All posts in Parenting

FREE Resources for High School Coxswains

FREE Resources for High School Coxswains

PickyKidPix is a coxswain at CRI and is highly motivated to improve so that she can cox in college. I was a coxswain at Radcliffe, back in the day when they had a Freshman program, and the minimum weight for women’s coxs was 100 pounds. Now it’s 110 pounds.

FREE Resources for High School Coxswains

Things have changed in college women’s rowing since I was in college thirty years ago. With Title 9 as boon, women’s college rowing has grown tremendously, and with it, an industry for rowers and coxswains to help them get recruited.

This is my working list as I learn more about resources for coxswains, rowers, and the college recruiting process (which is so different from soccer). Still, the NCAA rules are the same and I have a post on that: How to Get an Athletic Scholarship, though only 2% of athletes get a full ride scholarship (Full Ride Scholarships are Rare).

 

Free Great Advice for Coxswains

1. Coxswain Nation: advice from Yaz, DVDs for purchase, and downloadable PDFs and links. Lots of great resources, many of it free.

Yasmin “Yaz” Farooq has been involved in coxing and coaching for over 30 years. As the coxswain for the United States National Team from 1989 to 1996, she competed in the 1992 & 1996 Olympic Games. She was captain of the Olympic Women’s Rowing Team at the Atlanta Olympics. She was the head coach at Stanford University from 2006-2016 and won a National Championship in 2009, along with five podium finishes. She was also the on-air rowing analyst for NBC’s telecasts of the Olympic Games from 2000-2012. Yaz was inducted into the National Rowing Foundation Hall of Fame in 2014. Read more…

World Kindness Day ideas for kids

Today is World Kindness Day (and boy do we need it)

The day after the election I was in shock, then angry and finally depressed. And the thought of facing racism made me mad and ready to fight. And it’s not like I don’t spend a few hours punching every week. I was ready to fist fight, and, it turns out,  I wasn’t the only one. Day 1 in Trump’s America is an ugly place to be.

But then I met with Valarie and Becky for Multicultural Children’s Book Day — we meet weekly via Skype for the months leading up to January 27th — and we realized that now, more than ever, we need to fight for acceptance of diversity through compassion. Believe me, this is not an easy leap to make for me!  My first response would be to throw a punch when faced with racism, so I give myself this reminder today, on World Kindness Day, November 13th.

Today is World Kindness Day (and boy do we need it)

And, as I think about kindness, I am reminded of Valerie at Inner Child Fun (different Valerie than Valarie at Jump Into a Book/Multicultural Children’s Book Day) and how she inspired me with her 35 Random Acts of Kindness Birthday Challenge. I knew I wanted to face my own upcoming 48th birthday this way. It wasn’t easy to pull it off; I needed a month, but it was the best birthday present ever!

And just like that … ripples of kindness actually spread. Read more…

Be Fearless Be Brave Hasbro

BE FEARLESS BE KIND & Giveaway

We know that, no matter what their background is, when kids know they can make a difference in the world, it’s transformative for them in a very positive way.

Please join me in Hasbro’s new philanthropic initiative, BE FEARLESS BE KIND. It’s designed to empower kids to have the compassion, empathy and courage to stand up for others and be inclusive throughout their lives.

We know it’s not always easy to be kind and kids need toolkits to help teach them and inspire empathy. BE FEARLESS BE KIND has engaged best-in-class partners who developed empathy and compassion tools & resources that parents can use: Ashoka and No Bully on the empathy piece, Special Olympics Unified for inclusion, and generationOn and Rock Your World for taking action.
Be Fearless Be Brave Hasbro

The goal: We want kids to stand up for others, include everyone, and take action when they see a problem.

Read more…

Our Teen Acne Solutions

Our Teen Acne Solutions

This is not a sponsored post — I wish! This is real life.

I was shocked to see my teen daughter’s medicine cabinet the other day. It looks like a Sephora store. It’s true that PickyKidPix, now 14 years old, is obsessed about skin care. She’s watched beauty YouTubers for a zillion hours. She has asked for acne starter kits from her relatives for birthday and Christmas gifts for the past two years.

