Family Health & Wellness Toolkit

There’s no denying that 2020 has been One. Crazy. Year. Life has been upended and we’ve all been faced with a reality that no one could have ever anticipated. And let’s be honest, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster!

Among it all, however, we’ve also seen amazing displays of compassion and the strength of both our Humewood and greater St. Clair community. We’ve also seen the immense dedication of our teachers and school staff, and we’ve been amazed at just how resilient our kids are, whether in adapting to virtual school or diligently following new protocols. 

That said, we know that keeping life going with so much disruption and keeping it together (or doing our best to do so) takes its toll. That’s why Humewood School Council, in partnership with Humewood’s Wellness Advocate, Mr. Polak, have formed a Health and Wellness Committee. 

In preparation for the holidays when we’ll all hopefully have some time to be more relaxed, the Committee has put together a health and wellness toolkit. From meditation practices to mindful family activities, from teacher resources to articles and kids’ books to help us process the seemingly endless barrage of coronavirus news, here you’ll find a compendium of calming ideas. 

FAMILY WELLNESS

Family Meditation

Find a quiet spot in your home. Choose one person to lead the meditation (rotate family members if you can).  Sit in a comfortable position on the floor or on the couch or in a chair. Some family members might enjoy blankets, head pillows or eye pillows if available.

  • Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain
  • Breathing out, I feel solid.
  • Nothing can move or distract me.
  • In breath MOUNTAIN, out breath SOLID
  • Repeat the above three to five times.
  • Enjoy the feeling. 
  • Allow yourself to feel comfortable or uncomfortable. 
  • Try not to change how you feel.
    Take 10 breaths in and 10 breaths out. 
  • Rest for as long as you need.

Notice your breath moving in and out of your body.  Don’t try to change it.  Close your eyes if that feels comfortable. 

Reflections:  How did it feel to lead the meditation?  How did it feel to receive the meditation?  What did you enjoy or not enjoy about this experience?  What did you notice about your body?  What did you notice about your breath?

Free 10 minute meditation playlist 

Five Finger Meditation

Great for adults and older children, this meditative practice can be done together. Choose one person to lead the practice.  Take turns with each other.

Read how it’s done>

Grounding Breath

Here’s an activity that you can help you find calm and your natural breathing rhythm.

Click for full instructions>


MINDFUL FAMILY ACTIVITIES

Create a Nature Altar

Go for a family walk, and everyone has to pick up one or two things that they feel connected to.  Stone, leaf, pinecone, piece of ice or snow, leaf, stick..anything!  When you get home, talk about what everyone has chosen and why.  Find a space in your home, to display your treasures. 

Reflections:  What is an altar and why do we have one? Why are your objects important to you?  Why did you choose them?  How are you connected to what you chose?

Find Your Stone

This cooperative game helps your family cultivate mindfulness and connection.

See how to play here>

What Makes Me Happy

Make a family collage or gratitude box of the different things that make you happy. 

Here’s how to make it>


FOCUS ON THE GOOD

Sometimes it’s all about the right mindset. These resources are dedicated to helping you focus on finding the good in life. 

Greater Good in Action

Discover science-backed practices for more resilience, connection, and well-being, with step-by-step instructions on how to implement them in your life.

The Science of Happiness podcast

Learn research-tested strategies that you can put into practice today. In each episode, a guest tries a specific practice for well-being or connection, and shares their experience.

The Science of Happiness course

While you’re home, try our online, self-paced course, offering skills to boost resilience and well-being in your life. Results from tens of thousands of our students show that it helps them reduce stress and feel more connected to others.

The Greater Good Toolkit

Made in collaboration with Holstee, this toolkit includes 30 science-based practices for a meaningful life.

PROCESS THE NEGATIVE

It can be hard to focus on the good when everything you read just seems so… bad. Because who among us hasn’t lost good time to a depressing doom scroll?

As we’ve likely told our kids 100 times, you can’t control what’s happening around you, but you can control your response to it. These articles offer some perspective on processing the hard truths of the current news cycle.

