With social distancing expected to be necessary for 2021 (and even possibly beyond), measures to keep people apart aren’t going to go away any time soon. That includes virtual school.
Virtual school has become a popular mode of learning, with classes conducted from a distance. Often this involves children sitting in front of a computer using some sort of video chat software such as Zoom, with someone teaching the class from their own home.
Although it’s an innovative solution for distance learning, some children might struggle to adapt to this new way of life. If your child is having some issues, here’s how you can help.
1. Keep Them in a Routine
It’s possible that they might have a little more flexibility with their schedule now. Some teachers will pre-record lessons and have the children watch them and complete an assignment, rather than teaching them live.
If this is the case, it’s important to keep your child in a routine they’re familiar with.
No playing video games or watching TV during usual school hours, only to start the lesson at 8 pm! Keeping them in a routine will help their adjustment.
2. Hire a Virtual Tutor
Just like if they were struggling with school in real life, a tutor can be a great resource. More and more tutors are operating virtually, and they cover a wide variety of subjects, ages, and levels.
Whatever your child is struggling with, there’s probably a tutor out there that can help.
3. Help Them Plan Time With Friends
Even children need an appropriate work-life balance. If they spend most of their time in virtual learning school and the rest of it on their own, they’re bound to find the adjustment difficult.
Help them plan time with friends. Even if it’s not safe to hang out with them in person, showing them how to use software for social time as well as online learning could be a huge benefit.
Your child can video chat with their friends, and even play some games during their downtime.
4. Create a No-Distractions Zone
If you have a corner of your house that you can carve out for them while they’re on their online learning platforms, that’s ideal. It should be their ‘no distractions’ zone — a place where they go to learn and leave when they’re done with school for the day.
This will ensure they don’t get the lines between school and fun blurred and can relax when they’re away from that zone.
5. Encourage Them to Share Their Concerns About Virtual School
You should always encourage your child to share any concerns they have and explain what they’re struggling with. Don’t shut them down or snap at them out of stress — hear them out and see if you can come up with a solution together.
This is an adjustment for you both, after all!
They Can Do This!
Encourage your child above all else! Let them know they can do this and have faith in yourself in helping them to adjust. Virtual school is always going to feel strange at first, but with the right tools and support, their education won’t suffer.
Be Prepared: 5 Self Defense Tips Every Woman Needs to Know
Ladies, we’ve all been walking down a dimly lit street in the middle of the night, clutching our purse, hoping we get home before someone pops out from behind the bushes.
That feeling of vulnerability is arguably one of the scariest things a woman experiences. The worst part is we face it on a daily basis.
Knowing what to do in stressful situations can save you from experiencing something horrible. You can start by paying attention to this list of self defense tips.
Follow along and take note. You never know when this advice will come in handy. If it does, you’ll be glad you were here.
1. Be Aware
The most basic and most important point is to be aware of your surroundings. If you know what’s coming, you can be infinitely more prepared than if it takes you by surprise.
Part of being aware includes not walking with headphones on or staring at your phone. It’s important to listen to and see what’s going on around you, otherwise you make yourself an easy target. Those shuffling footsteps behind you might not be a good sign.
If you feel like someone is following you, cross the street. If they’re still following you, try to go into a store if you’re near one.
Also, don’t be afraid to look a person in the eye. It will make you seem confident and fearless. This makes it very easy to identify the person in a lineup if needed.
2. Follow Your Gut
If you ever feel unsafe in a situation, trust your gut. It’s always better to be too cautious than be the victim of a violent crime.
The most common instance in which a person dismisses their gut feeling is when they try to rationalize something. The thing about intuition is that it’s a learned feeling. Years of experience have led you to believe that funny feeling means something bad might happen, so don’t ignore it or brush it off as being paranoid.
3. Fight Back
If you ever find yourself in a situation that turns violent, don’t let fear cripple you. It’ll make you incredibly vulnerable to your attacker.
