Archive for October, 2011

Best fun way for kids children students to learn to speak and write Mandarin Chinese Pragmatic Mom PragmaticMom

Teach Kids Mandarin Chinese (and make it fun!)

Teach Kids Chinese Words in a Fun and Easy Way

My kids are one-quarter Chinese so I am making them learn Mandarin even though no one in my family can speak it. It’s become a very popular foreign language option at our Middle School so I thought I’d post on all the paraphernalia that I’ve found to expose my kids to Chinese.

p.s. Other Chinese Language posts:

Chinese Words are Easy to Learn, Really!

Cheat Sheet for Pronouncing Chinese (Pinyin)

iPhone App To Learn Chinese for Kids

Teach Toddlers Chinese Through Songs and Nursery Rhymes

Read more…

11 Birthdays, Wendy Mass, Massachusetts Book Award, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom, groundhog day book, PragmaticMom

Wendy Mass Books for Grades 3-6th

Chapter Books for Girls Ages 8 to 12

I’m finally getting around to blogging on Finally, Wendy Mass‘ excellent follow-up chapter book to 11 Birthdays which is up for many major awards: Read more…

Phillis Reynolds Naylor, Newbery books with dogs to fall in love with, Pragmatic Mom, PragmaticMom

Top 10: Best Dogs in Children’s Books

Best Dog Story Books for Kids

I’m a new dog owner and this is my first dog because you can’t count the beagle that we had when I was 2-years-old. Someone — maybe the meter reader? — left the gate open and he got run over and after that we just had a steady stream of Siamese cats. But now I get why dog people can be so over-the-top with their dogs. Dogs try to win your heart much more so than a cat, and these dogs in children’s chapter books have won untold hearts the world over.  Even if you are not a dog person, these dogs will convert you! These dogs are either rescuing someone or being rescued, getting kidnapped or preventing robberies, or just  a dog-about-town. Please meet some dogs to fall in love with! What dogs in children’s books have you fallen in love with? Please share! Read more…

the princess and the peanut, nut allergy picture book

Books for Back to School Issues: Bullying, Nut Allergy, ADHD and more

Back to School Books on Bullying, Allergies and ADHD

I was just booking a long overdue orthodontic consultation for my middle child when the front desk lady and I both remarked about how quickly the school year is flying by! October already?!! Now that we are back in the swing of school, here are some new picture books on specific school issue topics. My kids were especially fond of the Princess and the Peanut: A  Royally Allergic Fairytale.   Read more…

BestFeeding, Best Feeding, Breastfeeding, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom, PragmaticMom, best mom blog, best nursing blog, best baby blog

Top 10: Best Books on Breastfeeding

Best Books for Moms on Nursing Your Baby

I came across this great list from a blog dedicated to breastfeeding out of Dublin, Ireland.  The author, Nicola O’Byrne, is an expert in the field.  Here’s her bio:

I’m an international board certified lactation consultant working in private practice in Dublin since 2005. Previously I worked in paediatrics and neonates as a nurse. Im married with 5 children ( aged 6months to 13 years old)… Read more…

children's books with librarians who make a difference, librarians as superheroes, kids books with life changing librarians

Top 10 Children’s Books: Librarian as Super Hero (for ages 1-12)

Librarians in Children’s Books Who Change Lives

UPDATE: It seems that our beloved librarians are under siege due to draconian budget cuts in California. Why do we need librarians? There is a great article here from The Los Angeles Times. [excerpt: “To get them off the payroll, the district is arguing that librarians don’t teach and thus don’t qualify for the seniority protections given to teachers.”]

If your school librarian is in danger of being cut, I would advise strength in numbers and advocacy. Rally other parents and make a big stink. Do your research and present your case. You’d be surprised how a group of fired up parents can change the world! Read more…

recess the importance of what happened to recess pragmaticmom pragmatic mom

The Importance of Recess and What Happened to It?

Why Recess is Important

I went to my elementary school’s curriculum night last week and my youngest has the most incredible first grade teacher. I know because my middle child had her for two years.  We were lucky enough to loop with her for first and second grade. You can tell how organized my son’s teacher is: she passed out a packet of handouts including a detailed schedule laid out in half hour blocks for each day of the week of what her kids do all week. I had to raise my hand and ask about recess because … ummm…. it wasn’t on the schedule. Read more…

One Green Apple, Eve Bunting, teaching kids children about Islam, Middle East, Arabic world, Arabs, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom, PragmaticMom

How To: Teach Your Children About Islam (and tolerance in the process!)

Teaching Kids about World Religions Particularly Islam

Talk about understanding our differences!  We have this program at our elementary school that is run by parent volunteers and it’s really excellent.  The content varies from year to year but includes Spectrum Disorders, Physical Disabilities and the like.  But then I got to thinking, we Americans tend to perceive those from the Arab world as potential threats.  This isn’t too different from WWII, when Japanese Americans were perceived as threats and thrown into internment camps (a point of reference that is very personal to me as my mother was forcibly relocated). Read more…

How to encourage creativity by making your own Halloween costume PragmaticMom Pragmatic Mom

DIY Halloween Costume to Encourage Creativity

Make Your Own Halloween Costumes to Encourage Creativity

I am really not a person who can make Halloween costumes. I’m just not very creative when it comes to Arts and Crafts. I like the idea of assembling or creating your own Halloween costume. The ones that you buy are always so poorly made plus my kids hate it when their friends have the exact same costume. It’s even more challenging when your kids are small for their age (like mine!). When Mitch offered to write a post on this, I happily agreed. I am going to show this to my kids to see if we can’t drum up some cardboard and creativity. I know we have plenty of duct tape! Read more…