All posts by pragmaticmom

Best Picture Books That Teach Counting

Picture Books for Counting

I remember how much I enjoyed a counting book with a twist. I do completely believe in the power of picture books to teach math concepts but I do need a little something extra as I am reading the book for the tenth time. My own counting picture book library was not too robust so I trolled through a 4 foot stack of counting books to find these treasures.  I hope that you and your child enjoy them. What are your favorite counting books? Please leave a comment and I’ll keep adding to this list. Read more…

How To: Teach Manners to Kids

Best Books for Kids on Good Manners

My husband grew up in a military family so good manners was a really big deal and he has beautiful manners. He’s not from the South, but he’s even got the Sir/Ma’am thing down. Manners are so important to him, or rather, bad manners are so offensive to him, that I refer to him as the Manners Nazi.

I, on the other hand, was raised by parents a generation older than my peer’s parents. My husband thinks I was raised by wolves. Naturally, responsibility for teaching our kids manners is all him. After he stayed home with our first, the outcome was so positive that I tried to emulate what he did. And, as our children have ventured off on independent play dates, sleepovers, and dinners at other people’s houses, it was clear to us how important instilling manners at a VERY YOUNG age is. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. Read more…

You Are Your Birth Order

Birth Order and Personality

I clipped this a long time ago from a paper, but I’m not sure where but it may have been from The Boston Parent Paper.  I also read The Birth Order Book:  Why You Are What You Are by Dr. Kevin Leman because it was kind of fun to see what traits are associated with birth order.  One caveat, if there are large gaps between ages, the birth order gets switched around.  For example, if the youngest child has a ten-year gap between his two older siblings, this child is really an “only child.”  Likewise, a middle child of three girls is a true middle child but a middle child of girl, girl, boy is ALSO the youngest girl. Read more…

best chapter books for kids, best books for 4th grade, 4th grade reading list, 5th grade reading list

Best Books for Grades 3-5, Recommended by Kids

Best Books for Kids in Third Grade Through Fifth Grade (by kids)

My 4th grader helped to compile this list of favorite books she recommends for 3-5th graders. I have also vetted this list for content. I feel that some topics such as death, cruelty, poverty, when dealt with a heavy hand are best suited for when kids are a little older, say Middle School. These books, even though they cover these heavy topics, are still uplifting. Read more…

Great Gifts for Kids Around $20 for Holidays or Birthdays

$20 Gifts for Kids

One of my mom friends asked for this category.  We just had two birthday parties so I was able to ask my kids what they liked the most from their stack of gifts.  I also periodically check Marshalls and T. J. Maxx for birthday party gifts to stock up my supply– hidden from the kids, of course!.  A great gift for girls is a blank or lined diary or fancy notepad and the Marshalls near my house seems to almost always have great ones for half-off which I like to give with a book (you know me, I love books!). Read more…

Best Baby Parenting Books

Great Parenting Books for New Parents

I remember when my first child was born and both my husband and I were panicked at the daunting task of keeping her alive. I thought the key would be to educate myself and I read every baby parenting book I could get my hands on including books from friends that were 10-years-old and out of print.  I made myself crazy.  I read, like, 15 books.  The books gave conflicting advice.  Advice from “experts” also flip-flopped from decade to decade.  I almost made up a spreadsheet to track the different opinions on the issues.  OK, I’m anal-retentive, but not that anal-retentive.  But only by a hair. Read more…

ad for mom, ad for new mom, funny ad for moms

Want a New Mom? Run This Ad (Humor for Moms!)

Ad for Moms Makes Moms Laugh

JOB DESCRIPTION: Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Read more…

Quote Collection: On Education and Learning

Education Quotes to Inspire Learning

An ancient Chinese proverb: “A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark.”
” Never be afraid to try something new.  Remember that amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic.” Read more…

Teaching Tolerance to Kids for Their Special Needs Classmates

How Do You Teach Compassion for Special Needs Classmates?

My elementary school children switch tables every month and this is always a topic at the dinner table because it’s a really big deal to them.  Each month there is either wild  elation or grave disappointment depending on the seating chart.  Over time, I realized that when my kids are most upset about their new table mates, it is not necessarily that they are not sitting near their friends, but it’s because there is someone at the table who is disruptive. Read more…