Sunday, August 14, 2016

Well read & informed parents equals empowerment!

Where do you head to when you need help with your child's education? There are so many places to go these days that it's often overwhelming.
I suggest that you start with this current, authoritive and informative app:
 presents their free app for parents:

Each of these tabs: Homework and Study; Wellbeing; Technology; School Guide; and Conversations offer plenty of quality current material and advice to help parents feel more informed about partnering schools to develop their children into well adjusted, happy, educated & good citizens of the future.

We want our children to be good digital citizens, too.
The cybersafety and cyberbullying sections have plenty of great advice about how to help your children be safe online and free from bullying and its effects. 

In the Wellbeing section there are plenty of resources to explore on Behaviour; Development; Fitness; Food & Health.
Under the food tab they include some delicious lunchbox ideas to fuel your children's brain and learning power.

If you struggle to help your child with certain assignments because you don't understand the terms, or would just love to be sure of what is being asked,  there is help at hand in the English section with A-Z glossary, help sheets. assignments starters & a section on My Book Club.
Help is also at hand for the Maths area with A-Z glossary; help sheets;  tips & maths assignment starters. There is also a game app included- Maths Monkey Quest for students to work on recall of maths facts.

                                                                          Maths Monkey Quest
But that's not all!-there is also plenty of support material available for other subject areas:
 and even more!! Tips to help you plan for your child's future:

You will also find the following apps created by the NSW Department of Education available for download.

Other Department of Education apps

and Kids' whose parents read, succeed even more!!!
Cheers :-)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Good quality free apps are not hard to find if you know where to look!

 I used to feel confused when it cames to choosing quality apps from  the huge & ever-growing range of apps available from the app store. I also found it was very easy to have the cost of the apps mount up over time. My husband was forever noticing & commenting  "O Oh! another app from iTunes!" as he went through on the bank statements.

I have been exploring and downloading apps for many years now in both my role as a Grandmother of small children and as a Teacher Librarian in a Primary (K-6) school in NSW, Australia.

I have found over the years a number of excellent places to go to for advice and guidance in selecting my apps.I especially love the #FREE ones when they are truly discounted and have no in app purchases!

I was delighted to find Music with Grandma FREE ATM-usually $3.79 US. I was notified of this app because it was on my wish list in the AppShopper ios app.

"Grandma has always been a favorite of mine, and this new app is my all-time favourite. It teaches kids note names, placements, instrument sounds and patterns. Grandma still dances, and Grandpa makes appearances playing instruments, too. A great app for learning and appreciating music, designed for kids from 6-12 but great for preschoolers, too, with a few settings accommodations." from
I have found this site to be  a great source of help in identifying quality apps.

I love finding apps that will meet the needs of a student, or one of my grand-daughters, who wants to explore an area of interest. The following app Monki Home -Language is totally FREE ATM with a 4 star rating. I am notified each day of the choice of today's apps gone free on this "News" app. I have found many valuable apps with a great saving in cost.

For those who have children interested in learning various languages: Try Monki :Home FREE
To ensure you get all the languages for free make sure that  after you download the app, Open and Unlock. You will need to Confirm your purchases which are Free. If you wait a few days they will no longer be available for free.

MyBrushes Pro-Sketch 3 1/2 stars FREE ATM  Usually $3.79 

I hope that knowing about these helpful app will save you some time and money!

Kids' who read, succeed!!! Cheers :-)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Making kids great readers!

I believe that reading aloud to children is very important....however this article, originally published on The Conversation, points out another way of making kids great readers!

Dinnertime storytelling makes kids voracious readers

Anne Fishel, Harvard Medical School
As a young child, I loved to imagine myself as a pioneer girl in Little House in the Big Woods, eating fresh snow drizzled with maple syrup. I even pestered my mother to make this treat with the dirty snow that fell on our Manhattan sidewalk. Not a chance.
Years later, I honored my young sons’ request to try a coconut after reading the adventures of Babar. Who knew that even a hammer and chisel won’t crack these nuts? I resorted to clearing out the sidewalk below and then pitching the fruit out a third-floor window.
It worked, but thankfully there are many easier ways to bring food and reading together than hurling coconuts or eating dirty snow.
Here are some of the connections I researched while working on my book, Home for Dinner. And remember, none of these requires a gourmet meal or a trip to the bookstore. Library books and a takeout pizza are just as good.

