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Katie Makkai, pretty, message to parents on importance of looks for girls daughters,, Pragmatic Mom, parenting girls

You Will Never Be Just Pretty!

Are Girls Taught to be Pretty?

Poet Katie Makkai defines the word “pretty” as it applies to girls, and she has very strong opinions on what message should be passed down to our daughters on this topic.  Funny, true, poignant and moving.  3 1/2 minutes of your time. Read more…

the red pyramid, rick riordan,, Pragmatic Mom, percy jackson, The pharaoh's secret, Marissa Moss

The Pharaoh’s Secret: Like The Red Pyramid But Better!

More Books Like Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

Marissa Moss‘s The Pharaoh’s Secret is a departure from her popular Amelia’s Notebook series but what a great departure it is … along the likes of Rick Riordan’s The Kane Chronicles:  The Red Pyramid, but I actually think this book is better than Riordan’s which surprises even me because I love his work deeply! Read more…

SAT Words for Kindergarteners from Picture Books

Best Picture Books that Build Vocabulary

I realize that maybe only a few of us find this list both amusing and educational.  My husband and I love to ask our son what he thinks these words mean just to hear his responses.  Even when our son is correct, we always get a good chuckle.  It’s even funnier when he’s wrong.  Then, we read the sentence and he gives it another go.  Usually the sentence helps him nail down the meaning. Read more…

why are boys failing differences in brain development?, the globe and mail,, Pragmatic Mom

Why Are Boys Failing? Brain Development Differences?

Boys and Learning

This is an interesting theory but the article is not well fleshed out. The research shows that the final brain development is basically the same for adult men and women but the rate of development of boys and girls is never in synch.  It’s not so much that boys are behind girls; in some areas boys are ahead and in others behind.  It’s more that the brain development is on a different route. All roads get there eventually … they just make different stops along the way. Read more…

Latino Hispanic Education Initiative Obama, White House,, Pragmatic Mom

Obama puts spotlight on education of Hispanic students

Obama’s Education Policy Benefits Children of Color

A million years ago (or pre-kids), I started a women’s golf apparel company in Los Angeles where I designed and manufactured “fashionable” women’s golf clothes.  This was during the early 90’s when younger women were flocking to the golf course in droves for both fun and for career.  I had an employee, a young man, who had a prison record resulting from gang violence but he turned out to be an excellent employee and was soon joined by his wife and his younger brother.  They were all products of an inner city school system so broken that metal detectors were a necessity. Read more…

How To: Save Money on Dog Supplies

Bully Stick Discounts and More

Who knew that there was a special site for buying Bully Sticks?  And that they come in Grade B which means they are just not as pretty as Grade A?  Honestly, who cares how pretty the Bully Sticks look when your dog is going to chew them to bits anyway? Read more…

brain scan adhd bipolar kids children,, PragmaticMom

Brain Scans May Help Identify ADHD & BiPolar Kids

Brain Scans to Identify Special Needs

I am not sure exactly what parents are supposed to do with this knowledge or at what is age of the child that the brain scans should be done AND are definitive.  But I suppose that early detection can only be a good thing.  This might be something for Type A Parents to bring up with their pediatrician, particularly if there is a family history of ADHD or Bi Polar disorders. Read more…

obama comes to my neighborhood,, Pragmatic Mom, can sasha and malia play?

Obama in My Neighborhood

Barack Obama Stops By My Neighborhood

Maybe it’s not too surprising that President Obama is hosting a science fair at the White House and waxes enthusiastically about the importance of science and math for our country’s future.  No doubt that he finds the kids’ science projects fascinating:  a device to discourage texting while driving; a self-powered hydroelectric water purification device; a test of whether foam really is the best material to pad the inside of a safety helmet.  Not to mention cancer therapies, solar-power cars, water purification systems and robotic wheelchairs.  Yes, these science projects are by kids.  Genius kids. Read more…

Recess Essential to Kindergartener Development

Kids Need Recess Especially in Kindergarten

What is Kindergarten supposed to look like:  preschool or first-grade?  Do you question your kindergarten curriculum?  The research is pointing to the importance of play as the core curriculum for kindergarten.  This is not to say that kindergarten can’t have “academics” woven throughout, but play is essential for young children to develop and outdoor time is precious and important time.  And then if you think of Emotional Intelligence … that socialization skills that are the most accurate predictor for success as an adult and that book, Everything I Know, I Learned in Kindergarten (or in the Sandbox?? You know which book I’m talking about, right?), then it all starts to make sense. Read more…