Posts from the ‘homeschooling’ Category

CLEVER AND CREATIVE

Spectacular Stories for Creative Kids

Written by Jesse Sullivan

The author has a way with words. Sullivan has succeeded in telling 100 stories about history, science, art, and culture and with wit and charm. Young readers will be intrigued by topics like ghosts, curses, snakes, space, and vampires. Each story reveals an adventure and interesting facts. Black and white illustrations accompany many of the chapters. Young readers unwittingly learn a lot while they are laughing and having a great time reading.

This is a book they will want to share with friends and family. Targeting the middle-grade audience ages nine through fourteen, but any age reader will enjoy and appreciate these gems.

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PUZZLES AND HISTORY

The Secret of the Snallygaster: Washington, DC., USA (Cities of Adventure)

Written by Rishi Piparaiya

This book is part of a series. In this adventure, the author presents a travel guide to Washington D.C, while presenting a family mystery for the protagonists to solve.

Tara is an insatiable reader, while her younger brother is more interested in sports. They are on a family trip to the US capitol, when they uncover a family mystery. As they wind themselves through the historical monuments and museums of the city, they follow the clues to solve the mystery contained in the yellow envelope they find in Arlington Cemetery.

Readers learn about the museums of the Smithsonian, the National Zoo, the White House and the National Mall as they follow clues. There are a lot of bonus features like a short American history summary, a description of American versus British English, interesting facts about the US, and some of its famous people.

The book is perfect for middle-grade readers who shy away from nonfiction. It is an easy read with short chapters for reluctant readers. Recommended to teachers and parents looking for a good children’s travel guide or American history introduction.

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BUILDING A STRONG FOUNDATION

The Top Secret List to Becoming a Superhero

Created by Adisan Books

This book is recommended for children ages two through five. It teaches them that a superhero should focus on helping all members of the community through acts of kindness, empathy, making others happy, and treating others just the way you would like to be treated. A superhero does not need to perform herculean physical tasks.

The picture book is very short but gets the message across in easy-to-read speech bubbles with large colorful illustrations, reminiscent of a comic book format. It is a good introduction to digital citizenship and the building of strong community and family ties.

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RAINY DAY FUN FOR ALL

Ultimate At Home Activities for Kids: 159 ways to keep children busy

Designed by Kate and Chris Stead

This activity book is a parent or caretaker’s go to resource when the kids are bored. The only materials needed are paper, pencils, the internet and common household materials like glue and scissors.

It is not age specific. Some activities are simple enough for preschoolers while others will entertain teens. Here are some of the topics: zoos, Olympics, arts and crafts, movement activities, bears, pirates, legos, music, and libraries.

Children can perform the activities by themselves, in groups, or have a competition.

I highly recommend it for entertaining children of any age.

Check out my learning opportunities for the entire family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

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A Melting Pot

One Big Heart: A Celebration of Being More Alike Than Different

Written by Linsey Davis

Illustrated by Lucy Fleming

This is a very short interactive book that parents or teachers may use to discuss diversity with preschool and primary grade children. The author presents the material from a Christian viewpoint. Some families who reject that concept will need to explain or eliminate those parts of the story.

Children are asked to study the pictures and relate how we are all alike, make friendship bracelets, draw faces with different skin tones, and share their favorite foods. The heart activity demonstrates the love we feel within for all.

The book is a good starting point on the topic of multiculturalism.

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A nice way to learn about African history

Njinga of Ndongo

Written by Ekiuwe Aire

Illustrated by Natalia Popova

This beautifully written picture book is a wonderful addition to the library of late elementary and middle-school students. It relates the story of an African princess who became queen of two African kingdoms of the 1600s.

Njinga survived a difficult birth. After her father breathed life into her, he realized she was a survivor. Despite the jealousy of her older brother, Njinga succeeded in school and observed carefully. When her brother became king, she had to flee, but she returned when the country needed her.

This story is told simply yet eloquently. The illustrations are exquisite. There are beautiful maps, a timeline and historical facts that provide a plethora of information on African and Portuguese history.

I highly recommend the book to parents, teachers and librarians as a valuable reference book on medieval African history. It also provides a strong role model for young women who seek to be the future leaders of tomorrow.

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How to Set Your Child Up for Lifetime Success by Helping Them Learn in School


Many people place value on educational success. Whether you feel it’s important to
attain socioeconomic status, increase earning power, or simply be more of a
well-rounded person, there are many arguments for pro-school attitudes.

