Stop Wasting Money! 5 ways to save on Online Learning

Start Saving Now.

I love saving money. Over the years there were times when money seemed scarce, allusive, or desirable. I take great pride, in my ability to spot a good deal. Sure, companies help me with this by announcing how much I’d be saving if I buy now instead of later, but as a business owner I’d fallen into the trap of enrollment season looking like a marketplace in Southern Nigeria. Everyone wants to barter, but unlike a true marketplace, no one though to bring their best goods to the market. Below I’m giving my 5 best tips for saving money on online kid’s activities without having to trade your prize goat.

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Tip #1 Use Your FSA

Does your employer offer a Flex Spending Account? If so, talk to your accountant about whether your child’s online educational activities are tax-deductible. Every year around tax season I get love letters from parents trying to sort their receipts and hoping that I’ll have record of how much they spent on classes. Because Choreography by Rae offers a variety of movement classes most parents can submit their receipts to the FSA for reimbursement. If your FSA is employer-funded, then you could be looking at a sizeable reimbursement.

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Tip #2 Look for State Funding

Are you a family fully committed to Homeschooling? Many states offer educational funding for homeschoolers. If your child is enrolled in a Home School Charter School talk to your school about applying homeschool funding to their online classes. Even if your child isn’t enrolled in a Home School Charter School, it’s still worthwhile to look into your state’s requirements and incentives for homeschooling. According to The Mom Trotter, the state of California provided families with more than $1,000 towards home school educational expenses. For some families, this funding means more opportunities for their children to explore different interests or even get academic support.

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Tip #3 Look for Hidden Deals

Sure 50% off sales are appealing, but fire sales can be unpredictable. Instead, look for hidden deals or perks. At Choreography by Rae students get more than the classes they paid for. Families have access to free exclusive events including dance parties, chess tournaments, and the occasional complimentary class. Parents don’t have to worry about paying more money for activities when schools are closed. This can be a big help for parents who don’t get to finish work early due to a teacher planning day. These parents know that our special event is available for their kiddo and there’s no extra fee. Does your kid’s new hobby require dance shoes, special computer software, what about a uniform? Look at what’s included. Chances are if your online program is offering a tasting menu, it will be far cheaper than purchasing à la carte.

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Tip # 4 Pay More. Save More!

Stop looking for Cash discounts! While some businesses offer a discount for cash payments, Choreography by Rae simply doesn’t. Sure, we like cash, but we don’t believe that a cash discount is in the best interest of our families. There’s the back and forth negotiating price, and back when we offered only in-person lessons, there was that nervous walk from the bank to the studio as parents hoped they were bringing the correct amount.

If you have the cash to make the payment, then make that money work for you. Some studios offer a discount for payment in full upfront. Do you have a credit card with 0% APR or a low APR? Putting the tuition payment on a credit card that offers cashback and a low-interest rate can be a game-changer. Tuition is paid and if you pay off the credit card balance by the end of the month you aren’t paying interest on your child’s activities. Remember you used a card that offers cashback rewards. Now, you have the cashback from your purchase which can be anywhere from 1% to 5%, and you just did something nice for your credit report. Another bonus is you didn’t miss out on getting your kid signed up for classes because you were waiting on a holiday sale.

If your credit card has a high-interest rate and you know you won’t pay off the balance right away, then you’ll want to speak with a financial advisor before putting anything on those credit cards.

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Tip #5 Plan Ahead

Does your family take a vacation at the same time every year? Do you know school closure dates months in advance? Look at programming that will allow your child to develop their skills while still being flexible enough for your changing schedule. Online classes can travel with you on that vacation. Commit to in-person activities that compliment your child’s online learning schedule. If the soccer season is only 3 months, it makes more sense to find a soccer program that doesn’t conflict with your 6 month or 1-year online program. Some online programs also make class recordings available when your kid misses class. It’s rare to get a class recording for in-person activities and if you are allowed to do a makeup day, sometimes trying to fit that into your child’s schedule ends up being a big headache

The best way to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to online learning is to plan ahead. It might take a little time in the beginning, but in the long run it will save you both time and money. By using resources already available to you like an FSA, checking into resources you are eligible for (state Funding), calculating what’s included in your child’s tuition (hidden deals), using cashback rewards, and signing up for activities that require fewer reenrollment periods are great ways to save money– no bartering skills required.

