Archive for October, 2010

Young Adult Native American books, YA Native American Books, Native American Books YA, Native American Books for teens

Top 10: Best Native American Young Adult Books

 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic MomNative American Books for Teens

This is part 3 of a 3 part series by Debbie Reese, renowned scholar of Native American Children’s Literature.  Part 1 is Top 10:  Best Native American Picture Books.  Part 2 is Top 10:  Native American Middle School Books.

p.s. I updated this list: Top 10 Best First Nations Books for Kids because I had a lot to learn about which books best depict the people of First Nations. Read more…

Why are Boys Failing and Who’s To Blame?

Why Are Boys Failing in School?

Thank you to Dad Friend, Adverlicio.us, for sending me this article.  He’s Canadian so he’s follows the news both there and here.  In this case, the story is the same (as it is worldwide); the puzzling yet largely ignored phenomenon of failing boys and the politics over past decades of boys versus girls in terms of  success both inside the classroom and in the boardroom.  It’s a pendulum that seems to swing towards one side or the other, never managing to get both sides to “succeed.”  Who is to blame?  It is parenting?  Is it the images in textbooks?  Are expectations of boys lower in our society? I think we’ll need all six parts to get a handle on this! Read more…

Scruffy Kitty eBook App for Halloween

Halloween eBook for Little Kids

What I really love about Winged Chariot iPhone/iPad/iPod ebooks is that they come in a slew of languages.  Scruffy Kitty comes in Dutch, English, French, Spanish, and Japanese.  These apps also always have a sticker app which is fun for kids.  It would be a dream come true for me if my kids read this ebook in Spanish for fun!  I am not holding my breath, but it might come true someday… Read more…

Anti-Cyberbullying Tactics Need to Be Taught at Schools

How to Prevent Bullying in Schools

I had no idea that October is National Bullying Prevention Month but I am horrified to learn of this whole new world of cyber bullying.  It’s another serious worry for parents and school administrators alike.  This article mentions resources at your state’s attorney general’s office which provides anti-cyberbullying training at the schools.  Something to look into for all of us! Read more…

Has Kindergarten Changed or are Kids Smarter?

Are Kindergarten Kids Smarter These Days?

I knew kids in my kids’ Kindergarten class who could read The Magic Tree House series before they entered elementary school.  For others, carry addition was not a problem.  I thought my kids were way behind because they would enter Kindergarten barely reading and unsure of what number came after 99.  The pressure for Kindergarten academics, I always thought, came from the standardized testing starting in 3rd grade and so Kindergarten, for many classrooms, started to look a lot like 1st grade.  I am actually o.k. with that because it worked for my kids.  Our elementary school is very strict about the cut off date of “you-must-be-five-years-old-by-August 31-no-exceptions.”  I actually thought this is just the new world we live in, but maybe the old ways are best. Read more…

Poll: Learning Disabilities Are Often Misunderstood by Public

What Do People Think About Special Needs: A Poll

I think that we, as adults, learn based on what life throws our way.  All the parents I know who have kids with food allergies, for example, are experts on the topic.  The same holds true for medical conditions including learning disabilities.  But I think that if your children attend public schools, learning about special needs becomes part of the curriculum, particularly for schools such as my elementary school with a large and varied special needs sub-population.

It’s really the relevant topic, at least to our children, on diversity as it’s so wonderful, at least at my school, that the children are so accepting of ethnic diversity and same-sex marriage.  But my kids sometimes struggle to understand special needs kids at school particularly for those with special needs that affect socialization.  As parents, we can help our children by learning more ourselves on this important topic.

Read more…

How To: Parent an ADD Child

How to Parent an ADD Child without Drugs

This is a great article from the SF Gate, home of the San Fransico Chronicle, by  Jessica Werner Zack.  Zach writes about Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, Katherine Ellison — herself undiagnosed with ADD until recently — and her struggles and successes in parenting her ADD son.  Ellison’s book, Buzz:  A Year of Paying Attention,  chronicles her experiences including ultimately how she chose mindful parenting over meds.

Read more…

NYTimes Best Seller Picture Book Sequel

The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark Delights

It is a rare occasion when my husband raves about a picture book.  He’s read his fair share of picture books to our three children but bedtime stories is my favorite time of the day, not his.  And while he will read a book over and over again, there aren’t too many picture books in our house that he is excited to re-read.

The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark, Deborah Diesen, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

So when he told ME to blog about this book because it’s GREAT, I have to say that I stood up at attention (figuratively as I was reclined in bed), and took note.  This is why I think he liked it so much:

  • It rhymes.  And it rhymes beautifully without losing its cadence somewhere in the story which is my pet peeve in life.
  • It has a particular part that repeats several times — when the Pout-Pout fish admits he is scared of the dark.  My husband and youngest LOVED to say the first three lines loud and strong, and the scared-y cat part high and squeaky.  They are just like that!  But it cracked them up to no end!  And this book helped my son because he, too, is afraid of the dark.
  • There are several great messages woven into the book:  being a good friend, overcoming your fears, and being helpful.
  • There is also an oceanography lesson built in.  (My husband grew up in Monterey, California and though I actually took Ichthyology (the study of fish!) in college, he knows way more about marine biology than I do just from osmosis).  He noticed that the sea creatures changed appropriately as the fish swam deeper into the ocean.  I actually learned about the different levels of the sea from Dr. Seuss’ Wish on a Fish:  All About Sea Creatures myself and also appreciated the weird and crazy looking fish at the bottom of the ocean in the trench.
  • His only criticism was that he didn’t love the illustrations by Dan Hanna.  They are ok; not terrible but just not Caldecott worthy.   That’s a shame because this a New York Times best selling author!

This is the first book that I’ve read by Deborah Diesen but I am so impressed that I’m going to find her other books.

The Pout Pout Fish, Deborah Diesen, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic MomWish on a Fish, Dr. Seuss, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

To examine any book at Amazon, please just click on the image of the book.

5 Fun and Safe Social Networks for Children

Safe Social Networks for Kids

This is a very helpful post by Sarah Kessler on Mashable.  I feel like I am just starting to understand Social Media networks for myself but I have no idea what is out there and safe for my kids who are now clamoring to blog, get their own email accounts, and create websites.  I’m all for that, but I just want them to be safe.  Thanks Sarah!  Your information was exactly what I needed for myself! Read more…