WOLO SCHOOL OF ARTS x HAPPY KEYS PIANO PROGRAM 2019
We are super EXCITED to offer our summer group piano camps! All programs will follow the interest of the group. Please read below to see if you qualify!
Click on the photos to register and view dates / times!
Photo by Pixabay
Birthdays and parties are fun at any age, but few of them compare to the excitement of a child’s birthday party. From games to gifts, cake to candles, there is nothing like seeing the joy in a birthday girl’s or boy’s eyes.
That doesn’t mean that children’s parties are all fun and games — especially for the parents. The stress of planning and paying for a child’s celebration can sometimes be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Are you looking to throw the party of the year on a shoestring budget? Think it’s impossible? Think again! These tips will guide you — and your budget — in the right direction.
Decorations can be the perfect way to set the stage for an incredible party. Your child — and all his or her guests — can feel excitement and anticipation just from the decor. However, embellishments shouldn’t break the bank. Try these decoration ideas to stay within your budget:
Food and Drink
Birthday parties need to offer more than just the traditional cake and ice cream to feed guests. Unfortunately, food and drink can often take the largest chunk out of your budget. Not only will you want to make sure kids and adults have enough snacks, but also you may need to account for food allergies. It’s a good idea to ask guests to inform you about food allergies when you send out invitations. Once you know how many guests to expect and how to balance various needs, you can plan a budget:
For those parents throwing a party with themes such as superheroes or princesses, you can take any one of the ideas above and give it some extra flair. For example, you can add food coloring to the finger foods to pull in superhero colors including red and yellow for Superman or red, white and blue for Captain America. For the make-your-own station, consider adding toppings that look like crowns, wands and other princess items.
Keeping kids entertained — no matter the age— can be a big challenge, especially on a budget. However, there are many ways you can use the very things you already have. For example, if you’re throwing a rock ‘n’ roll-themed party, you can host a “battle of the bands” with your Rock Band video game. Just remember kids like to be interactive and engaging with the people and activities that are entertaining them. Some ways you can create this engagement include:
Even if your party doesn’t have a specific theme, you can help your guests have a good time without going over budget by hosting scavenger hunts, talent shows, bookmaking workshops, backyard obstacle courses or a movie night.
Entertainment-themed birthday parties are about making memories. Get creative and thoughtful with these unique ideas, and your child will have a blast at the next birthday.
By Lillian Brooks
We've created a program brochure to give you a quick overview of all our permanent/school-year programs and seasonal classes at WOLO! This program will be launched on February 20th and you will find all our programs until end of the school year! Stay tuned.
Looking for a NEW type of camp experience?
WOLO Spring & Suummer Camps are filled with fun memories, new learning experiences and engaging activities! Each of our weekly camps include a specialized theme with specialist teachers and two weekly piano group class, along with art, science, cooking, outdoor play, cooperative games and more!
We offer Full-Day weekly camps to preschoolers and school-age!
Tell us about your business.
I had originally set out to open a school for early learners (age 2-5) but ended up opening a Learning Centre offering flexible preschool programs and a School of Arts. A full-time group child care centre run like a school was always our first goal but of course we made do with what limited property there is in Vancouver and made it work for us. There was no sense in waiting around for the perfect space to build a group centre.
How do you juggle running a business while being a mom?
It’s been a journey to work on a solid support system we have now with the help of my partner. We’ve learned to ask for help from family or friends when needed. I am also very fortunate to have a great team that I work with. We do the best we can by being as organized and prepared as much as possible. But of course still keeping in mind that things don’t always go as planned and sometimes we’re not prepared, but that it’ll be ok. Sometimes we just have to make do or go with the flow. I am big on visual planning with webs, mind maps and using my agenda and google calendars that synch to both my work and family calendar. It has come to a point where all my staff can view what I have going on in my calendar so I don’t have to repetitively enter in my separate calendars haha.
What do you find most challenging?
Finding child care would’ve been our first biggest challenge. We were lucky enough to find a full-time nanny in the neighbourhood, but we wanted something more educational and engaging for him once he turned 2 and a half. Right now we’ve taken the advantage of our flexibility, both being entrepreneurs. We drop our son off to morning preschool, then my husband picks him up to have lunch and then drops him off to afternoon preschool. After that he gets to come to “Mommy’s School” for the last 2-3 hours of the day. Now our challenge is to be able to sit down to a home cooked meal each night versus eating out or getting take out. We are working on it and have been finding some quick meal kits helpful as well as using our trusty Instant Pot. If you don’t have one, you should get one! No I am not sponsored by them.
What advice would you offer mothers who would like to start a business?