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5 Tips for Online Learning Success in Kids Classes

5 Tips for Online Learning Success in Kids Classes

In 2020 when parents were thrust into online learning, the news cycle and social media were flooded with accounts of how online learning didn’t work. It was common to see headlines like “Remote Learning is a Disaster, and Terrible for Children” (NY Post, Sept. 16th, 2020). For Homeschoolers and Unschoolers who have been using online learning long before the pandemic reshaped what education looks like, these inflammatory headlines were met with an eye-roll. I’m an educator who has worked in public schools, charter schools, private schools, homeschool pods, and online schools. I have extensive experience creating curriculum for ages 2-18 including working with special needs students, trauma survivors, and students with socio-emotional issues. No matter the learning environment, the success of student learning all comes back to planning. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” If you’re struggling with online learning or just looking to refine your game plan, then these 5 tips will put your kid on the road to online learning success.

A Dedicated Learning Space Sets Says Learning is Possible Anywhere

Tip # 1: Create a Dedicated Learning Space

The typical American kindergarten classroom has the alphabet on display, a reading corner, writing utensils on or in the desks, desks are either facing the teacher or grouped to face peers, and all personal belongings have their own place. While not everyone can dedicate an entire room to learning, parents who find a little wall space to hang maps, photos, and charts are planting a seed that learning is accessible regardless of location. I’ve seen parents set up kids for dance class in their kitchen. While this might seem unorthodox, it sends the message, “you can dance anywhere.” These kids are the ones more likely to bust out into a groove at a party of strangers instead of standing around awkwardly because they aren’t in a dance studio.

I’ve also had writing students join class while sitting in bed. Though comfort is important, the body isn’t seated in a position that allows for fast writing. My acting students who attend class seated at a desk or table can change activities faster than those who are seated on their beds or laying on the floor. A table isn’t crucial for learning, the key is making sure the learning space will allow for maximum results. I know that my response time engaging with my students– whether it involves physical movement or just typing, would be a lot slower if I taught class from my bed. The same works for taking a class. The family who helps their child plan for optimal learning is setting their child up for success.

You don’t need a lot of space to reduce distractions.

Tip # 2: Reduce Distractions

In 2020 many families struggled with sharing space. I’ve seen kids struggle in class as they battle with crying babies, parent business meetings, overexcited pets, social media notifications, and the call of the internet. These normal everyday activities are a distraction for online learning. When I was a kid, writing notes, daydreaming, and doodling all served as wonderful distractions in the classroom. While the desire to do as we please can be overwhelming, especially when a kid is at home surrounded by games and toys, helping your child reduce distractions supports their development of self-discipline. Headphones can make a huge difference for learning in online kids classes. Noise-canceling headphones can be purchased for around $30 and will allow your child to focus on what they hear in class. Don’t have $30 for noise-canceling headphones? If you have any earbuds, air pods, or headphones laying around put them to use. Even $5 headphones from the Dollar store can make a difference. It doesn’t take a lot to make a big change.

Noise of course isn’t the only distraction for kids. Scheduling cellphone time during the day and having a dedicated place to leave phones during “class time” is a great way to remind kids that school time isn’t the time to go on social media. We keep a $1 basket in the kitchen that allows for inserting charging cables and our phones stay there when not in use.

While I’m not a fan of internet time limit apps, website restriction apps like KidLogger and Spyrix Free Keylogger can allow parents to block sites that shouldn’t be used during class time. I’ve had students in class engage poorly in activities because they are busy playing Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite, or watching YouTube and they don’t think I notice. Using a website restriction app can help your child with impulse control and can open up a conversation with kids about the responsibility of not visiting sites unrelated to class. Best of all these apps are free.

Water, a Charged Battery, and a Snack can help your kid stay in class.

