Friday, August 28, 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015

High School Student Resource

Happy Thursday Dreamers! Today's program resource is Discovery Education. You may have already seen this in our post last week as we used this as a "go-to" for a middle school social studies resource. Discovery Education is also the perfect resource for high school students.

They have everything from homework help, interactive activities, "live" WebMath Lessons, and digital text books. We find this resource to be so great not only for the variety of content that they offer but they are also "standards-aligned" educational resources. This is perfect for pediatric cancer patients due to the high number of absences that will likely occur.

Additionally the fact that all of their content is free and online also provides your child with the flexibility to get this extra help whenever they choose!

Check it all out HERE!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Feeling inspired

We came across this quote and felt it perfectly captures our posts during high school education week. As we have mentioned before our founder was diagnosed right before he was supposed to begin high school. Obviously, having a typical high school experience was the anticipated plan, but letting go of that plan conceived his inspiration, passion and 13 journey that created Teen with a Dream! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tips for the Emotional Transition to High School

Transitioning to high school is an exciting time for teens and a big mild stone. It is common for there to be a little anxiety when making this transition. As we mentioned yesterday, this topic hits close to home for us here at Teen with a Dream because our founder was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma a week prior to starting his freshman year.

Below you will find three categories of tips provided by Cancer.Net that will ensure a healthy emotional transition into high school and beyond...

Key Messages:
  • After you are diagnosed with cancer, it’s important for your parents to contact your school to let them know how often you will need to miss school and for how long.
  • There are different ways to stay involved with your friends, classmates, and schoolwork. Go at your own pace when you can and when you are ready.
  • You may also want to consider what, when, and how to tell your classmates about your cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
After you are diagnosed with cancer, one of your concerns may be how to handle both school and treatment. Depending on your treatment plan, you may be able to continue to attend school and keep up with schoolwork, with short breaks for appointments and treatment. Or, you may need to take more time off from school.
Staying involved
There may be times during treatment when you can’t go to school on a regular basis. However, staying involved with school can help you feel like you’re missing less and make it easier to return when you are ready. Here’s how to stay involved:
  • Keep in touch with your friends online, through texting, instant messaging, video chats, e-mail, phone calls, or visits.
  • Ask a friend to take notes for you if you need to miss a class.
  • Ask teachers if you can photocopy their notes, record their class, or reduce your homework load, if possible.
  • Consider asking for a reduced class schedule if possible – maybe you can skip a gym class or an elective class and concentrate on core subjects such as math and English.
  • Ask your teachers if they would be willing to e-mail you assignments or send work home with a sibling or friend.
  • Consider getting a tutor or hospital teacher to help you with your work from home or the hospital.
  • Try to arrange to attend school for special events that are important to you.
Remember that your health has to come first while you are receiving treatment for cancer and recovering. Side effects from your treatment, such as extreme tiredness, called fatigue, and feeling like you need to throw up, called nausea, may make it difficult to concentrate on schoolwork or to spend a lot of time with friends. Try not to feel embarrassed or upset if you need extra time to complete schoolwork or don’t feel like being with your friends.
Interacting with your classmates
Your classmates will react to your cancer differently. How they react may depend on how much school you miss or if your appearance changes, such as if you temporarily lose your hair. Here are some tips that may help you talk with your classmates and prepare yourself for their reactions:
  • Ask a parent or teacher to give the class some basic information about the cancer and treatment. Or, if you feel comfortable, ask your teachers to arrange a time for you to tell the class about the cancer.
  • If you decide to tell your classmates yourself, decide what you’re going to say; you may want a parent or the school counselor to be there to help answer questions. If you feel you are in control, you will be more comfortable and the conversation will flow more smoothly.
  • If you decide to have someone else, such as a parent or a counselor do the talking, decide whether you want to be there and how much you want people to know.
  • If you’re going to be away from school for a long time, consider visiting for a couple of half-days or for a few hours before going back full-time. You can also ask a friend or two to meet you outside school on your first few days back, so you don't have to walk in alone.
  • Be prepared to answer questions, but if someone asks you something you don’t want to answer, it’s fine to say, “I’d rather not talk about that.”
  • Be prepared for insensitive comments or questions, and try not to let them upset you.
Any information you feel comfortable giving can go a long way toward helping your classmates better understand your situation. Many people are just curious and simply want to help. Don’t forget that you don’t have to deal with any issues with your classmates by yourself. If you need help, talk with someone you trust, such as your parents, a teacher, or the school counselor.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Steps your Child Can Take to Prepare Themselves for High School

Saturday was the start of our High School Academic week and we focused on ways you, as the parent, can prepare your kids to transition into high school [with an emphasis on a child who is also a pediatric cancer patient].

