Going Back to School During COVID-19

Hi everyone!

Can you believe it’s already September? This means it’s time to go back to school. We were given three options to choose from- 1) Full-time face to face instruction 2) Blended Model and 3) Home schooling. Full-time face to face is when you go to school full time and face to face with other people in school. The blended model is when you do a slow transition; it’s basically a mix of online learning and face to face. Home schooling is when you learn from home full time, except your spot in school might not be secured.

From the very beginning, I was very clear that I wanted to go back to full-time face to face instruction in school. I read the details about all the options and discussed my opinion with my parents. I go to Walnut Road Elementary School here in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia (just letting you know).

My first day, back to school after the pandemic, on September 10th, was a bit unusual, as most of the students were wearing masks and social distancing with other students. Last week, on Thursday and Friday, I went to school for orientation. When I reached school, I had to wait at the basketball court, which was a small problem because it was soooooooooooo hot. Then we were taken to a classroom with a group of a few students.

Teachers basically explained what school is going to look like this year, and other safety protocols along with tons of new rules we have to follow, like –

  • Cleaning schedules have been made to make sure that surfaces that are touched a lot are cleaned and disinfected at least twice per day.
  • Teachers are asked to reduce shared resources that students will touch a lot and limit the number of items and those that cannot be easily cleaned.
  • Sharing of equipment or other items is discouraged.
  • There are signs around our school to remind staff and students to keep a distance.
  •  Hand washing will be required at these times:
  • Before leaving home.
  • When arrived at school.
  • Before and after any breaks.
  • Between different learning groups.
  • Before and after eating and drinking.
  • After using the toilet.
  • After contact with body fluids (I.e., runny noses, spit, vomit, blood, etc.)
  • After cleaning tasks.
  • After removing gloves.
  • Before and after using iPads or computers.
  • After handling garbage.
  • Whenever hands are dirty.
  • Elementary age students don’t have to wear masks in school but may do so if they wish.
  • Middle school and high school students are required to wear masks all the time.

I was happy to see most of my friends (after a loooong time), but barely got to say ‘hi’ because it was so busy. Most of my friends seemed excited, while some looked a bit anxious. The teachers looked excited but I had a feeling they were stressed (probably). 

My full-time class will start today. I think it’s pretty safe to go to school with all the new rules and precautions. School seems about the same (okay maybe not at all the same. LOL!), just a lot of new rules to follow. After a little while, I am pretty sure school will feel the same way it used to.

Do you think it is safe to open schools for face to face instructions?

Literacy Matters More Than Ever

Hi everyone!

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word literacy? Reading and writing are what many people think. Yes, reading and writing are literacy, but literacy is more than that. From the time we are born till our last breath, we need literacy to do things. 

Knowing how to open up a bank account or paying credit card bills is financial literacy. Understanding information about health issues or knowing where to go when you have, for example, COVID-19, you need health literacy. Understanding the use of technology and navigating information online is digital literacy.

“Literacy is more than just reading and writing.”

Talking to people, reading maps, newspapers, reading labels, and playing word games are examples of literacy activities. That means literacy is important in our everyday lives, careers and to improve our quality of life. Literacy Matters more than ever, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. For me, literacy is happiness that I get with all the learning efforts I make to make my life happy. 

“Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning to enable an individual to achieve his or her goals, to develop his or her knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in the wider society.”– UNESCO

Did you know there are 773 million youth and adults that are illiterate in the world? There are 617 million children and adolescents who do not have minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. (Source: UNESCO)

Every year, International Literacy Day is celebrated on September 8th. It is celebrated to remind us of the importance of literacy around the world. There is a theme every year and this year the theme is “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.”

People who don’t have basic literacy skills are more likely to be discriminated, their life will be more challenging, and they will miss many opportunities. Literacy is a fundamental human right. No one should be deprived of basic literacy.

What do you think? Please click here to do a Literacy Matters Survey. I will share the results after some time.

Here’s a list of some useful literacy resources:

Literacy activities to prepare kids for back to school

Literacy Month Calendar

Activities to do this month 

Play Trivia

ABC Life Literacy

International literacy prizes

Support Literacy

United Nations

Creative Careers

Hi everyone!       

Most adults ask kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Most kids fantasize about becoming a princess or superhero. If it was a teen, the answer might have been someone famous. I was asked this question many times, and my answer was different every time. Now, my dream careers are acting and healthcare but it keeps changing as I grow up and expose to different environments. I want to do something which does not feel much like work, but like I am living my dream.