Tip # 3: Prepare to Learn

I remember a parent got mad at me because I told her 9-year-old daughter to come to class with her charger if the battery is low. Yes, family members share devices and I’ve had kids tell me their parents won’t give them the charger. Coming to class prepared doesn’t mean the student has to have the charger. It means if you know the battery is low, then think about what you will do in case the battery doesn’t make it through the class. I informed that parent that online preparedness is no different from in-person preparedness. If a kid shows up to class without a pencil for a test, they have many options. Telling the teacher, borrowing a pencil from someone, and in some cases keeping a spare pencil in the classroom. I worked at a school where students often didn’t have pencils and were ashamed of this. The school set up a system where kids could get a pencil from the main office. This showed them they weren’t in trouble for not having a pencil and that the office team wanted them to succeed. Asking that 9-year-old to be prepared was my invitation for that student to look for a solution and to look at establishing responsibility. I’ve had 6-year-olds tell me, “My battery is about to die so I might have to go get the charger.” Those 6-year-olds have communicated that there might be a problem and they are prepared to solve it. I’ve also had 10-year-olds tell me, “My battery might die.” With this information as the adult in the room I can walk them through their options: is there a charger you can use or is there another device that you can borrow in the house? The idea that you can miss class or get out of class early, because of a dead battery is not an option. If it is more important to you for your child to be able to leave class whenever they want then, you’re wasting your money on group classes and should stick to private lessons or tutoring. Kids often look for ways to demonstrate independence and preparedness is a great opportunity for this.

Being prepared for my kids online dance class means having water on hand, and for our little kids, it means bringing their toy for show and tell instead of waiting for the class to start and then their toy. Help your kids plan for success by helping them plan on learning.

Choose Activities that allow for self expression and socialization.

Tip # 4 Pick a High Engagement Program

My studio had created a new writing program. The teacher for this class she planned to use in class and my first thought was “boring.” Kids have adults talking at them all day and for students struggling to understand a subject, a slideshow– especially one without pictures, is boring. A slideshow might seem to benefit someone who isn’t an auditory learner, but all students benefit from an opportunity for interaction. One of the things that I stress to parents is that Choreography by Rae’s afterschool enrichment is a high engagement program. Our dance classes aren’t just a live stream of an in-person class. Unlike free YouTube tutorials, games like Just Dance, or apps like Steezy our students will be able to see the instructor, ask questions, get feedback, and engage with their peers. I’ve worked for in-person dance studios that didn’t prioritize engagement and students who attended weekly or even daily classes didn’t know the names of their peers. Do your research. Look for a program that will nurture the whole learner, has a reasonable class size, and minimize parental involvement. While there is a benefit to having dedicated time to experiencing something new with your child, scheduling several courses that require parental assistance reduces your child’s ability to learn independently. I attended a business meeting where a speaker shared having 60 kids in an online class and those parents were responsible for making sure the project goes right. While that studios’ bottom-line was intact, that class setup doesn’t allow for independence, learning from mistakes, and for making friends. That business was missing an opportunity to help their online students succeed in the same manner they would in an in-person setting.

Make a Plan Together

Tip # 5: Set Goals and Expectations

Regardless of whether your child can choose what online classes they take, set goals and expectations. Every year kids attending a brick-and-mortar school start the school year hoping they’ll have a nice teacher, and online school is no exception. But nice doesn’t just mean, “I hope the teacher won’t yell at me” or “I hope we don’t get a lot of homework.” Nice also means, “ I hope I get a teacher that will listen to me and understand me.” If your child’s previous online educational experience included a teacher who hates teaching online or constantly seemed overwhelmed, this translates to a stressful classroom experience. One way to help your child manage that stress is by helping them manage what’s in their control. If changing classes isn’t an option, then focus on what can be done to make the overall experience positive. Working with your child to set goals for a class they hate will help your child understand the importance of seeing things through to the end and an understanding that life won’t always give them what they want. I once had a parent ask me to incorporate Pokémon references in my Kids Hip Hop dance class. My online dance class was his first dance class and though he loved to dance outside of class she was worried her 7-year-old wasn’t enjoying the class. Since Pokémon would not benefit my other students, I choose not to incorporate this in my lesson but made some other recommendations to the parent. This child had picked a class and it did not give him exactly what he wanted. By creating a reward system at home, then that parent is allowing their child to navigate how to handle things that turn out differently than we had hoped. A great reward system for this student would be tying his interest into the goal instead of the activity.

