Free Parenting Classes (Online)

I got information about this class in my inbox from our local school district. This class is free and is all online.

Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) Classes.

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I’ve never taken this class, but it looks like a great opportunity. After Finishing this 7-session course, you will:

  • Receive a Completion Certificate
  • Fulfill court and other requirements under the Welfare and Institution Code
  • Have a Better understanding of your child’s behavior and make steps toward building a happy home.

To sign up or if you have questions, contact Luz Alarcon at 619-203-2108. Pre-registration for this class is required.

Summer Reading Programs for Kids!

With the Covid-19 shutdowns, most libraries are not doing a summer reading program.

If your local library isn’t doing a program, here are a few programs that are online. You can of course do as many programs as you (or your kids) would like.

bookitNow Enrolling: Camp BOOK IT!
Parents, join us for our first ever Camp BOOK IT! and keep rewarding your kids all summer long. Track and reward your kids’ reading for June, July, and August in our digital dashboard. When they meet their monthly reading goal, they’ll receive a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza® from Pizza Hut! We’ll also share fun activities and book recommendations each week to keep the fun going throughout the summer! For more info on the 2020-2021 school year Bookit program, check out this post.

The City of San Diego library system is doing its summer reading program with some modifications. You can learn more and sign up here.

scholasticScholastic has a summer reading challenge in which kids go online to record the minutes they’ve read during the summer. This year, kids can build an avatar, make new friends, earn virtual rewards, and help unlock donations for kids with limited or no access to books. All you need to do is sign up and keep a “reading streak” in Scholastic Home Base over the summer!

RIF

Soar with reading while summer is out with Reading Is Fundamental, the nation’s largest children’s literacy non-profit. From RIF reading lists and a collection of free ebooks to interactive materials on Literacy Central and a brand new Literacy Central app, Reading Is Fundamental has tools for every level to raise reading to new heights this summer and beyond.

Thanks to We Are Teachers for the heads up on some of these summer programs.  The original article has some additional resources that are regional (and not applicable to San Diego/Southern CA).

What I’ve Been Up To…

_DSC2099As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting a lot lately, either here or on Social Media. I’ve been busy. Distance learning is coming to a close for the year, so we’ve been doing a lot of meetings and paperwork (I’ll be glad when the mountains of homework packets stop).

In addition to supervising all of the learning (for both kiddos), I’ve also been taking a more active role in helping my big kiddo find behavioral therapies that will work well on his journey through life. My big kid is on the Autism spectrum (ASD) and that means that we do behavioral therapy a few times a week in addition talk therapy. So lots of time helping process feelings and emotions, and that leaves this mama bear feeling tired.

I (try to) get up early about 6:30 each morning, make coffee, do emails, and work on getting stuff set up for the day before the kiddos wake up. Sometimes I’m super successful and get it done. Sometimes I’m lucky if I get a shower.

Successes for the days are measured so much differently now. Did we make it through a day without tears? Missing friends, regular routines, going to the gym, extracurricular activities- all of these weigh heavy on the kids, and grown-ups.

We’ve also been trying to get our home more organized, and we’ve been getting some help from a family friend who is a Konmari guru. We’re about halfway through the process, and it’s been super liberating to get rid of stuff that no longer serves us. We sold all of the DVD’s/video games that we no longer wanted, and raised over $200, that we’ll put towards family fun (maybe sock it away for a 2021 vacation?). Thankfully our local thrift shops are accepting donations at this time. We’ve been loading up the back of my car weekly to donate goods.

In an attempt to wear the kids out physically, I’ve been taking them out for a walk a few times a week with my parents at a local park. Social distancing and masking occur- Also a liberal application of mosquito repellant is applied- The kids and I are very tasty according to the local ‘squito population. We also picked up a small pool for the patio- We are on our second. The first was not heavy-duty enough. This is the one I recommend. We also put tarps under it to protect it from the textured decking. I also use this solar fountain to keep the water moving all day, and we cover it with a tarp at night. I usually dump the water and refill it 2-3 times per week.

downloadSaving money has been a challenge as of late- There aren’t as many deals as supplies aren’t being delivered to stores regularly, less staff to stock shelves, etc. And really, who has been shopping lately for fun? Not many of us. I’ve been using coupons when I can find them, but what I have really found useful is Honey. Honey is a browser extension that helps you find coupon codes and sale prices on items that you are shopping for online. I used it to save over $145 when we bought the big kids new bed a few weeks back.

