Back to school

It’s just three small words, yet this simple three-word phrase has a profound effect on everyone who hears it.

For kids who don’t particularly like school, it’s the equivalent of an annual death sentence.

For kids who enjoy school, or spent the past two months in a cabin with their families and a book of show tunes, it’s a welcome change, a fresh start, and a new pair of sneakers.

For parents, "back to school" is a mixed blessing: the kids are out of the house but you’re out the price of a pair of sneakers.

To me, summer began its downward spiral the moment the stores posted Back to School sale signs in the window. My parents would make all kinds of comments about having to start wearing shoes and showering again, and threatened to take my brother and I shopping for some good, i.e. uncomfortable, clothes. The spectre of a new teacher hung over my head, and for the final few weeks until school started up again I never slept as well as I did back in June with nothing to worry about for days at a time.

It was also a time for turning over a new leaf. New wardrobe, new haircut, new book bag, new books, new attitude. Every year was going to be the year I got my act together and "worked to my potential" – according to last year’s report card, I also needed to work on my punctuality.

As many pockets as I had in the new book bag, or how short the haircut was, it never seemed to happen, for whatever reason. I lived less than a block from the school and managed to pull down some good grades when my parents and teachers rode me hard enough, so I really had no excuses.

Of course, this was in the days before the Internet. Kids today have fewer excuses than ever before.

This is definitely the most comprehensive set of education links in Canada, with resources for students and teachers in absolutely every subject, in every grade. There’s almost 150 sites listed here, so chances are you can help find the help you’re looking for.

I went through the list and the Web and picked my favourite tutor sites for your least favourite subjects.


This is the Web site of the CBC series Canada: A People’s History, which has over 350 pages of Web content on our history to browse through. The presentation of our story is a little more interesting here than in the average textbook.


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