School

Two 12 Year-Old Boys Charged With Raping A 6 Year-Old Girl At School

“Police request the community respect the privacy of the young people involved.”

September 1, 2016

Catholic School Did Nothing To Prepare Me For Sex

My male classmates learnt how to put on condoms while we learnt how to use tampons.

August 31, 2016

6 Weird Things That Happen To Your Body When You Stop Having Sex

Definitive proof human bodies are freaking weird.

July 11, 2016

My Modeling Career Made Me Attract Married Men

The revealing photos meant a lot more attention, and not the kind I wanted.

July 1, 2016

Helping Your Child Through Homework Struggles

If you have children at school, the daily homework struggles are probably something you’re familiar with. The kids come back from school already tired and they would rather do something fun than more studying. They argue, make up excuses and would do anything in their power to avoid the dreaded homework. If you’re wondering if there’s anything you can do to end the homework struggles, here are some strategies that will help.

RELATED: Tutoring Tips To Save You A Fortune

Create a routine

When children know that homework comes every school day at a predictable time, there’s less room for questioning if they should do it today or not. I find it best not to get into homework straight after school. The kids appreciate some time for outdoor play and a snack. It energises them and then they’re ready to do their work.

Make it fun

There’s no need for your children to see homework as something hard. Show them how to have fun with their assignments. For example, when my kids have to write sentences or stories with the words from their spelling lists, I encourage them to make their writing interesting or funny. Even if they resist at first, after I give them a few suggestions, they get into it and turn it into a game.

Let your child take responsibility

From the start of school I’ve made it clear to my children that their homework is their own responsibility. They have a choice to do it or not, but then they will also have to take responsibility for the consequences, for example, “You will have to explain to your teacher why you haven’t done your homework”. So far we’ve been lucky that my children have loved their teachers and just the thought of disappointing them often provides enough motivation.

Address any issues with the school

If you genuinely believe that there’s too much homework, then advocate for your child and let the school know. When enough parents express concern about the amount of homework their kids are getting, the school will take notice.

As with any other parenting issues, ending homework struggles is about being consistent. Create a habit, send a consistent message that your children are in control of their own homework and you’ll notice how the homework routine starts flowing with less effort.

Image by Patrice_Audet via pixabay.com

February 23, 2015

Getting Your Child Ready For School

If your child is starting kindergarten next year, he’s probably just had his orientation day at his new school. How did it go? Did your child leave without hesitation, excited and ready for the next big adventure? Or did he cry and didn’t want to let you go?

Both kinds of behaviour or anything in between are completely normal and they don’t mean that your child is ready (or not) for school. School is a big transition for anyone. Most kids will experience some anxiety, but there are things you can do between now and when school starts to make sure your child gets the best start possible.

RELATED: How To Choose The Right School

Be positive, but not over the top

If you’re worried about school, your child will be worried, too. Instead of sharing your doubts, always talk about school in a positive way, but without too much hype. Don’t make it sound like this is the biggest, most amazing event that will ever happen in your child’s life. Too much of a good thing can be stressful, too.

Get familiar with the school

Walk or drive past the school several times and attend as many orientation days as possible. If there’s a playground at your school, maybe, you can go there for a play in the afternoon. It makes a big difference when the child is coming into a familiar environment associated with previous positive experiences.

Develop social skills

Allow your child to spend time with other kids regularly, so that he can learn to make friends, play together and resolve conflicts. If your child doesn’t go to day care or preschool, organise play dates, join a playgroup or encourage play with other kids at local parks. This way you may meet other kids that will go to the same school and it always helps to have a familiar face around. If your child hasn’t been away from you much, organise for someone else to look after him a few times.

Develop practical skills

Get your child to practice opening and closing his lunch box and drink bottle, get dressed, put on his shoes. Most kindergarten teachers are very gentle and caring, but they have a lot of kids to look after and may not be able to get to everyone, especially if your child is shy and reluctant to ask for help at first.

Reading, writing and numbers

Social and practical skills are far more important than literacy when your child is starting school. It helps if your child can write his name and recognise most of the letters and numbers, but don’t stress about it too much, that’s what kids learn at school. What’s important is to read with your child regularly. It develops his language, teaches your him to pay attention and fosters a love of reading.

Your child may take to school like a duck to water or it may take a while and don’t be distressed if school love doesn’t happen immediately. My daughter is finishing kindergarten now and she was a very reluctant student for the first few months of the year. Recently I asked her what three things make her happy and going to school was the first answer she came up with.

Image by PublicDomainPictures via pixabay.com

November 9, 2014

Tutoring Tips To Save You A Fortune

Classrooms are becoming more and more crowded and kids could really benefit from a bit of outside assistance. Who better to offer it, than their parents, grandparents, aunties or uncles. Rather than having to hire an expensive tutor, there are some great ways to help with their homework. Rather than leave it to a stage where a degree in rocket science is required, sit down with them and give them some guidance.