And I’ve been making masks for family and friends- I made some especially for the kids this week too.

kalecutI’m here y’all! I’m up to my eyeballs, but I’m here. And of course, I’m doing the Always Eat After 7pm program, so I’ll be posting about that. There are so many good recipes I am excited to try (dark chocolate dipped PB cookies, uh, yeah). and I’ll be posting some recipes this weekend- I’ve got a killer Kale Salad recipe that is so tasty and easy (and it keeps in the fridge for a few days too).

I’ll be hosting an Amazon Gift Card Giveaway soon! I want to spread the love with you!

 

Talk Back: What have you been doing lately? 

Kids Learn to Read in 30 Days for Free with Reading Eggs!

ReadingEggsLogo.jpgLittle Bit is 4 and Kindergarten is in the fall for her. We want her to be as prepared as possible, which is why we are excited for her to start Reading Eggs!

Reading Eggs is the multi-award winning reading program for ages 2 to 13 that uses scientific research to help your child learn to read, in just weeks!

I’m excited because we can unlock the complete reading and math adventure with a 12-month Reading Eggs subscription, plus get a BONUS 12-month Mathseeds subscription absolutely FREE!

Their mission has always been to make learning easy and fun for young learners, and they feel there’s never been a more important time to do this. That’s why they’re giving you 30 days’ free access to the Reading Eggs and Mathseeds online learning programs.

This is Reading Eggs effort to ensure your child can continue learning at home with a quality educational resource designed by experienced educators and used by over 10 million children worldwide.

And there are tons of great resources too! Free downloads for Grades K to 6th. Reading Eggs just compiled a comprehensive list of FREE resources for parents!

I’ll be reporting back with an update in a few weeks or so. Fingers crossed we’ll have a reader!

leaderboard_readingeggsleaderboard

Details: 12 Months of Reading Eggs and Bonus Mathseeds for $45 – 12 months of Reading Eggs + BONUS Mathseeds – Unlock the complete reading and math adventure with a 12 month Reading Eggs subscription, plus get a BONUS 12 month Mathseeds subscription absolutely FREE – valued at $108.95, pay only $45!* New Subscribers only. Offer for 1 child only. Customers can only claim a maximum of 2 promotional codes per year. These offers cannot be claimed in conjunction with any other offer and are only available to United States and Canadian residents.

How I’ve been keeping busy…

I’m busier now than I have been in ages! Most everyone has started distance learning, including our family.

Thankfully, Big Kids’ teacher is in communication and sent us an email with tons of great resources and links. I am trying to keep the kids entertained without relying on screens all day (even educational screen time). My kids are not motivated by worksheets either, so we need to do hands-on stuff.

Besides schoolwork, we’ve started our annual spring garden. Big Kid and I donned masks and hit up the local nursery. We picked out Catnip, Rosemary, Basil, and a hanging strawberry plant in addition to a few kinds of seeds. Our patio looks great, and the kids are outside daily tending to their plants and harvesting ripe strawberries. I kept the pots from last year’s garden.

The other night after the kids were settled, I decided to clean out the junk drawer (ok, 1 junk drawer, we have a couple), the utensil drawer, and the silverware drawer.

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I threw out old condiment packets, broken serving spoons, knives with broken/chipped handles, lids that had no corresponding cups, and I vacuumed out each drawer.

After I had completed that herculean feat, I dove headfirst (metaphorically) into the pantry.

I pulled everything out pantry and set it on the counter.

I checked all the expiration dates. Anything expired got the boot.

92843855_2893563990733604_4081992026843774976_o92828483_2893564054066931_3193846550136619008_oWhen all of this madness started a few weeks ago, I had gone to the store to do my weekly shop, and so many of the things that I’m used to buying were not available. I decided to purchase some alternate products from what we usually have in the house. Some were met with success, some were not so good- I’m looking at you Fideo Noodles.

As a result, I filled a reusable shopping bag with some food that did not cut the mustard. I took most of those items over to our local blessing box to help some of our neighbors in need. The rest I shared with some of the neighbors on our local free food group.

Our pantry is horribly laid out. It is very narrow and deep.  The dangerous part of our cupboard is you cannot reach all the way in the back without help. Last night I used a very long spatula to assist me. One of the things that I found was baby food. Little Bit is 4 1/2. I managed to clear out the pantry 100% and then refill it and move items around so it is easier to gain access

I get food in the mail or events from brands to cook with and post about on social media. Most of the time they give me a couple of each item, rarely they send cases. There were a lot of odds and ends of food from PR campaigns.