Next, figure out how you can fight back. If you’re being choked, lift your arms up over your sides and bring them down together, straight and fast to one side. Avoid grabbing your attacker’s hands and trying to pull them off your neck, this could compromise your breathing.
If you carry any self defense devices, use them. Pepper spray your attacker the first chance you get. You don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t reach your devices anymore.
4. Predicting Behavior
Another important part of self defense is realizing when a person’s behavior can turn violent. Most attackers begin by trying to gain your trust. They might try to lure you somewhere dark and empty.
Don’t fall for tricks like these. Even if it’s the most charming person you have ever met in your life, stay alert.
5. Take A Class
One of the best things you can do is take a class. Not only will it motivate you to stay fit, but it’ll also teach you everything you need to know about defending yourself. Feel safe and confident knowing these lessons have your best interests are at heart.
Self Defense Tips and More
If you find this list of self defense tips helpful, share it with your friends and keep visiting our site to be informed and aware of the changing circumstances.
8 Great Exam Strategies for Nervous Test Takers
Does your child get anxious before exams and evaluations? Do you get jittery every time you face a big evaluation? Do you ever wonder if there was a way to ease the tension?
Believe it or not, there are test-taking strategies available to help kids and adults who are anxious test takers. They can help you perform well and boost confidence at the same time.
Here are some exam strategies you need to know about.
1. Organize Your Review
It may seem overly simplistic to say that you or your child needs to prepare for exams in order to have less anxiety. Yet an organized study routine will go a long way toward making you less worried.
You may want to use flashcards for vocabulary or charts to help organize the differences between different concepts. You can also write numbered lists or use colors to help your child stay organized.
Your student may want to help you create the study materials, so they’re more accessible to them. However you prepare, make sure that key terms and concepts are clearly written and explained, so your child is able to easily focus.
If you need help creating an organized outline out of your child’s notetaking, you can actually hire a professional to help you. They may also be able to help you with papers and deadlines. You can learn more about that here.
2. Peace and Quiet
Your child may become overwhelmed if they study in a place that isn’t comfortable for them. Most people are able to concentrate best in a quiet environment with few distractions.
Make sure your child has a peaceful, predictable place to study each day. If there’s too much going on at home, you may need to visit the local library or coffee shop.
Some kids focus better with a little classical music playing or essential oils diffusing in the background. Tweak these factors a bit until you find the optimal environment for keeping your child in their best frame of mind.
3. Practice Your Performance
Is your child taking a spelling test that will require listening and writing, or a math test that will require critical thinking? You can help them prepare for the big day by administering a “test” similar to what they’ll experience.
You can use sample questions in textbooks to help you design questions like what they might see, or you can create a matching game for vocabulary. Either way, allowing your student to practice what they’ll be doing during the test will help them to relax and focus when crunch time comes.
Pacing is important when it comes to test-taking. If, for example, your child is going to be taking a history test with an essay, you may want to practice this type of format with them. You’ll want to encourage them not to linger too long over multiple-choice questions if they need to write for at least part of the time.
5. Get Information About the Exam
While you won’t be able to find out test questions ahead of time, you may be able to get some answers about the format.
Is it a multiple-choice or short-answer test? Will there be a word box? Are students allowed to open their textbooks and locate answers?
Find out if the questions usually come more from class notes or textbook readings. Preparing with the test in mind can save you a lot of time learning unnecessary information.
6. Look for an Easy Question
Your child’s fears may have a tendency of paralyzing them before they even begin taking a test. They may become even more anxious if the first question is perplexing.
Once they see a question they are certain of the answer to, they may be able to unblock any mental hang-ups. The act of writing itself can actually help to relieve tension.
7. Stay Healthy
Eating well and exercising can actually boost your child’s brain performance. They can also serve to decrease their stress and promote levels of confidence.
Good food choices before an exam are high in protein and nutrients but low in empty calories and fat. Consider items that are high in antioxidants, such as fresh fruits and veggies, as well as nuts. Whole grains like oatmeal and lean meats like turkey and bacon are also great morning options.
