Getting Your Child Ready for Kindergarten

Getting Your Child Ready for Kindergarten Even though the August/September start date is a long way off, I want to chat about this a bit.  It is a big worry for some parents, especially as that big separation approaches. These might be some of your questions and/or fears: “Should I invest in a program to teach my toddler/pre-schooler to learn to read?” “Can my baby learn to ready from the program I’ve seen on television?” “Does my 4-year-old need a reading tutor?” “All of the moms I know are doing the things listed above.  Am I off base if we mostly play, read, and snuggle?” All excellent...

Everyone Loves a Good Mystery

Everyone Loves a Good Mystery I read plenty of mysteries as a kid.  Nancy Drew was so much more exciting than my every-day life.  But I wasn’t cut out to be a detective in the traditional sense. You’ve got to have a stick-to-it-ive-ness.  After reading Harriet the Spy, I kept an observation journal.  That lasted a day – maybe two, before I gave up. Nothing interesting was happening. My parents and my siblings and I spied on our neighbors who were constantly getting in trouble with the cops, but the excitement was short-lived, as we saw what it was doing to their kids.  I love uncovering answers at work, though,...

Doodle Away!

Doodle Away! I love doodling. It’s art without judgement and anyone can do it. You don’t need a degree, just need a writing utensil and your imagination. And kids are fantastic at it. These books are a great jumping off point for your budding artist. Cut out some pages and hang them on your fridge.  Or have them professionally matted and framed and hang them in your child’s room.  If you want to go all out -Put them up in a hallway and host an art opening for your artist.  What a great way to show your child that you value creativity – even in one of its smallest and least appreciated...

Hunger Games Fan? Read on!

Hunger Games Fan? Read on! This series has struck a chord. And there are lots of great theories as to why, but that’s not what interests me really.  The best thing about any book phenomenon is that it gets people reading.  The Nielsen Wire reports that “the average American watches more than 151 hours of TV per month, an all-time high.” And the Wall Street Journal reported in 2007 that, “one in four adults read no books in the previous year.” How many books have you read this year? For those of you who can’t get over reading the The Hunger Games, here are some titles you may not have heard of...

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate For those who loved Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo, you’ll want to run to the store or the library to get a copy of The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Here’s the low-down: Ivan is the star of a highway animal show in a .  All of the animals are locked in small cages and forced to perform for passing tourists, but the show isn’t doing so well, and the owner, Mack, decides to bring in a new star. When Ruby, a baby elephant, arrives on the scene, instead of getting jealous, Ivan is challenged to create a new life for...

Bed Time Routines

Bed Time Routines Wondering how to mix up your bedtime routine? Put aside those picture books and read a longer age-appropriate story to your youngsters. Some of my fondest memories was reading at night with my parents. Not only do most schools require nightly reading, but it is beneficial for your children to get into this routine as a youngster. This will help them unwind and get ready for bedtime. Reading before bed not only works on their listening skills, for which their teachers will thank you later, but it also creates memories that stick.  Once you finish, set aside a night as movie night and screen the film...

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