“You need to talk more in class.” Introverted Kids in Today’s Schools

April 18, 2013

Ashley is an 11 year-old who lives in our neighborhood.  She’s soft-spoken and curious.  Her big brown eyes constantly take in the world around her.  A while back I bumped into Ashley’s mother and we got to talking.  I asked how Ashley’s transition to middle school had gone this year, since our son Daniel had […]

Read the full article →

“Kids, What Are Your Teachers’ Pet Peeves?” A Creative Way to Raise Children’s Social Awareness

August 23, 2012

At my kids’ elementary school we aren’t told who their teacher will be until the day before school begins.  One year, right after teacher assignments were posted, my son Daniel came to me with a look of concern. “Mama, I got the strict teacher.  Everyone says she’s really hard and no fun at all.  What […]

Read the full article →

The Power of the Written Word: New Info from Neuroscience

April 18, 2012

Recently Jhumpa Lahiri wrote a striking phrase: “[S]urely it is a magical thing for a handful of words, artfully arranged, to stop time.  To conjure a place, a person, a situation, in all its specificity and dimensions. To affect us and alter us, as profoundly as real people and things do.” I took particular notice […]

Read the full article →

Teaching Kids to Save Money

September 2, 2011

Saving versus spending:   Each of my three kids falls into a separate section of this continuum, depending on how recently they received birthday money.  On the one hand it’s enlightening to see what my kids choose to buy with their own money.  It’s a window into their young minds.  Recent purchases at our home […]

Read the full article →

How Not to Read Shakespeare

June 16, 2011

My plan had such potential!  Why did it crash and burn so quickly? I wanted to read some Shakespeare with my kids this summer.  When I mentioned my idea to a few other parents, one loaned me a version of The Tempest that she and her 10 year-old daughter had loved.  It was an adaption […]

Read the full article →

Setting Goals: Unexpected Results

May 12, 2011

Summer vacation is right around the corner.  I always get a little panicky this time of year.  The entire summer yawns out before us.  And my three energetic kids rarely transition smoothly into its less-structured rhythms. Recently I saw something that encouraged me to put a tad more structure into our wide-open summer. I was […]

Read the full article →

Encouraging Innovation and Ingenuity

April 28, 2011

Recently our family’s dinner conversation centered on the anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the current disaster at the nuclear power plant in northern Japan.  No, not all our dinner table topics are this sober. “Okay, which one of you said you were going to invent an efficient and […]

Read the full article →

Mountain Goats and Spiderman: Using the Tools of the Mind Program

April 7, 2011

Over Spring Break our family visited two National Parks in Utah, Arches and Canyonlands.  We stayed in the small town of Moab, where an interesting mix of ex-uranium miners and twenty-something mountain bike enthusiasts live tucked in between towering red rock mountains.  Although the boys and Todd did enjoy some challenging mountain bike trails which […]

Read the full article →

Starting at a New School

March 11, 2011

My friend Maria is moving her second grade daughter, Tina, to a new school next year.  She thinks this school will be a better fit for Tina in the long run, but she’s worried about how Tina’s transition will go. Maria recently asked me, “Will you write an article on helping kids make big transitions […]

Read the full article →

Turning Kids Into Readers: Seven Tips I Never Learned from Schools

January 27, 2011

I knew having three kids would make me a more humble parent, I just didn’t realize how much more humble! When it comes to reading, each of our kids has taken a different path.  We have one who was a natural reader.  He would have loved reading no matter what we did as parents.  If […]

Read the full article →