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A Checklist – Does Your Child Struggle with Executive Functioning?

Since I have been reading about executive function I found this checklist interesting. I bet many adults would read it and say “hey, that’s me!” It’s not something that has a cure, but knowing there is a struggle in this area means that putting strategies in place ahead of time would be very helpful and would prevent a lot of frustration. NCLD Executive Function Checklist

In fact, the newsletter from The National Center for Learning Disability has many great links including Tips For Talking to Your Child About Being Distracted and Unfocused and 13(Better) Questions to Ask Your Child About School.


What’s On Your List of Awesome?

In about May, as the weather begins to change, the sun is shining longer, kids probably get less sleep, I notice a downward slide in motivation and an upward climb of negative emotions (in both my own children and my students).
This year to help with these “I can’t wait until summer blues” we read portions of 1000 Awesome Things.
I love the idea of finding joy in the small things. I showed my students the list of awesome that my own family had put together after reading The Book of Awesome. So many small things to be thankful for!

So what’s on your list of awesome? Here are some of my favourites right now:

20130703-085641.jpgMy homeade flavoured water!

20130703-085649.jpgMy nutribullet smoothies!

20130705-093013.jpg My quiet spot!

20130705-084622.jpgMy Martha Stewart get organized binder!

20130705-085049.jpgHummingbirds and my new hummingbird feeder!

Re: Time

There is a time for everything under the sun. King Solomon said that. Summer is time to recharge and rejuvenate. Although I know they need a break, I long for my students to review. I fear the backslide after they have worked so hard to get to where they are.
Three suggestions for summer review:

1. Do it regularly so that it becomes “no big deal”, just part of the daily routine.

2. Review should be at a level that it can be done independently. You, the parent, are the enforcer, making sure it happens, but kids should be able to do it without you. In my house a math page and a French activity must be done before screen time. Since my kids want screen time, they make sure to get their work done.

3. Give your kids the option of just going to bed OR going to bed and reading for twenty minutes. Kids will say, “Can I just go to bed later?” You say, “No, you can go to bed now with reading or without, but you go to bed now”. My reluctant reader always chose reading in this scenario! Soon he was into a book and was seen picking it up during the day too!

I am looking forward to renewing my focus and reflecting on my year. I hope my students take time to remember their achievements and solidify their learning.

ADHD – Is North America handing out a pharmacological band aid?

Most parents I meet do not want to medicate their children. Most teachers do not want medicated students. However, there are still some obvious behaviours to deal with.
I thought this was an interesting article shared on Facebook about the North American diagnosis of ADHD vs the French diagnosis of ADHD.
In France doctors look at the underlying social and contextual causes. Nutritional causes are examined and parenting styles are also said to produce better behaved children. I think they are onto something – ‘très bien’!

Jobs Around The House

I want my children to do jobs for several reasons:
(a) because they are part of a family and family works together
(b) to teach them that things don’t “clean up themselves”
(c) to teach them responsibility instead of taking things (and me) for granted
(d) to keep MEfrom getting annoyed that everyone is playing and making a mess while I work my butt off

This is a list I’ve kept in my cupboard (taped inside the door) with ideas for regular jobs that the kids can do. Now that the kids are older they have daily jobs. I keep the jobs separate from allowance, I want them to help for the above reasons, not for monetary reward.


Another Crockpot Meal


Leaks, potatoes, bacon, chicken broth. Later I will add evaporated milk or heavy cream and purée some of the potatoes to make the soup thicker. I am sure that the smell will build my anticipation!

What’s For Dinner


Back to work, back to lovin’ my crockpot!

Crockpot lasagna.

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