Today, we would like to take a different perspective on this and share tips that your child themselves can take to make this transition a little easier...

  1. Prepare yourself for a larger work load
  2. Have a discussion with each of your teachers to ensure that you will be able to get your work in  on a timely matter even in the case of missed classes
  3. Pair up with a classmate in each class that is willing to communicate what went on in these missed classes, and possibly even obtaining a copy of their notes
  4. Challenge yourself academically in the sense of learning new things. Take an elective course that you may not have otherwise thought of taking. Learning knew skills will be beneficial for your mental state.
  5. Make a goal to make one school sponsored event or game. Of course, consult with your doctor to ensure your counts and immune system are good to do so. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

High School Education Week Begins [Tips for Parents to Prepare Their Child for High School]

Through out the month of August we have gone through "What Parents should tell their child's teacher" and "What teachers should know if their student is a pediatric cancer patient". We have done so for Elementary School and Middle School.

We feel as though you can easily apply those posts to our high school edition as well. That is why today we are going to change it up a bit and just share a few ways that you, as parents, can prepare your child for a positive start to their high school journey, even with cancer!

This topic hits close to home for us at Teen with a Dream due to the fact that our founder, Spencer, was diagnosed only weeks before he was supposed to begin high school.

Tips to Prepare your child for high school....

  1. Maintain a positive attitude towards your child. By showcasing a positive outlook will have residual impacts on your child. When they are able to see how positive you are about it, hopefully they will begin to get excited as well.
  2. Make sure to make orientation events a priority. Much like the middle school transition, going to high school also means a change in location. Make sure that your child is extremely comfortable with the layout of their new surroundings.
  3. Establish a plan for missed days. [You can read about this more in detail in our Middle School Edition]
  4. Sign up for an extracurricular activity that is right for your child. This would be something that you will definitely want to consult with your child's doctor. Due to the physical demands of sports discuss with your child's school alternative options such as clubs or even modified options for sports. By joining in on extracurricular will create a sense of belonging for your child and make them feel more involved and comfortable. This is profoundly important for pediatric cancer patients due to the likely high number of absences they will experience. If your child cannot make a meeting, ask one of their fellow club members to video chat your child!
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate! By maintaining continuous conversations with your child will allow you the opportunity to spot if their is a problem. 

Friday, August 21, 2015


What do you call a dinosaur with no eyes?
A "Doyouthinkysarus"


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Core Subject Resources [Middle School Edition]

As you may have seen last Thursday we broke down each of the common core subjects for elementary school. Now, we would like to apply that same layout for the core subjects of middle school.
Let's begin,

Language Arts 

Language Arts within this stage of education begins to focus more on comprehension of language and reading while beginning to expose students learn how to analyze what they are reading. All of these topics build on building a strong foundation of creativity and a better understanding of language. Check out this wonderful resource who encompasses all of these traits...

Get started HERE!

This is a great resource for any middle school student through their numerous activities that they provide to help your child build their confidence and skill within the mathematic world.

Get started HERE!


Middle School Chemistry 

Download free activities, lesson plans, related readings AND view video demonstrations of science experiments.

Get started HERE!

Social Studies

Discovery Education 

This is a great resources, providing you with SIX options of social studies courses. This resource has digital text books, related readings, technological activities. Additionally all of their resources are aligned with core curriculum requirements

Get started HERE!

Foreign Language 

Share My Lesson

Browse through numerous of foreign language lessons created by actual teachers for even more practice!

Get started HERE!



This resource has everything health curriculum related from grades 6-8 including free printables!

Get started HERE!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Inspirational Dr. Seuss Quote for this Middle School Education Week

Moving forward into middle school can be a nerve wracking process. With a new school, new curriculum, new friends...just remember to not let the unknown overwhelm you because....

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Emotionally Preparing Your Child for Middle School

The transition to middle school can be a difficult one for most children. When you add being a pediatric cancer patient on top of that, it can add even more nerves and stress. Today we would like to share with you a few simple ways to build on emotionally preparing your child to conquer middle school.

