In the mid-2000s, I joined a message board for an online pregnancy magazine, recommended by my best friend from high school, who was a few months ahead of me, talking about pregnancy. Seeing what others are experiencing and asking ‘what-ifs’ and what’s-thats?!?’ of pregnancy. Eventually, magazine folds and private message boards became too much work, the group landed on Facebook. The group has had divorces, two members married after a divorce, dating, more and more children, and some members have tragically passed away. The current iteration of the group has about 40 people left from the original group, the total number of which I can’t remember.
In addition to my appreciation for that experience and its continued benefits, I often ask them to use my inspiration to share some online resources from one of those moms. Her use of resources she finds online, or her reframing of a recent string of “Shark Tank” episodes watched by her homeschool student in an academic matter, is inspiring not because she “does it all,” but how it’s done. She focuses on what is really important to them as a family. Now, what am I going to talk about? No, but I’m going to use this as a jumping off point to share some of the online resources I’ve come across or shared with me when I’m trying to make phone calls/take breaks/not answer questions/not leave anyone out. .
Sidebar… Before we get to that, I received an email today from the Edmonds School District welcoming us to the 2022-23 school year – you can find the contents here . I don’t have a lot of back to school juice this week, but I wanted to mention that the district will be sending out an additional email on August 19th explaining how parents can use ParentSquare to get information from the district and schools. This additional email will contain an invitation link where you can choose how to receive the information and in which language you will receive it. Stay tuned for more information and you can also find more information about the service at ParentSquare.com.
I have some links to online art instruction and entertainment and information science videos. I googled some watercolor books, two of which I found at Sno-Isle Libraries, I started getting more art accounts on Instagram and found Andrea.Nelson.Art. Part of Nelson’s bio says, “It’ll be great. I’m here to help,” and that’s one of my favorite things right now. She makes it easy for kids and adults alike to make all kinds of paints and my current favorite thing to keep my hands busy as a newbie, is painting different watercolors and tracing shapes with ink after it dries. Seriously, she calls it a “brain relaxer” and it relaxes my mind without the pressure of looking like the object I’m painting. Don’t think you need fancy equipment as one of the most recent videos happily explains how to paint with white crayons. I also noticed that every time I see a new video that one of my adult friends has already liked when I contact him when he doesn’t do art, Nelson’s posts are “0% bad news guaranteed” and I’m not. Just agree, but will add that when he happily says you can do it, I think I can do it! You can find Nelson on Instagram, in a Crayola-sponsored Basics video or at ADreamoraDayArt.com.
My cousin’s 7-year-old daughter does art online and her favorite recent videos are from the Art for Kids Hub on YouTube. I scanned through some videos and saw that these people do cute art tutorials and often involve their kids doing their own age appropriate version. Their videos are things like “How to Draw a Koi Fish” where they draw and even include K or “How to Draw a Minion”. For more information you can visit them at ArtforKidsHub.com.
Draw Together with Wendy Mack (The New York Times bestseller and artist Wendy MacNaughton) is another online art option. “The show is a class that’s a club for kids” described as “You can find episodes on DrawTogether.Studio or on YouTube” – at first glance this website seems to contain a bit more, but it’s still a YouTube video. The program’s focus is “on building imagination, community, and confidence through drawing” and includes resources for parents and teachers and “sometimes silly dancing.” Mac is in a whimsical set and the video I scanned was related to the weather and the emotions inside the wind, rain, etc., which I absolutely loved. I’ve followed her on her personal account for a while, but I can’t remember the origin of it. The colors and fonts she chooses/creates, mostly Nelson, are soothing. Mac also does the Draw Together podcast, which is described as a “bite-sized, no-experience-required interactive art adventure” where all you need is a piece of paper and a pen.
If art doesn’t fit, there are also science options for kids. You can find the Hip Hop Science program on YouTube that I found on the recommendation of a mutual friend! Hosted by Hip Hop MD and UW graduate, Maynard Okereke, Hip Hop Science “aims to bridge the gap between music/entertainment and science by introducing scientific elements into everyday pop culture.” Okereke breaks down “music videos, epic fails, song lyrics, and takes you on an exploratory journey through new trends in all areas of science” while donning a lab coat and thick black glasses. A video from a month ago titled “Geees are better than guard dogs” is a short, informative, funny and great music-filled clip that I hope my kids come across on their internet travels – it’s also true, geese are crazy scary. You can find more videos from Hip Hop MD at YouTube.com/HipHopScienceShow and more information and contact information for school presentations at HipHopScienceShow.com.
My nephews enjoy Emily’s Wonderlab on Netflix, which only has one season, but 10 episodes are available on Netflix. Science.Mom offers videos and projects and boasts that if you look at videos on her website only her videos will be suggested — I didn’t think it was a big deal until it was definitely a big deal. I will say, though, if you click on YouTube, it has other suggestions. Science Mom has “worked as a molecular biologist and a wildland firefighter, and many jobs that fall between wearing a lab coat and wielding a chainsaw” and I’m sure my friend from the mom message board is into her, which is. Underneath the chainsaw bit for me. Her site offers over 100 free educational lessons, as well as activities and experiments. He goes on to take on his counterpart, Math Dad, in a series of Science Mom vs. Math Dad videos. For more information and all her content you can visit Science.Mom.
– By Jennifer Marks
Jane Marks, an Edmonds mother of two boys, is looking for a fun place to tire the kids enough to go to bed on time.