Well, it's happened with the second child: That moment when a total stranger interrupts my reading aloud to voice the opinion that the child is too young to understand what I'm reading. Here's how I described this phenomenon when my first child was 4 years old: I must say, I got far less flak from … Continue reading Our kids understand books because we read them books!
Tonight I attended a meeting at my son's school (grades K-8) about the decision to hire a full-time security guard and get a metal detector. I meant to do some research before the meeting on the extent to which schools with metal detectors have experienced shooting rampages, compared to schools without. I ended up not … Continue reading Do metal detectors prevent school shootings?
A few years ago, some people from Alumni Relations invited me out to lunch so they could ask for my perspective (about 20 years after graduation) on what my Carnegie Mellon education has meant to me. I was flattered, and it was such an interesting question to consider that I've thought about it many times … Continue reading What I Really Learned in College
My three-year-old Lydia and I recently enjoyed a picture book from our local library, Jacob's New Dress by Sarah & Ian Hoffman, illustrated by Chris Case. Jacob is a preschool boy who enjoys wearing dresses from the costume box but is criticized by his classmate Christopher. His mom is kind about his hurt feelings, but when … Continue reading Every school needs a Jacob!
This month I read two books that were new to me and two I'd read before but didn't remember well. 36 Children by Herbert Kohl Mr. Kohl was a white, Jewish graduate of Harvard and Columbia who agreed to teach sixth grade in a public school in Harlem in 1962. The school was only 29 … Continue reading Some Old and Some New: September Book Reviews
Happy Earth Day! Before I get to my main topic, I've got some special offers to tell you about... First, instead of buying anything, check out the beautiful photographs in the Capture Conservation photo contest sponsored by the Student Conservation Association! UPDATE: The sale on PlanetBox stainless steel lunchboxes has ended, but check out our … Continue reading Some Plants Are For Eating
I didn't specifically plan to read about foreign cultures in 2016, but the books I got for Christmas happened to include three translated from Swedish, one translated from Japanese, one set in rural Louisiana, and one about houses around the world--so these are what I've been reading! I reviewed the other two Swedish books last … Continue reading Books from Other Cultures: Japan, Sweden, Louisiana…
This is a guest post by Maria Ramos. Maria is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a minor in Communication. She blogs about environmentally friendly tips, technological advancements, and healthy active lifestyles. Without positive human intervention, global … Continue reading 5 Must-See Environmental Documentaries
Ah, December, the month when the days are getting shorter and shortest as we try to pack in shopping, parties, preparations for hospitality or travel, and tranquil spiritual contemplation along with all our usual activities! It makes a kid who persistently wants attention all the more annoying. The December my son Nicholas turned two, I … Continue reading The Nutcracker: music for the imagination
As a professional data manager, I still don't get enough information to pore over, so I sometimes spend my lunch break delving into the WordPress stats page that tells me how people find The Earthling's Handbook. One of the more interesting features is the list of phrases typed into search engines that brought people here, … Continue reading What Earthlings Want to Know
My third-grade son and I came up with a game that was a lot of fun and valuable math practice and physical exercise for him, while being very easy for me and using only a few basic supplies that were easy to set up and clean up. This is a perfect activity for families in … Continue reading GAME SHOW!! with math practice
My eight-year-old Nicholas created this picture that he wants you to share everywhere and put in a place where you will see it often. He wants you to think, every time you see it, about what you can do to help animals of all kinds to be safe in this world we share. How can … Continue reading Help Save the Animals!
Huh, why am I still talking about Easter on May fifteenth? Everybody knows Easter was way back in March this year! Well, yes, Easter Sunday, the commemoration of the day when Jesus rose from the dead, was on March 31, but Easter actually is a season that lasts seven weeks in the Episcopal Church and … Continue reading Easter: Is it just a believing?
Martin Luther King, Jr., has been one of my heroes as long as I can remember. Since my son Nicholas was 3 years old, I've made a point of doing something on Martin Luther King Day each year to remember Dr. King and his principles. That first year, we discussed the basics of the civil … Continue reading Martinopoly: What My Kid Did for Martin Luther King Day
Our son Nicholas is in second grade at a great public school! Each month, he has to do two science projects at home. I really like the way these projects are organized, and although each student is given a paper copy to bring home, I think it's wonderful that the lists of projects are available … Continue reading Lots of Science Projects for Kids!
I recently had a birthday and was very pleased to be given three books from Dover Publications. Daniel knows that I can never get enough floor-plan books, and Dover prints gobs of great ones! They also have a wide selection of nonfiction, classic fiction, children's books, coloring books, how-to-draw books, clip-art collections, puzzle books, nature … Continue reading Our Favorite Publisher of Affordable Books
A little late for Earth Day, I'm linking to this wonderful video that has entertained and motivated me many times since I first saw it when I was five years old. I can't say that it was this singing Earth who first inspired me to care about the environment. My parents set a pretty good … Continue reading The Singing Earth
There are two important facts about the blood types of parents and their children that are not widely known. One of them caused an unexpected health problem in my family, and the other could have caused a much more serious problem but didn't. Please read the facts in red text, and click on the red … Continue reading Important Information on Blood Types of Parents and Children
Nicholas has been getting an allowance since he turned five years old, almost two years ago. He does not get the "$1 per year of age, per week" recommended by many parenting magazines--that's crazy! I use the method my father taught me of dividing the money into Spend, Save, and Share categories: Nicholas gets 50 … Continue reading Money Management and Consequences for a First Grader
We live on a quiet street, but just around the block is the main street of our neighborhood, which has lots of traffic, parallel parking along both sides, and lots of intersections where right turns on red are allowed. Only some of the intersections have traffic lights and walk signals. There are lots of useful … Continue reading Traffic Safety for Little Kids