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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Mom’s Traumatic Brain Injury

I got to see my mom over the holidays. For those of you who don’t know, she is in a nursing home. She is fully dependent… is fed, diapered, in a wheelchair, and no longer talks. She may or may not know who I am on any given day. This post is for her whom I miss. This is about Mom’s traumatic brain injury. Even though I can physically hug her (one-sided), I find I am truly missing my mother!

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Positive and Inspiring Picture Books for Boys

As I stated in last week’s blog post featuring positive and inspiring picture books for girls, this world can be a difficult one for our kids to grow up in with their self-esteem and self-confidence intact. That’s why this post features positive and inspiring picture books for boys. It is my hope that these books help lift up the special boys in our lives, increasing their self-esteem, self-confidence and sense of self-worth.

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Positive and Inspiring Picture Books for Girls

Let’s face it… this world can be a difficult one for our kids to grow up in with their self-esteem and self-confidence intact! We are inundated with negative news stories. We are encouraged to be practical in our career choices. Some of the most popular video choices to watch on YouTube are of people failing. However, I believe our kids deserve more positive messages in their lives. This is why my blog post this week features positive and inspiring picture books for girls.

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Hilarious Chapter Books to Read to Your Children

Research indicates that reading to our children for just 15 minutes a day exposes them to one million written words or more. That’s a lot of words… many of which our children may not otherwise be exposed to in a year. Reading to our children provides cherished bonding time as well. Some children will sit and listen to books without issue. Others will require some hilarious and engaging content to do so. This is why I am sharing some of my favorite hilarious chapter books that will keep nearly every 5 to 12-year-old child engaged while being read to.

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You Are… More than ADHD

I am. Those are possibly the two most powerful words one can use. Why? Because what follows is what we define ourselves as. This may be why a huge pet peeve of mine is when people describe others as being ADHD. “He is ADHD.” “She is ADHD.” Uh… pardon? Yes, an individual may have a diagnosis of ADHD. I guarantee there is more to the person than this diagnosis. Every individual is more than ADHD! This is why it is important to understand what ADHD is as well as to have a few inspiring individuals to look up to who happen to have it.

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Defining Myself Beyond Being a Mom

Who are you? The question seems so simple, yet I have found it difficult to answer at times. Who am I? Of course, in defining myself, the common answers come to mind. I am a mother, a spouse, a teacher, a daughter, etc. Many of us have seen shirts worn by people claiming to be the world’s best hockey parent or insert any other sport or activity there. But who are we beyond this? How are we defining ourselves?

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Things Watching TV and Reading Should Have in Common

Even though watching TV appears to be mindless at times, it really isn’t. There are many skills that we seemingly automatically learn to use that make watching TV an enjoyable pastime. Many of these skills are necessary to also implement into our reading in order for it also to be enjoyable and fully comprehended.

What are these watching TV and reading skills I speak of? They are as follows:

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Fostering Global Citizenship in Our Children

I did not know much about global citizenship growing up. I grew up in a rural area in which pretty much everyone happened to be of the same race and celebrated the same cultural traditions.

As a child, I did not fly on a plane to go on family vacations with my parents and siblings. Since my childhood was also before the internet was a thing, I didn’t know much about other countries unless I heard about them on the news (usually in a negative light), read about them in an encyclopedia or learned about them in school. That was my extent of global citizenship knowledge. I didn’t see myself as being part of anything outside of the community I was growing up in.

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