Vol. 4,  No. 18, Tuesday, August 13, 2013

TITLE: “FIRST DAY OF (BACK TO) SCHOOL:  I  say, “let’s make this year the most educational ever!*” – UPDATE 2013


Continuing on in with last week’s theme, I will do an update of my post, first published on August 21, 2011, titled, “FIRST DAY OF (BACK TO) SCHOOL:  I  say, “let’s make this year the most educational ever!*”Now, I have a question … did everyone bring a pencil and paper. It’s on the list! If not, well … I won’t be cross. But you know dearies, you have to pay attention!

My mail box is now filled with flyers shouting “They’re going back” and “Back to School”. On TV, the commercials are announcing great sales for children’s wear and school supplies.  I therefore can’t help, but think about children and adolescents and the approaching first day of school. My book of the week is “Best-Ever Back-to-School Activities: 50 Winning and Welcoming Activities, Strategies, and Tips That Save You Time and Get Your School Year Off to a Sensational Start” [Paperback] by Elaine Israel. Hence my subject is the commencement of the school year. (Editor’s Note: This is another post in a continuing series on schooling and returning to class.)


I am thinking back to years past and the few weeks before the start of the school year.

As a mother of five year old girls – this was a long time ago – I remember this as a bitter-sweet time. Summer was over and the children’s day-long play time was then coming to an end; but they were also very excited to go back to school and see their friends. For me, life was about to go back to normal.  I started the preparations in the third week of August. I hit the stores to buy a few school supplies. I only bought the basics because I knew that my daughters would come home in the first week with a list of further items specified by the teacher. I also renewed the wardrobe of each child – I wanted them to look their best. In my perspective, if students started the year well-prepared, they would do better academically.

I also have another point of view. I spent 35 years working in a major college in my home town.

The time leading up to opening day was always hectic, but the staff was looking forward to what the new year would bring. Department chairpersons and teachers were calling often to make their final course preparations. Students were calling to solve scheduling problems. Each day, there was more and more to do. Finally day one arrives and students are everywhere.  I usually remarked that they looked younger and younger, although I saw myself as middle aged, not ageing much. In the first week, students got their course outlines and teachers started presenting the material.  You could feel the high energy in the air.  The serious students started their work as soon as possible – they don’t waste any time. I commend this attitude – this is the only way to get ahead.

As you know, I have another angle – I am a grandmother with a granddaughter and also a grandson.

Update 2012: More up-to-date, this September, my granddaughter now aged 3-1/2, is going into second year at a pre-kindergarten.  Her pre-school can be considered high-quality. This is so because the children become familiar with letters, numbers and shapes. The children also learn to share and socialize.  The well-trained teachers and stimulating activities are making a difference with my granddaughter.  She asks many intelligent questions and I am sure the pre-school can be credited, to a certain extent, for her advancement.  Important as well, she is looking forward to going back to class. I understand from  her that she wants to see her little friends … but there is this one little boy in particular, … apparently, he’s very cute … I’ll keep you posted!

Update 2013: This coming September, my grandson at age 2-2/3, is also going to a pre-kindergarten for the first time.  He will be attending the same pre-school as his sister.  He is soooooo excited.  Pre school can develop a child’s social skills, but he is a “social butterfly” already. He will enjoy being with other children his age.

THE AUTHOR: Elaine Israel

Elaine Israel is an author of children’s books. She is also an editor. She is versatile. She knows how to talk to kids. She is therefore able to give pointers to school teachers.

Some books are:

  • Hilary Duff (Today’s Superstars: Entertainment)
  • Election 2000 – Time for Kids Readers
  • The Official Study Guide for All Sat Subject Tests
  • Celebrate the Winter Holidays: Sensational Activities & Helpful Background Information That Help Kids Learn About & Appreciate Five Important Holidays
  • The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2002

THE BOOK: “Best-Ever Back-to-School Activities: 50 Winning and Welcoming Activities, Strategies, and Tips That Save You Time and Get Your School Year Off to a Sensational Start” [Paperback] by Elaine Israel (Author)

This is a book addressing primary grade teachers. Israel gives them pointers on HOW-TO achieve a better launch of the school year. Her chapters signify her priorities. According to her, these are: 1) Introduction: the First Day & Getting to know you; 2) Mini- Books; 3) Making books;  4) Bulletin boards, 5) Perfect Poems: A Song to Sing; Riddle poems; 6)  Top Ten Start- of- the- Year Stories. Here’s a ‘for instance’, under the “First Day”, Israel grabs you with a sub-title: “Build community and establish routines with activities that will make the first day of school a stunning success.” Now that’s a great goal – I buy into that.  Wouldn’t any parent? She follows that with a sub–heading, “Alumni visits: and explains how “To give your students an idea of what the coming year will bring.” She also wants to break the ice between future school friends. Her idea is called “Good Morning” Match. As per Israel, she thinks that “Each child’s chubby holds a welcoming surprise with an activity that makes it easy for new classmates to meet one another or get reacquainted and share a favourite book.” She also offers a “Calendar surprise” She explains that “a surprise awaits your students each day with this easy to-make this lift- the- flap- calendar”.  It appears to be a continuing interest builder, helping making school fresh. The book seems to be a winner. Read it and become aware and help your child to succeed.