From the start of a child’s beginning in school, when they are in preschool or
kindergarten, we can cultivate an attitude of success, growth, and eagerness in
them.

As they grow, their own success will depend more and more on themselves as they
make their own choices. However, there are some things you can do to make it more
likely they’ll succeed.


Routines and Daily Habits

For example:

  • Bodybuilders’ routines involve going to the gym each day.

  • A firefighter’s routine involves putting on gear and getting into the truck as quickly and safely as possible.

  • Police officers have routines when clearing a crime scene.

  • Garbage men have routines to pick up trash in the most methodical order as possible.

A routine for a child in school is no different. Explaining to your child that everyday professionals and jobs use routines is also important so they will understand the value in it.

The routine you choose for your child depends on your individual child, but basically involves setting aside a specific time of day and place for something related to their education.

What do successful school routines look like?

Consider these routines:

  • Completing homework everyday after school at the kitchen table

  • Writing down each subject’s homework in a daily journal or planner

  • Eating a healthy breakfast each morning with your student and discussing school

  • Asking your child about one or two important lessons they learned in school that day

Educational Check-In

While the singular job of a student is to go to school each day, the job of that student’s parent or caretaker is to help the student cultivate an attitude of learning. Despite the fact that we, as parents and guardians, have our own busy lives to deal with, it’s important to keep in mind that our children also are growing and learning.

There are many conversation starters revolving around school, and it is critical that parents set aside time each day to ask about school.

For example, you can ask:

  • What happened in school

  • How the school day went

  • What they learned

  • Whether anything was surprising

  • Or even what grades they got on tests

For older students, having a more in-depth conversation related to the transfer of educational knowledge to the real world is important.

Value of Report Card Grades

Some parents choose to motivate their children with rewards for good grades. While there are arguments for and against giving a child money for earning an “A” or a “B” on a report card, this can be done in a responsible way.

The basic idea is to motivate them with external rewards, but then phase it out as they grow older and the motivation comes from within themselves.

Overall, there are certainly many things you can do to jumpstart the excitement and energy that students have for school. With parenting, there are no right or wrong answers and you can even devise your own system for motivating your student for success.
 

DIFFERENT YET ALIKE

Family Means…:A children’s picture book about diversity, inclusion, and love

Written by Matthew Ralph

Illustrated by Badrus Soleh

This multicultural picture book reveals the plethora of family groups that may make a family. It includes families of different races, religions and abilities, including those with disabilities.

The author emphasizes the qualities that families share rather than the physical or surface differences. For example, families share activities, work as a team, learn from each other, cheer each other up, and love one another.

At the end of the book, there is a space for readers to interact by defining what family means to them and drawing a picture of their own family. A charming bedtime story or read aloud book for preschool and elementary school children, families, and teachers.

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STORYTELLING STEP BY STEP

HOW TO TELL WRITE AND MAKE UP A STORY: CHILDREN’S STORYTELLING LEARNING BOOK PART 1

Rose Press House

An interesting approach to teaching the art of storytelling. In Part 1 of this series, readers meet Tom, a 12 year old boy who loves listening to stories. Tom, his uncle, spends lots of time doing telling Tom stories. One day, Tom suggests that they change things up. He asks the boy to tell him a story. The boy is at a loss. He says he does not know how to do that.

Patiently, Tom guides the boy step by step. Through their conversation, he guides readers through the process. First, Tom decides on the main character and describes him. Then he sets a moral and theme for his story. The boy decides on a name for his story and develops an outline to put the details that support his character and theme in order. Then the boy writes a draft of the first part of his story and shows it to an adult to read. But the story is not finished. The boy needs to complete the transitions, details, and supplementary characters that will provide a resolution or completion of the story. That will be coming in Part 2.

I liked this casual approach using storytelling as a vehicle not only to develop communication skills, but also to teach the steps necessary to write an effective story. Many middle-grade students who have difficulty organizing both their ideas and putting them down on paper will enjoy this unique approach to oral and written storytelling.