Example:

“I can’t wait to see what dance moves you learned this week. Can you show me on Friday? If you practice, then we’ll be able to visit the Pokémon store on the weekend.”

Older students of course will benefit from something a little less frequent, which is where long-term goal-setting works.

Example:

“I know your English teacher is pretty tough this year. Why don’t you finish your essay by Thursday, and I’ll take a look at it so you can work on it some more on Friday. Once you get your English grades up this semester, I think we’ll be able to talk about getting that new phone you wanted.”

In the last example, the parent has encouraged the child to set a schedule, stated their expectations, and set a goal with a reward. The idea isn’t to bribe your kids. The idea is to help them manage what’s in their control. After all, if your child becomes a lawyer and seems to be losing a case, are they going to leave in the middle of the case because the other side has an advantage? If so, they won’t be in that job for long.

Online learning can be a great part of your child’s educational plan whether it’s replacing in-person learning or is used in conjunction with in-person learning. By creating an environment designed for learning, reducing distractions, being prepared for class, seeking a high engagement learning environment when possible, managing expectations, and creating goals your child will have a successful online learning experience.

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The Camping Trip by Jennifer K. Mann

At Choreography by Rae, we read books to kids ages 4-6 five days a week during Storytime Adventures.

The Camping Trip by Jennifer K. Mann  is another book I learned of courtesy of A Might Girl

Our kids love reading about animal adventures in the forests, but being a global class it came as no surprise that many of our kids had never been camping. Growing up my camping trips were few and far between: a Girl Scout trip that I was invited on even though I wasn’t a Girl Scout, 6th grade science sleepaway camp, and a camp counselor stint in High School. I think that equals 3 maybe 4 times that I’ve donned a sleeping bag and slept under the stars. My spouse on the other hand has less than fun memories of being the Boy Scouts, trying to start a fire and eating raw food. Pretty sure the food wasn’t supposed to be raw. It’s the lack of experience in camping which makes this books so awesome.

Jennifer K. Mann does a great job showing how the “idea” of camping can be different from the reality and that different is okay. Every kiddo in our class could relate to having a home made forte of some sort (blankets, connecting sticks, magna tiles) and the process of building a homemade forte is a breeze compared to setting up a real tent in the woods. Our main character Ernestine quickly learns that the many adventures that nature holds aren’t that different from things she would do living in the city. 

 

Lessons to Share

1) Try something new.

Kids can be resistant to trying new foods, a new teacher, and even being the first person to “go” in Simon Says. As Ernestine tries new things, she discovers that many of those new things aren’t as bad as she thought they might. She even discovers a few that she loves! Like eating S’mores.

2) It’s okay to be different.

As a vegan, I’m no stranger to the weird looks you get when someone dines with you and learns that you don’t eat meat. I always warn guests that I’m cooking for what’s on the menu, and I do wonder if Aunt Jackie gave Ernestine a heads up about mealtime, but honestly Ernestine is a kid and probably either forgot how Aunt Jackie cooks or never paid attention. Either way, I was tickled to see cousin Samantha announce that “tofu dogs” are her favorite. I remember giving Tofu dogs to my own niece when she was a kid.

The difference in eating is handled wonderfully in The Camping Trip. No long explanations or justifications, just a simple, this is dinner and this is different. 

Also bonus points for hearing one our kids shout, “I love tofu dogs!”

3) It’s okay to be afraid.

Let’s face it, when kids get afraid, most grown ups are quick to soothe those fears. As a teacher, I deal with navigating kid fears daily. I like that Aunt Jackie doesn’t go into a long conversation with Ernestine on how she’s feeling. Instead Aunt Jackie invites the kids to take a moment to look at the stars. This allows Ernestine to navigate her own emotions and find her own grounding. Aunt Jackie is a pretty smart cookie.

I also like that cousin Samantha offers to hold hands when jumping in the water together. Because let’s face it, somethings feel less scary when you know you have a partner.

