Home schooling when you are not a teacher: Top 10 websites to teach and/or entertain your kids

March 20, 2020

With millions of California residents stuck at home during the present “Shelter in Place” mandate, parents are finding themselves without the luxury of traditional schools and are faced with the daunting task of educating their children at home. The coronavirus has turned caregivers around the world into pseudo homeschoolers. 

With the internet oversaturated with a plethora of supplemental learning platforms to choose from, combined with thousands of free webinars like Mo Willems’ daily doodle, it can be overwhelming to choose the right fit for your child. Finding programs that encourage motivation and enthusiasm in your child and avoid feelings of isolation and boredom can be a challenge. As curious parents ourselves, we have done the research and narrowed down our homeschooling favorites to a list of Top 10 Websites to teach and/or entertain your kids. Here they are:

    1. Gus on the Go App: An owl named Gus leads kids through 10 interactive lessons, covering a total of about 90 vocabulary words, with the ability to unlock games when lessons are complete. $3.99 to download. Link: www.gusonthego.com/ 
    2. Plim Plim on Youtube: Pre-K videos in all languages, fusion between eduaction and fun for children emphasizing positive habits, respect for environment and human values. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFub5FC-Kc8
    3. IXL Learning: Lays the foundation for Spanish fluency with interactive questions, engaging audio, and real-world narratives that put a fresh spin on vocabulary and grammar skills. Subscription-based learning site for all ages.  Link: https://www.ixl.com/spanish/
    1. Library of Congress: Offers classroom materials and vast educational resources online. Link: www.loc.gov/teachers/
      1. America’s Library – American history for elementary and middle school students
      2. Today in History – Highlights from the Library’s online collections. 

    2. Outschool: Live Online Classes for Ages 3-18. Spark your child’s curiosity with access to 10,000 small group video chat classes—created and taught by inspiring teachers. Start learning for as low as $5/class. Link: https://outschool.com
    1. Prodigy Site or App:  The no-cost math game where kids can earn prizes, go on quests and play with friends — all while learning math. With Prodigy math homework is disguised as a video-game.  Link: https://play.prodigygame.com/
    2. Khan Academy Kids App: Children can learning reading, language, writing, math social-emotional development, problem-solving skills, and motor development through open-ended activities and games. Link: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/khan-academy-kids/id1378467217
    3. BrainPOP: K-12 Animated Educational Site for Kids with over 1,000 short animated movies for students, together with quizzes and related materials. Link: https://www.brainpop.com/math/
    1. Raz-Kids: Online guided reading program with interactive ebooks, downloadable books, and reading quizzes for K-5 students to read – anytime, anywhere! Free trail offer, subscription cost is $99.95 for a year. Link: www.raz-kids.com/
    2. Lexia Learning Site or App: Differentiated literacy instruction in grades pre-K–5, provides explicit, systematic, personalized learning in the six areas of reading instruction, targeting skill gaps as they emerge, and providing teachers with the data and student-specific resources they need for individual or small-group instruction. ~$30-$40 a year per student. Link: www.lexiacore5.com/
    3. Newsela: Offers students up-to-date, high-interest articles that meet students right at their level. When it comes to teaching literacy, content matters. Engage students with topics they care about, while building the background knowledge and vocabulary they need to become active, engaged readers. Free access during quarantine. Link: https://newsela.com/about/solutions/ela
    1. Yoga with Cosmic Kids Site & App: Making yoga and mindfulness fun for kids through interactive video episodes, meditation scripts and lesson plan ideas for parents. Subscribe to their Youtube for commercial-free streaming for $65/year. Link: https://www.cosmickids.com/
    2. GoNoodle App or Site: Videos that get kids moving to fun, engaging content and games through dancing, stretching, running, jumping, deep breathing, and wiggling. Free site and videos. Link: https://family.gonoodle.com/
    3. Peloton Digital App: Teamed up with Action for Healthy Kids, with 10-15minute classes, a little effort can go a long way: your runs and rides will help spread the joy of movement by increasing access to sports and fitness for young people. Free 90 day trial with $39/ month membership. Link: https://www.onepeloton.com/app
    1. Juni Learning: Award-winning online Computer Science & Mathematics academy that offers private, online courses to students from ages 8–18. Private Classes 1x per week are $250/ Month. Link: https://junilearning.com/
    2. Code.org: Provides the leading curriculum for K-12 computer science in the largest school districts in the United States. Free of charge for all resources and tutorials. Link: https://code.org/
    3. Kodable Site or App: Award-winning coding curriculum for kids ages 4-10 with age-appropriate games and activities that transition your kids from learning how to think like a programmer all the way to writing real code using our custom, built-for-kids coding interface! Free trial with $6.99/month or $49.99/year.Link: www.kodable.com/


Real Estate Update, Market Trends & More

February 24, 2020

The Sternsmith Group is off to a great start in 2020. We have already helped over 14 buyers and/or sellers! Referrals have been the foundation of our business and our 2020 “vision” is to have even more referrals from great past clients and contacts like you! If you know someone who is thinking of selling or buying a home, please give them our name. ❤️

Look no further than www.sternsmith.com to find 10-year trends for average and median prices, number of sales, and price per square foot. Or just click on your city below and we’ll take you there. 📊
You may also know someone who could benefit from our 2nd edition of Peninsula Pulse or Guide to Selling Your Home. These reports are packed full of information, including prices and school scores for all the cities and neighborhoods that we specialize in. Plus, these guides walk you step-by-step through our white-glove service.

Modern Guide to San Mateo

October 29, 2019

Seriously Fine Dining, Inventive Drinks + Bay Views for Days

Great article just out in 7 x 7 magazine on the town that we love to buy and sell homes in (and we sell more homes in San Mateo than anyone else). Click here to read the article and learn about all the great things that are happening in San Mateo. Want to call it home? Just get in touch and we will make that dream a reality.


The Biggest Mistake Millennials are Making

August 13, 2019

So who is David Bach you ask? He’s a self-made millionaire who has written 9 consecutive 𝘕𝘦𝘸 𝘠𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘛𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴 bestsellers. His book, 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘔𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘪𝘳𝘦, spent 31 weeks on the 𝘕𝘦𝘸 𝘠𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘛𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴 bestseller list. He is one of the only business authors in history to have 4 books simultaneously on the 𝘕𝘦𝘸 𝘠𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘛𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴, 𝘞𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘚𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘵 𝘑𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘭, 𝘉𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘞𝘦𝘦𝘬, and 𝘜𝘚𝘈 𝘛𝘰𝘥𝘢𝘺 bestseller lists. Here are a few other things he says:

“Buying a home is an escalator to wealth. Young adults in particular aren’t hopping on this escalator, and it’s a costly mistake…If millennials don’t buy a home, their chances of actually having any wealth in this country are little to none.”

“Start by crunching the numbers…actually do the math…This way, you’re really clear on your goals and you won’t just say to yourself, ‘I’ll never afford this!’ A good rule of thumb is to make sure your total monthly housing payment doesn’t consume more than 30 percent of your take-home pay.”

Bottom line, let’s at least have a conversation about this and let us help you crunch the numbers. Your Realtor Matters.