Tag Archives: School

My Favorite Homemade Teacher’s Gift

28th June 2011

I did one of these paper lunchbag book teacher gifts last year, for my son’s grade one teacher. I wish I could claim the idea as my own but I cannot – I found this fab idea here.

This year, I decided to make one for my four year old daughter’s JK teacher, who will not be her SK teacher next year because she’s  having a baby. She was also my son’s SK teacher, and we adore her. Actually, every parent that is lucky enough to have her as their child’s teacher adores her.

I’m not going to lie – this teacher gift is very time consuming. It also involves your child, which slows down the process even more. But I promise you, if you stick with it, you’ll love it, and the teacher will too. My son’s teacher cried last year. I call that a win.

For my daughter’s version, we went with her favorite colors – pinks and more pink. I thought I would share it below.

Some details:

  • I used 4 folded up lunch bags – that gives you 14 pages, plus the front and back and four pockets that we used for a gift card, school pic, and some art by the little one.
  • Good tools to have: lunchbags (obviously), scrapbook paper, glue tape/glue gun, hole punch, crafty stuff, infinite amounts of Diet Coke and a sense of humour.
  • They are really no rules – you basically start with a scrapbook of lunch bags, and then you can just go to town.
  • Definitely involve the little ones – that’s what makes this gift truly special.
  • It will take a LONG time (did I say that already?) – don’t be like me and leave it until the night before the last day of school. Seriously, don’t.


PAGE 2-3:

Page 4-5: (A letter from me) and a teacher quote

Page 6-7:

Page 8-9: The 4yo drew a picture of herself and her teacher

Page 10-11:

Page 12-13: When I Grow Up I Want To Be:

Page 14-15:

Back Cover:

What it looks like with all the extras in the pockets:

What it looks like with all the extras pulled out of the pockets:

That’s it!! That’s my favorite homemade teacher’s gift!

I would love to hear what you think. And if you have any questions about anything let me know!


Homework vs. No Homework

15th April 2011

I have a seven year old.

At the moment, he is preparing a project that is due on Monday. It’s a book report that involves many parts, including a presentation. He chose Jacob Two-Two and the Hooded Fang for his report – yes, my son is awesome. He had to read the book, create a new cover for the book, write a summary, and pick 5 -10 artifacts that are important to the book and attach a cue card to each with a paragraph explaining why it was picked as important. Once all that’s done, he has to prepare to present it to the class.

Repeat after me – This is GRADE TWO.

It’s been a LONG three weeks – for both of us. Personally, I feel like it would be virtually impossible for a 7-8 year old to complete such a project without the guidance/support/help from a parent. Of course, I’m more than happy to help my guy, but I will admit that I find the whole deal very stressful. I’m not a teacher, and I haven’t done homework in YEARS – and although I am a genius, *insert loud snort here*, the whole thing has made me a total stress case.

To be clear, this isn’t the first time he’s had to do something like this. He had two presentations in Grade one (as a six year old) and he ROCKED them – he memorized the entire presentation. He did so well that he was asked to present to the other Gr. one class as an example of a good  presentation. He’s also already done a presentation early this school year, again doing really well.

In terms of other homework, the only thing that comes home is a spelling list and four worksheets involving those spelling words, once a week. That’s it. Funny enough, in grade one, he had TONS of homework, most nights. Clearly, the teachers are very different in their approach.

Having experienced both sides, I have no idea what is better – tons of homework that comes home consistently or little to no homework at all? I will say that when he did have a ton of homework, I felt more aware of how he was doing. And yes, more homework meant less play time, and much more stress for everyone involved. Of course, my son prefers less homework, but what kid wouldn’t?

So what’s better? There are tons of reports out there – many of them outlining the negative effects of homework like children’s frustration, exhaustion, loss of interest in learning, and some pointing out the positive. Personally, what I wonder about is how prepared the kids will be come high school, where homework will be inevitable.

I just don’t know.

    I would love to know what your experiences have been with your own children. What are your thoughts?

    Lunch with The Flinstones

    24th August 2010


    I went to a public school that was literally across the street from my house, from the ages of five to fourteen. Although some days I hated living that close, and others I didn’t really care, the fact was it was very convenient. Of course, living that close meant that I could easily come home from school for lunch, which was a big plus for my mom. So, from the first day of Kindergarten to the last day of grade 8, I would walk home for lunch.

    Every day.

    For nine years.

    There might have been a school trip here or there, that warranted a bagged lunch, but I would say 99.9% of the time, I was sitting at my kitchen table, and not a table at school, during my lunch break.

    My mom was a stay-at-home-mom, and with five kids, she was always very busy. My mom is old school – a Greek immigrant, who kept (and still does keep) an immaculate house despite the fact that seven of us lived under the same roof, in a house that wasn’t necessarily made for seven. And every single day she made these fabulous meals for us for lunch and dinner. Yup, every single day, there was something different on the table, and you can bet that there was no chance that any of it was processed. My mom wasn’t the sandwich type of mom either – she was the hot lunch type of mom.

    So, for years, I would run home from school for lunch, sit at the table and eat with my little sister, while we got to watch The Flintstones. We had a little television in our kitchen that sat on top of a sewing machine table. Remember those old school sewing machines? The ones that were attached to the table and folded down into it? We had one – my oldest sister would use it to make us little outfits and Halloween costumes when we were younger. And when the sewing machine was put away, it housed our little t.v., and allowed us to watch our beloved Flinstones. It was a real treat.

    Now that I am old and gray, I miss those days. When you’re living in the moment, and you’re young, you don’t really realize that those special moments will become childhood memories that you will cherish for years and years. And so now, whenever I see The Flintstones (thank you satellite t.v.), I think about those times and how my mom would greet us at the door, ask us about our morning, and feed us what she had cooked for us.

    It’s a silly thing I suppose, to associate a kid’s cartoon with a childhood memory – but I can’t deny that it absolutely reminds me of the comforts of home and family, and my mom in her slippers and cute mom outfit, and perfectly coiffed hair.

    Thanks Mom.


    Dear Mom: I promise I will try to remember these lovely moments when I’m driving my beloved six year old back and forth from school four times every day, because he wants to eat his lunch at home, even though we don’t live anywhere near the school. I will try especially hard to remember those times when it happens to be the dead of winter and the travel back and forth takes even longer. And I’m going to do this, and waste a lot of gas in the process, because I’m going to try to recreate those moments for my son (minus The Flintstones – because evidently television can now be attributed to hyperactivity, rudeness, talking back and dandruff – and in this day and age, we certainly don’t need more dandruff in the world).  Also, don’t hate me if I occasionally throw in a chicken nugget for lunch – and by occasionally, I mean often. Love Me.

    Mr. Grade One

    1st September 2009

    Today is the day I’ve been dreading a LONG time – my five year old is starting grade one. This means he is at school, full day, including lunch. He will be away from me everyday for 6.5 hours. I probably sound slightly pathetic, but I don’t really care. My little man will be away from my crazy grasp for SIX and a HALF hours everyday – ME NO LIKEY.


    When we were driving to school – he said he was excited, but as we walked to the school grounds, he clung to me like crazy. He would not let go of my hand to even say hi to his little buddies that he hasn’t seen all summer. He met his new teacher, and stood in line waiting to go into his classroom with his new first day outfit, and it took everything in me not to burst into tears, while I watched him from afar. My little man, who changed my life in the most profound way, is experiencing his own new changes today, and I am blessed and proud and absolutely thrilled for him.

    But I’m not going to lie, I may need to be heavily medicated the entire time he’s gone, so that I can play it cool when I pick him up. Dear Starbucks, prepare the latte IV – I am on my way.


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