• Top 10 Life Skills Kids Need Before College

    My book list of Top 10 Books to Teach Kids to Be More Responsible made me start to think about life skills that kids need before going off to college. That and the fact that my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, will be starting high school next fall so we have only 4 years to tackle this […]

  • Today I am on the Front Page of The Boston Globe

    Today I am on the front page of The Boston Globe for the past week of posts that I wrote on my microblog, I Love Newton, about the anti-Asian racism in the local high school musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie. School play’s stereotypes bring outcry and apology. “Millie” touches nerve in Newton by Ellen Ishkanian, Globe […]

  • Get Kids Reading Strategies: 12 Surefire Ways

    I searched five years of digital photographs looking for photos of my kids reading and I only came up with the handful here. Why? It’s not easy getting kids reading, especially to love reading enough that they choose it over more exciting things like screens, playdates or sports! I started my blog after my oldest […]

  • 10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade

    I had the great fortune to meet The Nerdy Book Club founders at a dinner for Anne Ursu hosted by Walden Pond Press to celebrate her latest chapter book, The Real Boy. (It’s wonderful. I put it on my  Newbery 2014 Contenders list! And it just won a Middle Grade Fiction Nerdie). Colby Sharp, one of […]

  • Best Beginning Chapter Books for 2nd and 3rd Grade

    Best books for beginning readers from my library. This list is perfect for 2nd grade and 3rd grade.

  • How To: Create a Great Kids’ Book Club (Activity and Book Suggestions)

    Some ideas on how to set up a book club for your child with examples of successful book club meetings.

  • Top 10: Best Dragon Children’s Books (ages 2-16)

    The Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors blog has a great post on dragons that preempted this post but I actually had been working on this for several weeks. There is something magical about dragons and I’m glad that some kids can keep the magic alive. I’ve gathered my favorite dragon books that range in age from picture books to young adult. What is your favorite dragon book? Please share!

  • Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21)

    I am starting to buy into this idea of teaching and really connecting material through games and apps. I was sort of on board with this concept, but since playing around with The Elements (a Harry Potter version of the Periodic Table) that my brother-in-law turned me on to, I am now a believer as I saw, with my own eyes, how captivated my kids were with the Periodic Table, an otherwise dull chart.

  • Newbery Winners by Grade Appropriateness!

    Thank you to Hubpages for this information. There are additional book suggestions by grade if click here to see their post. I have added an asterisk to the books that I’ve read and loved (and two astericks for must reads!).

  • Best Picture Books That Teach Math Concepts

    Picture books can be a visual and fun way to introduce math concepts. I think it makes math less intimidating when it’s part of a story. For those kids who love math, it’s another way to eat it up!

kids reading

Caught in the Act … of READING!

I am loving all these great photos that readers have sent of their kids or grandkids reading this summer! Thank you so very much! If you want to contribute a photo to this series, please email pragmaticmomblog (at) gmail (dot) com. As an added incentive to keep the kiddos reading, I’ll send you a book! Thank you! Read more…

Back to School Healthy Essentials

Back to School Healthy Essentials

Grasshopper and Sensei is our oldest and she starts high school this fall! It’s freaking my husband and I out a little. High school, already??!! Our second thought is that our daughter is not a morning person and high school starts early. To get her at school on time, a stream lined morning routine is going to be essential.

Back to School Healthy Essentials

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10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 2nd Grade

10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 2nd Grade

I chose a collection of some of my favorite chapter books and picture books for second grade read alouds. Truth be told, I don’t really remember exactly what books my kids were read to in the classroom during 2nd grade. For some reason, it’s drawing a blank at our house.

Second grade at our elementary school is memorable for foreign country unit. The kids study China, Ghana and Mexico. I have the Red Envelope Crafts project (can also be used for Chinese New Year) that I presented for my son’s class, and the Mexican Crafts Party (can also be used for Cinco de Mayo). Read more…

The Many Benefits of Baby Oil Massages

The Many Benefits of Baby Oil Massages

You aren’t the only one who craves a massage and a warm perfumed bath every day. Infants and young toddlers, in particular, love warm oil massages and warm water baths. Babies love a gentle hand stroking them and more often than not, they love playing with your gentle hands as you massage them. Apart from the pure fun factors, gentle oil massages are also known to improve sleep, help in digestion and boost the baby’s immune system, says What to Expect. They also help to create a loving bond between parent and baby. However, before you actually start with a baby massage, here are a few things you should know. Read more…

kids caught reading

Caught in the Act … of READING!

I’m so excited to continue this weekly post of kids caught in the act of reading! Thank you to everyone who has sent me photos! I am posting them in the order received. Read more…

The Kid Really Should See This!

The Kid Really Should See These Videos!

My son and I have been enjoying The Kid Should See It curated videos for the past year. It’s videos made for an adult audience, but age appropriate for kids. The topics range from science to arts and entertainment. We subscribe for a weekly email that has five videos. After watching a pile of them, my son selected these four as his favorites to share with you! Read more…

New Multicultural Books for Kids GIVEAWAY

New Multicultural Books for Kids GIVEAWAY

I wanted to highlight some great picture books and chapter books with diversity themes that have come my way. What multicultural books are you and your kids enjoying? Please share! Read more…

Multicultural Kids Blog: Read Around the World Summer Reading Series

Read Around the World Summer Series

I’m part of the Read Around The World Summer Series hosted by Multicultural Kid Blogs. Today, I wanted to introduce you to a Young Adult (YA) find that had me riveted!

read around the world series, Jet Black and the Ninja Wind

Jet Black and the Ninja Wind by Shogo Oketani  and Leza Lowitz

Husband and wife team joined forces to write this action adventure YA novel that has a bit of romance as well. Jet Black was raised on a Navajo reservation and is secretly trained in the middle of the night in the ways of the ninja which includes mastering how to walk on wet tissue paper without tearing it or making a sound. Jet never really understands why this is happening, but when her mother dies, she is sent on a mission to save the family treasure back in Japan.

There are bad guys out to get her and her new found Japanese family (also well trained as ninjas). But why is the person who is responsible for capturing her so alluring? This YA action adventure love story is non-stop action as Jet fights to save a sacred mountain in Japan.

Looking for more multicultural books for summer reading? Check out our Read Around the World Summer Reading Pinterest board!  You can also join the discussion on our Facebook page and G+ community.

What books from around the world are you enjoying? Please share!

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healthychoices

Healthy Choice Games for Kids

Healthy food choices should be part of the elementary and middle school curriculum. My school nurse and I are in agreement about that. But … it isn’t so it’s up to us parents to teach our kids. But what exactly does that mean? I found this food pyramid from the USDA’s food pyramid which was created 1992. Does it look familiar? If not, don’t worry because …

food pyramid of healthy choices for kids Read more…