Rising to take care of our children’s emotions or showing up to take care of them has got to be one of the most daunting and yet rewarding parts of being a parent – especially at a time when we have so many extra emotions ourselves and feelings of uncertainty. I also think this is where the fulfillment happens. When we can get this piece, I think it’s such a big part of fulfilling the dance as a parent. It’s going to test every ounce of emotional maturity that we have and show us where we fall short of what we want from ourselves.-Dr. Deborah MacNamara
For this mom-daughter homeschooling duo, books are only the starting point to setting up more learning. From activities to adventures, their favourite titles inspired them to try new things, explore new places, craft their days away and ultimately, create their own blog at My Kidz Bookshelf!
As part of our Back To School theme, we are exploring many different ways to learn – from outdoors to in-class, online to at home. We will continue to share these resources for families during these unprecedented times. Today we are happy to include this homeschooling story about a mother and her daughter and how they went about finding their own resources for learning at home, and how this all grew into a joint project that has continued on.
What started out as a common interest in reading, creating, and exploring new places lead us to become the bloggers of My Kidz Bookshelf. We recently celebrated our one year ‘Blogiversary’ and are so excited to be featured by Kids News & Reviews today!April
Saplings Outdoor Program is Fostering Our Children’s Sense of Wonder for the Natural World
By Lorrie Holmes
Getting outdoors with our kids is a theme that I decided upon many weeks ago when focusing on Back To School recommendations for our families. It felt like an obvious choice to consider around social distancing. It wasn’t until I arranged to spend an afternoon joining in one of the forest camps offered by Saplings Outdoor Program that I was able to see for myself just how much is involved in such a program. This reaches far past the safety of taking learning outside while we are all wanting to have our own space, and delves deep into the areas of mindfulness, education, and overall health of each child who is lucky enough to participate.
Saplings Outdoor Program is located on Vancouver’s breathtaking North Shore. On this particular day, forest camp was in session at Douglas Woodward Park in West Vancouver. What an eye opener this was for me to witness how kids naturally self regulate, explore, and learn through play in the outdoors. Heather Fraser, Owner and Forest Educator, was there to greet me at the entrance, where I followed her and a small group of children into the woods. Off we went along a trail, then one by one, we climbed up onto a fallen tree, and crossed it to the other side. This is where we met up with the rest of the group who were busily exploring their surroundings around the base camp which was set up here for the day.
The goal of my program is not to educate children about nature, but to learn within it. Through play, exploration, and wonderment, learning about nature has become a natural byproduct of the program.Heather Fraser, Owner/Forest Educator
Performing songs for families and seeing the kids and their parents laugh and smile while they sing along fills my heart! However, it wasn’t until I attended Westside Music Together classes with my own children that I was inspired to be a music educator myself, as well as write my own children’s songs and perform them.-Katie Brock
Interviewed by Lorrie Holmes
Q & A on KATIE BROCK
KiDS NEWS & REViEWS: Our first question is not for Katie but rather for Katherine of West Side Music Together since Katherine is responsible for the creation of this story. So Katherine, can you please tell us why you offered to sponsor this story when I followed up with you about a recent story where we featured your music program.
KATHERINE: “Sure! We are so happy to sponsor a story on our alumni Music Together teacher Katie Brock. She taught Music Together with us for 13 years and we are thrilled to support her adventures in songwriting and performing! After working at Music Together for a number of years Katie began experimenting with her own songwriting and it was clear she had a gift. I love the playful lyrics and sweet melodies she creates and it’s been a joy to watch her build her repertoire. She has such a creative spirit and a giving heart and I wanted to help her share her gift more widely so more families can experience what her songs have to offer. After teaching at West Side Music Together for 13 years we would of course welcome her back in a heartbeat but we are thrilled to support her new adventures in songwriting and performance!”
Let’s make kindness contagious!Written by Sammie Vance
Hi I’m Sammie Vance. I’m eleven years old and I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I love to spread kindness and encourage others that they can too! In 2017, when I was 8 years old, I heard about buddy benches at a church camp. A buddy bench is a place for when someone is lonely, shy or bullied, where they can sit on it and others will know to ask them to play. I had been lonely and knew other kids were too, so I knew my school needed them. I drew a comic explaining how a buddy bench worked and spoke to my principal. He said we would try and get one in a year since collecting 400 pounds of caps needed for one 6 foot bench may take awhile.
Being the go getter that I am, I did this project differently because I collected lots of plastic caps and lids myself to make the buddy benches! I spread the word by asking lots of friends, classmates, pharmacies, coffee shops and other businesses to help me collect caps. With the communities help, we collected 1,600 pounds of caps in only 2 months! This was enough for 3 buddy benches for my school with plenty of leftover caps to help other schools get started.
Advocacy has no age limit.Written by Kate Gilman Williams, Youth Author & Animal Advocate
My name is Kate Gilman Williams. I am 10-years-old and live in Austin, Texas. I will be in 5th grade this school year. When I was 7, I traveled to South Africa and met an incredible safari guide named Michelle. Michelle taught me so many things about animals. She also told me that humans were the biggest threat to animals, causing many of them to be endangered and even face extinction!
Kids experience anxiety and worries just like the rest of us. As a clinical psychologist, I’m excited to have created a book series that gives children the tools required to help them build resilience through the story characters and practical strategies and exercises. This can all be done in ways that speak directly to them, in their own language, through the story characters and practical exercises that I’ve created in my Kids Hero Book Series.– Dr. Susan Hunt, Registered Psychologist
Hi, everyone. My name is Sachi Bajaj and I am the founder of a youth waste management organization called Me2UFoundation. We are so proud to have recently qualified for some funding with a challenge called What Cause Inspires You. We are finalists for this and the idea of receiving this funding opens up so many possiblities for how we can further help developing countries with basic needs.Sachi Bajaj, Founder
Our primary goal at West Side Music Together hasn’t changed. It’s still to encourage families to make music together at home. Teacher to Parent, Parent to Child, and Teacher to Child – inherently, it’s that connection that we continue to strive for. This has always been the primary goal of Music Together – and it’s right in the title!
Teacher and Centre Director
West Side Music Together
Artwork Created by Anais Ginzburg-Maly, Age 8
HOLISTIC NUTRITION – IS THIS OUR FIRST LINE OF DEFENCE?Reviewed by Lorrie Holmes
As we all begin to make sense of what we call our new normal, we start to look at where and how to find some stability in a time of so much uncertainty. And so we have called upon the advice of someone who we believe can provide us with the tools to armour ourselves both physically and emotionally. We hope you get as much out of this interview as we did with holistic nutritionst, Juliana Avella, from Made Simple Nutrition. She offers her expertise and teaches us about the importance of coming up with a plan for the whole family that starts with our diet as our first line of defense.