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http://montrealmom.com/blog/

posts include all-things-mom: kids, parenting, mompreneurship, work/life balance, thoughts, recipes,reviews & giveaways and more. Blog is part of montrealmom.com (over 400 pages for moms of all stages).

Tanya is a winner of Top 25 Canadian Moms - 2013

What's the best part of raising a family in Canada?

Love having the four seasons. We enjoy a variety of different outdoor activities and there's always somethings special to do, enjoy & appreciate each season. Whether it's apple picking & leaves changing in the fall, tubing, skating & skiing or even just playing in the snow in winter, swimming & berry picking in the summer & bike riding in the spring.

What's the biggest misconception people have about raising a family in Canada?

I can't say what the biggest misconception is but there is definitely a misconception that we live in somewhat of a less that 'with it' & modern society. I've also been exposed to the misconception that we all live in igloos "up here", LOL.

What do your kids love most about living in Canada?

They are proud to be Canadian. They love the different things that we do each season. They love their maple syrup & although they don't likely realize how blessed we are to have it in such abundance, I have a feeling that the maple syrup may be high on their list of things they love most!

What's the best family vacation destination in Canada?

Tanya Toledano

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.
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What's your favorite activity to do in the winter with your family?

Tanya Toledano

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 :)
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What's a great indoor activity for kids that doesn't make a huge mess?

Tanya Toledano

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!
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How much help should parents give their kids with homework?

Tanya Toledano

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 SUPERVISOR 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 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. QUIZ PARTNER 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.
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What's your go-to snack for your kids?

Tanya Toledano

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 ;)
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