All posts in 5) Middle School

Exciting Science Ideas for Kids: Science Project Ideas!

Science Project Ideas for Kids: Atlantis, Mermaids, Outer Space Mysteries

Both of these ideas come from a cool sci-fi science-y blog that I read called io9: We Come From the Future. And then I read an article from Education Week on how effective “informal science education” is. You know, like taking your kids to the zoo, signing them up for legos or robotics class, or a mad science after school club where girls can make their own lip gloss. Because the thing is, science is about discovery and, in the real world, through a series of trial and error, mostly error. Science is much less about memorizing mind-numbing factoids or cranking out problem sets which is, sadly enough, what it seems to be in school. Read more…

Percy Jackson and The Olympians, http://PragmaticMom.com, Rick Riordan

Best Boy Characters in Books (You’d Let Your Child Date)

Best Boys in Books to Fall in Love With

I need your help here.  Please suggest any boy characters in children’s literature or young adult books that you’d like your daughter to date. Heck, you might want to date them yourself, either as your younger self or even now.  That’s the nice thing about these boys — they are frozen in time but we can age them up as we please.  Please comment with your suggestions and let’s grow this list! This list can also be seen as a testament to authors who create characters so real, deep, and nuanced that we fall in love with them, if not for ourselves, then for our children.  And I can safely say that no one else is consumed with creating this kind of list! Read more…

3rd grade chapter books

Top 5: Using Electronic Devices to Get Kids Reading

Getting Kids to Read by Using Screens

There are extensive and excellent posts on how to get reluctant readers to read with scores of great ideas including graphic novels, books on tape, shared reading, and the like. When The Reading Corner, a blog for Reading Horizons’ “At Home” division, as me to guest post for them, I had to rack my brain to come up with ideas to get reluctant readers excited without duplicating the excellent posts already on their blog. Read more…

mythology, national mythology exam, national mythology examination, D'Aulaires

The National Mythology Exam: Take the Exam or Just Learn Yourself

Mythology for Kids: The National Mythology Exam

I sent in the exam yesterday. My daughter had 40 minutes to complete the first section which consisted of 40 multiple choice questions. It didn’t take that long. What will be interesting is to see how she does because she loves, loves, loves mythology but she did not have the right books to prepare for this examination nor the desire to study. And why should she? This was just for fun. If she gets a certificate or not, either way, it’s no big deal. Truly, the certificate would have eventually ended up in the trash anyway. I did buy TODAY (so too late for the party!) all the books on the list except for D’aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid. Read more…

visual dictionary great for science pragmatic mom pragmaticmom http://PragmaticMom.com education matters

Visual Dictionary: Free and Great For Science

Free Visual Dictionary Great for Teaching Kids Science

I’m part of a Yahoo homeschooling group that focuses on education and someone recommended this visual dictionary so I checked it out and it IS amazing for science or anything in which you need a visual explanation. Read more…

Wrinkles from A Wrinkle in Time

Great Science-y Middle Grade Fiction for ages 8-14

Since this post revolved around the space-time continuum and time travel, I wanted to include this link from my fav science (fiction-y) blog io9 on the 10 Coolest Time Machines in the Space Time Continuum. I think this is possibly the scenario for time travel by the laughing man in When You Reach Me. He had to travel in his birthday suit and could only carry what fit in his mouth– in his case, a small stack of notes. This is #3 on the Top 10 list by io9. Read more…

picture book about hearing impaired boy, picture book about deafness

Sign Language in the Classroom

Sign Language Picture Book for Kids

A few things coincided for this post. My middle daughter who is in 3rd grade told us at dinner that she’s learning sign language at school and proceeded to demonstrate the alphabet. She has had a hearing impaired student in her class for the last three years so I asked her if it is to help communicate with that child. She said, “Yes.” Read more…

Newbery 90 second film festival Pragmatic Mom PragmaticMom

90 Second Newbery Film Festival

Newbery Film Festival for Kids

I thought this would make for a fun book club for children or home school project. Or maybe just a fun project for a budding movie director. Your child can make a 90 second movie based on a Newbery book to enter this film festival. There’s plenty of time. The deadline is not until September 15, 2011. This would also be a fun summer project to do with friends! Read more…

Sharon Creech Author Study

Mom and Daughter Author Study on Sharon Creech: We Agree to Disagree

My 5th grader is doing a Sharon Creech author study in class and she’s been reading and loving Ruby Holler and Heartbeat, and wants to read Chasing Redbird. We tend to agree on books that we like but it’s strange that we haven’t when it comes to Sharon Creech.  Don’t get me wrong; we both LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Sharon Creech, but we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE different chapter books. Read more…