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5th Grade Book Recommendations from My 5th Grader

5th Grade Book Recommendations from My 5th Grader

My son has picked up the pace reading books this year in 5th grade. His book lists are now in three parts.

5th Grade Books from a 5th Grade Boy has books that he read as a rising 5th grader as well as book he read in the early part of the school year. You’ll notice his reluctance to read by all the graphic novels he read. This was also the turning point for novels in verse for him when he discovered The Crossover which lead to more novels in verse.

Best 5th Grade Books from My 5th Grade Son is part 2 of 3. You’ll notice that he likes FUNNY and ACTION ADVENTURE, preferably combined á la Rick Riordan. His 5th grade teacher has him reading historical fiction for the first time which he’s really enjoying. This set us up for more historical fiction and even historical fiction as a novel in verse!

How about you? What do you think he should add to his reading list? I am planning on having him read at least five books this summer.

5th Grade Chapter Books from a 5th Grade Boy

Brooklyn Bat Boy: the Story of the 1947 Season That Changed Baseball Forever by Geoff Griffin

I really liked learning about Jackie Robinson through the perspective of a Irish American bat boy.

Jackie Robinson’s first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers told from the point of view of the new batboy. My son and I loved this historical fiction early chapter book, complete with authentic slang. Pair it with a biography on Jackie Robinson if you  want to learn about this extraordinary man. [early chapter book, ages 8 and up]

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Summer Learning Ideas to Halt Summer Slide

Summer Learning Ideas to Halt Summer Slide

Our school year won’t end until June 23rd which makes my kids and I think that we are the last to finish school this year. Hence, my summer learning plans are a little late in the making this year.

My two teen girls are away most of the summer. Grasshopper and Sensei will do a six-week Pre-College summer session at Rhode Island School of Design. She has some assigned books to read for AP English next fall where she will be a Junior in high school, and she will enter some art competitions.

PickyKidPix did not read enough this past school year while in 8th grade. She’s going to try to read five books this summer. Read more…

Top 10 Favorite Nature Picture Books & GIVEAWAY!

Top 10 Favorite Nature Picture Books & GIVEAWAY!

When I lived near a golf course in our old house a few miles away, I would spot red foxes running at dusk on the sidewalks. My friend Susan told me about her encounter with a coyote one winter afternoon. She and her black labrador were on the snow covered golf course for a walk when they were approached by a lone coyote. Unwilling to turn his back on the coyote, her dog put himself between her and the coyote and walked them backwards for two miles back to the street; eyes on the coyote the entire time. Susan thinks there was a litter of pups and the coyote was being protective.

Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari

The thing is, I live nine miles west of Boston in a pretty tightly packed suburban area. It’s not farms and huge backyards where I live. Most houses sit on a quarter of an acre.

In this article, Why Wild Animals Are Moving Into Cities, and What To Do About It, by Popular Science, researcher Stan Gertz estimates that more than 2,000 coyotes now make a comfortable living in the Chicago metropolitan area. He notes that “some urban coyotes have even been spotted crossing streets in busy traffic—at the light, looking both ways, just like human Chicagoans.”

 

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How to Play PokemonGo with Kids

How to Play #PokémonGO with Your Kids

My son was obsessed with Pokémon when he was four years old. For two years, I read nothing but Pokémon books to him. The books he liked were Find and Seek or Pokémon directories. Neither types of books have much plot. I also bought him tiny Pokémon plastic figures off eBay that I would carry around in a plastic baggy and whip out at restaurants for him to play with. They had to be ordered from Hong Kong. This is serving me well now, when my kids catch Pokémon because I actually can describe them.

PokémonGO

Jigglypuff? The pinkish one?

Jigglypuff Pokémon

Poliwhirl? Doesn’t that have a swirly thing for eye? Oh, it’s on the stomach.

Poliwhirl Pokémon, Polywhirl Pokémon

Ghastly? Ghost Pokémon!

Ghastly Pokémon

I love Pokémon. I love how kids can wander in this safe world where nothing really bad ever happens. When PokémonGo came out, I knew it would motivate my son to finish his summer math workbook in order to get a cell phone. As a rising 6th grader taking the school bus for the first time, he needs a phone. Read more…

Visiting Quebec City with Kids

Planning a Visit to Quebec City with Kids

My son loves Canada. He was the first to declare that he’s moving to Canada if Trump wins, and his sisters agreed. We’ve been to Canada a few times; it’s a road trip for us and we’ve visited Montreal, Toronto, and Ontario for the Women’s World Cup.