In addition to the list below, make sure to check out our Parent & Teacher checklist as well to help with this process even more!

Emotional Preparation Tips 
  1. Study the school schedule and procedures weeks before. Moving from class to class can arguably be one of the most nerve wracking aspects of middle school. By really getting to know the schedule and school's procedures will help your child feel more comfortable through out the day.
  2. Discuss expectations, responsibilities and that there will be more challenging school work than before. 
  3. Establish an organization plan. We would suggest designating a 3-ring binder for each class that has separate logical sections. Here are some sections you may want to include:
    1. Notes
    2. Readings/Articles
    3. Worksheets
    4. Tests/Quizzes
    5. Homework TO DO
    6. Graded Homework
  4. Family Calendar + Child's Planner. Although this is under getting organized, we feel that it is extremely important and therefor should be it's on topic. For your family's calendar make sure you find a system that works to keep track of your entire family's schedule all in one place.-find a system that works for you. For your child's planner, make sure that they are maintaining use of it through out the year. It is easy to be good about it at the beginning of the year and lose momentum as they get more comfortable. By maintaining use of a planner will help your child stay organized and on-top of school work which is profoundly important for pediatric cancer patients who may miss more school than most.
  5. Make Family Dinners or Family Time a Priority. By maintaining extended communication will help you stay involved with your child's middle school journey. It provides an opportunity for your child to tell you about the things they are excited about or if they are struggling in any areas [even socially].

Monday, August 17, 2015

What Middle School Teachers can Prepare for a Pediatric Cancer Patient Student

Last Monday, we shared a checklist for what teachers should know if one of their students is also a pediatric cancer patient. In addition to that list, we would like to share with you a checklist that is unique to middle school students.

Lets review general topics that teachers should know when one of their students is also a  pediatric cancer patient .....

1. What type of cancer they had and the side effects.2. Things to watch for medical and emotionally after all you do see the child for a large chunk of hours each day. 3. A plan for absences. 4. As teachers pushing children forward to learn is a big part of what you do, but cancer patients and cancer survivors can’t always be pushed because sometimes its a large issue that is holding them back, its important to ask and see what things effect them so that you know that line. 5. What are signs to look for that the child may need more help outside of the classroom6. Contact information to contact parents with the most amount of ease. 7. What goals/wants does the child want in their education.8. What are any rules and regulations your school/districts have on situations like this, and if they aren’t effective how to make them more effective. 9. Also ask questions you feel may better help you, cancer families at the point of reentry into school have spent 1,2,  or even 3 years dealing with this so they will be very knowledgeable on the patient side.

In addition, this checklist showcases topics unique to our middle school teachers and coping with a pediatric cancer patient ......
  1. Typically, middle school teachers seek to reduce parent involvement to promote student's independence. For Pediatric cancer patients this may be a little trickier to balance as their child is going through an extremely traumatic experience as are the parents. That is why, as the teacher, you may want to initiate an elaborate discussion with the child's parents in order to map out a plan that both makes the parent comfortable all while promoting the student's independence. 
  2. Peer pressure becomes more prevalent in middle school, therefore we would suggest to check in with [all students] but potentially have an extended conversation with a pediatric cancer patient student. Pediatric Cancer Patients are especially prone to depression and loneliness and would benefit from a caring conversation with their teacher.
  3. Middle schools also tend to be much larger than elementary schools, therefore establish the best routes through out the school to ensure that this particular can make it around with ease due to the limitations that cancer can cause on a person's body.
  4. Decide the best plan of action for absences and missed in class activities to ensure that this student is receiving the same amount of enriching education [even if it has to be at the hospital!]

Saturday, August 15, 2015

What Parent's Should Tell Their Child's Teachers [Middle School Edition]

Moving forward from last week's focus of elementary school education week, we are beginning our Middle School Week Edition!

There are numerous similarities from last Saturday's post, but we would like to share with you a few key points that are unique to Middle School.

Going to middle school typically means a change in location and buildings. This can be a difficult transition for some. That is why there should be an in-depth conversation between you [the parent] and your child's teachers.

