About Tanya Toledano & her Blog
Tanya is a winner of Top 25 Canadian Moms - 2012
What's a great destination for a family vacation in Canada?
We discovered a FABULOUS destination at the Hôtel Sacacomie. Combining Spa treatments available for Mom & Dad with plenty of outdoor fun for the whole gang, it seems just perfect. Winter offers tubing, snowshoeing, dogsledding & more. Summer offers canoeing, kayaking, bear & beaver watching, to name a few...
The hubs & I spent the weekend "sans enfants" but are hoping to go back with the kids. Caveat: depending on the time of year, prices can run a little high, especially if you do some of the excursions. That said, it bears mentioning that variety of free activities available do add value. I'd recommend packing some snacks for the room. Food in the dining room was very good (some dishes excellent) but there aren't a whole lot of snack time options. I wrote all about it at: http://montrealmom.com/blog/the-perfect-weekend-getaway/. (As the title suggests, I'd recommend it as a WEEKEND vacation. I think a whole week would be a too long.)
In what ways is your home town unique from other places you've lived or traveled?
Montreal is a city that offers access to a wide variety of cultures. As a result, we have fabulous restaurants, offering any type of cuisine you can imagine.
Not only are there great outdoor activities within the city year-round, but there are many great destinations for the outdoor enthusiast within easy driving distance.
I love our city's multicultural aspect and hope that it never gets lost in the "melting pot" as has happened in so many other cities.
What outdoor activity do you enjoy doing most with your kids?
It changes frequently, but recently, we play a lot of basketball outdoors & now that the kids are all riding bicycles, we hope to make that a more frequent activity...just as soon as Mommy gets a new bike!
What are your favorite blog posts?
What's the best family vacation destination in Canada?
View All Answers
I DREAM about a week in a cottage on the beach in PEI but we haven't been able to get there yet. I'm hoping we will this summer! I am inexplicably drawn to the red sand beaches. It seems so peaceful and feels like it would be the perfect place for our family to just 'be' with each other.
What's your favorite activity to do in the winter with your family?
View All Answers
We LOVE to go tubing in the Laurentians. For anyone who hasn't heard of this- it's like tobogganing, but in an inner tube. We go to this great place that has runs for single inner tubes as well as for giant ones where we do "family rafting". The kids love it, we love it and it makes for a great day in the fresh winter air. Best topped off with a good hot chocolate and cuddling up by the fireplace :)
What's a great indoor activity for kids that doesn't make a huge mess?
View All Answers
The kids love making potholders with the plastic looms and stretch fabric loops. Sometimes the loops can fall all over and get a bit messy but since they are large and dry, it makes for a VERY easy cleanup. We keep a covered plastic bin with a loom for each of the kids and plenty of fabric loops. They love it and their finished potholders make great gifts and are super useful- I use mine in the kitchen all the time!
How much help should parents give their kids with homework?
View All Answers
I think that the parental role with respect to homework is that of a supervisor, guide, service provider & quiz partner. Parents are not designers, engineers, researchers or secretaries
Be aware of what homework needs to be done and make sure that the kids have time & space to complete it.
Supervise computer time to make sure that kids are researching and staying in safe internet spaces (especially when kids are searching out "images" for their projects)
Guide your child with respect to managing her time so that she can complete her assignments before they are due and still have time for play, reading and extracurricular activities.
A GUIDE encourages autonomy: When your child asks what something means, you can give him the answer or guide them to the dictionary where they may find their answer. I favour the latter.
A GUIDE can recommend resources such as Wikipedia, books or trips to the local museum but does not actually do the research.
SERVICE & RESOURCE PROVIDER:
Kids doing a project may need supplies, a lift to to the library or someone to pick up their group partner to work on the project. Picking up supplies, driving and providing a suitable space (and snacks :) ) are all service-providing roles.
While a service provider may provide the scissors & glue, he or she does cut out, draw or make anything for the project.
A quiz partner can dictate words to practice spelling, help practice multiplication tables or ask preparatory questions for an upcoming test. This can be very helpful and is a way to stay active and involved in your child's learning.
Overall, I think it's important to keep in mind that teachers assign projects that kids are capable of doing AT THEIR LEVEL.This means there is no reason to rationalize that little Jordan can't use a chainsaw so Dad has to do it...because the project should NOT require a chainsaw!!!
That said, there are times when there may be an exception and where a little TLC is needed. For example a broken piece is in need of Krazy Glue or a hot glue gun. Mom can help out here as a child should not use Krazy glue and a hot glue gun requires supervision at the very least.
Remember this: Your child's vision and creative expression of it, no matter how beautiful or ugly, needs to be his own. No child can be as proud of an assignment that he knows Mommy did for him as one that he knows he did all by himself.
Homework is about so much more than learning lessons and getting the right answers, it's about learning to research and problem-solve independently. Intervening because you think that what your child is doing is wrong or won't be impressive sends a very clear message to your child that you don't have confidence in her ability. Children learn from their mistakes. Let them make the small ones so they know how to handle the big ones later on.
One more thing: if you're worried about your child competing against other kids whose parents ARE doing the work for them: Don't. I'm very familiar with this issue and you can see the link to my post "Whose Homework is it Anyway?" for further thoughts. I will say this, however: You CAN and you SHOULD remind your child of how proud you are of him for doing this all on his own.
What's your go-to snack for your kids?
View All Answers
Fruit, usually. A cheese stick if they're in the mood :) We also keep an assortment of packaged snacks since lunch snacks for 4 kids with 4 pieces of fruit each day meant 80 pieces of fruit weekly just for lunch & that's a few trips to the store for fruit alone and with work I can't always manage more than 1 weekly trip! That said the "go to" snack is fruit. We keep 2 shelves lined with bowls of fruit to make it attractive & accessible, thus reducing frequency of visits to the pantry or snack drawer ;)