyelash curlers to pimple cream easy to find. Purge seasonal makeup and toss cosmetics that have passed their expiration date. Most makeup is only good for three months to a year, and eye makeup in particular should be replaced regularly to avoid infection.
Freshen up the Fridge
The end of Popsicle season is a great time to de-gunk your refrigerator. Remove all food and turf anything past its expiry date. Then, remove the shelves, soak, scrub, and air dry. Wiping them down with baking soda and water will eliminate any remnant odours. Put everything back in a logical, organized way and assess what’s needed for on-the-go breakfasts, brown-bag lunches, and quick weeknight dinners.
We never get tired of double-tapping photos of Canada’s majestic scenery. So why resist? To celebrate the growing popularity of #beautifulcanada on Pinterest (above), we’ve decided to collect our 10 favourite Canadian photographers posting to Instagram. Follow them and just wait for the magic to hit your feed.
Vancouver-based Hannah Keiver uses her feed to demonstrate her love for adventures and the outdoors. Think epic mountains and sunshine. READ MORE
This is the Reddit robot. Don’t be afraid; he’s a fount of useful information.
The Internet is a wonderful place, and has a singular asset that trumps all others. (No, not that one—get your mind out of the gutter.) No, what the web does better than anything else is make your life easier. Recent years have given rise to the “life hack”—lifehacker.com is a great resource—a term describing an elegant, novel, and inexpensive solution to an everyday problem. In other words, everyday tips and tricks that save you time, stress and money.
Lucky for us, a there’s a robust and sprawling website named Reddit that collects and sorts, well, everything. It has an excellent section devoted to life hacks, which it defines as “uncommon solutions to common problems.” People submit suggestions and make requests on the forum, garner responses, and readers sort the newest and most popular posts. Collected here is a selection of what we consider the most interesting and useful lifehacks Reddit has to offer.
How to Remove a Stuck Ring
If you’ve ever experienced the quiet horror of trying to remove a ring that won’t budge from your finger, this is the corkscrew hack for you.