Spelling Hacks Everyone Needs to Know!

We all know at least one person who struggles with spelling. Perhaps you struggle with spelling yourself! After all, there are so many rules around spelling. To add to this, for every rule, it seems there can be just as many exceptions to the rule. With 44 phonemes (sounds) in the English language and more than 200 ways to spell them, spelling is not an easy task! Add terms like blends, digraphs, and trigraphs, and the individuals that become confused with spelling really become confused! I share what I believe are the best spelling hacks ever in this post.

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When Children Struggle Beyond Discipline

Every child strives to do well. No child struggles because they want to or are choosing to. This is true whether struggles are of the academic or behavioral type. Children also aren’t lazy (although they can be out of shape). I strongly believe this which is why one of the things that I truly struggle with is sitting in meetings in which parents or teachers respond to concerns by indicating that a child is simply choosing to be lazy or defiant. I write this post in hopes to shed some light into reasons that a child may struggle academically, emotionally, and/or behaviorally… reasons other than because the child is choosing to!

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Thank You, Coaches, for Building Incredible Attributes in Our Children!

Community and school-team coaches… they are volunteers that too often are not appreciated nearly enough. My children are currently finishing up another round of sports before a new one starts. They play a number of sports, so move from one sport to another depending on the time of year it is. We have been blessed with some fantastic coaches! This year has been particularly great… so much so that it has me reflecting on all of the positives that come with having our children coached well. Here is a tribute to all of the great coaches out there!

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I Should… Be Present!

I “should on” myself a lot! This is what I call it because I tend to feel like crap when I do it too much. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. I “should” be doing this or I “should” be doing that. It honestly sucks because the result is that I too often prevent myself from enjoying the moment I’m in.

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10 Strategies for Improving Reading Comprehension

I remember reading with a grade 8 student years ago who could read like the wind. No word seemed to slow him down. The problem? He was retaining or comprehending very little of what he was reading. This sometimes can be expected as is often seen with individuals who are learning the English language but are quick to master English word reading. Other times, the reason for it is a mystery. Actually, we’ve likely all been there at some point where we are reading and lose track of what we are reading about. Improving reading comprehension is essential as it is the difference between just reading words and the words on the page coming to life! This post goes over my favorite strategies for improving reading comprehension.

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What I Recently Learned about Video Gaming

I had the opportunity to hear Cam Adair speak recently. He is the founder of Game Quitters and is a leading expert on video game addiction. Cam, featured in the must-watch video at the bottom of this post, is a video game addict who came to realize he simply can’t play video games and live a meaningful life. He also struggled with depression and was near suicide at one point in his life. Cam was gaming up to 16 hours each day. He went over how video gaming has changed over the years and some steps to try for addiction prevention and/or recovery.

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Living a Meaningful Life

While my hubby and I were out for dinner recently, I couldn’t help but lose focus on our own conversation and overhear another. The other was an elderly man talking about living a meaningful life. To be honest, I was kind of distracted from the moment I first saw this gentleman walk into the restaurant. If I had to guess, the man was well into his 80’s if not in his 90’s. You know how some people just exude positive energy? Well, he was one of those people.

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The Gift Within a Learning Disability

There seems to be this stigma out there that a learning disability is a negative thing. Some parents feel a sense of relief hearing that their child has a learning disability. The diagnosis may explain the reasoning behind one’s struggle in school. Other parents feel a sense of guilt. They wonder if there is something more they could have done to somehow prevent their child from struggling in school. Thankfully, this feeling generally decreases with time and acceptance. For me, I see a gift within a learning disability. This is especially true when it is presented to the child as one. This is because there is a lot of ABILITY in a learning disability! This post goes over what a learning disability is and gives examples of individuals diagnosed with one embracing their gifts.

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Time to Count My Staycation Blessings

My husband and daughters convinced me to go on a mini staycation this past weekend. We live within driving distance of Banff and Lake Louise. It is currently SnowDays at Banff and the Magic Ice Festival at Lake Louise. We have lived in Alberta, Canada for nearly 12 years now, but have never gone to visit Lake Louise with our daughters even though it is only a 2-hour drive for us. For some reason, whenever it’s suggested to go do something near us with the kids that will have some cost to it, I get plagued by ‘there’s always next year-itis!’

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Why Teaching Phonics is Not Enough

It is time for me to lighten things up a bit after my emotional post last week. One of the things I love about working with kids is that they always manage to teach me. Prior to this past week, I had already known that there are an incredible amount of words that don’t follow the reading rules in the English language. What I didn’t know is how much this would be thrown in my face in the middle of my lessons with one particular small group of students that tend to ask questions (which is fantastic, BTW). It was a week of hilarity on the reading front proving to me, once again, that ONLY teaching phonetic rules and phonics is NOT enough to develop a reader.

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