Archive for October, 2011

mom heroes look in the mirror PragmaticMom Pragmatic Mom

My Mom Heroes Are All Around Me!

Learning from Moms I Admire

When BlogFrog asked me if I wanted to write about mom heroes and even suggested that I look in the mirror, I definitely wanted to write about mom heroes because they are all around me but I don’t necessarily see one when I am in front of the mirror. It always resonated with me that when people irritate me, it’s because they have a personality characteristic that I don’t like in myself. I thought I’d spin this the other way and focus on moms that have personality traits that I wish I had that serve as role models for me in moments of stress! Read more…

Chinese and why some parents don't want their kids to learn it in school, Wall Street Journal Article,, Pragmatic Mom

Rise of Mandarin Chinese at Elementary Schools

Chinese Language Gains Popularity in U.S. Elementary Schools

Capability:Mom sent me this link from The Wall Street Journal by Yuliya Chernovaas she knows that I’m a huge proponent of exposing children to foreign languages at an early age.  But not everyone agrees.  Here’s the perspective of parents in New York City.  It appears that foreign language curriculum is a politically charged hot potato.

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how to get kids children to practice their musical instrument, advice from parents,, Pragmatic Mom, Josh Nakazawa

How To: Get Your Kids to Practice Their Instrument

How to Get Kids to Practice Their Instruments

My girls’ wonderful flute teacher sent me this link and also weighs in as both a parent and teacher on how to get kids to practice their musical instrument.  I don’t know about your experience, but I found that it’s the rare child who will practice his or her instrument consistently without constant prodding and nagging.  My younger sister, who is now a piano teacher, studied classical at a rigorous studio that included monthly performances and many, many competitions.  Despite this pressure to perform, she wasn’t a kid who liked to practice.  I think the reasons are many: Read more…

best science fiction picture books for kids teens middle school middle grade Pragmatic Mom,, pragmaticmom best sciencey books lit kidlit children's literature fiction

Top 10: Books for Kids with Science Concepts

Best Kids Books with Science Ideas

I will confess that I have been thinking and working on this post for MONTHS. The gist in my mind was science-y chapter and picture books that are NOT non-fiction, that make science fun and accessible, and excite a child’s imagination. Yep, it’s taken a while to find enough books that fit this criteria to make it to 10 but I think these are worthy of this list. What do you think? What non-fiction science-y books do you and your children like? Are there enough to actually make this a new children’s lit. genre? Now THAT would be exciting! Read more…

best book club author middle grade Karen Day A Million Miles from Boston PragmaticMom 6th grade book club activity No Cream Puffs Tall Tales Pragmatic Mom

5th Grade Book Club for Girls: A Million Miles from Boston

Book Club for Girls Entering Middle School

We were so lucky to have Karen Day as a guest at my 6th grader’s book club last week. The girls were super excited because they met her last year when she came as a guest author for our meeting on her previous baseball book, No Cream Puffs. Read more…

frog and toad find the toad pragmaticmom pragmatic mom difference between virtual frog dissection iphone ipad app for kids

Frog and Toad Science Fun for Kids

Fun and Easy Science of Frogs and Toads for Kids

Can you spot the toad? Ok, it wasn’t that hard. This toad hopped across my path the other day at the off leash dog park. It was the largest toad I’ve seen around here, almost the size of my fist. I happened to have my iPhone with me so I took a picture very quietly. Luckily, my dog didn’t spot it. I thought the toad has pretty good camouflage! What do you think? Can your child spot it?

frog and toad science and books for kids


frog and toad find the toad pragmaticmom pragmatic mom difference between virtual frog dissection iphone ipad app for kids

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best homemade play dough playdough recipe from martha stewart PragmaticMom

Make Your Own Playdough Recipe

DIY Playdough Recipe for Kids

This is an old recipe from my first preschool.  My middle daughter used to LOVE to play with playdough but she didn’t like the stinky smell of purchased playdough.  Mix a batch and store in an air-tight container for hours of fun. My kids would make this (with the help of a teacher or parent volunteer) in preschool when they were 3 years old. They love to stir (just do it off the stove) and adding the food coloring is magical for them! And there is nothing better than warm playdough! Read more…

Sounds of the Orchestra iPad app, music for kids children,, PragmaticMom, Pragmatic Mom, iPhone apps for education kids children families education moms

Music App for Kids on Sounds of the Orchestra

Introducing Orchestra Instruments App for Kids

I had to reach back into the recesses of my brain to remember junior high school orchestra.  I played violin for a few years, but actually my younger sister is the talented musician in our family.  She studied classical piano and competed successfully as a kid and is now a piano teacher in Southern California where she teaches out of two locations.  She told me that her young children like this app very much!  I’m not surprised because my sister is an early technology adopter and this app combines two things she’s really into: her iPad and classical music. Read more…

Steve Jobs PragmaticMom Pragmatic Mom Stanford Commencement Speech

Remembering Steve Jobs

How Steve Jobs Changed My Life (Even Though I Didn’t Know Him)

My first computer was the very first MacIntosh when I was in college. My two classmates and I learned Pagemaker 1.0 and built a business from this that grew  into a multi-national company. I remember how aghast I was when I heard that Jobs had been kicked out of Apple during the John Scully days. And how Scully’s 30/30/30 plan resulted in Corporate America switch from the Mac to the PC. Read more…