Parenting during covid 19 (Psychology Today)

Walking in Nature Aids Emotional Regulation (Integrated Listening)

7 Ways to Feel Safe in Times of Intense Fear (Integrated Listening)

The Science of Slow Deep Breathing (Unyte)

The Science Behind Expressing Gratitude Will Surprise You (Fast Company)

How to Hold on to Happiness When Your World Collapses (Psychology Today)

Coronavirus Sanity Guide (Ten Percent Happier)

ArtsWave Edition of Mindful Music Moments

Mindful Poetry Moments and the On Being Project (The Well)

READ YOUR FEELINGS

Big Feelings Come and Go Storybook

Find it here>

The Story of the Oyster and the Butterfly

Find it here>

Safe and Sound: A story about a little girl who overcomes fear.

Find it here>


WELL-BEING RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS

As part of the Greater Good Education Program, Greater Good in Education offers free research-based and informed strategies and practices for the social, emotional, and ethical development of students, for the well-being of the adults who work with them, and for cultivating positive school cultures.

Browse the resource library here>


ADDITIONAL FAMILY RESOURCES

Practices for parents and kids

A Loving Space for Kids’ Emotions: Show love to your children by helping them process emotions.

Pleasant Events Calendar for Kids: Help children cultivate self-compassion by planning enjoyable activities.

Reminders of Connectedness: A subtle way to induce kindness, particularly in kids.

Superhero Motivation for Kids: Use pretend play to encourage children to persevere through difficulty.

Body Scan Meditation: Feeling tense? Feel your body relax as you try this practice.Big Life Journal: kids 4+: activities, resources, posters, printables, podcast, blog

Videos for parents and kids

These Questions Can Help You Connect (Even When You’re Apart): Researchers designed conversation prompts to help people feel closer. Will it work for 10-year-olds Zuri and Greer?

How to Help Your Child’s Compassion Grow: Parents can encourage their kids to practice kindness and caring toward themselves and others.

How to Help Your Kids Feel Loved: Loving bonds between parents and kids can help kids grow into compassionate adults.

Train Your Brain to Be Kinder: Boost your kindness by sending kind thoughts to someone you love—and to someone you don’t get along with—with a little guidance from these students.

[Photos: Unsplash]

Join us for a Virtual Family Trivia night on Dec. 16, 2020.

Do you (or your kids) know your Ariel from your Moana? Your Cruella from your Captain Hook? Then join us for our Disney family trivia night!

Hosted by neighbourhood pub, The Gym, this is a perfect way to virtually connect with the Humewood school community while testing your trivia chops!

Join us on Wednesday, Dec. 16 from 7:00-8:00pm.

We’re asking for a minimum donation of $5, but any amount is greatly appreciated. All funds will go to Humewood School Council.

Tickets for this fundraising event can be purchased here:

Give the gift of healthy habits with My Starry Chart

We all know that chores can be a chore. But they don’t have to be with My Starry Chart, a 3-in-1 educational kid’s calendar, healthy habits chart, and skill-building game for kids ages 3-10.

This reinvented chore chart motivates and empowers kids while teaching skills like goal setting and math while also building character skills like helpfulness, gratitude and kindness.

Plus, it’s the creation of a fellow Humewood family and they’ve got a special offer for Humewood families (and your friends!)

Use the promo code Humewood10 at mystarrychart.com for 10% off your purchase. 20% of sales will automatically be donated to the school.

This beautiful calendar makes taking on new responsibilities fun, simple and a wonderful bonding experience. The calendar design and sticker format keeps kids engaged, and as a result, they stick to their healthy goals (and chores if you choose to use it in that way).

Find out more at www.mystarrychart.com.

Bringing voices from our Community into Queen’s Park

Good morning, Toronto-St. Paul’s parents, educators and educator workers! 🙂

Its your local MPP Jill Andrew. I am also the Women’s Issues Critic and Culture Critic.

I have heard from several of you about the incredible stress you are under and the under resourced schools some of you continue to function in – doing the best you can for our kids – but doing so scared for both your safety and that of your students. I’ve heard of your classrooms bursting at the seams. Some of you do not have properly operating classroom windows, HVAC systems, or even adequate PPE.

I return to the Legislative Assembly this week. I have been advocating strongly to get on the Question Period lineup with regards to your education concerns.

