Kumon: A Foundation for the Future
The Kumon method aims to foster sound, capable individuals who are able to independently carve out a path for themselves in life.
As the largest after-school learning programme in the world, Kumon is more than just tutoring. It’s a partnership between parent, student and Kumon Instructor, to fully pursue each child’s individual potential and develop his or her ability to the maximum. Students progress independently at their own pace, with Kumon helping develop their confidence, a daily study habit and a high level of mathematics and reading ability.
To develop confidence, children start with worksheets that are easy for them. So easy, they can complete a high volume of worksheets, achieving near perfect scores, with speed and concentration. Confident they can do the worksheets on their own, children will be enthusiastic to do more. Their concentration will expand and a daily study habit will form.
In Kumon, students study at the level most appropriate for them, irrespective of age or school year. As they progress, Instructors ensure that students always study worksheets at their ‘just-right’ level – the spot between study material that is too easy and too difficult. Children who need to build on more basic concepts are supported and those who can be challenged by more complex work are extended.
Children are given the opportunity to practise a topic a number of times when needed, helping them to decrease the number of errors, reduce completion time, review an earlier topic, or consolidate something new before they move on. The right amount of practice and a daily study habit – ideally no more than 30 minutes per subject per day – prepares children for higher levels and lays the foundation for smooth progress.
The primary strength of the Kumon Method is, above all, advancing beyond school grade level. The programmes are not only for improving students’ performance in their maths, native, and foreign language classes. Rather, by experiencing and learning how to self-learn through their study of those subjects, children are able to cultivate the ability to independently learn without always needing to be taught. Equipped with this skill, children can pursue their own potential at school and in life with no limitations, by developing a mindset that no problem is too difficult to attempt.
With Kumon’s Free Trial, your child can experience an individualised Mathematics or English programme over two weeks, for free.
Register with your local Kumon Centre now.
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Building happy, healthy and confident children in the water at Blue Dolphin Swim
WORDS: Lesley Rudd Founder/Owner & Tara Hanias Director/Owner
With our combined 50 years in this wonderful industry, the fundamental proposition is our ability to self-survive in water. It’s a complex skill to teach because of the level of coordination involved and our natural survival instinct kicks in and sets us up to drown. Before anyone can become a competitive swimmer, they need to know how to maximise their own protection.
Water safety and learning how to learn
The most powerful thing we can teach our children is to enter the water, turn around, get to the side and climb out. In this way, even very small kids can take control of their body in the water and their own survival. Ideally, young people already have a solid swimming practice by their school years. Forming healthy habits and behaviours that adhere to water safety ideals and learning how to learn is also great practice for a child’s educational journey.
Swimming during formative years not only assists with early childhood development, it further provides a precious bonding experience between carer and child.
Overcoming fears and taking control of instincts
Our survival instinct gets us to do 2 things: hold onto our air and put our head up where the air is. Together, these 2 things set us up to drown. Teaching through to the subconscious level enables us to overcome our fears and consciously take control of our instincts. If we are fearful, we cannot learn as our only concern is our own survival!
Young people need guidance in a nurturing and trauma-free way to overcome their fear, because no one learns when they are afraid. For this reason, the core skills we promote at Blue Dolphin Swim Centre are body and head positioning as well as controlling the exchange of air. These skills allow children to feel in control and confident before they learn about propulsion. If you have not learnt to exhale under the water and ascend for a pop-up breath before putting your head under again, the window to take that breath is not there and you will need to take that next breath underwater. Looking up to get the air also puts the body into a vertical position which means we cannot swim forward. So, the timing of taking a breath in conjunction with controlling our body position is crucial for survival in the water.
We cannot underestimate how complex the teaching of swimming is. Supervision is the most important thing we can teach our parents and caregivers. Learning to swim takes time and practice to teach our brain to co-ordinate 5 things together. For children to master body control in an aquatic environment to maximise their efficiency, propulsion and rest phases is a process best achieved through a commitment to quality education, practice and assessment. All the skills we teach are firmly centred on safety from learning efficient swim strokes to treading water, tows, rescue techniques and water ways safety talks.
