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Homeschool Resources for Coding, Art, Languages

This is Part 3 of my collection of homeschooling resources and focuses on supplementary skills and subject resources viz coding, art and second languages. Coding The world of teaching kids to code has come a long way from the BASIC computer language classes I attended in grade 6. Here are some of the online resources helping to grow the coders of the future. Scratch This Massachusetts Institute of Technology project has been an explosive success among parents and kids alike. It's especially designed for kids from ages 8-16 to get a foundational knowledge of coding. One bonus is that this website is so popular, it's easy to find  complementary project idea books  for the kids to use. I only wish it came in an app like the junior version. I just transitioned the girls to this website last week and they love it. Sugar has already built and published 3 games. Spice has struggled with understanding the site and would prefer to continue using the Jnr version but her sister is

Homeschool Resources for English, Science, Math

While the first part of this series focused on general resources, in this post I'll be listing subject-specific resources for elementary school primary subjects (English Language Arts, Science and Mathematics) English Language Arts Storyline Online Features videos of celebrities reading children's books. Each book reading includes a recommended grade level and run time. ReadTheory A free K-12 reading comprehension resource. My kids were introduced to this in grade 4 and became instantly addicted. Sources of free books The free section of Amazon Kindle library Your public library (usually has an Overdrive or Libby app for ebooks). The twins have enjoyed accessing their favorites like Babysitter's Club series.  Any Little Free Library near you (PSA: Wipe books, wash hands!) Bonus: The Harry Potter At Home portal is for fans. Apart from fun activities, it also highlights the Harry Potter book that is available for free on (audio and ebook) on various pla

Resources for Homeschooling

As I alluded to in my previous post, this era of social distancing has led to me (and most parents in the world) to try our hand on serious homeschooling. In the past, I have accessed several resources to teach the girls but this was a supplement to the primary learning they were receiving from their schools and teachers. With all the unknowns of the initial lockdown, I had to revise my role to that of primary educator. In that role, I struggled with finding decent, reputable resources for teaching older elementary kids (grade 4). Sure a quick Google search will yield some results but I found some of the resources to be too commercial, flaky or poorly designed for my use. Some were also good. In keeping with the objective of this blog to " Learn and Share ", I'm going to highlight all the homeschooling resources that I think are worth accessing. This post quickly grew to be a loooooooooooooooooog list so I'm going to break it down into sections which I'll kee

Finding Childcare in Calgary

REUPPING AN OLD POST I've been navigating the childcare terrain in Calgary since moving here in 2011 and we're not done yet. With 8+ years of this hustle in the bag, I thought I'd put a few guidelines together. Childcare Choices in Calgary The first step is to determine the childcare choice that is most attractive to your family. The options that are available include dayhomes, daycare centers and nannies or au pairs. Each option comes with it’s advantages, disadvantages and costs. Childcare Costs in Calgary Dayhomes : In this situation, the provider is offering childcare in their own home. The province regulates the number of children that can be taken in at any one time. This is usually the cheapest childcare option available in Calgary and costs run from $150 to $500 per child per week depending on the provider's qualifications, location etc. There are also a handful of Dayhome Agencies that take care of licensing and regulating a number of independently

Raising a Girl Child - Reading List

I just noticed that I have a folder of bookmarks on my browser that's labeled "Girl Child". It's a collection of articles hosted on fairly reputable websites that share tips on raising girls in today's world. In no particular order, here's my collection of resources on raising girls 30 Critical Tips for Mothers Raising Daughters  from the Family Education website Raising Awesome Girls from the Girls Scout website Raising a Powerful Girl from PBS Kids for parents.  Raising Daughters from Psychology Today International Day of the Girl Child - a collection of resources from the United Nations Just sharing these links made me go back and check some of these resources are. They're really good and worth reading and re-reading ever so often.

Making "Home" Intentional

I always like to spend the months of December and January taking stock of several aspects of life, reviewing what worked in the past year and setting my directions for the next year. I don't consciously have a "word" for the year but I do have a theme that reflects the life goals. If last year's theme was "SIMPLE", then 2020's theme is "HOME". In so many different definitions for the word Home . HOME noun a house or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family or household verb to proceed or direct attention towards an objective adjective operating or occuring in an area that is a base of operations or headquarters adverb to a vital sensitive core

Simple Living With Kids

I didn't blog for almost all of 2019 but I was still out there, still doing my thing. Consciously or unconsciously, my life theme for 2019 was "Simple". I chose the simple life over and over again. I had so many balls in the air, I knew that the best thing for my mental and emotional well-being was to simplify as many things as I could. So what did I simplify in 2019? Here's a concise summary of what worked for me and how I used the concept of "SIMPLE" to influence almost every facet of my life