It took me a while to find the difference between a career and a job. I learned that a job is something specific and short term, while a career is a group of connected jobs to choose from and long term. The benefits of choosing a career rather than a specific job are – you have more choices, you may become more successful, you can be a mentor and you will be a person people look up to.

There are different types of careers but the one I will be talking about today are creative careers. A creative career is when your career is your passion or what you love to do. It’s basically something that requires talent and lots of dedication. Examples of a creative career are:

Image Credit: Pexels.com

Animating

Acting

Graphic Designing

Photography

Dancing

Singing       

Event Planning

Cake Decorating

Interior Designing

Writing                 

Costume Designing              

These are just a few careers out of many creative careers to choose from! What was your dream career when you were younger?

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

— Steve Jobs

The Story of My Biggest Fear

Hi everyone! 

Have you ever had any big fear? I know I had! My biggest fear used to be swimming. When I was in kindergarten, I went swimming with my class. I was at the edge of the pool with my legs in the water. Then I slipped into the pool and almost drowned. I remember I drank a lot of pool water through my mouth plus nose. The lifeguard pulled me out of the water, but I still struggled to breathe. I don’t exactly remember why they didn’t give me a life jacket. They called my parents and told them about the incident. My parents took me to the hospital, the doctor said I was fine, but I had a fever the next few days, we weren’t sure if it was because of the pool water I swallowed or the anxiety and stress. Anyway, after what happened I was terrified to go into the water.

My parents enrolled me in swimming lessons for two years even after what had happened. I got mad at them a lot, obviously, why would I want to go swimming again! I was fine in a very shallow pool, but I refused to go any deeper. My parents were very supportive, especially my mom. She kept on motivating me to play in the water and would take me to the beach, hoping that I wouldn’t be scared.

I tried to overcome my fear, but it wasn’t easy. I listened very carefully to what my instructors said. I would practice after classes (normally practice would mean “play in the water” but still), and I would convince myself to try harder. Trying is what really helped, though. I eventually got over my fear of swimming after two years. That day my mom’s eyes were full of tears. She gave me a big hug and said, “You did it! You are such a brave girl, I am so proud of you!”

I was so proud to have gotten over my fear, and because of all the hard work and dedication, I am an advanced swimmer! I learned that it isn’t possible to get over fear if you don’t try. My message is to try, try, try and try again even if you want to give up, it worked for me! 

Do you have any big fear? If so, please write that in the comments!

“Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will”

– W. Clement Stone

Things to Do When You are Bored

Hi everyone!                         

Do you get bored? What do you do when you are bored?

Many people are indeed bored due to the pandemic as we are stuck at home, and there aren’t as many events since everyone has to maintain social distancing. You need to do something to relieve your boredom! I get bored a lot, so I looked for things to do when I am bored. Here are the things I found to turn your dull day into an exciting day:

  • Go for a walk/run– Always best to get out of the house to get some fresh air.
  • Meditate – Listen to soothing music, take a deep breath in and let it out.
  • Yoga– Streeeeeeeeeeeech! 
  • Drink water– Dehydration can make you feel tired and sluggish.
  • Call a friend or a family member that you don’t see very often- It’s nice to keep in touch with others so that you’re not lonely.
  • Paint your nails– Give yourself a colourful manicure. 
  • Watch TV– Not for too long. 
  • Listen to music– It’s a nice and fun way to calm down, especially if you’re mad or stressed.
  • Bake– Make something simple using the ingredients you have on hand. Be creative when you bake, add anything you like! Try this coconut cookie recipe.
  • Make a dip – Try this hummus. Enjoy it with vegetables, pita bread, and chips.
  • Draw/paint something– Let out the inner you on a piece of paper or canvas.
  • Tie-dye– You can tie-dye anything you want as long as it’s white.
  • Make a photo album– Look through your favourite photos and make an album that you can look through whenever you want!
  • Make a collage– Glue or draw things that represent you.
  • Clean/organize something– If you clean or organize something, you will feel relaxed.
  • Redecorate your room to make it more, you- Give your bedroom a tiny or huge makeover.
  • Study/read a book– Fill your head with curiosities!
  • Write a poem– About the season, your life, etc.
  • Start a blog– There are tons of free sites you can use such as WordPress, or Bloggers.com
  • Do a science experiment– Have fun with science, don’t think of it as a boring school subject!
  • Learn something new on-  Coursera, Skillshare, Udemy, GCFlearning, and Stanford Online.
  • Learn a new language – Try using Duolingo or Mango.
  • Write down all these things on a piece of paper, fold it and put it in a container. Take out a piece at a time when you’re feeling down. 