Topics that will be especially important to cover [IN ADDITION TO LAST WEEK'S] during this conversation would be:

  • Familiarize yourself and your child with this new building
  • Where are some quick routes to get to the restroom if nausea hits your child quickly
  • Who is the school nurse and how can you get in contact with this person to establish that particular plan of action
  • What are each teachers expectations of your child when there are absences
  • Discuss with each teacher what their rules are surrounding wearing a hat due to hairloss that chemo can cause
  • Is there a parent portal that you can maintain continuous interaction with your child's curriculum 
  • Discuss an action plan that you and your child have established to cope with new friends and peers. Additionally discuss how your child's school handles bullying and the measures they take to prevent this. 
  • If your child's middle school has locker's practice how to unlock their types of lock at home, that way the anxiety of not being able to get in and out of your locker is eliminated
  • Read read read the student handbook!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Educational Subjects Breakdown Resources

Today we will break down great resources for elementary school students by subject matter. Each resource is a great go-to for essential information and interactive materials/activities. Let's start!


This language arts resource has a bundle of various activities that highlight different aspects of this core subject. From vocabulary worksheets to interactive visual activities-your little one is sure to be challenged to learn through their resources.

Get Started HERE


Now, there are many resources for you to choose from for this core subject-but we want to encourage you to really delve into a hands on approach for this topic. That is why for this subject's resource we encourage you to investigate your local library. At Teen with a Dream's local library there is designated story times, interactive readings and lessons at the library. The wonderful part is the hand's on approach that this resource perpetuates!


MATH landing provides you with endless opportunities to view lesson plans and activities. This resource allows you to choose from numerous topics which makes it the perfect fit for anyone!

Get Started HERE

Social Studies for Kids

This site covers cultures, economics and delves into the United States history! Check out this wonderful resources and utilize the interactive timelines and work sheets!

Get Started HERE

National Science Teachers Association
This website provides essential articles to vamping up your child's science education. It highlights topics from fossils to hands on science experiments

Get Started HERE

American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages

A great resources to begin a fabulous foreign language journey with support for parents and students alike!

Get Started HERE

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Inspirational Quote [Primary Education]

Yesterday we discussed 10 Simple Ways to get your child ready for "back-to-school" we want you to remember that those simple tips can be made for fun as well! Don't forget to have a little quality play time with your child :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

10 Simple Techniques to Prepare your Little One to go to School

It seems like getting your little one ready for school can be quite the task. From simply getting them ready in the morning to actually preparing them for school itself-we want to share a few ways to make the transition from home to school easier. It is our hope that these steps are applicable to those who are participating in home school as well! Additionally, as always, this list is great for pediatric cancer patients as well as those who are not [siblings and beyond!].

  1. Play board games to encourage the concept of taking turns--this could be great for those who have long treatment days!
  2. Reading to your child at least 20 minutes a day, encourage interaction as you read. Ask them questions.
  3. Although pediatric cancer patients are unable to frequently go to public places due to the high level of germs--come up with sanitary ways to host play dates of different ages to prepare them to interact on a multitude of levels
  4. Encourage clean-up right after activity as this will be a task they are expected to complete in school
  5. Ensure that you are giving them 1 step and 2 step directions to encourage the concept of following through
  6. Have your child sort out various items according to a particular specification e.i. color, shape, size
  7. Although high levels of activity may be difficult for pediatric cancer patients, encourage any sort of physical stimulation [this would be a great thing to consult and work with their doctor]
  8. Encourage your child to draw on plain old paper. Teen with a Dream whole heartedly believes in the benefits of art therapy has on coping with cancer
  9. Specifically in regards to pediatric cancer patients, discuss with your child their plan to react/discuss their cancer if it is brought up by their friends. Discuss what key words or phrases will make them feel most comfortable
  10. After a day at school encourage them to discuss their day what were their favorite parts, what were their least? How can these help them grow. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

What Teachers Should Know & Ask if Their Student is a Pediatric Cancer Patient [Elementary School Edition]

Teaching is one of the hardest jobs, but also one of the most joy filled. To impart knowledge and empower children to be strong individuals truly is an amazing talent and career. 

Here is a check list of things you should know if you have a child with cancer in your class. 

