Posts tagged school

WELLBEING: Extreme heat conditions: Preparing our kids

This heat is affecting both children and adults. My 10-year-old daughter came home from school last week and told me during and after practising for the school cross country she had a throbbing headache and felt quite ill. She continued to tell me this was the most intense headache she had ever experienced. It sounded like a migraine. For the rest of the afternoon, I made sure she had kept hydrated and went to sleep with a bottle of water next to her bed. She also had a cool shower to cool down which seemed to work a treat!

She was fine the next day, however, I gave her a few things to be aware of.

  • Drink water throughout the day, because in this weather we can lose a lot through sweat. Drinking water before outdoor physical activity is especially important.
  • Wear a hat at all time when outdoors, it may not look cool, or it may be annoying but it will definitely help especially if you’re in direct sunlight.
  • Try and play in shaded areas if possible. Kids at my daughter’s school can go into the library or the computer area and sometimes teachers allow kids to stay in the classroom and play.
  • Eat all the lunch, especially fruit in the lunchbox. An empty stomach can make things worse.
  • Early bedtime to allow the body to rest and recover from a hot day.

As easy as these reminders may seem, children can get busy playing at school, they forget to eat their food or consistently drink water, so a reminder every day or two may benefit your child greatly.

Originally published 19 February 2019 on Kids on the Coast magazine

EDUCATION: World Teacher Day 2018

Thinking back to when I was young, I have such fond memories of many of my teachers throughout primary and high school. The ones that made a lasting impression on me are the ones who could see something in me that I couldn’t, they motivated and encouraged me to become a stronger version of myself and those are the teachers who helped shape the person I am today.

Teachers help mould our children’s minds and work so hard to give our children the best of themselves every day. Today is a day we can tell our teachers what they mean to us and how much of a difference they have made in all our lives.

As a parent of three children in primary school, I can confidently say we are so lucky to have great teachers at our school, who take the time to get to know the children, explore their strengths and work together on their weaknesses.

Mrs Spencer from Miami State Primary School has certainly made an impression on my six year old prep student Vienna. I asked Vienna what she admires most about Mrs Spencer and with the biggest smile on her face she said, “I love my Wednesday class time with Mrs Spencer because she makes learning fun and we always have a good time. She always says hello to me and she loves my lunch songs that I make up and sing to her, she’s the best!”

Mrs Spencer

I wanted to take this opportunity, on World Teacher Day to mention and thank the teachers who have had a strong impact on my children this year.

Mrs Campbell, Miss Norton, Mr Stephens, Mrs Hutchins, Mrs Scott, Miss Caruana, Miss Tourish, Mrs Crawford and Mrs Spencer.

Thank you for your love of teaching, your guidance, your patience and your continuous encouragement every day. You are all the reason my children love coming to school every day.

Originally posted 26 October, 2018 on Kids on the Coast magazine

EDUCATION: 31 authors every child should read

When I was young, going to the local library was a special treat for me. My dad would take my siblings and I every Saturday and we would spend at least two hours just browsing the rows and rows of shelves and reading as many books as we could get our hands on. We each had our own library card, which back in those days was a thin piece of cardboard on which the librarian would handwrite the books we were borrowing and then put a date stamp on it. My library visits definitely played a big role in turning me into a book lover. Reading for me is a way to escape, a way to relax and unwind and forget the worries of the world.

Once I had my own children, I started taking them to the library as soon as they were old enough. They too have developed a love of reading, starting from the simplest of books when they were toddlers to now reading novels. Although iBook’s and books on kindle are becoming the norm, there is nothing better than sitting down with a good paper book just before bedtime or on a rainy afternoon. The library is also a great alternative to screen time for my kids. The screen provides instant gratification whereas a book builds up the story and allows the mind to take over, trying to work out the storyline and creating the images in the head. More often than not, books are better than the movie versions!

For a child, libraries provide a safe space for their minds to learn and grow. Children are exposed to choice. They can borrow as many different books as they want until they discover a genre that they love. Reading from an early age helps a child’s brain grow and strengthen and by visiting their local library they are learning to accept reading as a part of life.

These days, libraries offer so much for both children and adults:

  • Free use of computers, wifi and fast internet access
  • Calender of programs and events
  • Story time for kids
  • Book clubs
  • Book readings from authors
  • Activities, games and puzzles
  • eBooks, audiobooks and videos

Whether it’s a rainy day, school holidays or just a casual visit here and there for a school project or research the library is a place where you can let your mind get lost in a book and let your imagination run wild.

There is never a lack of books a child can read, from newer authors to the classics, there is something for every child. The City of Gold Coast libraries recommend some authors every child should read:

  1. Enid Blyton
  2. Lewis Carroll
  3. Joy Cowley
  4. Roald Dahl
  5. Terry Deary
  6. Maurice Gee
  7. Morris Gleitzman
  8. Andy Griffiths
  9. David Hill
  10. Des Hunt
  11. Brian Jacques
  12. Paul Jennings
  13. Jeff Kinney
  14. Jack Lasenby
  15. C.S Lewis
  16. Margaret Mahy
  17. John Marsden
  18. Michael Morpurgo
  19. Gary Paulsen
  20. Tamora Pierce
  21. Terry Pratchett
  22. Philip Pullman
  23. Celia Rees
  24. Rick Riordan
  25. J.K Rowling
  26. Louis Sachar
  27. Robert Louis Stevenson
  28. Robert Swindells
  29. J.R.R Tolkien
  30. Jacqueline Wilson
  31. E.B White

