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How to Jump Rope Like a Supermodel

I’ve been jumping rope for the past year as part of my boxing training with my mom group of friends and we’ve all complained about it for various reasons.

  • We suck at it.
  • It’s ridiculously difficult to jump rope for a short duration as, say, a mere two minutes.
  • We know we could do it in elementary school!
  • It makes us pee in our pants. Which is very embarrassing.

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How Tutoring Can Help Your Child Learn to Embrace Reading

What a Reading Tutor Can Do to Get Kids Reading

I noticed how parents will often hire a tutor for math for their kids, but less so for reading. Today, my guest author Dusty Fox writes about what to expect from a reading tutor.

How Tutoring Can Help Your Child Learn to Embrace Reading

How Tutoring Can Help Your Child Learn to Embrace Reading (and Education!)

If you are a parent who loves to read, it can certainly be saddening and even frustrating if your child doesn’t share that same passion. Not only does reading have the ability to bring joy to an individual’s life–regardless of age–but it is often closely related to our ability to do well in formal learning and work environments. If your child doesn’t enjoy reading, this may lead to difficulties in the classroom and could even be directly linked to future issues in high school, college, and work. Read more…

diwali picture book of the day with hannukah picture book of the day

Diwali and Hannukah Picture Book of the Day

My friend Isra who blogs at The Frugalette told me a few years ago how few Diwali books there are, so when The Diwali Gift floated across my email, I thought it would be nice to learn more about this Hindu holiday. My only impression of Diwali was that it was a festival of lights and that it involved feasting. There is much more to it I learned! Read more…

Massachusetts Book Awards for children's books and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

Massachussets Children’s Book Award Part I and Kid Lit Blog Hop

The fifth graders at our elementary school are challenged every year to read all the books listed on the Massachusetts Children’s Book Award. I really love this book list because it has a variety of newly published and slightly older books such that you can actually find the books on the library bookshelves. Our school librarian also makes a point of making a special display and buying multiple copies of these books.

I’ve also discovered gems on the list from years past. The list doesn’t necessarily feature Massachusetts’ children’s authors but it was how I found Mitali Perkins’ Rickshaw Girl eight years ago!

Does your state have a book award too? How does it work?

 

Third Grade and Low Fourth Grade Books

This is the first part of the Massachusetts Book Awards which I’ve divided by suggested grade level. Part I covers Third Grade, Low Fourth Grade and Fourth Grade Books. At the next Kid Lit Blog Hop in two weeks, I’ll cover Part II which covers Fifth and Sixth Grade.

We the Children (Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School) by Andrew Clements

The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery by Doreen Cronin

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chocolate medicine for kids Dr. Cocoa

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down

Mary Poppins may have preferred Rum Punch as preventative medicine but some of us prefer the flavor of chocolate!

When PickyKidPix got sick last week, she tried powering through the school week, going to class and her activities including three soccer practices as usual. But by Friday, she was coughing up a storm and generally miserable so she finally took a sick day and slept in. Read more…

Tai Lee golf player for University of Hawaii

Happy 19th Anniversary Honey!

I knew a few things when I met my honey:

  • That within a week of meeting him I knew that I met my future husband. (It took him a few years to figure that out though!)
  • I would become a golf widow (though I took up golf to avoid that).
  • It would be hard to ever stay mad at him because he makes me laugh.
  • That I would marry him all over again!

Tai Lee

When I met my husband 21 years ago, he looked like this.

Mama C and the Boys noticed on my Instagram account when my husband finally made an appearance on my social media. He’s a bit elusive when it comes to being in front of the camera. See what I mean?

Tai Lee golf player for University of Hawaii

At a photoshoot at the golf clothing apparel company that I started after business school (now defunct).

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Family Fire Safety Panic, Plan & GIVEAWAY

Family Fire Safety Panic, Plan & GIVEAWAY

We recently moved to a new house and PickyKidPix and Grasshopper and Sensei — our two girls ages 12 and 14 — share the attic. At our old house, I was careful to buy fire escape ladders with hooks at the top that hang over the window sill. They were very sturdy but they took up a  lot of room and it was only a two-story ladder. Since the girls are on the third floor, their old fire escape ladders are now too short and I hadn’t gotten around to buying them new ones.

Fire Safety Ladder Conundrum

In my mind, I hadn’t figured out all the logistics:

  • If two-story ladders take up 1 foot of space, won’t three-story ladders be too huge to store?
  • Do we really need three-story ladders or will two-story ladders land them on some sort of outcropping on roof a floor below?
  • I wonder if PickyKidPix would use the ladder to sneak out at night when she’s a tad older?
  • Where do these ladders go?
  • Do I need one or two?

Read more…

Top 10 Ninja Books for Kids

Top 10 Ninja Books for Kids Ages 4 through 16

My kids are one-quarter Japanese and they wish that their Japanese ancestry is steeped in the way of the ninja. It’s not. Their heritage is actually that of Daimyo, a feudal landowner/warlord,  and our ancestors are located about one hour outside of the city of Hiroshima.

I can see the appeal of the ninja over that of warlord, though. It’s that martial arts thing mixed with mystery and powers that border on mystical. Very appealing!

For today, October 10th or 10/10, I have 10 ninja books ranging from picture books, early chapter book, chapter books, and young adult. So it’s 10 on 10/10!

What is your favorite ninja book for kids? Please share! Read more…

10 perfect read alouds for 5th grade

10 Perfect Read Alouds for 5th Grade

Fifth grade was a busy year for Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyPidPix. The year focused on getting them ready for Middle School both academically, socially and emotionally. Some of the highlights that my kids remembered included a Sharon Creech author study which they unfortunately don’t do anymore due to increased demands from Common Core, Holocaust, and a lot of science. I remember the science of weather being particularly in-depth.

There were books that they loved and discovered that year too! PickyKidPix’s studied SeedFolks and when the teacher omitted two of the stories due to mature content, she searched it out at the public library to read the censored content. We met Sharon Draper that year too who was here on behalf of Understanding Our Differences.

Puberty and anxiety around changing also marked 5th grade and there was no way to win; it was either too slow or too fast or too annoying. Coming of age for girls is a difficult time so we used books as a way to tiptoe and explore the drama that is a part of growing up.

This list is a walk down memory lane for me, as books often are. It includes books I read with my kids, books my kid were read to at school, books they loved and wanted me to read to blog on, and even a book I loved as a fifth grader.

What are your memories of 5th grade either for your kids or yourself? Are there any favorite books you recall as you go down memory lane too? Please share! Read more…