• Family,  learning

    Books My Kids Are Reading Part 6

    Books, books and more books! Welcome back to what has become an on-going series sharing the children’s books my kids and I are reading. Before I get to the list of books we’ve enjoyed recently, I want to show you a neat booklet our local Irish library system publishes. It is a reading guide for different age groups from toddlers up to young adults. It includes both fiction and non-fiction recommendations. The library must have a fairly robust budget to produce this booklet and I have no complaints about that! The reading guide is compiled by a group of ‘book doctors’ who are all children’s book specialists. They have backgrounds…

  • Family,  learning

    Kid Wisdom: Everyday Superpowers

    Picture it. The kids and I are on a packed commuter train at 8:27 a.m. We’re standing, of course, because it’s a Monday morning and everyone has to get to work on time on a Monday. By Friday they won’t care as much and the train will be less crowded. I’m wearing my son’s backpack because 2nd grade homework is HEAVY and holding my own backpack with my left hand. With my right hand I’m holding onto one of the vertical bars to keep my balance as the train stops and starts. The kids are clustered next to me attempting whatever movement they can get away with in a packed…

  • Family,  Ireland,  learning

    We’re Not Catholic, but I Sent My Kids to Mass

    My kids went to Catholic Mass today. We’re not Catholic. We’re American expats living in Ireland where the public school system is run by the Catholic Church with public tax dollars. Even many private schools are Catholic-influenced. Our kids (now 7 and 10) attend a private school that is not Catholic run. As a percentage, there aren’t a lot of these schools in Ireland, but they are growing in number and popularity. Twice a year our school offers the children an opportunity to attend a community-wide Mass during school hours. All the various primary schools in the parish attend. Of course, as parents, we have the right to opt our…

  • learning

    Interesting 5-Minute Reads

    Let’s get a little random today! I haven’t read any books worth talking about lately, but I have read some awesome essays on a variety of topics. Regardless of whether or not I agree with the opinion or topic, I love it when an author propels me to contemplate the issue at hand. Here are 4 articles I found interesting this week. Having It All Kinda Sucks I have wasted far too much time questioning my life choices related to working and motherhood. It’s ridiculous and I know I’m not alone. The essay Having It All Kinda Sucks by Amy Westervelt sums the issue up much more eloquently than I ever could. That Amy,…

  • Food,  learning

    Friday Funny

    I recently started reading How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell with my children. Do you remember that book? One boy takes a bet to eat 15 worms in 15 days and if he does his friends will give him $50. A movie was made in 2006 based on the book. From what I can tell from this trailer, the premise is a little different, but something my kids would probably eat right up. Pun definitely intended. My kids are loving this book. It has the kid factor, the gross factor and the “would I really do it” factor going on. On the day we started reading this book, I took the kids…

  • Food,  learning

    Learning Fractions the Banana Bread Way

    Last week bananas were piling up on my kitchen counter. It was quickly becoming a DEFCON “EWWW” situation. I needed to bring resolution to the predicament ASAP because I really, really don’t like to waste produce. Enter my favorite banana bread recipe which uses 4 bananas. Not a problem! I had 6 bananas. I was going to leave the other two bananas sitting there all lonely and forlorn on the counter when I realized I didn’t have to waste them. I could make a batch and a half of banana bread because I’m good with fractions. I went to public school, folks. I know what you are thinking. “Annisa, this is starting off as…

  • holidays,  learning

    How to Ask Your Kids About Their School Day

    Hey, hey! Is your household still basking in the glow of summer? Or are you like us and summer is a distant memory? We are in the middle of week 2 of school. How long until Winter Break??? These days, it’s a good morning if mommy only yells a few times “Hurry Up! The bus will be here soon.” Sad, but true. Please tell me I’m not the only one. I saw this really cool graphic on CNN recently that showed a sampling of when school starts throughout the United States. It seems more and more schools are moving to August start dates. Interesting, right? Here’s the full CNN article. Image below…

  • Crafts,  Family,  Food,  learning

    Notebook Paper Lunchbox Notes – Free Printable

    We are in back-to-school countdown mode around these parts! I always associate the start of school with fall, but in Georgia it is still 95 degrees. Definitely not fall-like weather. Maybe in a couple of months… But whether I think it feels like the start of school or not, it’s still starting! Time to get with the program. Last year I started packing my daughter’s lunch with reusable lunchbox notes. I made these day-of-the-week notes and will keep using them this year. They’ve held up great! (There’s a free printable if you click on the link to that post.) This is my son’s first time in all-day school, so he gets to…

  • learning

    Kindergarten Sight Word Flash Cards – Free Printable

    I’m a mean mom. I make my kids do reading, writing and arithmetic during their summer break. My son just finished up Pre-K and earlier this year I noticed he was starting to put sounds together and showing interest in learning how to read. So, we dipped our foot in that water and lo and behold, the little stinker knew more than he was letting on! He’s started reading the Bob Books, but I asked his Pre-K teacher about what sight words he would need to know or would learn next year in kindergarten. For some reason, I imagined she would give me a handy deck of flash cards to…