The Gold Coast has some great libraries you can visit:

Broadbeach: 61 Sunshine Boulevard, Mermaid Waters

Burleigh Heads: Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Waters: Corner Christine Avenue and Galeen Drive

Coolangatta: Level 1, The Strand, Corner Marine Parade and Dutton Street Coolangatta

Elenora: The Pines Shopping Centre, Guineas Creek Road, Elenora

Helensvale: Corner Lindfield Road and Sir John Overall Drive, Helensvale

Nerang: Corner White and Price Streets, Nerang

Palm Beach: Eleventh Avenue, Palm Beach

Robina: 196 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina

Runaway Bay: Lae Drive, Runaway Bay

Southport: Corner Garden and Lawson Streets, Southport

Upper Coomera: Corner Reserve and Abraham Roads, Upper Coomera

Originally posted 01 October 2018 on Kids on the Coast magazine

LOCAL LIFE: Nine-year-old student receives 2018 Sportsmanship Award

NOTICEBOARD: Nine-year-old local student receives 2018 Sportsmanship Award

 29 August 2018

Nine-year-old Callum Paget has received the 2018 Sportsmanship award for the Southport Yacht Club Dinghy Division.

After trying many different sports, nine year old Callum Paget joined the Funsail mornings at the Southport Yacht Club’s main club house, Main Beach in December 2017.

Right from the beginning, Callum knew he had found his ‘thing’. It came as no surprise to his parents Yvette and Logan that he loved it so much, sailing is in his genes!

He went on to complete Tackers 1, 2 and 3 at the Southport Yacht Club Hollywell arm. Tackers is a structured Learn­To­Sail programme overseen by multiple Olympic champion, Mathew Belcher. Each week Callum gained knowledge and confidence. He learned how to maneuver his single Opti (his little dinghy with a sail all by himself) out on the Broadwater. Lessons were given on tacking, jibing, wind speeds, currents, tides, markers and more. All under his incredible and passionate coach, Danah Clements.

The lessons don’t end on the beach. Callum is expected to take full responsibility of his Opti. He loads it onto a trailer, rigs it, checks it and wheels it down to the water. He then loads it back onto the trailer, wheels it back to the boat shed, washes it down and packs all the equipment away. Such a sense of ownership for such a young kid.

Callum completed the 3 races on his first regatta after capsizing numerous times. Cool as a cucumber, he rolled his Opti back over and continued the race, all unassisted and all while his peers were retiring from the race. Another regatta was a marathon, two and a half hours out on the water, last in, however stayed the course despite being the youngest and most inexperienced sailor of the fleet.

Skills learned in sport are transferrable to general life, winning, losing, dedication, persistence, determination, grit and so much more.

Callum will compete in the 2019 winter ‘Polar Bear Series’. We look forward to hearing about Callum growing in his chosen sport.

PARENTING: Controlling the Fortnite fever

Anyone else out there feeling the pressures of Fortnite?

One of the biggest parenting challenges at the moment is being caused by the popular video game Fortnite. On any given day at primary schools everywhere, parents are complaining to each other and teachers alike about Fortnite and how they are struggling to get their kids off the game. They are worrying about the time their kids are spending on the game and the uncharacteristic behaviours their children are starting to present.

Fortnite is a free multiplayer shooter game, where you kill people and the aim is to collect weapons and resources and be the last one standing. The game is available on all devices, iPhone, iPad, PC as well as video game consoles. Kids can play it anywhere, while chatting with friends or random people they meet on line.

The brain of a child in primary school is still developing and by playing video games such as Fortnite, which has a similar rush of alcohol or drugs, kids are developing addictions which parents are finding hard to control.

There is the argument that parents are in control and should be able to say no or take away the game when they feel they need to, however, what happens when the parents start to lose that control and become overwhelmed by the situation? It has been reported that kids are playing Fortnite for hours a day, sometimes well into the night. Some kids wait for their parents to fall asleep and then sneak off to play throughout the night, which is causing them to fall asleep in class and their grades to drop due to the exhaustion.

WHO classifies gaming as an official mental disorder.

Gaming disorder is defined as a pattern of gaming behaviour (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterised by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the individual must:

  1. The behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning
  2. The behaviour would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.

Tips for parents

  • Know what type of game you are allowing your child to play. If you don’t understand the ins and outs of the game, then you won’t know what your child is truly being exposed to.
  • Create boundaries and time limits around video games and stick to them. Some parents allow their children to play after homework and chores have been done while others only let their child play on the weekends. Try and limit to one hour at a time with a non-screentime break.
  • Keep devices within viewing distance. Never allow your child to have any gaming devices in their bedroom. For those kids who wait for their parents to go to sleep to play, turn the devices off and put them away, out of reach of your child. If your child doesn’t have access, they won’t be able to play.
  • Explain to your child that video games are not real life. Consistently remind them. Help them to understand what they see and experience in the gaming world doesn’t happen in real life.
  • Watch for changes in behaviour, if your child becomes emotional or starts demonstrating aggressive behaviour, take the game away. If you are concerned with your childs mental health, please visit your GP.

Originally posted 22 August 2018 on Kids on the Coast magazine