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Parent-Teacher Conference Questions

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized



 Specific Parent-Teacher Conference Questions 

The “you” in these questions refers to the teacher. The “you” in the explanation below the question refers to you as the parent.


1. “Can you explain the breakdown of my child’s current assessment?”

-You will want to ensure that you are being honest about where your child is at in their home life as well. This helps the teacher see your child as a whole, rather than just someone they are assessing.


2. “What do you see are my child’s weaknesses and strengths?”

-Having the growth mindset, you will want to see weaknesses as correctable and strengths as the effects of hard work.


3. “Can you please show me the assessment criteria you used to mark my child’s work?”

– This is important as it lets you know what the teacher was looking for when assessing your child.


4. “Was my child aware of this criteria prior to completing the work?”

-If not, you will want this to change. Your child must be aware of what they are getting marked on prior to handing in their work. Otherwise, it’s like telling a child you are going to rate how well they ride their bike but you haven’t told them that you expect them to jump two curbs and pop a wheely!


5. “How many pieces of work were assessed?”

-Your child might have received a certain grading on one assignment and that defined their whole assessment. Then you will have to decide if it’s really worth stressing over as one test or whatever the assesssment tool was, is not an accurate representation of your child’s abilities.


6. “Can you please show me the work that was assessed and the assessment sheet that assigned my child their mark?”

-This will let you know what was actually included in determining the mark, as well as see where your child is falling short.


7. “Did my child have an opportunity to practice the skill before being marked on it? If so, can you please show me their work from inception to completion?”

-This will let you see the process the teacher worked through with your child to learn the skill being assessed, as well as your child’s progress on the journey.


8. “Did my child have an opportunity to re-hand in any of the work or can they still re-hand in work?”

-Now that you and your child know what the expectations are, determine how they could improve.


9. “Can you please show me what the highest level assignment looks like for the assignments that my child did not do well on?” 

-This will give you an idea of that specific teacher’s expectations.


10. “Can I please have any upcoming assessment criteria and assignment due dates and topics?”

-This information will be needed so you can fully support your child in any assessment pieces, moving forward.


11. “Can you please provide me with the upcoming schedule of all student work: topics, assignments, tests?”

-You will be able to help your child prepare more effectively.


12. “Can you set up a dialogue between my child and yourself, where they show their piece that will be assessed and have you determine what grade level it is currently?”

-This gives your child responsibility in the process and allows them to make a conscious choice to improve and understand how to do so.


13. a) “Will you provide any sort of review for the final exam (if there is one)?” 

-Getting a review for the final exam ensures that your child is aware of what is on it. When your child does the review, they will see if they understand the material. Remember to have your child put the dates for final exams in their agenda and then work backwards from that date to put in when they should study, when they should have the review completed by, and when they should schedule time for asking the teacher any questions they don’t understand.

      b) “If so, can my child have the review earlier?”

-It’s important to get the review as soon as the teacher is able to provide it as that gives your child more time to manage all the tasks that go into writing an exam.

       c) “If not, what could you suggest my child do to prepare?” 

-When a teacher doesn’t provide a review, this makes it heard on the student to know what the important pieces are that they have covered.


14. “What would be the best course of action right now to catch up, keep up, and/or excel?”

-The teacher ultimately decides on the grade your child is going to get, as well as the path it will take them to get there; so, it’s best to make an action plan for success with them.


15. “How is it best to communicate with you moving forward?”

-Agenda, email, phone call, and/or in person meetings could be some of the suggestions.


16. “Are you willing to communicate with a tutor?”

-If so, ask them what the best method of communication would be.




Lunch Box Blues

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized

Are lunches are a major source of arguments, worry, stress or heartache in your house?

Lunch Funnies
Friday’s lunch is a collection of all the scraps that my child hasn’t eaten from the last week.

My child was jealous about other kids getting notes in their lunches, so I put one in his: “Sorry, I ate your pudding. Love, Mom.”

“Kids, do you want pop tarts or cereal for lunch?” This installment of ‘parenting done right’ is sponsored by last night’s Chardonnay!

