All posts in 4) Grade 3-5

Weston Reservoir Book Club for the Penderwicks at Point Mouette PragmaticMom

Easy 3rd Grade Book Club: Penderwicks at Point Mouette

Fun and Easy Outdoor 3rd Grade Book Club for Kids

We did a really fun book club using the third chapter book in the Newbery winner Penderwicks series. The only trick is to get the weather to cooperate. It was so easy: Read more…

best science fiction picture books for kids teens middle school middle grade Pragmatic Mom, pragmaticmom.com, pragmaticmom best sciencey books lit kidlit children's literature fiction

Top 10: Books for Kids with Science Concepts

Best Kids Books with Science Ideas

I will confess that I have been thinking and working on this post for MONTHS. The gist in my mind was science-y chapter and picture books that are NOT non-fiction, that make science fun and accessible, and excite a child’s imagination. Yep, it’s taken a while to find enough books that fit this criteria to make it to 10 but I think these are worthy of this list. What do you think? What non-fiction science-y books do you and your children like? Are there enough to actually make this a new children’s lit. genre? Now THAT would be exciting! Read more…

best book club author middle grade Karen Day A Million Miles from Boston PragmaticMom 6th grade book club activity No Cream Puffs Tall Tales Pragmatic Mom

5th Grade Book Club for Girls: A Million Miles from Boston

Book Club for Girls Entering Middle School

We were so lucky to have Karen Day as a guest at my 6th grader’s book club last week. The girls were super excited because they met her last year when she came as a guest author for our meeting on her previous baseball book, No Cream Puffs. Read more…

Sounds of the Orchestra iPad app, music for kids children, http://PragmaticMom.com, PragmaticMom, Pragmatic Mom, iPhone apps for education kids children families education moms

Music App for Kids on Sounds of the Orchestra

Introducing Orchestra Instruments App for Kids

I had to reach back into the recesses of my brain to remember junior high school orchestra.  I played violin for a few years, but actually my younger sister is the talented musician in our family.  She studied classical piano and competed successfully as a kid and is now a piano teacher in Southern California where she teaches out of two locations.  She told me that her young children like this app very much!  I’m not surprised because my sister is an early technology adopter and this app combines two things she’s really into: her iPad and classical music. Read more…

Best fun way for kids children students to learn to speak and write Mandarin Chinese Pragmatic Mom PragmaticMom

Teach Kids Mandarin Chinese (and make it fun!)

Teach Kids Chinese Words in a Fun and Easy Way

My kids are one-quarter Chinese so I am making them learn Mandarin even though no one in my family can speak it. It’s become a very popular foreign language option at our Middle School so I thought I’d post on all the paraphernalia that I’ve found to expose my kids to Chinese.

p.s. Other Chinese Language posts:

Chinese Words are Easy to Learn, Really!

Cheat Sheet for Pronouncing Chinese (Pinyin)

iPhone App To Learn Chinese for Kids

Teach Toddlers Chinese Through Songs and Nursery Rhymes

Read more…

11 Birthdays, Wendy Mass, Massachusetts Book Award, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom, groundhog day book, PragmaticMom

Wendy Mass Books for Grades 3-6th

Chapter Books for Girls Ages 8 to 12

I’m finally getting around to blogging on Finally, Wendy Mass‘ excellent follow-up chapter book to 11 Birthdays which is up for many major awards: Read more…

the princess and the peanut, nut allergy picture book

Books for Back to School Issues: Bullying, Nut Allergy, ADHD and more

Back to School Books on Bullying, Allergies and ADHD

I was just booking a long overdue orthodontic consultation for my middle child when the front desk lady and I both remarked about how quickly the school year is flying by! October already?!! Now that we are back in the swing of school, here are some new picture books on specific school issue topics. My kids were especially fond of the Princess and the Peanut: A  Royally Allergic Fairytale.   Read more…

children's books with librarians who make a difference, librarians as superheroes, kids books with life changing librarians

Top 10 Children’s Books: Librarian as Super Hero (for ages 1-12)

Librarians in Children’s Books Who Change Lives

UPDATE: It seems that our beloved librarians are under siege due to draconian budget cuts in California. Why do we need librarians? There is a great article here from The Los Angeles Times. [excerpt: “To get them off the payroll, the district is arguing that librarians don’t teach and thus don’t qualify for the seniority protections given to teachers.”]

If your school librarian is in danger of being cut, I would advise strength in numbers and advocacy. Rally other parents and make a big stink. Do your research and present your case. You’d be surprised how a group of fired up parents can change the world! Read more…

How to encourage creativity by making your own Halloween costume PragmaticMom Pragmatic Mom

DIY Halloween Costume to Encourage Creativity

Make Your Own Halloween Costumes to Encourage Creativity

I am really not a person who can make Halloween costumes. I’m just not very creative when it comes to Arts and Crafts. I like the idea of assembling or creating your own Halloween costume. The ones that you buy are always so poorly made plus my kids hate it when their friends have the exact same costume. It’s even more challenging when your kids are small for their age (like mine!). When Mitch offered to write a post on this, I happily agreed. I am going to show this to my kids to see if we can’t drum up some cardboard and creativity. I know we have plenty of duct tape! Read more…