Quality child-led education
Blue Dolphin Swim Centre’s framework model is child-led in a nurturing and trauma-free environment. We are family-focussed, respectful and supportive. Our unique facility is founded on standards of excellence and safety. We are family owned and community-based with values centred on education, superior customer service and cleanliness as well as being informed by a continuously improved program. Our skilled, passionate and qualified teachers use proven teaching methods that have been complimented by elite coaches.
Skill based training
We cater for babies from 4 months through to teenagers of 16 years and our philosophy is skills, rather than age-based, which translates into children working at their own pace and being promoted to higher levels whatever their age. In our progressive program one skill leads into another and a solid foundation is built to complement a students’ learning journey. We are always monitoring growth and ensuring readiness for the next progression by regular reward-based assessment for the next level and our parents informed every step of the way. We commit to students progressing in a timely manner and we provide 1-on- 1 assistance when necessary. Most importantly through our passion we instil a love of swimming that leads to all manner of aquatic activities for life.
Forming healthy habits and behaviours
With reference to ‘The Griffith University Report’ (Jorgensen, 2012), clear findings show that children who can swim significantly outperform their non-swimming peers in terms of visual and gross motor skills, oral expression and the academic achievement of literacy, numeracy and mathematical reasoning.
After nearly 5 decades in this industry, extensive travel, study and experience we shout from the rooftops, ‘why wouldn’t you teach your children to swim!’ Your child’s aquatic education provides them with opportunities for fun, safety and aquatic independence they will appreciate for their lifetime – and may even save their life.
Blue Dolphin Swim Centre, Happy Valley
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Scoop & Tap: Meet Sunny, the Vintage Gelato and Drinks Trike
If you’re looking for a way to crank up the cute factor for your kiddo’s next spin around the sun, then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got the scoop on the cutest and coolest addition to your next celebration, because let’s be honest….Life is better with Gelato.
Meet Sunny the Vintage Dutch Gelato and Drinks Trike
Sunny is a custom made, local, family owned Dutch Drinks Trike available for a range of services; think freshly made gelato, cocktails or barista made coffee – just…oh you know – three of our very favourite things!
Husband and wife team-behind-the-trike, Jess and Evan cater to just about every type of dietary requirement (including dairy free, vegan and nut free) with over 20 flavours of deliciously creamy gelato and sorbets to choose from, made from locally sourced ingredients.
Add barista made coffee or cocktails to shake things up a bit for the parentals, and now it’s a party!
Rolling in to your next party
Evan and Jess (and Sunny of course – he’s the strong, silent, good looking type) will work with you to make sure your event is on point. Sunny will be styled to suit your celebration with personalised cups and menu board, your kiddo’s fave coloured gelato and your choice of signage, decor and cute boho umbrella…And Sunny sure makes the cutest backdrop to your celebration snaps!
No event is too big or too small – Sunny will roll in for birthdays of all ages, even weddings and opening nights, both private parties or public events.
Life is short, get the double scoop
Find out more about Scoop & Tap, follow Sunny’s story or book Sunny for your next event:
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Everything you need to know about braces
WORDS: Dr Daniel De Angelis
I’ve been a Specialist Orthodontist in Adelaide for over 20 years. During that time, I’ve treated over 10,000 patients – that’s a lot of transformed smiles! I love assisting my patients on their orthodontic journey to achieve the smile they’ve always dreamed of.
Over the course of my career as a Specialist Orthodontist, I’ve seen a lot of treatments come and go. But one consistent treatment has always been braces. Why? Because they are effective and reliable.
So what should you know when it comes to braces? Who can answer your questions? Read on to learn everything you need to know about braces.
What are braces?
Dental braces are wire-based orthodontic devices that align and straighten teeth. Braces also help correct misaligned jaws and malocclusions. While most people get braces in their teens, adult braces are just as effective, they may just require a little more time to move the teeth.
