Does your family get enough sleep?Image result for children sleeping creative commons

We often sacrifice sleep for other things in our lives but sometimes we push our baseline too far and our lack of sleep can impact our health.

Did you know:

  • According to the World Sleep Society, the risk of injury increases by up to 70 per cent when young athletes get less than eight hours of sleep. Conversely, sleeping more than 10 hours a night has been shown to increase sprint speed, shooting accuracy and mental health of college-aged basketball players. (source article)
  • Lack of sleep causes irritability, increased stress, forgetfulness, difficulties with learning and low motivation. Over time, it can contribute to anxiety and depression. (source article)
  • Sleep problems are one of the most common concerns for parents. In fact, sleep problems have been estimated to affect 30% of children. (source article)

The Canadian Pediatric Society has produced a general guide to the amount of sleep young children need over a 24-hour period, including naps.


There are a lot of excellent resources on the Canadian Sleep Society website. There is a lot of great information, podcasts, and other resources.


Tips for Reading Aloud: January Edition

New year, new habits.

I have a friend with whom I used to work at Kidsbooks who had a family routine that I admire: after supper most nights she would read aloud from the dinning table while her partner and daughter washed the dishes. They did this well into her daughter’s teen years.

We often read a story aloud at bedtime. What other regular times might be conducive to reading aloud? Sunday mornings? While you wait for lessons to start? Or, if it’s challenging to find a regular time, try to choose reading aloud as a spontaneous family activity, like on a sunny afternoon, laying on the grass in the park.

Continuing to read aloud to our children as they get older has a number of benefits:

  • it supports their vocabulary development
  • it allows you to engage in tricky conversations about difficult topics
  • it maintains moments of closeness, physically and emotionally
  • it models an ongoing reading life

There is some more good information in this post on the blog “Best Book for Kids.”

Quilchena Reading Challenge: January

Welcome to the 2020 series of Quilchena Reading Challenges. I will be publishing a custom reading challenge for our Quilchena community each month from January to June.

Here’s how to participate:

  1. Download the JANUARY Reading Challenge and print it.
  2. Start reading! Choose books that match the categories in the challenge and write down the titles as you complete them. (There is no length/difficulty requirement. Choose books that interest you, or that are an interesting stretch.)
  3. If you finish this month’s challenge, write your name on your sheet and hand it in to Mme Brogan in the library. There MAY be a draw for a prize for students who complete each month’s challenge.

Quilchena Reading Challenges are designed so that anyone in the school community can participate: students of any grade, family members, teachers, ANYONE! The categories/tasks can be fulfilled by any type of story; it’s up to the reader to select an appropriate title.

See the previous post for more details about how awesome reading challenges are.

here is the Quilchena Reading Challenge–January edition, print it, and START READING.

Mirrors and Windows

Stories are integral to our lives.  We use stories to feel connected to others and to understand our own experiences. We need to have stories in our lives that are mirrors—that reflect back to us our own experience—and stories that are windows—that show us an experience other than our own.  

  1. A book that is about a character from the same culture as you.
  2. A book about a character who has a non-mainstream SOGI*.
  3. A book set in a country that you have spent time, other than Canada.
  4. A book that is about time in some way.
  5. The first book in a series in which you are interested.

*SOGI = sexual orientation and gender identity

The Quilchena Reading Challenges are for all students, teachers, and parents. The categories are designed to be applicable to any and all reading levels. To complete this challenge, you get to choose how long, how hard, and in what format the books are. I trust you to make good choices for yourself.

Reading Challenges!


My new favourite thing about the new year is that it’s time to start a new reading challenge. Last year I looked at many different challenges online and eventually chose the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge. I love it. I was pushed to read books I wouldn’t have ordinarily picked up. I also enjoyed the conversations I had with a few friends who decided to do the challenge along with me. I will be doing it again this year.

Image result for creative commons image carrying booksWhat could make my new love of reading challenges grow to new heights? Creating challenges for Quilchena students, of course! I will create a reading challenge every month for Quilchena students who choose to follow along. There may even be a prize in June for the students who successfully complete all six challenges. (We all know that even if you don’t finish all the categories in a challenge, you’re still better off for having read those stories, so don’t worry if you don’t always finish.)

“the only difference between a nonreader and a reader is that a reader has a plan for future reading and a nonreader does not,”

If you are interested in further reading about the awesomeness of intentional reading lives (including reading challenges), have a look at this article from the Atlantic.

Happy reading!