4) It’s okay to miss our loved ones.

Ernestine quickly learns that just because she’s not with Daddy, doesn’t mean that she is loved any less.

Representation Shout Out!

  • This book features an African American family
  • Veganism/ Vegetarianism is mentioned without pushing an agenda
  • We never see 2 parents together. This can mean many things or nothing at all. It’s a wonderful way to show that every family is different.

This is an honest review from a book lover and educator. I do not make commission off of the sale of this book. Be sure to check your local bookstore or your local library for a copy. Libby is an amazing App that connects to many libraries throughout the U.S.A.

One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck

At Choreography by Rae, we read books to kids ages 4-6 five days a week during Storytime Adventures.

I learned of this book courtesy of A Might Girl while searching for a few extra books to round out Black History Month. Our kiddos loved this fun read, but warning it’s jam packed with lessons that can be overlooked. We’re actually eager to read this one a second time this semester.  The kids loved helping me identify an appropriate household pet. They also loved talking about what they saw in the pictures. In fact, when I tried to save time but not asking about a picture, one 4 year old said, “Ms. Rae you didn’t ask what we saw on the last page. I want to tell you about the picture I liked.” Surely, I couldn’t deny such a request.

If you’re thinking of adding this book to your collection, then go for it. Below are some tips on why you should read this book to your curious kiddos, and you’ll find information what this book is not about. Sometimes grown ups get wrapped up their own ideas and can miss some awesome messages.

Lessons to Share

1) Be curious about Big Words.

My first thought was… “Big words?! These kids won’t understand these words” and I did read a negative review stating that point. What the reviewer seemed to miss was that reading stories is how we introduce young readers to vocabulary. The big words in this book are all given a definition and our main character often asks “what does that mean?” This is a wonderful way to spark curiosity and conversation with your kids. The character Sophia is just like them, she has no idea what those fancy words mean, but she’s asking. Also the grown ups answer her question. They don’t tell her to be quite or anything dismissive. Emoji’s and texting abbreviations are great but I’m also watching first hand a generation that has poor spelling, communication, and vocabulary skills ( I work with older kids and teens as well). There’s also a misconception that people of color wouldn’t understand big words. So thanks Jim Averbeck for giving this smart character some big words to be curious about. 

2) There are many ways to say the same thing. Everyone tells Sophia the same thing in a different way. A nice reminder to kids that there can be more than one word for the same thing and you can ask for the same thing in many different ways.

3) Understanding what is reasonable and realistic.

Sophia asked for something ridiculous. Our kids had a great time identifying what makes a good household pet and what doesn’t. 

Sophia uses very well thought out arguments to support her requests for something that is absolutely ridiculous. This invites our kids to think about what they want and why they want it. Kids see toys all the time that they want, but they can’t really say why it is that they want it. Sophia is showing our kids that if you really want something think about why you want it. Even if it’s a completely ridiculous request you might get it.

4) Positive role models. This book features a family of color. Everyone has an important job and everyone deals with important decision-making daily. Grand-mama doesn’t have a job but she’s no pushover. The fact that Sophia has adjusted her argument to her audience also introduces for young readers the concept of knowing your audience. Recognizing that we don’t always asks people for the same thing in the same way.

5) Don’t over do it.

The story wraps up with “short and sweet” can get you what you want, and this is true. We point out that Sophia gets her requests not because she threw a tantrum, not because she cried, not because she wanted it, but because she thought carefully about why she wanted something and asked in a nice way. Sometimes kids can go on and on, just excited to have a listener or even feeling like they have to provide an explanation to justify what they want. I work with adults in their teens who often give long explanations for simple yes or no questions. This is a very important lesson for young women. Women historically have had to work harder to get what they want. Sophia does a lot of work to address any argument that might not be in favor of saying yes to her request. Ask for what you want, be prepared to say why once you know if more information is needed.

Misconceptions About The Book

1 ) This books send the message that “Sophia should talk less.”