My Child Doesn’t Eat Their Lunch
A good lunch benefits a student by giving them the energy to remain alert during class time. If you don’t want your child to get  “hangry” — hungry and angry — then make sure they are eating their lunch! 

If your child regularly doensn’t each their lunch, something needs to change as kids need to fuel their brains and bodies! Check if it’s because they are bored or don’t like the food and keep reading as we’ve addressed these reasons below!
If you find out it’s because they don’t get enough time at school to eat, investigate this further with the school as lunch is a necessity.

Cheers To Successful Lunch Making
(Brought to us by STIR Cooking School & Tutoring…With A Twist!)

Whether it’s last night’s curry warmed up in a thermos, quinoa made into a salad or roasted veggies tucked in a wrap with some hummus, leftovers are a game changer. (If any of those dishes sound great, STIR Cooking school can help you make them!)

When you make dinner, make extra servings and then put them aside for lunches for the next day. Or, if lunch is needed for the next day, freeze it in individual portions to use in the future.

Sometimes WHO makes the lunch is more important than WHAT is in it! If a child packs their own lunch, they are more likely to eat it!

As ownership of lunches is important and as we’ve suggested that you can use leftovers for lunches, having your children involved in dinner preperations is important too.

Plus, you won’t have to put a note like the one above in ;)!

Ensure that something from each of the following categories is in your child’s lunch, regardless of who’s making it.

Put the following list where it will be seen while making lunches.

A) Protein

B) Fruits & Vegetables

C) Whole Grains/Rice/Pasta

D) Healthy Snacks

Choosing a theme occasionally, Italian with a skewer of tomato and mozzarella cheese, and pasta with a healthy meat sauce. Mexican lunch could include mini taco’s, salsa/ guacamole and corn chips with a bean and corn salad.

Try different nut/seed and dried fruit mixes, popcorn with a tasty spice mix or some pita or kale chips to keep things interesting!

Lunches in a jar are fun and easy! Have your kids do a food jar idea, search on the internet as there is an endless number of great ideas that are fun and delicious. Here is one site to get you started:

In doing my research for this article, I came across an eating program in the States that has a reward system for children who bring a rainbow in their lunch! On Rainbow Day, students are asked to use fruits and vegetables to create a “rainbow” of at least three colours. Once they have finished eating their “rainbow”, they’ll receive a sticker or other small reward. This introduces the concept of eating a plate full of colourful fruits and vegetables.


5 – PREP
Pack lunches the night before. If you are using leftovers, pack them right after dinner and tuck them in the fridge, ready for the morning rush. Then, all you have to do is heat thermos contents in the morning.

Pick up a lunch box container with dividers. It makes packing a lunch that includes all the categories mentioned above, a whole process easier.

The Importance of Teaching Your Child Now
By teaching your children these skills in elementary school (and high school), you will be setting them up for success in life! They will be learning the importance of food preperation, the necessities of a healthy meal, and time management skills.


Transitioning Back To School

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized



Tips & Tricks!


“THANK YOU for your wonderful Expert Advice on how to transition Johnny back to school! We followed your easy tips and mornings don’t seem too crazy anymore!”
Jean & John, Parents of An Anxious Child


Do you feel ready for back to school? If you are like most parents…you probably are having some anxiety yourself about it, never mind how your children are feeling! If this sounds right for you, you will hopefully find a suggestion or two that will work for your family!




This may not make you popular with your kids…but, have them start to transition slowly back to their bedtime and their morning wake up time’s when they are in school. Sleep and routine are two of the most important factors to any good transition.

And this may not make me popular with you…but, start prepping yourself to wake up before the kids do. The time you can get to yourself in the morning before the rush begins gives you some time to rejuvinate for your day ahead.

If there after school routine is to start homework or do dinner prep, both of those can be started immediately. “Homework” time can look like reading, doing a puzzle, researching something they are interested in (like healthy school lunches!), working on their summer journal (see below!).

