How playing Gollum can boost reading skills

Lydia is in kindergarten now and easily picking up the "sight words" and phonics as they're taught.  There's no need to pressure her to pick up reading any faster, but I pounced on this opportunity to help her practice by doing something she was really interested in doing! The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is one … Continue reading How playing Gollum can boost reading skills

15 Ways to Build a Smarter Kid

I said that in 2019 I was going to write a series on this topic, and here it is New Year's Eve and I haven't! So here's my outline, and feel free to comment with questions about these topics, and I'll get to work on this in 2020! UPDATE: I've now filled in the outline … Continue reading 15 Ways to Build a Smarter Kid

Vinegar Girl, Bright April, Tell the Machine Goodnight [book reviews]

As we wrap up the second decade of the twenty-first century, I've been reading and thinking about things like the effects of immigration policy on science and marriage, how the struggle against racism has changed over time, and what weird new technologies may emerge in the 2020s. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler The cover emphasizes … Continue reading Vinegar Girl, Bright April, Tell the Machine Goodnight [book reviews]

Trixie Belden and the Little Fires Within You [book reviews]

My daughter Lydia is about to start kindergarten and is not really reading yet, only recognizing about 10 words.  That's fine.  When I was her age, I was reading on about a fourth-grade level, and that was fine, too--except that I got bored with the books in my classroom.  My father mentioned to a co-worker … Continue reading Trixie Belden and the Little Fires Within You [book reviews]