Nope. This character is smart and each person she presents her argument to recognizes this. They even compliment Sophia on her presentation. The also speak to her in an intelligent way. No one belittles Sophia. A friend of mine used to say think say there’s being smart, and there’s thinking smart. Sophia is smart and shows it. She’s thinking smart by changing her argument for her audience. She finally realizes that her family loves her and didn’t need her to provide a long argument on why she wanted what she wanted.

2) This book shows adults shutting down a young girl.

Shutting down is a pretty strong term, but it’s exactly what one reviewer claimed. Kids ask for things all the time and adults say yes or no. What Sophia is asking for is completely ridiculous. For our storytime we went over what is an acceptable household pet. The kids do not expect Sophia to get what she wants. This is what makes the ending fun. Our kids know that they aren’t going to be able to get a unicorn or anything else by crying and saying please. That’s not the point of the story. Kids understand that asking for something ridiculous is going to get an answer of “No” from adults. Sophia is praised in the book for her thought out arguments. Like Grand-mama says, “get to the point.” That’s a life lesson for adults too. I have team members giving long explanations why they want a day off or can’t pick up a shift. Get to the point, because sometime short and sweet will get you what you want.

3) That’s a bad word!

I did have a kid get upset by the word “poop.” I appreciate any book that aims to normalize bowel movements. This was an opportunity for me to remind our kids that everyone poops and for our story we are talking about giraffe poop. We are not using “bathroom talk” to be naughty or silly

Our kids loved this book and the number of lessons learned are plenty.

This is an honest review from a book lover and educator. I do not make commission off of the sale of this book. Be sure to check your local bookstore or your local library for a copy. Libby is an amazing App that connects to many libraries throughout the U.S.A.

Hair Love: a short film that’s big on heart

Growing up a curly haired girl in a straight hair town, I’d spent most of my life at war with my hair. When you’re a kid, the grown ups in your life set the hair rules. The same way grown ups set the rules for whether their kid has rhythm. At some point in my 20’s I let my hair do it’s own thing and my curls thank me for it. I also had to find my own way through dance and it has been my life’s mission to help others create their own rules through the arts.

Whether you have curly hair, straight hair, two left feet, or unicorn wings this movie is for you. I hope you enjoy this Oscar winning film about love, acceptance, family, and patience.

Lucia the Luchadora

Choreography by Rae

Lucia the Luchadora

Read Aloud with Rae 5/15: Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza

By Rae Wilson

Can girls be super heroes?  Can super heros wear pink? What makes a super hero a super hero? Lucia learns the power of being herself and empowering others as this Friday’s Read Aloud with Rae invites your young detective to explore Cynthia Leonor Garza’s Lucia the Luchadora.

The reading starts at 2pm EST/ 11am PST on Friday 5/15 and runs approximately 25 minutes.

RSVP online to save your kiddos spot. Space is limited. Be sure to try logging on a few minutes early. It is hard to admit friends once the session has started.

All reading sessions are free. Donations are welcome as they help with Book Club cost (books, staff, marketing, tech software).

Does your child enjoy reading? Add this book to your home library.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Preparing for our Read Aloud:

– Play pirates! Anyone can be a pirate and there are a ton of dress up options.

– Print out the free coloring sheet and let your book detective do some coloring before the reading session. Kids will have a chance to show their pictures at the beginning of class.

– Print out the free crossword puzzle. 3rd and 4th graders will get a kick out trying to find the words from today’s story. 

Coloring sheet.

Let’s Play Pretend

After the Reading Session:

– Keep the conversation going! Invite your child to imagine you are both on an adventure.

– Invite your stuffed animals to join you for a healthy snack.

– Draw your family tree. Challenge your child to remember as many families members or friends that they can and draw a tree around all the names.

– Play dress up. Pretend to be the hero in your own story.

Jabari Jumps

Choreography by Rae

Jabari Jumps

Read Aloud with Rae 5/1: Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cromwell

By Rae Wilson

Trying something new can be super exciting, especially when you’ve practiced and prepared. But can accomplishing your goals be exciting and scary at the same time? Jabari faces his fears as this Friday’s Read Aloud with Rae invites your young detective to explore Gaia Cromwell’s Jabari Jumps.

The reading starts at 2pm EST/ 11am PST on Friday 5/1 and runs approximately 25 minutes.