There are never any guarantees of which MPPs get to ask questions during Question Period. These decisions are made based on a variety of caucus considerations as well as what’s ‘breaking’ or particularly trending in the media: both outside of individual MPP controls. Questions also often reflect MPPs critic areas.

As many of you know COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted women and we know education is one of the most highly gendered professions with us women making up most of the ‘frontline’ of education.

If you have direct questions you’d like me to ask the Minister of Education or the Premier himself please respond to this message with your question (50 words max) as question period is timed and I will try my utmost best to get you an answer.

Your voices as educators, education workers staff and parents are vital.

While using your name is not necessary if ANY of you are happy even being referred to by your first name only its strengthens by personalizing the story or question you are sharing.  Just let me know and I’ll work to accommodate you.

As a certified teacher, a Child & Youth Worker and most recently a Student Equity Program Advisor who has worked in education in elementary, high school and post secondary settings for most of my adult life I THANK YOU for your tireless contributions.  

Know that you are and will continue to be seen and heard by me.

Please send any communications to me at JAndrew@ndp.on.ca 

Should you want you can share this message by cutting and pasting it into Education specific social media pages that are supporting Toronto-St. Paul’s schools and parents OR by sending via email to others you know might have questions or concerns they want addressed.

Thank you, and take the best care possible under these unprecedented circumstances.

In solidarity,

Jill Andrew
MPP Toronto-St. Paul’s
JAndrew@ndp.on.ca 

September 11, 2020 Update

It’s sunny out and it’s Friday! School is just around the corner and I bought 12 new wine glasses!

Woo hoo!

Admin and staff are working their butts off trying to be as ready as possible. 

Let me help manage expectations now – it will not be perfect! 

Information has changed on them multiple times, they are still waiting on directive, protocols, equip but they remain calm, are working long long hours and are staying as calm as possible!

Let’s all try and be calm and kind. I know I’ve lost my sh** a few times over the last few days!

In my mind I’m thinking of things in chunks to try to be focused, stay calm and feel somewhat in control – so….let’s just start school and see what the first 2 wks are like.

Together, we will all learn, adjust, improve habits and process.

Here are my notes from the call: 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1A5JAUbXrT6l–ndUCxrFWG8plsrsEZfquvFruwXM640/edit

The hope is that once school starts next week we will look to schedule another one. Julie / Rachelle as mentioned plan to send out weekly detailed communications.

Parent Council is in process of setting up a new form to help gather parent emails (school can’t give us the list) so we collect as many as to help with community outreach and communications.

We will be looking to plan a first council mtg after the first couple of weeks of school – stay tuned! It will be a year where we will all need to be creative and agile in how we can build meaningful connections within and across classes and support important school and student needs.

So while parents can’t be on school property – we can send our kids off with a smile and welcome them with open arms. While we are all probably a little anxious about next week our kids are too for lots of reasons. 

The kids will be alright.

Much gratitude,

Lori Litman, Humewood Community School Council

2020 Spring After Four Programs

  • Tuesday classes begin on Tuesday March 31st (except Children’s Art Studio) and end on Tuesday May 26th 2020
  • Thursday classes begin on Thursday April 2nd and end on Thursday May 28th 2020.  
  • Children must be at least four years of age to participate.
  • Registration for all programs is online. Limited spaces are available. Please register between Monday February 24th and Monday March 23rd 2020.
  • JK/SK Program Time: 3:05pm to 4:05pm
  • Grades 1 to 8 Program Time: 3:25pm to 4:25pm
  • Parents are asked to please pick up Kindergarten students at 4:05pm in room 106.
  • There is no supervision between 4:05pm to 4:25pm for Kindergarten students.
  • Students in Daycare and After care are asked to go directly to Daycare or After care at dismissal.  Staff members at Daycare and After care will escort their students to After 4 programs after they have completed attendance at Daycare and After care.

TUESDAY


Kindergarten Children’s Art Studio 

JK/SK, Kinder Clay Art, Room 106

Sculpting clay is a fun and creative process and medium that will help your child understand spatial awareness and develop fine motor skills. In this session students will create fun functional and decorative ceramics using pinch, coil, and other handbuilding methods. Kids will use a coloured slip to glaze their work. Please note there is a two week turn around for kiln firing. Projects made during the last two classes will be delivered to their cubbies after the session ends. 