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#TINGTINGTHEGIRLWHOSAVEDCHINA

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Ryan O’Connor

ABOUT THE BOOK

Ting Ting, the Girl Who Saved China

Written by Ryan O’Connor

Illustrated by Xiang Minghui

Ages 6-10 | 48 Pages

Publisher: Xlibris Corp | ISBN-13 : 978-1664153189

Publisher’s Synopsis: Li Li Wang is enjoying Chinese New Year with her family when her grandparents ask her to sit with them. Before giving Li Li her holiday gift, they tell her the story of Ting Ting Wang, Li Li’s ancestor, and how she became a Chinese hero. Li Li carefully listens as her grandparents tell her about Ting Ting, the monster Nian, and the origin of the Chinese New Year celebration. Ting Ting, the Girl Who Saved China provides insight into China’s biggest holiday, gives a sense of its culture, and shows that girls are just as strong and brave as boys.

PURCHASE LINKS

https://amzn.to/2R1YdPv

https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9781664153189

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ryan O’Connor is a literature and writing teacher in Shanghai, China, and the author of the children’s book series Bobby the Bear. With a background in sports journalism and education, Ryan has turned his focus to writing children’s books. Through unique characters, Ryan provides children with moral and life lessons. Ryan has earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in education; he has also won numerous awards for sports writing. Ryan is a native of Pittsburg, Kansas, but has spent the past ten years living in Shanghai.

To learn more about Ryan and his books, visit his website at www.ryanoconnorauthor.com.

MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK

A FAMILY TRADITION

Ting, Ting, the Girl Who Saved China

Written by Ryan O’Connor

Illustrated by Xiang Minghui

Six-year-old, Li Li Wang is getting ready to celebrate Chinese New Year with her parents and grandparents. Her grandmother, Nai, Nai, and grandfather, Ye Ye, decide to tell her about the story of one of her ancestors, Ting Ting Wang.

Ting Ting lived on a farm with her parents and older brothers in the village of Tianyu many years ago. At that time no one paid attention to girls. Ting heard about the monster named Nian who was half unicorn and half dragon. Every year Nian would roam the countryside and attack the villages on New Year’s Eve. Across China, the residents hid themselves, their animals and possessions from the wanton attacks of the monster. But Ting Ting was not afraid. She knew if attacked she would stand and fight. When Nian appeared in her village, she dressed in red, decorated the house with red banners, and set out loud firecrackers. The monster became disoriented and fled. This legend has been handed down from generation to generation.

Elementary grade readers learn about Chinese culture, traditional foods, and customs like the tradition of the red envelope. The multicultural illustrations are charming and vibrant. This tale is a wonderful way to introduce students to Asian culture. Recommended as a read aloud for classroom discussion or a bedtime story for children ages three through eight.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a set of books by Ryan O’Connor, including Ting Ting, the Girl Who Saved China!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A copy Ting Ting, the Girl Who Saved China
  • A Ting Ting Bookmark
  • A copy of Bobby the Bear and His Missing Dinner
  • A copy of Merry Christmas, Bobby the Bear

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A copy Ting Ting, the Girl Who Saved China

The giveaway begins June 1, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends June 30, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY.

https://gleam.io/Wl38D/ting-ting-the-girl-who-saved-china-book-giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Tuesday, June 1, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewTour Kick-OffTing Ting, the Girl Who Saved China
Tuesday, June 1, 2021Lisa’s ReadingA book review ofTing Ting, the Girl Who Saved China
Wednesday, June 2, 2021A Dream Within a DreamA book review ofTing Ting, the Girl Who Saved China
Thursday, June 3, 2021Library Lady’s Kid LitA book review ofTing Ting, the Girl Who Saved China
Friday, June 4, 2021J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review ofTing Ting, the Girl Who Saved China
Sunday, June 6, 2021Feminist Books for KidsA book review ofTing Ting, the Girl Who Saved China
Monday, June 7, 2021Crafty Moms ShareA book review ofTing Ting, the Girl Who Saved China
Tuesday, June 8, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledAn interview withRyan O’Connor
Wednesday, June 9, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofTing Ting, the Girl Who Saved China
Thursday, June 10, 2021Over Coffee ConversationA Beyond the Book ActivityTing Ting, the Girl Who Saved China
Friday, June 11, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofTing Ting, the Girl Who Saved China
Wednesday, June 16, 2021Heart to HeartA book giveaway ofTing Ting, the Girl Who Saved China
Thursday, June 17, 2021The Momma SpotA book review ofTing Ting, the Girl Who Saved China
Friday, June 18, 2021Books Are Magic TooAn interview withRyan O’Connor
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