I offer two kinds of braces – metal and ceramic.
Metal braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatments, mostly due to their cost-effectiveness and reliability. They are also extremely effective in straightening smiles and correcting poor bites.
Braces have been used for over 100 years but have evolved to be less invasive. Braces consist of stainless steel brackets and thing wire bands that hold help gently move the teeth.
Just like metal braces, ceramic braces are made from wire. They function in the same way and are very effective in treating misaligned teeth and jaws.
But instead of stainless steel and coloured bands, ceramic braces consist of tooth-coloured porcelain material and clear brackets. This makes ceramic braces almost invisible and a popular choice with adults and teenagers concerned about the appearance of metal braces.
If you’re contemplating braces for your orthodontic treatment, you may have some questions. Read on to learn more.
Do braces hurt?
Everybody experiences braces differently. There may be some discomfort as your mouth adjusts to the new pressure on your teeth. You may also feel your new braces rubbing against your inner cheek. This should all disappear in a few days.
If the tenderness continues, try dissolving one teaspoon of salt in lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for a few minutes – and remember not to swallow!
If this doesn’t help, use painkillers and orthodontic wax to relieve any discomfort until you get used to your new braces. I’m always happy to help patients who are experiencing any aches or pains.
What can I eat?
Following orthodontic appointments or adjustments, your braces may leave you feeling tender. Try eating soft food like soup, bananas or pasta.
Once you feel more comfortable, you can introduce more foods into your diet. With braces, you can eat:
- Dairy products such as soft cheese and milk-based drinks
- Grains like pasta and soft cooked rice
- Meats and poultry
- Seafood, including tuna, salmon and crab cakes
- Cooked vegetables
- The occasional treat such as ice cream (without nuts), milkshakes, jelly and soft cakes.
I recommend limiting hard and crunchy foods like apples, carrots, or crunchy bread. You should completely avoid:
- Chewy foods like licorice or bagels
- Crunchy snacks such as popcorn and chips
- Foods that are sticky – chewing gum or lollies, for example.
- Anything hard like nuts or hard lollies
- Foods that require biting into, such as corn on the cob.
How do I clean my braces?
It’s always important to maintain good oral hygiene, particularly when you have braces. Braces make it easier for pieces of food and plaque to get trapped in the brackets of your braces.
Use a toothbrush with a soft head to reach those tricky areas. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle, and gently brush your entire gum line. Then turn your toothbrush at a downward angle on the top of your brackets, and then at an upward angle to clean the bottom of your brackets.
Whenever possible, brush your teeth after every meal. Keep a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste in your handbag or pocket.
If brushing isn’t an option, then rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash will help remove plaque and food build up until you can brush your teeth.
Flossing is an essential part of your oral care routine. While it can be a challenge with braces, it certainly isn’t impossible.
If flossing tape is too tricky, use floss threaders or interdental brushes. These will manoeuvre around your brackets more easily. You can find both these products at your local supermarket or pharmacy. You could also consider a water flosser.
What happens if something goes wrong with my braces?
It’s not usual to sometimes break a wire or bracket during your braces treatment. But don’t worry – there’s no need to panic! Simply call our friendly staff on 133 862 for help over the phone or make an appointment to see me as soon as you can.
Damaged braces can cause discomfort, cuts and abrasions inside the mouth. If left unfixed, it can make your treatment less effective.
Remember that breakages to braces take longer to address than a regular check-up appointment. If you have a broken wire, call us on 133 862.
While you wait for your appointment, you can cover any broken wires with wax so it won’t cause any more discomfort. You can also tuck it under the archwire with a blunt object – like a pencil eraser or the end of a match stick.
We’ve got more info under our FAQs HERE to help with any other braces issues you may experience.
Will my health insurance cover braces?
Many health insurers will contribute to orthodontic treatment, including braces, as part of their ‘extras’ cover. Extras cover, or general treatment, is a component of health insurance that covers services that usually Medicare does not.
