Realistic Fiction Books That Develop Empathy

life changing new 2015 middle grade chapter books

One of the best things about reading realistic fiction is that you don't have to always experience something to experience it. In other words, you can experience poverty, death, heartbreak, loneliness through the characters. In fact, it creates empathy to have experienced these things in literature. It creates compassion. “A great book should leave you with many experiences, … [Read more...]

Fabulous Activity Book: Fashion Rebel Outfit Maker

gifts for tweens teens

Fashion Rebel Outfit Maker: Mix and Mismatch Styles got my sick 13-year old teen to be creative and stay off technology while recuperating on the couch. She totally loved this activity book. In fact, it's great gift idea it is for your own tween or tween, don't you think? "It's really cool!" enthused my daughter. Today she wants to be a fashion designer. (Today.) But, … [Read more...]

Möbi Math Facts Game Review


Möbi is a crossword style game for math facts --basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and addition. I say basic because the numbers only go to 12 so you're limited in the equations you can create. Although you're competing against an opponent or opponents, it's almost like your own game since you work at your own pace to make equations and get rid of all your blue … [Read more...]

Engaging Geography Game: Passport to Culture

Passport to Culture Visa

I bought Passport To Culture® Game hoping it would be a fun geography game that would reinforce map skills and introduce culture to my kids. I'm so glad I did! It's already becoming one of our favorite games to play -- especially for my 13-year old who loves history and geography more than other subjects. Travel around the world and answer passport questions to get a … [Read more...]

STEAM Education Activity: Bungee Barbie

barbie bungee steam activity

Get out your Barbies (or any other action figures) for a super easy but tons of fun STEAM / STEM activity. Big thanks to my 10-year old's amazing science teacher, Chris Lazartic, for this fun science (physics,) engineering, and math (measurement,) activity idea! If you want the lesson plans for this activity, visit the NCTM website. STEAM Education Activity: Bungee … [Read more...]

8 Ways to Encourge Your Child’s Dreamer Traits

activities to enourage creativity and dreaming

My 10-year old daughter, Jemma, is a creative dreamer with artist traits.  Like the Lady Gaga song says, she was born this way, but I also intentionally provide a rich environment for her dreamer traits to flourish and thrive. Here are the specific ways I encourage my child's dreamer traits to sparkle into a brilliance all her own that you can do with your own children, … [Read more...]

Geography and History YouTube Channels for Elementary

educational youtube channels: geography and history

Recently, I shared the best STEM / STEAM YouTube channels.  Now let's look at the best geography and history YouTube channels for elementary kids, ages 5 - 11. Geography YouTube Channels Global Wonders DVD Series This channel only has a few movies but it's worth mentioning since you can buy the DVDs if you enjoy the content. Are We There Yet? National Geographic This … [Read more...]

STEAM YouTube Channels for Elementary Kids

STEM STEAM YouTube Learning Channels for Kids

A homeschool reader wrote to ask me my recommendations for educational YouTube channels. Which is a really fantastic question -- and deserves a few blog posts, don't you think? Let's start with the best  S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) YouTube channels. You know that it's hard to sift through the massive amount of channels, and find what's best … [Read more...]

Hottest Toy of the Season: Playmation! Avengers

Playmation! Avengers Review

Playmation! Avengers Starter Pack is a totally unique, awesomely fun wearable hybrid toy -- a video game/live-action combination from Disney. It'll be the hottest toy of the upcoming 2015 holiday season. Check out the Toys“R”Us ad or in-store special for exciting offers on Duracell batteries. And if you ask my kids, Playmation! Avengers is super fun to play because you are … [Read more...]