All posts in Education

Easy Stop Motion Animation Using Flipagram

Easy Stop Motion Animation Using Flipagram

My son has loved dinosaurs since he was three and he made me read him nothing but dinosaur books for an entire year. He moved on a year later to Pokémon books and I missed the dinosaur obsession. I hoped it would reemerge and it does from time to time when new Jurassic Park movies come out.

stop motion animation

My son came back from the Jurassic World movie with his dad — I refused to go, the trailer terrified me — and immediately asked to spend his allowance money on Jurassic World legos. That’s an easy sell for me; it’s his money and it’s not screen time.

stop motion animation

After three days carefully assembling his new lego sets, I asked him if he wanted to make stop motion animation movies with them. I remembered the stop animation movies that MaryAnne of Mama Smiles made with her kids.

She used a Microsoft product called Movie Maker but I have a Mac. MaryAnne suggests using iMovie as a replacement but I have always had this wonky problem in iMovie of my clips not loading. Plus I find iMovie a little confusing to use. Instead, I suggest Flipagram, an app for smart phones. I use the free version. Read more…

Back to School, Back to Music with Music & Arts

Back to School, Back to Music with #MusicArtsBTS

My kids usually take the summer off from their music lessons because they are not really around enough to practice their instruments. This summer, PickyKidPix practiced more than she’s ever had during the summer because she finds it frustrating to go backwards while on summer hiatus. For flute players, it’s important for them to blow their flute every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.

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A Teacher Pens Songs to Teach Kids History

A Teacher Pens Songs to Teach Kids History

Please welcome my guest author, 5th grade teacher Damien Drago today. He found a unique way to get his students excited about history: he writes and performs songs about American history!

 Damien Drago Read more…

#BackToSchool with a Game of Strategy

#BackToSchool with a Game of Strategy

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

School is rapidly approaching and my kids are not ready to go back. We have slid into bad habits that include too much screen time and very late bedtimes. My son has taken to calling himself Nocturnal Man and is going to bed at one or two in the morning and getting up at noon just like a teenager. Except he’s 10!

Horizon Organics snacks for kidsRead more…

choosing a preschool and what to consider

Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Learning Care Group. The opinions and text are all mine.

I remember how stressful it was to figure out preschool for my kids. It wasn’t just finding the right preschool, it was also getting into it. The costs varied widely too so that was another consideration. And finally, the hours. Preschools had widely divergent operating hours that didn’t necessarily reflect in their pricing. In fact, some of the school that were the most expensive, had the shortest hours.

choosing a preschool and what to consider

Because we lived in Boston with my oldest and moved to the suburbs when my second was a toddler, we were in quite a few preschools. Read more…

Percy Jackson GREEK HEROES Giveaway! #ReadRiordan

Percy Jackson GREEK HEROES Giveaway! #ReadRiordan

Percy Jackson pack

Thank goodness that school has not started for us yet. My son loves Percy Jackson and has read every word Rick Riordan has ever written and he would have lugged the latest Percy Jackson Greek Hereos book back and forth to school every single day until he finished it. That would be a feat for the gods, because this book weighs a lot!

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The Importance of STEM for Kids

The Importance of STEM for Kids

My youngest son is a gamer. He will sit in front of a computer, iPad or DSI all day in his pajamas if I let him. He will shift his hours so that he becomes “Nocturnal Man,” capable of staying up until 2 in the morning and sleeping until noon.

His behavior, though, also reminds me of some brilliant programmers that I had the privilege of working with in Silicon Valley years ago, back in the days of the .com bubble.

What’s a mom to do? I say, if you can’t beat them, join them. I asked my son if he would like to make his own computer games and he thought that was a great idea.


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Fight for Your Write

Fight for Your Write #BICFightForYourWrite

…Cursive writing may train self-control ability in a way that other modes of writing do not, and some researchers argue that it may even be a path to treating dyslexia. from NY Times

calligraphy by felix doolittle

Grasshopper and Sensei interned at this fine stationery company. Felix’s penmanship is beautiful!

My kids recently argued over which of them had the best handwriting. I was to judge. It’s interesting how my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, who used to have illegible handwriting in elementary school has turned it around. Her penmanship in high school now is text-book perfect.


grasshopper and sensei

Grasshopper and Sensei uses her cursive handwriting as part of her art. Here’s a condolence card she sold to me.
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Write Now Read Later: Summer Writing Prompts for Kids

Write Now Read Later: Summer Writing Prompts for Kids

Are you sliding into your summer routine? Have you hit the point of boredom yet or are you still enjoying the lazy days of summer? Let’s talk, write and read about your summer.

I’d love to post what you’ve written! If you want to share, please email me an image of your wonderful story and I’ll post it right on this post at the bottom. My email is pragmaticmomblog (at) gmail (dot) com.

Summer Writing Prompts for Kids

Are you have the best summer ever? Why or why not? Write about a perfect summer day for you, real or imagined.

A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee

My son and I think this is the funniest picture book ever! Marla Frazee’s dry wit will be appreciated by parents reading this book over and over. James and Eamon visit Eamon’s grandparents’ house to attend a week of Nature Camp which doesn’t enthrall them. They learn new vocabulary words from his grandfather’s driving. In their free time, they resist going outside and stay in instead eating waffles and playing video games. They finally make it outside to the delight of the grandparents but even though their week wasn’t according to plan, it’s still the best week ever! [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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