Firstly, maths can be a torturous topic, yeah? If you catch it early enough, you can help kids with basic addiction, subtraction, division and multiplication. These are the basic building blocks for the rest of their mathematical education. If they are heading into the upper grades, like years 11 and 12; keep reading because I have some tips for you, too.

So, for primary aged kids, instead of sitting them down to hundreds of printed worksheets – which by the way, is what tutors will most likely do – engage them. Go and get some flash cards or play some games. Games are a great learning tool. They will keep the child interested and instead of homework being a chore, it will become a pleasure.

One of the best games around, to teach basic maths skills is Yahtzee. Yep; the dice game. It teaches them all the skills they will need and keeps them entertained. If you don’t want to pay for a set, print a template of the internet and go and buy a set of $2 dice. It’s that easy. Plus, print out a multiplication chart and teach them how it works. As they get older, manipulate the game and make up your own score sheets.

The concept of engaging the child, applies to any subject. Make education fun or at least interesting and increase their exposure. Exposure is key. Remember back to all those posters on the wall at school? If they are older, think out side the box and find ways to relate what they need to learn, to real life situations. There’s tonnes of stuff on the internet to help you grasp the concepts, kids are learning.

A third thing you can do, for all ages, is computer games. Now, you might be thinking, kids spend way too much time on the computer; but it really is an excellent tool for education. Educational games have been created for kindergarten aged kids to adults. Check out which ones are the most valuable; even if they need to be paid for. It will still cost significantly less than a tutor. Some kids play these games at school and may have access to certain accounts already. All you’ll need to do, is download them and watch the magic happen! Sit with them and talk about what they are learning. Increase the challenge as they progress and remember to review what they have learnt.

Lastly, be approachable and be realistic with expectations. When a child needs help with their school work; don’t send them away without some guidance. This is predominately, all which should be offered. Don’t take over and hijack their work. It’s about learning, not perfection.

 

September 18, 2014

Is Your Child Being Bullied?

Bullying causes severe emotional harm and if overlooked it can slowly eat away at a child’s self-esteem leaving them feeling worthless and unimportant.  Whether it is physical abuse or verbal abuse the outcome in the long run can still be the same – the person is left feeling lonely, anxious and depressed. 

I will never forget when I was bullied in my first year of high school.  I was short and my backpack was almost the same size as I was, and I remember being taunted by two girls who were older than me because of it.  Luckily for me it didn’t go on for long, probably because the bullies found someone else to taunt instead, but I never told anyone about it apart from my husband a few years ago and now all of you. Then it got me thinking, if I didn’t tell anyone at the time how would anyone have known that I was being bullied?  Were there any obvious signs?  Now that I have two small children of my own, I want to be sure I know the red flags to look out for when they head off to primary school and into the big wide world.  I don’t want them to suffer the same humiliation that I did, although these days it seems to be a growing trend. According to a survey conducted in 2013 of 20,000 Australian students in Years 4–9, 27% of them said they were bullied every few weeks or more during a school term. 

Here are some signs that your child may be suffering at the hands of a bully:

  • They come home from school with physical injuries – bruises and scratches for which they have no valid explanation
  • Your child is reluctant to go to school, maybe always trying to convince you that they don’t feel well and they need to stay home
  • Your child generally talks about hating school
  • They keep losing school items, clothes, lunch money or personal items
  • There has been a change to their sleep pattern.  Are they finding it hard to sleep, are they having nightmares or are they suddenly wetting the bed?
  • Your child may suddenly be getting into trouble at school and acting out
  • They are over eating or have a sudden loss of appetite
  • They appear noticeably withdrawn and their self-esteem has decreased
  • Their grades are suddenly slipping
  • Your child may have attempted to run away or even talked about suicide

If you suspect your child is being bullied try talking to them about it. Understandably, most children will probably reject your claims in fear of being humiliated or not wanting to be seen as a tattletale, so if that fails try asking one of their close friends or arrange a meeting with one of their teachers.  If there is no one you feel that you can turn to try calling a parent line or getting in contact with a trained medical professional who will be able to discuss your concerns. 

When I look back at the girls who bullied me now I laugh, because I’m happy and successful. I’ve had dreams and I’ve fulfilled them and there have been obstacles but I’ve overcome them. It almost motivated me to prove that I could become a better person than they ever would be. But for some children who are bullied and even the smallest of signs are left unnoticed they slip into a state of self-loathing and despair. Don’t ignore the signs. If you know that something isn’t quite right, talk to someone about it, before it’s too late.

Image via huffingtonpost.com

By Karyn Miller

June 13, 2014