All posts by pragmaticmom

birds and bees talk, birds and bees, sex talk with kids, sex talk, sex talk with son, sex talk with daughter, sex ed,

Birds and Bees Talk

The Uncomfortable Birds and Bees Talk with Your Kids

My dad friend from high school suggested this topic. He has three boys; the oldest is in 4th grade. He said that he attempted “The Talk” but his son was really embarrassed and shouted him out of the room. That got me thinking: 1) I need to The Talk myself. 2) Why re- invent the wheel? I don’t know exactly what to say either, but why do we parents always try to do everything ourselves? 3) ugh! Read more…

how to have a good marriage recipe for successful marriage advice to newly married couples

How To: Have a Good Marriage

What Makes a Marriage Work

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. – Friedrich Nietzsch

I clipped out this article years ago and saved it in my scrapbook of recipes.  The article, and I have no idea where I clipped it from, suggested that you cut out the list and keep in your wedding album.  This is from psychologist Judith Wallerstein’s book The Good Marriage:  How and Why Love Lasts.  She considers this set of tasks essential to maintaining a strong marriage. Read more…

best free science experiments projects middle school student pragmaticmom pragmtic mom best science project ideas free kits

Science Projects for Middle School Kids

Science Projects for Kids

My Dad Friend had previously suggested The Birds and Bees Sex Talk which was very popular  so I have been hounding him for other topic suggestions since he seems to have his pulse on parenting issues.  He was stressed out about his kids’ science projects for school. His 6th grader just had a Science Fair Day where everyone exhibited their school science projects and I bugged him so much he actually blackberried me the projects he saw as he walked around the room. Read more…

Community Playthings blocks PragmaticMom Pragmatic Mom best blocks for kids children

Toys My Kids Played with for Years

Best Toys Worth the Money

I have always lived in small spaces with my family.  Baby 1 lived in a 550 square foot, one bedroom apartment and two parents.  Baby 2 lived in an 1100 square foot condo with baby 1 and two parents.  Now my family of 5 lives in a small house.  I still find it necessary to purge toys at least four times a year.  In fact,  as a rule, I find that for every incoming toy, there must be an outgoing one. Read more…

preschool, how to pick a preschool

How to: Pick a Preschool

Finding the Perfect Preschool

I was at a playdate today and I ended up ranting and raving about my frustrations with my cooperative preschool.  Don’t get me wrong, my child is having a wonderful experience, but a cooperative preschool is an entire family experience and my piece of it, a.k.a. “administrative position” has been rather annoying.  I could just be me.  I think that I tend to get annoyed as I exit a preschool, and this is my last year of preschool…EVER!  And, maybe I’m just jaded. Read more…

Visiting the Nutritionist Deja Vu

Nutritionist Advice for Healthy Kids

Is it me or is it weird to visit two different nutritionists for the same child — at age 2 because she is underweight and then at age 8 because she is overweight?  The first visit to the nutritionist, we were skeptical parents:  show me a growth chart for an Asian girl and THEN tell me she’s underweight.  We could be a little haughty … “she’s not underweight and we’re NOT adding oil back to her food!”   Instead, we  fed her more pasta.  She always well when it was spaghetti. Read more…

book club for kids, creating book club for kids, setting up book club for kids, easy book club for kids

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

I  run two book clubs for my kids and participates in a book club for my last kid.  My kids say that our book club is their very favorite activity in the entire world.  I notice that there seem to be two schools of thought when creating a book club.  One version is a parent/child book club that tends to be a little more structured and literary.  My book clubs are more along the lines of an organized play group centered around creating interest in reading.

In today’s post I’ll go over:

  • Ideas for Books, Activities and Snack
  • Easy Kids Book Club Idea
  • Over 20 Great Activities from Successful Book Club Meetings built around the book’s theme

Book Club for Kids: Ideas for Books, Activities and Snack

If you are thinking of creating a book club for your child, some advice:

  • Defining the group will help alleviate hurt feelings later on.  For example, my two book clubs are centered around a group of kids who are all friends from a particular class .  My preschooler’s book club is defined by all the kids who will attend the same elementary school one day.
  • 4-7 seems to be a good size for a book club.  Start smaller if the kids are younger.  You can go bigger if you require an adult in attendance for all book clubs.
  • Choose a group of compatible kids AND moms (or adults) even if it’s a kids-only book club.
  • Length of book club is as short as one hour to as long as a sleepover, but 2 hours is a good general timeframe as book clubs are kind of like a small birthday party.
  • For my book clubs, the hosting family chooses the book and supplies it for all the members. For other book clubs, the host mom might buy copies of the book for everyone, but each parent pays her back.  If a book club kid already owns the book, it’s one less the host needs to buy.  Sometimes the kid chooses the book, sometimes there are suggestions from the organizer to choose from, and sometimes the parent picks the book — it’s all good!

Read more…

Hugo, Hugo Cabret

The Movie and Book: The Invention of Hugo Cabret!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

I am so excited to see the movie. I hear that it’s great! A factoid that I just learned: Brian Selznick is the grandson of Hollywood film producer David O. Selznick. Director Martin Scorsese knew about this relationship and it piqued his interest even more in the Caldecott award-winning book. I have to say that I thought his illustrations were amazing and reminiscent of  the sketches of scenes blocked out by old-time directors like Alfred Hitchcock. Do you think there is a real cinematic quality to the way he sequences the illustrations? And what did you think of the movie? Read more…

Easy Dinners for Busy Families

Easy, Fast, Healthy Dinner Ideas

I confess to reading cookbooks like some people read good novels.  I like simple home cooking from different countries; as long as it has a lot of flavor, it will be a hit in my family.  Recently I tracked the career goals my children mentioned over the past year.  Two of them mentioned chef and the other, my little gourmand, said she wanted to be a food critic.  You can bet it’s difficult to cook a meal that pleases everyone!  Read more…