Archive for July, 2011

Gale Berkowitz, why women need female friends, why women need girlfriends,

Why Women Need Girlfriends: Stress Relief!

How Women Cope with Stress (differently from men)

My friend sent me this study and it really rang true for me.  This is why we all like to hang out at Starbucks after drop-off!  It’s good for our health!

A landmark UCLA study suggests friendships between women are special. They shape who we are and who we are yet to be. They soothe our tumultuous inner world, fill the emotional gaps in our marriage, and help us remember who we really are. By the way, they may do even more. Scientists now suspect that hanging out with our friends can actually counteract the kind of stomach-quivering stress most of us experience on a daily basis.

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books for arty kids, books for artistic children,

Top 10: Best Books for Young Artists (ages 2-18)

My oldest is a budding artist and while I have failed to support this interest with extra curricular activities to improve her skills, I have finally seen the light and enrolled her in a week of real art camp.  Not the arts and crafts variety.  She draws daily such that I tend to push activities that are opposite to art to round her out:  math, reading, music, languages, and sports.
My mom friends are more on top of things.

One mom friend suggested an excellent art book from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art as a birthday present.  Hey, I did buy her the book (and it’s excellent).  And I took her to the Eric Carle Museum.  But now I am trying to be more supportive.  We bought a family pass to the Museum of Fine Arts to increase our trips from annual to quarterly.  I put her in camps that have more interesting and in depth art offerings.  And I keep these books around the house.  Most of them at least.

p.s. More Art Gift Ideas for Kids here:

Art Activity Books

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my daughter

10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids

Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

Art Books for Kids Honorable Mention

Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories: A Children’s History of Art by Michael Bird, illustrated by Kate Evans

I got this book for my 16 year old, Grasshopper and Sensei, who is arty and just completed the Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program this past summer. She and I are both drooling over this book. Beautifully illustrated on every page, this book brings the artists and major paintings that they created alive! Each story covers the artist’s life but in a way that draws the reader in because it’s a story and not a straight up (boring) biography. You can flip from chapter to chapter to read about particular artists or periods of art as you choose, or read it from start to finish in historical order. The beauty of this book is that it works for a wide range of ages. It also works beautifully as a read aloud for art history, either at home or in an art class. My daughter and I have read a lot of art history books for kids and this one is by far the best one we’ve ever run across. This is worth the investment! [art history chapter book, ages 6 and up]


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Teach Me Tuesday Guatemala Pragmatic Mom PragmaticMom

Guatemala: kids books, recipes, weavings and more

Guatemala for Kids through Books, Culture and Food

I landed in Guatemala because I actually had no idea of what to post on but I keep an email folder of “books that I want to read” from all the blogs that I read and Libertad came up and that was it for me. I don’t know much about Guatemala though my oldest just did a unit on the ancient civilizations of South and Central America but I always get the Aztecs mixed up with the Mayans. I think she had the Mayans, though. Read more…

Dr. Abby Abigail Norfleet James Reluctant Readers Pragmatic Mom PragmaticMom

Tips for Engaging Reluctant Readers

Getting Reluctant Readers Interested in Reading

These tips are from Dr. Abby. I have more posts on Reluctant Readers here. Some reading strategies to get kids excited to read include:

Books on Tape iPad/iPhone app

Using Electronic Devices Read more…

Madegascar, movies for a desert island,

3 Movies to Bring if Stranded on an Desert Island With Your 3 Kids and Husband

Best Movies to Rent for Families

I am doing a BlogFrog summer sweepstakes blog tour on behalf of RedBox and it’s made me think about movies which has been fun because I haven’t watched a movie in a while. On long car trips, we let our kids play a DVD in the SUV so my husband and I THINK we’ve watched a movie when, in actuality, we’ve only listened to it about 9 times without any visuals. Strangely satisfying though. Read more…

best picture books for kids, best picture books, best picture books you've never heard of

Best Picture Books You’ve Never Heard Of

Best Picture Books for Kids EVER!

I love picture books; it’s a complete story in 24ish pages with a beginning, a middle, and an end.  It’s a visit to an art gallery or a museum with beautiful artwork in all kinds of media — drawings, paintings, collages, and more.  It can transport you to another time and place, a different culture, or a different person’s point of view.  Picture books are NOT just for young children; I insist they are for everyone, adult and child alike.  My 4th grader’s teacher is reading Patricia Polacco’s picture books to the class and the kids are thoroughly enjoying them.  Picture books also make bedtime stories a pleasure because one reader can satisfy a wide audience. Read more…

Jen Robinson, boys and reading, summer reading, reading, reading strategies, reluctant readers

Boys and Summer Reading

Best Books for Boys

I met Jen Robinson at KidLitCon 2010 which was a great thrill for me because I am a HUGE fan of her excellent blog, Jen Robinson’s Book Page. My work friend, Nat, sent me this link off the PBS Kids site so I am excited to share her words of wisdom on Boys and Summer Reading. Read more…

Top 10: Books You Were Forced to Read in School that You’d Read Again

Best Assigned Reading High School and Middle School Books

Yep, I was forced to read these books as a kid too.  Must be a rite of passage.  A few I read on my own, but many of these were assigned.  Check out this list from Time Magazine online by Gilbert Cruz to see if you had to read them too! And more importantly, will you make your kids read them too?!!  Really do check out the article; it has descriptions for all the books. Read more…

boys and reading, reluctant readers, reading, reading strategies, Andy Sherrod

Books for Reluctant Boy Readers

Children’s Author Andy Sherrod’s Book Picks for Boys Who Hate to Read

I wanted to spend this week covering books and reading strategies for reluctant boy readers and I had all these great posts that I found during the past year stored up, so here they are! This was a great post by The Hate Mongering Tart about writer Andy Sherrod. Andy not only gives tips about how engage boys as readers but also gives book suggestions coupled with research. Read more…