You’ll also want to make sure your child gets plenty of hydration. Send them to school with their own water bottle, if possible. A lack of proper hydration can actually lead to headaches and dizziness.
8. Reward Often
Some students from elementary school to college will work best if they know there’s a reward for their best effort. Even if their grades increase by one letter grade, the promise of a reward such as a shopping trip or night out at the movies may be all it takes to push them to be their best.
If your rewards involve family together time or healthy social activity, you can encourage positive bonds as well as focused studying. Even something as simple as a walk up to the corner for ice cream may be enough to convince a young person to buckle down and prepare for something they’re a little nervous about.
The Best Exam Strategies Start With Prep
Exam strategies and techniques are as varied as the students who use them. With a little time and patience, you could find test preparation skills that your child will carry with them through a lifetime of learning. It will give them increased confidence and pride for years to come.
Surrey Libraries Receives Gift Of Books From Consul General of India
Surrey, BC — Surrey Libraries was delighted to receive a gift of 51 books from the Consul General of India on October 26. An initiative of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, ‘Bharat Ek Parichay’ aims to add information and knowledge about Indian art, culture, religion, philosophy, economy, and other topics, in eminent educational institutions globally.
The books include titles such as The Book of Indian Birds, Indian Classical Dance, Indian Philosophy, Bollywood: the Films, the Songs and the Stars, and The Best Indian Wit and Wisdom.
The books were presented to Surrey Libraries’ Chief Librarian, Surinder Bhogal, who accepted the gift on behalf of the Board of Trustees. The presentation was made in the Dr. Ambedkar Room of the City Centre Branch.
“We thank the Consul General for selecting Surrey Libraries to receive this gift. The books will be appreciated by the Surrey community, which is home to one of the largest South Asian populations in the Lower Mainland. The collection will also promote cultural awareness and understanding – a key role for libraries,” said Ms. Bhogal.
The presentation ceremony was arranged and hosted by Chetna Association of Canada. “We applaud the Indian Consulate for strengthening inclusion, respect, equality, liberty, and fraternity,” said Jai Birdi General Secretary of the Chetna Association.
Creating a Stable Back-to-School Routine for Children
If there’s one thing parents know, it’s children thrive on routines. When it seems like everything is changing, routines can create stability.
“When children know what to expect, they don’t feel powerless and out of control,” said Rashelle Chase from KinderCare Learning Centers’ education team. “Children like to plan just as much as adults do. When they know what will happen next, they can set their expectations.”
Routines can also help children regulate their emotions – and avoid meltdowns or outbursts – because their days follow a pattern and are predictable. There’s typically a sense of comfort in knowing what comes next.
Whether your child’s back-to-school routine includes actually going to school or distance learning, consider these tips to help create a sense of stability.
Set a schedule
Talk with your child about his or her school day and how it will be different. Work together to come up with ways you can both ease into the new routine, whether your child is attending school part time, learning at home or going to a childcare center or program.
Remember, little things can help create a sense of routine and stability. Even if your child is learning at home and could stay in pajamas all day, something as small as getting dressed in school clothes and brushing teeth before sitting down for lessons can signal it’s time to study.
The things that make school fun – whatever that may be for your child – aren’t at home. However, there are some things you can do at home, like eat a snack while studying or play with toys, that you cannot do at school that make learning more enjoyable.
Be sure to build breaks into your child’s day. Knowing there will be something fun after the next lesson can give your child something to look forward to and help him or her settle down to complete the task at hand. Plus, those breaks can be an opportunity for parents to get some work done, too.
Talk with your child and with his or her teachers: Perhaps those 30 minutes of reading don’t have to be done midmorning when your child is restless. Instead, maybe your family could do 30 minutes of reading before bed when your child is calmer.
Talk it out
Nearly everyone is experiencing strong emotions right now whether it’s in reaction to an abnormal start to the school year or other factors that impact daily life. The difference is adults can contextualize a situation and adjust their reactions. Children haven’t yet mastered those skills, so they react based on whatever nugget of information they have.
