Our nine-year-old Nicholas has been interested in home decorating since he was about four years old. I often get frustrated with his desire to set up things that are merely decorative, have no useful purpose, and just get in my way! I am even more irritated when he wants to buy things just for decorating. … Continue reading Centerpiece
This is a guest post by Nicholas Efran, nine-year-old son of 'Becca and Daniel. He wrote this article for the June 2014 issue of the Colfax Communicator, his school's newsletter. (Mr. Sikorski is the principal.) We hope it inspires other kids to start recycling things that are getting thrown away in their schools! Three third-graders … Continue reading Recycling Used-Up Pens and Markers
Welcome to the June 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Animals This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about kids and animals. *** When my cousin Samantha was three years old … Continue reading Vegetarianism and Animal Rights: Explaining to Children
We aren't sports fans in our family. Exercise is good, but we're not much interested in playing sports and even less interested in watching sports. But we live in Pittsburgh, a city with three professional sports teams that are a major focus of the local culture. We can't help noticing when one of the teams … Continue reading Saving Money on Sports Fan Gear
When my parents visited us the Christmas before last, my mother made her grandmother's traditional animal cookies: a buttery dough that you roll out and cut with cookie cutters (they don't have to be animal shapes, of course) and bake and frost. The recipe makes a huge batch, so she divided it and froze two … Continue reading How to use long-frozen cookie dough
I'm not using the term "pesco-vegetarian" in the title like I have for many of my other multi-week meal plans because I think "meatless" is the more common word people are searching for in Lent. My family eats no meat at home except occasional fish--which does not count as "meat" in many fasting plans, for … Continue reading Four Weeks of Mostly Meatless Dinners (February)
I'm an easily chilled sort of person. I like to feel warm and cozy, and being cold upsets me. In any given weather conditions, I'm usually wearing at least as many garments as the average person, often more. My son Nicholas seems to feel warm most of the time. He's often quite calm and comfortable … Continue reading My kid doesn’t have to wear a coat.
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!
He never believed in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, either. There are three important reasons why Daniel and I decided, before Nicholas was born, that we were not going to pretend that any of these characters were real.The first is that we didn't like the idea of lying to our child. We felt … Continue reading Why my kid never believed in Santa Claus
Welcome to the September 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Staying Safe This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and tips about protecting our families. Please read to the end to find a list of … Continue reading Gradually Expanding Range for a Child Walking Alone
Daniel is the lunchbox-packing parent in our family. He was in charge of grinding up leftovers for baby Nicholas to eat at childcare, and he has packed a lunch for Nicholas to take to school every day for the past three grades and to day camp every day for the past two summers. We love … Continue reading A Week of Vegetarian Lunchbox Lunches
This is a controversial and confusing question. Some people go on and on about how parenthood melted their selfish hearts and made them realize the importance of devoting themselves fully to making their children's lives perfectly wonderful and completely safe. Other people go on and on about how children are hedonistic little leeches whose spirits … Continue reading Should Your Family Be Child-centered?
Want to decorate your home for a party? You could buy a bunch of bright-colored paper streamers or rubber balloons that you inflate with air. These things are inexpensive, but they're typically made in China by exploited workers in polluting factories and then shipped halfway around the world to you, wasting a bunch of fossil … Continue reading FREE Earth-friendly Party Decorations!
If you have any opinions at all about the appropriate methods of disciplining children, and if you are ever anywhere near any families with different opinions, someday you will find yourself in this situation: Your child sees another parent respond to a child's behavior in a way that your child recognizes as different, which may … Continue reading What to Do When Your Child Witnesses Bad Discipline
I am an Episcopalian, raising my son Nicholas (now eight years old) as an Episcopalian, but I was raised Unitarian myself, so I've had to figure out a lot of this Christian parenting stuff as we go along. I've talked with some other parents in the same boat, as well as some who don't belong … Continue reading How I told my child the Easter story
This is a simple tip that I can see is familiar to a lot of the natives here in Pittsburgh, but it took me many years to catch on. I grew up in Oklahoma, where winter precipitation tends to involve freezing rain, so a lot of what you have to clear from your sidewalk is … Continue reading Shovel snow with a broom!
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
We strive to be the kind of family that shares meals--not the kind that "has to" fix nuggets and fries for the kid every night! The reality is somewhere in between. Many of my multi-week menus indicate adaptations for Nicholas: We prepared meal components separately and served his in separate dishes not touching, while we … Continue reading How to Get a Kid to Like Mushrooms
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!