Dinner conversation builds vocabulary

For starters, there is the linguistic pairing of reading and eating, shown in such common expressions as “devouring a good book” or being a “voracious” reader.
Those sayings reflect the reality that children who have regular family dinners have a real leg up on being good and early readers. Years of research from the Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development have shown that dinner conversation is a terrific vocabulary booster for young children – even better than reading aloud to them.
Rare words, those that go beyond the 3,000 most common ones, are 10 times more likely to show up in dinner conversation than in storybooks. When parents tell a story at the dinner table about their day or recount a funny family anecdote, they usually include many words that a young child hasn’t yet learned but can understand from the context of the story. Children who have rich vocabularies, packed with less common, more sophisticated words, learn to read more easily because they can make sense of the words they are deciphering.

Then what happened? Mealtime via

Encourage children to tell stories

The benefits to children don’t just come from listening to stories. Children who know how to tell stories are also better readers. In one large study, kindergartners who were able to tell stories grew up to be fourth- and even seventh-graders with higher reading comprehension than those kindergartners who lacked narrative skills.
Dinner is a prime time for children to tell stories and to be encouraged to tell better stories. Researchers have found that children can be taught to tell longer, more information-packed stories with a few simple instructions.
  • Reminisce with your children about past experiences you’ve shared with them. “Remember when we forgot to take the brownies out of the oven?”
  • Ask a lot of open-ended questions, including plenty of “how” and “why” questions rather than questions with yes-or-no answers.
  • Encourage longer stories by repeating what your child says or by elaborating on her story.
  • Instead of deciding what story to tell, follow your child’s lead on what she wants to talk about.
In this study, children who were given these instructions had bigger vocabularies and told more complex stories a year later.

Books can provide a feast of culinary ideas. Danielle York, CC BY-NC-SA

Make a literary meal

There are other tasty connections between food and books. Consider the banquet of children’s books that feature food as a central force in the action. There are the magical noodles in Strega Nona, the pomegranate seeds that bind Persephone to Hades, the irresistible Turkish delight in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the whimsical tribute to picky eaters, Green Eggs and Ham.

Reading done away from the table can inform dinnertime topics. Eden, Janine and Jim, CC BY

Just as dinner conversation can lead to more reading, reading can be the prompt for meals and for conversation. Parents and children might recreate a favorite literary meal for dinner, and then read that book, or a portion of it, aloud. Split pea soup from George and Martha or spaghetti and meatballs from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs are two possibilities.
And, don’t forget the many nursery rhymes that involve porridge, rice pudding and blackbird pie (to name just a few). It could be fun to imagine what Harry Potter might eat for dinner at Hogwarts or to create a high tea that Mary Poppins might like.
Of course it’s not just children’s literature that gets our mouths watering. Melville devotes a chapter to clam chowder in Moby Dick, and in Nora Ephron’s Heartburn, the philandering husband gets his comeuppance with a Key lime pie in the face.
If cooking a literary meal doesn’t get you in a reading mood, here’s another idea for a dinner: ask family members to talk about one book that changed their life. That dinner conversation might just jumpstart some bedtime reading.
The Conversation
Anne Fishel, Author of Home for Dinner and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
Kids' who read, succeed!!! Cheers :-)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Free access to Tumblebooks for Coffs City Library patrons and their families.


For kids and families, TumbleBooks lets you watch and listen to hundreds of e-books online, play a game,  watch a video, write a review..

To visit Tumblebooks at home you first need to visit the Coffs City Library page 

and then click on the Tumblebooks icon. 

Tumblebooks is subscription based.
 If you go straight to the Tumblebooks page you will be asked to register and sign in.
You need to go through the Coffs Harbour City Library page to  gain free access.
The Council is covering this fee so our community has access to this resource.

Thanks Coffs Harbour City Library.

Kids' who read, succeed!!! Cheers :-)

Birth order matters! Find out what it means for you and your family.

"Birth Order Does Matter
Some researchers believe birth order is as important as gender and almost as important as genetics. It gets back to the old nurture vs. nature business."  

                                         Human Behavior and Education Expert, Speaker, Author. Ph.D. Ed.D.
The Achiever, The Peacemaker, and The Life of The Party
"While the eldest child is programmed for excellence and achievement, the middle child is raised to be understanding and conciliatory and the baby seeks attention. As a result, birth order is a powerful variable in the unfolding of your personality.
Discover the effect of being The Lone Wolf: The Only Child.
Understanding that a first-born child feels highly responsible allows you to lighten their load and recognizing that the baby of the family is experiencing a more lenient environment can help you be more diligent in your discipline.
Click on the article link below for more information from her article:

The Achiever, the Peacemaker and the Life of the Party: How Birth Order Affects Personality

I really liked the final comments in: 

That Elusive Birth Order Effect and What it Means for You

Can birth order really shape your personality?
 "The moral of the story for parents is to look for your own biases and stereotypes about birth order as you think about what your children are capable of doing. Encourage them to teach each other, to define their own identities in the family, and to avoid labeling themselves based on their birth order.  Don’t let the lives of your children be dominated by the random forces that caused them to be born when they were."