It’s important to understand that even though some dentists offer orthodontic treatment, it may not be covered within the Major Dental component of your health insurance because the treatment has not been prescribed by a Specialist Orthodontist. Some health funds may pay a lower benefit or not pay a benefit at all if you see a dentist for orthodontic treatment.
How much will my insurance cover?
How much your health insurance fund will cover for the orthodontic treatment comes down to your level of cover, and your health fund. It’s best to check with your health fund to see exactly how much you can claim. If you have extras cover under your health insurance cover you should expect to be able to claim a portion of the cost of your treatment.
I encourage you to ask as many questions from your health fund prior to your first consultation because, with the right knowledge, you can start your orthodontic journey on the same day!
Alternatively, whilst my staff cannot directly liaise with your private health insurer on your behalf, my team will provide you with all the information you require at your initial consultation to discuss any rebate you may be entitled to. We encourage all our clients to discuss this with us prior to treatment commencing.
Which insurance fund will cover braces?
The Major Dental component of your private ‘extras’ cover usually covers a proportion of your orthodontic treatment including braces and in most cases aligner treatment although, it’s a good idea to confirm with your fund if this is the case.
Many ‘basic’ extras covers don’t include Major Dental and generally you need to look at a mid to comprehensive level of extras cover.
We put together a really comprehensive blog about health cover for orthodontic treatment, it’s definitely worth a read if you’re keen on braces or clear aligner treatment, check it out here.
Please note that the information in this blog is factual information only and is not intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about the types of cover available and whether they are suitable for you.
Before and Afters
We are proud of all of our patients and the results they achieve after their braces treatment. Our patients range from children to adults – but no matter how old or young they are, they’re always ecstatic with their transformed smiles.
Here are some examples of the many smiles we have transformed over the years.
Free Orthodontic Consultations
We offer FREE, no-obligation, orthodontic consultations worth $164, including X-rays, scans and photos, which help me put together your free personalised treatment plan.
Making a booking is easy!
- Book online HERE anytime
- Call us on 133 TOC, or
- Contact us here to arrange an appointment
Your Specialist Orthodontist in Adelaide
If you have any questions or would like to talk to us, please feel free to contact us here.
Locations in St Peters, West Lakes and Modbury.
133 TOC (133 862)
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Therapy is Child’s Play at WCH
Children’s play has never been more important at the WCH, with the ongoing work of a group of health specialists in the hospital who work closely with patients and their families. But you won’t find a stethoscope among them, nor a needle in sight – because they’re not Nurses or Doctors – they are the WCH Play Therapists and the tools of their trade look more like board games and blocks, puppets and pencils!
Play Therapy at WCH
Through play and activity, the WCH Play Therapists create an interactive, fun and bright environment that helps children through what can be a difficult and stressful time. For a sick child in hospital, play helps recovery and healing, it allows a child to be a child. Play is everything – and the WCH Play Therapists make it happen!
You can support the amazing work of the WCH Play Therapy team by donating to the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation.
HELP DESIGN THE NEW WCH
Planning for the new, purpose-built WCH is well underway and the team welcomes your involvement. You can provide your input by being part of the community consultation.
To register your interest:
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NAVIGATING KIDS’ BIRTHDAY PARTY ETIQUETTE
WORDS: Madhavi Nawana Parker
Anyone growing up in the 70’s, 80’s and a bit of the 90’s will remember the old backyard party. Not much fuss, a bowl of cheezels, party pies, some fairy bread and maybe if you were lucky, organised games like Pass the Parcel and Musical Chairs.
I wasn’t a parent back then and have no idea whether birthday parties were easier in the 70’s, 80’s and a bit of the 90’s. What I do know is, children’s birthday parties can work up a sweat in even the most relaxed, organised and enthusiastic parent.
Children’s parties can be the perfect storm of kids, noise, sugar and emotions. To help navigate the territory, here are 5 tips.
