Recent Posts

How to help your child become a better reader {Part 1}

How to help your child become a better reader {Part 1}

Parents and educators are over-complicating the reading process

I feel like I have this secret for creating smart and wonderfully well-rounded little humans, but so many parents, educators, and other well-meaning mentors over-complicate the process. We worry about all the wrong things—the right toys, the perfect after school activities—and put way too much weight on test scores.

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6 tips to help you quit sugar for good

6 tips to help you quit sugar for good

For the past 3 months I’ve been eating pretty terribly, and I’ve blamed stress for all my choices.  I was feeling pretty bad, not fitting into my clothes, and depending on sugar for pick-me-ups throughout the day.  It got to the point where sugary treats didn’t even taste very good anymore, and like I could never have enough to satisfy me. It’s time for a change, so I decided I needed to adopt a no sugar diet, this time for the indefinite future. (more…)

Graphic Novels for girls

Graphic Novels for girls

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase using one of these links, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a small commission to help support this blog.

My 9 year old daughter is crushing on these books right now. They’re a part of her summer reading life, along with novels, audiobooks, and those huge fact books. Read or watch to see if these graphic novels are a good fit for your child.
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10 Reasons to Travel with Kids

10 Reasons to Travel with Kids

Travel, especially travel with kids is hard. Travel can be inconvenient, and it’s often exhausting. Since having kids, our travels have included lots of meltdowns, backseat bickering, bathroom accidents, spills and puke. It can also feel like a lot of work. It is a lot of work. You have to think through, prepare and pack up everything you need for you and for all the little bodies you care for. It’s super hard to be squished together, to have to figure out bathroom breaks, where and what to eat, and to travel late into the night. It’s hard to deal with each other’s crankiness when schedules become out of whack. (more…)

A Wonder Book Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

A Wonder Book Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase using one of these links, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a small commission to help support this blog.

Wonder Book Review by R.J. Palacio

A movie version of this book is coming out November 17, 2017. We are just so nerdy stinkin excited about this! (more…)

5 Packing tips for your next family road trip

5 Packing tips for your next family road trip

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase using one of these links, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a small commission to help support this blog.

We went on 1,378 road trips while we lived in rural Nebraska.  Okay, I don’t know the actual amount, but we spent many hours in the car while we lived there. You see, if you live in rural Nebraska, you will go on a mini-road trip just to go to Target, do airport pickups, or to see a high school volleyball game. We also went on one wild family road trip adventure through six states and to California, and we frequently drove 8 hours to visit family.  All that travel gave us an opportunity to appreciate the beauty in every place we visit, and to draw closer together as a family. 

Over the years, we’ve added thousands of miles to our car, and clocked hundreds of hours of family togetherness. All of the preparing and packing for our many family road trips turned me into a regular packing ninja. (At least a ninja who very frequently forgets to pack her own toothbrush.👊)

Anyway, here are my hacks. These tips will SAVE YOU.  (more…)

Children’s Book Review: The One and Only Ivan

Children’s Book Review: The One and Only Ivan

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase using one of these links, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a small commission to help support this blog.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate was such a fun and memorable read-aloud! Watch the video for the full children’s book review. See the cute illustrations inside the book, how the short chapters make it great for bedtime reading, and decide if this book would be a good pick for your family’s next read-aloud. If you don’t want to watch, keep reading and skip the video.  (more…)

The Best Educational Audio for Kids

The Best Educational Audio for Kids

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase using one of these links, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a small commission to help support this blog.

Audio improves language skills

Listening to audio is one of the best ways to help your child improve their vocabulary. Audio also allows young learners to engage in language with more complex sentence structure and vocabulary than what they are able to read on their own. In addition, audio can often introduce a listener to ideas or genres that they wouldn’t try otherwise. When I taught high school, my English classes listened to different types of audio on a regular basis for these same reasons. (more…)

How to have the Best Mother’s Day Ever

How to have the Best Mother’s Day Ever

You moms are killing it out there. You’re doing it. You are rocking the packed lunches, and the homework, and the reading to your kids and the being to school on time. I know these things, because the pick up line was very quiet when I dropped off my kids 15 minutes late this morning. You are doing amazing things, and I want you to feel amazing on Mother’s Day too. (more…)

8 Ways to Help Your Child Read More this Summer

8 Ways to Help Your Child Read More this Summer

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase using one of these links, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a small commission to help support this blog.

Summer is a fantastic time to help your child read more and become a confident reader. However, it’s easy to let the days fill up with swimming, sports, or day camps, and to let reading fall by the wayside. Smart parents use summer as a time for their children to read as much as possible because they know that reading keeps their mind active while they’re not in school, and that children need lots of time to practice reading to become proficient readers. I believe that summer reading can be magical for you and your child, especially if you try a few of the ideas in this post. (more…)