Home is a safe place for most children, which means they know they can express their feelings freely. That may mean slamming laptops or books down in frustration, yelling or using hurtful words. Your child might be upset because he or she doesn’t understand the schoolwork or might be afraid for safety or the safety of loved ones during these uncertain times.
Talk with your child about his or her feelings and work together to find healthy ways to express those emotions, like taking three deep breaths or using a physical activity to vent, instead of keeping those feelings pent-up inside.
Difference and change don’t have to mean chaos and uncertainty. With a bit of thought and a stable routine, parents can help their children have an enjoyable, productive school year. Find more tips for creating stable routines for children at kindercare.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
New Hands-On Power Girls Program Empowers Racialized Girls To Embrace STEM
The joint program from DIVERSE CITY and SFU will build connection and space for migrant girls aged 9–12 in the STEM sector.
Surrey, BC, October 19, 2020 – In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, jobs within science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) make up a large sector of the job market. These jobs, although incredibly important and in demand, are also overwhelmingly gendered.
While the majority of university graduates are female, according to Statistics Canada, only 39 per cent hold a degree in STEM. Even within this limited group, only three out of 10 women actually work in the STEM sector post-graduation. This number drops even lower when it comes to racialized women.
The lack of women in STEM, also termed “the leaky STEM pipeline,” has been traced back to childhood. Studies have shown that girls, for various, sometimes unseen reasons, are more likely to turn away from STEM than their male classmates. Research conducted by the Girl Guides of Canada shows that girls stop pursuing STEM, for various reasons such as lack of representation and deeply ingrained social norms, as early as Grade 8.
Through the collaboration of DIVERSEcity and the Science ALIVE program at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Applied Science, with funding from the Canadian Women’s Foundation, the Power Girls program has been created to provide a dedicated space to create a new approach to STEM programming.
Aimed at migrant girls aged 9–12 years old, this program hopes that through hands-on and specific guidance, these girls will be able to pursue a path to STEM while breaking down social norms and stereotype barriers that may hinder their path.
“We are very excited to collaborate with DIVERSEcity on this meaningful project to empower girls in science and engineering,” says Jinny Sim, Manager, Outreach and Diversity at SFU. “There is still a lack of women in STEM, especially from the BIPOC groups.
We can’t wait to meet the girls and show how fun science and engineering can be and how they are used in our everyday lives for social good.” Classes will begin on October 31 and, although they will be online for now, students can expect experiential learning kits delivered to their homes.
Sim further explains, “This year, the girls will go through a project-based engineering curriculum to explore the various field of engineering, learn about the great achievements from female engineers and build their own project that demonstrates their learning. The girls will leave the program with confidence, a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue studying STEM!”
“We know that a lot of these young girls just need the space and proper supports in place and they will thrive. It isn’t easy to follow a path when the stereotypical and idealized mathematician or scientist doesn’t look like you,” explains Jessica Forster Broomfield, Manager, Children’s Programs at DIVERSEcity. “We want this program to act as a motivator for racialized girls to make their space and to change the STEM sector for generations to come.”
“Hopefully by addressing the issue head-on, we will be helping create a new type of future where anyone who is passionate enough can pursue the career of their choice without having to second-guess if they fit a certain mold or not,” added Forster Broomfield.
Free to students, the Power Girls program is funded through the Canadian Women’s Foundation, in partnership with the captain of the Canadian national soccer team, Christine Sinclair.
About DIVERSE CITY Community Resources Society
At DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, we empower newcomers and other diverse communities to build the life they want in Canada. Our free, multilingual programs and services in language, settlement, employment and counselling provide them with a foundation of information, skills and connections to achieve their goals.
Our social enterprises — Interpretation and Translation Services, Skills Training Centre and Language Testing Centre — support this work, too. As a registered charity in Surrey and the Lower Mainland with a 40+ year history, we champion diversity and inclusion for all, and our message is clear — everyone belongs here.
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