The future of your child is substantially dependent upon his/her schooling. You should do everything possible to ensure that his/her education is the best that it could be.

Personal Comments

Every parent needs information to help their kids in their educational career.  A parent should know what to expect by the day he/she drops the child in the school yard as they march into school at the start of the school year. I think that armed with this information, a parent could prepare his/her child better and of course, better preparation should result in better grades. And the student has a greater chance to excel in his/her school career.

With young students, a parent needs to be hands on closely monitoring his/her child in school work and activities.  With teenage students, a parent needs to supervise their offspring attentively. They need to review school correspondence and reports. They need to ask questions and have a yearlong dialogue, insisting upon results. With college age students, initiate discussions and offer recommendations.

Teachers, principals, school board members and educators at all levels will tell you that the first few days of the school year are key. What happens and doesn’t happen could spell a good year or a bad one.

The Point

Your child’s education is VERY important. You have a role.  The school year is about to start. You need to become informed and active right away.


Every parent of a student should:

1. Consider the appropriate school for your child/adolescent, today and tomorrow and after tomorrow; (More about this next week.)
2. Research the curriculum of the coming school year – encouraging your child to get a head start on the reading is always a good idea;
3. Think about after school; to this end,
3.1 Inquire into the extra- curricular activities being offered  – signing up early is another good idea;  try to have one physical activity/sports plus one hobby/interest club.
4. Shop for back to school wisely; in this regard,
4.1 Look for the sales at major retailers – school supplies are usually discounted to get you into the store.
4.2 Buy hi-value clothing: strong seams, good fabrics and multipacks; and supplement the new articles with spruced- up hand me downs from siblings and close family;
5. Plan to start the school year by serving up nutritious meals; to this end,
5.1 Make a complete breakfast for the youngsters – they need fuel to learn;
5.2  Use a variety of food groups: high food value, low calories/cholesterol;
6. Think about routine; more precisely,
6.1 Limit usage of TV, computer, Internet, video games, etc.; nevertheless, keep in mind that educational TV programming is beneficial – so is research on the web!

6.2 Reserve quiet time, reading time, etc.
6.3 Set age appropriate bedtimes in order to permit sleep hours sufficient for age;
7. Get involved at school:
7.1 Introduce yourself to the principal and teachers;
7.2 Join parent-teacher school group; etc.

Your child (and you) can and should enjoy this time in school.  Help him/her to succeed and be happy. I hope that you give me an A+ on this blog post!

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”

PREVIEW (now, tentatively Monday, August 20th 2012): In our province, we are currently having a general election. Health care is a major topic. In the United States. Medicare is a key issue in the U.S. presidential election now in full swing. I am not sure whether it’s what the doctor ordered, but I have SOMETHING to say on the subject. I’ll give you an appointment to come next Monday August 20th about 11:00 A.M. If you don’t show, there will be a charge…just kidding. (Editor’s Note: This is another post in a continuing series on Health.)

PREVIEW (now, tentatively Monday, September 17th 2012): I will return to the romance theme. I am hearing a lot about Fifty Shades of Grey by T.L. James. I say: “Now, that’s a VERY spicy meat ball!” I want to add my two cents to the discussion. (Editor’s Note: This is another post in a continuing series on dating, relationships and marriage.)

P.S. Big News: I am so excited – I’m told that THIS WEEK, we will be uploading the new look Antoinette’s Page* and Antoinette’s Blog*. There are more big changes coming to my blog – Please stay tuned.
P.P.S. #1 I have a TWITTER page. Consider becoming a follower? Visit –   saveandread
P.P.S. #2 I also have a FACEBOOK page. Consider becoming a friend? Visit: – Alp Save Andread – please check it out.
P.P.S. #3 I am on Linkedin. Consider becoming a connection? Visit – Antoinette La Posta

-Web Tech:
The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.
*TM/© 2012 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.




S & R* QUOTE #1: – Heinrich Heine
“Experience is a good school. But the fees are high.”
(Source:  Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* QUOTE #2:  Rabbinical saying
“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.”
(Source:  Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* QUOTE #3: Virginia Woolf
“The first duty of a lecturer: to hand you after an hour’s discourse a nugget of pure truth to wrap up between the pages of your notebooks, and keep on the mantlepiece forever.”
(Source:  Wisdom Quotes) –

For today, my word/phrase(s) are: “school”; “student”; “education”; etc.


