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 […]
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 books for beginning readers from my library. This list is perfect for 2nd grade and 3rd grade.
Some ideas on how to set up a book club for your child with examples of successful book club meetings.
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!
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.
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!).
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!
Dragons and aliens and dinosaurs, oh my! And for girls, there are interesting slightly mischieveous girls to meet as well as cousins who are really sweet. Short chapter book series can often have repetitive plot lines about nothing or language that is neither rich nor interesting. There is something special about each of these book series for the child AND the adult reading along.
Every summer I stress out about what books to get for my kids that they will like but are also exposing them — as only books can do — to the wide world all around them both past, present and future. This summer, we are going to take a trip around the world by reading these multi-cultural books. What is great about this list is that it covers all the ages of my kids: from preschool through elementary school. I will be sneaky and check out these books for them and leave them strewn about the house for them to examine when they are bored. I will keep you posted on what books my kids actually liked because that is a whole ‘nother list! See you at the library!
As the school year starts to wind down, I’m longing for summer even though the school year is in full force and quite hectic this time of year. Every summer, I bribe my kids to do some math review so I’m also starting to think about what workbooks to buy. Some moms I know manage to do math review in a fun, gaming kind of way. It makes me think that summer math can and should be fun.
Since this is not my forte, I’m thrilled to introduce Karla Valenti of Tot Thoughts, who created a list of 25 fun and free math skills games to play with kids.
Are you thinking of doing summer math with your kids? What resources and games will you using? Please share. I could use the help!
25 Fun and Easy Math Skills Games
So, your child struggles with math?
They pay attention, they work hard, they do their homework and yet… those tricky math concepts simply refuse to sink in.
You bring in tutors, you practice flash cards, you spend hours going over worksheets, drilling your child in the car or at the breakfast table.
You tell yourself that if your kid just keeps at it, one day, it’ll “click.” But deep down, you’re worried that they’re falling further and further behind. Your child’s teacher is worried too.
And your child is starting to think they’re not smart. Worse, you’re starting to wonder if that might not be true. Read more…
I’ve been trying to read more children’s book lately to catch up on my pile so I’ve taken to carting around a small pile of books everywhere I go and reading a little here and a little there until the book draws me in such that I am forced to read to the end. Some books are like that. If they have that power for me, I’m hoping they will for your child too.
As the school year is nearing the close, things are heating up. Are they for you too? You might not be needing new chapter books for kids yet for summer reading but I hope some of these will work for you!
What are your kids reading and recommending? Please share! It doesn’t have to be a newly published book either!
If You Read One Book This Summer …
Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman
This is not a newly published book but it’s a perfect gem of a chapter book for spring. Told from the point of view of disparate neighbors in a rough part of town in Cleveland, a young Korean girl digs out a space in a rundown lot to plant lima bean seeds which starts of a chain of reaction towards positive change.
PickyKidPix did a school project on this book for 5th grade and recommended it to me. She wasn’t allowed to read two of the stories (one is about a pregnant teenager who hates her unborn baby and the other about a boy who wants to grow marijuana) so she had me check out the book at the library so she could read them.
This is a really beautiful multicultural chapter book that is also a fast read. The power of gardening is such that it creates a community that wasn’t there before. And this community ends up changing lives. Does life really work like this? I think it does. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]
I’m thrilled to be joining Sun Scholars and 99 other bloggers for 100 Days of Play! Need play ideas? Please join us as we explore ideas for playful learning!
With nice weather finally arriving in New England, I’ve seen numerous lemonade stand ideas pop up in my neighborhood. It’s been fun to support the neighborhood kids and sample their wares. Some have been selling lemonade and brownies. Others have more traditional stands.
One thing that struck me is how much the pricing varies. I thought I would teach entrepreneurial finance for kids today for my 100 Days of Play contribution by looking at pricing your [successful] lemonade stand.
Pricing Lemonade for Your Stand Read more…
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. ~ Edmund Burke
I will be the first to admit that I avoid children’s books about war. They depress me. I even get nightmares. So you can imagine that I don’t go seeking out books on the Holocaust. The very idea of man’s inhumanity turns my stomach. And yet … it’s such an important event in this lifetime to remember and seek out whatever lessons possible to prevent a reoccurrence. Right?
Some of these books beckoned and drew me in, reluctant reader that I was, on this subject. Jerry Spinelli’s Milkweed is a perfect example. I had checked out a pile of his books and brought this last unread one on a train ride. I didn’t want to read it, honestly. I wanted something lighter and uplifting. But as soon as I opened his book, I wasn’t able to put it down.
In creating this list, my question is simply, “Can a single ordinary person make a difference in the face of such abject horror?” There are unsung heroes in all these books, both real and imagined. I would suggest these books, even the picture books, for ages 10 and up. The Holocaust is a subject for an older child.
It goes without saying that any book for kids that gets published on the topic of the Holocaust is worthy of accolades and children’s literature awards. The bar is set high since this is a tough subject to sell. It’s no coincidence that many of these books have won prestigious awards.
What are the books you read with your child about the Holocaust that you recommend? Please share! Read more…
The Children’s Choice Book Awards 2013! The children have spoken (and voted) and this is what they like!
Kindergarten to Second Grade Children’s Choice Book Award Winner
Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta, illustrated by Ed Young
Yay! My son and I loved this book and we think an award for illustrator Ed Young is long overdue!
This video from TED got me thinking as a parent about teaching perseverance to children. What if your child had this crazy idea that he or she wanted to play with a yo yo as a career ambition? Honestly, I wouldn’t feel optimistic about that kid’s future.
My husband would be moaning that our kid would be need to be financially supported for eternity, perhaps failing to launch and living at home forever.
It doesn’t have to be a yo yo dream. My middle daughter wants to go to hair school. There’s nothing wrong with being a hair stylist but it isn’t my dream for her and it doesn’t seem to jive with her other dreams (which I’m more behind) of going to Stanford — playing soccer for Stanford actually as an outside midfielder (she gets more specific with each passing year) and becoming a billionaire. Because I googled billionaires and no hair professionals came up. Not even Jennifer Aniston hawking Living Proof made that cut.
Celebrate Children’s Book Week with a week of giveways hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews. 90 bloggers will be be doing giveaways all this week as part of Kid Lit Giveaway Hop!!
I am giving away a box of chapter books and other goodies. Enter using the Rafflecopter below.
Today is a busy Mother’s Day. Soccer games all over the planet. A kids’ birthday party and a lacrosse game too. My husband’s present to me today is doing all that driving and it’s not a trivial gift. The kids will make me a card and gift me the boxing gear that I wanted: a speed bag and a double ended bag that is set at my height. No more standing on stools to reach the speed bag at the boxing gym!
It’s easy to take Mother’s Day for granted and, for that matter, the kids and family. Now that our children are in elementary school and middle school, it’s just go-go-go all the time on behalf on the kids’ over-scheduled lives.
But for Mother’s Day, it’s nice to take some time and reflect how very lucky I am to be a mother. That my gift is truly my kids and husband and together we have the privilege of raising them. For me, a mother who had children later in life — I’m 48 and my youngest is 8 — parenthood came after college, graduate school and career. It’s a more typical scenario where I live.
But families come in all shapes and sizes. Mothers become moms through love for their children whether or not they are biological or adopted. I’m reminded of this through a TV show called I’m Having Their Baby, now in Season 2, which premieres June 12 at 10/9c on Oxygen. It tells the untold stories of adoption and the myriad of ways to become a mom. Read more…