Archive for August, 2015

#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!

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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…

Our Trip to the Women's World Cup and Soccer Book GIVEAWAY

Our Trip to the Women’s World Cup and Soccer Book GIVEAWAY

My husband had it all figured out. The Women’s World Cup was going to be held in Canada and if we got really lucky, we would be able to watch USA Women’s National Team if they made the quarter finals. We watched all their games with excitement! The scores were tight but we were going to see them in Ottawa!

Women's World Cup and Soccer Book GIVEAWAY

We had never been to Ottawa but had visited Montreal five times and Toronto once. Ottawa is Canada’s capital and famous for a fried dough treat called a Beavertail. It comes topped with an assortment of sweets including Nutella and candy. My kids were delighted to sample it!

driving to Burlington VT

The drive up took 10 hours due to an accident involving a semi truck transporting gas that shut down the highway such that everyone shut off their cars for nearly an hour.

Burlington Vermont

We also stopped midway in Burlington, Vermont which is a lovely stop for foodies! Farm to table was invented here I think!

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Back to School with Tyson A+ Fun Nuggets

Back to School with Tyson A+ Fun Nuggets

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson Project A+. The opinions and text are all mine.

It’s August and already time to start thinking about back to school?! When I think about school, I remember the scramble right after school to feed the kids a hearty snack before they leave for their sports practices. They really need a mini-meal but it needs to be quick and sometimes, even portable!

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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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An Author Interviews Her Editor

An Author Interviews Her Editor & #GIVEAWAY

An Author Interviews Her Editor, Karen Chaplin at HarperCollins Children’s Books

Hi there, I’m Jennifer Lynn Alvarez, author of the tween animal fantasy series, The Guardian Herd. Before I signed my publishing contract, I had never worked with an editor. I believed that book editors corrected grammar, but I soon learned that is the specific job of a copy editor.

The Guardian Herd

As Senior Editor Karen Chaplin and I began working together, I became fascinated with her job. She manages every aspect of my book series from content editing of the manuscript, cover design, marketing copy, and the promotional materials.

When she’s not working on my series, she’s acquiring new authors, attending meetings and conferences, and working on other projects. It’s an exciting job, and so I decided to interview her about it and about her work on the Guardian Herd series. Today I’m happy to share this exclusive interview with the book lovers over here at Pragmatic Mom. Read more…

5 Interactive Picture Books

5 Fun Interactive Picture Books

5 Interactive Picture Books from Miranda Paul

Set down the devices—these 5 books cleverly engage your children sans screen. With a blend of traditional format and elements that directly call upon the reader, these five books easily will hold a young child’s attention.

5. Whose Hands Are These? By Miranda Paul, illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell …

(available February 1, 2016) also tackles a nonfiction subject—community occupations—through a series of rhymed riddles focused on what each person’s hands do.

Whose Hands Are These Anyway? Cover Reveal

 

 

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Top 10 Rainforest Books for Kids

Top 10 Rainforest Books for Kids

I’ve traveled to the island of Kauai in Hawaii and Costa Rica, but I’ve never been to the rain forest areas of those regions. Like Annie in The Magic Tree House, I don’t relish the bugs. Her brother Jack persuades her to take a trip to the Amazon by saying, “… the rain forests are being cut down. Don’t you want to see one before it’s too late?”

rainforests of the world

Rainforests of the World. Image from A Level Geography

Is it going to be too late soon? Is there anything we can do to prevent this catastrophe. In reading these children’s books, it’s a relief to find that there are simple choices you and I can make every single day to help save the rain forests!

Layers of a Rainforest

Layers of a rainforest. Image from A Level Geography

Margarita Engle in Orangutaka tells us that Orangutans are critically endangered because their forests are being logged to plant oil palms. Palm oil is a substitute for butter used in candies, pastries and other processed foods. If you avoid buying processed foods that use palm oil, you help protect Orangutans.

How about you? Have you visited a rain forest? What are your favorite books about the rain forest? Please share! Thank you! Read more…