Posts from the ‘homeschooling’ Category

ONLY E

Letter E Leaves the Alphabet

Written and illustrated by Martha Lane

Letter E decides that he wants to leave his alphabet family. He is tired of never being first. Even in the vowel group, his sister letter A always assumes first place. Despite his family’s assurances, that he is unique and cannot be replaced, E writes a letter and takes off on a snowmobile.

The book might be used as an introduction to the alphabet for young children. It contains a sentence rhyme for each of the alphabet letters. But the main message is that like every letter, each child is unique and irreplaceable. Will the alphabet family convince him to return or will the previously written words need to be changed?

This book is based on a true-life experience with a child named, Eric. Recommended as a read-aloud self-esteem book or as an alphabet teaching tool.

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COMMUNITY COALITION

Nobody’s Cats: How One Little Black Kitty Came in from the Cold

Written by Valerie Ingram and Alistair Schroff


The authors wrote this book based on a true story and contribute the proceeds of sales to animal welfare.

One day a little boy finds a hungry black kitten in the snow next to an old shed. He notices that there are many other cats there. Children passing the cats throw rocks at them. The boy asks neighbors in the area who owns the cats. They tell him that these cats are feral cats that belong to no one.

A few months pass by before a visitor to the boy’s schools comes to teach them about animal rescue. The boy learns he can become a superhero. He can spearhead a community effort to care for these abandoned animals. What will happen to the black kitty? How can the community solve the problem of overpopulation and animal neglect?

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Mind over Matter

Hello Brain: A Book about Talking to Your Brain

Written by Clarissa Johnson

This book discusses mindfulness for children. It contains six stories about students in a classroom who experience different troubling situations. It begins with Sam, who is terribly shy and afraid to talk with anyone at school. Eve is frustrated because she views herself not smart enough to learn. Jane talks too much in class and can’t concentrate. Nick is grumpy, unhappy and cannot focus. Kate excels in school and sports, but cannot see the worth of other students. Will is a shy boy, who is often the victim of others who take advantage of him with unkind words and acts. In each situation, one of the other students approaches the child with a problem and reminds him that he can talk to his brain and take control of the situation to remedy the problem.

This book can be used by parents or teachers to guide discussions with individual children or a classroom group. It could be an effective resource for elementary and middle school students who are struggling with individual emotions and peer relationships. It is particularly recommended for students in the six to twelve age range.

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ARA ROCKETS TO SUCCESS

Ara the Star Engineer

Written by Komal Singh

Illustrated by Ipek Konak

I loved this picture book which featured a determined young girl named Ara. She is aptly named for a constellation that contains seven stars. Ara is obsessed with big numbers. She introduces her readers to a number with 100 zeros, a googol. Together with her computer robot, DeeDee, Ara sets out to find out how many stars exist. They visit Innovation Plex, where Ara seeks experts to help her in her quest.

She meets Kripa, a problem solver, in the Data Center who tells her to have courage. Big Problems are solved with a plan. Next, she greets Parisa in the Ideas Lab, who creates the algorithms that permit computers to solve big problems. The next stop is the Coding Center where Diane writes code that allows the algorithm to communicate with the computer. When Ara and Dee put the plan into action, they come up with an error. So Ara visits Maria, the Troubleshooter, who installs more computing power with a new processor and memory chip. At last, they achieve success. Ara learns that collaboration and teamwork solve problems.

At the end of the book, readers find a journal record of the steps Ara followed as well as an introduction to some superheroes in computer science. There is also a glossary of technical terms from the story. The author targets this book for ages five through seven, though I would highly recommend it for older boys and girls as well. The design of the book features many bright colors and multicultural female role models. They certainly draw the eye inward but may be a bit too much stimulation for the younger reader. Hope to see many more books in this series.

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LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD

P.I.N.K. BACKPACK GENDER EQUALITY SERIES BOOK 1

Written by Trish Allison

 

P.I.N.K. stands for persistence, intelligence, necessary and kind. The author writes this book as a guide for parents to help daughters become aware of and respond to gender equality bias. She provides suggestions as to how to approach the topic. Parents will need to modify these suggestions depending on the age and individual personality of their child.

Topics discussed include how to navigate online, how to discover appropriate STEM models, how to minimize stress and become successful in science projects, how to create a STEM friendly environment for your daughter at home, how to develop and sustain interest in STEM during the tween and teen years, how to make your daughter comfortable in social settings that empower girls, and how to create a gender bias-free environment in your own household.

This book could become a valuable resource for parents who want to encourage positive self-image and self-confidence in their daughters to succeed in any type of role or career situation.

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A HANDBOOK FOR SPECIAL CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS

Roadmap to Navigating Your Child’s Disability
Written by Chrissie Kahan
Illustrated by Blueberry Illustrations

I would heartily recommend this book for parents and educators who are interested in navigating the tricky world of special education. For parents who suspect that something is just not right, this book provides an introduction to the types of disabilities and treatments available. Teachers who have not been trained in the field of special education need a basic understanding of the problems and resources available to treat them.

This book is divided into three sections. The first part explores the endless jargon employed in the educational testing, developing the plan, and implementing the Individual Educational Plan that each diagnosed child is entitled to have. This is a very scary and confusing process for parents. In the second section, the author explains who are the members of the team, how long the process takes, and how a parent can successfully advocate for their child. The third section is an alphabetical listing of the most common disabilities found in children, accommodations available within the school, reference links to resources, and how to reinforce what is taught in the school setting right in the home.

The world of special education is often written in legal language fraught with difficulty to understand. The way an IEP is developed and implemented varies greatly from state to state and school district. This book gives parents and teachers a good introduction and provides a readable reference source. As an educator with forty years of experience in general and special education, I would highly recommend this handbook to those about to become familiar with the special education world.

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A COIN IN HAND

The Rolling Quarter

Written by Allon Merhav

Illustrated by Eyal Eilat

 

This book follows the journey of a quarter from the time it is made at the mint. The rolling quarter is a cheerful narrator who tells of his beginning at the mint with George Washington stamped on his head and The Statue of Liberty stamped on his tail. From the mint, he is taken to a vault in a bank where he meets lots of other coins. Then he journeys to a wallet, where he is crowded with other bills and coins. The quarter finds his way to a vegetable store, a cash register, and many other stores and wallets. Eventually, he finds his way to a young girl’s piggy bank where he is deposited as she saves for something special. Soon the day will come when the rolling quarter will move again.

The book is a nice introduction to the trail of the money system for young elementary school children. Readers learn how money is made and what happens to it as it is placed in circulation. They find out about the importance of saving. The illustrations are well-done, and the story is easy to read. Recommended for children in kindergarten through third grade.

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