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20 Smart Ways to Raise a Reader

How to get kids to read

My kids love to read, both of them. I love to read, and I’ve been reading books to them by the truckload since they were born. Reading and writing are the most important skills your kids need for school success, whether they go to school or are homeschooled. There is nothing more fundamental to communication than reading and writing. Building a love of the written word in your kids isn’t as easy as teaching them to read. You have to make it fun, enjoyable, and pleasurable. They have to look forward to it or you won’t have an enthusiastic reader … Read more

35 Things I Hope My Kids Will Say About Me Someday

I have been making calendars for my grandparents and parents since 1998. The last time we visited, Old Grandma got out the first couple for Joe to see. One of the earliest ones had a poem in it, one line per month. It went something like this: When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw your hang my painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another one. When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you tenderly care for dogs and cats and ducks, and I learned to be kind to animals. When you thought I wasn’t looking, … Read more

The Importance of One-on-One Time with Your Kids

I spend 15 minutes in devoted one-on-one time with each of my kids each day. We call it Momma-Gracie or Momma-Allie time. It’s special. I don’t allow interruptions of our special time together. No phone calls, no emails, no tv. Not even Joe can butt in. It’s time set apart to nurture my children’s hearts, to make them feel loved and important, to empower and enrich them. The first time I heard about devoted one-on-one time was from Amy McCready, creator of Positive Parenting Solutions and author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time…: The Revolutionary Program … Read more

10 Fun Uses for Baking Soda

baking soda

After writing two posts on how to use baking soda to clean things, I was getting a little bored with pragmatic information. This post contains nothing productive, but lots of really fun and interesting ways to use baking soda. Kids will love these, but so will adults! The science Every one of these activities present an awesome opportunity to talk to your kids (big or little) about science. When baking soda comes in contact with an acid (like vinegar or lemon juice), a chemical reaction occurs. The end result* of the reaction is the creation of water and carbon dioxide … Read more

10 Fun Fall Activities for the Whole Family

10 Fun Fall Activities for the Whole Family

Any day can be a big day. Isn’t that kind of the point of my blog? Live fully every day. Make them all count. I am not exactly the mother I intended to be (or imagined I would be), but I try to make every day with my kids count. Even when we have to stay home and clean the living room or do schoolwork that’s not thrilling or when someone is sick or the kitchen is dirty or the cupboards are bare, we can have a great day. Scholastic and Kellogg’s® Frosted Mini-Wheats® also want parents to know that every day can … Read more

The Hay Slide and Horse-Shaped Swing

Last weekend, we took a break from painting pumpkins and acorns and we went to a garden center where there was lots of hay and a horse-shaped swing made out of a rubber tire. Fun times. My girls played on a hay slide for a half hour. Up and down, rolling over and over. Pretend to be falling and then slip so slowly over the edge! Head first, feet first, on their bellies like penguins. It was fun to watch. Probably even more fun to do. ‘ And this horse. I have pictures of both girls on this horse last … Read more