TVO Parents Blog

Are birthday parties out of control?

I love our garage sale. I hate going to other garage sales, but I love holding one. Why? Because we always have so much kid stuff to unload and get out of the house.

Every June, our street hosts a street-wide garage sale, followed by baseball games in the afternoon, and then a pot-luck dinner party in the nearby park. It's a lot of fun and we get to re-connect with neighbours we haven't seen much of all winter. But by far, the most satisfying part of the day is

After making it through once already, is it worth it to become a parent again?

High school graduation is a heady time, for the graduates and for their parents.

My son is graduating this year. At his prom last week, he looked and acted like the adult he is about to become. Suit, tie, beautiful black shoes, friends, a night of dinner and dancing. We parents took pictures and gushed at how they've all changed, how mature they've become.

Grade 12 is a year of great transformation, in part because this is when these young adults decide what
My, he cleans up good. My son, that is.

Last week he put on a suit and tie and went with his girlfriend and their friends to their Grade 12 graduation prom. They indulged us parents by letting us take too many pictures, then drove off in a hired limo to dance the night away.

All of us were in awe of our grown up children. They looked so good, they acted so mature. They were the adults they were about to become.

It was amazing to see the

There's a new girl in my daughter's Grade 7 class. She's from Thailand, and she speaks no English.

My daughter and her friends are thrilled. They're learning all kinds of things...where to find Thailand on a map, how much warmer it is there, and how to communicate without words. The whole class is spending much of their day teaching her English.

Their new friend is reaching out to the other girls, and has already picked out a couple who have been

Good documentaries examine issues that scratch deep below the surface.

Manufactured Landscapes is Jennifer Baichwal’s excellent documentary about artist and photographer Edward Burtynsky.  It airs on TVO's

That's what little girls are made of. And DDT and manganese, too. Same goes for little boys and all of us grown ups.

That's the story of Toxic Trespass, the documentary we're airing May 14th on TVO. We're following with a Your Voice Special, online.

How do you decide what makes a good teacher? And from all the wonderful teachers in Ontario, how do you choose the best?

That was my task last week. I was honoured to be asked to be on the jury for the Ontario Teachers' Federation Teaching Awards. Fifteen teachers made it to the short list. It was our job to choose three - elementary, secondary, and beginning teacher.

It was hard.