RSVP online to save your kiddos spot. Space is limited. Be sure to try logging on a few minutes early. It is hard to admit friends once the session has started.

All reading sessions are free. Donations are welcome as they help with Book Club cost (books, staff, marketing, tech software).

Does your child enjoy reading? Add this book to your home library.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Preparing for our Read Aloud:

– Play pirates! Anyone can be a pirate and there are a ton of dress up options.

– Print out the free coloring sheet and let your book detective do some coloring before the reading session. Kids will have a chance to show their pictures at the beginning of class.

– Print out the free crossword puzzle. 3rd and 4th graders will get a kick out trying to find the words from today’s story. 

Coloring sheet.

Let’s Play Pretend

After the Reading Session:

– Keep the conversation going! Invite your child to imagine you are both on an adventure.

– Invite your stuffed animals to join you for a healthy snack.

– Draw your family tree. Challenge your child to remember as many families members or friends that they can and draw a tree around all the names.

– Play dress up. Pretend to be the hero in your own story.

Sign Up for more fun online events

Big Bob, Little Bob by James Howe

Choreography by Rae

Big Bob, Little Bob

Read Aloud with Rae 4/24: Big Bob, Little Bob by James Howe

By Rae Wilson

Can boys play with dolls? Can girls play with trucks? Should you be friends with someone who is different than you are. We’ll be defining self identity and defining friendships. This Friday’s Read Aloud with Rae invites your young detective to explore James Howe’s Big Bob, Little Bob.

The reading starts at 2pm on Friday 4/24 and runs approximately 25 minutes.

RSVP online to save your kiddos spot. Space is limited. Be sure to try logging on a few minutes early. It is hard to admit friends once the session has started.

All reading sessions are free, but tips are always appreciated.Tips may be sent via Venmo.

Does your child enjoy sharing? Add this book to your home library.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Preparing for our Read Aloud:

– Play pirates! Anyone can be a pirate and there are a ton of dress up options.

– Print out the free coloring sheet and let your book detective do some coloring before the reading session. Kids will have a chance to show their pictures at the beginning of class.

– Print out the free crossword puzzle. 3rd and 4th graders will get a kick out trying to find the words from today’s story. 

Coloring sheet.

Let’s Play Pretend

After the Reading Session:

– Keep the conversation going! Invite your child to imagine you are both on an adventure.

– Invite your stuffed animals to join you for a healthy snack.

– Draw your family tree. Challenge your child to remember as many families members or friends that they can and draw a tree around all the names.

– Play dress up. Pretend to be the hero in your own story.

Sign Up for more fun online events

Real Sisters Pretend by Meagan Dowd Lambert

Choreography by Rae

Real Sisters Pretend

Read Aloud with Rae 4/17: Real Sisters Pretend by Meagan Dowd Lambert

By Rae Wilson

Families come in different shapes and sizes. Even our friends can be our family. This Friday’s Read Aloud with Rae invites your young detective to explore Meagan Dowd Lambert’s Real Sisters Pretend.

The reading starts at 2pm on Friday 4/17 and runs approximately 25 minutes.

RSVP online to save your kiddos spot. Space is limited. Be sure to try logging on a few minutes early. It is hard to admit friends once the session has started.

All reading sessions are free, but tips are always appreciated.Tips may be sent via Venmo.

Does your child enjoy sharing? Add this book to your home library.

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Preparing for our Read Aloud:

– Dress the part. Find a fun “rain hat”, a t-shirt with an umbrella on it, or pop on some rain boots. Looking for an excuse to use that secret stash of lighting bolt tattoos? You’re in luck. 

– Print out the free coloring sheet and let your book detective do some coloring before the reading session. Kids will have a chance to show their pictures at the beginning of class.

Coloring sheet.

Let’s Play Pretend

After the Reading Session:

– Keep the conversation going! Invite your child to imagine you are both on an adventure.

– Invite your stuffed animals to join you for a healthy snack.

– Draw your family tree. Challenge your child to remember as many families members or friends that they can and draw a tree around all the names.

– Play dress up. Pretend to be the hero in your own story.

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