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Top 10: Newbery-ish Small Town Quirky Chapter Books (ages 8-14)

4th Grade and 5th Grade Chapter Books

Is there something about small towns in America that has a special place in the hearts of the Newbery judges? Or is it the people who live there are somehow more quirky, more worthy of nuanced layers of personality ranging from slightly deranged to just plain weird? Are murder and violence somehow easier in a small town? I doubt that. Perhaps it’s easier when resentments simmer for decades or even generations. Read more…

Pollination: Video and Ideas for Summer Learning

Science Activities for Kids

My mom sent me this gorgeous video of the wonders of pollination. We try to plant a garden every spring that attracts butterflies but I miss the hummingbirds that used to visit my garden in California. I think there are hummingbirds in New England, but I haven’t seen any in my garden yet. I probably need a hummingbird feeder though. Read more…

Week 4: Summer Math Fun for Incoming 2nd Grade Kids

FREE Summer Math Program for Rising 2nd Grade

My elementary school also recommends these great FREE math websites. Read more…

vocabulary through board games

Vocabulary as Game with Board Games and Books

Games Kids Like to Build Vocabulary

I found this article that I thought made a lot of sense called Vocabulary: Five Common Misconceptions: Read more…

Week 3: Summer Math Review for Incoming 2nd Grade

Summer Math Review for 2nd Grade

Ready for week 3 of summer math review for incoming second grade kids? My son is doing this week by week. We try to do it as mental math problems first. Read more…

5th Grade Chapter Books to Make Social Studies Exciting

Books for Kids to Make Social Studies Exciting

I’ve had to think for a long time how to make American Social Studies exciting for Dee’s son in fifth grade. My own kids give mixed reviews about social studies at their schools and I think that the only way to make it exciting is to: Read more…

Week 2: Summer Math Review for Rising 2nd Grade

2nd Grade Math Review

Join my son and I for summer math review supplied by his school. This is week two. We normally do one week in one sitting just to make it easier to do it in one fell swoop. How do you like to do it? Can you remember to do one problem a day? We can’t! Read more…

Gem, Holly Hobbie, wordless picture book, wordless picture books with frogs or toads

2 Wordless Picture Books GIVEAWAYS and How to Read Them

Best Books for Kids to Boost Creativity

I know that I sound like a moron but exactly how does one “read” a wordless picture book? I’m the kind of person that needs detailed instructions so I thought I’d research it because this whole concept of wordless picture book is newish to me. I didn’t grow up with these but my kids and I have enjoyed a stack of them. Perhaps, though, flipping the pages like a slow-motion flip book is not the way to go. Read more…

Missing The Cut: 4th Grade Club Soccer Disappointment

When Your Kid Doesn’t Make the Team

Today was a tough day. My 4th grade daughter, PickyKidPix, has been on pins and needles all week waiting to find out if she made the new Club Soccer Team for our town. She didn’t. She made the wait list which is not bad because strangely, her grade district wide has produced an exceptional number of really excellent 4th grade girl soccer players. This still meant that I found her at 10:41 p.m. sobbing her heart out. Ouch! Not to mention that her bedtime is 9:00 and it is a school day tomorrow.

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