Welcome to 2024! Let’s not overthink it…

Hello!

Welcome back to another school year! Did you have a good break? Are you replenished and ready to leap into the year ahead with unbridled enthusiasm? Or are you already crushed by the prospect of the daily school grind?
I’m firmly in the unbridled enthusiasm camp, having spent four glorious weeks holidaying with my family in Paris. The City of Light holds a special place in Corbett family lore, being the place in which my wife and I met and lived for a decade in the noughties, and where our two kids were born. Spending the month re-acquainting ourselves with a city we once called home and watching our kids interact with the offspring of our close Paris friends was life-affirming. And so – I’m ready to dive into the year ahead as Squiz Kids celebrates its fourth year of existence 🥳.

As you steel yourself for another year of child-rearing, take heart from this article I stumbled upon last week, citing the research of psychologist, Adam Grant. Its basic premise? That it’s easy to over-involve ourselves in our kids’ lives and put too much store in their success at school. That some of the smartest and most accomplished adults showed little-to-no promise as school kids and were instead your classic late-bloomers. As Grant says in his book Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things: “I thought the child prodigies, the best athletes, the most naturally gifted musicians, the most brilliant students were the ones who had the talent to go on to achieve greater things in the future.” He nevertheless discovered “that there are many late bloomers” or people without “natural aptitude for a task or a skill but, with the right opportunity and motivation, go on to exceed their own and other people’s expectations”.

So here’s to leaning out in 2024 –  and letting flowers bloom when they bloom.

 

Free Classroom Worksheet Database

One of the primary goals at Squiz Kids is to make teachers’ lives easier. And since our daily news podcast is listened to every day in an estimated 5,000 classrooms around the nation, Squiz Kids’ very own, fully-qualified primary school teacher, Christie, produces a couple of free classroom worksheets each week – called Classroom Companions – tied to a news item in the daily podcast and curriculum-aligned.

The one thing that’s been missing to date? An ability for teachers to search our back catalogue to find a worksheet that matches whatever lesson they’re teaching on any given day. Christie has been busy over the Christmas break fixing that problem – and this week, as Aussie kids troop back to school, we’re proud to announce the launch of the Classroom Companion Searchable Database. I cannot recommend these worksheets highly enough. The thought and creativity that Christie puts into each one is so impressive. And in our back catalogue there are worksheets on everything from grammar to inference, comprehension to literary devices.

If your kids’ teacher/s aren’t already using them – be sure to point them in our direction. Did I mention they’re absolutely free? Because we like to give.

 

This Week On Squiz Kids…

First up: because it’s the first week back, a reminder of our weekly output. A daily news podcast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, a Squiz Kids Shortcut or Squiz The World pod every Tuesday, and the Weekly News S’Quiz on Friday. This week’s Squiz Kids Shortcut is on Cyclones, Hurricanes and Typhoons … as ex-tropical Cyclone Kirrily wreaks havoc on outback Queensland, we spent the weekend putting together a deep dive on the science of cyclones (aka hurricanes if you’re in North America or typhoons if you’re in Asia). The pod drops first thing tomorrow. And don’t forget Newshounds will continue to be a regular weekly feature of the podcast every Thursday – where we hone kids’ skills at spotting misinformation online. Expect to hear more about our efforts in that space in the coming weeks and months.

 

On Our Radar

We’re up to our eyeballs all day, everyday in all things kids, education and parenting. So when we see an article or come across a topic we think you might be interested in, we’ll post it here.

Weaning kids off screens … Look – we’ve all let our screen policing slip over the holidays. We’re only human, afterall. This article in The Conversation provides some useful strategies for weaning kids off screens while avoiding the dreaded ‘tech tantrum’. Especially handy as we send them all back off to school. Good luck!

Cursive makes a comeback … the government of California has recently legislated to make the learning of cursive handwriting mandatory in all of the state’s schools. According to reports, the development of fine motor skills that comes with learning to running write is considerable.

 

Smile On Your Dial

And so we come full circle to the topic of ‘leaning out’ – and take inspiration from British tennis champ Andy Murray who posted the below to his Instagram account. Here’s to being a Dumbledad …

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Have Bryce join you in your inbox every Monday as he attempts to stay a step ahead of the kids. Also: parenting, education, media literacy, and a bit of fun...

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