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boys and gamine, why boys are failing, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

Why Are Boys Failing? Video Games!

Boys Failing at School Because of Gaming?

This is Part 3 of 5 of The Globe and Mail‘s in depth look at Why Are Boys Failing?  I am always very sensitive when this topic comes up because I know that I am not doing a good job at policing my son’s video screen time.  This article deals with the proliferation of video games and their negative  impact on boys (feeling guilty already!). My son, who just turned 6, loves any type of screen:  DSi, iPad, iPhone (mine), computer … the TV is a distant 4th.  In fact, when he was the Star of the Week for Kindergarten last week, he wrote that his favorite thing to do was to play on the iPad.  Sigh! Read more…

ABC Pocket Phonics iPhone iPad app for autistic children, http://PragmaticMom.com, phonics, pragmatic mom

ABC Pocket Phonics App

ABC Phonics App for Kids

I found this app online and asked for a code to try it out.  I was thinking of my son, now 6-year-old (he just had a birthday), who is in Kindergarten.  But then I noticed that this app was featured in a post of apps for high functioning autistic children so I thought it was kismet and clearly I need to check out this app which has been sitting on my iPhone untouched for a while. Read more…

Why Are Boys Failing? Lack of Male Teachers?

Do Boys Need Male Teachers as Role Models?

Part 2 asks if one root cause is the lack of male teachers who serve as role models, the theory goes, and teach that learning is cool.  This doesn’t feel like it hits the nail on the head, but the argument for this is below. Read more…

Young Adult Native American books, YA Native American Books, Native American Books YA, Native American Books for teens

Top 10: Best Native American Young Adult Books

 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic MomNative American Books for Teens

This is part 3 of a 3 part series by Debbie Reese, renowned scholar of Native American Children’s Literature.  Part 1 is Top 10:  Best Native American Picture Books.  Part 2 is Top 10:  Native American Middle School Books.

p.s. I updated this list: Top 10 Best First Nations Books for Kids because I had a lot to learn about which books best depict the people of First Nations. Read more…

Why are Boys Failing and Who’s To Blame?

Why Are Boys Failing in School?

Thank you to Dad Friend, Adverlicio.us, for sending me this article.  He’s Canadian so he’s follows the news both there and here.  In this case, the story is the same (as it is worldwide); the puzzling yet largely ignored phenomenon of failing boys and the politics over past decades of boys versus girls in terms of  success both inside the classroom and in the boardroom.  It’s a pendulum that seems to swing towards one side or the other, never managing to get both sides to “succeed.”  Who is to blame?  It is parenting?  Is it the images in textbooks?  Are expectations of boys lower in our society? I think we’ll need all six parts to get a handle on this! Read more…

Scruffy Kitty eBook App for Halloween

Halloween eBook for Little Kids

What I really love about Winged Chariot iPhone/iPad/iPod ebooks is that they come in a slew of languages.  Scruffy Kitty comes in Dutch, English, French, Spanish, and Japanese.  These apps also always have a sticker app which is fun for kids.  It would be a dream come true for me if my kids read this ebook in Spanish for fun!  I am not holding my breath, but it might come true someday… Read more…

Anti-Cyberbullying Tactics Need to Be Taught at Schools

How to Prevent Bullying in Schools

I had no idea that October is National Bullying Prevention Month but I am horrified to learn of this whole new world of cyber bullying.  It’s another serious worry for parents and school administrators alike.  This article mentions resources at your state’s attorney general’s office which provides anti-cyberbullying training at the schools.  Something to look into for all of us! Read more…

Has Kindergarten Changed or are Kids Smarter?

Are Kindergarten Kids Smarter These Days?

I knew kids in my kids’ Kindergarten class who could read The Magic Tree House series before they entered elementary school.  For others, carry addition was not a problem.  I thought my kids were way behind because they would enter Kindergarten barely reading and unsure of what number came after 99.  The pressure for Kindergarten academics, I always thought, came from the standardized testing starting in 3rd grade and so Kindergarten, for many classrooms, started to look a lot like 1st grade.  I am actually o.k. with that because it worked for my kids.  Our elementary school is very strict about the cut off date of “you-must-be-five-years-old-by-August 31-no-exceptions.”  I actually thought this is just the new world we live in, but maybe the old ways are best. Read more…

Poll: Learning Disabilities Are Often Misunderstood by Public

What Do People Think About Special Needs: A Poll

I think that we, as adults, learn based on what life throws our way.  All the parents I know who have kids with food allergies, for example, are experts on the topic.  The same holds true for medical conditions including learning disabilities.  But I think that if your children attend public schools, learning about special needs becomes part of the curriculum, particularly for schools such as my elementary school with a large and varied special needs sub-population.

It’s really the relevant topic, at least to our children, on diversity as it’s so wonderful, at least at my school, that the children are so accepting of ethnic diversity and same-sex marriage.  But my kids sometimes struggle to understand special needs kids at school particularly for those with special needs that affect socialization.  As parents, we can help our children by learning more ourselves on this important topic.

Read more…