I’m also working my way through our closets to get rid of broken toys, clothing we’ve outgrown or don’t wear, or junk. I’ve come to realize that after all of this is over we’ll need to replace our towels (Our current set is from our wedding 12+ years ago), the kids need new sheets, and Big Kid is getting a new bed (which was in the works before Covid struck). And I’ll probably have enough clothing for a clothing swap- Both kids are mid-growth spurt.

It may seem like a lot of busywork, but we haven’t had a deep clean/in-depth declutter since we moved in- 5 years ago. I go through the kids toys several times a year, as well as their clothing and books. But, I’m bad about doing it with household goods and my personal items.

Today was more of a lazy day for us: We played some games, did some sight word writing, played Bingo, and made this stuff called Ooze Baff, which was 100% gross, do not recommend. If you want to try it, I bought it at Dollar Tree. For a Dollar.  In a little while, we’ll have bath time, and I’ll read to them. We may pull out the couch into a bed and all cuddle on the couch for a bit.

I would love to hear about how you and yours have been keeping busy! Leave me a comment!

Craft More Happy Moments with Blueprint for FREE!!

**This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Stuck at home with the kids? Starting to get a little goofy? We are all looking for a way to stay healthy and productive at home during this unprecedented time. Bluprint is here as your creativity-at-home resource, providing ways to nourish your creative hearts and minds, all at home, to sustain and connect during this uncertain time with a FREE Creativity Care Package designed to help families make the most of their time together.

Bluprint, an NBCUniversal online creative learning platform, provides ways for the entire family to nourish their creativity from home, offering rich learning experiences for all ages.

Join them to “Craft More Happy Moments” during our FREE unlimited access creativity event; March 26 at Noon EST – April 9. 

With Bluprint you can stream thousands of creative education classes from knitting, sewing, baking, drawing, family crafts and much more, taught by the world’s leading experts.  Bluprint is your one-stop destination for classes, patterns and project ideas for all skill levels.

During the 14 day event, Bluprint will provide free access to their full slate of content; including more than 1300 classes and series and hundreds of step by step project tutorials and patterns making this the perfect time to learn a new craft or hobby.

I’ve already signed us up! We are going to get crafting this weekend!

School’s Out… for 4-8 Weeks!

alphabet letter text on black background

For us, school has been canceled for the next two weeks, and then we are having our regularly scheduled 2-week spring break.

Big kids school sent home a big ol’ packet of worksheets (about 50 pages), which would be most of the work they would do in the classroom. Little kids preschool has been cancelled, so I did a quick google search for free preschool printables so she can do “homework” alongside Big Brother. But I’m not stressing too much about worksheets.

There have been a lot of schedules and ideas posted on social media.

I changed up one of the super colorful schedules going around, included stuff that we like to do, and more relevant activities, and posted it here on my google pages. You can copy it and change it as needed for you.  And I made it black and white to save your printer some ink.

There are tons of free educational activities online for kids to do. Here is a Google Doc with tons of links that has been making the rounds.

Scholastic set up a ‘Learn From Home’ website with four categories: PreK and Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6+. Each section is already equipped with one week of content for students with 15 additional days on the way.

I’m not too worried about keeping the kids busy. Big dude brought home his school iPad and has access to his math and reading stuff, plus we have craft supplies and toys to play with.

girl wearing multicolored dress making bubbles
Photo by John Cahil Rom on Pexels.com

And failing all that- Frozen 2 is on Disney+, and we’ve got Minecraft. If you don’t have Disney+, you can score Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN for a pretty low monthly price.

And sooo many bubbles. I’m not sure why, but kids love bubbles.

Don’t forget that March is National Craft Month! There are kinds of freebies and deals here.

Talk Back- What are you doing to keep yourself and your family from going stir crazy?

Educational Programs on Sale this weekend with Age of Learning!

Age of Learning is a great company for parents to know about: They are the people who brought you ABC Mouse! But for those of us with older kids, Age of Learning also has Adventure Academy (For kids 8-11), and Reading IQ- which has tons of great books for kids to read online.

This weekend, through 2/17/2020, Age of Learning is offering 60%+ off on all 3 of their programs for Presidents’ Day!

I’ve already signed up for Adventure Academy and the big kid is loving it!

Receive over 60% OFF on Annual Subscription to ABCmouse.com.  Get 12 months for just $45 total.