Go for it! Set the intention for your business and everything will flow into place if you allow it to. Life will throw you lemons and you just gotta make lemonade out of them. Use the support system you have around you. Piece together child care and preschool if you need to. Child care spots will open up. Preschool and flex care can be pieced together. Family or friends may lend a helping hand. But seize the day and take on your dream. Cause you deserve to do something that makes you happy. And what makes us the best versions of ourselves is when we do something we love or with passion.
What are the future plans for your business?
We would love to open more locations for each division. Such as a full-time group centre/school for early learners, a preschool and perhaps some more piano studios around the city.
Wonder of Learning
Congratulations to all our budding performers and returning pianists! You all did an amazing job. Thank you for everyone who brought something to share for our potlucks after each performance and for everyone who helped with cleaning up. We look forward to our next recital in May 2019!
For more recital photos, please visit: www.instagram.com/wonderoflearning_Schoolofarts
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Kids Can Thrive in the Arts
Math, science and reading can be difficult for some children, especially those who suffer from learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. But there are disciplines where they can succeed and even surpass their peers with the right guidance and instruction, and those include the arts.
Unfortunately, schools across the nation have cut funding for these activities. They’re often deemed non-essential for growing up and finding a job, and that’s a shame. The arts have so many mental health benefits to offer because they aid in cognitive development and provide valuable self-confidence. It may be up to you to get your children involved, so here are some suggestions.
Set Up a Home Studio
Imagine a small corner of the house complete with a table, a chair, and a variety of supplies. Think pencils, pipe cleaners, and paints. Wouldn’t you have loved that when you were a child? You now have the power to make it a reality for your own child. Choose an area that has good natural lighting that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. Messes are inevitable! Most importantly, set aside time each week to use the space for different arts and crafts. From paper bag puppets to homemade decorations to painted masterpieces, each activity will help your child develop patience and new skills.
Play Around With Clay
This should definitely be one of the supplies that you keep stocked in your studio. Chances are your child would love the feel of wet clay slipping through their fingers, and the next logical step is fashioning vessels from it. According to the Good Dirt LA pottery studio, this ancient art allows youngsters to blow off some steam while expressing their creativity. In fact, the studio doesn’t allow parents to be present during their kids’ classes so they don’t feel inhibited.
See a Symphony Together
Besides the works of masters including Mozart, Beethoven and Debussy, your child will also hear a variety of instruments they’re never been exposed to listening to the radio. This is likely to pique their interest in the cello, flute or even tuba, after which you only need to find a tutor to give them lessons a few times a week. Those will pay off in far more than talent because playing music has been linked to cognitive development and increased memory in a number of studies, say the art experts at Budsies.
Visit a Dance Studio
Children are already naturals at rhythmic movement if you’ve ever observed them stepping, clapping, swaying and spinning to no music at all in almost any open space they find. When you take them to a dance studio, their eyes will light up. Though it’s common to take little girls to ballet lessons, boys are allowed to dance too! There are a wide variety of other styles to choose from including jazz, hip-hop and aerobic. Let them watch, try and choose for themselves.
Check Out the Streets
The city is alive with art if you know when and where to look, and it’s not always what you expect. Though they’ve been around for ages, the Vancouver Art Gallery is a great place to tour different exhibitions that have throughout the year.
Learn Knitting Together
This skill has been passed on from mother to child from time immemorial, and there’s no reason that should change. If you don’t know how, now’s the time to learn together with your daughter or son, as more and more men and boys are also finding joy in knitting. You could ask a friend or relative to introduce you to the basics or go online for an introduction. You’ll discover for yourself the therapeutic benefits of this art from, as will your child.
Take these steps, and you’ll open an entire world of joy and fulfillment to your child in which their learning disability means nothing. It could be the greatest gift you ever give them, so don’t wait another day.
Image via Pixabay.
The school years are hard enough for a child, but factor in a reading disorder and things become all the more complicated. According to the Vancouver Sun, approximately one in five people struggle with reading. Problems with decoding (dyslexia and visual impairment), poor comprehension (possibly stemming from ADD or ADHD), and speed (such as slow processing) are common issues. Unfortunately, the inability to read can affect a student's capacity to learn across other subjects since cognizance is key. As a parent, it's important to keep your cool in order to be a solid support system for your child. Here are some tactics to help you do just that.
Collaborate with Educators
It's important to be on the same page with your child's educators, so make it a point to communicate any setbacks, progress, and general concerns. Ask if you can sit in on a class to see how your child reacts in a learning environment. Work together to identify your child's strengths and interests and draw from those points to improve their skills. Acknowledge emotional reactions that come with the frustration of learning and develop a strategy to help your child cope with any problems. Establish a short- and long-term plan for what can be done to help your kid both in and out of the classroom.
