Parent Talk

Find More Teachable Moments With Your Kids

We've been talking about the best schools in NYC on this site all month, but many experts will tell you that what happens at home is much more important than what school a child goes to. You don't have to be a homeschooler to find teachable moments during the course of your regular day. But, where do you begin? How do you know what to do and how? What is appropriate and at what ages?

Even though we don't homeschool, I like to read a homeschool curriculum each year. I read the outline of what the course will be focusing on and copy down the reading list. Then I keep those themes in the back of my mind and look for opportunities to work them in to our everyday. I get the books on the reading list from the library and those become our bedtime or anytime books. I find that this helps me feel involved in my children's education and also makes me feel confident that they are on track by my standards, not slipping through the cracks.

Up until now I have mostly focused on the social sciences because I think the schools do a good job of teaching reading and math in the early grades. The book that I like to follow is called The Well-Trained Mind and it is based on a Classical Education. Click on the link for an in depth definition of a Classical Education, but it basically means that the early years are spent absorbing the basic facts that every well-educated person should know and only later do students focus on expressing themselves creatively.

Family Activity: Create Your Own Holiday

How often do you wish you could just slow down and spend a quiet day together with your family? How about creating your own family holiday? You can do anything you want. It could be around a theme, you can exchange gifts, or just hang out together for a day with no distractions.

The Ultimate Guide to Baby Shopping

I've always wanted to write the ultimate post about what you really need (and don't need) to buy when you have a baby. I was all excited, thinking about how smart and practical I would be. People would admire my sensibility and straightforward advice. I would cut to the chase, disparaging all the silly, useless baby products people tell you you need to register for, but you don't really. It would be great.

But while I was sitting around fantasizing about my great post, I stumbled across the one they've done at Rookie Moms and I realized that it was perfect. They had done it, created The Ultimate Shopping List: What to Register For and Buy, only with out the sanctimonious attitude I intended.

Of course, I could New York it up a little, but I'm too discouraged right now. Maybe when my wounded pride recovers I'll give it a try.

In the meantime, you can take advantage of the Spring Baby Sale at Amazon
or babyuniverse.com now that you know what to buy. No thanks to me.

The Guiltless Pleasure of Educational Computer Games

Online computer games are so prolific now they are getting harder and harder to avoid, especially with the cult status of Club Penguin for elementary school students. If allowed, children seem able to spend countless hours zoned out in front of the computer. At first, you may think that it's better than watching tv, computers being the future and all, but the games can be so mindless and their glazed-over looks tell a different tale.

There are, however, some really great educational games online that are just as fun. Kids can learn math skills, reading and writing, science, history...pretty much anything.

Mommy Poppins has dug up the following sites as some of the best educational games online, so parents can have a couple minutes of peace without feeling too guilty.

A Better Lunchbox to Inspire Better Lunches

I'm pretty much convinced that kids can live on peanut butter alone, which is good since creating new lunches for the kids every morning while you're trying to do ten million other things is hard enough. But, there's a neat product I've been eying, called laptop lunches, that could make lunch duty a little easier.

Don't Tell Your Kids They're Smart

Telling kids that they are smart will make them dumb. That's the gist of New York Magazine's cover story, Praise is Dangerous. It's actually a pretty interesting topic for parents on several different levels.

1) There's the modern parenting culture of making our kids into "praise junkies" by just praising them constantly to try to inflate their self-esteem.

2) There's the issue that what parents are really trying to do when we do this is to stroke our own egos.

Ask Mommy Poppins

Dear Mommy Poppins:

When I come home from work I want to play with my three year old son, but I just don't know what to do with him. I feel terrible about it, but, while I'm a project manager at work, I can't manage the simple act of finding something to do with my kid.

Signed, Feeling Played

Dear Played,

It can really be a blow to your self-image as an ГѓВјber-parent to be sitting there staring at your child and wondering what in the world you could actually stand to do together. Especially when they're little, the days can seem very long and playing Power Rangers can get old fast.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Parent Talk