These are just a few things you could do if you are bored. You could even go back to your childhood by watching shows that you used to love or read old picture books! Give it a try, you won’t be bored anymore!

If you have any other ideas, please share them!

The Breadwinner – Review

Hi everyone!  

I have always been a curious reader, so I decided to write about one of my favourite books, called “The Breadwinner” by Deborah Ellis. When I read this book, I couldn’t stop thinking about what a hard life it would be to be a girl under the harsh rule of the Taliban.

Image credit: Google

Deborah Ellis is an award-winning author, a peace activist and an international bestseller of The Breadwinner. She is a Canadian fiction and non-fiction writer and often writes about children all over the world. Deborah was inspired to write this book after visiting refugee camps in Pakistan, where she heard about Afghan girls pretending to be boys.

The Breadwinner book is about an 11-year-old girl named Parvana, who lived under the Taliban rule in Afghanistan in 2001. After her father’s arrest, Parvana cut off her hair, dressed like a boy and became a breadwinner to help her family. She met her former classmate named Shauzia, who was also pretending to be a boy. Working together with Shauzia, she found a new world of freedom and danger. She struggled and faced many problems to find her father and reunite her family.

This book was a good read because it tells the real story of what is happening in Afghanistan. I think everyone should read this book. It gives an insight into the hard lives and sacrifices that girls in Afghanistan have had to make. The author used simple and touching language in the story. I found the book very interesting, so I even read other books in the series. There are four books in the whole series, five if you count the graphic novel.

If you read the book, then let me know what you thought of it!

Children’s Perspectives of their Parents

Hi everyone!
This week I decided to write a blog on children’s perspectives of their parents just like I said in my other blog. I got lots of good feedback on my blog about “Parents’ Perspective of their Kids.” Many parents wanted to know what their children think of them and their relationship. I have also realized that there are many articles about parents’ perspectives, but not enough about the children’s perspective. I sent out another survey asking the same questions, not to parents but their children. 11 people responded, and here are the survey results:

“Humans see what they want to see.” ― Rick Riordan

1. What are the two things that you like about the relation between you and your parents?
The most common answer to this question was trust, love, care and open communication between children and their parents. A majority of them said that they like spending time with their parents and doing activities together. Some said that their parents inform them about family matters and involve them in the decision-making process even though the final decision is not always what they wanted. They said that it makes them feel mature and confident.

2. What are the two difficulties of the relationship between you and your parents?
Most respondents’ said that the main difficulty between them and their parents is a misunderstanding caused by different opinions and priorities. That is mainly due to the generation gap. They sometimes still get treated like they are little kids. Some said they are unable to spend more time together, have no personal conversation, and are forced to eat vegetables when they don’t want to. They also don’t want to be judged and criticized.

3. What are the two things that you could do to make the relation between you and your parents better?
The most agreeable answers were better communication, better understanding, spend more time together, and understand each others’ perspectives. Some of them said they should have more patience, obey their parents, and help their parents with household works.

In my opinion, the main problem between parents and children is a misunderstanding caused by a difference in views. Parents should not always overprotect their children but treat them as adults as they grow up. Children also need to have more patience and listen to their parents’ suggestions. Both parents and children should spend more time together, have fun and find better ways to communicate.

If you haven’t seen my post on Parents’ Perspective of their Kids, click here!

Comet NEOWISE, a Once in a Lifetime Experience

Hi everyone!

Have you seen comet NEOWISE recently? If not, it isn’t too late! Pack your camera (or phone) head to a place where the sky is clear and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Image Credit: Sandesh Malla

Comet NEOWISE came closest to the sun on July 3, 2020, and was about 43 million kilometres from the sun. It was closest to the Earth on July 23, 2020. After that day, it will become dimmer and eventually disappear and won’t return for another 6,800 years. Comets are space snowballs made of frozen gases, rock and dust that orbit around the sun. NEOWISE is a short form for Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Space Explorer, a space-based telescope that first spotted the comet. 

The best way to find Comet NEOWISE is to start looking for it an hour after sunset, above the northwest horizon. It is below the big dipper and a bit towards the right. 

I went to see Comet NEOWISE about a week ago at Crescent Beach, just around 10 pm. It was a bit dim seeing it with my naked eye, looking at it through a camera made it easier to see. It was such an amazing experience seeing the movements of the sky in the dark.

Don’t miss this lifetime opportunity! 

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started