Create a Designated Reading Area
Encourage motivation for your child to read at home by creating a designated reading nook. Make sure the space has ample lighting, is comfortable and quiet, provides privacy, and has enough storage to stow away books and other materials. Natural light is best, but you'll still want to have a reliable fixture for when the sun sets. Make it cozier by hanging a string of LED lights. Implement a relaxing seating area, whether that means a bean bag chair and throw pillows, a recliner, cushions on the floor, or a loveseat. If you can't designate a separate room, set up some folding screens or a hanging curtain to section off an area. Along with bookshelves, store reading material in creative spaces such as a chest that doubles as a table. Ask your child for their input so they can make the area feel like their own.
Look Beyond the Book
Books aren't the only way kids can improve their reading skills. There are also several great websites that help with visualization, summarizing, tone, phonemic awareness, comprehension, and other literacy skills. Turn fun activities such as cooking, drawing, and storytelling into an educational learning experience for your child. Adding variety to your to their routine can help keep them motivated to learn.
Wonder of Learning offers developmentally delayed children an opportunity to advance through play-based tutoring and customized education. Whether a cooking, dance, or piano class, WOLO’s teachers are specially trained to tailor each child’s learning experience their needs and learning style.
Consider Assistive Technology
Assistive technology (AT) is a device, piece of equipment, or system that compensates for a specific learning disability — like audiobooks, for example. These tools can help with decoding, fluency, and comprehension. However, AT does not replace corrective instruction such as using a software to improve poor phonic skills. The goal is to increase a child's sense of independence while helping them in a school environment.
While it's fine to take advice from others, do your own research when it comes to determining which tools your child needs by staying on top of new developments, therapies, and educational techniques. Even though you may be as frustrated as your child on some days, it's important to remember that a learning disability isn't impassable. If you show signs of discouragement, your child will pick up on that, so it's crucial that you're not letting tests, homework, and school bureaucracy from giving your child the emotional and moral support he/she needs to succeed.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Image courtesy of Pixabay
I dreamed all my life about becoming a mom, but when actually faced with parenthood, I was terrified. When you’re a parent with a disability, meeting your unique challenges is a daunting proposition. However with some thoughtful preparations, I found you can navigate your journey the same as everyone else—one day at a time.
Safety first. One of the preparations that gave me peace was preparing my home for my baby. It’s one thing to live with a disability, but once you’re dealing with feedings and diaper changes, exhausted and frazzled from too little sleep, you want all the advantages you can find. By making home modifications for better accessibility, I improved my navigation and eased some of my burden. Besides, knowing my home would support my parenting challenges made me feel more confident. Here are some of the basics which I think are especially helpful.
Bathroom. Bathrooms can be dangerous with the combination of slippery surfaces, soap, and water. Adding non-slip flooring is a big help, along with grab bars and lever-style faucet handles. Raised toilet seats can improve accessibility, along with replacing the tub with a shower. If you use a wheelchair, you also might like removing your vanity and replacing the sink with a wall-mounted option. Another suggestion is to install anti-scald devices on your faucets to prevent the water from becoming too hot.
Main living areas. Loose carpeting is a tripping and slipping hazard, and if you use a wheelchair, it can catch in the wheels. Make sure it’s secure or remove it. Also, consider replacing your door knobs with lever-style handles. Door knobs can be difficult for a wheelchair-bound person to turn, but a lever you can easily push them down. Some professionals also suggest installing child-proof latches on cupboards and outlet covers. Another important consideration is to secure your television so your baby can’t topple it, along with other large furniture items such as bookshelves and cabinets. If your furniture, fireplace, or walls have sharp corners, install padding so your little one doesn’t get hurt on them. Invest in some child gates to keep your youngster corralled; even though your baby won’t be mobile right away, that day will be here before you know it!
Kitchen. Chances are when you’re working in the kitchen, you’ll be distracted, and
hot objects can quickly become dangerous to babies, so the kitchen is another important area to prepare. Even with child-proof locks, you will want to take extra precautions for certain items. Parents recommends organizing your drawers and cabinets so that choking and suffocation hazards like plastic bags and spices are well out of reach, and putting poisons and chemicals in secure areas.
Other ideas. There are other steps I took to prepare for my baby’s arrival which gave me great peace of mind. One of the best things I did was take the advice of Healthy Children, and I found a wonderful pediatrician ahead of time. Another idea is to create a laminated list of your emergency phone numbers; include the area hospitals, emergency services, and your family and friends that you or a babysitter may need to connect with should an issue arise. And lastly, my other wonderful discovery is Wonder of Learning. Wonder of Learning, or WOLO, is essentially a one-stop shop for your child's leisure activities, so it offers needed convenience for families strapped for time.
Prepared and confident. You’ll enjoy great peace of mind by making some simple arrangements before your baby arrives. Ensure your home is safe and accessible, and plan out a handful of simple but important resources. Once your little one arrives, you’ll realize how much these steps helped with preparing for parenthood!