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girls and boxing, middle school girls and boxing,

Boxing and Bonding for Middle School Girls (and supermodels)

This is the first year that PickyKidPix doesn’t see her closest friends since Kindergarten on a daily basis. She’s in middle school now and she and her friends are on different teams,  different school buses, and doing different activities. They had no common activity, so I suggested boxing.

middle school girls learn to box

PickyKidPix started boxing with me during the summer weeks when she had a free week and she loved it. I had to give up my Thursday Mother/Daughter boxing slot since our boxing trainer had no more time to add in new sessions but it was worth it. Her two friends joined her and have been boxing all winter; a great way to get exercise in cold New England!


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how I got 55,000 followers, twitter tips, how to use twitter

Twitter Tips and how I got 55,000 followers

Last month, I went to a small blogger retreat for Multicultural Kids Blogs and part of the presentations were on using social media. MaryAnne from Mama Smiles taught us about Google +. Kim from The Educators’ Spin on It did a really helpful presentation on Pinterest. My contribution was on how to use Twitter.

Multicultural Kids Blog retreat

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Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

Science Competition for Middle School Students: $25,000 Prize

A dad friend encouraged me to sign my daughter up for an afterschool elementary school class called Wicked Cool Science. He was a high school science teacher and had a son and daughter of his own.

“If you don’t get your daughter’s interested in science before middle school,” he warned, “They will turn their backs on science permanently.”

That’s alarming. So I looked into this connection.

Many young students, particularly girls, see math and science as difficult, and don’t take any more classes than they have to, not realizing they are cutting themselves off from lucrative opportunities in college and careers.

“The relationship between confidence and interest is close,” says Fouad. “If they feel they can do it, it feeds their interest.”

From Science Daily Read more…

dear 16 year old me

Dear 16 Year Old Me: My Letter to Myself

Dear 16 year old me,

Just a few quick things as I pop back in time.

Dear 16 Year Old Me, Pragmatic Mom, PragmaticMom

1) Swimming is not your sport

I know that you love this swim team. Your coach and teammates are amazingly supportive, kind and smart. They celebrate your personal best as enthusiastically as you do their blue ribbons.

It’s just that– you’re just not that fast.

You’ve learned to push yourself three hours a day in the pool even though you hate that first entry into a cold pool. And now you know your way around a weight room.

Learning to work hard for results is not a bad lesson for you. This will be your mantra from which success will come. Eventually. But that struggle to improve is what will drive you and that’s the part of the journey you will relish more than the final destination.

I think the biggest attraction for swimming was ditching the Nerd-dom label that plagued you in Junior High. Honestly, you will one day embrace your inner nerd. It will take you a few decades but it will serve you well.  Read more…

self published book gaveaway

Huge Self Published Kids Book GIVEAWAY and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Today, I am doing some serious Spring cleaning and I am giving away 6 packages of wonderful self published children’s books.

To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter and please leave me a comment about which package you want. I’ll do my best to match up the packages to each winner.

Package 1:

book giveawayRead more…

Asian American Books for kids

My Favorite Asian American Books for Kids

I’m so sorry to be late for the Homeschool Blogging Carninal hosted by hosted by Lisa at The Squishable Baby and Keisha at Unschooling Momma. I’ve been distracted by racism in a musical at my local high school that has hit a nerve and generated a lot of press including a front page article in The Boston Globe, 2 OpEd articles in The Boston Globe, an article across the pond at The Daily Telegraph and a slew of blog posts both by me and other bloggers. If you want to read them, they are all here.

This makes me realize that multicultural books for kids are, perhaps, the first step for breaking racist stereotypes and introducing diversity in a positive way into the lives of our children. Today, I wanted to share a few of my favorite Asian American children’s books. I hope you enjoy them with your children.

I chose a picture book, easy reader, easy chapter book, chapter book and a young adult novel that portray contemporary Asian Americans.  That’s 5 books. 5 is a lucky number in Chinese culture. 4 is bad because it signifies death. Read more…

eBay Collections to help The March of Dimes

I’m glad to be participating in eBay’s collections to raise money for the March of Dimes. The goal is to celebrate the potential in all. Everyone is born to be something great, don’t you think?!

ebay collections march of dimesHelp eBay reach their goal of raising $25,000 for March of Dimes this month by helping to create 25,000 eBay collections. For every collection created, eBay will donate $1 to March of Dimes! Read more…

choosing books for advanced young readers, after school with smarty pants

Choosing Books for Advanced Young Readers

Please welcome my guest author, Natalie from After School with Smarty Pants. She has wonderful enrichment activities and life skills for advanced learners on her blog. Today, she covering how to find books for an advanced young reader which can be tricky because the content might be too advanced or inappropriate for them.

Who Is an Advanced Reader?

Every parent probably knows if they have an advanced reader. Here is my definition from my post on book recommendations for advanced readers:

  • Advanced readers don’t need reminders, rewards, or any other encouragement to read.
  • Started reading early or progressed very rapidly in their reading levels.
  • No longer interested in most books recommended for their age.
  • Choose reading over other activities, read to relax and chill out.
  • Not intimidated by the length of the book or by font size.
  • Can spend hours in the library.
  • Might have a passionate interest in something and look for every possible book on that subject.
  • Have good comprehension and usually test significantly higher than their age on reading and comprehension tests. Read more…
Doug Cushman skype author visit

Skype School Author Visit with Doug Cushman in Paris!

The Miracle of a Skype Author Visit! My son’s third grade teachers requested a school author visit from Doug Cushman. They teach a mystery writing unit and they use Doug’s mystery picture books to start off the unit.

Doug Cushman author illustrator, 2nd grade school author visit, Doug Cushman Skype author visit

A picture book mystery is perfect for breaking down the elements of a good mystery story:

  • leading and minor characters
  • setting that changes in order to create action and adventure
  • an intriguing plot with suspense and a clear beginning, middle and end
  • a problem to solve
  • a solution that is believeable Read more…