(Fine Print: Your payment information on file will be charged now at the price selected above (1 payment of $45.00 or 3 monthly installments of $15.00). Your subscription will renew automatically every year at the same price until canceled.)


Receive over 60% OFF on Annual Subscription to Adventure Academy.

Get 12 months for just $45 total.

(Fine Print: Your payment information on file will be charged now at $45.00. Your subscription will renew automatically every year at the same price until canceled.)

Receive over 68% OFF on Annual Subscription to ReadingIQ.

Get 12 months for just $29.99 total.
(Fine Print: Your subscription will renew automatically at $29.99 and be charged on an annual basis to the above payment information until canceled within the Parent Section.)

WOW Summit 2020- Orlando, FL 11/6/2020-11/7/2020

unnamed.pngOk, so I’m not going, but I LOVE me some WOW Summit, and Moms Meet, so I have to share the details, in case some of you are in the area and want to go.

Registration is open
for the mom event of the year!

 

November 6–7, 2020 | Rosen Centre Hotel, Orlando, FL

SUPER EARLY BIRD PRICING
General Admission: $19
Blogger/Influencer Pass: $79

If you are a mom, or a blogger, or both- WOW Summit is for you!

From their website:

Day one is just for mom bloggers and influencers. Day two is open to all moms (and also dads, grandparents, and other caretakers).

This powerful two-day annual event is filled with inspiration and education. Join hundreds of moms, mom bloggers, and influencers committed to leading a healthy lifestyle. You’ll discover better-for-you products in the Exhibit Hall, attend educational workshops, and hear from compelling speakers. Plus, you’ll have the chance to win prizes and take home Goody Bags filled with amazing products worth over $300!

And lemme tell you- This event is run for women, by women. There are snacks, coffee, tea, drinks, note-taking materials, quiet spaces to nurse your littles or take a sensory break. It is a great time to recharge, learn, and meet some great women who all want the same things you do: To make their lives better. I’ve been to two WOW Summits, one WOW Influencer Summit, and I’ve been a part of the Moms Meet tribe since almost day one. I have met new friends, networked with AWESOME brands that I have come to love and recommend (Looking at you, Mabel’s Labels!)

So if you are within a 3-hour drive of Orlando, I cannot recommend WOW SUMMIT 2020 enough to you! I’m not sure when the sale ends for the early bird pricing, so, you best bust a move and Get Your Ticket!!

MommyCon San Diego is 20 Days Away!

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 8.32.03 PM.pngAre you ready? MommyCon San Diego is just 20 days away!

This multi-day event features amazing shopping, interactive workshops, inspirational speakers and so much more. I loved the goody bag that I got last year! And of course, no event for moms (and dads) is complete without a snack station with all kinds of tasty snacks and drinks from some of the sponsors.

To  buy tickets and get more info go to MommyCon.com and use code “MTAH19” for 10% off!

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Here are a couple of classes that will be available to attend:
Friday is for VIP ticket holders only:

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m VIP Registration
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. How Onbuhimos Inspired Naked Panda Designs & Giveaway! ***VIP Session***
4:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. The Parenting Letdown ***VIP Session***

Screen Shot 2019-03-29 at 12.20.20 PMSaturday:
Registration opens at 8:30am
Exhibitor Hall opens at 9am

10AM:
Room 1
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Managing the Motherload

Room 2
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Nurturing the Development of your Baby’s Brain through Movement and Exploration

Room 3
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Potty Training: Answers to When? Why? and How?

Sleep Consultations
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Sleep Consultation: 0-12 months

11:15AM:
Room 1
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
What to Feed Your Baby, presented by Stonyfield Organic

Room 2
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
What to Eat When You’re Expecting, presented bythe Weston A. Price Foundation

Room 3
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Play-Based Learning for Infants

Sleep Consultations
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Sleep Consultation: 12-24 months

12:00-1:00PM- Lunch Break

1:00PM:
Room 1
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Preparing for your Breastfeeding Journey, presented by Kindred Bravely

Room 2
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Dental Ages Every Parent Must Know, presented by The Super Dentists

Room 3
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Babywearing 101: From SSC’s to Wrapping, presented by Ergobaby

Sleep Consultations
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Sleep Consultation: 24 months

2:00PM:
Exhibitor Hall
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The Ultimate Giveaway

Exhibitor Hall
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Shopping Break

3:00PM:
Room 1
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Peaceful Parenting

Room 2
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Your Baby’s First Year with Homeopathy, presented by Boiron

Sleep Consultations
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Sleep Consultation: All Ages Q&A