All posts in 4) Grade 3-5

Best Graphic Novels for Readers, Reluctant or Otherwise (ages 3-16)

Best Graphic Novels for Kids

I learned the stories from the bible through comic books as a child. I attended the local Presbyterian church down the street of our old house which my parents sent me to because the neighbors went there. My mother grew up Buddhist and my father didn’t have much exposure to religion growing up in pre-Communist China. Nevertheless, they think that the bible is part of American culture and encouraged us all to attend Sunday School. Read more…

Dumpling Days, Grace Lin, multicultural chapter books,

Grace Lin’s Dumpling Days: Delicious as Always!

Multicultural Chapter Books for Kids: Grace Lin’s Pacy Series

These days when we tell our kids that we are having Dim Sum for breakfast, a great cheer goes out. “Dim Sum, Yum Yum!” is chanted roundly throughout the house. A few years ago, this was not the case. My kids hated Dim Sum but we’d ignore their incessant complaining because my husband and I love it. Though my kids stick to a handful of items — steamed pork buns, rice noodles, shu mai dumplings, and mango jello — they will occasionally try something new. Last week, my middle daughter and I tried an herbal version of chicken feet (fyi, medicinal and tasting of ginseng). Read more…

Trade-First Subtraction, Trade first subtraction, carry subtraction iphone ipad app, math app for carry subtraction, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom, PragmaticMom

Trade-First Subtraction App to Learn Carry Subtraction!

Carry Subtraction App Teaches Like a Tutor

I don’t personally know Esa Helttula, the creator of  Trade-First Subtraction and other great educational iPhone and iPad math apps, but I could kiss him!  He really gets what kids need help with in elementary school math.  The tricky things.  The things you must slow down and think about.  He must have been or currently is a teacher of some sort.  Clearly a kick-ass one!  I wish I had him teaching my kids math! Read more…

civil rights books for kids,

Top 10: Best Children’s Books On Civil Rights Movement

Civil Rights Chapter Books for Kids

How do you teach your child to stand up for what is right, especially if it’s dangerous? I don’t know the answer to that, but I suspect that it helps to have role models who have overcome hatred, death threats, jail time and violence to fight for a better world. Read more…

Mythology for Kids: D’Aulaires and The National Mythology Exam

Best Mythology Books for Kids

I am reposting on The National Mythology Exam because the Mom Friend who told me about this last year, also mentioned that NOW is the time to sign up if you are interested. DEADLINE IS TODAY!!  If your child wants to take the exam, you pay for shipping and handling ($15ish) and $3 per student and they send you a packet. Read more…

Inside Out and Back Again, chapter book, Newbery,

Top 10: Best Historical Fiction for Kids

Best Historical Fiction Books for Kids

Please give a warm welcome to my librarian/blogger extraordinaire/Mom Friend The Fourth Musketeer! She graciously agreed to guest post on her favorite Historical Fiction chapter books of 2011. I really, really wanted her list because she’s an expert in children’s and young adult historical fiction, and selfishly, I wanted this list for myself and my kids! We will work our way through it in 2012! Read more…

book club for kids, creating book club for kids, setting up book club for kids, easy book club for kids

How To: Create a Great Kids’ Book Club (Activity and Book Suggestions)

I  run two book clubs for my kids and participates in a book club for my last kid.  My kids say that our book club is their very favorite activity in the entire world.  I notice that there seem to be two schools of thought when creating a book club.  One version is a parent/child book club that tends to be a little more structured and literary.  My book clubs are more along the lines of an organized play group centered around creating interest in reading.

In today’s post I’ll go over:

  • Ideas for Books, Activities and Snack
  • Easy Kids Book Club Idea
  • Over 20 Great Activities from Successful Book Club Meetings built around the book’s theme

Book Club for Kids: Ideas for Books, Activities and Snack

If you are thinking of creating a book club for your child, some advice:

  • Defining the group will help alleviate hurt feelings later on.  For example, my two book clubs are centered around a group of kids who are all friends from a particular class .  My preschooler’s book club is defined by all the kids who will attend the same elementary school one day.
  • 4-7 seems to be a good size for a book club.  Start smaller if the kids are younger.  You can go bigger if you require an adult in attendance for all book clubs.
  • Choose a group of compatible kids AND moms (or adults) even if it’s a kids-only book club.
  • Length of book club is as short as one hour to as long as a sleepover, but 2 hours is a good general timeframe as book clubs are kind of like a small birthday party.
  • For my book clubs, the hosting family chooses the book and supplies it for all the members. For other book clubs, the host mom might buy copies of the book for everyone, but each parent pays her back.  If a book club kid already owns the book, it’s one less the host needs to buy.  Sometimes the kid chooses the book, sometimes there are suggestions from the organizer to choose from, and sometimes the parent picks the book — it’s all good!

Read more…

Penderwicks, Chapter book, Dark Matter,

The Penderwicks and Science of Dark Matter

Science in Chapter Books Like Penderwicks

I am a HUGE fan of The Penderwicks series by Jeanne  Birdsall. I love them all, but the second book, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street,  is my favorite. In this book, Mr. Penderwick goes on the dating circuit, much to his (and his daughters’) chagrin. The Penderwicks are back at home after the summer at Arudel (first book) in Western Massachusetts on Gardam Street. It  sounds like the perfect neighborhood full of pseudo big brother type neighbors. Not the kind that are spying on you but there IS spying going on in the book … I mean the big-brother-that-you-wished-you-always-had kind. Their neighbor Nick fits the bill as coach-t0-all. Read more…

books that teach compassion, books for kids that teach compassion, teaching kids empathy

Top 10: Books That Teach Kids Compassion (ages 2-14)

Books That Teach Kids Compassion

Learning about our differences can be a powerful way for children to see from another person’s point of view.  I encourage all parents to introduce some of these chapter books or others like these to their children and use these stories as a reference when children bring up differences in school, particularly with special needs classmates.  Because how great would it be if it were OUR child who can reach out with compassion like MacKenzie in The Friendship Puzzle?! Read more…