There will not be a class on Tuesday March 31st 2020.
Fee:   $163.85

www.childrensartstudio.ca

Action Potential DaVinci Club 

Grades 1 to 4, Room 204 

Science and art connect in ways you didn’t dream possible. From
microbiology and DNA extractions to colour theory and Cézanne’s Still Life paintings, every week we learn a new branch of science fused with a new style of art and take home a creative project based on the day’s topic.
This program is student-inquiry based, so each class curricular is co-created by it’s own students. Past projects include: learning about mummification and preservation by creating your own sarcophagus and mummy out of a hot dog. Extracting DNA out of a strawberry and making it into a necklace. Discovering how a petri dish can transform into an artist’s canvas.

Have your kid researcher enjoy science and art like never before!
Fee: $274.59

To register visit: www.actionpotentiallab.ca/humewood

IN THE MIX HIP HOP DANCE AND IPAD MUSIC-VIDEO CREATION 

Grades 1 to 6, Room 217

In the Mix is an innovative program that provides a unique opportunity for children to explore what’s new in dance, music and internet technology. This experience is very much about developing mind and body, and gaining confidence and social skills. Students will learn a brief hip-hop dance to share with parents at the last class. They will also work collaboratively in small groups to create one-of-a-kind music-videos, using iPads supplied by In the Mix. Kids get to be Directors, DJs, and Choreographers while producing their own custom HipHop music-videos! Students have full creative freedom yet are guided appropriately to help them progress and spice up their videos and dancing. At the end of the session, students can securely view their videos at the In the Mix website.

To learn more about this program and register visit www.inthemixprogram.com

Fee: $140 + HST

CLAPBOARD KIDS FILM WORKSHOPS

Grades 2 to 8, Room 203

Clapboard Kids is a hands-on filmmaking program that gives kids the opportunity to learn professional skills from an award-winning filmmaker who has worked with Disney Touchstone Films, Columbia Pictures, Alliance Atlantis Communications, the CBC and the National Film Board of Canada!

Students learn about both the technical and creative aspects of filmmaking as they are guided – from the creation of an original film idea – through to the planning, shooting and editing of their films. This gives students the opportunity to try out a variety of filmmaking roles and skills (i.e. writing, acting, directing, wardrobe, sound, cinematography, and editing). Filmmaking techniques, such as stop motion animation, claymation, basic special effects and live action will be explored, along with the iMovie film editing program. At the end of the session, students will receive a copy of their finished films to share with family and friends. Due to the collaborative nature of the workshops, each session of Clapboard Kids is truly unique!
Our goal at Clapboard Kids is to inspire and guide the next generation of digital storytellers and filmmakers!

Fee: $205/student

To register, visit: http://clapboardkids.com


THURSDAY


Chess Institute 

JK/SK, Rookies Rooks, Room 106

Grades 1 to 6, Kool Kings, Room 104 and 109

All levels of chess players are welcome. Beginners will be gifted with the universal language of chess knowledge, while advanced players will be challenged and raised to new levels. While learning or expanding their chess knowledge, students also gain important values and life skills such as goal setting, creative analysis, resilience, respect for others, and responsibility for decisions.

These skills are gained through our approach to chess as a mental martial art, where choosing a move means: taking wise, calculated risks, dealing with unexpected and disappointing outcomes, reflecting critically on changing situations, looking deeper to find more viable options than may at first appear, valuing diverse abilities and skill sets, and realizing there are choices in every situation.

As this strong, respectful and resilient mindset is nourished, players will have a lot of fun with our experienced and engaging instructors, who will appeal to and elevate their natural abilities. Chess is an amazing activity for children of all ages, where focus and skills are gained with surprising speed.

Fee: $126/student.  Financial assistance is available.

Please pick up students at North East door labeled number 5.

Register and pay online: chessinstitute.ca/register

Cooking with Lesley Matthews 

Grades 1 to 4, Staff Room

Calling all kids!

Who doesn’t love making and eating fun and tasty treats?