And keep the conversation flowing around “when you are back in school, we do these routines as it helps you, me, the family, your teachers, and everybody in your life to be successful”!




Have your kids and yourself prepare the night before:
-lunches made & water bottle filled
-bags packed for homework, gym strip, library books, etc.
-breakfast options out & ready to be consumed
-bathroom times scheduled
-clothes and for some kids, even shoes picked out

What this means for right now is to ensure you have the above sorted out.
-Do your kids have a lunch pack? backpack? school supplies.
-What will your kids eat for lunch & breakfast? Is it at least 80% healthy goodness? Anything you can pre-prep on the weekends to make lunches easier?
-Do you have non-leak water bottles? Did you label them?
-Start having the conversation about bathroom routines! Who gets which bathroom when?!

And keep the conversation flowing around “when you are back in school, we do this pre-prep as it helps you, me, the family, your teachers, and everybody in your life to be successful”!




Plan to leave the house 5-10 minutes before you actually have to! Sometimes that might even mean setting your clocks ten minute fast or changing the time that everybody needs to be out the door to ten minutes earlier. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and it works! And imagine the feeling when you know you are ready to walk out the door but you can actually take a deep breath and instead set an amazing intention for your day! We dare you to try it now for the next place you have a designated time to be there.

And keep the conversation flowing around “when you are back in school, we do this ten minute advantage as it helps you, me, the family, your teachers, and everybody in your life to be successful”!






Arrange a back to school special sleep over or celebration.

And, arrange play dates throughout the year!




When scheduling extra-curricular activities have it based on quality, not quantity and on their interests! If finances are a concern, use free community resources like the library that have clubs (i.e. lego clubs) that meet regularly. Or, source out scholarships that pay for such programming.




Maintain open lines of communication with the school. Ask the teacher whether their preference would be email or using the school agenda.

Plan to volunteer at school. There are many opportunities with various time commitments. Research shows that students whose parents volunteer at school thrive.


So you have probably figured out by now that we feel conversation is pretty important! Research shows that if kids truly understand the why behind what they are doing and then begin to adopt the why for themselves, their engagement and interest in doing something increases exponentially!

Let us know how it goes!


Lifeline — Past Versus Present

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Parenting...With a Twist

It’s important to realize that not to get stuck in the past or caught up in the future; you miss the precious moments that make up our lives! Human nature is unappreciative of what is in the moment as we are conditioned to have attachments to things in the past and to focus on what we desire in the future.

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Gratitude Journal & Affirmations

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Parenting...With a Twist

A gratitude journal is a diary of things for which one is grateful for. Gratitude journals are used by individuals who wish to focus their attention on the positive things in their lives. Our current beliefs and habits result from our repeated thoughts. If our child wasn’t able to come up with something they are grateful for because they are in such a negative space, we knew we needed to replace these negative thoughts with positive ones and used affirmations to do so.

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You Are Already Wealthy

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Parenting...With a Twist

Do you think of yourself as wealthy? Do you tell your children that you are wealthy? What if you looked at defining wealth differently?

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What Allowance Teaches our Children & Be Grateful for your Bills

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Parenting...With a Twist

Allowance gives you the opportunity to show your children how to manage money. Allowance in our house is divided into four categories: savings, spending, investment and giving back.

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Prosperous (Growth) Money Mindsets

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Parenting...With a Twist

Less than 31% of children between the ages of 12-18 receive financial literacy information at school and only 1% of parents say their kids save anything from their allowance. Wow! We are sending our children off into the world completely ignorant about money. Teach your children how to have a prosperous, success-ready money mindset.

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Funny Money (Fixed) Mindsets

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Parenting...With a Twist

A key factor to raising successful children is the thoughts that we ingrain in our children from a very young age about money. See if some of these resonate with you, perhaps you heard them when you were a child and/or perhaps you say them to your children now.

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Entitlement Versus Privilege

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Parenting...With a Twist

Sometimes parents get so caught up in giving to their children that they miss what power they do have. It is important to understand the difference between a parental obligation and a privilege.

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Recent Comments

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    July 27, 2016 |

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