Our Teen Acne Solutions

She’s also a bit of a hypochondriac. If she has the slightest rash on her face, she demands to go to the dermatologist. Once, I caved and actually took her. It was the fastest dermatologist appointment on the planet, with our nice derm trying to stifle a smile. Read more…

On Helping Your Kids Find Their Passion

On Helping Your Kids Find Their Passion

Today is our 21st anniversary and what stands out most for me is my husband’s ability to hold back his own desires of golf stardom for his children and let them find their way. This is not to say that our oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, did not receive a set of miniature golf clubs on her first Christmas when she was exactly 20 days old. Or that he didn’t take the kids out to the putting green as soon as they could walk. Because we did do that. It was a great photo oppt!

Read more…

i appreciate you gifts

I Appreciate You: 5th Grade Student Gift Idea

My kids had the same 5th grade teacher. One lovely tradition is this I Appreciate You Because … certificate that each student fills out for their classmates. Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyKidPix have one; here’s my son. I can’t believe that he graduated from 5th grade already!
I Appreciate You: 5th Grade Student Gift Idea

I was also thinking that this would make a lovely gift for anyone:

  • colleague departing at work
  • birthday gift (for my mom who is about to turn 90!). Must think of way to do this will all party guests!
  • for any grade as a graduation gift from preschool to high school
  • a classroom gift to a teacher
  • a gift to a coach Read more…
How Kids Can Impact the World

How Kids Can Impact the World

I was bringing two bags of groceries to our local food bank when a couple with their young daughter stepped into the elevator with me. They were loaded with bags including paper towels and food. They also had piles of toiletries to donate, so much so, that they needed to bring their car around and get some help. Where did all this bounty come from? Their little girl who looked around ten or eleven had asked for donations to this food bank instead of birthday gifts.

donating birthday gifts to charity

My son and his best friend did this for their 10th birthday. Instead of gifts, they asked for dog toys and collars for a local dog shelter. They delivered it themselves and were allowed to play with the dogs. It was the best birthday ever!
kids donate birthday gifts to charity

Here are five ideas for kids to change the world by donating to these charities. I picked organizations whose missions would resonate with kids. And even a very small donation can change someone’s life. These are gifts that give back more: they teach children gratitude. And it turns out that gratitude is the fastest path to happiness.

giving back, happiness and gratitude quote Read more…

How to Get the Most Out of Parent & Teacher Conferences

How to Get the Most Out of Parent & Teacher Conferences

Now that my kids are in high school and middle school, the Parent/Teacher conferences are much different than in elementary school when we met with one teacher for about fifteen or twenty minutes. That time period felt short, especially when the conferences were running late. The elementary school conferences focused on assessments the teacher gave as opposed to standardized testing, and how my child was doing. Next steps included ideas for books to read or additional ways to practice writing or math facts.

How to Get the Most Out of Parent & Teacher Conferences

Some of my son’s amazing teachers in elementary school on the last day of school!

Middle School Parent/Teacher conferences at my school are even shorter and we choose a combination of just two teachers: Math/History OR English/Science. The information was usually around completion of work, attitude in school, and quiz grades. Sometimes these conferences feel like confirming that the teachers know exactly who your child is.

How to Get the Most Out of Parent & Teacher Conferences

Our High School Parent/Teacher conferences are like a kind of sprint: 6 minutes per teacher and I think we can only meet with two. If the rooms are far apart — our high school has four floors — it is literally a sprint. This brief time period seems to focus on how my child is doing in that class from grades to attitude. It’s amazing but I found in high school that these teachers really have a good grasp of who my child is from early on.

How to Get the Most Out of Parent & Teacher Conferences

Given that there’s limited access to teachers (assuming that you don’t request or require more), my strategy is to:

  • Meet with teachers my child seems to complain about the most.
  • Meet with teachers that my child seems to have the hardest time academically.
  • Ask the teacher if they need things donated to their classroom. You’d be amazed how many teachers need basic items like hand sanitizer, and paper towels.
  • Convey positive feedback from my child about that teacher.
  • Thank them for their time. Parent/Teacher conferences make a long school day even longer for teacher!
  • How to Get the Most Out of Parent & Teacher Conferences

Today my guest author is Rocketship Education — a nonprofit network of public charter schools in the Bay Area, Nashville, Milwaukee, Tennessee and Washington, DC on Parent & Teacher Conferences. Since they are coming up in a few weeks, I hope this is helpful!

How about you? Please share your tips for getting the most out of Parent/Teacher conferences. Thanks!

My son’s 5th grade Parent/Teacher Conference focused on self assessment that he did of his own work and how he thinks he’s doing.

Read more…