Boys learn differently. That's something I'm just starting to sort out as a relatively new "school parent."
My first son is in Grade 1, so I've only been supervising homework and helping him prepare for spelling tests for just a few weeks. But already I have a pretty clear picture why the Toronto District School Board's new education director is introducing a raft of initiatives aimed at addressing the unique learning style of boys.
I very much underestimated the ants-in-pants factor, for one thing. He'll be doing a worksheet and will just randomly fall of the chair - likely because he's been leaning it so far in one direction or the other. "Boys thrive in environments that are hands-on and where there's opportunity to move around," says Chris Spence, an educator and former CFL-er who is now the TDSB's new education director.
Education reporters Louise Brown and Kris Rushowy have the whole story in, Schools plan calls for boys-only classes. Let us know what you think by commenting on this blog.
Other important news stories for today:
Where to get your H1N1 shot. Toronto Public Health has named 10 sites where flu vaccines will be available, in anticipation of starting the program in early November. It's worth taking a look now to find one on the list that's close to your home. It may be that individual family practices will not be administering the vaccine.
Michael Ignatieff makes daycare a key campaign plank. This is an interesting development in light of the Pascal Report on early learning that the Ontario government is now sitting on, apparently contemplating how to implement in part or whole. We have a whole page dedicated to Early Learning, so please check it out.
Exploited nannies win fee battle. Thanks to a Star investigation, legislation will be introduced today that makes it illegal for anyone to charge a fee to domestic workers hoping to find work in Ontario.
H1N1 turns up at turkey farm. The important thing for parents to note here is that this incident posed no risk to Ontario's food system. The turkey you had at Thanksgiving was fine, and you'd be perfectly safe - though not perfectly sane, perhaps! - if you choose to roast another one this weekend. These were breeder turkeys used for their eggs, and even if they weren't, such viruses would be killed during the cooking process.
Sperm donor passes on heart defect to 9 of his 24 children. Yes, I said 24. This story sheds new light on the need for rigorous screening of donors.