Information for Parents/Guardians

Welcome parents and guardians! Here you will find information and web resources designed specifically for you!  These tools will assist in the success of your child or adult child as they move between different stages of school, work and coming home!

Best Practices for Parents/ Guardians

Web Resources for Parents/ Guardians

Best Practices for Children going from preschool to elementary school

Your child is now making that very important transition from preschool to elementary school.  These are the foundational years that truly impact a child for the rest of their lives. They are developing their personality, academic skills and life values.  Parents/Guardians are the first and lifelong role models that children look to for everything. How a parent/guardian views school, how they live their lives, what the home environment is like and the type of supports available to the family strongly determine a child’s success in life.

The transition from preschool to elementary school is one of the hardest educational changes that a parent/guardian will face. Your child is making that huge leap into the elementary school system. They will experience new curriculum, new issues, new learning opportunities, new assessment and new people. Elementary becomes their first step into formal education. Some of the strategies you can try to ease the stress for your child and build a solid educational foundation are:

  • Be a role model
  • Help plan and participate in the preschool graduation
  • Take the child to the library, family literacy or math centre
  • Talk to them about how fun “Jump Ahead Days” are (spending a day visiting kindergarten or Grade 1)
  • Participate in the shared events between the preschool and the elementary school as a volunteer
  • Encourage them on the “Ride the Big Bus” day
  • Support them in attending “School’s Cool” programs
  • Go to a school open house and meet the teachers and principals
  • Talk to your First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Counsellor or funder or First Nations, Métis and Inuit organization about financial subsidies for school supplies and extra-curricular activities
  • Talk to your First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Counsellor or funder or First Nations, Métis and Inuit organization on how to advocate for your child
  • Check out First Nations, Métis and Inuit Headstart and Early Years Screening Identification programs
  • Ask your school and Counsellor about an Educational Plan for your child (tracks academics, social, mental, physical, language and cultural development)
  • Take your child to events that involve other role models and cultural teachings
  • Establish routines in the home that are clear and consistent (meals, sleep, homework, play)
  • Plan excursions that encourage learning and play

Best Practices for Children going from elementary school to high school

Your child is now experiencing a level of “new independence” by moving from elementary school to high school. It can be an exciting and scary time for parents/guardians. The key to successful transitions at this level continues to be support from you, the home environment (routines, communication) and your network of resources (Education Counsellor, family, friends, First Nations, Métis and Inuit services and programs). To ensure that this transition is less stressful for your child and yourself, you may want to try some of the following strategies:

  • Continue to maintain consistency in routines at home that are respectful of child’s age (curfews, rules for respectful behaviour, chores, homework, meals, sleep, free time)
  • Work at keeping the lines of communication open between you and your child
  • Meet the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Counsellor, and the band or First Nations, Métis and Inuit organization that you belong to, and find out the services and programs you have access to (financial subsidies for school supplies, after-school buses, homework clubs, counselling, support groups)
  • Get an update on the academic/career plan for your child
  • Review the high school courses that your child is taking
  • Ask the school about academic supports and services that are available (laptop programs, tutors if needed)
  • Encourage your child in entering a mentorship or buddy program
  • Find out about the extra-curricular activities and trips that your child can go on at school
  • Participate in tours of the high school and in events that are shared between elementary and secondary (volunteer)
  • Encourage your child to attend career fairs, cultural events and role model panels/talks
  • Meet the principal and teachers of your child
  • Find out from the school, Education Counsellor, band or First Nations, Métis and Inuit organization how to advocate for your child

Best Practices for Youth going from high school to college or university

Your son/daughter is now starting their college or university life. They may be relocating to a new city or staying home and going to a local post-secondary institution. Either situation is still exciting and overwhelming for your son/daughter. They have been preparing for this transition from the moment they went from preschool to elementary. All of the supports and skills that have been fostered and provided by you, their teachers, Education Counsellors and others have provided tools for success. To ensure that this transition from high school to post-secondary is less stressful, you may want to try some of these strategies:

  • Celebrate their high school graduation
  • Keep the lines of communication open
  • Meet the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Counsellor, and band or organization that will be funding your son/daughter to go to college or university
  • Look at college or university programs with your son/daughter and ask questions
  • Go on a tour of the selected program (live or on line) with your son/daughter
  • Assist with funding applications and bursary/scholarship applications where you can
  • Research the city where they will be going to school and give some information on the services available for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit Health Access Centres, Friendship Centres)
  • Encourage your adult child to participate in mentorship programs
  • Develop a realistic plan for visiting if your son/daughter is going away for college or university
  • Develop a respectful plan for their “staying at home” (expectations in the household) if they choose to attend a local institution
  • Ask them about the academic supports and First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Units at the college or university; encourage your son/daughter to make that connection

Best Practices for Youth transitioning between post-secondary institutions

Your son/daughter may make the choice to transfer to another post-secondary institution. Maybe they have graduated from a program and want to further their education or skills. Or, maybe they have decided that their program of choice is at another location. Here are some ideas you could pursue to support your son/daughter in their choice:

  • Investigate the suitability of the change. Is this part of a realistic career plan? Are they personally ready? Do they have the academics for this change? Do they have the finances? Ask questions and support their decisions
  • Help them with your funder (band, organization) by asking about the limits on funding for transferring or going to another program. Will the band or organization fund this?
  • Ask your son/daughter if the certificate, diploma, degree or credits they currently have are transferable to the new post-secondary institution
  • Review the suggested strategies from the secondary to post-secondary transition stage and see if any of them apply in this new situation

Best Practices for how to support your young adult going to work

Your son/daughter is now starting on their career and headed to work. Or, they may be working during school or have chosen an alternative path to work. Either way, this is an interesting time for your son/daughter as they now become responsible for themselves. New finances will have them experiencing a new level of independence and reality. To support your son/daughter in this transition you may want to suggest these ideas:

  • Attend a workshop on cover letters, resumes, reference letters and portfolios
  • Research interview skills and participate in a mock interview
  • Find job search resources and web-based engines
  • Investigate the various aspects of volunteering
  • Find out if internships and placements are available through governments or private funders
  • Secure a paid apprenticeship
  • See a financial planner or go to a workshop on this topic
  • Investigate the possibility of a small business loan
  • Develop a plan on their living arrangements, financial and social needs
  • Use the previous information and find ways to balance work, life and/or school
  • Prepare a vision board that captures their holistic and long-term life goals

Best Practices for supporting your young adult coming home

Coming home for your son/daughter can be an experience of many mixed emotions. They may be excited, anxious and scared all at the same time. If your son/daughter has left the community (whether urban, rural or isolated) for a number of years to attend school, then s/he may experience “culture shock” coming home. Culture shock means that a person experiences feelings of “being out of place”, “disoriented in a place” or “not fitting in”. It is important to know that this is normal when a person has been away for a number of years.  To support your son/daughter in this transition home you may want to try some of these strategies:

  • Keep the lines of communication open
  • Let them know that you are very proud of them
  • Help them with a plan for returning home (living arrangements, finances, cultural supports, other community resources)
  • Have a “welcoming home event” for them
  • Connect them to Elders and cultural teachers
  • Suggest that they join a support group or network (live or online)
  • Work with the Education Counsellor and other programs/services to support this transition

Additional Resources