My son, Owen, has been pretty much obsessed with the Kendama for the past year.
And though I do stress that moderation is key for just about anything my kids do, I'm totally cool with him overdoing it with the Kendama. Why? A few reasons.
The Kendama has helped Owen increase his hand-eye coordination.
The Kendama has given Owen--and his buddies--a ton to do the past year.
The Kendama has boosted Owen's confidence.
The Kendama has allowed Owen and his Maryland Kendama Club to … Read More...
We often talk about race in our home, but lately my kids have become more and more curious about the struggles that many so many groups have faced--African-Americans in particular--throughout our history.
Yes, we have great books here, rich with information and ideas and stories, but I wanted a little more.
We need a little more.
So rather than fumble through their questions about race, history, and segregation, I wanted to give Maddy, Owen, and Cora some clarity--as much of the … Read More...
Last weekend, I had the great opportunity to drop everything and head to Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia for a girls' weekend getaway with three of my dearest friends.
We have been talking about getting together for a girls' weekend for years and years, and finally, we did it. Each of us have three children, spouses, and full-time jobs. Getting this organized was no easy feat.
But once we did it? We were thrilled.
Kingsmill Resort is … Read More...
How can you start to spread a little kindness now? At your home? With your kids? In your community?
I've got a few great books about kindness for you--must-have's for older and younger readers.
Grab a few of these kindness focused books for our younger readers:
How to Heal a Broken Wing, by Bob Graham
The Gardener, by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small
How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer and illustrated by Maurie J. Manning
The Rain Came Down, … Read More...
Four years ago was the very first year we volunteered as a family to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.
But it will not be the last.
Already, we're looking for other ways we can give back to our community this year to celebrate the life of this great man.
Family volunteering on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is easy, thanks to a handful of really awesome organizations designed to make finding volunteer opportunities the easy part.
Not even kidding.
It takes five … Read More...
I know for a while, we've all been thinking about gifts and gatherings and getting our families ready for the holidays, and now we're all cleaning up and returning and reorganizing and trying to be good and healthy about everything, but there's something everyone must do now.
I've got a must-send email to teachers from parents for you.
You need to touch base with your children's teachers. Now.
Because there's no better time than now to really know how your child is … Read More...
It's New Year's Interview time! (I can hardly believe it!)
This year, we made some minor adjustments to our traditional New Year's Family Interview because as the kids get older, I'm more interested in their thoughts and reflections than on their favorite color or best friend.
So after our late-afternoon fondue dinner, we busted out with the biggie ice-cream sundae fixings.
We made monster sundaes, got all crazy on sugar, and then got to work on our interviews--a fun and easy family … Read More...
Playing Sight Word Bingo with my first graders means that these kids are getting more and more practice learning these important words!
Like I've said before, it's imperative that emerging readers commit these words to memory since sight words often defy the rules of standard phonics. We need our readers to know these words by sight and to read them quickly and with automaticity.
What I love about Sight Word Bingo is that students are not only practicing reading sight words, but they're … Read More...
This time of the year is insane.
We're moving so quickly, our to-do lists are nuts, and often we're totally forgetting to breathe.
At least I am.
So when I saw my sweet and smart friend Danielle Smith, of Pretty Extraordinary, take a minute to say "thank you" to the delivery people, I stopped and smiled.
This is so simple. But it can really make someone's day.
Here's the skinny. . .
Thank You Delivery People -- Free Printable for Families
It's a simple "thank you" that you can … Read More...
Learning sight words is one of the most important things that our kids can do as they become readers.
However, learning sight words can also be one of the most boring things our kids can do as they become readers.
So it's up to parents and teachers to make learning these important words fun.
Over the years, though, I've come up with tons of super cool and super fun ways that our little ones can learn these important words because I know how important it is.
Now that I'm back in … Read More...