Tag Archives: parenting

O Canada! It’s time for school. All about learning press giveaway!


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I am happy to introduce the first giveaway on my blog.  All about learning press is giving away your choice of levels from either All About Reading or All About Spelling, plus an Interactive Kit. This prize is valued at $150!



Simply fill out the  Entry-Form   to enter. The winner will be chosen July 23, 2014 and the contest is open to residents of Canada and the US.



When it comes to homeschooling there is more then one method?

My daughter, age 4 practicing her Montessori practical life activities.

Have you ever wondered about the various methods of homeschooling? If so, look no further! Alecia is a fellow homeschooling blogger who is currently running a series called: There’s more than one homeschooling method?

Last week featured a blog written by  Lisa, Kathy and Karen all fellow homeschooling parents and bloggers who talked about the Eclectic approach to homeschooling. This week features a blog about the Montessori approach to homeschooling that I wrote! Click on the link below to read my blog about the Montessori method:


Please check out this great series (see link below) guaranteed to give you a good look at the various methods of homeschooling written by myself and other great homeschooling blogging parents!




Go Play Outside!

295292_10151064769948791_1786339914_nAs a child , when my friends and I were not in my backyard pool we were playing in the woods in our neighborhood. Those were some of the best days of my life.

We would spend hours unsupervised hiking on trails, climbing trees, walking in the creek, catching crayfish, getting dirty and playing hide and seek.  We never got hurt or hurt each other.  We respected each other, the creatures living around us and the environment. Despite being without all the modern technology available today, we all grew into smart, independent and caring adults. 296743_10150341199488791_276201106_n

Playing outside in nature allowed us to burn off energy, develop our fine and gross motor skills, learn about our natural environment, get fresh air and reduce stress. It also helped us develop important  skills in a hands on way such as teamwork, trust and problem solving  skills. These skills are not learned while sitting in front of a screen.

There are hundreds of pages of reports with information on the many benefits of children being allowed unstructured play time in nature and the negative effects (both physical and psychological) of children who spend too  much time in front of a screen.

As a former teacher it was very obvious in my classroom which children spent most of their time at home in front of a screen compared to the children who had minimal or no screen time. The children who had the most screen time were severely delayed in social skills, language, had difficulty concentrating and were less motivated to learn compared to the children with the least amount of screen time.

Unfortunately  today in some areas it is no longer safe or practical to allow children to roam free as did the kids of my generation but that is no reason to deny children time outside in nature. 1932232_10152030823838791_1481896414_n

So, grab your kids and get outside to play, being in nature is good for adults too!

(below are 2 articles about the benefits of children playing outside in nature)






5 reasons people oppose homeschooling and are you qualified to home-school?

My kids age 5 and 8 at their home-school art lessons (2011)

Even though home schooling is becoming more popular each year, there are still many people who are uncertain what it means to home school a child.

The following 2 articles are informative and nicely written on the subject of homeschooling.








Food allergies or not you need to read this article

As the mother of 2 children with food sensitivities and an adult living with multiple food sensitivities I loved this article.  Like so many other parents of children who have special dietary needs, I have been there.    

Many years ago, when we just started the food sensitivity journey
Many years ago, when we just started the food sensitivity journey

Even if you are fortunate enough to have dodged the food allergy bullet, you still need to read this, as the number of children diagnosed with food allergies and sensitivities continues to rise.


How to let children develop practical job skills

My son, age 6 walking our 85 year old neighbor across the road.

As some of you have read in my blog “my 11 year old daughter has a resume” both my children have been involved in volunteering for a few years. Its an important part of our home schooling curriculum.

In addition to volunteering my 8 year old autistic son has a part time paid job.

Once a day (with my supervision of course) he let’s my neighbors small dogs out for a pee, plays with them in the yard, “gives them lovins” and let’s them back in for a doggie biscuit. He gets paid 10$ a week, to an 8 year old that’s a lot of money!

My son’s job is very important to him. Being autistic (high functioning) he needs routine and needs to know what to expect each day. He also loves animals because unlike humans he gets unconditional love and doesn’t have to interpret body language, hints or body cues. Every time he lets the dogs out they are always super happy to see him.

Luke putting away the new product

Recently my son has started to volunteer at his Grandma’s pet food store on the days the truck delivers the skids of products. This makes him very happy.

Not only does he get time away from his sister, spend time with his grandmother and meet new dogs he also gets to see a giant transport truck unloading skids. That’s a pretty amazing day for an 8 year old.

In addition to autism my son also has sensory processing disorder and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Unloading and organizing items on a shelf is a heaven for him. It allows him to utilize a condition that some feel is a disability to his advantage to develop practical skills in a workplace setting.

One of my son’s many strengths is math. He is naturally good atIMG-20140203-00093 it and loves counting money.  At the age of 5 I would frequently find him in the kitchen, my wallet empty on the counter and he would be letting me know exactly how much money was in there.

At Grandma’s store (with grandma’s close supervision) he has learned how to run the till, and make change. For my son who loves money, that is a huge reward.

Grandma is also teaching my son how to appropriately interact with people (customers) in a work place setting.

He is learning how to approach a customer to ask if they need assistance and how to greet a customer at the counter with their purchase.

Children with autism always have the label of being non-social or having poor social skills.

At the age of 8 my son is learning in a real life setting, social skills that will help him once he has a job as a teenager and adult.  This is something that is not taught inside the 4 walls of a classroom to children with or without autism.

My children are very fortunate to have these opportunities which will give them a definite advantage over the competition when they apply for a job later in life.

1474651_10151868574693791_1419400078_nThere are many ways that children can volunteer in their neighborhood. Of course always supervise young children and use your best judgement. Here are some examples:

  • walking a neighbors dog
  • shoveling snow for an elderly or disabled neighbor
  • cutting grass or raking leaves for an elderly or disabled neighbor
  • Some animals shelters have volunteer positions for children
  • Being a reading buddy for younger children
  • Some nursing homes enjoy having children of any age visit, sing songs or make crafts with the residents.
  • Picking up litter to make their community cleaner
  • Baking healthy snacks and delivering them to a neighbor in need

Here are some links with more volunteering ideas for children and youth: