Young boy codes on his laptop

Online Coding Classes with Whitehat Jr.

Technology use is more common than ever before in history right now, particularly in our younger generations. WhiteHat Jr. have taken on the task of helping kids become creators of technology instead of consumers of it. By embracing this STEAM education, WhiteHat Jr. are providing our young people with skills that expand their future opportunities in careers involving coding – an ever-growing field in today’s world.

WhiteHat Jr. teach the fundamentals of coding in a way that’s perfect for children to understand – through a variety of online coding courses suitable for Grades 1 through to Grade 10 and beyond. Young kids and teenagers can learn all things logic, structure, sequence and algorithmic thinking. This enables them to create their very own apps, websites and animation.

Despite how often children are using technology daily, less than 1 per cent of schools teach coding in early childhood.

This creates a gap that’s hard to bridge between modern day jobs and the skills required for these jobs in our children. Not to mention that many children enjoy technology as a hobby, whether it be through playing games online, using social media, learning and more. Fortunately, young people don’t have to plan for a career in technology to take WhiteHat Jr. coding classes. A simple interest in the world of coding and tech is enough to enjoy the curriculum. All children can have fun and learn a significant amount of important skills. 

All classes are taught one to one, live, in the comfort of your own home. They range from App Development, to Advanced Programming and eventually Building Your Own Company classes. Children will learn the basics of coding, how to create animations, apps and websites and how to manipulate data using programming languages. Overall, their problem-solving skills will be strengthened. In fact, already over 1 million students are certified by WhiteHat Jr., with 1,630,000 classes taken, 2,500,000 students registered in total and 7,000 registered teachers. Students are showing their talents by creating apps that solve problems. There are currently 750,000 kids projects running! 

Parents can book a free trial class for their child online through both the WhiteHat Jr. website and the WhiteHat Jr. class booking App, available  on both Google Play and App Store.

Click here to free trial class for their child online

save 16% on six months of classes (valid to 31 December 2021)

or save 14% on 1 month of classes (valid to 31 December 2021) 





Illustration of book with fictional characters and objects coming out of the book

CBCA Book Week and Book of the Year Awards 2020

Every year since the 1940’s The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) have held a Book Week – a whole week dedicated to bringing children and books together across Australia. This year is no exception, with Book Week running from 17 – 23 October. The not-for-profit organisation has chosen the creative theme ‘Curious Creatures, Wild Minds’.

Schools and public libraries spend the whole week celebrating books, and Australian children’s authors and illustrators in particular. Your child may have been involved with the celebrations this week including activities, competitions and displays or even dressed up as their favourite book character! You can find a whole array of free Book Week Activities on the CBCA website, from colouring-in posters to DIY Bookmarks.

Book of the Year Awards

As part of Book Week the CBCA also holds CBCA Book of the Year Awards, with six different categories. Here are the winners for each category as well as the books who made the honours list in 2020. You can find the shortlist HERE.

Book of the Year: Older Readers

Books in this category can be fiction, poetry or drama, and must be for readers aged 13 – 18 years old.

Winner: This Is How We Change The Ending by Vikki Wakefield

Book cover for This is how we change the ending by Vikki Wakefield

Sixteen-year-old Nate McKee is doing his best to be invisible. He’s worried about a lot of things-how his dad treats Nance and his twin half-brothers; the hydro crop growing in his bedroom; the way his friend Merrick always drags him into fights. And he has never forgiven his mother for leaving.

But none of it is his fight, right? He’s just waiting for his time. Nate hangs out at YouthWorks, the local youth centre threatened with closure, and fills his notebooks with the things he can’t say. But when some of his pages are stolen and his words are graffitied on the wall of the centre, Nate realises he has allies. He might be able to make a difference, change his life, and claim his future. Or can he?


The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G Drews

Ghost bird by Lisa Fuller

Book of the Year: Younger Readers

Books in this category can be fiction, poetry or drama and should be suitable for readers aged 8 – 12 years old. 

Winner: The Little Wave by Pip Harry

Book cover for The Little wave by Pip Harry

When a Manly school sets out to bring a country class to the city for a beach visit, three very different kids find each other and themselves. Noah is fearless in the surf. Being at the beach makes him feel free. So where does his courage go when his best mate pushes him around? Lottie loves collecting facts about bugs, but she wishes her dad would stop filling their lonely house with junk. She doesn’t know what to do about it. Jack wants to be a cricket star, but first he has to get to school and look after his little sister. Especially if he wants to go on the class trip and see the ocean for the first time.


The Glimme by Emily Rodda, illustrated by Marc McBride

The Secrets of Magnolia Moon by Edwina Wyatt, illustrated by Katherine Quinn

Book of the Year: Early Childhood

Books in this category can be fiction, poetry, drama and suitable for children aged 0 – 7 years.

Winner: My Friend Fred by Frances Watts, illustrated by Yi, A

Book cover for My Friend Fred by Frances Watts, illustrated by Yi, A.

My friend Fred eats dog food for breakfast.
I think dog food is disgusting.

My friend Fred howls at the moon.
I don’t know why.

He does a lot of funny things.
But even though we are different, Fred is my best friend.


When Billy Was a Dog by Kirsty Murray, illustrated by Karen Blair

Goodbye House, Hello House by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Ann James

Book of the Year: Picture Book of the Year

Books in this category should be outstanding, where the author and illustrator ‘achieve artistic and literary unity” in picture books without words, or in books where the illustrations unify the story, concept or theme. Books are suitable for young people aged 0 – 18 years.

Winner: I Need a Parrot by Chris McKimmie

Book cover for I Need a Parrot by Chris McKimmie

A book about wanting and needing what a child wants and what a wild bird needs.


Nop by Caroline Magerl

Three by Stephen Michael King

Eve Pownall Award

Books in this category should document factual material while having a creative presentation, varying style and interpretation. Books are suitable for young people aged 0 – 18 years.

Winner: Young Dark Emu: A Truer History by Bruce Pascoe

Book cover for Young Dark Emu: A Truer by Bruce Pascoe

Using the accounts of early European explorers, colonists and farmers, Bruce Pascoe compellingly argues for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. He allows the reader to see Australia as it was before Europeans arrived — a land of cultivated farming areas, productive fisheries, permanent homes, and an understanding of the environment and its natural resources that supported thriving villages across the continent. Young Dark Emu — A Truer History asks young readers to consider a different version of Australia’s history pre-European colonisation.


The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ugly Animals by Sami Bayly

Wilam: A Birrarung Story by Aunty Joy Murphy and Andrew Kelly, illustrated by Lisa Kennedy

CBCA Award for New Illustrator

This award aims to recognise new and upcoming talent in Australian Children’s book illustrations (books for ages 0 – 18 years).

Winner: Baby Business by Jasmine Seymour

Book cover for Baby Business by Jasmine Seymour

Baby Business tells the story of the baby smoking ceremony that welcomes baby to country. The smoke is a blessing — it will protect the baby and remind them that they belong. This beautiful ritual is recounted in a way young children will completely relate to.

Jasmine Seymour is a Darug woman and a descendant of Maria Lock, daughter of Yarramundi, the Boorooberongal Elder who had met Governor Phillip on the banks of the Hawkesbury in 1791. It is Jasmine’s wish that through her books, everyone will know that the Darug mob are still here, still strong. Jasmine is a primary school teacher in the Hawkesbury area of NSW.


All book descriptions taken from QLD Books. 






Transitioning Your Tween to High School

Transitioning to high school is one of life’s significant rites of passage. It can be exciting, nerve racking, overwhelming and rewarding – all at the same time – for both parents and students. It is a time of new challenges, new goals and new experiences.

Tips and tricks to help make the transition smoother:

Involve your tween in transition programs that your new high school may offer. This is extremely beneficial in building relationships before they enter high school. It can also help with those first day worries about not knowing anyone.

Over the school holidays, sleep routines usually end up with late nights (and even later mornings!). It is important around the last week of school holidays that the routine is shifted back to what they will experience back at school. Moving a sleep routine normally has to happen slowly with moving bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night.

The first week of school is busy! Having a clear pick up spot helps to reduce the anxiety in your Year 7 student. Given how much new information they retain, it is also helpful to have this written in their diary or in their lunch box so that they can refer to it if they forget during the day.

Schools are hectic places. Help your tween stay organised by colour coding subject areas. This can be extremely useful when trying to find your books quickly in your locker. If your school uses a diary, having the subjects highlighted in the same colour in their timetable is also really helpful. In general, having a timetable in their diary, taped to the inside of their locker (if permissible) and also at home helps with organisation.

High school may mean young people are using lockers for the first time. If you can, try and buy the lock for the locker before the first day of school to allow your child to practise. Some schools have the Year 7 students attend a day before the other grades. This allows them the time and space to learn their way around the school and to orientate them to lockers, classrooms and other school processes without all the other students around. Check and see if the high school your child is attending has a peer support program.

Schools with Defence Transition programs as well as Indigenous and Multicultural Support programs may also be important to your family.

Remember – young people find it hard sometimes to tell you if they are feeling anxious, nervous or excited. Instead, they may communicate through their behaviour. If you are concerned about how your child will transition or is transitioning then speak to your chosen high school to develop a plan.

About the Author

Dannielle Charge is a registered Psychologist and School Counsellor at Ignatius Park College. She has worked with children, young people and their families for over 20 years in health and education settings.






Device Usage and Role Models – Tweens & Teens September 2020

Device Usage

Research shows that Aussie teens average 3.3 hours of social media use per day. In total, the average screen time is in excess of six hours daily. That’s a whole lot of device usage for one day! While screen time can be useful and engaging in terms of researching projects, video calling with friends and family and being creative, a lot of it consists of endless scrolling through social media feeds. Unfortunately, the latter isn’t healthy.

You can help your teen disconnect by encouraging a morning routine (so they don’t look at their phone first thing in the morning). On top of this, encourage an evening routine (reading is great at helping you wind down), encourage them to avoid sleeping with their phone next to their bed and keeping busy. Help them pick up a new hobby that doesn’t involve using their phone, such as cooking, drawing or scrapbooking.

It’s also a good idea to encourage them to delete any social media apps they don’t love. Lastly, get them to leave their phone in another room at certain times. This could be when the family is having dinner or socialising with visiting family.

How to Be A Great Role Model

Teenagers need positive role models in their lives with all the negativity they are exposed to over adolescence. As the parent, it’s important you’re the best role model you can be to them. This is especially important as they will spend time with you regularly. Plus, the stronger your relationship with your teenager is, the more influence you’ll have.

You can be an awesome role model by working towards your own goals, showing honesty, admitting when you are wrong, showing compassion towards others, learning healthy coping skills to get through challenges, having an optimistic outlook on life and using your problem-solving skills. It’s also a good idea to show an interest in your teen’s interests. In addition, get to know their friends to strengthen your bond.

Read more Tweens and Teens blogs HERE. 

Find more research HERE. 




Let’s Talk Teen Hygiene – Tweens and Teens September 2020

Puberty brings a lot of changes with it, including body odour. This means a little bit of adjustment to the hygiene routine they may be accustomed to.

Why is hygiene important? Firstly, it’s a nice feeling to be clean. However, it’s necessary to be clean in order to function socially. Generally speaking, you expect the person you’re interacting with to be clean (whether they are a friend or a colleague), and it reduces our risk of catching disease.

The Basics

So, what does good teen hygiene look like? Generally speaking, teens should shower every day (maybe twice a day depending on the weather and their lifestyle), and wash your hair every other day. Use deodorant or antiperspirant before heading out for the day and re-apply as needed. Wear clean underwear and socks every day, and brush your teeth twice a day. Washing your face daily will (hopefully) help keep acne at a low, and some teens may also express interest in learning how to shave.

However, these are just general guidelines; your teen may need to adjust this routine to suit them. For instance, if they have dry skin, they may need to moisturise; or if they have greasy hair, they may choose to use dry shampoo to keep it looking fresh in between washes. If they have braces, they’ll have to adjust their oral hygiene routine to keep their braces clean.

Encouraging Good Hygiene

Be a Good Role Model

Start young, as children learn by observing. Be sure to practice good hygiene habits from a young age, and continue this into their teenage years.

Help Them

Your teen may still need your help, even if they don’t show it. Offer to help them if they ask for it. Show them how to use deodorant and how often, and show them how to safely shave if they show interest in learning.

Look into Skin Care

Skin care can be a tough code to crack. What works for one person may not work for another, and acne can have detrimental effects on a teen’s self-esteem. Encourage your teen to try out a variety of different routines to see what works for their skin, and consider where their skin type is oily, dry or a combination of the two. Discourage them from picking at pimples or blackheads, as this can make it worse.

It’s Different for Girls and Boys

Girls need to know how to manage their periods and how often to change their pad or tampon, and both girls and boys need to learn how to clean their genitals. It’s likely that the topic will be an awkward one for them to discuss, so remember to be prepared for any question that may come your way.





Body Image and Eating Disorders – All Things Tweens & Teens

Encouraging Positive Body Image

Having a positive body image is defined as being confident and happy in your own skin. A negative body image, however, is feeling unhappy with the way you look, whether it is your size, shape, height or general appearance. Having a positive image of your body is important as it will raise overall self-esteem and mental health.

It can be influenced by a number of factors, including family environment, bullying, disability, social media and more. During puberty, teens will go through a lot of changes as well that can change their body image. As the parent, you have an influence. Because of this, you can help by talking and listening to your teen, and being a positive body image role model.

Eating Disorders and Your Teen

Eating Disorders is an umbrella term for a group of mental health disorders. They are related to persistent negative eating behaviours, such as restricting food intake, forcibly throwing up or binge eating. Eating Disorders can affect anyone, including boys. They are not a cry for attention; they have the highest mortality rate, and the symptoms should be taken very seriously.

Some signs and symptoms of eating disorders include skipping meals, an excessive focus on food, complaining about being fat, dieting, binge eating, excessive exercising and going to the bathroom right after or during meals. The exact cause of eating disorders is unknown. But, they may be due to societal pressure or genetic factors.

Things that may help include encouraging healthy eating habits from a young age, discussing media messaging, fostering self-esteem and if needed, teaming up with your teen’s doctor to seek help. While these conversations can be difficult, remind your teen that they are not alone. Always keep communication lines open.


Read more PakMag Tweens and Teens blogs here.