In this program, aspiring chefs and bakers will get hands on experience in the kitchen. With an emphasis on creativity and fun, we will explore all of the wonders of the kitchen, the sense of accomplishment that comes from making something with your own hands, and the joy of sharing it with others. Yum!

Note: While no nuts will be used in any of our recipes, we cannot guarantee that all products are 100% allergen free.

For pick-up, please enter the school through the outside North East Grade School door labeled number 5 and pick up students from the staff room.

Fee: $180 per child. 

https://sites.google.com/site/cookingwithlesley/home

cookingwithlesleymatthews@gmail.com

Little Fingers Guitar

Grades 3 to 8, Room 112

Little Fingers Guitar is a program designed to introduce students in grades 3-8 to making music on the guitar.  The course will cover parts of the guitar, note layout, how to produce clear notes and chords, notation styles, songs for group play, classic guitar riffs, and much more.  

We’ll be exploring the fundamentals and history of the guitar through popular songs and performance. Students will learn chord chart reading and notation and will help choose the pieces that they learn. Students will feel comfortable with guitar basics and have a small repertoire of music to take with them to wherever the guitar leads them.

Register at www.LittleFingersMusic.com http://www.littlefingersmusic.com/

No need to have your own guitar, we will use the school’s guitars.  

Fee: tbd

Please pick up students at North East door labeled number 5.


Notes:


Humewood CS does not take attendance or share attendance information with providers. If your child is going to be absent from After 4, please contact the provider directly and not the Humewood Community School office or teachers.  It is important for the providers to know so they can ensure student safety. 

Please advise after school care providers if your child will be attending a club.   

If your child has medical and/or dietary needs, please share this information directly with the providers.

If you have any questions about After 4 please contact cheryl.batty@utoronto.ca.

Humewood Wine Survivor 2020!

We are happy to announce that Humewood Wine Survivor is back for the 3rd year!
As always we will be allocating the majority of the wine collected to the top three finishers, but there will also be weekly winners, random draws and consolation prize winners of at least two bottles per prize.
To sign up please go to the following link on the Humewood Online Store:
https://humewoodcouncil.ecwid.com/

How it Works

To enter, you will need to either buy a ticket for $40 (covers your $20 entry fee and $20 bottle of wine) or $20 and a bottle of wine (recommended value $20). Each participant has now joined Humewood Wine Survivor and their names have been placed in the daily draw. The more entries you buy, the better your chances of surviving and winning the grand prize!

The $20 goes towards Humewood School Council and the wine to the winners!

Winners

The Champion receives approximately 50% of the wine, which they get to hand select; 30% for Second Place; and 20% for Third Place. There will also be a Deadpool draw for those eliminated and surprise prizes along the way.

How to Join

There are two ways you can join:
1. Lisa & Moe (Charlie & Lola’s parents) will be setting up a table at the Winter Concerts and will also try sign people up in the morning. (note: the Winter Concerts have been cancelled so we will update this when we have an alternative).
– or-
2. You can sign up and pay the $20 or $40 fee via the Humewood Online Store.

Elimination

Every day, several names will be drawn, and the names drawn will be “voted off the island” i.e. Eliminated. An email will be sent out to all participants each day letting everyone know the results and giving people the option of buying back in. The final elimination is set for the Snowball, where the winners will be announced.

Immunity

Every day one name will be drawn from the bucket for “immunity”. That person will be exempt from the draw that day (i.e. have immunity for one day).

Buying Back In

If you are “voted off the island” / eliminated and you want to get back in, never fear there is one buy back allowed per entry. Pay an additional $20 for your name to be placed back in the bucket – no additional wine required. If voted off you can pay your $20 buy back via the Humewood Online Storeby 4:00 pm the next day.

At the end of the competition All players who are in the Deadpool (voted off the island) will have a chance to win a gift card (to the LCBO of course) to drown your sorrows over being voted off the island.

Giving Back

5% of proceeds from the Wine Survivor will be donated to a local children’s charity.

Questions?

Please email: humewood.winesurvivor@gmail.com

Important Dates

Deadline for Entries:  

4:00 pm Friday, January 24th

Daily Elimination Begins:  

Sunday, January 26th

Last Day to Buy Back:  

Wednesday, February 26th

Winners Announced at:  

Friday, February 28th at the Snowball