“How did you explain people’s different religions to your kids?” a fellow dad asked me recently. Short answer: I didn’t. But my children and I learned together by reading Mary Pope Osborne’s One World, Many Religions: The Ways We Worship. You and your little ones may already be familiar with her work because Osborne is the author of the Magic Tree House series. One World, Many Religions is written for grades 4 and up, and it introduces the seven major religions of the world: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Throughout the book, Osborne’s tone is … [Read more...]
I recently read Thank You Ma’am, a short story by one of my favorite writers, Langston Hughes, with my students and saw it with fresh eyes. If you are unfamiliar with the story, I highly recommend it. It is a short read. Read it. Or listen to it. For time’s sake, let me boil it down this way: Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones was walking on a dark street one night headed home. A young boy, Roger, attempts to rob her. However, the “large woman with a large purse” proved to be more of match for Roger than he expected. He falls trying to snatch the purse, and Mrs. Jones proceeds to put him in … [Read more...]
I killed a thousand butterflies. It's not my proudest moment. It happened right in front of my children, too. Not just my children, but 13 other children as well. Things could have gone better. This past summer in Iowa,dad;s butterflies migrated right through the center of the state. It happened to coincide with my annual "dad's trip." This is the trip my dad's group takes every year so we can build memories with our children. We pick a direction and go. We see the silliest of the silly. Large balls of twine or the world's largest set of overalls. And this time, we killed at least 17% of … [Read more...]
Is your family generally optimistic? In today’s anxiety-inducing culture, optimism can be elusive — especially for kids. Fortunately, a new book titled Making Lemonade: Teaching Young Children to Think Optimistically can help parents nurture their children’s sense of optimism from an early age. Laura Colker and Derry Koralek are early childhood educators who begin their book with a hopeful premise: optimism is primarily a learned way of thinking, not an inborn mindset. Genes account for “about 25 percent of our optimism ... the other 75 percent is determined by environment, social … [Read more...]
One of the many universal struggles we parents go through with our kids is getting them to eat diverse and healthy meals. Life, after all, has more and better things to offer than just chicken nuggets and boxed mac and cheese.
Help is here for many moms and dads with the arrival of The Adventurous Eaters Club: Mastering the Art of Family Mealtime, a new family cookbook by actor Misha Collins of TV's Supernatural and his wife, Vicki.
The book, available starting today, tells the Collins' story of struggling to get their firstborn … [Read more...]