1. What type of cancer they had and the side effects.
2. Things to watch for medical and emotionally after all you do see the child for a large chunk of hours each day. 
3. A plan for absences. 
4. As teachers pushing children forward to learn is a big part of what you do, but cancer patients and cancer survivors can’t always be pushed because sometimes its a large issue that is holding them back, its important to ask and see what things effect them so that you know that line. 
5. What are signs to look for that the child may need more help outside of the classroom
6. Contact information to contact parents with the most amount of ease. 
7. What goals/wants does the child want in their education.
8. What are any rules and regulations your school/districts have on situations like this, and if they aren’t effective how to make them more effective. 
9. Also ask questions you feel may better help you, cancer families at the point of reentry into school have spent 1,2,  or even 3 years dealing with this so they will be very knowledgeable on the patient side.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Things Parents Should Let Their Child’s Teacher Know [Elementary School Edition]

Back to school after going through treatment is a hard thing, so here is a check list of things you should let your child’s teacher know to hopefully allow for a easier transition back into school. Just never forget that your child went through something very difficult so reentering school isn’t easy for everyone. 

  1. What type of cancer did your child have and a little about it
  2. Estimated time away, if you have this it may be best to share in advance however explain that cancer and being a cancer survivor has many variables. 
  3. Possible side effects or the side effects your child is dealing with
  4. Information on your child’s doctor/medical team should be updated at the school =. 
  5. Ask to create a plan to help ease absences. 
  6. If you think setting some realist goals for your child is helpful, ask the teacher for help in whatever goals you think. 
  7. Important details, example if your child now has a heart condition because of treatment, or if you have to be away from school that year if there is a very severe flu season. 
  8. It’s important to let them know that illness will most likely effect your child longer because of their treatment. 
  9. Also important to know that fatigue is a constant battle to overcome and a break is sometimes needed. 
  10. Explain what Chemo Brain is, Chemo Brain is a very real side effect that chemotherapy has that can almost be described has living in a fog, it makes your reaction to recalling things and learning things slower and can be very frustrating to the child and the teacher, it is important that teacher know what this is and does research on their one to see what style of teaching will help overcome this issue.

Exchange and establish the best form for contacting each other is also important to building an ongoing relationship. 

We could never write out all the things someone should know about childhood cancer because their is so much, so hopefully these are some of the most important ones, every year at back to school we will come up with more, and if you have any that are important to you make sure you voice them and let your child’s teacher know.

Friday, August 7, 2015


Happy SPLURGE! Friday! If you are gearing up for back-to-school we have the perfect joke for you!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Free Online Educational Games

As we are now in the mist of August, back-to-school is right around the corner! That is why today for "Program Resources" we wanted to share with you some great free online educational games and resources to make the transition from summer to school a little easier!

These resources are a great and FUN way to get that brain back into school mode. Check out our top three favorite online educational resources for your kids....


This website is a great way to get your little one thinking. The best part is that each game is hosted by your child's favorite television character! G


This website provides a wide variety of activities from flash cards to coloring pages to silly jokes making it perfect for those kids going through primary school.

Tweens & Teens
Great for older children it is a site "where you can play free fun online games & interesting business strategy simulation activities. Exercise & challenge your brain"

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Back to School Emotional Support

Here is an easy way to ease back into school for any age! If this is your first time back since you've been diagnosed with cancer you can use this exercise to share your journey from diagnosis on and what you want people to know for the future. Never forget you can make things your own to make them better serve you. 

Goodbye Summer Story
Help your children gain closure with summer and get geared up to work by writing a “goodbye summer” story together. Sit down as a family and recall all the events of the past summer. List the vacations, the memorable meals, the crazy moments, the adventures with friends, and then put them into story form to make a lasting memory for your family to cherish. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Message from our Founder [August Blog Preview]

Summer is almost over and it’s time to think about going back to school. For anyone going back to school is stressful, but for a current cancer patient or a post treatment cancer patient it brings a whole other wave of stress. Whether it is germs, dealing with doctors appointments and school, chemo brain, or general fatigue it is hard to deal with. 

Over the next coming weeks we will be giving some advice on how to communicate with teachers during and post cancer, advice on side effects of chemotherapy and school, and tips for getting through it all. From after school snacks, or what your teacher needs to know about being a cancer patient-we hope to be your Real Life Resource for going back to school. 

We have spoken to teacher in all age groups to find out the information they want to see and will also think about the information teachers should know about having a child with cancer in their class. For me personally, it was hard to go back to high school and deal with everything during my treatment. This was due to the fact that I was diagnosed a week before I started the 9th grade, and it was a rough road for me, so I hope in the month of August to help others with their journey. 

Spencer Harrison 
Cancer Survivor, Founder