All posts by

how college changed my life and going back to college

Can College Change Your Life?

My first semester of college was as struggle. I was an unhappy pre-med taking “dumb” chemistry and it was kicking my butt. My chemistry professor‘s lectures made no sense to me. He didn’t follow the chemistry textbook but talked on and on in an arbitrary way, working his way through the periodic table.

The assigned problems, however, didn’t reflect his lecture or the textbook. It turns out that his graduate students made them up. And, not surprisingly, the exams were a total mystery to me. It tested the concepts he taught but were never a regurgitation of what was presented in either the textbook, the lecture or the homework problems.

I was in deep trouble. I was used to being spoon fed: the lecture = the homework = the quiz = the final. There were no surprises in my not-so-great high school chemistry class. All necessary information was always provided to me including formulas. Read more…

JumpRope

How to Jump Rope Like a Supermodel

I’ve been jumping rope for the past year as part of my boxing training with my mom group of friends and we’ve all complained about it for various reasons.

  • We suck at it.
  • It’s ridiculously difficult to jump rope for a short duration as, say, a mere two minutes.
  • We know we could do it in elementary school!
  • It makes us pee in our pants. Which is very embarrassing.

Read more…

How Tutoring Can Help Your Child Learn to Embrace Reading

What a Reading Tutor Can Do to Get Kids Reading

I noticed how parents will often hire a tutor for math for their kids, but less so for reading. Today, my guest author Dusty Fox writes about what to expect from a reading tutor.

How Tutoring Can Help Your Child Learn to Embrace Reading

How Tutoring Can Help Your Child Learn to Embrace Reading (and Education!)

If you are a parent who loves to read, it can certainly be saddening and even frustrating if your child doesn’t share that same passion. Not only does reading have the ability to bring joy to an individual’s life–regardless of age–but it is often closely related to our ability to do well in formal learning and work environments. If your child doesn’t enjoy reading, this may lead to difficulties in the classroom and could even be directly linked to future issues in high school, college, and work. Read more…

diwali picture book of the day with hannukah picture book of the day

Diwali and Hannukah Picture Book of the Day

My friend Isra who blogs at The Frugalette told me a few years ago how few Diwali books there are, so when The Diwali Gift floated across my email, I thought it would be nice to learn more about this Hindu holiday. My only impression of Diwali was that it was a festival of lights and that it involved feasting. There is much more to it I learned! Read more…

Massachusetts Book Awards for children's books and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

Massachussets Children’s Book Award Part I and Kid Lit Blog Hop

The fifth graders at our elementary school are challenged every year to read all the books listed on the Massachusetts Children’s Book Award. I really love this book list because it has a variety of newly published and slightly older books such that you can actually find the books on the library bookshelves. Our school librarian also makes a point of making a special display and buying multiple copies of these books.

I’ve also discovered gems on the list from years past. The list doesn’t necessarily feature Massachusetts’ children’s authors but it was how I found Mitali Perkins’ Rickshaw Girl eight years ago!

Does your state have a book award too? How does it work?

 

Third Grade and Low Fourth Grade Books

This is the first part of the Massachusetts Book Awards which I’ve divided by suggested grade level. Part I covers Third Grade, Low Fourth Grade and Fourth Grade Books. At the next Kid Lit Blog Hop in two weeks, I’ll cover Part II which covers Fifth and Sixth Grade.

We the Children (Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School) by Andrew Clements

The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery by Doreen Cronin

Read more…

chocolate medicine for kids Dr. Cocoa

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down

Mary Poppins may have preferred Rum Punch as preventative medicine but some of us prefer the flavor of chocolate!

When PickyKidPix got sick last week, she tried powering through the school week, going to class and her activities including three soccer practices as usual. But by Friday, she was coughing up a storm and generally miserable so she finally took a sick day and slept in. Read more…

Tai Lee golf player for University of Hawaii

Happy 19th Anniversary Honey!

I knew a few things when I met my honey:

  • That within a week of meeting him I knew that I met my future husband. (It took him a few years to figure that out though!)
  • I would become a golf widow (though I took up golf to avoid that).
  • It would be hard to ever stay mad at him because he makes me laugh.
  • That I would marry him all over again!

Tai Lee

When I met my husband 21 years ago, he looked like this.

Mama C and the Boys noticed on my Instagram account when my husband finally made an appearance on my social media. He’s a bit elusive when it comes to being in front of the camera. See what I mean?

Tai Lee golf player for University of Hawaii

At a photoshoot at the golf clothing apparel company that I started after business school (now defunct).

Read more…

Family Fire Safety Panic, Plan & GIVEAWAY

Family Fire Safety Panic, Plan & GIVEAWAY

We recently moved to a new house and PickyKidPix and Grasshopper and Sensei – our two girls ages 12 and 14 — share the attic. At our old house, I was careful to buy fire escape ladders with hooks at the top that hang over the window sill. They were very sturdy but they took up a  lot of room and it was only a two-story ladder. Since the girls are on the third floor, their old fire escape ladders are now too short and I hadn’t gotten around to buying them new ones.

Fire Safety Ladder Conundrum

In my mind, I hadn’t figured out all the logistics:

  • If two-story ladders take up 1 foot of space, won’t three-story ladders be too huge to store?
  • Do we really need three-story ladders or will two-story ladders land them on some sort of outcropping on roof a floor below?
  • I wonder if PickyKidPix would use the ladder to sneak out at night when she’s a tad older?
  • Where do these ladders go?
  • Do I need one or two?

Read more…

Top 10 Ninja Books for Kids

Top 10 Ninja Books for Kids Ages 4 through 16

My kids are one-quarter Japanese and they wish that their Japanese ancestry is steeped in the way of the ninja. It’s not. Their heritage is actually that of Daimyo, a feudal landowner/warlord,  and our ancestors are located about one hour outside of the city of Hiroshima.

I can see the appeal of the ninja over that of warlord, though. It’s that martial arts thing mixed with mystery and powers that border on mystical. Very appealing!

For today, October 10th or 10/10, I have 10 ninja books ranging from picture books, early chapter book, chapter books, and young adult. So it’s 10 on 10/10!

What is your favorite ninja book for kids? Please share! Read more…