I Brake for Moms

Washington Virtual Academy, a free public school option in Washington state, sends out kits of materials to help supplement online learning. Pictured here is the sixth-grade kit. (Jennifer Bardsley)

For some kids, virtual schooling is actually an improvement

Her daughter needed a tutor to stay at grade level, but now she’s excelling with at-home instruction.

 

Vaccines promise health — and fun — for a family tired of social distancing. (Jennifer Bardsley)

COVID-19 pandemic brings a new appreciation for flu shots

After not leaving the house for weeks, a drive-thu appointment to get an influenza vaccine is an adventure.

 

When it comes to kitchen tables, it’s not the price or comfort level that matters — it’s the memories. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Kitchen table memories linger longer than coffee mug stains

The chairs may be uncomfortable, but this mom can’t bring herself to get rid of the set.

 

Stocking a garage freezer with comfort food brings a busy family bliss. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Freezer-to-table meals a dream come true for this busy family

The pandemic has made chest freezers hot commodities right up there with Lysol wipes and toilet paper.

Stocking a garage freezer with comfort food brings a busy family bliss. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Which subject does your child struggle with most? Have them study that subject first thing in the morning, while they are still fresh. (Jennifer Bardsley)

How to manage distance learning like a pro in 7 easy steps

This mom sees the humor in trying to work from home and play teacher for her kids at Zoom school.

Which subject does your child struggle with most? Have them study that subject first thing in the morning, while they are still fresh. (Jennifer Bardsley)
A course of traffic-cone slaloms is one way to help teens improve their driving skills. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Her teen is putting pedal to the metal for accident avoidance

She signed the new driver up for an advanced collision avoidance class taught by Defensive Driving School.

A course of traffic-cone slaloms is one way to help teens improve their driving skills. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Workplace ergonomics become tricky while working from home, but simple changes can make a difference. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Work-at-home ergonomics might ‘B’ a problem for you, too

She ordered a laptop riser and an ergonomic keyboard to help ease constant pain from tennis elbow.

Workplace ergonomics become tricky while working from home, but simple changes can make a difference. (Jennifer Bardsley)
An open letter to my stalwart Dining Room Table

An open letter to my stalwart Dining Room Table

You were made for elegant dinner parties, but you’ve proved to be indispensable during pandemic times.

An open letter to my stalwart Dining Room Table
More than 4,000 indoor cyclists form the Peloton Pacific Northwest Facebook group, with members cheering each other on to good health and stress reduction during the pandemic. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Seeking a cardio high in the middle of a pandemic

Becoming a Peloton bike member is like joining a cult — but it’s a great way to manage stress.

More than 4,000 indoor cyclists form the Peloton Pacific Northwest Facebook group, with members cheering each other on to good health and stress reduction during the pandemic. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Your beach vacation is just a ferry ride away. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Day trip to Bainbridge Island offers reflection and relaxation

Their itinerary included stops at Fay Bainbridge Park and the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.

Your beach vacation is just a ferry ride away. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Teaching son to drive knocks mom senseless — or sentenceless

Teaching son to drive knocks mom senseless — or sentenceless

When she’s in the passenger seat and trying to stay calm, she forgets how to speak. Is that normal?

Teaching son to drive knocks mom senseless — or sentenceless
It only takes a small amount of cash to build a homemade swamp cooler to make your home comfortable this summer. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Can a do-it-yourself swamp cooler beat the August heat?

Instead of spending $400 for an air conditioner, purchase $25 of simple parts and assemble one yourself.

It only takes a small amount of cash to build a homemade swamp cooler to make your home comfortable this summer. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Creative thinking, equity and pedagogy should lead discussions for the 2020-21 school year, not judgement and shame. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Back to school or home school: What’s a family to do?

Check out a list of publicly funded online homeschool programs available in Washington.

Creative thinking, equity and pedagogy should lead discussions for the 2020-21 school year, not judgement and shame. (Jennifer Bardsley)
DUMB

The good, the bad and the ugly, all in one camping trip

Two nights in the family tent trailer at Lake Easton State Park near Cle Elum wasn’t all they hoped.

DUMB
Keep masks on the kitchen counter next to your phone so you remember to grab one when you leave the house. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Household strategies to manage summer’s hottest new accessory

This mom lays out her plan to keep clean masks available to all four family members at all times.

Keep masks on the kitchen counter next to your phone so you remember to grab one when you leave the house. (Jennifer Bardsley)
How to fix your student’s ‘spring slide’ this summer

How to fix your student’s ‘spring slide’ this summer

A former teacher offers easy tips for distancing learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to fix your student’s ‘spring slide’ this summer
With summer break, we say RIP to the 2019-2020 school year

With summer break, we say RIP to the 2019-2020 school year

High school seniors aren’t the only students who missed out on rites of passage because of COVID-19.

With summer break, we say RIP to the 2019-2020 school year
Pandemic prompts renewed interest in baking sourdough bread

Pandemic prompts renewed interest in baking sourdough bread

Her 15-year-old son is baking popovers, English muffins and loaves of bread with the fermented dough.

Pandemic prompts renewed interest in baking sourdough bread
Our collective vocabulary grows as civil rights protests march on

Our collective vocabulary grows as civil rights protests march on

From redress to hashtags, the words and phrases in our protest lexicon change with the times.

Our collective vocabulary grows as civil rights protests march on
Local Girl Scouts adapt to the pandemic by scouting at home

Local Girl Scouts adapt to the pandemic by scouting at home

The coronavirus isn’t stopping these Snohomish County girls from earning badges and awards.

Local Girl Scouts adapt to the pandemic by scouting at home
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