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Top 10 Starting School Books: Kindergarten & Preschool

Starting Kindergarten and Preschool Books

A reader asked me to help her round out her list of books for incoming Preschoolers.  I searched, and there are not tons of them.  I decided to combine this with entering Kindergarten because in September, my youngest child will start Kindergarten. I feel that you can use the books somewhat interchangeably and that books that your child enjoys will be a more important factor than whether the book aligns exactly with his or her school entry point. Read more…

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Best Books for Kids that Introduce New Baby to Siblings

Now I have to give a disclaimer: I clearly have not gotten this right because my middle daughter still asks why we thought having a third child was a good idea. She thinks that we should have stopped while we were ahead. Read more…

How To: Pronounce Mandarin Chinese Pinyin (cheat sheet)

How to Pronounce Chinese Words

“I want to learn Chinese but just give me the basics!”

That’s what this Chinese pronunciation guide is all about. It’s all that you need to know about the pinyin system of Chinese pronunciation to get by. Read more…

Cozi spring cleaning tips getting kids children involved pragmatic mom

5 Tips to Get Your Kids to Help with Spring Cleaning

Getting Kids to Help Clean the House

Thank you to Kati from Cozi.com with some great tips for spring cleaning and NOT alone. She proposes ways to get the kids involved. It finally feels like spring here in the Northeast (except for today which is a chilly 50 degrees) so I am finally starting to think about spring cleaning.
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Best Travel Writing by Women

Women and Travel: Best Travel Writing

My Mom Friend Carol is one of the most interesting and kind-hearted people who I know and now she’s reinvented herself mid-career as a writer. And oh, what an outstanding writer she is. She is published in The Best Travel Writing by Women, 2011 which comes out in a week, and her book will follow that.

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DIY Math Games Invented by Kids (2nd-5th grade)

Math Fact Games for Kids Invented by Kids

I was talking to the Solostream founder; they are the makers of my blog template (I use WP-Sublime) and he was telling me about this game his 8-year-old son made up that is simple to assemble and great for stretching the mind.  It’s actually a number theory game and gets the kids rolling numbers around in their brains by using dice to create little math puzzles.  They give this game to their teachers as an end-of-the-year gift.  It’s wonderful in that it combines adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing and exponents into a fun and easily portable game.  It would be perfect to carry around and break out while you wait for your meal to arrive at a restaurant!  His son carries the 5 dice in his pocket at all times!
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caught in the act of reading pragmatic mom literacy getting kids to love reading

Caught in the Act … of READING

Kids Caught Reading

Thank you to everyone who sent in a photo! There are such great photos this week!!! I always need more so please keep them coming to pragmaticmom.com(at)gmail(dot)com. Thank you!!! It is always fun for me to see what old friends are up to and meet new folks. This week, I have an old work colleague who left to pursue other endeavors. She took the gorgeous black and white photo and even her snapshots are amazing as she is a portrait photographer! Read more…

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…