When my son was in preschool, I created this free Kindergarten readiness book for him. I printed it out, bound it into a 3 ring paper folder, and made a copy for each child in his class and the teachers had the kids work on it for a few months before preschool ended. It is …
For the last day of April and National Poetry Month, I am so excited to welcome my guest author, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater of poetry picture book Forest Has a Song. She has inspired me, a poetry-phobe to explore poetry with her gentle coaxing so I asked her to please write a post on teaching poetry …
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.
Simple Skip Counting Songs to Learn Multiplication and Division. Fun free multiplication games to play on the computer.
Tips, Tricks, Do’s and Don’ts to Getting an Athletic Scholarship.
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!
I find that The Univ. of Chicago’s Everyday Math needs home supplementation, especially in math facts. She recommends Daily Word Problems and Singapore Math.
How to detect and remove lice and nits. Two effective methods for killing lice: Robi Comb (an electronic zapper comb) and the Olive Oil Treatment. Pragmatic Mom does not recommend lice shampoo because it’s not 100% effective due to lice resistence, and has harmful chemicals.
Reading Lists for 2nd -5th graders of books that deserve a Newbery Award plus Newbery Award winners that are appropriate for elementary school children.
Four 40-something moms and I started boxing at the beginning of the year. It was a New Year’s Resolution of sorts that quickly snowballed. My mom friend Penny wanted to learn to box after watching her older brother transform into a Cardassian-like humanoid with bulging Trapezius muscles from boxing in the Bronx.
My mom friend Stella wanted to return to pre-baby weight now that her 3 kids are in school. We needed our mom friend Katherine — she’s a nurse and game for any kind of exercise. Lydia missed karate. And I wanted to work on my self-defense.
What to do? Why start our own mom boxing class!
Middle Aged Boxing Moms How To’s
There are many kinds of boxing classes: aerobic boxing classes where you air punch found typically at health clubs, cardio boxing or kickboxing at a karate studio with a heavy bag per person, and actual boxing instruction.
Penny wanted to learn to box. Really box so I had to track down a boxing club with a good instructor. With the help of my Golden Gloves Dad friend Mike, we got all set up:
- Boxing Gloves (Do NOT borrow from the Boxing Club. Eh, those are stinky!!)
- Hand Wraps (Ditto for hand wraps. Plus, the wraps help protect your wrists and they are fun to put on .)
- Boxing Teacher (Our guy Marc is training a female National boxing aspirant and several Golden Glove contenders.)
My 4th grade daughter, PickyKidPix, came home furious a few weeks ago. She said that she was the only person in her grade that got poetry for her MCAS standardized open response standardized test. Worse, I had kept her home sick during the one day they practiced poetry open response essays at school.
Novels In Verse for Kids Make Poetry
I’m sure it went fine, but she will be forever scarred associating poetry as something designed to confound her for a multiple choice Common Core Standardized test. I had felt the same way about poetry too until just a few years ago.
Sharon Creech‘s Hate That Cat novel in verse had completely blown my mind. I had no idea that 1) novels in verse existed, 2) that novels in verse could tell a story and 3) that I would actually enjoy it.
I polled the ladies at my hair salon and one of the best ideas was creating a show based on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. “Why can’t they base a show on that?” my hair stylist Tricia lamented? Why not, indeed?
Another stylist says that she watches Glee with her girls. Her girls’ friends discuss the show anyway and she is fine with them watching it as long as she’s there too to help explain it and put it into context. (There is a lot of sexuality in Glee that make it off-limits for some parents to approve of for their tweens.)
Best TV for Tweens
I polled my family and the play dates next. This is the list that made the cut:
Julie of My Shiny Monkey says, “For your Tween TV post, if you need more recommendations, we love watching these shows together: Shark Tank (business lessons), How It’s Made (engineering), Modern Family (relationships), and Jon Stewart’s Daily Show (world events).”
How about you? What are your tweens watching that you approve of? Stacey weighs in next! Read more…
Brain Research on Learning, Exercise, and Video Games!
Please welcome my guest author, Sarah Clachar, who has some alarming news about children’s brain development and video gaming. On the positive side, exercise and learning are also related. After reading her article, I started carting around my son’s 500+ page Percy Jackson book and little baggies full of legos in my purse for him to use instead of his iPod Touch while we wait at restaurants.
What do you do to keep your kids off screens and active? PLEASE share! We could all use more ideas, especially me! Thank you!
What Goes Best With A Good Book?
What’s the best thing you could have with a good book?
A banana muffin? Nope.
A cup of tea? Nope.
A nice comfy chair? A roaring fireplace? A quiet evening? All good things . . .
But Nope. Nope. And nope.
It’s so easy to support kids in war torn areas. Just buy a One World Futbol and a durable soccer ball that can withstand harsh terrain will be donated to kids in Darfur and other places including war zones and refugee camps. This ball lasts! It never requires a pump and it lasts decades!
One World Futbol: World’s Most Durable Ball
The co-founder of One World Futbol, Tim Jahnigen, had this to say about the project: “The One World Futbol projects strives to improve the lives of youth and adults in disadvantaged communities worldwide by distributing an ultra-durable soccer ball to organizations on the ground in war zones, refugee camps, inner cities, and harsh environments for use in their work with communities in need.”
My mom friend Loren from Felix Doolittle Fine Stationery sent me these photos with this note about a trip to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts with her 9-year-old son who had just finished reading The Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan. Ancient Egypt and action adventure had suddenly made museums desirable!
Julian also read From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg, a personal favorite of mine, but an award winning book that I haven’t yet been able to convince my own kids to read.
Museum Outings Bring Chapter Books Alive
She says, “On MLK Day, Felix, Julian, and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). It’s not often that I can convince Julian that a day at the museum is a good idea, but he was just as excited as I was.
Could this statue be similar to the mysterious one in From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler? Read more…