Today's Lesson

In our experience we have met 2 types of parents; parents looking for the best school (‘best’ based on a set of criteria predetermined well before they speak to us). And - the other type of parent.  Parents who are determined to find the best school for their child.


If you are the first type of parent, best of luck to you on your search. We are confident you will find an amazing school (as many do exist) and your child may (or may not) bask in their glow of excellence. Unfortunately, excellence does not breed through osmosis. We believe that one rather, should approach selecting their child’s school with a grain of realism. 


Which brings me to the most important question you can ask yourself to launch your search: “What is the best school for my child?”


At Wolff Educational Services we conduct needs assessments that breaks this criteria into 3 selection houses. They are the Social, Emotional and Academic Houses of your child’s success and achievement at school. We have broken these houses into realistic criteria based on actual achievement data (the learning skills) and are written in academic language (reflective of curriculum expectations). Once the assessment is completed, it is simply a matter of matching the results (your child's area of strength and need) with the schools that offer programming in these areas. The equation breeds student success and achievement. Its flawless in its design.


Parents, education today is comprised of these 3 houses working together in unity and harmony. Students must demonstrate learning in all 3 of these areas in order to be successful. The way the curriculum is taught and learned is not inherent of 20th century practices anymore. 21st century classrooms are much more layered in there design and learning platforms are reflective of differentiated instruction, individualized for your child to demonstrate learning and skills. 


Before you begin your school search, know what it is your are looking for. Know what your child's strengths and areas of need are in each area (house) of the learning platforms and how they relate to both the classroom and school. Understand what the classroom does and can do, map the landscape as you would any foreign environment. 


And if you feel like you need an education in all things education before you try and map out a route for your child - call us! We can help - however, we will only find the best school for your child….not necessarily what you think is the best school.


Until Our Next Lesson……


Hazy August vs. Crazy September - How can we ease into the school year and bring that carefree summer feeling with us?

The laid back pace that summer vacation brings offers many benefits to parents and children alike. Summer can be a time of reflection on the year past and renewal for the year ahead. It's a pause in the grind that we all get swallowed up in from September to June.  Labour day weekend brings BBQ's, last minute getaway's and for some anxiety and panic about having to shift gears back into being perpetually busy. Here are some helpful tips on how to ease into that busy gear and start some educational habits at home that will help find a balance between Hazy August and Crazy September.

Here are a few family activities that will prime your children for learning when they return to school but are still fun and laid back enough to flow with the vibe of summer.

One of my favourite family activities is a book club. Read daily. Reading out loud is a great way to unwind and bond. It is very important for children to hear you read, they emulate the way in which you deliver text -  so emphasise question marks, commas and exclamation marks!!!! Bust out your inner actor and use voices if you can, change your tone where necessary.  After each read,  discuss it as a family. Ask questions that test their comprehension and make your questions age appropriate.  Can they make text to self connections? What about text to text? Can they make predictions? Play the "what if" game. What if the setting was in a ____?  What if the main character _______? If the book you chose has a movie made about it (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory??)  watch it together and make an event out of it. Celebrate your achievements. Children who have positive learning environments at home generally bring that desire to learn and succeed to school with them.

Are you crafty? Go on a walk with your children and collect "nature" items. When you get home give them a shoe box, glue, markers...whatever you have handy and let them create their own habitats. They can research their habitat before hand and make a replica or they can let their imaginations run wild.

Older Children? Try and find an activity that you can do together daily. Ride a bike, take an evening stroll, play cards or a board game, shoot some hoops. Designate a general time, say after dinner, when you and your child can engage in an activity together. The connection will be great, but what you are doing is setting the foundation for routine and repetition so when Crazy September hits it won't feel so foreign.

Bring math into your kitchen!  Muffins anyone? Let your child measure the ingredients and then divide up the goods!! They can even solve some simple problems along the way by hypothesizing possible outcomes such as, " If we had 5 muffins and daddy eats 3 of them....."

 Subtle but intentional structure.  Creating a routine based on healthy habits such as exercise, cooking and reading will ready your army for combat in September and help take the Crazy out of back to School.

Until our next lesson...

Enjoy your Summer :)