Jill Campbell


I was at our family doctor’s office recently for my youngest daughter’s three year check-up. As we always do at annual check-ups, she turned her computer monitor so I could see where she fell on the growth curve. She was in the 90th percentile for height and 93rd percentile for weight. Whoa! Both of my girls had always scored high on the growth charts, but that usually tapered off by three years of age. This was clearly not the case for my spirited little one!


As a teacher and tutor for over 10 years, I have heard the statement “I hate homework” more often than I would like, and not just from students. There has been a lot of negative press surrounding the much maligned “homework” recently. In fact, it has been getting a bad rap for decades. Everyone is touting studies that show little or no correlation between performance and homework, while others say that any evidence that does exist between improved achievement and homework lacks a true causal link. This is particularly the case for elementary-aged students.


The idea that every student learns differently has gained widespread recognition in education theory and classroom management strategy over the past half a century. Learning is now viewed as a complex process, influenced by an individual’s own cognitive, emotional and environmental factors, as well as prior experience. Research shows that people have different preferences and strengths in how they take in and process information and these preferences are sometimes referred to as learning styles. We use learning styles to describe and help us understand the different ways in which children learn.


They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I admit, at times I don’t eat breakfast myself, despite the mounting research that shows how it is crucial for good health. We all know that a healthy breakfast fuels you up and gets you ready for the day. According to, “in general, kids and teens who eat breakfast have more energy, do better in school and eat healthier throughout the day”. I know from personal experience that without breakfast, people can get irritable, restless and super tired.


As we inch closer and closer to September and the start of a new school year, students may be starting to feel some anxiety about the academic challenges that lay ahead. I consider the first day of school as a kind of academic “new year’s day” – a new class, a new curriculum and very often, new educational challenges await. Whether your child is starting junior kindergarten, grade 5 or grade 9, the first day back to school can be daunting! A good way to ease some stress about starting a new school year is to set some academic goals or targets at home before they hit the classroom.


Being organized and on top things can be daunting for parents, let alone our kids! While research shows that kids can benefit from set routines at home and at school, including better behavior and better academic performance, sticking to a schedule is sometimes easier said than done. Let’s face it, we all have unique lives, with different pressures, obligations and stresses that rule our day-to-day. Teaching our kids to be organized isn’t easy, but it is something that we should at least try to encourage. Some negative effects of not being organized that students can suffer from include losing confidence in their ability to handle things, self-blame, a decrease in academic performance, challenge avoidance and more.


When my daughter was diagnosed with a tree nut allergy 3 years ago, it changed the way I looked at food forever. I always thought of myself as health-conscious, especially when it came to my kids, but now I was constantly scouring the ingredients list of everything that came into my home! We had to be very vigilant which meant that buying baked goods from bakeries and grocery stores became impossible as most could not guarantee that their products had not come into contacts with any nuts. While nut-free products and bakeries are becoming more popular and accessible, I wanted to provide healthy, nut-free snacks for my daughter that I could make at home and that tasted GOOD! And so these nut-free, no-bake energy bites were born!