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Because of Winn Dixie, book club for kids, 4th grade book club, 3rd grade book club

3rd Grade Book Club with Science Activity

Book Club for Kids: Because of Winn Dixie

Did I ever mention that if I were to choose one book as my favorite children’s book, this would be it? Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo was also a major driver in starting my blog. (Read this to my oldest when she was in 2nd grade, then handed her The Tiger Rising by same author when she was in 3rd grade. Oops. That one was too depressing!) Read more…

Percy Jackson and The Olympians, http://PragmaticMom.com, Rick Riordan

Best Boy Characters in Books (You’d Let Your Child Date)

Best Boys in Books to Fall in Love With

I need your help here.  Please suggest any boy characters in children’s literature or young adult books that you’d like your daughter to date. Heck, you might want to date them yourself, either as your younger self or even now.  That’s the nice thing about these boys — they are frozen in time but we can age them up as we please.  Please comment with your suggestions and let’s grow this list! This list can also be seen as a testament to authors who create characters so real, deep, and nuanced that we fall in love with them, if not for ourselves, then for our children.  And I can safely say that no one else is consumed with creating this kind of list! Read more…

3rd grade chapter books

Top 5: Using Electronic Devices to Get Kids Reading

Getting Kids to Read by Using Screens

There are extensive and excellent posts on how to get reluctant readers to read with scores of great ideas including graphic novels, books on tape, shared reading, and the like. When The Reading Corner, a blog for Reading Horizons’ “At Home” division, as me to guest post for them, I had to rack my brain to come up with ideas to get reluctant readers excited without duplicating the excellent posts already on their blog. Read more…

Learn Chinese Words with Bingo Game

Bingo Game to Learn Chinese Words

Do my children LOVE to learn Chinese? No. But they do tolerate it. Especially after I switched them from a class to private lessons. They also are learning Spanish which they started first. Do my children LOVE to learn Spanish? Well…they do like it better than Chinese because after 4 years, I managed to put together semi-private lessons with their friends adhering to very strict requirements: Read more…

Etro Jil Sander Tess and Carlos Warehouse sale Pragmatic Mom huge sale women's clothes mother's day

75% off Warehouse Sale at boutique Tess & Carlos

Tess and Carlos Blow Out Sale

UPDATE: New Special! Receive 80% discount if you buy 4 pieces! Read more…

Preparing for Kindergarten: Activities to Do with Your Child

Getting Kids Ready for Kindergarten

I am getting my 5-year-old ready for kindergarten and I thought this is a great list of fun activities to work into the summer plans.  The activities cover:  fine motor, scissors, sensory, mid-line crossing, developing handwriting skills, ocular motor control, and  eye-hand coordination.  This article is by Loubina Buxamusa, an Occupational Therapist and Ann Mahoney, an Early Childhood Specialist. Read more…

earth day arthur turns green marc brown pragmaticmom pragmatic mom

Celebrating Earth Day with Picture Books

New Picture Books to Celebrate Earth Day

I have a pretty extensive Arthur (the Aardvark, who knew, right?!) collection that my first two kids read obsessively but for some unknown reason, I haven’t read this series with my youngest. I guess it’s because I have them (finally!) all nicely organized on a bookshelf downstairs and there are so many books that once they migrate upstairs they will overtake his room. Read more…

SAT vocabulary words in picture books, picture books to build vocabulary

SAT Vocabulary Words from Picture Book The Scarecrow’s Hat

SAT Vocabulary for Kindergarten

The words for Week 8 are from the picture book, The Scarecrow’s Hat by Ken Brown. Lest you be alarmed that it’s freaky to be teaching SAT vocabulary words to Kindergarteners, I wanted to REITERATE that all the words in this series are from a picture book; however, I failed to notice which picture book on earlier posts. This brings me to another point: picture books often have richer language than easy chapter books, not to mention gorgeous art work. I am a HUGE fan of picture books for all ages. How else can one be transported to a different time and place and/or walk in the shoes of another in the short space of 24ish pages? I digress, onward for the words. Read more…

Appealing Non Fiction Book: 100 Most Disgusting Things on Planet (ages 4-12)

Non-Fiction for Reluctant Boy Readers

100 Most Disgusting Things on the Planet: Prepare for the Worst by Anna Claybourne is a book that delights those with a fascination for grossness that occurs in nature. But this book is also a clever guise to get reluctant readers reading and readers of all ages engaged in life science non-fiction.  This book gives equal weight to Disgusting Nature as to Disgusting Humans delving into  interesting creatures as  poo-covered beetles, Surinan toads that hatch their young below a layers of their mother’s skin on their backs to maggot cheese and snot.  Yes, this book is hard to resist! Read more…