How does this reflect your childhood and birth order? Does it ring true?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Wishing all the fathers and male carers a very happy Father's Day 2014

Happy Father's Day to all of our fathers and carers.
I hope you get plenty of time to relapse!

Thanks for all the things you do to keep us safe and make us happy!

You may enjoy reading the quotes about fathers by clicking on the link below.

Father's Day 2014: 20 quotes about fathers from Parentingideas

 Kids' who read, succeed!!!Cheers:-)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Our local Community of Schools works together to rid students of lice! Nitbusters!

"Understanding the biology and lifecycle of head lice will enable you to understand how to effectively treat and manage head lice in your family and school."
NSW Government Department of Health

"Head lice are only found on the human head. Head lice do not live on furniture, hats, bedding, carpet or anywhere else in the environment. Treating anything other than the human head does not eradicate head lice." Treatment of Head Lice NSW Government Department of Health

"Spring cleaning your home, washing bedding and toys and rigorous vacuum cleaning do not affect the head lice population on a human head." Biology NSW Government Department of Health

How do you catch head lice? "Head lice are caught from another human head. Head lice cannot survive off the human head for any length of time." Biology NSW Government Department of Health

"Head lice move from human hair to human hair."

"As no product has been shown to kill eggs, any chemical treatment must be reapplied after any eggs have hatched, ie. five to seven days after the first treatment." Biology NSW Government Department of Health

"Unfortunately, the management and treatment of head lice is surrounded by a large amount of misinformation and myth, particularly about their habits and what is and isn't an effective treatment." NSW Government Department of Health

To assist you to combat these annoying creatures:
NSWPublic Schools and NSWHealth present:

NSW DET video on head lice show you how to get rid of head lice.

NSWPublic Schools and NSWHealth present:

For further support and information go to

Please check your child’s hair regularly and if necessary apply a suitable product to remove the lice.

"Sometimes you may need to reapply the lotion two or even three times.

All eggs must be removed to successfully eradicate the lice.

We understand that it is a difficult and tiresome job to do
but unless all the eggs are removed  they can re-hatch over night."

 NSW Government Department of Health

For further support and information go to

To lighten the mood watch this video:

Kids' who read, succeed!!! Cheers :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Walk to school and enjoy the benefits.

Walk Safely to School Day      Friday 23 May 2014

Walk Safely to School Day (WSTSD) is an annual, national event when all Primary School children will be encouraged to walk and commute safely to school.

It is a Community Event seeking to promote Road Safety, Health, Public Transport and the Environment.

It will be held throughout Australia on Friday 23 May 2014. Read the recent Media Release.

Andrea Rowe blogs:

How did walking to school become the exception?

  • "There's a smaller proportion of children walking to school than at any time in history, but most parents say they'd prefer to walk if they could. So what's the problem?

Why aren't we walking our kids to school more often?

  • Andrea Rowe looks into the barriers and benefits of walking to school." 
  • The objectives of WSTSD are:
    • To encourage parents and carers to walk to school with primary school age children and reinforce safe pedestrian behaviour.
    • To promote the health benefits of walking and help create regular walking habits at an early age.
    • To ensure that children up to 10 years old hold an adult's hand when crossing the road.
    • To help children develop the vital road-crossing skills they will need as they become mature pedestrians.
    • To reduce the car dependency habits that are being created at an early age and which will be difficult to change as children become adults.
    • To promote the use of Public Transport.
    • To reduce the level of air pollution created by motor vehicles.
    • To reduce the level of traffic congestion.

Further reading:
The Link Between Kids Who Walk or Bike to School and ConcentrationKids' who read, succeed!!! Cheers :-)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

WORLD Autism Awareness Day is just around the corner!

What is AUTISM?


Early Signs 

 Autism usually manifests in the first year of life; its onset is not later than 3 years. 

There are some  developmental landmarks to watch for as a child grows. These may be used as a guide to gauge a child's development.

 If there are any concerns about a child's development or if there is a loss of any skills at any age talk to a doctor as soon as possible.


Formal diagnosis of autism is performed by medical specialists.  

What is AUTISM?

  There are a number of different early intervention options to treat individuals on the autism spectrum. Diagnostic Assessment Services It’s important to remember that whilst there are many options available, parents should thoroughly investigate the quality and effectiveness of an intervention in order to make an informed choice.

 To assist parents in making this decision, the Federal Government commissioned The Australian Society for Autism Research (ASFAR) to produce an independent evaluation of the effectives of early intervention options funded under the Helping Children With Autism (HCWA) package.  

