All posts by pragmaticmom

teaching kids charity, teaching kids compassion, haiti,

Haiti and Teaching My Kids About Charity

Teach Kids Compassion through Charity Work

A mom in my yoga class made a nice plea for donations yesterday.  Her cleaning lady is Haitian and her family in Haiti is, of course, personally devastated by the earthquake.  Yoga mom offered to run over and pick up any clothing and shoe donations from any of us and ship to Haiti.  She said that UPS was shipping free of charge for a while so she was rounding up donations all week. Read more…

Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, foreign languages taught at school

NY Times Article: Foreign Languages Fade EXCEPT Chinese…

Chinese Language Popular at Schools

A Mom Friend at my elementary school sent me this article and asked me to comment on it for my blog. She speaks Chinese and French and wants to start her children on both languages as well. I believe deeply that this generation of children must learn two foreign languages if they are to play a part in this new global economy and that, sadly, the United States, is and will no longer be at the epicenter of the world. Read more…

Clara Barton, Florence Nightingale … and Mary Breckenridge (ages 9-12)

Female Role Models: Extraordinary Nurses in History

Mary on Horseback: Three Mountain Stories by Rosemary Wells

If you hear Rosemary Wells and think Max and Ruby , Yoko and Friends or McDuff, you have the right author. She is an author, like Cynthia Rylant, who has incredible range and also have ties to the Appalachians. I had read biographies in 5th grade about Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale but I was not familiar with Mary Breckenridge until I happened upon this book and it turns out that she deserves the same recognition, if not more so. Read more…

How To: Prevent Accidents in the Kitchen

Preventing Kitchen Accidents

I just made a new friend from Twitter who blogs on safety in the home. Check out: http://accidentsinthehome.blogspot.com. Follow SafetyInTheHouse on Twitter. Read more…

Harry Potter + Greek Mythology = Percy Jackson Series (ages 8-14)

Greek Mythology Chapter Book Series for Kids

Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

I took a day off the computer yesterday and just read books 2 through 5 of the Percy Jackson series. I have to say it was the best day ever! This is a really wonderful series with wide appeal both in age and in gender and the range is ages 8-adult. There is also no weak link in the series and every book stands on its own, though I do suggest reading them in order. I’ve included my previous book review of the first book, The Lightening Thief, below, and can add that I stayed up way past my bedtime, AGAIN, to finish the last book. They Are Simply That Good!

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Fairy Chapter book, no flying in the house

Finally, A Really Good Fairy Book for 2nd Grade Girls

2nd Grade Fairy Book for Girls

My 7-year-old came home from school two days ago with an important message for me: “I just read the best book. You need to add it to your blog.” I had never heard of No Flying in the House by Betty Brock and assumed it was a picture book, though I don’t know why. My middle daughter is the reason why I created the Favorite Chapter Books for Newly Independent Readers because she refuses to read anything except chapter books. She proceeded to borrow it from her teacher so that I could save a trip to the library and I have to say that she is right. This is a great, old-fashioned fairy story. Our copy was even more charming because it was clearly a really old book with a big chunk of pages taped carefully back into the book. It looked like a garage sale rescue or a beloved book that was carefully passed down. No matter! It’s a find! Read more…

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Best Asian American Children’s Authors

Grace Lin is the children’s literature version of Amy Tan. Her latest chapter book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, is her best yet.  She weaves Chinese folk tales into a tapestry of stories where the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.   There is always a  sweetness and  innocence to her writing; there are always loving parents and children learning to believe in themselves and their culture. Read more…