1. Choose numbers carefully.
How many kids attend isn’t your child’s decision. If you left it up to them, you could end up with their entire class, soccer team, your neighbours, the lady at the grocery and maybe even the butcher. It’s your house and your sanity. If you’re outsourcing, it’s your money.
Realistically, how many children can you host without ageing 20 years in the space of 2 hours? A common guideline many families successfully use is inviting according to what age a child is turning – plus one. That means if your child is turning 6, they can have 7 friends.
Less guests means your child won’t tire quickly, wearing out their social skills mid party and losing it when they want their bedroom back and people to take their hands OFF THEIR STUFF. If your child is sensitive, your best compass might be how many children your child can handle. If this means three friends and they are 8, then so be it.
As they get older, be flexible. Leaving a couple of children out of a class or social group can come back to bite you. If there are 12 children in a group or class and your child turns 8, allowing 9 children, means leaving 3 out. Try and make values-based decisions. A respectful ratio like 7 kids out of 12 are invited won’t make it so obvious when some aren’t.
2. Make parties simple, predictable and keep attention off the birthday child if they’re sensitive.
Some children can’t handle attention, noise and fuss. Honouring their personality allows them to enjoy their party in a way that’s meaningful to them. Sometimes it helps to make the guests and games the focus. Quiet and non-competitive activities like craft, Lego, bubble blowing and calm games are good to have on hand, balancing the mood and giving opportunities for a reset.
When appropriate, involve your child in the planning and make sure they know what to expect. If they are a sensitive attendee, keep the attention off them and focus on observing the party on arrival.
Try and be swift with your drop and go plan if they have reached that age. Lingering can make it harder for them to let go and have fun.
3. Understand the party game system.
If you’re brave enough to host a party at home, you might want to know there’s some new etiquette here. Everyone is a winner. The old version of Pass the Parcel where no one made sure every child unwraps a layer to find a toy is gone. Back in the good ole’ days, if you unwrapped a layer, you were a winner. Unwrapping a layer wasn’t guaranteed. Is this going to break our children? No. Should we think about whether it’s time to go back to the old way? Maybe. When children practice losing in a supportive environment, this provides practice for handling emotions. Every time they do this successfully, their resilience for disappointment and frustration improves.
If you want to keep friends however, go along with the standards of your community. Why? You don’t want your kid to be the only one whose parents don’t believe everyone should win a prize at a birthday party. If we change this, let’s do it gradually and compassionately, preparing children ahead of time and upskilling them to cope with these emotions.
Children under 8 tend to struggle with the necessary emotional skills to handle winning and losing, so if you decide to let them all win, that’s okay – as long as they practice losing and not getting perfect outcomes at home with you. Birthday parties don’t have to be a learning environment.
4. Prepare for unwanted gifts.
Avoid embarrassment and prepare ahead for unwanted gifts. A silly role play along the lines of, ‘What do you say if Bob gives you a kilo of washing powder for your birthday? You say, ‘thank you very much, Bob. I love it,’ works a treat. Sure, this is lying, but it’s a good kind of lie, right?
5. Play it neutral around invitations.
It’s inevitable your child won’t get invited to every party and probable they‘ll get invited to parties their friends won’t. Telling them not to tell anyone won’t work because we don’t want to encourage secrets – and some kids will blurt it out anyway. Give them an opportunity to step inside their friend’s shoes and imagine how they might feel if they discovered they weren’t invited.
If your child’s the host, do something along similar lines, encouraging them to kindly avoid talking about parties in front of everyone at school.
When your child hasn’t been invited, keep calm and help them do the same. We must eventually learn we can’t be invited or chosen for everything. Little disappointments in early life help us prepare for the bigger ones later. Keep it simple, explain there were only a certain number allowed, stay kind about the other child and their parents and if you can, do something special with them instead.
In summary, if you stick to simplicity, compassion and self-compassion, I reckon you’re on a winner. Happy partying beautiful parents.
For information on Madhavi’s programs to build resilience, wellbeing, confidence and social emotional intelligence in young people, as well as step by step books and journals:
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