“A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students (or “pupils”) under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools. The names for these schools vary by country (discussed in the Regional section below), but generally include primary school for young children and secondary school for teenagers who have completed primary education. An institution where higher education is taught, is commonly called a university college or university.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –


“A student is a learner, or someone who attends an educational institution. In some nations, the English term (or its cognate in another language) is reserved for those who attend university, while a schoolchild under the age of eighteen is called a pupil in English (or an equivalent in other languages). In its widest use, student is used for anyone who is learning.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –


“Education in the general sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character, or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills, and values from one generation to another. Etymologically, the word education is derived from educare (Latin) “bring up”, which is related to educere “bring out”, “bring forth what is within”, “bring out potential” and ducere, “to lead”.[1]
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –


Back-to-School Shopping
“7.2 billion

The amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2009. Only in December were sales significantly higher. Similarly, sales at bookstores in August 2009 totaled $2.5 billion, an amount approached in 2009 only by sales in January.
Source: Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services <>

“For back-to-school shopping, choices of retail establishments abound: In 2007, there were 27,326 family clothing stores, 7,036 children and infants clothing stores, 27,213 shoe stores, 9,754 office supply and stationery stores, 23,756 sporting goods stores, 10,635 bookstores and 10,116 department stores.”
Source: County Business Patterns: 2007 <>

“76 million
The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2008 — from nursery school to college. They comprised 27 percent of the entire population 3 and older.
Source: School Enrollment — Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2008″ <>

31 million
Average number of children participating each month in the national school lunch program in 2008.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 558″ <>

19.1 million
The projected number of students enrolled in the nation’s colleges and universities this fall. This is up from 13.8 million 20 years ago.
Source: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 214:” <>
(Source: US Census Bureau) –


S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1:

Top of the class and talk of the campus conquerin university this semester

Weekends at the cottage are starting to get cooler and that means autumn is on its way. For students heading back to school, it’s time to pack up the car, dust off the suitcases and get ready for classes again. While they don’t have to worry about hitting the books just yet, students who are starting to think about how to get organized might also want to think about the technology tools that can help. Whether it’s staying productive in the classroom, or keeping entertained on campus, technology can play a supporting role.

Mini fridges, twin-sized beds and a couple of drawers to yourself; college life can mean having little to no personal space. Limiting the number of devices you bring to campus is a smart option. Tablets like the affordable BlackBerry PlayBook are all-in-one productivity and entertainment devices. It’s portable, has Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, email, social media, and tons of apps. It can also connect to an HD TV to watch movies, play games or work on a class presentation on a larger screen.

Life on CampusStudents are always on the move. No matter where they head this semester, roaming charges can make phone calls and text messages expensive. Skip the fees by using instant messaging apps like BlackBerry Messenger or social media apps like Facebook and Twitter on your smartphone; it’s the perfect way for the family to stay close without anyone’s wallet having to suffer.Late night pizza runs are also a rite of passage for many students. Using a smartphone and apps can help students keep in shape. AdidasmiCoach, Endomondo and Calorie Tracker by LiveSTRONG can serve as an on-campus personal trainer, motivator, music player, and nutritionist.College life is go-go-go and it comes with a whole new load of responsibilities; grocery shopping, class lectures, studying in the library and maybe even a part-time job. With calendars, internet browsers, alarm clocks and notepads, your smartphone really can be your all-in-one task management tool. Stay on top of things and ensure that you still have time to hang out with new friends on the weekends.

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2:

How to ease bank-to-school for your child

The sweet scent of summer may still be lingering in the air, but your child’s first day of school is fast approaching. Transitioning from the blissfully hazy days of summer to the structure of school days can be a tough one, but it doesn’t have to be. Sally Morse, director of creative services for window fashions company, Hunter Douglas, reviews some tips to make back to school preparation easier for both you and your child.

Establish a schedule – After all those carefree summer days, it’s important to incorporate a little more structure into your child’s day to ease the back-to-school transition. Begin by slowly adjusting bedtime, wake-up time and eating schedules, so that by the time school starts your child will be accustomed to a routine.

Involve Your Kids – The more your child feels a part of the back-to-school planning, the more enthusiastic he or she is likely to become. This could include allowing them to help with setting up play dates, shopping for school supplies or buying new outfits for school.

Goals – Brainstorming a few goals for the school year with your kids is a great way to be involved in their academic career, but also allow them to work toward something on their own. Try discussing one academic goal and one social goal for the semester.

Study Area – Finding the right space in your home is critical for productive and effective studying. Every child learns differently and retention of information is largely dependent on the environment and mood that he or she is working in. To make an improvement at the window, take a look at the Hunter Douglas Silhouette window shadings, which are now available with a cordless lifting system that make it especially ideal for homes with young children.

Mark the Calendar – Before school begins for your child, get the calendar out and write down events and holidays to look forward to as a family. Those school vacations are not only pertinent to your schedule; your child will enjoy feeling included in the planning of family trips or weekend getaways. For example, mark down a date in late October to go Halloween costume shopping, or anything else that may be meaningful to your child. Although the last days of summer are quickly slipping away, this will remind your child of all the exciting things in store for the fall.

*TM/© 2012 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

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