Quebec City is considerably farther from our previous Canadian trips, but now our kids are old enough to handle the car ride. Instead of worrying about kids melting down in the car, we are a little worried by our inability to speak French. We are going to have to take a quick crash course, especially on food for reading menus.

My husband has been reading a guide book on Quebec City, but this is what I came up with.

 

Quebec City Day 1

aquarium de quebec

image from Wikipedia

1. Aquarium du Quebec

We like aquariums. This one sounds great: Aquarium du Québec is a public aquarium located in the former city of Sainte-Foy in Quebec City. The 16-hectare facility is home to more than 10,000 animals representing more than 300 species. Read more…

My Blogging Journey at Year 7

My Blogging Journey at Year 7

I was a neighborhood party the other night when someone I knew asked me about how my blog was going. I don’t think she was looking for “fine, blogging is great!” It might have been more of a career question: are you making money blogging? So I thought it was time for an update on my blogging life.

Blogging is a Journey not a Destination.

I started blogging nearly seven years ago with an idea to turn it into a business. I had other ideas for a birthday gift registry for family members to go in on expensive gifts but I am not a programmer and didn’t want to hire one.

Initially, I wanted to share the after schooling curriculum I pieced together to catch my oldest up in first grade when her teacher was absent so often that there were subs for subs. It took a while, but I eventually found my voice and rekindled my love of children’s books. It wasn’t long before I put a stake in the ground and declared that I was dedicating my efforts to promoting diversity, inclusive, and multicultural books. Multicultural Children’s Book Day came out of that and with it, the joy of working with Valarie Budayr at Jump Into a Book and Becky Flansberg of Frantic Mommy.

Multicultural Children's Book Day Read more…

Teaching Kids About Money: Summer Curriculum

Teaching Kids About Money: Summer Curriculum

Forbes has a great article on money lessons you should be teaching your kids, with milestones for ages 5, 10, and 15. Let’s see how I’m doing with my kids:

Money Lesson Goals for 5 Year Olds

  • Savings Goal – a savings goal has three elements: (1) what you want to buy, (2) when you want to buy it and (3) how much it will cost at that time.
  • Bank – a place that helps us safely store, organize and manage our money
  • Check – a way to pay for items where we write a note asking our bank to send our money to someone to pay for our purchases
  • Bills – notes letting us know how much we owe for our purchases
  • Trade Off  – A decision we have to make when we are considering whether to save for something or spend our money

money lessons for kids Read more…

great new graphic novels for kids

Great New Graphic Novels & 4 Book GIVEAWAY

My son learned to love reading because of graphic novels so they will always have a place in my heart. He’s reading chapter books now, but he still enjoys a funny notebook novel. I’m excited to share some newly published ones, and I’m giving away a few them as well (at the bottom of the page).

How about you? What graphic novels or notebook novels have your kids been enjoying? Please share!

 

Doodle Adventures: You Draw the Story

This is a fun concept, particularly for summer reading. It’s a doodle book combined with a graphic novel. The reader gets to decide the story by drawing it in and you don’t necessarily have to be an artist.

The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs by Mike Lowery

I wasn’t sure how my son would react to this doodle graphic novel since it looked a little easy for him, but he raced through it and enjoyed doodling along to create his own adventure. Since we had an ARC (advanced release copy), I’ve giving away this brand spanking new hardcover book! [doodle graphic novel, ages 6 and up]

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Shakespeare for Kids

Shakespeare for Kids from Booktomato

Please welcome Ashley who blogs at Booktomato as my guest author. She’s sharing her favorite Shakespeare books for kids.

My 10th grader, Grasshopper and Sensei, is studying Shakespeare in English class. She has a very bad concussion (her 4th, all from volleyball), and she couldn’t read Shakespeare without getting a headache flare up. I used an early chapter book series, Tales from Shakespeare, to help her understand the storyline and it really helped. While some of my fellow Cybils Early Chapter Book judges preferred the original, I like how this series makes Shakespeare more accessible.

Tales from Shakespeare: Hamlet by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Yaniv Shimony

Hamlet as an early chapter book retold in modern day English with illustrations on every page. At just 47 pages, this is a quick read that focuses on conveying the plot. Quotes from the original work are pulled out as well. [early chapter book, ages 8 and up]

Tales from Shakespeare: MacBeth by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Yaniv Shimony

The format of this early chapter book is the same as above, but about MacBeth. We used this for my daughter’s 10th grade English class instead of Spark Notes to understand the plot.  [early chapter book, ages 8 and up]

How about you? Are your kids reading simpler versions of Shakespeare and how do they like it? Thanks for sharing! Read more…