Autism Spectrum (Aspect) provides a number of fact sheets to find our more about the current resources available to you. The list includes:

What is autism? 

Girls and women with autism spectrum disorder

 iPads for autism 

Parents with autism spectrum disorder 

Adults with autism spectrum disorder 

Siblings of children with autism 

Familial risk for autism 

Ageing with autism spectrum disorder 

 Kids' who read, succeed!!! Cheers :-)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Try some collaboration with your little one's drawings!! Work together

To any creative Mums, Dads, Aunts, Grandads.....out there

Here's an awesome idea to try with your little one's drawings!
They make great Mother's Day or Father's Day projects.
Even Grandma's or Pops could get in on the act.

See the original post This creative dad does something very cool with his kids' drawings | Kidspot for many more great examples. 
This creative dad does something very cool with his kids’ drawings

Friday, March 14, 2014

ABC of educational jargon for parents

Wondering why your kids talk about playing under the school COLA? Baffled at parent-teacher discussions about KLA's? You're not alone!

I hope this list helps you understand some of the terms teachers use.


AECG – Aboriginal Educational Consultative Group
AC – Aboriginal coordinator
ACLO – Aboriginal community liaison officer
ADD – Attention deficit disorder
ADHD – Attention deficit hyper activity disorder
AP – Assistant principal
ASLO – Aboriginal student liaison officer


BEC – Board endorsed course – HSC subjects  endorsed by the Board of Studies NSW.
BOS – Board of Studies NSW - The body responsible for the development of core syllabuses for Kindergarten to Year 12. It also manages external examinations such as the School Certificate and the Higher School Certificate.


CA – Creative arts
CAPA – Creative and performing arts
Civics and Citizenship – studied within Human society and its environment (see HSIE) and explores the people, processes and institutions that make up Australia's political system.
CLO – Community liaison officer – encourage and support parents and the wider community to be actively involved in school activities and students progress.
COGS – Connected outcome groups – Units of work, studied from Kindergarten to Year 6, which have been designed to link all key learning areas (see KLAs) together around one topic. For example "Being Australian" may be studied by Year 3-4 students and includes Science and technology, HSIE, PDHPE and creative arts components (see KLAs). Your child may be asked to do a project around a COG subject they are studying in class.
COLA – Covered outdoor learning area. Usually a covered structure in the playground which does double duty as a learning and play area.
Curriculum –The Australian curriculum in NSW is the planned program of teaching and learning constructed by educators, in partnership with learners and others, to achieve agreed educational outcomes.
Creative Arts – a key learning area covering visual arts, dance, drama and music.

If you would like to have the full A-Z list visit Schoolatoz

Remember: Read Everyday
Kids' who read, succeed!!! Cheers :-)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Family challenge for the School Holidays.

During the school holidays see if your family can meet this challenge!!

RHKids Unplugs Parents Guide
RHKids Unplugs Parents Guide

Why is it so important to unplug and READ??

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Keep your children reading during the holidays!!! Kids who read, succeed!!!

The Summer Reading Club is a great opportunity for school aged children to explore the amazing world of books and stories during the summer school holidays.
The library supports the SRC with fun activities for all children who participate, including ideas of interesting books to read! Summer Reading Club 2013 2014
 All children who register to participate in the SRC this year are invited to attend the Investigation! Party at Cavanbah Hall 21 Jan 2014, 1.00pm - 3.00pm

 For more information and further details visit Coffs Harbour City Library Summer Reading Club Website.

Special SRC event Making Picture Books Workshop with Aleesah Darlison Tuesday 14th January 2014. 

Some of our students had the wonderful experience of sharing a video conference with Aleesha Darlinson during 2012, which included the reading of her picture book, Puggle's Problem. Enjoy the reading of the story below.

Special SRC event Making Picture Books Workshop with Aleesah Darlison Tuesday 14th January 2014. Time: 10:00 - 11:30 at Coffs Harbour Library Cost: $5.00 per person. For ages 7 – 12 years. Bookings essential.
Aleesah, an author of children's picture books, provides an introduction to this exciting genre and leads children through exercises to create their very own picture book. Includes a writing and illustration component.

 Also during the holidays for times when you, or any other independent readers-think older siblings, grandparents, uncles, ... are not able to read to your child: Visit the Read to my Child website so your child does not miss out on this important daily developmental activity.

You can also use You Tube to Encourage Reading -a post by The Book Chook ."Use YouTube to entice your youngsters towards more wonderful picture books. You can find book trailers that give a sneak peek of the book's contents, but also there are whole picture book stories on YouTube."